Monday, March 23, 2020

Bicycle mobile?

My search for a cure for cabin fever has resulted in a drastic increase in the number of miles I ride my bike lately. While we are not confined to our homes here in Texas we are adamant practitioners of social distancing these days and, I have to admit - it's an easier-than-I-would-have-thought transition.

I'm still working but my schedule is such that I work only 4 days per week, leaving a lot of time at home to, among other things, exercise. But thank you, Netflix, for Babylon Berlin...

My town, Kingwood, has what we locally call Green Belts - walking/biking trails that connect various parks, schools and neighborhoods together. About 80 mile's (135km) worth, and that is where the bulk of my riding takes place.

Greenbelt map

Today's ride was 20 miles and I couldn't help but notice several locations along the way where it would have been fun to set up and do a little portable QRPing. I've certainly got the time.

My main QRP rig doesn't have a built-in antenna tuner (that may change soon) but I could bring along the FA-VA5 to make sure the marriage of radio and antenna will be a harmonious and loving union. The antenna would be the MFJ-1979 telescoping whip which is 1/4-wavelength long on 20 meters. Add a vise-grip base to secure it to the bike's seat post, a couple of radials strung out and, voila! - the world is my oyster.

At least that's the theory.

Weather permitting, I hope to try it next weekend. It seems silly to just ride when everyone knows that biking and Morse Code go hand in hand...

For others who live around towns with bike trails: Google Maps on your smart phone can be configured to show those trails highlighted. Just go into the app's Preferences and enable it. Handy as a man's thumb, as the old(er) farts say.


  1. Does remind me of the CB radio experiments on bicycle many years ago.....Wish you a lot of fun. 73, Bas

    1. Thanks Bas, it'll be fun if the ions in the sky cooperate.
      73 - John

  2. I just ordered the mcHF autotuner and, if my future health permits(!), will make a series of detailed photos of its installation. Good photos exist on the website already but do not include the opening/accessing of the mcHF itself. Since I didn't build my mcHF, I'm a bit uncertain of whether the entire case needs to be removed or just the top or bottom half.