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The Basics

Ham Radio Odyssey is about traveling with your rig and encouraging you to go portable. Now, having said that, I warn you that if you ask a dozen hams, you will get thirteen answers! Each trip will require different kits. The basic is a transceiver, a source of power and antenna. It is not practical to provide a list of everything you will need. That’s on you, partner! That is part of the fun of portable operation. I will be discussing my situation, so you can have a base to start by adapting to your objective.


My rig is the Yeasu FT-891, gifted to me by Yogi KC5MIP after a hair pulling real estate transaction. Thank you Yogi for contributing to my Ham Radio Odyssey. I will have the MFJ short 20 meter antenna on the vehicle, the Wolf River Coil SB-1000 portable vertical antenna and the trusty multi-band end fed wire. For power, I have a harness to hook to the car battery, BLF-1212A LifePO Battery. I also pack the MFJ 4230 power supply that works in the USA and Europe.


Murphy’s Law states that if anything can go wrong, it will at the worst possible time. KG5RVR’s commentary is that Murphy was an optimist! After you have put your travel rig together, set up at home to make sure everything works, plan for spare parts. Then start setting up at local parks before you make the big trip. PLAN, PLAN and PLAN !


Traveling by air or to foreign locations requires your attention. ARRL has great information as does the TSA and the airline always check the airline regulations regarding batteries! It’s their airplane! Your battery what- hour size is limited and must be in your carry-on bag and protected from shorting. I kept the factory shipping box to meet that requirement. The formula to determine what hours if not printed on the battery is watt-hours = amp-hours x volts. If you don’t know the number of watts, multiply the total number of amp-hours times the voltage. Carry a copy of the TSA and airline rules in case you are challenged by someone who doesn’t know their own rules. Don’t be a wise guy! Politely ask for a supervisor and with a smile explain what you are about and that you are following the federal and carrier guidelines. Regulations can change so stay current!


Happy Traveling!

Larry Stewart



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