LED Lights for Ham Shack

LED Lighting For Your Ham Shack and Home

The topic of ham shack lighting is certainly important for good operating ergonomics. Can the amateur radio operator benefit from the latest advances in home lighting products?

There is a wide range of LED lighting solutions available for virtually any situation or application. To cut to the chase, a broad category in lighting that can be applied to the modern-day LED product are for ham shack design, household use, recessed lighting, and indicator lighting. Each of these is for use in particular circumstances and should be installed to serve a particular purpose.

Household Lighting

If you are converting a room in your home, like a kitchen or bathroom, there are a wide range of incandescent and LED lights available for the home. They can power a range of lighting projects, including:

  • Kitchen lighting, including strategically placed task lighting
  • Bedroom lighting, to create a relaxing ambiance for the bedroom
  • Living room and dining room lighting for entertaining and family gatherings
  • Hallway, for drives and walks along hallways
  • Outdoor lighting for decks, patios, and balconies
  • Fixed light and shade, such as floodlights and landscape lights
  • Ham Radio Shack lighting and design

For indoor use, LED light is up to 50 times more efficient in creating bright dishes of light than incandescent light. It is also up to 50 times more efficient in generating heat as incandescent lights produce while they remain on. If you are using LED lights indoors, it will cut the cost of your cooling costs. LED light is also available in a wide range of colors, as opposed to incandescent lights, which typically produce a limited number of colors.

With regards to household use, one popular solution is the light bulb that is recessed. It is a type of LED light fitting that is used in lamps for use in the home. It is typically mounted on the ceiling, just above the bulb, to produce a focused light, and can also be controlled with a range of settings that allow you to control the brightness and color. A popular kind includes linear strip lighting. It is a strip of LED lighting that is mounted in a long length along the length of the kitchen or living room wall. It is used to highlight certain aspects of the decor.

Lighting for a driveway

Driveways can be lit in a similar fashion to a kitchen, while at the same time providing the additional benefits of LED lights. A popular solution includes driveway lighting, which features long strips of LED light that are flushed to the wall. There are also trip hazards or roller floodlights that are useful for illuminating walkways.

Indicator lights can be simple and effective, providing added security on a garage, patio, or other outbuildings including your ham shack. Indicator lights are available in energy-efficient versions, with small LED light bulbs that are good for smaller use. Indicator lights are popular with outdoor installations.

Installing your LED lighting

Since LED lights are low cost and provide a great amount of light at a small size, they are easily installed onto virtually any surface. LED high bay lights can be mounted onto ceilings, outdoor walls, columns, tanks, or flat roofing. By simply mounting onto the edge, you are able to illuminate large areas with little light. If you really want an added bonus, you can easily string LED lighting along the roof of your shack for a truly spectacular glow!

For most installations, you will need a transformer. Transformers function as power supply and can be plugged into a standard power outlet, making LED lighting completely portable. LED lighting can be adapted to a range of applications, giving you so much more to choose from.

It is worth noting that LED lights can be used for a lot of other applications as well, such as:

  • Ham Shack Lighting
  • Machine lamps
  • Modern bulbs
  • Lighting strips
  • Christmas lights
  • Flashlights
  • Light sheets

LED lights are also a great option for burglar alarms. And if you really want to be adventurous, it is an excellent option for topics like special events. So, consider this versatile lighting option for any kind of lighting project you are undertaking for your Ham Shack or Home.

Radio interference from LED light bulbs

There have been some reports by The German Amateur Radio Club (DARC) has issued a press release identifying domestic LED light bulbs as a source of electrical interference. The increasing popularity of these light sources has led to a significant increase in reports of radio traffic disturbance, interruption of radio services, and even poor DAB reception. In their opinion, the electrically noisy LED lamps are a result of a bad government policy that simply ignores regulations applicable to EMC and the generation of EMI by electrical equipment.

The solution for this is to always check a sample for RFI before installing a number of them. Make sure to purchase them locally so that returns could be done easily if needed. If you may needed to return a few for RFI and non-RFI reasons like buzzing or the wrong color temperature it will be easier when purchased locally.

Also stay away from the cheap LED lights. Make sure you use good LED lights and power. The cheap Chinese LED strips and power supplies are not consistent in their RF emissions. Some are good. Others can introduce RF noise of S9+ in your shack. Also, don’t use cheap LED lights in the house either. I got some that were supposedly quiet but when the lights were turned on I had a noise floor of S6 while normally it is around S2. Beware the lure of cheap lights.

Get an Electrician to Setup the Best Lighting for your Shack

Not all of us know how to tinker with electrical wirings so for safety get a licensed electrician to install the LED lightings for your shack. If you are like me who would rather do a professional do the dirty job then make sure to call a Baltimore Electrician if ever you are located in the Baltimore area.

Electrical safety is essential for enjoying amateur radio. Many people are killed each year by coming in contact with ordinary power line conductors. Similarly, much of our equipment is powered by electrical mains–one can’t be too careful when opening up equipment for servicing. The wiring for your shack should ideally be controlled by one master switch and everyone in the house should know where it is. A fire extinguisher, suitable for use on electrical fires, is also a good investment.

Ham Radio Shack

How to Set up a Ham Radio Shack

Have you ever thought about setting up your own ham radio shack? You don’t have to be a handyman but you do need to have some idea of what you are trying to achieve in order to make your shack as pleasing and comfortable as possible. You are about to learn exactly how to set up your very own ham radio shack.

It is easy to think of radio as a dying medium in the internet age but nothing could be further from the truth. Just as e-readers didn’t quite manage to kill off books, the internet hasn’t quite managed to kill off the radio. In fact, the popularity of radio has been increasing in recent years, especially amateur radio or ham radio as it is also known.

In the early days of amateur radio, enthusiasts used to set aside a dedicated room to broadcast and receive radio signals from. They often referred to their rooms as shacks, hence the term ham radio shack. Not everyone requires an entire room for their hobby. A lot of it depends on the amount of equipment the enthusiast has and plans to use, for example. The other big factor is privacy and therein lies the real appeal of having a dedicated room or space.

Now, not many of us are lucky enough to have an entire room spare. That doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t have our very own ham radio shack, it just means we need to think outside the box and consider other areas for our radio equipment: garages, for example, attics, sheds and even unused cupboards may all be suitable places to convert into a ham radio shack. You just need to think like a handyman and visualize spaces that could be easily converted into a ham radio shack.

Let’s take a look at some of the things you need to consider when considering a suitable location for your ham radio shack.

Firstly, you need to think about the type of equipment that you are going to need such as transmitters and receivers, microphones, amps and so on. Think about the physical space you need for that equipment.

Next, think about the personal space you need around you so that you can sit comfortably and actually enjoy what you are doing. You won’t enjoy ham radio quite so much if you end up having to sit all cramped up for several hours at a time. Likewise, you don’t want your ham radio shack to be subject to extreme temperatures, hot or cold, not only because it will become very uncomfortable very quickly but also because the extreme temperature may well interfere with or even damage your equipment.

Next try to think about the practical things you will need such as mains power and shelving for your equipment. When it comes to the mains power, you are likely going to need a number of sockets and so it may be necessary for you to have additional sockets fitted. Even if you consider yourself a bit of a handyman, however, you should always leave electrical wiring to the professionals, particularly because you will likely be routing quite a bit of power through those sockets. If you are planning to use extension leads and socket adapters instead, never overload them. You don’t want to risk damaging your equipment with a power surge from an overloaded socket.

The other important thing to think about is lighting. You don’t want to be adjusting your equipment in the dark. Nor do you want the room flooded with light so that you emerge with a cracking headache several hours later. Instead look for an ambient light that is focused on the areas you are using your equipment in. A desk lamp is often ideal for example.

These are just some of the things you need to consider when setting up your ham radio shack but the most important thing to remember is to have fun. Your ham radio shack is your personal domain, it is your own private den. It has to be fit for purpose, of course, but it also has to be an area that you enjoy spending time in as you sit down and tune in.

A big thanks to Handyman Services Salem Oregon for building my dream ham radio shack! It turned out how I imagined it to be. Shout out to them for being very professional. They are also my go-to company when it comes to home repairs.

Ham Radio Operator

Why Everyone Should be a HAM Radio Operator

HAM Radio is also known as Amateur radio. For many people, it is a hobby that connects electronics, communications, and space. But this hobby becomes a key source of hope during natural disasters and human conflicts when every other mean of communication is disrupted. Because of the some key technologies involved, many people take to ham radio operation as a hobby. Apparently, the technology is simple and anyone can set up his HAM radio station and start communicating with the world. A Ham Radio Operator can also telecast weather bulletin or a short radio message to all those who are tuned to his band frequency.  

What can you do with HAM Radio?

If you are a HAM Radio hobbyist, it will open up the exciting field of practical physics. When you are active in your given frequency, you are more alert and trying to decipher what others are saying. Sometimes, some of you will like to broadcast meteorological information informing others about the weather conditions in your area. Through HAM radio, you can keep watch on what’s the weather condition in the space. Through you radio, you can send your signal to the moon and let it come back to you. Do you feel excited at the prospect? Yes, that’s Ham radio. You can set it up yourself and have the fun of being a scientist in your own right.

Here are some of the advantages of being a HAM radio enthusiast:

Communicate with the world

All communication systems such as WiFI, mobile, radars, TVs, etc. work within their given frequency band and they pay to the government for using their frequency band. Amateur radio operators also get a fixed frequency band along with their license, which allows the government to keep track of all licensed HAM radio operators. With this frequency band and radio license, HAM radio operators can transmit their messages to all those who are tuned to that frequency band. It can also receive messages from other operators in the same frequency band. This practically allows you to communicate with people across the world that is without the help of mobile or the Internet.

Transmit images

While you can send voice communications and coded messages across the globe, you can further up the game by transmitting an image to the other end. You can transmit images by coded audio messages for which various coding techniques are available.

EME Communication

Earth has a natural satellite in moon. We all know the radio waves bounce back when they hit a surface. In this case, radio waves sent to the moon bounce back after heating the moon’s surface. Since moon has quite a big surface, it’s a huge reflector for radio waves sitting above us. Anyone on the earth who is able to view the moon will be able to receive the signal on their radio. For this EME communication, all you need to do is send a radio wave to the moon and wait for it return.  

Final thoughts

HAM radio operation is a useful and interesting hobby. Through this, you can keep a network of communication open even when most other networks have lost their way. HAM radio operations is a one-man show and that’s why in the case of a natural disaster or human conflicts when ordinary networks of communications are down, even one Ham Radio Operator can establish a connection with the rest of the world. All this makes a case for everyone should be a HAM radio operator.