First, and a big one: An adapter so that I can listen to the radio using a headset, while others in the room/trailer/tent with me—the logger, for example—can hear over a speaker or via another headset. I need headphones for sound isolation while I’m operating, but others nearby also need to know what’s going on. Some requirements:
- Plug into the headphone jack of any radio, usually meaning a 1/4-inch or 1/8-inch jack. Many radios do not have “line out,” so some means of adjusting the input level is required.
- A “line in” input if the radio offers line out.
- A built-in speaker of good quality that can handle a couple watts of audio with its own volume control
- Multiple headphone jacks, both 1/4-inch and 1/8-inch, with independent volume controls
- Power options: 12v DC with an Anderson Powerpole, as power distributed this way is often available in the room where the radio is operated. Self-contained batteries would be a nice-to-have, but not essential.
Some other things that I seem to forget every year:
- Folding chairs—there are never enough places to sit down
- My 2-meter handheld (charged) for on-site communications
- Some tissue paper, e.g., Kleenex
- Bigger hat, not just a ball-cap
One thing I’ve brought every year that is very handy is an extra gallon of water in an ice chest. Late June can get quite hot, and ice water is great to have around.