Ultralight Masts for SOTA and Portable Operations

How do you quickly, easily, and inexpensively get your antenna wire up in the air? This is one of the first things I wanted to solve when I first set out to do portable operations.

There were several options that were easy to find, but didn’t quite fully fit what I had in mind — most notably from SOTABeams. They have some great masts, but the weight and cost weren’t quite in the range I had in mind.

SOTA Mast Solution Found

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New Equipment! QRPGuys EZ-WSPR Pi

Back in January of this year (2019), QRPGuys announced a new kit: the EZ-WSPR Pi, based on a public-domain circuit by HA7DCD. TAPR also has a fully-assembled surface-mount version. Both are “simply” a combo LPF (low-pass filter) and BPF (band-pass filter) with a buffer (and amplifier) for the clock output of the Raspberry Pi, which is what creates the WSPR signal.

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New Equipment! QRPGuys Mini 80m-10m No Tune End Fed Half Wave Antenna

Yeah, that title is a mouthful! And for something with such a long name, it sure is a tiny little kit. Several weeks ago, Doug Hendricks from QRPGuys handed me a prototype kit to try. It’s now available for sale on their site. The QRPGuys Mini 80m-10m No-Tune End Fed Half Wave Antenna.

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New Equipment! Yaesu FT-891

It’s been a few weeks (or maybe more) now, but I’m catching up on my blog posts!  I sold my trusty and beloved FT-817 so I could get a non-QRP rig!  This isn’t about “life is too short for QRP.”  I’m not a believer of that statement.  I love the challenge and magic of QRP.  I’ve been pretty much solely QRP for quite a while.  Not because of a love of the challenge primarily, but because of the many other benefits. Nonetheless, I decided to get a 100-watt rig. But there’s more to it than just the power.

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HF Ham Radio on a Budget: QRP Labs, QRPGuys, CW Academy

When I started my amateur radio life as KK6VSI in August of 2015, I wish I could have had the information I’m about to lay out here.  Of course, most of the equipment didn’t yet exist.  So another way of looking at it is that my entry into amateur radio was perfectly timed for a modern Golden Age of Ham Radio.  Part of this Golden Age means you can get a QRP Labs QCX or BITX40, and a QRPGuys Antenna, plus a few other components, and you’re on the air!  Stick with me here, and we’ll get to the details.

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