When ham radio becomes a war zone…

I proudly display my callsign on my radio go-bag with a genuine Army Combat Uniform (ACU) nametape.

One thing I’ve noticed since joining the ham radio subculture, is that we hams are obsessed with displaying our callsigns anywhere and everywhere.

For example: Amateur radio license plates, name badges, custom-embroidered shirts and hats, QSL cards, eyeball cards, illuminated “on-air” signs for our shacks, microphone flags, and even custom postage on those QSL card envelopes. When I was at winter field day this year, I noticed one of my good buddies in the club had vinyl decals on the back of his truck and a polo shirt with his call stitched over the pocket. I imagine some guys even get their call tattooed!

Anyway, a few months ago I purchased a Code Alpha rucksack from U.S. Patriot here in Columbia. These guys are a national retailer based here in Columbia and located near Fort Jackson. They supply all manner of military gear and do work on uniforms, patches, etc. They even have a military barber shop. I purchased the bag specifically to carry my portable HF gear, namely the Yaesu FT-817, laptop computer and antenna system. It’s a no-nonsense pack — well-made without needless frills and reasonably priced.

The pack had one of those “hook and loop” fastener areas (aka, Velcro) up top where a nametape could be secured, and it looked like a perfect place to locate my callsign. So I did just that. I returned to the shop a few weeks later and had them create a custom patch with my callsign (these services are also offered via their web site). I think it looks great and it’s completely unique!

I also think this patch would be completely appropriate for a ham radio backpack. Or maybe not!

I’m also happy to report that I found the perfect carrying case for the FT-817 at U.S. Patriot! Photos and more details on that discovery to come.

6 thoughts on “When ham radio becomes a war zone…

  1. Hey exactly which bag did you get there? I can’t find a ‘rucksack’ when i search their gear.

    • I can tell you though, having now carried all manner of gear up some mountains and out in the field, and toting a bagful of cameras around DragonCon in this thing for the last two years, that this pack is probably not the best for the job!

      • Not too comfortable w/ a load eh? I appreciate your feedback on this!

        Thanks for your efforts on your blog too!

  2. Nope not comfortable at all. Sits way too low for me. Downright painful to be honest! And the material on the back is a nylon fiber that seems to make the pack really hot against my back if carried for even short periods.

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