Off Grid Ham Radio | Portable Winlink

Hello Operators
In this mini-episode of off grid Ham Radio with OH8STN, Snapper and I take the Icom IC-705, Microsoft Surface Go2, Chameleon MPAS 2.0 and PowerFilm 100-watt thin-film solar panel on a 17km/10.5 miles hike. We are field testing one of our portable ham radio setups with winlink, off-grid and without internet.

The challenge here is taking a minimal approach to field testing. Traveling on foot, with a bike, ski, … with only what can be carried to make our connections. This time was Winlink with VaraHF. Next time could be JS8Call or SELCAL with ION2G. The goal is testing, failing, improving, then trying again.

Another point which really needs to be said is POTA, SOTA and other fun activities like that, are not necessarily good ways of field testing for EMCOMM or Comms Preparedness. They have an entirely different focus, entirely different goals. They are a great way of getting comfortable with our gear, but not much more. Purposeful activities for EMCOMM & Comms Preparedness should be well thought out, with the intended goals in mind.

Gear used

  • Icom IC-705
  • PowerFilm Solar FM16-6000
  • Chameleon MPAS 2.0
  • Microsoft Surface 2.0
  • DIY599 PA500 amplifier.

Icom IC-705

GigaParts North America

PileupDX Europe

Microsoft Surface Go 2

More info about the Surface Go on my blog


Chameleon MPAS 2.0

GigaParts North America

PileupDX Europe

PowerFilm FM16-6000 Thin Film Solar panel

GigaParts North America

California PC North America & International

DIY599 PA500

More info on the PA500:

More info on the PA500
PA500 Home
FCC PA500 report:

Julian oh8stn

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1 Comment

  1. Holly cow! Hi! This is completely awesome…. because of YOU…. I am now experimenting Winlink!!! 🙂 I am testing my new IC-705…. again your fault! Hi! Seriously, I am learning a lot, and you are really inspiring for the ham community. I am having a lot of fun… and looking forward to test my portable HF setup outdoor soon. Keep going!! 73 de Jeff | VA2SS

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