A Strange and Wonderful Experiment

Today Hanz W1JSB and I went out for a hike. We wanted to make a couple of QSOs on 40 meters. We worked New York and Pennsylvania and didn’t even bring a rig with us! Huh? Hanz used his cell phone to operate his FT-817 remotely at home. It was strange and wonderful.

We hiked east from the Sanbornton dump toward Giles Pond. It was about 33F, but sunny. We hiked around the back side of this field and stopped along the trail about a half mile from the pond.

Hanz pulled out his Samsung cell phone and started pressing buttons. First he connected to his Windows box in the shack and fired up Ham Radio Deluxe. Then he established a link using Skype so we’d have audio. Then he got CWType running so he could key the rig. His FT-817 at 5 watts was hooked up to a center fed dipole through an LDG auto tuner.

Hanz had a grin on his face as keyed “KA2KDJ de W1JSB” onto the cell phone keyboard. Gary answered right away from New York. It was magic. Then Hanz told him how he was operating.

For a video of the QSOs see http://www.w1pid.com/strange/strange.html

“FB CPY,” Gary sent back. “UR 579” Gary was a 599 and clear as a bell. They chatted for about 5 minutes. Hanz’s fingers were getting cold, so he sent 73 and TNX. As we started walking back down the trail we heard another station calling Hanz! “W1JSB de AA3OI/QRP” What the heck? we thought. A pileup. So Hanz answered Joe AA3OI and they had a quick QSO.

Pretty cool… what started as a goofy experiment actually worked. Are we going to stop bringing rigs and antennas on our hikes? No way, this was just a proof of concept, and not really very practical. But it sure was a hoot and Hanz demonstrated that he could certainly do a pedestrian mobile operation without lugging radio,  batteries and antennas.


Jim Cluett, W1PID, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Hampshire, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

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