Part 1: Getting ready for outdoor operations.

April has arrived with not showers but a snow storm! We have had snow falling and accumulating all day today and it's forecast to snow most of the evening. To me it seems a good time as ever to think about my summer portable operations. A few weeks ago both Julie and I purchased new bikes and these bikes are amazing compared to our old ones. My plan this summer is to utilize my new bike for portable ham radio outings. My first step is to check out some areas in the neighbourhood were I can have my first few radio outings. I was looking for locations that would allow me to concentrate on my portable setup and workout the operational glitches. Each day I go out for a 40 min walk in and around the Lake we live on. These last few days while walking I was paying attention to spots that would be possible portable radio op spots. My criteria was close to home just in case something is forgotten, an easy ride to get there and sites that are easy radio setup and operation. This would allow me to work out the radio "stuff". Here are 3 locations I have scouted out so far......
This spot being right on the lake during a very warm day will have a nice cool breeze. Also if the sky is threatening rain I would have shelter to continue my operations.










This location is nice as it has a large bench to setup on but the weather will have to co-operate as it's out in the open.










Once summer arrives the trees at this spot will provide some nice shade plus it's a nice view to boot.
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

4 Responses to “Part 1: Getting ready for outdoor operations.”

  • Stephen G0PQB:

    I went on 6m last year from a high spot called Ivinghoe Beacon in the Chiltern Hills north west of London and from a point above 700 feet asl worked into Finland on 6 metres using 5 watts from an FT817 using a 1/4 wave mobile whip. That is a good site but on a previous trip there I encountered thunderstorms so watch the weather forecast before venturing out.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Stephen, very nice contact into Finland! It’s so true that the weather can cause some issues for sure. I do plan on checking out the forecast to make sure it’s safe and dry.
    Thanks for stopping by Stephen and taking the time to comment.
    73, Mike

  • Stephen G0PQB:

    The UK weathercan be very changable and what the forecast is, doesn’t always resemble reality!!!
    However I am looking forward to getting outdoors with QRP and with six metres. I had a good six metre session using the FT817 portable from a picnic table and a homebrew horizontal dipole working into Sardinia, Spain and Croatia about three miles from home. On that occasion I used a 28Ah battery that came from a friend’s wheelchair. He had fitted two new ones and gave me one of the old ones which couldn’t drive the wheelchair but it worked well driving the FT817. My pal also worked W1AW/3 in Pennsylvania in 2014 using his KX3 and a wire running up a pole with a 9:1 unun as well. 5 watts of course.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Stephen, yes it’s amazing how much so little power can do even with the solar conditions the way they are right now. I have never worked 6m as of yet the KX3 does have it and the antenna is more compact for this band as well.
    Have a great day
    73, Mike

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