It seems a long time since I tackled a decent lump of rock, so I decided that a trip to the English Lake District was in order. With Richard G3CWI recently sharing his experiences and fun with his new RockMite 20 with the aim of ultralight activations, I started thinking about lightweight equipment solutions myself. When tackling the larger summits, I guess it’s very beneficial to have less weight on your back.
I got the weighing scales out this evening for fun and also to help plan for my upcoming activation trip this weekend. I thought it might be interesting to share my results here.
First up was the new Palm Pico Paddle (inc magnetic base), with home brew cable in supplied case, this weighed in at 109 grams, compare this to the Palm Mini Paddle (inc magnetic base)in supplied case with home brew cable at 152g. To save even more weight, the Pico Paddle and cable fits very neatly in a standard Altoids tin; this combination weighs 70g. So swapping the Mini Paddle for the Pico in Altoids tin, I have saved 82g!
Moving on to the radios, I have 3 RockMites in Altoids tins, one each for 40m, 30m and 20m, these weigh 79g, 77g and 81g respectively. Interestingly my KD1JV Mountain Topper in Altoids tin weighs 80g, so the same nominal weight. The new version of this radio in it’s custom case weighs 170g.
I think that 150g for a 5 watt rig with key is pretty good going, and the weight could even be trimmed much further.
Bare FT817 with CW filter (no mic, batt etc) = 932g
Small Wonder Labs SW-20+ 1.5W 20m CW with frequency read back and keyer = 301g
Home Brew RockMite PP3 challenge rig (no batt) ~100mW on 30m = 283g
KD1JV Designs Mountain Top’er HF twin band DDS 5 watt CW rig (custom case) = 170g
KD1JV Designs Mountain Topper HF twin band DDS 5 watt CW rig (Altoids tin) = 80g
RockMite in Altoids tin ~ 500mW = ~80g
I think my best choice is to take along my Altoids Mountain Topper and RockMite 30 as back up, three bands (40m, 30m and 20m) for 160g
Unfortunately I don’t own a KX3 or any other exotic radios to weigh
I was most tempted to order a new LiPo battery today, but I’ll struggle with my current unit that weighs in at a hefty 168g!
Ditch that FT817/FT857(FT897!) for something lighter!
73, Colin M1BUU