Category: From the Counter

A New Bench for the Shack

Roger, NV5B is building a new workbench / desk for his shack!

The desk is finished and installed!

Desktop real estate. In our modern times, often when we talk about “desktop real estate” we are talking about the room on our virtual desktop. You know .. the area available for applications on our computer screens.

And while this is an ever growing concern as it seems more and more of our favorite hobby winds up on the computer screen, we still find ourselves looking for more when it comes to the very real world of desktop real estate.

We hams are a creative bunch for sure!  We can usually find a way, and a space, to bring our hobby into just about any available space. Whether it’s a corner in the garage, in a shed in the backyard, (perhaps the root of the term “shack”) or, just a small space in closet somewhere.

Regardless of where you find the space for YOUR shack, we all find ourselves looking for a solution as to where to put our favorite gear and a place to work on all the various things that will capture our attention and need our technical touch.

Roger has found himself in this same situation that we all go through. This time, he is actually building his desk / workbench from scratch!  Way to go Roger! What a satisfying feeling it is to create the solution with your own hands. To me, this is one of the things that seems to define what a Ham is. Being inventive, creative, and jumping head first into experimentation are very common traits in our peer group.

Roger has offered to share his latest project with us here!  So far, we only have pictures of the design phase and some of the beginning work on the project. Perhaps he will share with us more pics as the project moves toward completion. 

Thanks for the pics Roger!  We are all cheering you on! Be sure and let us see the results of your hard work too!

Oh ..  BTW …    KA5OBQ Stephen is responsible for the CAD design work, and the workshop facilities for the project!  Thanks Stephen!


Update!!!  Congratulations Roger!!  The final product looks great!  Very nice work!

Scroll though the pictures below to see the construction progress.

Stan Found a Great Deal

Tuesday morning in Our Coffee Shop the topic of SDR HF transceivers came up in the conversation. Stan, N9RFO mentioned that he was looking at a couple of different models.

I suggested that since he was looking at SDR radios that he might want to consider the Xeigu G90 and Icom IC-705. I have been looking at these for a while.

Shortly after the group, I received a message to call Stan, so I did.

Stan found this radio on sale new for the unbelievable price of ONLY $84.99….    WOW! He also mentioned that he ordered one!  I can’t wait to hear his report on how he likes his new radio!

What a great deal!  

Here’s a link to the site:   The link is no longer functioning, see the UPDATE below.–iegu-built-in-tuner-radio-amateur-sdr-auto-antenna-g90-hf-0-5-30mhz-20w-transceiver-structure-ssb-cw-am-fm

With the G90, I like the low price, usually sold for between $450 and $500, and the wide range of features. I also like the portability. This unit is pretty small. The TFT LCD screen on the front is 1.8 ” for a reference. 

Only 20W out on SSB, CW, FM with 13.8V is a little bit light, but, pretty good for a “QRP” radio. Perhaps too much to be considered QRP by some.

But, for $85, how could you go wrong! 




We are a little past a month since Stan ordered the radio.  He has received an indication that it has shipped, but, it has not arrived as of yet.  

We are aware that the link in referenced in the article above is not working. It was working at the time of original posting.  I have removed the hotlink. 

Still hoping that Stan’s new radio does arrive, but the situation looks precarious at this time.  Good luck Stan, and if you don’t get the radio, I surely hope you get your money back.  

– Tom

Xeigu G90


  • Modes: SSB / CW / AM / FM *
  • RF Output Power: 20W (SSB/CW/FM), 5W (AM Carrier), 13.8VDC, stepping 0.5W
  • Receive frequency range: 0.5 MHz-30 MHz
  • Operating voltage range: 10.5-16.5 V DC (voltage must be in 13.8-15V if need 20W
  • Transmission frequency: All amateur bands in the range of 1.8 to 29.999 MHz plus 60 meters in USA
  • Receive current draw: 500mA
  • Transmit current draw: 8A max.
  • Operating temperature range: -10 C ~ +50 C
  • Frequency stability: ± 10 ppm after warm-up
  • Size: 4.75″ x 1.75″ x 8.25″ (main body without handles)
  • Weight: Around 1 kg
  • Antenna Socket: SO-239
  • Impedance 50 Ω