Field Radio Kit Gallery: KV4AN’s Elecraft KH1 Field Kit

Many thanks to Steve (KV4AN) 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

KV4AN’s Elecraft KH1 Field Kit

by Steve (KV4AN)

The Elecraft KH1 is a new radio with less than two hundred delivered, so I thought the readers of may be interested in my take on a KH1 Field Kit.

The KH1 “Edgewood” package has everything necessary for 20-15 meter ultra-portable operation, such as pedestrian mobile, Summits on the Air (SOTA), or Parks on the Air (POTA).  Elecraft put a lot of thought into it and like others have said, “I feel like it is the radio I always wanted.”  However, I also wanted to be able to operate 40 and 30 meters and to be able to take it on a trip for a week; perhaps by air.  There were three challenges that needed to be overcome to meet to do this:  I needed an antenna for 40 and 30 meters, a way to recharge the battery, and everything needed to fit in one small protective case.

Figure 1. KH1 Field Kit Packed Up.

My solution was a field kit that had everything needed to operate 40-15 meters in the smallest possible hard case – the kit and components are shown in figures (1) and (2).

Figure 2.  KH1 Field Kit Components.

Components and Gear Links

The components of the KH1 Field Kit are listed below.  Every piece had to “earn” a spot in the Nanuk 904 hard case.  I tried the Pelican Micro M50 case, which is a little smaller than the Nanuk 904, but not everything would fit.

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  1. KH1 Transceiver – A new ultra-small, self-contained, five-band, QRP, CW transceiver manufactured by Elecraft.  The optional Edgewood Package includes a detachable keyer paddle, logging tray, ballpoint pen, ES20 carrying case, a telescoping whip antenna for 20-15 meters, and a 13 ft. counterpoise wire.
  2. ES20 Carrying Case – A custom soft case made by Elecraft for the KH1.  Protects the KH1 and enables ultra-portable operation.
  3. Panasonic RP-HJE120-K Stereo Earphones – Used as miniature headphones.  Fits in ES20 case.
  4. OLIGHT I3E-VROG-300000 Keychain Flashlight – Chosen for its extremely small size and orange color.  Uses one “AAA” battery.  Fits in ES20 case.
  5. Nanuk 904 Hard Case – This case was selected because it was large enough for the KH1 in its ES-20 soft case and all the gear in this list.  The quality of the Nanuk case is very good.
  6. Tufteln EFRW Antenna – This antenna has a 31 ft. radiator and a 17 ft counterpoise.  It was chosen because of its very small size when packed, good performance on 40 and 30 meters, and ability to be used with the KH1 internal tuner.
  7. Tufeteln Line Winder.  This is Line Winder for the EFHW antenna kit, purchased separately to store the arborist throw line.
  8. Gerber Mullet Micro-Multitool – Chosen for small size.  Has a Phillips and straight screw driver and a wire cutter/stripper.
  9. SOB 8 oz. Arborist Throw Bag –A durable arborist throw bag.  This is a replacement for the Camnal Throw Bag pictured.  Used to loft the antenna support line over a tree limb.
  10. X Monster Throw Line 1.8mm Easter Rope for Aborists, 50 ft. – Used to enable suspension of the end of a wire antenna from a tree.
  11. OXZEEWEE 12V 1A Power Supply Charger Adapter – a small wall-wart AC adapter used to charge the battery.
  12. Wisedry Desiccant Pack – 20 oz rechargeable silica gel pack – used to keep the inside of the sealed case dry.
  13. BNC to SO-239 Adapter – Enables use of coaxial cable with PL-259 connectors.


The Nanuk 904 Hard Case was the perfect size for all the things I needed for 40-15 meter operation on a muti-day trip and it is small and light enough to put in your carry-on bag for a flight.

7 thoughts on “Field Radio Kit Gallery: KV4AN’s Elecraft KH1 Field Kit”

  1. Fantastic! Very inspiring and good to learn from. I recently did some work on shrinking my KX2 portable bag down to just the basics and yours is a good standard to judge against. Like you, I have found that a shorter length of throw line and a lighter weight is “good enough” for most deployments. (I use 60 feet of 1.75 mm Dyneema line and an eight ounce weight.) I use the “thumb and little finger” figure-eight method to wind mine, which eliminates the need for a line winder and saves a little space. To deploy I simply spool it out loosely on the ground then throw from the top of the pile and have yet to get a tangle. I like the light and little Gerber tool. I always have a small rechargeable light and a Victorinox Minichamp on my key holder on my belt that serve the same purpose (a Vic Rambler would be a good choice also). You might consider throwing in a couple of Nite Ize Gear Ties (or similar). They take up little room and can be very handy.

      1. I ordered one of the Olight flashlights after reading your report. I went “cheap” and bought the black version. 🙂 I love it, thanks for the suggestion! I’m now carrying it with my Vic Minichamp instead of the little rechargeable .

  2. A question about the antenna: The description says 31′ radiator and 17′ counterpoise. If I take the link to the Tufteln store, they list options for a radiator of 41′ or 35 or 28.5 all with a 17′ counterpoise — but no 31′ as mentioned in the article. What’s the correct option? AND, that is an amazing kit with great photos! Thanks for doing it!
    Oscar, WB5GCX

    1. You’re right, it is a 28.5 ft radiator with a 17 ft counterpoise. I don’t know where I got the idea it was 31 ft. I keep a configuration management guide for all my gear and I wrote it down initially as 31 ft…

  3. Steve – Tnx for sharing ur organization strategies for the KH1. Mine just came in & I’m thinking thru how best to organize it for travel. Your post really helps. I’ve ordered a few of the tools.
    Bob K4RLC

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