EMP Protection For The Radio Amateur.

Radio amateurs are often motivated to have off grid power capabilities as part of preparing for short term emergencies and long term SHTF scenarios. But what about protecting your radio equipment and off grid systems? Your stuff can’t help you in a disaster if it’s the victim of a disaster itself…. Read more »

Two Years of Off Grid Ham: A Thanksgiving Message.

Off Grid Ham almost didn’t happen. I was already writing for a non-ham radio related website. I could barely handle what I had already; why take on more? And oh yeah, I also have a full time “real job”. But I had so many ideas for radio articles, and the… Read more »

Google’s Project Sunroof: Useful Tool That Uses Us As Tools.

If you haven’t heard about Google’s Project Sunroof, it’s probably because the initiative is in its nascent stages and the news is buried in places only we alternative energy geeks bother to look, but like all things Google it will ultimately, quietly, soak into mainstream American life. When examined from… Read more »

Off Grid, On The Cheap. You Can Do This.

cheap

Many amateurs badly want off grid capabilities, but cite financial concerns as the main barrier. Can off grid amateur radio be done on the cheap? The answer is subjective, depending on how one defines “cheap” and how much power is needed, but in general, yes, it’s doable and I’m going… Read more »

Hurricane Harvey Reality Check (some STILL won’t get the hint).

About a week in, the epic story of hurricane Harvey is still unfolding. Compelling video footage of human decency and nature’s violent fury are at the same time both uplifting and disturbing. No matter what else happens and no matter how devastating the damage, I am confidant that the American… Read more »

The Future of Amateur Radio Is Not In The Numbers.

the future of ham radio

For close to three decades, ever since the Morse Code requirement for amateur radio was dropped for the Technician license in 1990 and then finally eliminated for all licenses in 2007, there has been a simmering debate about the future of amateur radio and how to make it appealing to… Read more »

QRP vs. QRO…Let’s “Go There”.

qrp vs. qro

I get just the right amount of reader email and public replies to my articles here at Off Grid Ham: Not so much that I can’t personally respond to everyone, but enough to get a good feel for what’s important to the off grid amateur radio community. Surprisingly, the number… Read more »

Field Day 2017 Is Not About One Day.

Field Day is an annual opportunity for radio amateurs to practice their skills and show the world what a valuable resource the amateur radio service is. Many amateurs who are not particularly active in the hobby the rest of the year will always come out for Field Day. Then there… Read more »

The Portable Solar Power Station: You CAN Have It Both Ways (Sort Of)

Based on reader comments and what I see around the internet, the off grid amateur radio community seems to be of the mindset that there are only two real options for solar energy: Large, expensive arrays that produce a lot of power but are permanently installed, and small inexpensive panels… Read more »

Generator Safety: Power Up Without Getting Knocked Out.

generator safety

Inexpensive gas generators are a big favorite in the amateur radio community. Everyone seems to love these effective albeit cheaply made power plants! As they became more popular, the law of averages kicked in and there was an unfortunate but not unexpected increase in accidents and deaths related to small… Read more »

Getting Started In Amateur Radio Data Modes.

One of the primary concerns of radio amateurs who operate with alternative energy is something I call communications efficiency, or, getting the most signal you can for the input power. A lot of fuss, maybe too much, is spent on squeezing every last watt out of our solar panels, generators,… Read more »