Categories
The Shack

Station Updates: Logging and QSLing

Soon after operating CW on a regular basis, I wanted to start sending QSL cards to the people that I worked. More than anything, I wanted to send them as a thank you for helping me learn the code. So far, I have sent out a few dozen cards. If you take a look at […]

Categories
Operate Outside POTA

Dardanelle Rock Natural Area, K-7712

Dardanelle has always been the most happening place in Yell County. If you’ve read or seen True Grit, you’ll know a little about this particular locale. In days past, Dardanelle Rock was about as far up the river that steamboat traffic could travel. The rock outcropping gives some indication why; just below the water’s surface […]

Categories
Operate Outside POTA

Ripgut Natural Prairie Area, K-8301

It’s becoming a new pastime of mine to break up long trips by getting out of the car and finding a park to activate along the way. A quick search revealed that Ripgut Prairie Natural Area wasn’t too far off the beaten path of I-49. At the end of some two miles of gravel, you’ll […]

Categories
Operate Outside POTA

Cheney State Park, K-2331

Two weekends ago, my wife and I went up to Kansas to visit her family and see our new niece. Since she is only days old, it doesn’t take much to tire her out. While my wife was spending time with her sisters and sleeping niece, I took the opportunity to go activate a park. […]

Categories
Gear

Closer Look: TalentCell 12V 6Ah battery pack

When poking around the internet for battery packs, this item from TalentCell piqued my interest due to its ability to supply 12V in an affordable package. The case is put together with screws. It’s begging to be opened up to discover what’s inside. Thankfully, the contents are exactly were as advertised on Amazon. Inside are […]

Categories
Gear Modifications

MTR3b: Power Jack Modification

The Mountain Topper 3 Bander, or MTR3b, is a famous radio and for good reason. It’s a compact, lightweight radio that gets you on 20m, 30m, and 40m. It sips power yet has a 5W output. It has a nice receiver. It’s ruggedly built. However, the power jack didn’t match any other piece of equipment […]

Categories
Operate Outside SOTA

Mt. Nebo, W5A/MA-004

When you have a doctor’s appointment that will take all day, you might as well pack the radio in order to take advantage of a summit that’s on the way home. As it turns out, this particular summit was the first SOTA activation that I have ever done. It shows. Let’s just say that activating […]

Categories
Gear Kits The Shack

The QCX

One of my favorite radios in the shack is the QCX, a QRP kit offered by qrp-labs.com. While the QCX has been in production since 2017, the 2020 updated version featured a nice, tailor made case (optional, but highly recommended) and a pcb which offered a more spaced out design for electronic components. These updates […]

Categories
Homebrew

Simple Homebrew Helping Hands

When soldering electronics, it is important that the board that you are working on doesn’t move around on you. Basically, a helping hand set helps you hold on to your soldering projects so that your other hands are free to hold the iron and the solder. At times, I have found that the basic helping […]

Categories
Operating Challenges

QRP-ARCI Contest: Holiday Homebrew Sprint 2020

Since getting my C through the Straight Key Century Club, I thought I would branch out a bit. My first foray into contesting was modest but rewarding. The Holiday Homebrew Sprint, organized by the QRP-ARCI, benefitted those who operated homebrew rigs and those who operated portable setups. While I didn’t manage to go outside since […]