Chipping away at the rock/s

Two of the traits that are frustrating for me as an amateur radio enthusiast is the fact that I always have multiple projects on the go and it takes a long time for me to finish any one of the projects I have started.

Am I alone? No.

So in order to restore my sanity and gain a sense of achievement I have embarked upon a strategic plan to gain order in my shack and my office (study) which both have an assortment of soon to start, in the-middle or nearly finished projects.

And one of the constant frustrations is the fact that I get the operating area of the shack clean so that I can spread out paperwork, or read articles or tinker with small projects and before I know it I have completely cluttered the bench up again with hundreds of different bits and pieces.

Messy bench

Not all is as dim as it sims.

I, like many others, tend to keep an assortment (a lot) of components, brackets, odds and ends just “in case” I have a use for these in the next 35 years. I say 35 years because I am sure I have kept some items for that long!!

And in my clean up mode I am finding some gems carefully stashed away for a rainy day. What may you ask? Well, I found an original ICOM IC22S diode matrix board from the late 70’s early 80’s. Perfect timing as I am about to expand some of the channels in the two that I still have.


Fortunately I have also found a number of “real” antenna insulators, not the cheap moulded plastic types. Don’t get me wrong, the plastic insulators will do the job but who can go past porcelain or glass insulators. When you find these sorts of things the temptation is to say that they are too good to use and I will just hang on to them.

No. If I am going to hang on to them they may as well be hanging in the air!! These will do the trick for the Inverted vee I intend to re-string on one of the telescopic masts.

Ah yes, I digress. Back to the strategic plan.

It is simple really – complete one amateur radio task a day and choose a task that has a domino effect. As an example if I make up the new cables I need for my VHF/UHF antennae then I can get rid of an empty drum of cable, put the new cables on to the antennae, put the mast back up in the air and have a bigger and better signal on SSB with horizontal beams.

So, that’s it. Today I finished the 3rd of 4 new cables required for the mast and cleared some trees around my fixed mast so that I can erect the 6m vertical and 2/70 dual band vertical. And I feel good about it.

Mast down with VHF UHF antennae

With any luck and fair autumn weather I should have the telescopic mast with 6/2/70/23cm antennae back up in the air with new and longer cables by mid-week. Ah, yes, I must align the rotator indicator to the true bearing of the beams when I put it back up. Make note to self.

I have also decided to create a weekly “task list” to plan tasks based on categories such as Shack, Office, Car or Portable Operations.

This is proving to be a good thing as many of the “small” annoying things that I have put aside as a job on a rainy day is captured and planned to be done.

So, we are going to try chipping away at the rock/s and see if I can move forward with all of the projects on the bench and in my head.

Step by step, one rock at a time.

Wish me luck!