Rearranging the shack; listening to NZ

The bands sounded pretty good last night, especially 20 meters. The DX was coming in clear, from all over the world. I heard New Zealand, Egypt, Kuwait and various European stations with the type of clarity usually reserved for the repeater tower on the edge of my neighborhood.

I didn’t really try to work any, but I did have a nice QSO with Chris, M5LRO, out of England. I managed to turn the radio on just as he began his first CQ and he gave me an excellent signal report, 59+.

I spent the remainder of the evening rearranging the shack a bit. I’ve been aggravated with the operating position since I first put the radio in here more than a year ago. I had the radio at the left of the desk, which never made any sense because I’m right-handed. Then I wedged the laptop to the right, so I was always facing it at an angle.

As I accumulated equipment, I just sort of scattered it around the desk in various places. Since I’ve added paddles and a straight key, the clutter has become a real problem. As I quickly learned, the laptop is the piece of equipment I interact with most, so I placed it front and center. The FT-847 and antenna tuner are now at the right. My straight key and paddles are right next to my keyboard, but that still poses a problem of where to put the desk mic. A mic on a boom would make a lot more sense — but I’ll live.

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