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Getting Started In Amateur Radio Field Communications

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by OH8STN, Oct 29, 2017.

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  1. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello operators
    Today we are talking about amateur radio field communications.
    I'm constantly receiving excellent questions about getting a start in Amateur Radio field communications. Although I'm happy to keep answering those questions, I don't always have the time to give personalised answers. So, I decided to put out this video, giving newcomers a few ideas which might help them get their start in amateur field communications.
    We all need to remember there are many kinds of portable operations. One might hike in, drive In, operate from a camper, out of the top box of a moyorcycle, or even get dropped off by helicopter in a remote location. Whichever way you'd like to operate, these tips will definitely help you get started in ham radio in the field.

    The video covers, what gear to take/don't take, how to choose a location, portable power options, and questions you should try to answer, to help you plan your gear.

    There are no episode notes this time, but there is useful information in the video description.

    Julian oh8stn

    Attached Files:

    AG4YL, K7NSW, KQ6XA and 4 others like this.
  2. KK6PKN

    KK6PKN Ham Member QRZ Page

  3. KK6PKN

    KK6PKN Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is true. Lithium Ion Phosphate batteries are nearly 1/4 the weight of an equivalent Sealed Lead Acid AGM battery. It is also 4 times the $ cost. Always a flip side to the coin.

    I like both types. Another good video for field radio operation tips.

    Thank you, sir.

    Jesse Castillo
    OH8STN likes this.
  4. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Jesse
    Thanks for the feedback and the kindness. I was wondering if they really are four times the price. Considering the lithium iron phosphate batteries can get ~2k Cycles out of them, it could be more accurate to say AGM & SLAB batteries are cheaper at the cash register. The flup side being LiFePO4 are a better value in total cost of ownership, over their useable lifetime.
    I'm also no Bioenno fanboy, but their protected packs are very reasonably priced, if I consider I don't have to do any soldering.
    I do hope the prices come down though.
    Julian oh8stn
    W6NYA likes this.
  5. KM4CQG

    KM4CQG XML Subscriber QRZ Page


    I operate my KX3/PX3 off a 5000mah LiPo battery for digital I use a Samsung Tablet or Alienware MX500
    Antenna LNR Trail and if nned Steppir Crank IR.

    PS I have been using LiPo for well over a decade and am extremely familiar with properly operating them and there risks. They are also run in my racing vehicles.

    I like your power distribution block with volt or amp built in did you make this?

    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
  6. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's an excellent setup Ian!
    The pp distribution center comes from k9jeb. I'm currently waiting on a 3D printer so I can start to encapsulate it into an enclosure. This would allow the powerpoles to exit off of the sides for pirtable work, taking the strain off of the solder joints and connectors. He sells the kits, and the only complaint I've had in the past was the enclosure.

    Julian oh8stn
  7. VK5FUSE

    VK5FUSE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Excellent Information relevant to off grid communications & Amateur Field Communications.
    Thank you.:)73
    OH8STN likes this.
  8. KK6PKN

    KK6PKN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think I should've wrote--nearly 4 times the $ cost. I did think of that but I already hit the Post Reply button. A U1 size SLA 12V 10Ah battery is $25 to $34 (+ shipping) on eBay/Amazon.

    Jesse C.
    OH8STN likes this.
  9. WA6VVC

    WA6VVC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Operating times clearly vary with many variables > temperature, terminal voltage at battery, Ah ratings, load, etc. Many rigs begin to exhibit issues ie: VCO unlock, distorted TX audio, CPU reboot/fail, ALC / PA output, etc. in field operations using off shelf labeled 12 volt packs. I have found building packs with a higher terminal voltage around 15 volt (headroom) allows for extended operation time. Best to check you rig on the bench (variable power supply) to see what a real world operating conditions exist with your set-up. Boost-buck converters could help and may be just something else to haul around.

    Shoot and scoot, RTO
    OH8STN likes this.
  10. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

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