Many thanks to Jesse (VE6JTW) 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.
VE6JTW’s lightweight SOTA kit
Good Day Thomas & all readers of QRPer.com,
I was Licensed Late in 2020 and I have been actively doing Summits on the Air since early 2021 here in Alberta, Canada. I started out using a Xiegu G90 but realised very quickly that CW operations where much more efficient especially in VE6 land where our 4 point summits sometimes have 1000+ meters of gain (3280 feet), your knees get tired fast on those big descents with a pack that can easily start weighing in the 30lb range.
So I started teaching myself CW a few months into activating and also started looking into the QRP world. How awesome is it to make worldwide contacts with 5 watts and a wire from a mountain top, am I right?
I started activating CW that fall and I have gone through a couple of different radio setups. My first QRP rig was a QRP Labs QCX-mini for 20m which I did not use for long. Then my wife bought me a Venus SW-3B for Christmas and that little rig is excellent in my books; it is very basic but effective. I used that for quite a long time with a trapped EFHW Malen (VE6VID) made for me. It covers 40, 30 and 20m, along with the very last N0SA SOTA paddle ever made by Larry.
Fast Forward to 2023 and My SOTA kit contains the LNR Precision MTR-4B. This radio is amazing as the receiver is strong and I can pull callsigns out from the noise very well. My antenna is still the trapped EFHW, and I now use the Bamakey TP-III paddle. For audio I have a set of JBL headphones for when it is super windy out and I also use an Amazon speaker as seen in the photo. Everything that fits in the bag weighs just 2 pounds and 4 ounces. The bag that holds all the gear is from Colonel Mustard.ca.
My mast is a fiberglass telescoping fishing pole from Amazon with a fishing eyelet at the peak to run the wire through. I lashed some line to the base of the mast with three loops then epoxied them to the fiberglas so they won’t move when guying the mast.
I carry two 1100 MAH 3s 11.1v LIPO batteries and get about 2 really good 30 min activations per battery, they are both from Amazon.
Last but not least my hiking pack is a Mystery Ranch Bridger 35l.
73 de VE6JTW, Jesse