Field Radio Kit Gallery: W2AEW’s Comprehensive Elecraft KX2 Field Kit

Many thanks to Alan (W2AEW) who shares the following article about his portable field radio kit which will be featured on our Field Kit Gallery page. If you would like to share your field kit with the QRPer community, read this post. Check out Alan’s field kit:

W2AEW Field Radio Kit

I’ve only been active with POTA for a little over a year, but have put together a kit that gives me lots of options for antenna deployments.

The main kit is in an old camera bag that I picked up at a hamfest for $5:

One of the outside side pockets houses a small tripod and some little ground stakes for securing support ropes, etc.

The other outside side pocket houses a small digital recorder and a cellular hot spot:

The front outside pocket houses some rubber coated twist ties that I use for securing a portable lightweight pole, as well as a few POTA brochures, QSL cards and eyeball cards:

The pouch on the inside of the lid contains a 25’ length of coax, a few extra pens and other accessories:

The main chamber houses the KX2 Shack a Box bag, a Maxpedition accessory bag, the AX1 antenna kit and my iPad:

The KX2 bag is the main bit of the kit.  Sometimes, this is the only thing I carry with me (and will often put the AX1 kit inside also):

The rightmost pouch contains the 40m EFHW antenna, which is one of my two workhorses for my activations.

The middle section holds the logging pad, writing utensils, spare wire bits for antenna and counterpoise use, lightweight clips, etc.

The main section of the bag holds the KX2 which includes the internal battery and tuner. It also holds the BamaTech TP-III paddles, a small Vibroplex mini Camelback straight key, a dummy load, a sparkplug gear 49:1 transformer

… along with various RF adapters, a homemade tripod adapter for the AX1, some earbuds, a power cord for the KX2, a small microphone and my homemade window mount for the AX1 and another 25’ length of coax:

The Maxpedition bag contains a lightweight throwline and 8oz throw bag, and a couple of random wire antenna options along with a homemade 9:1 transformer and a 25’ feedline:

In addition to this main kit, I also keep in the car a second pack with additional antenna options and accessories:

This kit mainly houses two additional antennas and some mounting options:

There is a 20’ lightweight telescoping “fishing pole” that is great for elevating lightweight wire antennas.  I’ll often use this to mount my 40m EFHW as an inverted Vee.

I keep an old Par Electronics tri-band end fed in the kit:

But the main antenna in this kit is the SuperAntenna MP1.  I don’t use the short telescoping whip with mine.  I mainly use a 10’ telescoping whip (MFJ-1976) or a military style collapsible whip.  Shown here are the main antenna coil, homebrew adjustment gauge, the rarely used 80m coil, the counterpoise set, and the tripod:

I also keep a few mounting options in this bag.  I have a few lightweight aluminum stakes that I will use to secure the tripod on breezy days, or use as a mounting point for the aforementioned 20’ pole.  Also included are the flat bar mount for the MP1, as well as a couple of C-clamps and a vice grip clamp mount.  The vice grip also serves as a hammer to drive the stakes into the ground when needed.

The last two items are a multi-tool (because you never know), and a pair of very lightweight gloves with a few fingertips cutout to allow comfortable operating in cold weather.

I’ll often pare-down the kit for specific activations when I already know what I’ll use/deploy.  Otherwise, I’ll keep it all ready in the car to give me options to adapt to whatever the site presents for antenna deployment – depending on trees, wind, band conditions, time allotted, and other users of the park.

Readers, if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to Alan’s excellent YouTube channel–a deep resource of workbench how-to’s, hints, and tips! 

4 thoughts on “Field Radio Kit Gallery: W2AEW’s Comprehensive Elecraft KX2 Field Kit”

  1. This is a truly comprehensive field kit, Alan!
    You also demonstrate just how good camera bags are for radio gear. They are padded, the have compartments, and their pockets are sized right for radio gear. Frankly, they’re really hard to beat! Your ES60 and Maxpedition pouch fit in the main compartment like they were designed to do so!
    Also, you have several antennas and mounting options–I doubt there’s a POTA situation you couldn’t handle with what you have in your kit. Well done!

    1. Thank you Thomas. The camera bag isn’t a hiking friendly as something like the EDC bag, but it sure does work well otherwise.

      1. It works brilliantly.
        But now that you mention it, Alan? We need to start working on a radio backpack for you! 🙂

  2. Alan,

    de W7UDT here… op Rand. Your kit has got me thinking about my KX2 field kit. It’s complete, and compact, yet I know it should also be modular, and far more comprehensive.

    I have alot of gear… from antenna mounts to charging cables… folding solar panels, batteries, ATU’s, etc… and all scattered about, unorganized.

    Yours is a solution I’d bring to field day…

    All I really need is to moularize, organize, and neatly stowe it in a bag suitable for Grab & Go. Thank you for sharing.

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