Tag Archives: shtf

Everything But The Ham 2024.

      8 Comments on Everything But The Ham 2024.
unlicensed radio options

It’s about ham-less radio. I’m going to assume that everyone who reads this blog is either a ham or at least vaguely interested in becoming one. With that kind of a demographic, why should I even entertain the idea of covering unlicensed radio options? Well, it’s all about having choices… Read more »

Wind Turbines For Off Grid Radio: Pros and Cons.

wind energy

The unloved child. Lots of hams are very successful with solar. It seems to be the “go to” off grid power source. I don’t have firm numbers, but anecdotally it appears solar is more popular than even gas generators. Of course, solar is not the only game in town. Wind… Read more »

Turn Thinking Into Doing (But Do Some Actual Thinking First).

It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. It’s been quite a summer! Flooding, extreme heat, wild fires, and (at this writing) a hurricane just tore up the Western USA and another storm is churning in the Gulf of Mexico. Every time… Read more »

Batteries: Your Weakest Link.

      18 Comments on Batteries: Your Weakest Link.
batteries

It cannot be avoided… Batteries are arguably the weakest link in the off grid radio chain. Solar panels, controllers, connecting cables, and almost everything else can last years, even decades. But batteries are a consumable product and no matter how good yours are, it’s almost certain they will not last… Read more »

Conventional vs. Inverter Generators.

      9 Comments on Conventional vs. Inverter Generators.
generators

A necessary spare tire. Off grid amateurs have a love-hate relationship with gas engine generators. Due to generators requiring constant refueling and ongoing maintenance, they are not a realistic long-term power solution. Most of them are noisy, many are poorly made, and all of them are dirty. Yet, they are… 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 »

Winter Ham Radio Operating Opportunities!

      8 Comments on Winter Ham Radio Operating Opportunities!
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 »

The Off Grid Ham Quick Start Guide!

      5 Comments on The Off Grid Ham Quick Start Guide!
off grid ham quick start

When you want it now. off grid ham quick start I recently received an email from a reader who suggested that I write an article about how a newcomer to off grid radio can get started: Batteries, solar panels, etc. I was like, wait…whaaaat? Off Grid Ham is not a… 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 »

Jumping Off The Grid.

      3 Comments on Jumping Off The Grid.
off grid radio guide

A lot of amateurs want to go off grid. The demand and desire to take amateur radio off grid is absolutely there. The problem is that information about off grid radio is sprinkled around. It’s hard to find straight answers. Many radio and survival blogs occasionally address the issue, but… Read more »

Exploring Edison Batteries.

      20 Comments on Exploring Edison Batteries.
Edison batteries

Revisiting the old school. Most radio amateurs have never even heard of Edison batteries. Edisons been around for over 100 years, and while they enjoyed some early popularity, they more or less left the scene by 1910. Lately though they’ve been getting more attention from the off grid community. So… Read more »

Survival Skills: When It’s No Longer A Hobby.

      7 Comments on Survival Skills: When It’s No Longer A Hobby.

Like it or not, you may become “that guy” (or girl). Amateur radio means different things to different people. Some like to tinker and experiment. Others are into DX or contests, or maybe community service projects. No matter what your motivations are, amateur radio serves a secondary usefulness that goes… Read more »