I started my shack clearing work by taking everything off the bench and emptying the small computer desk I use and then slowly built the whole thing back up, once it was done I noticed that the bands seemed to be poor despite them being much better before I did anything. It turns out I had some losses somewhere from a combination of switches and patch leads. I undid the whole thing thought up a new plan and started again.
Thankfully now it all works well and to test it I had a nice QSO with K8NY ( Bob) on 12m using the Drake TR-7 and Butternut HF-9V. The new setup has the Drake set up permanently in line with antennas and microphones and connected to its own power supply and ATU/antenna switch. The most important thing about this move is that the Drake takes up the space where the linear amplifier once sat. Yep, I finally did it and took the linear away ready to sell it.
While in QSO with Bob, K8NY, I mentioned my boredom with high power and easy QSOs, he said he had been thinking the same and although he has an amazing setup he finds no thrill in using it like he does to use his old radio into a G5RV antenna on 80m CW. We talked about QRP and simple setups for a while and I left the QSO challenging him to work some DX on 500mw from his FT-817 for a real buzz in radio, Bob said he may just take me up on the challenge.