Portable - Items to Take
The above picture shows the inventory of
items that I usually consider for hotel operating trips. As always, your list
may be significantly different. Most of the smaller items are packed in a Plano
brand plastic compartment box. Not shown is the radio transceiver or voltage
From the upper left, going down each vertical
- Roll of kite string (perhaps 100 feet).
Also has about 5 feet of nylon cord wrapped around the outside of the spool.
Useful for holding up antennas.
- 8 foot length of RG-174 coax cable,
BNC on one end, alligator clips on the other end. Can be used for either dipole
or window mounted whip antenna feed line.
- 4 hanks of #24 insulated stranded wire,
two are 33 feet in length, two are 16 1/2 feet long. Some have alligator clips
on the ends. Used for dipoles or counterpoise wires.
- C-clamp, used to mount a window whip
bracket to the window sill.
- Emtech ZM-2 antenna tuner, including
two PL-259 to BNC adapters. This is a handy tuner because it has a built-in
SWR bridge and can match almost any antenna you can devise.
- Wilderness Radio logbook. (Update: no longer available) Substitute the ARRL All Weather Radio Minilog,
- Coil of invisible antenna wire (actually
a telephone mechanical ringer coil). Great for covert antennas.
- Piece of sandpaper (beside the ringer
coil). To remove the enamel insulation from the invisible wire.
- Four foot BNC to BNC, RG-58 cable, to
connect the transceiver to the tuner.
- BNC barrel (visible inside the RG-58
cable coil). Used to connect the RG-58 cable to the RG-174 cable.
- Lightweight headphones
- "Leatherman" multifunction tool. Has
screwdrivers, knife blade, wire cutter and pliers all in one tool.
- Small screwdriver, phillips on one end,
standard flat blade on other end.
- Fishing sinker (actually I take a couple
more as they tend to get lost). Used as weights to pitch antenna wires into
- Small roll of electrical tape. Useful
to tape your antenna or counterpoise wires to the wall or windows or to insulate
a metal window frame where your wire enters.
- Spare fuses (you pick the values you
- Several cable ties, a couple of different
- Battery pack, to power the transceiver.
Has in-line fuse in power positive line.
- Wall-wart to charge the battery pack.
- Adapter cable to connect the wall-wart
to the battery pack.
- Ear bud type headphones in roll-up case.
Backup headphones in case the other headset gets broken.
- Whiterook paddle (Update: I'm using the Palm Paddle these days)
- Paddle cable
- Set of clip leads. Pretty handy for
hooking up antennas or for ground wires.
What have we missed? How about paper and
pencils to copy those DX stations? How about a watch or travel clock adjusted
to UTC time? Maybe a short extension cord would be handy.
OK, you get the idea. Lay out every component
of your portable QRP station then add the tools and spare items that you think
might be needed to keep it on the air.
to Planning Your Trip
Updated June 15, 2016