Tag Archives: amateur radio

Go Box Zen: Know Where You’re Headed Before You Leave.

go box

Go boxes are a well worn subject in ham radio circles. On prepper/survival internet forums in particular, the topic has been beaten beyond death. In nearly all of these discussions, there is a lot talk about the how, but not much on the why. When reasons are given, they are… Read more »

Solar Panel Kit Systems: Unwrapping The Package.

solar panel kit systems

I’m sure you’ve seen those portable solar panel kit systems that give you everything you need in one package, for one price, and appear to be a complete plug-and-play solution. I’m going to explain why solar panel kit systems are not the best choice for the off grid ham. Although… Read more »

DIY: The Off Grid Ham 100 Watts For $300 Solar Energy Plant

I am frequently approached by frustrated radio amateurs who are looking to get into solar power and feel completely lost in all the options. To address the need, I’ve come up with a simple solution that really works and is priced right. I call it The Off Grid Ham 100… Read more »

Portable Zero 817 Escort: Product Discussion

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It’s extremely rare for an aftermarket amateur radio product to be so well done that when installed it looks and functions like an OEM factory part. The Portable Zero 817 Escort is exactly such an accessory. If you run your 817 as a portable, then the Escort is a must-have…. Read more »

AC Inverters For Off Grid Power, Part 2

So you did your homework, chose carefully, and your shiny new, fresh out of the box inverter has come home. Then the obvious question hits: What now? Welcome to Part 2 of the Off Grid Ham inverter series. We’ll go through some concepts you’ll need to understand to get an… Read more »

AC Inverters For Off Grid Power, Part 1.

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DC to AC voltage inverters are possibly one of the most misunderstood devices an off grid ham will ever deal with. It does not help that retailers are often less than forthcoming about the specifications and abilities of their products. In this article we will bring some clarity to a… Read more »

Getting Started In QRP.

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Good operating practice states that radio amateurs should use the minimum transmitter power required to maintain effective communications. In most cases that would mean to QRP (reduce power), yet in reality pretty much everyone runs their HF rigs at full power, all the time. There are two big reasons why… Read more »

What You Need To Know: PWM and MPPT Solar Charge Controller.

SOLAR CHARGE CONTROLLER

The solar charge controller is arguably the most important component of a solar energy system. Like the conductor of an orchestra, the solar charge controller makes it possible for all the other parts to work together. Understanding how a solar charge controller performs its task is important to planning for… Read more »

NVIS -Near Vertical Incidence Skywave: Why You Need It.

One of the big thrills of amateur radio is working DX. There’s a lot of excitement in contacting that “Holy Grail” station on the other side of the world and earning bragging rights on local FM repeaters. But crisis communications necessitate that amateur radio operators trade DX glory for close… Read more »

Basic Electronics: The Multimeter.

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It’s a given that a multimeter is one of the radio amateur’s best friends. The device is so fundamental that you can’t be a serious ham without one. Yet, most hams don’t know much about their multimeter, or how to select a good one. I will explain the various aspects… Read more »

Generator Beliefs, Realities, And What You Need To Know.

Anyone who is even vaguely thinking of being prepared for emergencies or adding off grid capability to their amateur radio station has at least considered getting a small gas generator. A Generator is a valuable but often misunderstood tool, and it does not help that much of the information out… Read more »

Product Discussion: Magnum Energy ME-SBC Smart Battery Combiner.

One of the biggest problems of off grid energy is getting batteries to work together. You cannot mix different types of batteries, old and new batteries, or batteries of different capacities. The Magnum Energy ME-SBC Smart Battery Combiner easily solves this problem for not a lot of money. When I… Read more »