How Much Battery Do You Really Need?

It’s always some variation of “How big of a battery do I need to run my (fill in the blank) radio?” It comes up a lot, not just in my email but also on the various forums and blogs I visit. The question is too open ended and comes with… Read more »

Utility Radio Monitoring for the Off Grid Ham.

Radio utility monitoring may seem like just a hobby, but there is great practical value in keeping tabs on the airwaves outside of the ham bands. In an emergency or SHTF situation, traditional media may be offline or unreliable. Utility radio monitoring is the perfect “plan B”. This time around,… Read more »

Product Discussion: AS Tool MC4 Crimper.

I do very few product reviews here on Off Grid Ham because there isn’t much that hasn’t been reviewed elsewhere a zillion times already. I also want to avoid the conflict of interest that comes from accepting free stuff in exchange for reviews. AS Tool, a small Taiwan-based operation trying… Read more »

Series & Parallel Wiring Your Solar Array.

So you’ve had your fun with small single solar panels and are ready for a larger multi-panel system that can handle beefier loads. Hopefully you’ve read previous Off Grid Ham articles and have your system all planned & spec’d out. There’s one important detail we haven’t covered on this blog… Read more »

Field Day 2018: Give Them A Reason To Care.

field day 2018

Field Day 2018 is almost here. It’s a contest, readiness drill, science fair, publicity stunt, geek festival, and party all rolled into one. It’s the Grand Poobah of amateur radio events. And this year my challenge to Off Grid Ham readers is not to fly solo. The task is simple:… Read more »

Portable Off Grid Ham Radio: The Basics.

It came a little late for some of us, but spring and warm weather has finally arrived. If you were laying low and avoiding radio activities over the winter because of the weather, then your chance to get out and do some portable off grid ham radio operating has arrived…. Read more »

NFPA-70 (The National Electrical Code) And The Radio Amateur.

NFPA-70

Amateur radio is full of rules. Many of them are unwritten, others are quite clear. Some rules are not about manners or operating protocol, but instead were created for the very practical purpose of safety and standardization. NFPA-70, also known as the National Electrical Code, is the accepted standard of… Read more »

Some Great Propagation Calculator Websites.

I always seem to find the coolest stuff when I’m looking for something else! While researching for a future Off Grid Ham article I happened across two on line propagation calculators that can determine what HF bands are best for any time or operating condition. There are many other similar… Read more »

Understanding AGM Batteries.

agm batteries

Considered obscure & expensive technology less than a decade ago, lithium batteries are are all grown up now and can be found in pretty much everything. Even the cheap $29.00 off brand handheld radios come standard with lithium batteries. Often forgotten in the mix is absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries…. Read more »

EMP Protection for the Radio Amateur, an Encore.

A follow up to my November 2017 article about electromagnetic pulses (EMP) was not in the plan. Then Off Grid Ham reader “Charles” hit my email inbox with a bounty of information related to this topic that was too good to keep to myself. I’ll respect his request not to… Read more »

Blinded By The Light: The Solar Panel Tariff.

The news of a solar panel import tariff broke so quickly and out of the blue that even geeks like me who closely follow alternative energy news & policy were caught off guard. There are a few things off grid amateur radio operators need to know about the solar panel… Read more »