Amateur radio is an excellent hobby. Aside from being a great way to get rid of extra money, it has a number of appealing challenges, such as:

  • Endless opportunity for the technical, covering the spectrum from basic math to advanced physics.
  • Excellent chance for communications (rag chewing) with people on the air from around the globe.
  • An open service opportunity for those interested in emergency preparedness.

One of the beauties of the hobby is that you can choose your level of involvement, depending on your interests, with the only requirements being that you pass a fairly straightforward test to demonstrate basic proficiency. the problem is where to go after that. Whereas there is a wealth of technical information on the subject, there ins't a lot of intermediary information for those who do not know where to look.

The goal of this section is to provide a series of basic "HowTo" articles focused specifically at the newer ham, providing enough basic information to grasp the idea, and providing links to further information.

Please feel free to browse the articles and make suggestions. If you have any ideas for new articles, please let me know.

Making Your Go Kit

The Go kit is one of the hot button-issues in amateur radio. Everyone has their own idea of what a go-kit should be. Let’s start simple and work our way up from there. What is a “GO” Kit? Your Go kit is, simply, an emergency preparedness kit for hams.Think of it as a travel kit for emergencies. If you where to respond to an emergency, you would have a collection of basic necessities which would go along with you. The most obvious items would be radio, batteries, charger, and the like, but th... more

Mobile Operations

My mobile rig is designed with emergency communications in mind. The vehicle is a 2001 Blazer ZR2 4X4. A basic vehicle which should be able to handle any weather events which can occur in the area. It is also a comfortable vehicle with decent fuel mileage, which makes my life a lot more enjoyable. Radio Power The Blazer is wired for radio power with a dedicated 45 Amp line off of the Positive terminal in the under-hood service panel. I do not like connecting to the positive battery termina... more

The Shack

My shack is currently only doing packet radio. I power the shack with a Kenwood PS-6 5-Amp power supply. I float the power to the radios over a 650-CCA Automotive battery at 13.25V. This appears to be the sweet spot for my setup. The power float gives me the ability to use the PS-6 to power the radios in receive, which has almost no draw. When transmitting, or during a power emergency, the battery can take the load, with all cabling (connected with Anderson Power-pole Connectors) designed to han... more


  • Making Your Go Kit
  • Mobile operations
  • The Shack

  • Remember Aaron

    Aaron Swartz - Guerilla

    Aaron Swartz spent his life, a brilliant but short burst of light, pursuing his dream of the free and open flow of information. Remember his contribution to our lives by making this dream a reality.

    IPv6 Information