While most of my operating takes place at home (see my Shack page), I do enjoy taking my QRP radio out portable. There are a variety of locations that I’ve used over the years, whether on my own or with other amateurs. Two relatively recent examples of these were with Kevan (2E0 WMG), who made videos of our adventures. You can view the videos below:
Until fairly recently, I would take my shack Icom IC-7100 out and about with me, keeping it in a briefcase that I modified for purpose. However I wasn’t particularly comfortable with this setup, so with some Christmas money was able to buy a wee Xiegu G106 QRP radio. This radio, which provides between 5-8W of CW, SSB or AM, is compact enough to fit into a small satchel, along with a battery, AMU, key and roll of wire for an antenna. Later on came a Xiegu G90, which has all of the best features of the G106, but includes an ATU and can provide 20W. I now use the G90 and have given the G106 to a friend.
By way of a demonstration, below are recordings taken from various WebSDRs, showing how well a low power transmission can be heard around the world.
2M0GUI/QRP received by the Hack Green WebSDR (approx. 260m away) using 1W TX power - 7014kHz 09/Oct/2022
2M0GUI/QRP received by the PH4RTM WebSDR (approx. 523m away) using 5W TX power - 7014kHz 09/Oct/2022
2M0GUI/QRP received by the K3FEF WebSDR (approx. 3,224m away) using 3W TX power - 18074kHz 11/Oct/2022
GM5AUG/QRP received by the Hack Green WebSDR (approx. 260m away) using 1W TX power - 5260kHz 10/Apr/2023
GM5AUG/QRP received by the Hack Green WebSDR (approx. 260m away) using 1W TX power from his Heathkit HW-8 (see the Shack page) - 3507kHz 22/May/2023
My Xiegu G106 QRP radio set, as mentioned above
And the Xiegu G90, replacement of the G106
A young Michael (M6EIO/P) on Mersea Island with Kevan 2E0 WMG
A somewhat older Michael (GM5AUG/QRP) in the same spot with Andy G6IGU
/QRP in sunny Troon
/QRP antennas at Troon - a 40m whip on the car, and a 20m dipole
VHF and UHF Operation
Tait TM8110 VHF rig
When /Mobile in the car, I use a Tait TM8110, a VHF transceiver which gives 25W output across 9 channels on 2m. I have programmed its channels with my most frequently needed frequencies. With it I use a 5/8λ whip attached to a Mag-Mount.
The Kenwood transceiver I plan to use while /M when I put the Tait into use as a Packet station
I use my Kenwood TM-D710 as a portable packet station, coupled with an old laptop running Linux.
Stock image of a Baofeng UV-5R
As do so many other amateurs, I have a couple of the Baofeng dual band range of handheld transceivers - a UV-5R and a UV-5R Plus. One of these is currently on loan to newly licensed MM7LWS.
Kenpro KT-22 2m FM Transceiver
I also use this vintage 2m handheld transceiver - a Kenpro KT-22 - from 1990. This transceiver produces either 1.5W or 150mW, is equipped to work with +/- 600kHz repeater shifts, and has a 1750Hz toneburst button.
A little while ago, Colin (GM4 JPZ) kindly gave me his old 2m SOTABeam, and this has given me many hours of pleasure as well. Photograph above shows me operating atop Corse Hill (GM/SS-236). I take my Kenpro (above) on these trips, and it is amazing how far 1.5W will get when a) it is directed and b) you have height on your side! The below map illustrates this - each dot on the map shows a station I worked from the hilltop!
See the below review from Practical Wireless (November 1990)
Yaesu FT-290R 2m Transceiver
My latest purchase is this vintage 2m transceiver, made by Yaesu in 1982. Producing either 2.5W or 500mW of USB/LSB/CW/FM, the rig is powered by eight C-cell batteries, or an external power supply. Neatly the rig has its own telescopic whip included, alongside the option to use an external antenna. While I have not used it in the field yet, owing to a few repairs I need to make, I look forward to doing so - particularly as this radio has a CW and SSB mode, something many portable 2m rigs do not have.