How much use is a signal report - really? In theory it is a good idea to tell the ham at the other end of the magic, invisible wire how well you are receiving their signal. In practice the report you send is of little to no use whatsoever. Why is that? I can cite … Continue reading Let’s Dump RS(T) Signal Reports!
Tag: Outdoor Ops
How to find out if your common mode current choke really works
What is common mode current? It is the current that flows along the outer surface of your coax shield from your antenna back towards your radio. It can cause SWR problems, erratic behaviour of radio equipment and even RF shocks when you touch metal parts of your rig. A coax cable has three conductors! Due … Continue reading How to find out if your common mode current choke really works
QRP On Deck
We had a little light snow today and the temperature was hovering just below freezing, but I wanted to get outside and check out one of my old QRP rigs. The radio of the day was my Hendricks PFR-3. The "PFR" stands for Portable Field Radio. The PFR-3 is (or was; I'm not sure if … Continue reading QRP On Deck
Winter POTA Activations? No Problem!
Southern Ontario had a long, balmy Indian Summer this year. Indian Summer is defined as a warm period following the first frost. It was quite unusual to be able to continue Parks On The Air activations right into mid-November using exactly the same kit I used in the summer. But then winter came suddenly and … Continue reading Winter POTA Activations? No Problem!
How to Turn a 20+ Year Old Yaesu FT-817 into a CW Mean Machine
It was my very first HF radio. A Yaesu FT-817; the original vintage before the ND version was introduced. I was very excited; it was the perfect solution to serve my passion for getting outdoors into the Big Blue Sky Shack to play radio. I had a lot of success. My outdoor antenna was a … Continue reading How to Turn a 20+ Year Old Yaesu FT-817 into a CW Mean Machine
Modifying my DIY Loading Coil
I have been very pleased with my DIY clone of a Wolf River coil. It has served me well on multiple POTA activations for the last few months. But, there is always room for improvement! And, besides, hams love to tinker with their equipment to make it just that little bit better. The coil is … Continue reading Modifying my DIY Loading Coil
Watts on Wheels
My portable operating station - which I use principally for POTA activations - is constructed in the form of a manpack inside a very rugged cotton canvas NATO-style rucksack. Nearly everything is hooked up, ready to go. I don't need to find a picnic table, the manpack has an internal frame just high enough to … Continue reading Watts on Wheels
What’s in my POTA Backpack?
A recent post by Thomas K4SWL on his QRPer.com blog that I follow inspired me to write about my own portable operations backpack. Thomas' post was entitled A tour and deep-dive of my SOTA/POTA Backpack (Spec-Ops Brand T.H.E. Pack EDC). Thomas and I approach our outdoor operations from a different perspective. While Thomas gets involved … Continue reading What’s in my POTA Backpack?
How to Design and Build a Field Expedient End-Fed Half-Wave Antenna for 20m, 40m and 80m
Field expedient antennas differ from home-based, permanent antennas. At a home QTH there is often plenty of room to install a larger, higher antenna. In the home shack, the radio is often capable of putting out a much more powerful signal than a field radio. Out in the field, for example at a campsite, space … Continue reading How to Design and Build a Field Expedient End-Fed Half-Wave Antenna for 20m, 40m and 80m
Why I Quit QRP (and maybe shouldn’t have)
For many years I was a dedicated QRP operator. I even took my "Portable QRP Operation" show-and-tell out on the road for presentation at ham clubs in my area. Then along came the dark, gloomy depths of the solar cycle minimum. My forays out into the Big Blue Sky Shack became a series of disappointments. … Continue reading Why I Quit QRP (and maybe shouldn’t have)