Category Archives: Alerts and News


I just want to let you know that Elecraft has a limited number of the ES80 cases on sale at half price. They have a slightly crooked logo but I doubt it will be noticeable when the case is stuffed full of gear.

The cases are half price at $35 plus shipping. I ordered mine on Sunday. It shipped on Monday and USPS Priority mail had it in my hands on Wednesday.

You can order it here ES80 K3 Carrying Case. I have no idea how may they have in stock so if you want one you may want to jump on it quickly.

I am still experimenting with how I want to load it out and it is a tight fit for my IC-705 but still I am okay with the way the radio fits the case. As for the slightly crooked logo, I keep staring at it and sometimes i can see it is crooked and sometimes I don’t see it. But when I use a soft padded case like this I stuff it so full that the logo area gets distorted by little bumps and bulges so no one will ever notice. And in case you are wondering I don’t care that it says Elecraft but there is really an Icom inside.

Update on our move and shack update too

Well, as it stands now, we will be making the move to the North Carolina mountains on Saturday 9/24. As I write this that is two weeks from tomorrow. The date may change some as it is dependent on us getting the XYL’s dialysis moved to the Hendersonville NC area.

The shack picture is a little clearer now, I simply don’t have one as everything is packed away for the move. I was hoping to wait until a few days before the move to do this but I had to vacate two rooms of the house so they can put down new carpet. So, my “shack’ doesn’t exist anymore. But I do have options…

Hello new radio, good-bye old radios

I will write about this in more detail later but I have a new Icom IC-705. It will be my POTA/SOTA radio after we make the move and it will serve double duty in the new shack setup. The IC-7300 has a new hard case so I will be able to carry it to the field also though I’m still not sold on that idea yet.

Gone are the Xiegu X6100, the G90 and even my Yaesu FT-891 is gone. All went to the same ham and were traded/sold for an antenna analyzer and a Buddistick Pro Deluxe. Mark really was a joy to deal with as we worked out the different deals. I heard he just fell in love with the G90 and rightly so; it’s a fun radio to use.

The 705 is in a new POTA backpack that is reserved strictly for the 705 and the batteries, coax and antennas that I need tor a POTA activation. The plan is to use the Buddistick with the 705 but I also have an EFRW as well as a 40m – 10m EFHW for field use. I also have a new MAT-705 Plus auto tuner so that I can use the nonresonant wire antennas. The whole setup can also be easily setup in my yard for hunting POTA which is what I will do over the next two weeks if I can work around the thunderstorms.

If I do hunt from my yard over the next two weeks, I will post about it along with pictures of my setup. But regular posting won’t begin again until after the move.

Update to my update (about 5 minutes later)

I did hunt from the shack one night last week using the 705 and 10 watts (on external battery). I hunted 3 parks in under 5 minutes and even broke a couple of pileups with good reports. The IC=705 is an awesome little radio that just works magic.

Thanks for sticking with me and as always your comments and suggestions are welcome.

Big Changes Coming – No POTA or any Ham Radio for me

I have put this post off for a week as I wasn’t sure what to say or how much detail to include. I also wasn’t 100% sure how my future ham radio activities will play out.

Some Background

For 60 years or so I have wanted to live in the North Carolina mountains. As a kid growing up my Dad would take us on vacation each summer to the area around Asheville NC. I grew up loving the area. Fast forward to modern times and after I got married my wife and I took our kids to the mountains every year or so and they have grown up with the mountains in their DNA.

Not that we are both retired my wife and I have been looking for a place in the mountains to call home. I won’t bore you with the details but I will say that in mid July my dream will finally come true. We have leased a condo in Laurel Park NC for the next year. Laurel Park is a small town just 2 miles out of downtown Hendersonville and about 30 miles south of Asheville. Laurel Park has a lot of green space and there’s even a lake and a park across the street from our condo that has walking trails along with a fitness/exercise trail.

There is a very active ham radio community in Hendersonville as well as just across the state line which is about 8-10 miles from our new home. I will have the Blue Ridge Amateur Radio Club in Hendersonville and the Blue Ridge Amateur Radio Society in South Carolina. I have already made friends in both clubs and have joined their Nets when I have visited the area.

The Problems

There are really only two problems we will be downsizing from 2400+ sq. ft. to about 1,000 sq.ft. and the condo is up stairs. This means my ham shack will have to be downsized too and I’m not sure what my antenna options are. I will probably have to set up my station on a small table in the closed in balcony area and throw a wire out the window for an HF antenna. Luckily the Hendersonville repeater can be easily activated by an HT but I will be using my Yaesu FT1900 as a base station so VHF/UHF shouldn’t be a problem.

I have thought about selling most of my radios and getting a IC-705 to pair with y IC-7300 in order to make my footprint as small as possible. But my current plan is to take all of my rados and see what I can do once I get there then make the decision whether to sell or not. Either way I will be off the air for a few weeks as I tear down, make the move and setup the new station.

The Benefits

I am really looking forward to the cooler weather and getting out into the outdoors. The area has a plethora of hiking trails and waterfalls. Along with The Pisgah National Forest and the Nantahala National Forest, there are lots of state parks for POTA. The Dupont State Recreational Forest is about 11 miles from our location and the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site is about 4 miles away.

As, you can probably imagine there are no SOTA opportunities near my current Florida QTH but at the new home there will be plenty of SOTA opportunities.

The maps below show the active hams around our new home along with the POTA and SOTA opportunities. The Magenta circles shows a 5 mile radius around the new QTH and the Red circle is a 25 mile radius.

POTA Parks
SOTA Summits
Hams in the Laurel Park Area


For the next several weeks I will be tearing down my shack and boxing things up so I will be pretty much off the air. But in the long run I will be much better off with considerable opportunities to live a more active lifestyle and pursue my hobby.

The QRPer Board

My friend Thomas (K4SWL) announced today that he has created a QRPer discussion board that anyone can join, free of charge, at He hopes that it will be a spot for community members to get quick answers to questions and connect with other like-minded operators. Everyone is welcome.

I have already joined and committed to be an active member and do anything I can to promote the board and make it a good info source for those of us who love QRP.

Good Luck Thomas

More Solar Activity to Affect Hams

Excerpt from SpaceWeather:

Active sunspot AR2975 erupted again on March 30th, producing its strongest flare yet–an X1.3-class explosion. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash…This CME will probably reach Earth during the early hours of April 2nd. (NOAA and NASA modeling, now underway, will soon refine the arrival time.) Its impact could trigger G1-class geomagnetic storms, extending a period of geomagnetic unrest expected that began on March 31st with the arrival of a Cannibal CME launched by the same sunspot a few days ago.

News Alert: March 31st doesn’t look good for QRP

When working QRP it can be fun when everything falls into place but, sometimes it can be hard to make contacts such as when Mother Nature conspires against you. Tomorrow (March 31, 2022) looks like one of those days.

A strong G3-class geomagnetic storms are possible during the early UT hours of March 31st when a Cannibal CME is expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field. For those of us in the Eastern Daylight Saving time zone the “early UT hours” will start at 8:00 PM local time tonight so this evening may not be all that great either.

For more information check out Space Weather.