VIDEO: something for the geeky, prepper, Ham in you

I enjoy the youtube offerings of USNERDOC (aka KF7ETX aka David). This clever fellow, an ER doc who was in the Navy – as his handle indicates – has designed a spiffy “go bag” for his Yaesu F-817 radio and some useful attachments. I like this sort of problem solving fusion with the entrepreneurial spirit. Even if you are not into Ham radio, or CERT/NET stuff, or preparedness issues, or Oath Keepers, etc., you may still find this interesting: he had a need, designed a solution, tweaked it over time and created a great tool. And in a spirit of gratitude I want to drive some traffic to him and maybe help him sell a few through his cottage industry AMP-3.

He also has interesting med kit demonstrations (e.g., HERE) and demos of how to build power connectors (e.g., HERE) and how he mods things to make them more portable and convenient (e.g., HERE and USNERDOC (aka KF7ETX aka David). This clever fellow, an ER doc who was in the Navy – as his handle indicates – has designed a spiffy “go bag” for his Yaesu F-817 radio and some useful attachments. I like this sort of problem solving fusion with the entrepreneurial spirit. Even if you are not into Ham radio, or CERT/NET stuff, or preparedness issues, you may still find this interesting: he had a need, designed a solution, tweaked it over time and created a great tool. And in a spirit of gratitude I want to drive some traffic to him and maybe help him sell a few through his cottage industry AMP-3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_pUIzlqzKU&feature=player_embedded He also has interesting med kit demonstrations (e.g., HERE) and demos of how to build power connectors (e.g., HERE) and how he mods things to make them more portable and convenient (e.g., HERE and HERE).” target=”_blank”>HERE).

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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16 Responses to VIDEO: something for the geeky, prepper, Ham in you

  1. incredulous says:

    You’re kidding me, OM. …. .. …. ..

  2. Mike Morrow says:

    I offer no comment on the devices which are products of the doctor’s professional skills. I don’t have similar qualifications.

    But I do have decades of experience with portable HF radio operations in the sticks. The doctor’s choice for a portable HF radio set indicates that more research into currently available equipment could be of interest. The Yaesu FT-817 is one of the very worst choices in terms of receiver performance, operating features, power output, and especially DC power consumption (which is typically the single most important characteristic).

    In contrast, the USA-made Elecraft KX3 consumes DC power at typically a third the rate of the FT-817, has HF receiver performance specifications that are world-class for receivers of any size, has an optional built-in wide-range automatic antenna tuner that the FT-817 lacks in any form, has built-in digital, Morse, and RTTY decoders/encoders, is smaller and lighter, and is price-competitive with any near-equivalent FT-817 configuration. The only thing that the FT-817 offers that the KX3 does not (currently) is VHF/UHF capability. Such capability is, IMHO, always better when offered in a unit separate from the HF equipment.

    Portable HF operation in the boonies, from backpack campsites in a wilderness and on day hikes, has been my principal interest in this hobby for most of the 45 years I’ve been licensed. I do not consider any unit currently available from Japan as meeting many of the essential requirements for satisfactory operation…in particular, they are all inefficient severe DC power hogs even in receive mode.

    It is difficult to tell in what service the doctor uses the FT-817. In the kit pouch that is illustrated here, it appears that it supports only VHF or UHF FM, use that is best served instead by a small handi-talkie. For HF use it appears that he favors several expensive, bulky, and weighty commercial antennas. I would suggest a simple home-made resonant wire dipole system would serve best for emergency use, since it is cheap, simple, very light and compact in storage. I’ve used such a multi-band design for more than 30 years, a design that has been used by others for post-hurricane operations on the gulf coast, as well as at vacation and backpack campsites.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  3. Mike Morrow: I learned a lot from that. Thanks. 73

  4. acardnal says:

    According to QRZ.com, KF7ETX is a Technician Class licensee. So that limits him pretty much to VHF/UHF ops.

    I have never used the KX3 Elecraft but there are some good videos of it in use in the field on YouTube.

  5. EXCHIEF says:

    Mike Morrow makes a lot of good points. If the purpose is reliable low power HF capability when TEOTWAWKI happens or even for a weekend hiking trip in the mountains there are 4 things to consider. One is the size/weight of the radio; two is energy consumption particularly in the transmit mode; three is a means of re-charging the battery assuming a long term operation away from power sources; and four is antenna. I agree with Mike that the Elecraft is by far the best choice. It is a manageable size/weight and the power consumption is about as minimal as you can get. One fairly lightweight battery with a small solar panel to recharge and you would be set for quite awhile. I also agree with him that a dipole is a good antenna choice. You can make a multi-band dipole out of computer ribbon cable cutting the various conductors on each side of the center insulator/feedpoint for specific bands of operation. Whole antenna including very thin 50 ohm coax feedline can roll up into a small and lightweight bundle. All of the above can fit easily into something like the doc’s computer bag.

    BTW Father are you still working on getting your ham license? [I'm now studying for the General!]
    N7WR

  6. frjim4321 says:

    Thanks, I love this kind of stuff.

    Is TEOTWAWKI some kind of Native American thing? [For quite a long time before we knew about EMPs, I think!]

  7. janeway529 says:

    Father Z, do you ham? Ham radio, that is. [I have my Technician license and I am just getting into it. Alas, I don't have much yet either in the way of hardware, nor in experience.]

  8. MacBride says:

    Fr Z, You are just too cool being a HAM…love it! I’ll have to show this to my husband. :)

    KC2MEO

  9. TEOTWAWKI: The End Of The World As We Know It

    Agree about the K3 in comparison to the portable rigs from the Usual Suspects (who, it must be admitted, have the mindshare of the market): I’ve found it reliable and a miser when it comes to power usage, as well as a world-class RX side. You can’t work what you can’t hear when push comes to shove.

    I’ve gotten good results with both a bashed-together dipole, as well as the Hustler mobile stick with the multiple band resonators. Used that particular setup at a campground outside Gettysburg when I ran my special event station (N3S) over the 150th anniversary week at the beginning of July. [VERY cool.] Antenna on a temp mount on top of the Oldsmobile people carrier, ground rod pounded in to sink the car frame, TS-480 off batteries being charged by small genset…565 QSOs single op (still have a pile of blank QSL cards if someone wants a souvenir…sase to my QRZ address…no contact confirmation, but, i think the card was nice…www.n3s.us to see it…:))

    Father: take the test!

    73 de WB0YLE

  10. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Bryan Boyle,

    Do they have digital QSL cards, these days (I know, blasphemy). Just a couple of questions, since you have the expertise:

    1) are people using handi-talkies (a la Walmart) allowed to converse with Hams, in certain situations?

    2) are there any computer sites, comparable to shortwave listening sites, where a person can listen in to some of the bands other than shortwave?

    3) computers have revolutionized Ham radio. Are there any good software programs that might be interesting for an aspiring Ham to own?

    The Chicken

  11. Father: congrats and welcome to the tribe…:)

  12. chicken:

    1. NO. those are either family radio service (Part 95) or GMRS (license required), and a different service. Some hams have licenses and equipment that works on both ham and GMRS (mostly old Motorola UHF radios…but they are distinct, and thus, different licenses.

    2. http://www.websdr.org

    3. computers in ham radio? banish the thought…;). depends on what you want to do….there are programs to do almost anything…

    FWIW, Father, try downloading and installing the Echolink client…I run an Echo server and would be happy, should you have the time, to talk with you on that (and anyone else who wants to stop by) if you have any questions…you need to register, but, since you’re now licensed, that is simple…:). only way to get the experience is to do it…:). Maybe you should put a tab up, like for the apple, to help you get your first HF rig…:)

    [I'll have a look at that Echolink thing!]

  13. FloridaJoan says:

    Father Z:

    Good luck with the studying for your General.; perhaps one day soon we’ll hear you on 20 or 40m.
    73 W4JMJ

  14. LarryW2LJ says:

    Fr. Z,

    Congratulations on getting your ticket, KC9JZN! Wishing you many years of enjoyment in the hobby.

    73 de W2LJ

  15. LarryW2LJ says:

    Got it wrong already! That should be KC9ZJN – please excuse my dyslexic fingers. I am way better with a keyer and paddles!

  16. Too cool. A Catholic group of communicators for when digital technology fails – the Catholic Church always has come to the rescue in everything: art, architecture, literature, and all that. Fr Z, I imagine your smooth announcer voice crackling over radios in upcoming dark and isolated days. Perhaps once again you’ll croon as you did back in the z-chat days? LOL.

    I’ve always wanted to be a HAM. well, I mean the radio kind – there’s a lotta hams on this site already. There’s an avid local group here that climbs around looking for high hills in contests to see how far their radios can reach [like China! sheesh!]. Being related to that radio-wave guy [not the rent-a-car side of the family], I get the urge do this but life’s drudgery and chores take precedence. I’m delighted to see you are still working on this Father Z, and all the others too! May you all be there when the world needs you.