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 »

Off Grid Technology That May Soon Power Your Amateur Radio Station.

This is a very exciting time of changes for off grid and alternative energy. The cost of established systems is coming way down and many new discoveries are in the pipeline. For sure, a lot of emerging off grid technology is highly theoretical and may never appear on the end… Read more »

A Mall Ninja’s Guide To Ham Radio Training

You did your homework, absorbed all the great advice here on Off Grid Ham, and put together an off grid amateur radio setup that works well and serves your needs, at least in theory. What now? To continue with a theme from my last article about Winter Field Day, here’s the… Read more »

Winter Field Day Should Bring Two Worlds Together.

Deliberately stepping away from a comfortable home operating position to practice ham radio in poor conditions is not an idea too many amateurs find appealing, yet it is a situation that radio amateurs should be familiar with before it actually happens, because at some point it probably will happen. If… Read more »

Portable Antenna Options For HF

For all the choices, it’s surprisingly hard to find a portable antenna for HF that is affordable and practical. A portable antenna does not have to be an epic quest. In this article I’ll discuss a few options and then give detailed instructions on how to make a super-easy, super-cheap  HF… Read more »