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Ham Radio Venture Overland Access Links

I have tried to consolidate these inks all in one post



P25, Allstar & DMR Bridges

Sept 23rd, 2022 St Helen’s Camping

Took a trip up into the Gifford Pinchot Forest of Washington State over the weekend. Feel like I’m running out of time before the snow flies even though it’s nearly October and still hot and dry. Feel like a switch is going to flip and it’ll be winter. Mostly drove forest roads to get a good view of the mountain. Found a couple of great spots and camped for the weekend. This is the first overnighter in my smaller rig and, as usual, I forgot a few items and took others I decided could be paired down.

Mt. St. Helens Lahar

This is a view of the Lahar. The mountain mostly blew out to the northeast. This is looking from the southeast. I really wanted to camp out here and watch the sun come up but this road was pretty well traveled with people wanting to get a look and since it’s a protected area, you couldn’t go more than 100 feet from the road on already established pull outs.

This would have been a great place to watch the sun rise had it not been so busy.

Found this cool spot a ways back on forest road 81 and decided to hang out here for the night. It was set up as multiple little sites but I never had anyone come down the road to check it out. Had a little stream that ran behind me that was running fast enough that I could hear it. Nice to be in solitude and listen to the creek. I couldn’t hit the WA7BF repeater from here and I had no bars so I had to get my radio signals the old fashioned way. I listened to 40 and 80m SSB for a on my shortwave receiver then scanned the SW bands eventually settling on 5085 WTWW for some music.

I entertained myself by listening to shortwave radio and reading mainly. I kept the meals simple with just one pot. Did a steak, onion and potato dinner. Breakfast was sausage, cheese, and eggs in the pot.

And, of course, coffee. All in all a fun trip with some much needed time in the woods.

VT Autumn HRVO Eyeball

we all met at 11am at was once Ms Murphy Donuts in Manchester Center VT

we all engaged in a relaxing conversation focused around overland rigs, our pets etc once the introductions were out of the way

I am not sure if its the ham radio or overland aspect but to be able to meet someone and talk like we all were life long friends I feel is most impressive

afterwards we all went to the local AT trail head & got these group photos

L to R Leo (on hood) Mike AA1PR, Pete W2IRT & wife, Steve K1GMM & Pup Angus
same crew again shot #2

after I got some nice shots of Petes rig for him with different angles

myself & Pete chatted for a little while on our way out & home on 52 simplex for a spell

hopefully next time we can do a group camping or VHF contest together etc

I hope you enjoyed


Mike AA1PR

Newest addition


Addition, or addiction.
Bought myself an early 50th birthday present. A new edc ht, Vx-6r, very nice little ht. Actually surprised me how easy it was to program from the radio. I’ve spent so much time programming digital. I’ve forgotten how simple analog radios are. 😆
Actually did most of the programming at work during the down times.

Really digging the EAI feature. Every ht should have something like that, imho. And being submersible makes it perfect for taking fishing, kayaking. Mars modded so its now effectively a quadband. 6m, 2m, 1.25m and 70cm.
I accidentally kerchunked a few repeaters about 2 miles away while programming it yesterday, from inside a box truck, in the center of the city. Actually very impressed so far. Now to find antennas for it.

XLX Setup On PiStar Duplex HotSpot & AnyTone ATD878UV

now that we have an XLX link into the system I thought I would share how easy it is to access via XLX
I hope this helps, please enjoy
XLX Setup On PiStar Duplex HotSpot & AnyTone ATD878UV

XLX Reflector now connected to HRVO!

And another way to get in! We now have an XLX Reflector module hosted by We are Module D-(Delta)

You can access it by connecting your hotspot to YSF13211 XLX042 and select Module D by transmitting DGID-13 on your Yaesu System Fusion Radio. 420 Superfreq’s main Module is B-(Bravo) and can be accessed with DG:ID-11.

Check out: to see the dashboard and descriptions of the Modules available on their server.

73, Todd KB7RQQ

BL-5c, 18650 vs AA batteries for portable radios

I’m a bit perplexed at all the negative comments on review sites about today’s portable radios using “non-standard” batteries like the BL-5c and the 18650. Almost all reviewers mention this as a possible ‘con’ while reviewing newer portable shortwave radios because there are always a few comments that say “It’s a deal breaker”.

Personally, I don’t understand why anyone would want to buy and have to store conventional Alkaline batteries these days. Don’t forget to remove them -or- have them leak all over inside your radio. Then you are left wondering ‘are these still good…. awe well… throw them away and grab some new ones to make sure they are fresh… then fill your pocket in case those run out’.

Every radio I have come across that uses these batteries can be recharged from the radio by simply plugging them in via a USB cable. Plug the other end into a wall adapter, my cars USB port, or my larger USB power bank. Why the heck would I spend the money on alkaline batteries!? From a prepping standpoint, these batteries can easily be charged in the radio or simply pop a charged spare one in. Who’s to say the corner store is going to have alkaline batteries to sell in an all out disaster.

At this point, I’d suspect everyone wold have an extra USB wall adapter…. looking in my junk drawer I see three without digging! left over from old phones or tablets.

Truth is, the BL-5c is a very common battery. It was used in cell phones for many years and currently in a lot of cameras. They are CHEAP. You can buy an ‘extended runtime’ kit from CountyComm for less than $15 that has two BL-5c batteries and a wall charge kitted into a nice plastic storage case. They offered this as a compliment to the receiver they sell (GP7/SSB) that also uses this battery. A BL-5c is less than $5 on Ebay. Heck! you can buy three of these batteries cheaper than you can buy a 24-pack of Coppertops today. 18650’s are even cheaper. I just ordered 2-batteries and a USB charger that charges both batteries at the same time for $6.99 on Ebay.

I’m done with alkaline batteries if I can avoid it.

Change of plans. New small SUV instead of off-road beast?

My 2006 Ram truck is my chosen off-road/camping platform. I have a need to pull trailers, haul yard debris, and get off the beaten path to enjoy the PNW outdoors. My truck is getting up there in years, is on it’s second engine, had the front end bushings replaced, and had the rear-diff rebuilt twice. I’m now at 260k miles and really feeling like it’s time to get something new…. but I have been watching prices climb up over the last few years to where I’m easily going to pay a $20k premium to get a basic replacement.

My second vehicle is my 2003 Subaru forester. My wife and I are long-time Subaru lovers. We’ve had a 92′ Loyale, a 2000 forester, a 2003 forester, and bought a new Impreza in 2018. The Impreza is her car and it’s a pretty nice ride. Comfortable and nice looking. Great in the rain and snow but not quite enough ground clearance to get too far off the path.

Now! add gas prices…. what do I do? I decided to park the truck for a bit and not drive it daily. I’m wearing it out and gas prices are taking a definite chunk out of my wallet. My truck is set-up! I have 100watts of solar, a nice comfy bed in the canopy, and plenty of room to everyday-carry everything I need and don’t need but want.

I decided to trade the forester to get myself a new Subaru Crosstrek and re-discover (or go backwards to) a bit more campy experience. I’ll gain a car payment (negative), but will save the truck for when I need it (positive), Save a ton of fuel (positive), be a bit more nimble (positive), and hopefully be just as comfortable… Thinking I’ll use my Gaselle tent that is easy to set-up and get a good cot or some sort of sleeping pad that will compliment my 50yo broken self.

Saying goodbye…..

The 2003 forester is gone. I’ll miss it. It was a great body style year for the forester but was getting up there in miles at 260k, needed it’s third head-gasket job, and just not that comfortable anymore.

Welcoming the new micro ‘overland’ rig. A 2021 Crosstrek Limited with the mighty 2.5 engine

I was able to pull of a no-drill radio install with the Yaesu FTM-400.

OK… one small hole in the plastic trim piece….

More to come…. still figuring out if this will be my main off-roading rig or not.

Thanks for the decal!


A thank you to AA1PR and KB7RQQ for sharing a couple of HRVO decals with me. I finally got the “truck top tent” mounted once we found the right number of working shoulders to get it up there. I am looking forward to sending future photos of the sticker from the “road”. Stay Safe.

Wires-X Now Connected To HRVO TG 31655!

Hello all,

Wires-X room 46720 is now permanently connected to HRVO BM TG 31655 and is running great! Now we have yet another way to link in and say hello. Just a reminder… Wires-X is not accessible through hotspots. You’ll have to use a local Fusion repeater and/or a Wires-X node.