K6ARK Portable Radio Youtube

Nighttime SOTA DX and 40m Across the Country

N1CLC, W6RWS, and I joined forces for an evening/nighttime activation of Palomar High-Point. 40m was on fire with contacts across the country, and 20m CW yielded a couple of nice DX contacts as well as a number of stateside QSOs.

We capped the evening with a little night photography before making the trek back down the hill.

K6ARK Portable Radio Youtube

Another Failed SOTA (not my fault!)

But this time it wasn’t because I forgot my earbuds, AND I had sufficient coffee. Sometimes stuff just happens and you end up paying your hiking dues with no activation.

Johnnie and I set out to activate a couple of the highest peaks in Southern California, and escape the heat on Labor Day weekend. 2 nights in the backcountry were planned, and then… well, you’ll see.

We’ll be back…

Enjoy the show.

73 de K6ARK

K6ARK Portable Radio Youtube

Miles from Nowhere – Yosemite Backcountry

Backpacking, family, fishing, and SOTA. What more do you need in life? Not much. And it’s all packed into this film about our recent 5 day adventure into the depths of the Northern Yosemite backcountry. Two SOTA activations, plenty of fish, and gorges scenery filled the trip. Hope you enjoy coming along for the ride.

Here’s a link to the video of the Live Stream activation…

73 de K6ARK

K6ARK Portable Radio Youtube

Quick Tips #2 – Building Antenna Links

There are lots of ways to build links for Linked Dipoles, End Fed Halfwave antennas, etc. This is one of my favorites. Simple, robust, and easy to build.

– 2.0mm Banana Plugs:
– Heat Shrink (w/adhesive):
– Super Glue:

Subscribe or check back in a month or two for an antenna build or two putting these links to use.

Alright, with the intro and outro, I admit – I took 37 seconds for this one. But it was worth it, wasn’t it?

73 de K6ARK

K6ARK Portable Radio Youtube

HF Antenna Micro-Traps – DIY Build Project

This is the one you’ve been waiting for – the traps to go with the micro End Fed Halfwave (EFHW) antenna build. Here’s how to make them.

These traps will work with my Ultimate Ultralight EFHW ( or just about any QRP end-fed halfwave antenna, and you could even build pairs to use with a dipole.

– LC Resonance Calculator:
– Toroid Winding Calculator:

You’ll certainly need some MATERIALS:
– T37-2 Toroids (my usual):
– T50-2 Toroids (a little more efficient and maybe easier to build):
– 28 ga Magnet Wire:
– 39pF 100v Ceramic Capacitor (0603 case recommended):
– 62pF 100v Ceramic Capacitor (0603 case recommended):
NOTE: Consider a few other capacitors in the 22pF – 100pF range, depending on the traps you’d like to build.
– Perforated Prototype Board:
– 5/8″ Heat Shrink Tubing:
– 1/4″ Heat Shrink Tubing:

And you’ll need some TOOLS:
– Dremel (or similar)high-speed rotary tool:
NOTE: I have had my Dremel tool for about 25 years now and it hasn’t missed a beat. Based on my personal experience, I would recommend going with the name brand tool.
– Diamond Cutting Wheels:
NOTE: I really like these because you can’t cut yourself with them, but they cut the perf board and BNC connector brass just fine.
– Soldering Iron (any will do) with a fine tip:
NOTE: I’ve been using this one for about a year with no issues. The heat gun is AWESOME for hot air/solder paste construction. The iron works well for traditional soldering.
– Electronics Tweezer Set:

Please share your builds with me when you’re done, and tell us about how it works out for you in the comments below.

de K6ARK

K6ARK Portable Radio Youtube

Quick Tips #1 – The Goat Wind (“Goʊt Waind”, not ????????)

Here’s a tangle-free way to wind up your antenna wires without a line winder or any extra weight. I call it the “Goat Wind” because I learned it from a WG0AT video. The man is a SOTA legend and has produced some great videos – check out his channel ( if you haven’t.

For the record, it’s pronounced “wīnd,” not “wind” ????… silly English words.

Anyway, try this out and let me know how it works for you. Sure, you’ll still occasionally get a tangle, but by not twisting the wire, it’ll unfurl without issue the majority of the time.

73 de K6ARK

K6ARK Portable Radio Youtube

Quick Tips – Series Intro

I’ve decided to start a new series of 30 second Quick Tip videos that will help you with your projects and field operating. Stay tuned – there will be lots of good stuff to come. Hope you enjoy!

73 de K6ARK

K6ARK Portable Radio Youtube

The Perfect MTR3B Case

Four new padded cases arrived and are ready for an unboxing and fit check. Will any of these be a perfect match for the LNR Precision Mountain Topper MTR3B? Let’s find out…

The last case – an Amazon Basics portable hard drive case – is just about perfect. But the other cases have their niches too. Check out the video to see how I’m putting them to use.

Item List:
#1: GLCON Case ($5.99)
Perfect fit for these smaller mint tins which will fit a standard Pixie transceiver board with minor trimming. Too small for MTR3B or full-size Altoids tins.

#2: ProCase Travel Case for Crucial X8 drive ($9.99)
Perfect fit for Altoids mint tin radios with connectors and buttons on the skinny ends only. This one worked out perfect for my Forty-Niner and Chinese Super Rockmite (not shown in video). Too small for MTR3B.

#3: ProCase for Samsung T5 ($8.99)
Odd molded padding in bottom of case does not fit any mint tins or the MTR3B, but an Altoids Tin, even with connectors on the longer sides, fits well in the case. The molded bottom part could likely be used to store a small key, battery, or smaller earbuds. The least successful fit of the cases purchased, but still useful.

#4: Amazon Basics My Passport Essential Case ($6.71)
Excellent fit for the MTR3B, a small iambic paddle, battery, and antenna. Great option for a compact MTR3B case!


K6ARK Portable Radio Youtube

W6/NS-054 Live! 17mi in, with LTE

K6ARK Portable Radio Youtube

SOTA Live! Gold Mtn W6/CT-053 14.345 SSBb