Operate Outside

Since I was small, the outdoors have been a large part of my life. Ham radio is a perfect complement to enjoying nature.


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…

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…

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…

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 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…

Bushwhack up Potato Hill Mountain: W5A/PT-005

The allure of an unactivated 8 pointer is hard to resist for long. Luckily, I had a four-day weekend during the Thanksgiving holiday so I set my sights on a long dreamed of summit. Potato Hill Mountain is a one-hour drive from my house and I arrived at the end of the forest service road…

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…

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…

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.…

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