In this video, I get a chance to talk a little philosophy while driving to a local park. I then set up my Mountain Topper and SOTABEAMS dipole and work 11 stations… 8 of which were 5,000+ miles away! This will show you that a tiny, battery-powered radio can produce excellent results and allow you to have a ton of fun.
The 3000mAh TalentCell lithium-ion battery provides a 12v DC jack that can be used to power QRP radios in the field (or shack). It comes with a charger and a cable that can be used by most QRP radios. AND IT’S ONLY $25!
Note: There is a general lack of truth about the true voltage of these three-cell battery packs. And the performance varies, based on the quality of the Li-ion cells used to build the pack. The Li-ion internal battery I purchased from Elecraft for my KX2 has 3 Li-ion cells, just like the battery shown in the video. It has a TENERGY-brand sticker and the label says, “Li-ion 10.8V 2600mAh”. These batteries all have an initial voltage that is close to 12v but they quickly (minutes) settle down to 11v. These cells are typically the Li-ion 18650 cells that are 3.7v each. So, it’s a stretch to market them as a three-cell 12v battery pack! But, it’s still good enough for my trail-friendly QRP radios. The 8AA NMH battery pack I’ve been using for my MTR-5B has lower voltage than this $25 Li-ion battery, was a PITA to charge, and weighs 60%+ more. So, this Li-ion battery pack isn’t perfect but I still think it’s a good solution for anyone who wants to power a trail-friendly QRP rig. – Cliff
UPDATE – The winner is Harry Kidder – N8PSI. Many thanks to the 602 people who participated in the drawing. And even more thanks for your feedback in telling me the types/topics of videos you’d like to see me make in the future!
Yesterday, my YouTube channel crossed the 10,000 subscriber boundary. To say thanks, I’m giving away one of my personal QRP radios… my Youkits HB-!B. The random drawing will be held on Friday, May 10th, 2019 @ Noon central time. [The original post contained a link here to a Google Form to enter the drawing.]
NOTE: Please forgive the left-channel-only audio on this one! I recorded my lav mic directly to the DSLR camera (I normally use an external recorder) and I forgot to tell my video editing software to render the audio as Monophonic.
In this tongue-in-cheek video, I talk about how I’m swarmed with women when I work portable in a park.
The idea came about when a local realtor left a bag of marketing materials on my front doorknob. The bag also contained a package of “Peeps”… those yellow marshmallow chickens that people buy at Easter. I thought, “These are the only chicks that a ham could pick up.”
I probably took it too far. If you can’t stand my stand-up comedy, skip to the last 30 seconds to see how to pick up chicks with ham radio.
In this video, I tell you why you should join the Straight Key Century Club. It’s a great place to have contacts with other Morse Code people who aren’t speed demons! This is a great group of guys who like to use Straight Keys and the speed is usually somewhere between 12 to 17 wpm. So, for anyone who’s just learned Morse Code, this is a great place to get your feet wet! Join the SKCC at http://www.skccgroup.com
The video also includes Bonus Footage that shows my office and gear used to shoot this video.
This weekend I worked some SSB QRP on the hill at Bobcat Ridge. I don’t do a lot of voice-mode QRP since it’s less efficient than CW or one of the Digital modes. Still, I did make several 2,000 mile contacts while running only 5 watts from my Elecraft KX2. The antenna was a SOTABEAMS dipole. All contacts were made on the 20m band.
What you DON’T see in this video are the many, many times I answered someone’s CQ only to have them not hear me at all. This is just how it is when working QRP voice-mode – especially in a contest when the station calling CQ has other stations overlapping their calling frequency. The QRM from other operators makes it harder to pick out a weak signal.
My son (Chris W4CBB) and I took our motorcycles to New Mexico and Colorado. It was an epic, father/son motorcycle adventure!
I took my KX2 with me in order to attempt a SOTA activation on Pikes Peak. Unfortunately, we had to abort due to weather. But, it’s just as well because my brain wasn’t working right in the thin atmosphere. I was sloppy and couldn’t think clearly. I’ve never been at that altitude before! Very interesting.
I worked Gary (W0MNA) but other signals were weak. The weak signals, coupled with my weak brain, and the sketchy weather made for a failed outing. We packed it up after Chris saw a lightning bolt.
What a fantastic vacation we had! I wish I had a better video for you but maybe this will be helpful to someone who anticipates activating Pikes Peak someday.
After I built my 40m QCX transceiver, I needed a case. I stumbled across a 3D printed case made by Mike Erskine (W4MHZ). I wrote to Mike, asking him how to purchase one of his cases. To my surprise, he sent me one for free, thanking me for my videos in the process!
Here’s a photo of my QCX in the W4MHZ case. I used my sidecutters to make a couple of little nibbles in the plastic to make mine fit perfectly.
I’m very happy with it!
Mike is only charging $20 plus $5 shipping. This is a good price. If I had taken the time to design and 3D print my own case, I would have spent a lot of time and used up a lot of filament. $25 is a bargain.
I purchased the 40m version of the QCX kit a while back. Seeing Hans Summers (QCX designer) at the recent Four Days in May event made me very excited about this little rig so I came home and built my kit. What an awesome little CW-only radio – for only $49!