Thursday, May 7, 2015

Operating HFPack, newbie question from HFPack group

The question currently by some newbies has been about getting started in HFPack and portable operations. That is a tough question only because I think it depends on your goals and expectations. I still see posts from people getting into QRP who are in their words "disgruntled" by the results in QRP. Heck man, we are in a bad solar cycle, bottom end of it, what can we expect. Many of us are still having good long range comms with minimal gear and antennas. I just worked Spain this week using my IC-703 and the Chameleon F Loop running 10 watts SSB. So it is possible but one must know how the bands work and how to read about the A and K index and just the area in which they operate from or out of.

This was my comment echoing another ham about his comms.

And I have to echo those words. I own a number of rigs, YouKits HB1B MKII, FT-817,KX3,IC-703,FT857,PRC-104 all of which I use either PM or Portable. My HB1B MKII travel's with me up North to the remote areas of Northwestern Ontario with me as to keep things light on the planes we use to get to these fly in only remote locations, with its built in battery, a ZM-II tuner and wire I have a small portable unit that runs on cw for days, I use a micro switch key for it, fits in a plastic Tupperware box that is sealed when closed, I also carry it with me in case I need a radio in the event that there is an event while flying.

My PRC-104 with counterpoise and whips are my main PM rig, mounted on an Alice Pack it is quite heavy of course and will dictate where you can travel to an extent.

My KX-3 also see's lots of travel time portable, I have it in a pelican box to protect the knobs and buttons in transit, all batteries, microphone, mini-key and wire for antennas and antenna connectors fit in this small case. Can fit in a backpack or on the rack of my mountain bike.

The IC-703 is still my ultimate traveler. I carry a small LifePo or LiPO pack with me and get lots of air time. The tuner can also be by-passed for using mag loop, resonant antennas and if need more power a small 50 watt amp can be used since tuner can be by-passed. It fits in a nice shoulder bag with everything I need for portable operations. With the head removed and the external mount for head used, it fits on my Go-Pro mount on my handlebars of my mountain bike and the rig body and battery fit in a plastic shoe box with cables running along frame to the head, the plastic shoe box is strapped to my rear saddle bag mount. I use a jaw clamp to mount my Chameleon V1L onto the saddle bag frame and and coil some wire around the saddle bag frame as a counterpoise. Works well.

Each radio has its place and operating position as stated, so all depends on what you goal is.


1 comment:

  1. Good evening Fred, I too am a QRPer and have had great results with QRP and QRPp I use the MFJ loop antenna from my balcony and when portable it's either mono band whips on the car or the Alexloop in the park. I have had up's and downs with QRP BUT always had a blast!!