Tips and Tricks

The most important tip for activators !!!

-Yes, the more you carry with you, the more can go wrong. Don’t move your complete shack to the field!!

Murphy is always with you !! 

-Of course you have to operate respecting the Belgian Radio Amateur  laws for your Ham Radio Licence (BIPT). Note that for setting up a station outside of your standard licence location, in Belgium you need to add a suffix : /P for portable, /M for mobile and /MM for maritime mobile. More info on https://www.bipt.be

-Make a check list with what you really need to be on the air : radio – antenna – power source – log PC – chair – table – smartphone. Need more ? Don’t think so.

-Test your equipment at home. Setup your station as you want to use it in the field. And make some QSOs. Will save you loads of time when going really out !

-When you do PC-logging, check your PC and software at home. Try and test all of it. Nothing more unpleasantly than a PC that starts upgrading some Windows stuff while you want to start operating. And even more important, make back-ups from your log at regular times during your activity. You don’t want to be the first to loose the complete log, not ?

-Before leaving home, figure out the right place to activate. All outdoor programs have different rules and specific activation areas. Check the rules on the proper website and look on online maps how to reach the destination. Google Earth View is a nice tool to check your activation place from out of your lazy chair. Some outdoor programs ask you to prove your activation place with coordinates. A nice GPS tool for your smartphone is “Map Coordinates” .  To see the current grid locator you’re in, try the “Easy QTH Locator” app.

-Check out if you’re allowed to activate on a specific place. Some areas can be private property. In that case ask the owner for permission. For sure from time to time you will have the visit of a forest ranger, area responsible or whatever. Behave like a ham, explain what you’re doing, keep calm and polite. 

-When going out, don’t make your activation spot a party place. Only take the most necessary with you. BBQ, “garden parties” or family gatherings often don’t fit with the place you’re activating and will cause trouble with local eye-keepers. Power generators are for some outdoor programs forbidden, for all programs they are not promoted to use due to the noise they make. Nowadays batteries really can fit your needs, without noise ! 

-Be respectful for the area you’re activating. You leave the spot like you found it at the start. Think about possible activators who might come after you. 

-Anti-mosquito spray is a must have. Mosquitos like hams like no one else.