Many thanks to Scott (KK4Z) 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 Scott’s field kit which he originally posted on his blog:
QRP at Home and SOTA Setup
I posted earlier that I was in a radio doldrum. Today I am slowly drifting back to fair skies and wind at my stern. My friend Thomas K4SWL recently posted on his blog a Field Kit Gallery showcasing operators’ various field kits: https://qrper.com/resources/field-radio-kits/ I thought I would post mine.
This is what I typically bring for a SOTA activation. I also have some general outdoor essentials like an iFAK, bug repellent, a compass, water, and of course snacks. For POTA, I am usually in my camper and bring a full-sized radio like my Elecraft K3/10. I also have an IC-705 which I like for those one-day POTA activations. The kit is pretty simple and gets the job done. Here is a list of components.
- Garmin In-reach Messenger
- Elecraft T1 Antenna Tuner in a homemade 3D printed case
- WA3RNC TR-35 4 band QRP radio
- N0SA SOTA Paddle
- Staples Clip Board
- Rite in the Rain 4×6 Notebook
- Pentel Forte 0.5mm Pencil – no longer made
- Grifiti Band Joes Silicone Rubber bands
- Stretch Velcro Strap (leg strap)
- Homemade Random Wire antenna (41′)
- Throw weight and line
- 3 AH Bioenno Battery
- 6 Foot RG-316
- Chameleon 15′ RG-316 with Choke
- MM0OPX Balun w/61′ of wire and a 17′ counterpoise
- A couple of generic tent stakes
- Not shown – a spool of 35# bank line.
Also, I decided to take a break from everything else I have been doing and get on the air. I recently got my K3/10 back from the shop and thought I would give it a good workout at home so I wouldn’t have another calamity like I did a few months ago https://kk4z.com/2023/08/06/calamity-on-black-rock-mountain/. I set the radio up in the shack and started to make contacts. I had forgotten how far 10-watts CW can get you with a good antenna. At the home QTH, I run a 270′ OCF dipole with the apex up about 35′. I was hunting POTA activators and found I could work almost everyone I heard. I got as far north as Ontario, Canada, and as far west as TX, MO, and IA. This was still the morning and there weren’t many activators out yet. The K3/10 worked like a champ and purred like a kitten. Not hearing relays click during QSK CW is sublime. With the K3/10 cleared for field use, I have a couple of outings planned for it.
It feels good to be back in the saddle again. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and after being away from amateur radio, even for a short while, I appreciate it all the more. 72 de Scott