Just back from my first trip of 2011, with at least six more trips planned or in the final planning, and about six more expected beyond the initial count. Most will be like this one, mainly work with a bit of personal time tagged on to the trip.
This last trip didn’t lend itself to traveling with radios, especially as I would have little opportunity to set-up and work a station, and that we traveled as a group of seven with events scheduled throughout.
Several of the next trips will be easier to travel with radios, and should have some “solo down time” where I could operate.
Thinking of traveling with two separate set-ups besides a full portable HF SSB/Digital setup for long stationary vacation time:
- The Satellite Set-Up where I will be in any one place for less than two days and/or will have at most limited operating time. In addition to the laptop I typically already have to take traveling for work, the gear would easily fit into a briefcase, would take less than 15 minutes to set up, and could be a real challenge with rewards for any QSOs I could score.
- And second a PSK-31/Digital Set-Up for trips where I’ll be somewhere more than an overnight or two, will have a likely spot to put up a basic antenna, and operate for at least a few couple-hour sessions. Figure that I can fit everything into half a suitcase and under 25 pounds with some care. NUE-PSK Modem, a small 20 watt or less transceiver & matching power supply, and an ultralight antenna should do the trick.
For drive-to trips it might be just as easy to take my portable HF station, rather than fuss with a small station.
Very undecided about whether to take any gear out of country – whether it is going to be worth the effort given the nature of those trips. Maybe next set of overseas trips will have a better Amateur Radio profile.