After over 20 years with the same company, I changed jobs. I started a new job in February 2020, and in early March, the new company moved the majority of the people out of the office. So like many others, I went to work at the house.
At the house, there was an issue. I was in my wife’s way…all day. By the end of the week we were both cranky. So, I needed a place to work that’s not in the house.
Flashback to 2002
Almost 20 years ago my wife and I moved into our current home. Not having a place for my pursuits, I used my skills learned in the construction trades to make a place in the backyard.
Knowing I have lots of stuff, I built it with a nine-foot-high ceiling. The primary work table is an eight-foot-long solid core door that I can stand on to get to the higher shelves. I found some heavy-duty shelving in a dumpster driving home one day…and filled my SUV with all I could grab.
When finished, I filled it with my hobbies and stuff. In this building, I can build/repair many vintages of guitar, radio, and electronic equipment.
Back in 2020
The building is a mess but it’s made a really nice home office. It’s outside the home and has an internet Ethernet connection, plus it is fully insulated, heated, and air conditioned.
Let’s discuss the work area. I have two 27-inch 4K monitors, a repaired Cherry keyboard connected to my work laptop, and dock. I did buy a new chair to be all-day comfortable. The best part is that I’m out of the house. So, I can get up and go to work. Happy wife, happy life.
The stuff in front of me.
The Sun Microsystems keyboard and mouse were salvaged from a trash can; the Yaesu FT-450D HF radio and Icom ID4100 DStar VHF-UHF radio were both won this year in radio club raffles. I admit I’m lucky and blessed.
Yes, that is a Novell Intranetware Clock and a Pignose guitar amp. The old Radio Shack receiver was my Elmer’s (Elmer is an amateur radio term for a mentor) who is SK (Silent Key). He passed away in 2000.
There’s a guitar in the building I use to test effect pedals I build from bare boards using the finest components I can buy.
There’s test gear here for vacuum tube, solid state, and computer-era equipment. Yep, I can even simulate a phone network to test old POTS phone equipment. There are vacuum tube testers and spare tubes in here. The thermometer in the room is part of an industry controller I used in the 1990s to keep a radio transmitter stable. Repurpose, recycle, and reuse is really a geek credo.
The rack on my left started out as a 21-inch-wide rack. I cut it down to 17-inch-wide rack. It also came from a trash pile.
In the rack from the bottom up is a 50 Amp 12-volt power supply, an HP 331A analyzer, a mixer, a Samson power audio amplifier, a Heathkit IM Distortion analyzer, a Heathkit Harmonic Distortion analyzer, A Pioneer RT-707 reel-to-reel tape recorder, a tripplite switch console, a DVD Player, a VCR, a HD Audio AM/FM receiver, and a Heathkit FM Stereo Generator. Next to the rack I have two oscilloscopes, an isolated Variac, Heathkit Tri-Power supply, a Heathkit FM Deviation meter, and an old clock radio.
On my right I have a large tall tool box filled with many specialized tools.
Some equipment I’ve had for a very long time, like the Elecraft K2 I built from a kit in 2000, and others are current.
Soon, I’ll be moving out of this home office. My wife and I are building a new house that will be ready next year. My office will be in the front of the house on the right. My radio room will be in the back of the center garage.
Change is constant in IT. Roll with it!
Paul (@Radioteacher on Twitter)
P.S. The patching and configuration work will continue until security improves.