Great portable operating video by Craig, VK3VCM

Filed Under (Mobile Operating, YouTube Goodness!) by Jonathan on 11-01-2011

Many who know me in the New England area know I love to go to a park or an open field and play radio.  Often on the Appalachian trail or state or federal park.  Simple to do, tons of fun.  It is also a great opportunity to talk up radio for those that are curious.  When I operate, I often carry some brochures from the ARRL with my contact information so I can help them get in a class, if interested.

Field day, every time.  Go out, throw up your antenna in a tree and play.  It doesn’t get any simpler than that.  I’ve also worked the world on HF, 100 watts this way as well (OK, believe it or not, still no JA, but I’m working on it!!!).

Craig, VK3VCM has put up a great video (in HD too!!!) that goes over just how to set up and operate portable if you haven’t done so.  If you’ve been curious, this is a great introduction to portable HF operating, but also the new Kenwood TS-590.

I put all of my equipment in a go box and I’ll work on getting a post up with that rig setup soon.  I essentially plug in power and antenna and I’m off and running.

If you find any other great videos, post them below.

OMG….. Talk about “The Knack” and he’s a ham…..

Filed Under (Mobile Operating, Radio/Comm. History, YouTube Goodness!) by Jonathan on 26-05-2010

Absolutely INSANE.

The guy has computers, multiple ham radios, cell phone, GPS, Amateur Satellite capability, ability to work on his normal job while riding the bike (text input is BINARY!!!!). Oh yeah….. this is all during THE 80’s!!!!

The speech synthesizer and alarms are kinda neat as well!

Here is the info as described on YouTube:

philhacks — September 01, 2009 — in 1983, Steve Roberts packed up a Tandy 100 laptop and a 5-watt solar panel, fleeing suburbia on his recumbent bicycle on what would become a 17,000 mile journey that forever cemented his place in the geek pantheon…not just as a technology hacker, but as one of the preeminent “life hackers,” pursuing his own dreams on his own terms and inspiring others to do the same.

In this recently-unearthed video from 1989, Roberts reflects on the first 16,000 miles of his voyage, detailing some of the technology that went into his then-current ride, the Winnebiko II.

(Uploaded with permission of the copyright holder.)

Follow Steve’s adventures at

All about the go-kits!

Filed Under (Go-Boxes, Mobile Operating, VHF/UHF) by Jonathan on 16-01-2009

K7RK has a good tutorial on how he made this box on is site

K7RK has a tutorial on how he made this box on is site

First off, let me say I’m a huge fan of “go boxes”.  Not for the reason many would think.  There is the obvious EmComm/public service benefits of having a station ready to go.  Since I do almost a dozen and a half public service events a year, my kit fills that need nicely.

However, I also operate HF portable for about two weekends a month.  I started using my go box purely for that purpose awhile back and find that this is a beautiful fit for my operating style.

I can offer some advice to the many links I’m going to give in this post.  Think about your plan and put it on paper.  Take your time with this process.  Think about what you do for public service, field day, SET, etc. and think about what would make the perfect kit.

I would add another good idea (I’ve learned this recently) is to make a “mock” frame for your kit.  Install your gear on this mock frame and use it for some nets and such.  Be realistic and make sure your mock frame will fit in your chosen box.  Use your temporary box in a portable operation.  I operate from several state parks and have a lot of fun with that.  Might I add, bring some brochures from your local club or ARRL with you.  I’ve actually turned out a few new hams just from people observing my operation and wanting to get a license (an added bonus).

I’ll have pictures of my current setup hopefully within the next month or so.  My new box has HF/VHF/UHF, packet and soundcard digital modes.  Neat to have it all in one box.  I’ll add “Go-Boxes” as a category for this site for future use.  I can tell I’ll have many posts on the topic in the future.

First up this week is K7RK.  His site ( has a good tutorial on how he built the box shown above.  He uses a framing method I have used in the past that works.  As you can see above, he has a good all band/all mode box.  Neat!

More information on various kits on the website of Steve KB1DIG & Kim KB1GTR

More information on various kits on the website of Steve KB1DIG & Kim KB1GTR

Next, I’ll take you to the page of Steve KB1DIG & Kim KB1GTR located at

This is one of the most popular sites on the topic on the web.  Many useful tips here on a few different go box styles.  They have a tutorial you can download on the HVOB – Highly Versatile Orange Box.

The point I want to get across here is that there are as many gokit styles as there are hams!  Make yours “your own”.

Three examples in this picture to the left illustrate this point.  One box, three different kits.

Pay close attention to the writ-ups on many of these sites.  Many of them give you detailed information on the boxes used, why they were chosen and where you can obtain them.  I find Marine stores are a great resource for this sort of thing, but ebay is also a great alternative.  There are many resources on the web.

The kit above is from Andy Palm, N1KSN and the Wisconisn ARES/RACES group.  They can be found at

They also have a good HF station at

And a good antenna project at You will have to scroll to the middle area of the page to get to the antenna, but the top of the page has a good go box as well that was featured in QST several years back.

From W4TI

From W4TI

W4TI has some really neat ideas and great craftsmanship on his site.  This kit has a handle on the side and is easily transported wherever needed – great work!  His site is located at

The details on this kit are available at  Not sure who the ham is, but the frame on this using threaded rod and plexiglass is neat!

And, please remember to pack the non-communications necessities like meds, clothes and such.  A good example of that is found here

The K0BG Mobile Amateur Radio Site

Filed Under (Mobile Operating, New Ham Primer) by Jonathan on 08-11-2008

The K0BG Mobile Ham Site

The K0BG Mobile Ham Site

As a regular on, I’ve seen links to Alan’s site for quite some time.  This is the best site  I’ve seen for information on mobile hamming – regardless of which bands you operate on.

From Alan’s site:

With safety as a byword, there are articles on amplifiers, antennas, bonding, impedance matching, installing hardware, mobile equipment, noise and RFI abatement, wiring, and much more. I do my best to keep these articles up to date, and easy to follow.

Definitely easy to follow and a plethora of information.  Be sure to check out the galleries.  It’s always neat to see what someone else has done with their install.

If you are putting together your first install, you can avoid many mistakes made by other hams.

Thanx Alan!


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