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Portable HF Operation Kit – Ham Radio Q&A

Portable HF Operation Kit – Ham Radio Q&A

77 comments on “Portable HF Operation Kit – Ham Radio Q&A

  1. Nice setup! I haven't made it to HF yet even though I have my General. Thanks for sharing. I am surpised you don't have a 2M radio and one of your famous KB9BVR J-Pole antenna along with you.

  2. I will have to add that Suburban in the background had a real noise issue at about 5:49 sounded like it had a bearing out in the accessory drive belt system or was just married and dragging some cans behind him or her. Wow!

  3. Nice kit, I would be interested in your power source and at what power output you typically operate the 891?

  4. You did good not to miss a beat with the clunky noise. I was like " what the f is that noise " then see the chevy creep by. Got a good laugh anyway. I have started converting my stuff to powerpoles. I just rewired everything in the shack with a power pole distribution block. I have yet to get serious about portable work, but do have the interest.

  5. If you're interested in operating from a backpack not just carrying your equipment in a backpack, check out Eberlestock's tactical packs. I have the Little Brother, and it has a radio shelf for PRC-117 sized radios (similar to an 891 but a little bigger) and 3 ports in the top where an antenna can poke out. The top of the pack zips open, so you can easily access the front of the radio. I think their FAC pack also has the radio shelf. I've never operated this way, so I can't say if it's practical for amateur radio, but it is an option.

  6. Could you talk a little more about the connectors you added to the antenna mount that clamps on tables. I assume it just comes with the hole and you have to add connectors. What type do you use and did you have to modify the clamp to accept them. Maybe you have a more detailed review in another video??? I love watching your videos. I always learn something new. Thanks very much.

  7. Pretty much like everyone else in the comments… I'd be interested to see what power source you are using and how long batteries last ?

  8. Thanks for the video, always interesting to see other peoples setup and get some tips from what they use. Anderson's on everything is the best single thing I did to my kit!!

  9. Nice to video. Bad noise from Chevy pickup
    In background. Video of setting it up would be nice to see the power and grounds

  10. I have a nearly identical kit. I didn't see a battery?  I use a Dakota Lithium 10ah with good results from Yaesu FT-891 ; ) Also experimenting with EFHW Antenna using 49:1 Balun and End Fed Half Wave Wire with coupled extension at half wave sections for 20m 40m 80m –

  11. Nice setup. What's the name of the clamp you're using to secure your antenna to the tripod or surface? I use the same antenna in a semi-portable apartment but would really like to find a good tripod clamp for it for outside. Thanks!

  12. Nice video, but that's a lot of heavy gear, not "Backpack" hiking portable…I believe it's only "portable" because you have a trailer to haul all that gear. When I hear "Portable," I think more along the lines of POTA, SOTA setups, super light, super portable. But hey, you have relocated it from one place to another, thus "portable". Thanks for showing us your setup.

  13. I have a portable kit that includes a 30 amp hour LiFePo battery, charge controller and 100 Watt packable solar panel. I use a repurposed, watertight plastic ammo box for the battery folded solar panel and charge controller. I also use a Cameleon antenna kit which has a mini transformer can be used with a wire or whip, and I have both. My rig, like yours is the Yaesu FT-891. The power use for that rig is simple to reduce by simply changing it in the menu to as little as 10 watts. That's not technically QRP but will extend battery life considerably.

  14. Great video. One thing you didn't cover was insect repellent 🙂 You can hear them buzzing around first half of the video.

  15. Nice video. In my kit I have a small lantern for operations at night. My portable kit is also my go bag.

  16. I like the simple antenna set up but would like more bands on it. If there is a similar model with more bands and anyone has a reference to it, will love to check it. Thanks 73

  17. Newbie question
    Im able to hear a repeater that is 30miles away with my baofeng and a dipole antenna. Would I be able to hear a repeater that is further away with a device like the retevis rt95?

  18. I always carry a set of car jumper cables. Not only are they handy for your car safety kit, they work well to quick connect to a battery for power or to a handy ground as needed, They also make for a great set of strong clamps even if the electrical connection is not needed. They are easy to find at garage sales or inexpensively online. 73,

  19. Love your kit. I also have the 891.I would love see a portable battery box for Field Day or Portable Operations.

  20. Another excellent video. You are doing a great service for the amateur radio hobby. Thank you for all you do/share/post for us! 👍

  21. Great video. I see you’re a Badger fan. My dad and I were out at Camp Randall last fall for the BYU game. Madison is beautiful! Take care.

  22. I'm a technician class and I'm still learning, I'm wondering what kind of good portable antenna I could use for a radio that's attached to the inside of a go box? Right now, all I have is a 2 m / 70cm rig, but I'll go to HF as soon as I'm able to.

  23. Nice video, would have been nice to see you pull a 44 magnum out of your bag and shoot the engine of that noisy car and continue on. (But we don't live in a Dirty Harry movie) lol great job

  24. Soy Radioaficionado Salvadoreño mi nombre es Rafael Enrique Rodriguez y mi distintivo de llamada es YS1KR , me gustaría información de equipos Multibanda HF bandas corridas
    Tengo un YAESU FT 747 GX pero el problema es que el transmite pero no se escucha nada y aquí en El Salvador no hay nadie que los repare , envíame algún enlace o información
    Te lo agradezco mucho Saludos

  25. Very good. These little HF rigs are so much fun. I’m headed for St John USVI and will,be operating an 817 from an elevation of 900’ on Bordeaux Mountain. With a simple 20 M dipole, I can reach Europe, Africa, and even the Middle East on just 4 watts. KB1VXP.

  26. I have noticed a tripod you used to demo the Antenna Quick Release Mirror mount. My question is; what is that tripod you used.

  27. Funny my Chevy does that same cracking noise comes from lose emergency brake shoes annoying as hell lol 😂

  28. Appreciate the video. For me this isn’t portable enough. The above solution would be called car camping, “glamping” or “Barbie camping” relative to what I do. I section hike/thru-hike using ultralight equipment. I’ve been looking for a solution for bringing a radio along. I still haven’t found a solution. It needs to be all-band, digital modes, and the total kit can’t be more than 2-1/2 pounds.

    I’m open to all suggestions.

  29. Thanks for the video. I would compare the kit you showed to "car camping" rather than backpacking. Hopefully that analogy makes sense. I'm more of a "backpacking" portable guy. Still, I can appreciate the thought and effort you put into your definition of portable. Its all about defining the mission and then building a kit and capabilities to match that mission. Its OK if we are planning for different missions. I guess a variety of things can fall under the umbrella of portable operation. Keep up the interesting content!


  31. Great video, just purchased the 891, can you help me please, i cant seem / to get the swr meter on the screen in replace of the po, how do you do that

  32. Great video, just purchased the 891, can you help me please, i cant seem / to get the swr meter on the screen in replace of the po, how do you do that

  33. Great video, just purchased the 891, can you help me please, i cant seem / to get the swr meter on the screen in replace of the po, how do you do that

  34. Great video. Interested in the wire that you used for your dipole. Yours looks somewhat rugged and easy to roll up.

  35. If I may politely add, it's pronounced N-V-I-S. Near vertical incidence skywave. It is known colloquially as a cloud burner antenna. It's skywave goes up at a very sharp angle and also comes down at a sharp angle giving you range of approximately 500 miles.

  36. I don't want to be picky but you don't have any digital equipment or CW equipment. Those might be a value add to your portable kit. Good video as always. 73 See you in the next one.

  37. I carry in a small backpack like yours 4 things: a Yaesu FT-891, a LiFePO4 12Ah battery, some coax, some cordage and an EFHW monoband wire antenna for the 20 meter band from the German company Lamdahalbe. ( The antenna has an adjustable tuning stub and great bandwidth. No tuner required. It is light weight and goes up in a tree, or I sometimes have a 12 meter long (fiberglass!) telescope mast that I lash to some object or lean it against a tree. Life is too short to "just throw a wire up into a tree." I tape the wire along the mast with masking tape (light weight, easily removable, yet holds). The mast easily holds the antenna's siblings for 10 and 15 meters. Sometimes I take my Rigexpert AA-54 along to check the antenna tuning, but otherwise I use the rig's own SWR meter. Good enough. I also have a 5-band end fed wire antenna from the Dutch company Hyendfed ( It is 23 meters long, but I often don't have adequate space to hang it. Also in this case, no tuner is necessary. I still have room in the pack for a sandwich and a cold beer or two. Cheers! David DM3BC/SV0SGS

  38. I think the FT-891 is a great radio and the noise reduction is much better than the IC-7300.
    I use it with the Super Antenna MP1 and I make loads of contacts, I also use a resonant EFHW from , the 4 band mini 100 watt, very compact and works very well, no tuner needed for 40-20-15-10 m.
    For batteries, I just use a good old Cheap Lead Acid car battery, 45 AH, why ? because it works and works well even if it's old tech and heavy, I don't carry it far from the car so it's perfect, lead acid is also easier keep and store, Lithium does not like to be stored fully charged and has to be/should be charged fully , charge to around 50% for storage and charge only when it's needed. Lead acid can be left on an intelligent mains charger 24×7 ready for use any time. The Lead acid 45 Ah can keep me going for a day or two and is very cheap for the amount of Ah you get. A 20 Ah Lead Acid battery should work as good.

    If wanting a Lithium battery for light weight backpack, LiFePo4 is a good choice, 4S for 3.6 volts fully charged for 14.4 volts hot off the charger, 3 S LiPO would be @4.2 V per cell =12.6 volts off the charger so LiFeP04 would be better and have a higher average voltage and it's a safer chemistry.

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