Work needs already has the laptop in my travel load, making adding a rig, power supply, antenna and all the needed bits the limiting factor.
Once Maestro is VPN and/or WAN capable some of the desire to be on the air can be met removing, provided adequate connectivity is available.
Still that is different than independently operating from the destination. Ultimately K9ZW/OX, MM/K9ZW and such are more exciting than K9ZW/Remote.
I did purchase a Flex-6300 originally as a back-up radio to the Flex-6700 and potentially for these portable operations. I've used it for a few US/CDN Island operations where the gentile conditions allowed.
Is there room for a more compact all-weather dust-proof travel-ready form factor Flex-6000 variant? Perhaps with a small router onboard and a piggyback option for batteries or a power supply. (With a battery type that is unrestricted for air travel please).
If functionally equivalent to at least a Flex-6300/ATU this radio could serve as my backup radio when not traveling as well.
Or perhaps an Otterbox type overcase for a Flex-6300? I have a rather butch one on my iPhone 6s that has taken massive impacts in stride while making the phone much more weather resistant.
I've even contemplated asking our metal fabrication folk do a replacement case in high strength aluminum alloy incorporating the weather/dust protection I'd like to see, but realize the hours spent for a one-off would be excessive while potentially creating all sorts of problems in the process.
So I come back to a brick-shaped, possibly fan-less, form factor.
Anyone else feel such a need?
Unless you are in a really rare DX location anything less than 100W will be very frustrating. Antennas are always an issue. Although it can be easy to make a dipole by splitting locally obtained Zip Cord and Soda bottles as insulators. A good trick for DC power supplies if you have a rental vehicle is to borrow the car's battery. ....just don't run it completely down as I have done a few times. If you know you are heading to a specific city try to work local hams from that area before you go. Most locals are quite generous about showing off their stations, inviting you for drinks and lending your heavy stuff like coax. With the CEPTagreement it is pretty easy to operate legally from most places that are CEPTAGREEMENT. However, if not, licensing is a real PIA.
Would I take a ruggedized FLex with me....NO...just too much weight for too few Q's.
For an antenna, wire suits me fine. I hang on 40 and 20 mostly. A buddipole is a decent setup but it has its quirks. I have an old Small Wonders Labs 40 digital radio and a MS Surface Pro 3 I'll be trying out. QRP is fine by me and PSK is made for QRP.
Lots of options out there for ultralight hamming I think. QRP suits me just fine as my early days started with the HW-8, Argonaut 515 and FT-817. In fact, the 817ND might just make it on my shopping list again.
This offers me interchangeability, as basically SmartSDR and all my other software only need select the Travel-6000 at startup for the most part.
It would allow use of a Maestro and other expected accessories.
And the bonus part is it could serve as a backup rig if I sent one of my main Flex-6x00s in for upgrade or service.
Really not that interested in alternative rigs for these reasons, though obviously I do drag other radios out of the field at the moment. My usual field radios are either one of the TenTecs (I have Jupiter and Pegasus rigs for this) or a SGC-2020 (I have some of these too).
So again the focus is keep within the SmartSDR Flex-6x00 family if it were offered.
K6TU iPad app already gives you full control of the 6000 both local or via VPN Remote
So by shlepping a 6000+ iPad you can avoid taking a laptop or PC
Alternatively several people are running SSDR on a MS surface tablet
Yesterday NN6X and I tried Remoting via a small size of a card deck Kangaroo Mobile PC.
Likely to do a one-off for myself based on a 6300, but willing to collaborate with others with like interest.
Not intending to build for others though. At least not at this stage.
I'm good at QRZ if anyone has an interest in doing parallel projects, or in becoming a lead-builder of a group build.
Most of the time when I'm traveling, I just don't play with the radio much. There are far too many other more fun things to be doing. Other times, I may be in a remote location for weeks on end. During those times, running Remote Hams software works really well and is more than adequate for me.
I wouldn't ever consider taking a rig, tuner, antennas, power supplies etc. on a vacation or business trip. Too much crap and most of the time I'm traveling on really small local commuters which really limit what you can bring along with you.
Leave the junk behind and enjoy your vacation. Go out and see the sites, do something fun and outdoors. I guarantee if your outside all day, that last thing you'll think of doing when you get back to your lodging is play on the radio! A good meal and that bed is going to look pretty inviting!
You obviously do not take your XYL who spends hours and Days in every shoe store in Paris
I probably would have gone insane years ago (Maybe I did) if it were not for my trusty iPad and being able to work DX while she shops....really kills shopping boredom....
Yes.. I have to go along.. because I am the French Translator...
But I totally agree with you the last thing you want to do is schlep radios, cables, etc, etc. Been there done that... far too much pain and weight to carry...
Long live remoting via Flex
Rather as an example - last October my group chartered a landing craft type ferry, loaded equipment and took it out to seldom activated island to do repairs on a historic structure. I had my usual "picnic table" Flex-6300 setup ready to go, along with a second generator (the repair team needed the main one and its backup).
But alas weather was foul and I didn't trust the travel cases of the setup and the setup wasn't weather rated for what we could face. So it stayed back.
Missed out activating a seldom active island as a result.
Earlier in the year had gotten permission to land on several other islands that have be activated only once to twice before, and have done the ahead work to plan to visit them later in 2016.
(These particular Islands are in the US/CDN Island program and being inland are not IOTA qualifiable).
Yes, if you stay overnight you tent it in sleeping bags, or if it is fair on a ground pad. Yes you cook for yourself and everything brought in has to be taken back out. Yes you use a pit latrine (if you are lucky) and after the first day or so you won't have any ice left for your Manhattan.
But you will see nature, you will see the stars so thick they look like there are a 1000 to every one on a start chart. The fishing is good, hunting fair (game tend to be small on these islands) and the birding world class.
@Lee Thermal is certainly an issue but in now way a design breaker. As we take generators I'm looking into Junction cooling/heating and have a couple I brought in to play with. I didn't find much information on whether the junctions have RF/Electrical/Magnetic fields to deal with, so i figure I'll do the measuring myself. On the flip side very well may need the heating to keep things dry and deal with winter activations.
Was hoping to find more than the one or two folk who have expressed an interest to work through the project, but truly this is more about a true rough conditions hardening than traveling to an all inclusive somewhere (which don't get me wrong, I do enjoy too!).
EDIT - I forgot to mention that not only are these Islands seldom activated the Grids they are in are in the top 40 Grids needed by Grid Hunters.