Category Archives: AMATEUR RADIO

Lithium Batteries In The Cold: A Guide.

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lithium batteries

Mother Nature flips the switch. Where I live in the upper Midwest USA, we were unusually lucky to have an extended warm Fall season. In early November we were still seeing highs over 70F (21C). I was raking leaves wearing shorts and a t-shirt! But ahhh yes, everyone knew the… Read more »

Check Out This Really Cool Radio Manual Database.

A moment of serendipity. Let’s face it, the internet can be a sewer. Yes, there’s quite a bit of useful information out there, but sometimes trying to find it is like sticking your hand in a toilet full of crap to fish out a hundred dollar bill. DATABASE Well, in… Read more »

Portable Antennas For The Off Grid Ham.

portable antenna

We’re not special. Off grid amateurs spend a lot of time focusing on the power source for their equipment. While that’s understandable, we musn’t be distracted from the rest of the amateur radio chain. This time we’re going to look at the other end of the system: portable antennas. To… Read more »

Lithium Batteries vs. The World!

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storage batteries

Battery envy. I recently received a very nice email from Mike in Missouri where he described converting his home off grid system to lithium batteries, at a cost of over $7000.00 USD! My own home system is still on old school flooded batteries because I have not recached a point… Read more »

Winter Ham Radio Operating Opportunities!

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WINTER HAM RADIO

Are you hibernating this winter? Where I live, and for most of you, it’s really cold! It seems like after the Christmas season is over no one is motivated to do much winter ham radio. It is a great time to keep going with radio activities. Of course, we need… Read more »

Off Grid Christmas Wish List.

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It’s closer than it seems. Off Grid Christmas Wish List.  We live in strange times. With many products out of stock and long lead times for the stuff you can get, it’s not too early to think about what you’d like to give (or get) for Christmas. An off grid… Read more »

Getting Out of the RFI Maze

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RFI

One of the hardest problems to understand. Amateur radio is full of difficult challenges, but few of them approach the hair-pulling level of radio frequency interference, or RFI. It’s a hard issue to address because there are so many variables. For example, sometimes moving a piece of equipment just a… Read more »

Buying A Ham Radio? Good Luck!

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USED RADIO

Everyone is asking. buying a ham radio As I roam the internet keeping up with others’ thoughts about ham radio, the number one theme that seems to come up, by a very large margin, is “I want to get into amateur radio, but I can’t afford it!”. The sentiment is… Read more »

Be Your Own Radio Shack…Because You Have To.

off grid supplies

The halcyon days. As early as middle school, before I was a ham and still into CB radio, Radio Shack was my haven. They had pretty much anything a teenaged electronics experimenter and ham could ever want. With thousands of locations, they were everywhere. I know I’m dating myself but… Read more »

Learning From Off Grid Mistakes…Part 2.

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OFF GRID MISTAKES

I wasn’t planning a “part 2”. learning from off grid mistakes  Last May’s article about off grid mistakes received a surprising amount of attention. Many months later, it’s still a very popular piece. As a follow up, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the issue and… Read more »

The Secret Life of Multimeters.

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Radio Shack multimeter

As basic as it gets. If you do not own at least one good multimeter, you’re not a serious off grid amateur. If you’re new to amateur radio, ok I’ll give you a pass. For everyone else, multimeters are such a fundamental tool that there isn’t any wiggle room on… Read more »

Discussing Vertical And Wire Antennas.

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vertical and wire antennas

A topic so deep and wide. I messing around with you. There is no such thing as an antenna specifically for off grid radio. But since off grid amateurs tend to be practical, do-it-yourself types, some vertical and wire antennas are more more appealing than others. What are the options,… Read more »