Many thanks to Rand (W7UDT) 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, check out this post.
My Digital HF Field Kit…
Thomas & the gang… this is (de) Rand W7UDT
The QRP Labs QDX is yet another, brilliant creation from genius Hans Summers. Hans has created a cult following, with an assortment of kits, and assembled bargains of fun!
Many of you know this, and have his gear. And as sexy and alluring my Elecraft KX2 may be, it’s often, as a minimalist, that I reach for my QCX Mini(s), or my QDX (Hi & LoBanders).
I guess it’s a touch of OCD that compels me to minimize and simplify my field kits. (Yes, I need help!) And yet, if you too, upon reading this confession, find it all too interesting and read on.
Here’s the QDX field deployment in a nutshell…
Deploy the antenna, a LNR Precision Trail Friendly End Fed Wire. With a toss and some luck, the weight clears the chosen branch and the antenna is hoisted aloft.
Often I operate along the Boise River Greenbelt, just off the path near the river. I find that perfect spot to operate.
The flow of water, doesn’t make too much noise, and doesn’t matter with this mode, FT8. Only that it has a sunny view, and it’s comfortable and dry.
The QDX transciever & DC Pack is velcro’d to a clipboard, and once secured, I attach a 6′ section of RG316 and an inline 1:1 balun. The BNC coax is then connected. A trusted prussick knot, attachs the coax and clipboard, and provides the strain relief and work surface needed to operate.
8″ USB c/b cable connects the QDX with my Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, to the QDX. The transiever is powered by a 3aH 12v DC Pack of (3) 18650 LiFePo4 batteries. With the swich thrown, it archs to life. I then open the FT8CN app on my Samsung, select the Comm Port, and Wow! What fun!
The software does all the work, and even logs the contacts automatically. An occasional touch to the screen, can have you operating at will. It’s a free app on GitHub, that will pleasantly surprise and surpass any low estimations of ‘Free Chinese Stuff.’
All this can be viewed on YouTube, watch Linas LY2H.
Here’s my assembled field kit for my QDX (LoBander). I absolutely love this thing!
- QDX (Lo v4) 20-80μ
- HF Digi LoBander 20-80μ
- 12v 3aH DC Pack w/Pwr Lead (velcro’d)
- Samsung Tablet or Galaxy S20 Ultra, USB C ~ USB B cab
- Running Free from GitHub FT8CN… a Fantastic App!
- The phone & tablet also sport various Ham Apps: QRZ, yada …
- LNR Precision ‘Trail Friendly’ End Fed ETF 10/20/40 Antenna. (tested w/low SWR)
- Cool, ‘Daddy O’ Sunglasses (for style points)
These modes offer error correction, and incredible Dx. The software function flawlessly, and automatically logs the contacts. Hang it high, and the antenna is happy! Easy, cheap and fun! 72 de W7UDT Rand
Notes ~ FT8, JS8 Call & RTTY Only, using the amazing & free FT8CN software.