HAM from the boondocks

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by W9FOG, Jul 16, 2016.

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  1. W9FOG

    W9FOG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello All,

    Today I passed my General HAM radio exam. I'm very excited. So I'm looking for some opinions, and thought I could find one or two on this forum (grin/giggle/laugh).

    This is what I would like to do: portable, (not just mobile), versatile, affordable, practical, convenient.

    I am imagining one of my remote off-the-grid camping spots. After a day of fishing, cook dinner and setup my radio for some evening radio listening and talking with local, regional and distant locations.

    I would appreciate any guidance you can provide, be it equipment suggestions, information sources, advice, etc.

    Thank you.

  2. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page


    First thing:

    It's "ham radio". Not "HAM". It's not an acronym. The first letter should only be capitalized if it's the first word in a sentence.

    73 es GL de Jim, N2EY
    AI6KX, KP4SX and K3XR like this.
  3. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Congrats ZK!! One thing I would suggest (and probably get flogged for) is learn Morse. You will reach a lot more places from your "off the grid" station (likely lower power, lesser antenna) with CW by far than by SSB. Of course, you could certainly also entertain JT modes over USB to maximize a low-power operation by the river (golly that sounds so nice right now!). Plus it opens up really tiny radios like the Electraft KX1, MFJ 9200, and a host of other QRP rigs.

    Either way congrats on the upgrade, regardless of mode, just enjoy and get on the air!

  4. WD5IKX

    WD5IKX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Portable and mobile ops is what I do. The noise level at the QTH is typically 9+ so portable is my way to get quality radio time and it is so nice to operate from places with little or no noise. I have solar panels and batteries to run the trailer and the radios when I am camping off grid. Some of my best DX contacts have been made while camping.

    GM vertical 20-40m.JPG

    I had just worked Australia running 5 watts SSB with my trusty Ten Tec 525D

    John WD5IKX
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
    W7EDC, MTPOCKETS, K7WFM and 1 other person like this.
  5. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Now that's just idyllic, now isn't it :)

    Very cool

    N7ANN likes this.
  6. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Did someone mention "boondocks"?

    N6QIC, KA9GDW and AI6KX like this.
  7. N3AWS

    N3AWS Ham Member QRZ Page


    As far as a rig, I'd recommend that you look at two Icom models: the 706 MKIIG and the IC-7000. Both cover 160 - 0.7 meters (minus 60 meters and 1.25 meters). While I haven't found 0.7 meters (440 MHz) very useful, it is nice to have two meters--both FM and weak signal modes--as well as HF. The earlier models of the 706, I would steer clear of--I had an original 706 before I bought a new MKIIG and the performance of the latter was much better.

    Yaesu has similar models you might consider.

    73 and have fun!

    Jim N3AWS
    K7WFM likes this.
  8. N2GBR

    N2GBR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Take a swing over to the Sumits On The Air (SOTA), site www.sota.org.uk/ and the WOC regional site has lots of good information for Mountaintop operation.. http://www.w0c-sota.org/
    As an outdoors person, SOTA may be of great interest....

    The Go-to Radios are generally regarded as the all-mode Yeasu FT817 and Elecrafts' KX3 (or KX2) now, combined with a resonant antenna..
    N2GBR // Richard
    N8LXD likes this.
  9. W9FOG

    W9FOG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you for your thoughts.
  10. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Congratulations! Your opportunities in amateur radio have just expanded tremendously. Enjoy. bill
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