I don't really have a 'shack' of sorts as most hams do. I operate from my yard close to where my antennas are. During the inclement months I would go into my small barn and operate from a small table and chair. I have a small space heater to take the edge off when it's -30C and that has served me well. The problem with my barn is that I share it with raccoons and squirrels. It is an unwinnable battle with the current state of the barn and access points the critters have to its interior. I'm not terribly upset that they are there. They don't cause me any other grief...they do not get into my garbage or anything like that.
I also had an old decrepit large shed/building which raccoons lived under and I could store some things in but the doors wouldn't shut properly and the roof was rotting. It needed to come down. I tackled the task which ended up being much more work than I had anticipated. It took two 20 yard dumpsters and two 40 yard dumpsters to take care of it all. It took me months to deal with this very well built shed. Now that it's gone I am having a new, but significantly smaller, pre-made 10' x 14' shed delivered from Pine Grove Sheds in Alexandria, Ontario, just 20 minutes away. This shed will be located on the opposite side of the yard from the barn and I wondered if I could use this new shed as a new operating position or shack. It will be protected from the elements and the raccoons and I am excited at the prospect. I was thinking of putting a vertical antenna up as I had originally thought I would also keep the old operating position in the barn until I went in the other day and saw raccoon poop on my table. I'm done with the barn. I will move my antennas to new trees and have a new permanent shack. This will allow me to leave things there without fear of rodent destruction. I am getting excited at the prospect of this new locale. I will post pictures once it arrives in a few weeks.
When I was thinking of putting up a random wire vertical I did a lot of youtubing and reading and I learned a lot about the differences between the EFHW and the random wire antenna. I learned more about 9:1 ununs and their proper application as compared to the 49:1 auto transformer used in EFHW antennas. I really enjoy when these concepts that I didn't quite fully understand become more clear to me. I had been trying to use a 9:1 unun for my 80M antenna at 1/2 wavelength. I had purchased a EFHW 80M mini tuner that plays the role of tuner and matching transformer but a part was incorrect in the bag and had been waiting for its replacement. I didn't understand why the unun was giving me an "ok" match but not a great one. I made some contacts but the SWR on the FT-817 was still fairly high. Now I understand the difference between the 2 antenna types better and the need for the 49:1 transformer and that the 9:1 just wasn't going to cut it. Once the proper toroid arrives and I finish the 80M EFHW tuner the 9:1 can be put away until the next time I decide to put up a vertical or random wire antenna....with a proper counterpoise.
Cheers for now,