Going Lightweight / Extremely Portable. Suggestions?

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by KK4NSF, Nov 11, 2016.

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  1. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I picked up the SOTABeams compressor and I noticed it really made my FT-817nd pop. It makes a shocking difference. I have had people once I have told them I was using a 817 ask me to conferm I said Ft-817. That they could not believe I was QRP. Once I turn the compressor off they are surprised at the change.
    AK5B and KC8VWM like this.
  2. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The difference it makes is startling.

    It's a MUST add on accessory for anyone who owns an FT-817. :)
    AK5B and W4POT like this.
  3. N8TGQ

    N8TGQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    9volt battery gives me about 3 hours, 6 AA's goes about 10 hours.
    WD0BCT likes this.
  4. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got about 5 hours before 6 AA's crap out. What's your secret?
  5. KD2RON

    KD2RON Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just to put in my two cents- just got my Mountain Topper MTR3B about two weeks ago and love it. Tiny and just a blast to use. Running with an LNR end-fed 40M ant. Price assembled under $300 and American made. This was my primary criteria so there were not many that met it. So I took a chance and ordered and am delighted with the little guy. Been using it inside - more fun than my other rig.
    KC8VWM likes this.
  6. N0FN

    N0FN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Lots of good minimum weight QRP advice here. My two cents is that KD1JV is a genius radio designer and for minimum weight CW there is no beating the MTR series. Mine is an MTR2 for 20/40 and about the size and weight of a deck of cards.

    For antennas, I think that the most important thing to bring along is a tree. ;) Getting your antenna up high (and using CW) is the best thing you can do to promote QRP success.

    EFHWs are great because they are their own feedline, so if my kit has to be really small, I bring the EFHW tuner and a 10 meter long piece of wire. If I have incrementally more space, I bring a 20 meter long piece of wire and use it on both 40m and 20m (EFFW?)

    If I'm traveling by car, then I strongly prefer a coax fed linked dipole, but schlepping 30 feet of RG-58 isn't something I want to do for too long.

    I'm putting together an open wire fed doublet to use on 80-10 for more expedition type setups, but with the little MFJ 901 tuner it's not going to be very lightweight. A more compact QRP-only tuner could make it more reasonable as well as shortening the wires for just 40m and down.

    For lightweight power I like 8xAA NIMH rechargeables. They give plenty of juice for an afternoon and they're cheap and easy to recharge in the evenings.

    One last piece of the puzzle is rope. I bought some neon yellow mason's twine but what I really wish I had got was a braided mason's twine that wouldn't fray so virulently. There's some amazing thin kite and sailing strings, but they're quite costly. Add a plastic water bottle as an adjustable throwing weight and I'm usually all set with a hiking fanny pack or a pencil case.

    https://twitter.com/DrNeilMB/status/961724532875657221 shows my last portable op from the the rooftop of a hotel in downtown Seattle as an example.
    K8AI, KD2RON and US7IGN like this.
  7. N8TGQ

    N8TGQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just use regular alkalines. Different duty cycles I guess. I do more listening than sending!
    KC8VWM likes this.
  8. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    You know what I found that works really well?


    If feels and functions very much like the string that's on your plastic window blinds.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
    W7CJD likes this.
  9. N0FN

    N0FN Ham Member QRZ Page

    And what a name! It's all about the marketing. I'll look for a spool of that to try out. Always happy to get tips on something new to buy. ;)

    -Neil N0FN
    KC8VWM likes this.
  10. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Charles; just a polite suggestion here---you might want to brush up on geography a bit before you gear up and head off on your next dxpedition (sorry, but there are no tropical islands in the current Russian Federation). ;)
    KC8VWM likes this.

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