KX2 Portable Case
Antennas , Design , Operating , Radios / August 6, 2016

For storage and travel, I put my KX2 and all essential accessories into a B&W case.  The Elecraft Lowe padded case fits nicely as well.  Inside the Lowe case is the KX2 radio, paddle, earbuds, and microphone.  The other trail essentials in the rest of the plastic case are the paracord guys, guy rings, stakes, notebook / log, PackTenna Mini 9:1 UNUN and wire antenna, 10′ RG316 or RG174 coax with BNC connectors, 13′ counterpoise wire, PowerPole to 2.1mm DC power cable, and extra paracord and S-clips. I like using the hard plastic box to store everything at home or toss it into the car for a trip.  When on the trail, I ditch the plastic box and put accessories into a zippered case.  Then I throw the Lowe soft case with the radio and the accessory case in the backpack along with a 32-1/2′ PackTenna telescoping fiberglass mast.  The mast collapses down to only 26″ so it’s easy to strap to the side of the pack. Watch the video Get a PackTenna

Portable HF Antennas – Think Like a Backpacker
Antennas , Operating / May 26, 2016

At this year’s Dayton Hamvention, my talk was about building simple end-fed wire antennas for portable HF ops.  These antenna designs have been around for decades and my focus is on coming up with a compact form factor that makes it easy to toss it into your backpack and hit the trail.\ You can download my presentation here… kj6vu_portable_hf_antennas

Dayton Forum: HF Antennas… Think Like a Backpacker !
Events , Operating / March 23, 2016

Dayton is around the corner and I was invited to give a talk about portable HF antennas.  The title is “Portable HF Antenna Design – Think Like a Backpacker”.  Here is the description…   Whether you operate SOTA, Field Day, or just setup in the back yard, operating portable HF radio is more popular than ever.  In this session we will apply the light weight backpacker’s approach to compact, portable antennas including the new trail friendly PackTenna Mini.  Wire antennas are simple to build if you know a few basic design techniques.  In addition to the antenna, we will also look at new light weight battery technology, solar power and other operating accessories. The timing is good as we just finished field testing the new PackTenna Mini end-fed wire antenna.  There is quite a bit of mystery around end-fed antennas, ferrite materials, antenna tuners, common mode currents and the like.  While there is a lot of material out there, some dating back to the pre-WWII era, when it comes to figuring out *exactly* what materials to use or how many turns of wire you need, the information gets a little sketchy.  There is nothing like making yourself design and build something to help you…