View Full Version : When worlds collide! (Ham radio and TB)

06-17-2014, 08:06 PM
In addition to being a collector and connoisseur of fine backpacks and luggage, one of my favorite hobbies is amateur radio. And not just sitting in the house and ragchewing (http://www.dxing.com/radterms.htm#radio), but getting outside and using small, low-powered radios to make contacts around the world. So with that hobby in mind, I took the photo below this afternoon.


Only after I posted this pic on my (much neglected) radio-specific site (http://ad0eo.tumblr.com/post/89114816941/i-had-to-make-a-trip-to-breckenridge-for-work) did I realize it probably also belonged here! See, I don't typically use my Synapse 25 for hiking; it's my work bag. But after driving all the way up to Breckenridge for a conference, I realized I'd left my hiking pack at home so if I wanted to squeeze in a hike between conference sessions, I would have to use my Synapse...

So out came the Macbook, iPad(s) and a few other work items and in went my Elecraft KX3 (http://www.elecraft.com/KX3/kx3.htm), some antenna wire, and a telescoping 24' fiberglass fishing pole I use to hold up my antenna if there are not adequate trees nearby.

Needless to say, the S25 is just as worthy on the trail as it is in airports and meeting rooms! An now I have the photographic evidence to prove it!

In case you're even the slightest bit curious, from my hilltop spot near Breckenridge, Colorado, I made several contacts into California and one to Oklahoma with less than 5 watts.

06-17-2014, 10:40 PM
I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your post and photos, both of the TB products and the radio gear. I'm also a duly licensed amateur radio operator, so was especially interested in the KX-3 QRP Transceiver as that's a model I've never seen before. With Field Day coming up in a week or so, I'll have to mention that to the group here. '73

06-19-2014, 06:22 PM
Hey Duster - Definitely check out the KX3. Great little QRP rig.

73 to you as well!
de AD0EO

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06-19-2014, 11:22 PM
Thanks for the reply. I haven't been too active with HF for the last few years, but the KX-3 could definitely get me interested again. Unfortunately by the time the antenna tuner, filters and a few more bells & whistles are added (not to mention currency exchange), it would be well over a kilobuck. If I win the Lottery in the near future, that will be my first purchase!

(Will send my Callsign via PM if you're interested)

06-20-2014, 07:59 AM
Send away!

06-23-2014, 05:42 PM
Hey Scott and Duster,KC0UKR here!

I love the KX3,I "Misplace" a friends whenever I can get near it and stick a Buddi-Pole in the bag and away I go.

I have an 817 of my own for QRP and I have a small Pelican case for it that has a Super Antenna manual screwdriver with radials,Miracle Whip mainly for receiving and a Beach Bob ground plane for 2 meters that I can run barefoot or through a tiny Ten-Tec amp also in the case.

Like you I am sure packaging it all is half the fun!

I have a tiny Fiberglass TT that I often camp in and attach push-up poles to and that is a good time too.

I have also developed a modular radio mounting system and have carriers for it that fit right into several Bihn bags and packs.

I have worked relief operations with SATERN and others from a Super Ego and the Brain Bag and no one can figure out how I am carrying full powered mobile rigs on foot?

Anyway welcome and have a good field day this weekend too.

Oh and where in Colorado exactly? I have a place in Gunnision I am scheduled to be the last half of next month and everything is quieter and propagates better from 14K!
I can usually hit Denver repeaters from the VX-7 from Cottonwood Pass which cracks me up every time.

EZ Dog

06-28-2014, 11:31 PM
EZ Dog,

It sounds like you're also an active QRP operator. I'll have to see if I can find some money somewhere, as the KX-3 would be a lot of fun and also practical for emergency situations. We had a situation here recently where a rig like that would have been useful. I'd probably want to get back into CW as well (although my skills are a bit "rusty" at the moment), and wondering if the key attached to the front is reasonably functional.


06-29-2014, 10:10 AM
I'm trying hard to learn CW as I think it would be a lot of fun. Alas, I'm not as consistent with my studying as I'd like so it tends to be one step forward and 1.5 steps back...

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07-02-2014, 04:35 PM
Just had to point out the connection: Elecraft is headquartered in Aptos, CA. Tom went to Aptos HS. Apparently good things come out of Aptos. :-D

Chris W6YTB

07-02-2014, 06:00 PM
K7JIB here - I love this whole thread! I don't have a real rig yet, still toting around a little Beofeng. My dad is W7JIB, we're both shopping around for a good portable rig. People sometimes ask me why I have an antenna sticking out of my Medium Cafe Bag....

07-02-2014, 09:47 PM
VE7HFM checking in. Love the Elecraft QRP rig.

07-11-2014, 11:57 AM
People sometimes ask me why I have an antenna sticking out of my Medium Cafe Bag....

This made me LOL.

Glad to see all the hams here! So cool!

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03-05-2015, 02:25 PM
This is actually very interesting to me.

Recently, I bought a set of cheap Baofeng UV-5R handsets off eBay, and also a USB programming adaptor for the Baofengs. I'm the only one in my group with an FCC Technician-class license. Nobody else has been able to pass the exam. My first goal is to program the units to use them as civilian walkie-talkies because I'm the only one with a license. (I used to carry ordinary civvies walkie-talkies around in my old backpack, years ago, but they were a pain because they would turn on down in the backpack and drain the batteries down; when I went to price new talkies, they were ridiculously expensive and I didn't see where the newer-generation talkies were worth the money because the feature set hadn't improved.) I will network with local HAM operators later.

How do you pack these handsets so they are protected and so they don't accidentally drain the batteries?