Portable Ham Radio


Mt Zion overlooking Golden, Colorado

Occasionally I will set up on a hilltop and operate portable. The above picture was taken November 13, 2002. I was parked along the road two-thirds of the way up the mountain. It shows a vertical, end fed halfwave wire for 17 meters supported by an MFJ pole, and a rigid dipole.The dipole is a wire antenna with several Molex connectors added. I can separate a connector on either side and switch from 10 through 20 meters. The wires are held out with two Cabelas fishing poles, 16.5 feet long each, and the whole thing is supported with a 25-foot aluminum push-up pole with a drive-on base. The radio was my FT-817 running 5 watts.

One of the contacts I made that day was to an XYL in Georgia. What started as a casual contact turned into my longest-ever ham radio QSO at one hour, thirty-four minutes as her husband, sitting alongside her, operated the computer to view my web pages as we talked. The only reason the contact ended was that the band closed and neither antenna allowed us to continue.