New toys.

Its been some time since I bought myself any new toys but the two purchases I have made really are for when I am QRP with my go pack.

Firstly I have changed the rucksack I use. The previous pack was excellent initially but I quickly understood its limitations and when full of kit I realised that everything essentially falls down to the bottom and makes the pack really quite uncomfortable to carry.

After much research I noticed a few reviews of the 5.11 rush series. They have 3 packs designed and named the 12, 24 & 72. I decided to go for the 5.11 Rush 24 which has a capacity of 34 litres which is pretty much the same as the previous pack, but this one has may compartments and sections to store the kit.

One big advantage of this pack is the MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) strapping that the back pack has all over it. Meaning that you can purchase extra modular pouches, cases and attachments to the outside of the pack. So far I have managed to pack the water bottles, mast and VX8 hand-held radio to the outside of the pack with specifically designed pouches. This of course leaves the inside completely free to carry the essentials. Click here for more info on the 5.11 Rush 24

With the repacking and organising of the new case I did document (stock check I suppose) the contents of the pack so I know exactly what I am carrying – and can adjust with ease what I want to carry. I documented it in the form of a mind map, and I’m sure there are bits that I have missed off – feel free to comment.

As I was packing the case I also really decided it was time to change the battery power I have been carrying for some time to a new light weight alternative.

Weighing in at a quarter of the weight of the SLA, I have opted for a Lithium Polymer pack designed by Debam. Its not cheap but well worth the investment when it radically reduces the weight of the pack. The battery is 8Ah and comes with its own fuel gauge, choices of charging adaptors and comes in its own case.

The pack is also smaller than the old SLA, but 1 disadvantage is that I cannot use the Solar panel with this pack as I doesn’t being trickle charged. So the SLA pack complete with Watts Up meter will remain intact and live in the boot of the car. Click here for the details of the battery.

Dan Trudgian, MØTGN, is a regular contributor to and writes from Wiltshire, England. He's a radio nut, IT guru, general good guy and an all round good egg. Contact him him here.

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