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Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Hobbit Hole

In the interest of preserving what I suspect will become an important piece of amateur radio history, I'm posting some pictures of the underground radio shack and workshop of Michael, AA1TJ.

Michael describes the facility this way: The shack is under two feet of snow at the moment, but from the surface it looks for the most part like any New England spring-box cover that you come across while walking in the woods. Only, when you lift this cover you discover Dr. Evil's secret underground radio laboratory, a re-creation of Hogan's Heros radio station, or what I affectionately refer to as the "Hobbit Hole."

The two of us burrowed down 13 feet, breaking up boulders the size of a VW Bug as we went. Aside from the pick and shovel work, I used both one and two-handed sledges along with an assortment of rock chisels and pry bars. Everything came up in 5 gallons buckets.

The lower-level slab used hand mixed concrete. The walls are 12" thick insulated masonry blocks; a Canadian-made product called, Sparfill, that's unfortunately no longer available here. We called in Ready-Mix for the concrete roof. The interior dimensions are a luxurious 2m square.

As luck would have it, I had just taken some photos of the interior for my pal, DL3PB. Please find them attached. Actually, in one bench corner you'll see the 2,400RPM AC induction motor and 400 pole stepper motor that I plan to use in the "Full Monty" version of the present project.

Mike has a wonderful posting on his blog today: http://aa1tj.blogspot.com


  1. Very nice.

    I had the impression though that AA1TJ had built the subterranean shack underneath his house. This sounds more like something outside his living quarters. Quite a feat to get that put together.

  2. Wow impressive. I am wandering what his reasons were to go underground. Bomb proof? Less RFI? Not allowed to build an above ground structure?
    Also wandering how does he get inside..


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