Thursday, February 26, 2015

If in Doubt, Go to the Source

There's a steep learning curve for folk new to Ham Radio, brought on primarily by the plethora of terminology, jargon & idioms unique to the Hobby. While normal conversational speech is stressed when speaking on the air. Too often the content of the conversation is anything but normal. What's a new Ham to do in gaining a foothold in the rich tapestry of abbreviations, Q-codes, numbers, and assorted electromagnetic keywords? You consult a glossary of terms unique to Ham radio.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Field Ops is in the Bag

Operating into the night...
Being ready for the unexpected can be daunting, and in prepping a "Bug-Out-Bag" for excursions into the wild, acquiring proper communication hardware may just be one of several steps on a long list of provisions. It's not just a radio that's needed, but an operational plan, and a laundry list of support gear.
But ask any Ham who's worked a Ham Radio Field Day or two, operating a radio under field conditions is a far-ranging topic as well. Much depends on what your comm needs will be, from simple tactical communication in a remote setting, or an extensive communication base of operations, each has it's own. However, there are some items common to most settings, which often get overlooked. Let's run through a grocery list of items to make room for in your BOB, just as important as your radio, in maintaining proper communications.

Most field communications is the spoken word, but what's being spoken needs to be written down, hard to do when you haven't packed writing material. A Radio Log Book is an invaluable way to put "message traffic" on paper, all the better when it's waterproof.

Luci Inflatable Solar Lantern
You can operate a radio any time of day out in the field, but it gets a bit difficult in the dark. A handy flashlight helps, but even better is a couple of these inflatable solar powered lanterns.

ALPS Mountaineering Weekender Seat 
Sure you can do radio standing up, leaning, or in a crouch, but it's just more comfortable to have a place to rest your weary bones. Take along portable seating.

Throw Weight & Line Combo
A simple wire antenna can be a godsend in getting a good signal out as well as in, but getting it up in yonder tree can be a totally unattainable task. You're smart to have a way to toss a line over a branch.  Carrying a Throw Weight & Line Combo makes that task a snap.

3800mAh 7.4V Li ion Battery

You wouldn't think of packing for a few days in the field without packing enough food & drink to sustain you, it's the same thing to have on hand enough batteries to keep your gear juiced up. While you can consider packing additional recharging equipment, it's often not feasible to tote a generator, solar panel, or a very long extension cord. Pack fully charged batteries, ideally, one for each day of field ops.

Military Tactical Shoulder/Waist Bag
Mobility means portability. Meaning, you're packing in what you use. You need a bag made to pack it all, so you can carry it all. This Military Tactical Shoulder/Waist Bag can hold it all & more.

Me. 3 field days ago.
Packing for field ops will come down to how you need to communicate. Whatever you pack, will make your communications happen, one way or the other.
Get Free 4 Column Templates Here