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Operating During the Family Vacation:

MATTHEW C. PENTTILA (N1RWC) on July 25, 2003
View comments about this article!

My wife and twin daughters made the Family Vacation Plans for this year. -- A four-day camping trip to Ohio in August for the Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg OH. I thought long and hard on this, mainly what to bring to enhance the trip and overnight stay at the Camp Site.

After a little planning, I figured on running VHF/UHF 6-meters, 2-meters, 70-centimeters, using SSB and FM. The venerable FT-847 will provide ample RF teamed with a scaled down G5RV for six-metes, and a Cushcraft A270-10S Beam for 2-meters and 70-centimeters.

Hopefully the bands will be helpful in the evening so I can work some stations after settling in for the evening.

Now for the magic questions...

On your family vacation are you going to take the radio along?

If so what bands or modes are you going to operate?

73 Matt N1RWC

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by N3MIQ on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Ft-897, A dipole made from 2 20 meter ham sticks. 5 5foot mast pipe, A bracket i made that you park your car on to support the 25 feet of mast pipe. A small MFJ tuner and a jump pack for 12 volts. 100 watts on 15,17,20 and 40 meters. Brian
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by G7HEU on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I'm getting married in September. My beloved has made it plain that I may not take any HF gear on honeymoon.

So, I've just bought a tiny 2Mtr / 70 Cm handheld - Yaesu VX-1. That will be going with us plus a folded dipole made of wire.

I've just got to remember to turn it off during the church service - I won't have it said that I'm selfish!

Steve
M0HEU / G7HEU.
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by WV8HAM on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Still use the old FT-77 for vacations. Small, easy to use and reliable. Using "ham sticks" for 75 thru 10 meters. Magnet mount and clamp-on mount are brought along to cover antenna mounting. 22 gauge spool of wire brought along for counterpoise. Portable 12 v battery system or car battery used for power.

73 Rick WV8HAM
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KD7EAI on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I would leave the gear home and spend time with my family. It is a vacation, after all!
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by AB5XZ on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Last summer, I took 100 ft of wire from Wireman, some insulators, and some black support rope. A roll of zip cord served as the radials. The HF rig was my Kenwood TS-450S/AT, with an MFJ 949E tuner to match the rig to the long wire. Power supply was an MFJ 4225 switcher. This worked really well in Estes Park, CO.
No vacation this summer, but next time I'll take a smaller tuner - MFJ 16010, specifically for long wire.
Even so, we'll be taking lots of weekend drives to see family, and I will operate HF from the car with Yaesu FT-100D and ATAS-100. What a nice rig!

73TomAB5XZ
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by WB2TQC on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I'm sitting here contemplating that very thing as I get ready for a weekend Campout with the XYL. I'll Bring something along to pass the time while she crochets. She encourages me to because then I can't talk to her and mess up her count :) Think I'll bring my little OHR 30m QRP rig with an MFJ-901 tuner, A Rat Shack 3 AMP power supply and plenty of wire. I can put up a Random wire with a Counterpoise and hopefully work one or two stations. Nothing serious just a little something to play with :) Happy Vacations and 73. -- John (WB2TQC)
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by K5DVW on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
You're kidding, right? It's a vacation... with the family. Vacations are rare enough. I wouldnt take any radios.
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KA4KOE on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I need to build some upper body strength. Time to get out the R388 collins with dynamotor.

Now if I can only find a dolly big enough for the KWS-1......
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KA4KOE on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Let me offer some advice to the gent gettin' hitched.
Unless your bride is into ham radio like you, I would absolutely NOT take ANY gear with you. Plenty of time for that during the rest of your life.

Philip
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by W3JJH on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
When our family goes on vacation, we get away from what we do at home. That often includes ham radio.

However, my son and I usually take 2m HTs. They can be useful for getting directions via local repeaters, and I used one once in Montreal to ragchew while my wife visited a botanical garden.

The only time really took ham radio on the road with the family for vacation, I took an FT-817, and Outbacker antenna, and a laptop, and operated PSK31 on 20m.
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KB1GMX on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
;)

Vacation for me is getting to do those things I have limited time for without the time limits.

Vacation I'd bring my TenTec 6n2 a spare MFJ 6m 3 element beam as it's light and easily disassembled to a small package, a Arrow 146S-4 as it's small but a rugged beam and top the pole with an OSJ146/440. The pole would be 5 5ft sections of steel TV mast on a 4ft tripod. Where that might be awkward I have a 12ft colapsable fiberglass rod and a 6m wire dipole for those odd places. The UHF radio is my HTX245 for fun. Add some rope and pegs for guys, 3 peices of cable and a diplexer plus SWR and otehr short cables and I'm ready.

A nice high spot would be good. By hey, that's what vacation is for.

Allison
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KI4BBE on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I visit my son in Orlando fairly often since I live in Jacksonville. I always take my ICOM T2H. We usually stay at the Embassy Suites, and I am usually 6 or 7 floors up. I have a telescopic whip that I attach to a mount which has suction cups to attach the antenna to the hotel window. Then I attach the coax to the BNC connector on the radio. I also use a speaker/mic attachment. I have been able to hit every repeater in Orlando, and had some great QSO's
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by N3ZKP on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Depends on where we are going ...

Normally I take my spare DX-70, a small tuner and about 100' of wire. I operate SSB on whatever band is open, as well as checking in on my MARS nets.

Last year we went to Alaska and the cruise line said no radio operating from the ship, so I left everything home.

Lon
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by VE3WMB on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I have found through experience that there is always lots to do on vacation so its best not to have operating plans that are too ambitious.

I prefer to go with a single band QRP rig for 20M or 40M that I can run off of a pack of AA NiMH cells
using a small tuner like the EMTEC ZM-2 with an end-fed 1/2 wave wire. If I don't want to rely on mother nature for antenna supports I used my Buddipole. The whole thing packs up into
a small bag and sets up quickly without eating up too much valuable space in the already overstuffed car. Also, if I don't get around to doing any operating then I don't have to feel bad about lugging around 30lbs of gear for nothing.

For a longer vacation where we plan to stay put for a number of days I have brought along my FT-817 along with my LDG QRP auto-tuner and balun, a DK9SQ mast and a 44ft doublet fed with twin lead (loads up nicely from 10 thru 40M).

de VE3WMB
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KB2FCV on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
It all depends on where we go. If it were something big like Disney, a cruise, etc... I think the radios would stay at home.

However, if it were a camping trip.. or something of the like, the K2 would come along. I would bring along a small portable dipole and my favorite key. The VHF gear is permanently installed in the car, so I always have 2 meter communications (along with an HT that always gets thrown in when we go).

73's

James KB2FCV
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by N3BIF on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Gotta take a set of Kenwood Twins. Seriously though,unless the family is very supportive as in sitting there while you operate, helping with setup etc. I wouldnt even consider it.
The "family" is pulled in too many directions during the everyday living, which we are forced to accept. To give up any portion of what precious time we do have is a shame. Your daughters will all too soon grow up and will undoubtedly go through a period where they will have no need for you (in their minds anyway). As previous callers have said leave it home.
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by N8IWK on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I'd bring the whole shack if I had it my way.
But because the XYL insists on bringing everything but the kitchen sink that limits how much space remains for my stuff.
Hopefully the FT-857 arrives soon.
I will be using a home-made 8' tripod made from an old sheet music stand with several Hamsticks and a portable MFJ tuner to work the HF bands.
A word of caution to the newlywed.
I recall taking a HF rig with me on our honeymoon. I only got to use it once. While on the way to Maine I we made a stop at a rest area for the XYL, while she was out of the car I managed to make a short QSO into France before she got back. :)
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KF4KWO on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
1) Dual-band HT - my Yaesu FT-51R is a terrific HT, plenty of channel memories, plus it scans VHF air and UHF airport ops which is fun from time to time.

2) wire, insulators with Alpha Delta kit for easy no-solder hookup for coax, twine

3) Only have the HTX-10 right now, but if I were serious about vacation operation, I'd probably invest in one of the MFJ tiny SSB radios, most like the 20-meter version. Not going on a DXpedition, so don't need an all-band rig.

Hope you have a good time.

73,
Jeff, KF4KWO
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KG4WKY on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I'm heading for NC and TN in a week or so. I'll be hiking and DXing while the wife and kids are geocaching (assuming her new GPS receiver shows up before we leave :-) ). I'll have along an FT-100, a 2el pvc quad for 6, a 4el pvc beam for 2, and 20' of steel pipe mast. That'll go up at the cabin. For hiking I'll have wire or collapsable-whip dipoles for 2 and 6, a 2m HT and an MFJ-9406, along with a 7AH gelcel for the MFJ. Actually, if I could tolerate the extra weight, I could leave the MFJ at home and just dial down the power on the Yaesu and stuff *it* in the backpack. Hmmm...
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KA4KOE on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
With a new bride at my side, I can think of several substantially more interesting things to do than play radio.....

Nuff said.

Philip
 
Get A Life  
by WB9GKZ on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Take along your fishing poles. Grab the golf clubs.
Leave the squak boxes at home!
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by K0RFD on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
flyrod, waders, wading shoes, chest pack, net, and about 5 boxes of standard fly patterns that work most places.
 
ATTN KA4KOE  
by G7HEU on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
You said:

"With a new bride at my side, I can think of several substantially more interesting things to do than play radio"


That's o.k. for your bride but you aint seen mine.






I am absolutely positively joking ( and in very poor taste). Mine is lovely too.

Steve
M0HEU / G7HEU.





 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by W0FM on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I took an HF radio and a dipole to the Cayman Islands during our wedding anniversary trip. The XYL encouraged me. After doing all the things that we wanted to do together, my wife enjoys some time of her own to read, shop and take a nap. I've never been a "napper", and she'd rather shop without me (I don't blame her). So while she read, shopped or dozed, I put QSO's into the log. Spent maybe 2 hours per day max on the radio. It may not work for everyone, but it worked out perfectly for both of us.(More at ZF2FM/ QRZ.com)

73,

Terry, WØFM
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by W9JCM on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Operate on vacation nope. Its time for family not for playing ham radio geek. And for the guy getting married and the wife not wanting any radio. Id follow heed. You wont die without radio beside there are other things to do on a honeymoon that play with you HT. You have to be joking on that one.
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by WE8Q on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I am taking my wife to Grand Cayman at her request for her 50th birthday...along with my IC-703+ and Buddipole antenna. She doesn't mind the radio time at all as long as she can lay on the beach. All of our children are grown and on their own which makes a big difference. We will be there August 5-11 operating as ZF2FF. Give a listen on 18.157.5 and 14.342.5 SSB or 18.080 and 14.050 CW.
73, Steve - K8FFO - ZF2FF
 
6 meters great for summer vacations!  
by W8KQE on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Operating and vacations are a great mix! For me, there IS enough time for DXing, and enough for other activities, and my wife doesn't mind it at all. I just came back from my vacation, and had a total blast on 6 meters! I took a lightweight homebrew 2 element yagi (boom built from a broomstick, and the elements built from cheap collapsible, telescoping TV whips from Radio Shack), and a 25W Ranger 5054DX SSB/CW rig, and a simple hand straight key. My power supply was a Prestone 'JumpIt' 12v power source/car battery charger, which powered my rig for 2 days (on one overnight charge)!!! I worked over 70 grids and 26 states in 2 days (CQ WW VHF Contest) using this very basic setup (just a few hours a day). Summer vacationing with 6m is a great combo, being the peak Sporadic-E 6m openings occur between May and late August. Given the plethora of cheap, compact 6m or HF/6m rigs out there (MFJ Adventure Radio, Patcomm PC-500, Ranger 5054DX, FT-100D, etc.), and the smaller physical size of a 6m antenna, taking this stuff along on vacation is easier than you think.
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by N8XRV on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
When vacationing, I travel lightly when it comes to radios.

My last trip, I brought along my 2M HT, a 35W amp, and a 5/8 wave magnet mount antenna.

I have it all set up to plug into the cigar lighter socket.

2M was enough, there was a good amout of activity passing through larger cities, to keep me occupied, but a bit quiet going through the country, so I'd also talk to my family. =)

It was enough for me.

Will you be passing through Columbus? If so, you may hear me on the repeaters.
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by W0FG on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Any trip longer than 2 or 3 hours usually includes the FT-817 and Palm Paddles sitting on the center armrest with the 40 meter hamstick on the fender. A weekend trip would usually include the LDG Z-11 tuner with the hamstick being replaced with an 8' steel whip. Weeklong trips or flights would see the 817 & Z11 & paddles packed into the Expedition Pack along with the SuperAntennas MP-1 and/or the chalk-line dipole. Band usage according to conditions, mode CW only and forever. Week long car trips would also include a banjo or guitar and firearms du jour.
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KB0JQO on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Went camping this previous weekend. Used a IC-706MKIIG, LDG-MP-11 Autotuner, 50' of cheap Radioshack RG-58, and a homemade 20m loaded vertical made out of screw together tapered mast sections (must be military surplus by the looks of them) with 4 small guage wires for ground plain, a tv tripod and a 5 ft tv mast.

First time I did this about a month ago I worked Ohio and California (week before field day, conditions weren't that great then either).

And this past weekend worked vermont, new hampshire, and another station which I forget on the 3905 CC 40meter early net (7.233.5)

Probably could have worked much more, but was tied up with other camping activities.
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by AJ5TT on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Wow.. a lot of comments. I am not the only one who brings a pile of gear.

Went on a family vacation with the wife and two children. We drove to Orlando Floridia. I have a Kenwood TM-D700 for VHF/UHF and run APRS. I also have the Yaesu FT-100 with the ATAS-100. HF Mobile is great but get the comments, turn down the static noise from the better half. Enjoy HF Mobile, much more fun.

Also took the FT-817 to operate from the sixth floor of the balcony from the condo with a dipole. Of course, had to stop by AES and chat with the great folks at the shop. Well, had to have the FT-897. Took the ATAS-100 off the car, setup on tripod mount, threw some radials off the balcony and it worked. Further, it was field day! Had lot's of fun but did keep it sane and spent most of the time with the wife and family.

Can not think of a HAM that would not take something, even if it is just an HT. But, we do need to keep the priorties in the right order, HAM then Family er... Family then HAM stuff

73
John - AJ5TT
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by K8LEA on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
2M HT on the belt (or in the luggage if flying), 2M in the car....

Sufficient....

When my wife and I went on our honeymoon, not quite 28 years ago, I had a Brimstone 144 on the tranny hump and no HT. Drove to & from FL (from OH). As it turned out, Sherri's not much for sitting in a car like that, so helping me diddle the radio (no scanning feature - "let's try '146.91' now") and listening in on the conversations was something else to do. The range of some of the repeaters (like Stone Mountain and some stuff in FL) really surprised both of us, and since it was all somewhat new to her, made for a lot of fun.

She also blew off about $60 worth of film & processing taking pictures of road signs, especially around Stuart FL....

Note that the 2M rig was in the _car_ then....

I don't think I've ever gone anywhere since then without at least a radio in the car if not an HT for the hotel room. I don't talk much, but I do listen.... The "wide receive" capabilities of several of my HT's was useful too - lots of fun to be had listening to local Public Service. I use to visit Anderson SC with some regularity, and listen to their PD. One night: "Captain - there was a guy here with a box of cats a while back. I can't find him, but the cats are still here...."

Stu.
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KC8WCW on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

Long before my involvement in Amateur Radio, I was a photographer. I can still remember lugging my camera gear through the Great Smoky Mountains while on vacation with my family. What I soon discovered however, was that lugging it was about all I could do. Unless I was with someone who was into photography to the same extent as me, there was no possibility in the real world, that I would get to take any "real" photos.

Just as with Amateur Radio, people on the outside don't understand all that goes into a "good" photo. They just assume that it's a matter of picking up the camera and shooting. The moment you pull out a tripod, light meter, etc,,,etc,,, the inevitable looks of, "ok, how long are we gonna have to wait for this," begin to emerge. I soon realized, that the only thing I'd do with my "real" camera gear, was lug it. I'd have been much better off with a point and shoot camera just doing snapshots.

I guess that the moral to this little story is this. Unless you're with someone who's into Amateur Radio at least to same level as you, do yourself and everyone else a favor and leave it at home. If you just have your HT for emergencies or whatever, great. Don't assume however, that everyone else shares the same enthusiasm for the hobby as you.


KC8WCW

 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by K8AG on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I just returned from vacation last week. I have my travel pack, which consists of my old karate duffle bag, full of the "extras" and my ft-817 moves from my desk to my duffle (enclosed in a CD player carrying case for protection). I also have a 20 foot crappie (not crappy) pole which I use to get my signal away from the hotel balcony or off the ground. I also have a water filled patio umbrella stand that I use to hold the crappie pole vertical (@ $5.00 at Lowes). A small SST tuner and wires with alligator clips for different configurations and counterpoises and I was off.

Not too successful though. The antenna needs to be revamped. Next time, like you, I am planning a half G5RV. Still want qrp. The 817 keeps the rig smaller.

73

John Pawlicki, K8AG
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by WAZZUP on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I married a ham, so she understands!

My vacation station is my IC703, batteries, wire dipole, milsurplus mast kit, cooler of soda pop and folding chair.

Totally self contained.
Leaves me quite content, AHHHH vacation.

For the wives that do not understand, I suggest proper training - like training a puppy dog.
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by K0RGR on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I don't think anything can beat a nice mobile installation for vacationing. It's there and ready to go when you are able to find those few minutes away from the family during the vacation.

However, since the last time thieves smashed a window in our SUV to steal my ham rig while we were hundreds of miles from home on vacation, the family gets nervous if I leave anything in the car.

Further, since before they achieved status as teenagers, my kids have learned to put on their headphones and listen to their CD players eat expensive batteries (instead of using the DC cords I have bought and bought and bought), and whine and complain constantly if I have any kind of radio or music on to compete with the 120 decibel rap music they're straining to hear. In order to placate them, their mother insists on playing their music while we drive.

So, on the last few trips, I've gone standalone with an FT-817 and an ancient MFJ tuner and an MFJ1899 antenna. With a counterpoise, the MFJ1899 actually does a good job. I don't recommend this antenna, because it is very flimsy mechanically - the BNC connector is a lousy choice for something like this - mine broke almost immediately.

Another quicky antenna idea is to make an 'X' from a couple pieces of 1X4 or 1X6 pine to form the base for a mast. Attach a vertical piece of 2X2 a couple feet high. Use wing nuts to fasten it all. Get a bracket for mounting a CB antenna to a truck mirror from your local truck stop/CB shop. Screw this to the top of the 2X2 mast.

Cut two wires to 1/4 wavelength on the band of your choice - these will be radials. Screw a mobile whip for the band of your choice (Hamstick) into the antenna mount. This should work well.
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by NX7E on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
To all of you who said not to take radios and spend time with your family:

You make a great point, but it isn't always either/or. When I go camping with my family (wife and son), they always go to bed 2 to 3 hours before I do (I'm the night owl, they're early to bed early to rise types). So I like to play radio during that time, and don't think it detracts from family time.

That said, I would say never bring a radio on a honeymoon. You should be spending any spare time doing other things. You know. The thing you do on a honeymoon. Have I made myself clear or should I type another paragraph of circumlocutions? Get back to me.

73,
Mike NX7E
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KB0JQO on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
To echo NX7E's sentiments. The topic is vacation, and vacations are supposed to be spent doing things you enjoy, including your hobbies. I don't think anyone is advocating spending 100% of your time on ham radio and 0% on other activities and your family.

But the fact is, different people in your family are going to enjoy doing different things. Some people will want to go bike riding, some fishing, some climbing, swimming, etc, all of which you may or may not do. So when someone is off doing something they like to do, its an excellent opportunity to do what you like to do.

So to all those who say just leave the radios at home, I say, get real.
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by NE1RD on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
* FT-817
* Yo-Yo deluxe (http://qth.com/dwm/yoyodeluxe.html)
* LDG Z-11 QRP ATU & One-Touch Tune (http://www.w4rt.com)
* AC 3-amp power supply
* Paper log book
--> All of which fits nicely in one carry-on bag

If driving, I'll also bring
* Buddipole, tripod, 16' mast, weights, bungies to secure it
(http://www.buddipole.com)
* MFJ antenna analyzer
(http://www.mfjenterprises.com/products.php?prodid=MFJ-259B)
* Heil Pro headset (http://www.heilsound.com/ProSetPlus.htm)
* Couple of gel cells

73!
-- Scott (NE1RD)
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by VA3EP on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I took my FT-817 / Z-11 tuner to my trailer in the woods for 2 weeks. Power is a car booster gel cel battery pack (whick also powers my 12 V flourescent lights). HF antenna is a home brew RG58 coax fed 40 M wire dipole strung in the trees with parachute cord (as hi as I can throw a small brick, watch your teeth on the backswing :-) and a for VHF a homebrew 2M ground plane on a short piece of junk mast (see arrl handook).

When the XYL (also a ham, but is shy and pretty much only talks to me VHF :-) was reading, birdwatching, napping or sunbathing, I operated some, mostly 40M ssb (but am practicing to get my CW speed back up, and want to try that next year). XYL likes the peace and quiet so I use lightweight headphones.

No exotic DX but a lot of fun. The '817 is also handy for hitting the local VHF repeater, usually the XYL calling me portable around the camp on the VX-5R or mobile in the car to not forget something on a run to the store or to use phone patch to call local relatives, and for AM broadcast listening to get the local news and weather, some quiet FM music at dinner or a bit of late nite HF shortwave listening for the international news and views.

The radio gear packs up in a small plastic carrying case that I rescued from the trash (think it held an old video camera) and the HF antenna rolls up in a small cloth "trade show" bag. The VHF antenna stays at the trailer, but a rollup twinlead j-pole for V/UHF would work. Lots of utility and entertainment in a very small package.


Eric
www.va3ep.net
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by VA3EP on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I took my FT-817 / Z-11 tuner to my trailer in the woods for 2 weeks. Power is a car booster gel cel battery pack (whick also powers my 12 V flourescent lights). HF antenna is a home brew RG58 coax fed 40 M wire dipole strung in the trees with parachute cord (as hi as I can throw a small brick, watch your teeth on the backswing :-) and a for VHF a homebrew 2M ground plane on a short piece of junk mast (see arrl handook).

When the XYL (also a ham, but is shy and pretty much only talks to me VHF :-) was reading, birdwatching, napping or sunbathing, I operated some, mostly 40M ssb (but am practicing to get my CW speed back up, and want to try that next year). XYL likes the peace and quiet so I use lightweight headphones.

No exotic DX but a lot of fun. The '817 is also handy for hitting the local VHF repeater, usually the XYL calling me portable around the camp on the VX-5R or mobile in the car to not forget something on a run to the store or to use phone patch to call local relatives, and for AM broadcast listening to get the local news and weather, some quiet FM music at dinner or a bit of late nite HF shortwave listening for the international news and views.

The radio gear packs up in a small plastic carrying case that I rescued from the trash (think it held an old video camera) and the HF antenna rolls up in a small cloth "trade show" bag. The VHF antenna stays at the trailer, but a rollup twinlead j-pole for V/UHF would work. Lots of utility and entertainment in a very small package.


Eric
www.va3ep.net
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by W0FG on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I was a ham and a musician before I met my wife 40 years ago next month. We met on a coon hunt at an Izaak League conservation camp. We took radios, guns, and a guitar on our honeymoon. We have a relationship that was built on mutual interests as well as hormones and she was, and is, my best friend. Some of our best family vacations have not only included ham radio but have revolved around it. I still remember the first trip we made to Dayton with our son who was about 9 or 10 at the time. I can't imagine trying to establish a relationship with someone who didn't try to share interests. As the old knight in "The Last Crusade" said; "Choose wisely.."
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by K6TLA on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
We took a short cruise to Baja two years ago with a brand new FT-817. Everything except an external gel cell battery fit in a very small bag and cruised right through security,amazing because it was about 3 weeks after 9/11. The antenna was an all band whip with a tapped coil that worked but not spectacularly. I had dreams of using the ship as a counterpoise but never had the guts to pull the thing I built with a huge alligator clip out of my bag and actually attach it to the ship's railing. Even so I worked up into the Pacific Northwest on 15M SSB and a number of repeaters on 10M FM. Next time we decide to do this a better antenna might be nice but then again who wants to attract much attention with a big monster on a cruise ship.
 
Honeymoon is the time to take the radio!  
by WAZZUP on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
If you are going to "break them in correctly" then you must take all the radio gear you can pack.

Not only did I take my portable station on our honeymoon, I carried an HT under my tux at the wedding.

She has something borrowed, something new, something old and something new... I HAD SOMETHING THAT MADE SQUELCH NOISE!

 
RE: Honeymoon is the time to take the radio!  
by KD5VHF on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
" If you are going to "break them in correctly" then you must take all the radio gear you can pack. " I agree. If she dosent like what you enjoy then it will most likely be down hill from the start. As far as honey moon night... the only thing different from the years before we wed was the location and being exhausted from the busy day. Yes I prefer to "test drive" new radio gear before commiting to it also.;-)
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by N1RWC on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Steve G7HEU, I was in that same predicament in August of 1999. My wife declared no radio, no cell phones, no nothing after the wedding until the honeymoon trip was over. I made the mistake of sneaking a Yaesu FT-530 Dual Band HT into my briefcase, and she found it.

Fortunately she was understanding enough to let me lock it in the trunk of the car for the rest of the trip.

Word to the wise, when she says "no radio" better do as she says, as it can be a long couple of weeks over something so little as an HT.

73 Matt N1RWC

PS I get to take the FT-817 along to operate in route to Ohio.
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by K0KPB on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Last week we camped up on Togwatee Pass in WY. I take a 40m dipole, all made up with coax, balun, etc wound on an electrical cord reel. My son (KC0IID) and I hung the dipole in the trees, hooked the coax to my FT100D, and played radio all evening. We also take HTs and have a VHF radio in the Jeep for hikes.
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by W9IND on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Back in 1972, when I’d been licensed as a Novice for less than a year, I took my rig on a family vacation to Wisconsin with my dad’s blessings. I didn’t bring an antenna – when we got there, Dad and I went to a local hardware store, bought some copper wire, insulators, tent pegs, etc., and strung it up behind the cabin where we stayed. It wasn’t the greatest set-up, but it was fun doing my first portable operation as WN9ICB/9 and working a dozen or so stations (including one guy who told me I was his first Wisconsin). It wasn’t an either/or situation -- I had plenty of time to fish, hike along the river and even spend a little time with a young lass from Illinois.

Nowadays, my recommended means of combining hamming and a vacation is to take the easy way out: Use your mobile rig. Then you won’t have to worry about packing equipment. Buy a good combo – mine is a 706 with an Outbacker antenna mounted on the bumper – and I’ve had good success with it, even on 6 meters. You don’t have to let it get in the way of your vacationing; after all, you’ll probably be spending long hours in the car anyway, so why not pass the time on the air during those lonely drives? Sometimes, as I’m passing through remote areas, I’ll check into the county hunters net on 20 meters and give some stations a new one. And there’s always the occasional opening on 6 or 10 meters. I was even able to work ZK1 while parked in front of my single-wide accommodations in Rachel, Nevada – the closest town to the notorious Area 51. I could talk about the local pastime of looking for strange flying objects after dark, but that’s a story for another time.

73 to all,
Brian, W9IND
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by N6AJR on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
All my vehicles have rigs installed, so they always go, whether I use them or not just depends on what else is going on.
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KU4UV on July 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
If I were going on my honeymoon, I would have more on my mind besides amateur radio if you know what I mean. I love my hobby, but come on. Anyway, if I were going on vacation, I would probably try to hamsticks for 20 Meters to make a dipole and maybe bring my laptop and work PSK 31, or some other 20 meter qrp radio.

 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by K8DXX on July 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Las summer and the summer before, I would have said my FT 817, NiMH AA cells and an MP-1 antenna. Band condx have been so lousy this summer, I've had real bad luck running 5 watts and a portable antenna. So, when we go to Myrtle Beach in late August, I'll take an IC706 MKII, an MFJ 4125 Mighty-Lite supply (really quiet) and the MP-1. I am toying with TRYING to get the airlines to take my 33 foot mast, spreaders (collapses into a neat 4 ft by 4 pound nylon bag) and 40-10 meter loop antenna (and a manual tuner). Don't think I want to start the vacation off on the wrong foot by fighting airport security. So, I think I'll stick with the MP-1.

Previously, I used to take an FT-840, manual tuner and lotsa wire. I don't believe that there are many usable trees at 'the beach.'

 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by WB4QNG on July 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
A 2meter rig in the car and an HT Might turn it on if I am lucky
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by N2YTF on July 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
For me its not a vacation if I dont have the rigs. Also I always email ahead to the ARRL division head in the area and ask about unusual public ham stations I can operate. This time I found out about a club station aboard a battleship that I will be alowed to operate...I love that ham brotherhood. We can tour the location and I can operate for a bit.

Ill be taking along my FT-817, FT-530 HT & an ht scanner. For an HF antenna I will be bringing along my homebuilt, 17 foot "HF Travel Vertical" from the July 2002 QST article by the same name (7mhz - 54mhz). It was cheap to build, really gets out, and goes up and down quickly. I suggest it to everyone. For 2m 440 ground & satellite work I will be taking the Arrow antenna portable handheld dual band beam (3el 2m & 7el 440). I can use it with the all mode ht scanner and ft-817 for full duplex trasnponder birds.
On a past roadtrip I operated the birds from a mountaintop road (Skyline Drive, VA) and had DFQ signals into the bird with 5w...this is something worth trying if your vacation leads you to a similar place.

73 & have a great vacation!
Tom, N2YTF

 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by N2YTF on July 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
For me its not a vacation if I dont have the rigs. Also I always email ahead to the ARRL division head in the area and ask about unusual public ham stations I can operate. This time I found out about a club station aboard a battleship that I will be alowed to operate...I love that ham brotherhood. We can tour the location and I can operate for a bit.

Ill be taking along my FT-817, FT-530 HT & an ht scanner. For an HF antenna I will be bringing along my homebuilt, 17 foot "HF Travel Vertical" from the July 2002 QST article by the same name (7mhz - 54mhz). It was cheap to build, really gets out, and goes up and down quickly. I suggest it to everyone. For 2m 440 ground & satellite work I will be taking the Arrow antenna portable handheld dual band beam (3el 2m & 7el 440). I can use it with the all mode ht scanner and ft-817 for full duplex trasnponder birds.
On a past roadtrip I operated the birds from a mountaintop road (Skyline Drive, VA) and had DFQ signals into the bird with 5w...this is something worth trying if your vacation leads you to a similar place.

73 & have a great vacation!
Tom, N2YTF

 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KB5HWS on July 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
So you have a yearly Family Vacation of only four days, and you're talking about bringing and setting up a G5RV?

Unless your family is really really into Amateur Radio, and that's how THEY want to spend their vacation, you need to drop this whole idea.

Bring a radio if you'd like, but you need to spend the time with your family, not the radio.

Don't forget that an Amateur is BALANCED.
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by WAZZUP on July 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Operating During the Family Vacation: Reply
by KB5HWS on July 26, 2003
So you have a yearly Family Vacation of only four days, and you're talking about bringing and setting up a G5RV?

Unless your family is really really into Amateur Radio, and that's how THEY want to spend their vacation, you need to drop this whole idea.

Bring a radio if you'd like, but you need to spend the time with your family, not the radio.

Don't forget that an Amateur is BALANCED.

=================================

you do not read many of the posts here on eham, do you?? "Balanced" is not a word that comes to mind!

Who needs a G5RV to play radio when on vacation? a wire strung from the tent, RV, or hanging from the patio of the hotel is all you "need".
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KC8WCW on July 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

KB5HWS: It appears that unlike many Hams, you obviously have a life. Therefore, "balanced" is an alien concept to the majority of those to whom you're addressing. In other words, they're clueless about anything beyond their electronic toys. Don't waste time attempting to get through to persons like "wazzup." Let's face it, his screen name pretty much says it all.

KC8WCW
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by OBSERVER on July 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
In reality you'll probably have two days to operate. One day to unpack the radio gear, put up the antennas and assemble the station. One day to disassemble the station, take down the antennas and pack up the radio gear. You call that a vacation?

To top it off, your relying heavily on VHF/UHF. Not sure about the actviity in your area, but out here you would be listening to a LOT of static. There's always the repeaters that most HTs can hit with about 5 minutes of set up time.

Now for the magic questions...

On your family vacation are you going to take the radio along?

No. Vacation + Family = Golden Memories. Vacation + Family + Ham Radio = Ham Radio - Family or Family divided by Ham Radio. I am sure they would really appreciate me spending our time together listening to static while they hike, swim and fish. Think about your priorities.

If so what bands or modes are you going to operate?

All the bands, when I get home.
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by AE6Y on July 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This is a fun topic. I have a different idea, which we have used on overseas travel. That is to not take any gear, but make it a point to visit some local hams. They can be hams you've met on the air, friends of friends, people you've scared up from a ham reflector, etc. We've found such visits to be extremely valuable -- having the shared hobby interest is the great ice breaker, and then you just get to meet some interesting people who can provide the kind of local insight that is often hard to get as a tourist.
Happy travelling.
73, Andy, AE6Y
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by WAZZUP on July 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KB5HWS;
see what I mean about BALANCED... Bob WCW has been sniffing gas fumes again.

I use WAZZUP because I forgot the password to the other ID I was using. I do not use my call so that the next time I talk to WCW, he doesnt know me!

 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by WAZZUP on July 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
my first radio/vacation was from a travel trailer sitting in a campground in North Myrtle Beach (do they still have campgrounds?), about 27 years ago, the rig was a Heathkit SB110A and a dipole. I was in heaven, I worked all over the place and gave 6m a new grid.
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by K4ALJ on July 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I took my Kenwood THF6 HT on a 17 day trip to Chicago, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Fort Ransom, North Dakota in late June/early July. I used it only a couple of times when the family was scattered since everyone wanted to do something different. I used IRLP to check on things back in Florida and local repeaters to chat with local hams.

I'd say pack light or don't take a radio at all (after all, your primary goal is family time). Be sure to pack a car adapterin case you use up the battery.

Al
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by W9IND on July 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
AE6Y's comment reminds me of a European vacation I took in the 1980s. I made no provisions for hamming, but when I went to Finland, a friend’s father knew some local hams, and I got to meet them and see their stations. That weekend there was a worldwide CW contest going on, and well … one thing led to another. Before long I was pounding brass and giving hams the contest exchange with one local ham's OH8 call, even though technically I had no legal right to operate.

But who knew? The funniest moment came when I jokingly told the station’s owner that I hoped I didn’t do anything wrong on the air so he wouldn’t get in trouble. Without cracking a smile, he remarked, “They won’t think it’s me. The code is too fast.”

Anyway, I totally disagree with the notion that a family vacation can’t be fun unless you “hold the ham,” so to speak. You can operate a little bit at night, in the early morning, while en route or while the rest of the family is out shopping, swimming or whatever. It's just a matter of balancing your activities a bit -- as opposed to snapping on the headphones and ignoring everything and everyone for the whole week.

But really, it has nothing to do with whether or not one has a life. Actually, I’ve always regarded this hobby as one of the many things that adds to my life – whenever and wherever I pursue it.

73,
Brian, W9IND
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by W1MVY on July 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
On my family vacation "back east" I took my ft817, buddiepole and antenna analyzer. I worked 40, lots of 20, 18, & 15. 10 meters was dead. Mostly CW, but some SSB. In fact, I operated 1B battery from RI during field day. I got in about 5 hours of operation with pretty good results, once I figured out how my station was most effective.

Twenty meters was great, even worked a bunch of DX during the week following field day - mostly during off hours when we were just hagging around anyway.

Family vacations and radio can, with restraint (on the ham's part) work out.

I plan to operating from Hawaii in the fall.
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KB5HWS on July 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I have operated my FT817 on vacation before, so don't take what I say the wrong way. It is absolutely possible to 'play radio' on a vacation without sacrificing family time.

That being said, this guy talks about bringing an absurd amount of gear on a 4 day trip, and then goes on to ask what else he should bring...

You don't need much gear to 'play radio' in your spare time in the evenings. If you have a bunch of stuff to set up/take down/play with, it's almost guaranteed to take too much time on such a short trip.

So, back to what I said, it's all about balance.
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by K8UPA on July 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Ha Ha Ha,
You're kidding right? If I took my radios with me when I was camping not only would I be guilty of neglecting my little beings but I'm pretty sure I would eventually find either a discone or j-pole up my ...

73
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by K8UPA on July 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
GOD only knows what it would be like to have the B&W removed :)
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by THEWISEONE on July 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This just goes to prove what has been said time and time again. You guys that hang out here and have to take a rig with you on vacation instead of enjoying time alone with family need to get a new life. No wonder most of the world views hams as being wierd people
 
ATTN THEunWISEONE  
by G7HEU on July 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
"No wonder most of the world views hams as being wierd people "

Paticulary those that don't seem to like the hobby, do nothing but critisize it, can't be arsed to get a call-sign BUT STILL can't find soemthing better to do!

He he he.

Steve
M0HEU / G7HEU.

 
RE: ATTN THEunWISEONE  
by W9IND on July 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
THEWISE(?)ONE: “You guys that hang out here and have to take a rig with you on vacation instead of enjoying time alone with family need to get a new life. No wonder most of the world views hams as being wierd people”

M0HEU: “Particulary those that don't seem to like the hobby, do nothing but critisize it, can't be arsed to get a call-sign BUT STILL can't find something better to do!”

... and have SO much of a life that they feel compelled to log onto the Internet day after day, sit in front of their computer for hours, go to amateur radio Web sites and repeatedly add comments telling us hams what losers we are for having the audacity to enjoy our hobby during our vacations.

Yeah, we hams are the weird ones, all right.

Nice talk, Steve. :)
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KK7UE on July 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The Mrs likes flying kites when we go to the coast...now if I can figure out how to load up the string and not give her an awful RF burn ;-)
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by K1CJS on July 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Now now--be nice, don't squabble. ;-)))
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KG4WLA on July 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
We travel off the normal path and the first thing on my list is a GPS connected to a laptop. That saves many an hour finding an out-of-the-way campground as we normally stay in primitive National Forest or Corp of Engineer sites. Then I will use 2M/220/440 for local help and then the FT897 through a tuner to a G5RV Jr.(home made) for 20M and 40M or a dipole double hamstick (generic term) for the same bands. I want to be able to maintain contact with my three kids all of whom are ham's. Why? Because this trip is going to be about 6 months long and will start in Key West and journey to Alaska via Inuvik in the North West Territories. That happens to be as far north as you can drive in North America on public roads. Not involve the family and kids in ham radio??? Give me a break!
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KD4TOQ on July 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I have two complete stations that fit in a box of sorts. The first is an FT817 with LDG Z11 tuner, Tokyo Hi Power 60 watt linear, and Super antennas MP1 antenna. This and the assorted items needed to run the station fit into a sturdy aluminum tool case that I custom fitted for this purpose with dense foam padding. I have 3 internal battery packs for low power operation, and some larger packs and power supplies that don't fit in the case that I use when the situation allows. The case is much like those sold around the country for electronics or instrument repairmen. The second set up is an FT897 with the power supply, battery charger, tuner, and batterys. Also, an antenna made by an Australian company named Bushcomm that allows operation on 10-80 meters. The odd components needed for station operation fit in this pack. The box is an electronics shipping case measures about 20"x 11" x 11", this fits in a standard luggage bag with wheels and pull handle with a little room for clothing left over. I installed custom foam padding here also. Thus I have two stations to choose from when travelling....the hard part is making up my mind which to use....Hi..Hi..

73's
Mark
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KD4TOQ on July 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I must be a "lucky". I previously posted a comment about my two cased radio sets I take when I travel. This post is about how my family actually encourages me to take a radio with me when we go on trips. They see it as an outlet for me when they are doing things that I don't particularly enjoy. I usually leave the daytime for the family fun and get out the radio at night. However the wife does recognize the value of ham radio in certain situations so the dual bander in the car doesn't bother her at all. I feel quite lucky to have a family that understands that a vacation may allow me to operate in situations I couldn't before, or at times of day that wouldn't usually be available to me. However as with most things, the key is moderation. If you don't hold the family hostage to hammimg they usually won't feel slighted. Also the little lady told me she didn't care how many antennas I put up in the backyard as long as I was happy... Very lucky indeed.

73's
Mark
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KK9H on July 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Coincidentally, I have just returned from our annual family vacation to the north woods of Wisconsin. I have been taking a rig with me for several years now and here is what I do. The station is an IC-746 with an internal antenna tuner, an Astron RS-35 and a 40/20M trap dipole. I know the Astron seems a little much to take along on vacation, but it has been a good reliable work horse that just sits on the floor out of the way. The antenna is put up as an inverted V on a convenient tree limb, usually about 25-30 feet high. I use a 50 foot run of RG-58 which has always been plenty of length to reach the radio and it fits easily under the doors of the rental cottages. An added bonus of the 40/20M dipole is that it will also work quite well on 15 and 10 meters. The antenna tuner in the IC-746 has no trouble tuning up on those bands. I also bring along a mike, key paddles, earphones, small 24-hr clock and log book. I mostly operate CW because with a set of earphones I can easily operate and not bother anyone else around me. This point is very important if you are going to take a rig along on a family vacation. I have had excellent success with this portable station over the years.
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by EA5ON on July 28, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
1. If taking my car, my usual HF setup (IC 706 plus helical whips plus smartuner and wire), but no linear, need space for suitcases.

2. If taking my wife's car, the 2m handie

3. If going somewhere exotic, the 706, switching PSU, and whichever antenna best suits the place I'm going.

And sometimes I don't take anything. Just depends on how the mood takes me....

Enjoy, wherever you may be!

Duncan EA5ON
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KB6ZBS on July 28, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I took the HF ham gear on vacation and ended up not using it at all.
But it was nice to have it along anyway.

FT 817 and MP-1

I used the 2m mobile gear the most and only talked about 30 mins during the 3 week, 7500 mile trip.
Good 2m contacts.
Hams along the way, were very helpful and informative.

For programming I mostly used the ARRL directory.
While traveling I scanned pre-programmed repeaters and 145.55 simpx, only heard two guys talking Simpx during the 3 weeks.

The CB was very useful during the trip, but very noisy, the wife was (on occasion) very tolerent of it.
It allowed me to hear of road closures/construction delays and bad weather conditions on the fly. Trucker language and limited range were the big drawbacks.

73's

Jack
KB6ZBS



 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by K3ESE on July 28, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I take a small bag containing: An Elecraft K1 (with internal autotuner,) some AA batteries/holder, 50' of hookup wire, some string for getting the wire into a tree, a pair of lightweight headphones and a paddlette paddle. It's a small bag, and not in the way. I'll take it out only if there's enough time and space to not interfere. On a recent family trip to a cousin's wedding, I slipped away, the day after, with my young cousin, who knew some code already from the Boy Scouts, and had a great time with this setup; even worked Italy! Having a little rig along helps proselytize, big-time.
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by VE1HUP on July 28, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
My wife and I do a great deal of camping and she thinks it is a great pass time for the campsite while she is reading, sunbathing, etc. In fact, she now calls camping "hamping".

73 all around.

Darryl
VE1HUP
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by N7JI on July 28, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
All of my trips used to be "pack this, don't forget that."

Then I went mobile. People talk of having a "self-contained station." My self-contained station is the vehicle in which we travel - 100% of the time!

Sure, you can't set it up on a picnic table, but having a permanent setup in your car - complete with antenna - makes traveling SO much easier.

During down times, you can just hop out to the car and operate. During up times, if you're going from one place to another, you could conveivably operate as well.

Scottt N7JI
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by K3ZMD on July 29, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I faced the same question this year. Our solution.

My transceiver is the Yaesu 897. It covers all of the band in one "box" with a built-in AC power supply and an attached HF antenna tuner. My antenna is a Buddipole. The Buddipole covers 40 meters through 70cm. It dis-assembles into a small plastic storage case (supplied with the purchase).

This means that the Yaesu, cables, and extension cord all fit in a standard "Landend's" brief case. The antenna is in a plastic case 4" in diameter and about 30 in long. You can't get more compact then that - and still work everything from 40 meters on up.

Michael
K3ZMD
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by G2FHF on July 30, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I have made a multiband vertical antenna, similar to the MP1 but better! I use this on 40-10m with the FT817, I have used it around Europe and plan to take further afield next year. I was going to take it to St Lucia in a few weeks but thougt it would be too much work for a few hours operating. If anyone wants details of the vertical please email me, g2fhf@g3sds.org.uk
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by NJ6F on July 30, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
If you want to get your family mad at you, you surely will not get any, if.....you mess with the radio.

If you must... I take a 8 foot Spider dipole...thats right 8 feet total length with resonators for 6 meters thru 75 ALL AVAILABLE AT THE SAME TIME... none of this seperate 20 foot ham stick stuff.
Along with a FT100D, a FC20 autotuner for convience and speed, and a nice MFJ 25 amp switching supply with no meters...MFJ-4125. For the picnic bench just substitute a 19aH Jump start marine battery available on sale at your local Target or Walmart for $35 or so...running 40-60 watts SSB no problem. Buy two batteries...they are cheap enough and hold their charge, not like these rip off Yeasu batteries which only allow you 20 watts out and much lower aH rating.
FT100D has it all... turn it down to 5 watts or... up to 100 or with F-menu even highter...200watts etc.
A power mike such as Shure 526T (Dynamic) at 5.0 setting and FT100D mic gain at 100 gives you max modulation for your low power operation 5 watts or up to 50 off the portable battery.
Plan your on air time wisely or you will get max modulation from your wife/girlfriend..... :-)
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by M5GWH on July 30, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I normally packed a FT-290 or a handheld though now I've recently purchased a VW Camper, the XYL is okay with the radio gear going in - she wanted the Camper!

Due to fit out with an Icom IC3200 2m/70cm dual band and hopefully HF with an Alinco for 40m. Also will have 4m ex-PMR FM for UK use.

Pump-up mast stored away, colinear and plenty of wire ready to be pushed into service with a Smartuner.

By the end of the year, I'll have a decent operating vehicle for rally trips, field day, etc.....8-)

Leigh. M5GWH
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KE4ZHN on August 1, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
HF mobile is fine for passing time on the road. Maybe even a tag along HT would be ok to bring along. But to the guy bringing a radio on his honeymoon....I would think you would be much more interested in "other" things on a honeymoon! As much as I love radio, it cant compare to.....ahem...errrr you know, honeymoon activities.
 
Honeymoon update.  
by G7HEU on August 2, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Hello all

I'm the guy that mentioned taking a hand-held radio on my forthcoming honeymoon. I showed Michelle ( my betroved ) this thread and she thought it was funny.

Then she questioned the " My beloved has made it plain that I may not take any HF gear on honeymoon". She hadn't actually said that, I'd just assumed....
To make a long story short I am now cutting some foam for an aluminum flight case.

ISLAND COLLECTORS - LOOK OUT FOR CT3 / M0HEU IN EARLY SEPTEMBER!

It will be a limited operation, perhaps two activations.

By the way - we've already done loads of 'other things' in the past three years. They too are enjoyable but even on honeymoon we can't manage to do them non-stop for two weeks!

Best wishes

Steve
M0HEU / G7HEU.

p.s. ATTN burglars in the U.K. - my brother will be house sitting to look after the dogs. They'll all be happy to meet you.
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by W0LJ on August 2, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Just returned from a trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons. Traveled with my wife and 11 year old son and 9 year old daughter. Brought along my FT-817 and used it on 146.52 along the way. Brought along a 20 meter dipole and a tuner. At our campsite (tent) in the Park I threw up the dipole and made quite a number of contacts across the country and to South America on 5 watts (this was as the family was getting ready to get to sleep). Only got to do this a couple of nights but had a great time. The FT-817 is a great vacation radio!
 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by WA2JJH on August 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
As many others stated, I would just bring a "swiss army knife radio". Either a very late model Yeasu FT-100D OR THE ICOM IC-706 IIG.

This way you have all bands and modes to choose from, in a tiny ultra light package.

A beat up MFJ antenna tuner. lots-o-wire for what I can set up. Inverted V Prefered for HF. A discone from radio schlock to cover 50-440.
FOR AC power a TODD 750 ultra lght 50 amp switching supply. FOR DC one of those 20 amp emergency battary
packs that are used for jump starting a dead car battary. Those can be had at many place's for under $50. Worth every penny in an emergency or not!

As for tools,I can get by with my huge swiss army knife.

73 have a good summer MIKE
 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KC2HWA on August 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
My husband and I usually take 2 Icom T-81As, an Arrow, a roll-up J-pole (2 meter) to hang from a tree, a scanner, a laptop to plot satellite passes and bag of miscellaneous radio tools. On our vacations we enjoy such things as canoeing to remote islands to try hitting satellite passes and climbing mountains to make radio contacts. We also like to do the camping things too: fish, hike, canoe...Oh, yes, and there's a mobile dual band in the truck!

The 1.2GHz band has supplanted the FRS after the last trip when everyone in the campground was making noise. Now, even though we still ID we have the airwaves to ourselves. On a family camping trip where everyone goes in their own direction, sometimes it's handy to have a radio around to find them. Maybe you could get the family interested in the hobby for that reason.

The one gentleman had a point, talk to the family - maybe there's room for everyone's interests on the trip. You don't know until you ask.

And anyone who enjoys satellite work might listen for FN24 on UO-14!

73
Patti

 
Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by KC8VWM on August 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Vacation?

I would bring a 6 element 160 meter antenna that would span the entire campsite facility, 1500 watt linear amplifier that would be sure to dimm the lights of the campground park office every time I transmit.

Camp fire not required, beans can be prepared while they are still in the can on top of the linear amplifier.

Antenna could be used to dry my bathing suit, towels and other clothing on my antenna to dry. Transmitting could help accelerate drying time.

No need for mosquito repellent, simply transmit 1500 watts into the air and watch every mosquito in a 1 mile radius fry and instantly drop to the ground.

Tentpoles could be connected to feedline for multiband operation using an antenna tuner from 6 to to 20 meters.

Fishing rod can be converted to be a portable longwire for DX contesting operation during bass fishing tournaments. Get a DXCC AND win the bass fishing tournament at the same time!

Use a G5RV longwire instead of a rope to tie your boat up to the dock.

When there is a lot of noise from another campsite, grab your high powered rechargeable spotlight and start flashing morse code signals indicating they are making a lot of noise and to please keep it down.

Get on the park rangers VHF radio frequency and start reporting problem campers in the area.

See how many boaters you can contact (DX) with a dummy load on the marine band.

When it starts to rain, grab your HT and go into "Weather spotting" mode. Patrol the campground and tell everyone to "batten down the hatches" Be sure to indicate that according to another weather spotter report on ham radio, that there is pea sized hail present in the area and that surely means that there will be a tornado at the campground. Be sure to offer assitance when they are scurrying to take thier tents down.

Always put your HT in your fishing tackle box. You never know when you might have to report "in" that you actually caught something.

Get on the FRS band and tell Children playing in the campground that you are Red Green and you want to give them some candy.

Above all.. enjoy your holidays!

KC8VWM














































 
RE: Operating During the Family Vacation:  
by ON4CHO on August 17, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
send me a mail, i will show you some pics how to make 1600 qso's in 24 hours with a piece of wire and a piece of rope. plain simple, can be installed always and everyware. above all, very sheep.

73
 
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