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Thread: Building shack in barn

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Campton, NH
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    Default Building shack in barn

    Hi all,
    I have been away from Ham radio now for about 30+ years. I had sold off all of my equipment and am now dipping my toes back into the hobby. I am starting off with a QRO Labs, QCX+ 5W CW transceiver kit, dummy load, and a CWmorse straight key. If I feel like I am going to stick with it, I will invest in an Icom- 7300. I am relearning my code via a Koch Method CW Course. Boy, have things changed since I was last on the air!

    Here is my question- I have a 200+ year old barn that is in good shape and has a decent power supply to it. The issue I have is that the building is not sealed up at all. That means freezing temps in the winter here in NH. I was thinking of building an 8X12 or 12X12 cube inside of the barn and I would heavily insulate it. I figure a small ceramic heater would easily keep it warm. The problem is, I don't want to leave any sort of heater on when I am not there. So can I let Radio equipment sit in freezing temps? If not, does anyone have any suggestions?
    Thanks,
    73
    David

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  2. #2
    Super Moderator 5B4AJB's Avatar
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    Default

    I think humidity is the main issue here, my shack gets very hot in the summer and consequently, humid at night, even with small (pc) extractor fans running 24h...

  3. #3

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    Just my thought on this -- there are storage temperatures that exist for electronic equipment, and my guess is that base station equipment my not be able to be stored (or operated for that matter) in the extremes that NH presents.

    With that in mind, a mobile rig is more likely to be engineered to operation and be stored in those temperatures.

    Regarding temp -- I have a workshop in my garage, and have a humidifier that runs all the time -- it is surprising how much moisture is there even in winter -- although I live in GA, so it is a much warmer climate. That should get rid of the humidity problem. There are a lot of workshop heaters that are available that should make it livable in winter.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by K4CQO View Post
    Just my thought on this -- there are storage temperatures that exist for electronic equipment, and my guess is that base station equipment my not be able to be stored (or operated for that matter) in the extremes that NH presents.

    With that in mind, a mobile rig is more likely to be engineered to operation and be stored in those temperatures.

    Regarding temp -- I have a workshop in my garage, and have a humidifier that runs all the time -- it is surprising how much moisture is there even in winter -- although I live in GA, so it is a much warmer climate. That should get rid of the humidity problem. There are a lot of workshop heaters that are available that should make it livable in winter.
    I just checked the specs on the IC-7300 - Operating temperature range: 10C to +60C, +14F to +140F.

    I was hoping that a well insulated room of about 1000/cf of area wouldn't be hard to climatize. If I could set up in the barn, I could run antennas anywhere I wanted without upsetting my XYL :-)

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Campton, NH
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5B4AJB View Post
    I think humidity is the main issue here, my shack gets very hot in the summer and consequently, humid at night, even with small (pc) extractor fans running 24h...
    We get some of those hot humid days here in NH and they are getting more frequent. They don't last more than a couple of weeks in the summer. The barn stays pretty cool in the summer.

  6. #6
    gnuuser's Avatar
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    passive solar heat can provide some warmth and would be a heck of a lot safer than using a fuel type or electric heater.
    a lot less electrical noise or risk of fire.

    your problem though as others stated would be humidity. a well insulated booth or room inside the barn would be out of the direct heat or cold from wind and would be very easy to maintain a constant temperature and possibly control the humidity level as well.
    humidity is a double edged sword though! too much humidity and you will invite corrosion, too little and you will end up with static electricity problems
    so your heat system has to be three way balance between too dry, too damp and too fast an air exchange
    Last edited by gnuuser; Sat 7th Nov 2020 at 00:07.
    Im so old dirt was my apprentice

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