I Ditched PowerPole Connectors

A “Golden Rule” of Ham radio operations is the premise that all electrical connections are made with PowerPole (PP) connectors. This makes all our equipment so-called “interoperable”.

It is considered blaphemous to question their use in the Ham culture. Well, I gotta tell ya’ll, I have ditched the use of PP’s.

Just to be clear. I have no beef with PowerWerx, the leading retailer in the PP universe. I have ordered lots of stuff from them over the years. Their customer service, packaging, shipping, and product quality is first class. They are a great company.

There are 6 reasons I no longer use them:

    1. You must be properly trained on how to wire them up.
    2. Getting consistent, and robust connections is challenging.
    3. They are not weather-resistant.
    4. They get loose/sloppy after lots of use.
    5.  The market is overrun with cheap Chinese knock-offs that are horrible.
    6.  They are way too expensive.

Continue reading “I Ditched PowerPole Connectors”

Digirig – VARA – Winlink “How-To”

I have completed the testing of my HT’s on 2M with Winlink/VARA/Digirig. They are all capable of sending Emails over the air.

I wrote a detailed document on how to get all the pieces working together.

I hope this saves other Ham’s some time and reduces the frustration level for non-tech’s.


Digirig How-To’s

Over the last several weeks, I have been trying to get Winlink and VARA HF/FM working with a Digirig on Windows.

Little did I know what a nightmare it would be.

Rigs involved in this experiment include:

    1. Yaesu FT-991A (HF)
    2. Yaesu 891 (HF)
    3. Yaesu FTM-300D (FM)
    4. Yaesu VX-6R  HT (FM)
    5. Yaesu FT-60 HT (FM)
    6.  Anytone DV878 HT (FM)
    7. Baofeng BF-F8HP HT (FM)

To get everything to work – these things must happen:

Continue reading “Digirig How-To’s”


I created this blog to share my adventures in Ham radio. 

In particular, I plan on writing an extensive collection of Ham radio “How-To” documents to help ease the pain radio and computer technology causes so many of us.

YouTube videos are great. I deeply appreciate the dedicated Hams who spend so much time and money creating interesting content. Alas – so many Hams try to get their rigs working based on YouTube content, and they fail.

There is simply not enough technical details in YouTube videos to ensure success for new Hams or the ‘non-techies’ among us.

“Everything in life should be consumed in moderation – except technical documentation”