Several of you have posted some great ideas on how to set up HF stations so it is easy to log, operate (ssb and cw) and everything. I have gotten a lot of inspiration from those ideas. Where I am still struggling is with hand held 2m operation. I use my tape measure yagi which works great. That is in my left hand and the HT is in my right. What I usually have to do is put the right in rain logbook also in the left hand and pencil in my teeth or something. Then when logging, get the pencil lower the antenna and uncomfortably log the contact in a handwriting that only a doctor could love. I do have a hand mic for the HT and that makes things marginally easier but not tons.
I was wondering if any of you have ideas, processes, or gadgets that make this a little easier.
Since my antenna is already made with pvc parts, I thought about making a small mast that I could stake out and not have to hold the antenna. However, this adds another large piece to the overall equipment list.
I have heard of some who have their cellphones nearby, and turn a voice recorder app on and simply record everything into an audio file - and then enter all in a log later. To do this you probably need a good SD card in the cellphone with lots of room on it and possibly an external battery charge pack for that cellphone. I have never tried this BTW!
I have an earpiece with boom mike which I sometimes use. The HT can be on a belt clip, and the TX button is mounted “in line” on the earpiece cable, so you only have to hold it whilst transmitting.
I guess you could use VOX, but that might be a challenge on a windy summit…
I don’t use a hand held antenna, but the idea above might help a little.
How about a small clip board for the logbook, mounted on the back of your left wrist with something like a velcro watch strap?
Otherwise, you could take juggling classes
I attach the YAGI to a pegged out telescopic walking pole, usually right on top of the summit cairn, Essentially I am working hands free (of the YAGI at least)! I use a piece of cord attached to a suitable stone if I need to point it in any particular direction.
You could grow a third arm
or use a tripod or something homemade as antenna support. I have seen people using simple camera tripods for small yagis. You only have to make a suitable adapter from antenna boom to mounting plate.
I use a vertical (home made J-pole) on my 2m activations which is easy to attach to a pole or low hanging branch of a tree. Never had to hold the 2m antenna.
On some of my 2m activations, I bring along my human logger, known as “wife”. When activating alone, I hold the 4 element Arrow beam in one hand and attach the HT to myself with the belt clip. When I need to write down a callsign, I simply clip the HT in place and use that hand to write on the notepad stuck to the yagi.
Yo can use a cheap action camera hanging on your chest. Set to stamp on image the time and date and you have a video log with your QSO-s.
Thanks all for the good advice. I had not thought of recording the QSOs.
I have a headset-style mic I use with the KX2. I had not thought about trying it with the HT. Add that to the idea of a small clipboard on the arm, and that could make things a lot easier. I think I will also work on a light small guyed mast idea.
All great ideas. I will report back with progress.
Here’s my logger, Steve. I test it at home before heading for the TH. On summit, I dictate the time just after hitting the record button. The blue dome at the top is an external mic.
The boom on my Yagi is long enough I tuck the back end under my arm and support it on my forearm. My left hand is free to hold my phone and I log with VK-port-a-logger. I use an ear bud speaker and mic so my right hand is free to type, or fat-finger the keyboard as is most often the case. This picture is before I got the earbud.