Antennas Kits The Shack

QRPGuys No Tune End Fed Half Wave

About a year ago, I bought a few end fed half wave antenna kits from the QRPGuys. The No Tune End Fed Half Wave is of those that I got out of curiosity. The fact that there is no tuner required seemed intriguing. Basically, I’m skeptical so I’m going to build this one and try […]

Equipment Operate Outside POTA SOTA

A Basic Portable Radio Station for SOTA and POTA Part Two: Batteries

In Part One, I wrote about the interaction between portability and capability with a focus on the radio transceiver itself. This time around, I would like to discuss how to pair a battery to your chosen radio. Again, portability and capability are paramount. Batteries are among the heaviest and bulkiest elements of any portable radio […]

Operate Outside POTA

Parks on the Air 101

POTA, or Parks on the Air, has to be one of the best ways to liven up your ham radio experience. It combines the thrill of making contacts with the refreshment of being outside. I can’t recommend it enough for hams, both new and experienced. Chances are, there’s a park close to you. Choose your […]

Gear Operate Outside POTA SOTA

A Basic Portable Radio Station for SOTA and POTA Part One: Portability and Capability

All amateur radio stations have the same five basic elements: a transceiver, an antenna, a power supply, a transmitting interface like a key or microphone, and a reception interface like headphones or a speaker. And of course, cables which connect all the aforementioned elements to the radio. There you have it! A complete amateur radio […]

Gear The Shack

The Te-Ne-Ke Paddle

The last few times that I went to operate portable, I brought my Speed-X key. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a great key. When doing POTA and SOTA, I want it to work reliably above all. However, it is large and somewhat heavy. I’m always looking for ways to cut weight and add reliability to […]

Antennas The Shack

A Hiatus, QTH Change, and Antenna Experiments

Since attending OzarkCon in April this year (which I still would like to write about), I took a break from ham radio. In the time since, my family and I moved seven hours north from Arkansas to Kansas, both my wife and I have started new jobs, and have renovated our new-to-us, eighty-year-old house. It […]

Operate Outside POTA

Saline State Fishing Lake, K-7422

Well, I haven’t been on the air at all in the past six months. My family moved from Arkansas to Kansas back in May. Between moving, house renovations, and my wife and I starting new jobs, there hasn’t been much time for hobbies. When things started to calm down a bit, I looked into getting […]

Bikepacking Operate Outside SOTA

Bikepacking to Callahan Knob, W5A/PT-009

A long overdue post. This activation took place on 11 April 2021. Spring is in full swing in Arkansas. The mountains are clothed in their green and gold. Best yet, the nights are still cold. I hadn’t been camping since September and this particular weekend in April was going to be one of the few […]

The Shack

QRP Mobile: a Shark HamStick installation

Moving has a way of causing you to revisit the recesses of your house. As I was digging around in the closet in my shack, I discovered an abandoned project. Last hamfest I went to, I acquired a mobile antenna mount and some Shark HamSticks for 20, 30, 40 and 80. I thought: rather than […]


5Watter Organic Transceiver Build Phase 3: Keyer and Keying Sections

This particular block should be straightforward. Basically, Diz’s kit ships with a programmed IC for using with a paddle. I believe that we will also be installing the keying switching transistors as well in this section. Components J4 – command button J5 – paddle jack J10 – speed control potentiometer (10k linear recommended; not included) […]