Doing more with less

What a strange hobby this amateur radio hobby is!

At home I’m trying to have the highest antenna with the biggest radio and the most power. Whereas while traveling I want the smallest antenna with the smallest transmitter; which means, low power.

While traveling size does matter! The less you need to take, the easier the trip is. At least this is my experience.

On my visit to Montreal I decided to take as little as possible, hoping to still be able to make some good contacts. Although I have packed the HAM radio stuff before, I still and always seem to take the wrong things! I decided this time to take a small antenna, a small radio, with a small amplifier plus a small power supply.

It turns out that this power supply is one of the few ones that doesn’t accept 110 volts. This means I couldn’t use the amplifier which means I was pretty well limited to only using digital mode! Using low power, with a small antenna on voice mode just doesn’t really work and my morse code isn’t quite there yet to make real contacts.

Oh well, it turns out that my small antenna and low power transmitter where good enough to make some nice contacts using digital modes (RTTY and PSK). The furthest contact being 7500 km (4660 miles), all the way back to Europe (where I come from). 🙂

It’s always nice to be pleasantly surprised, and I was in this case. Next time though I will try to think (again) a bit more about what radio stuff to take while traveling. I hope in the end I will get it right! 🙂

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