I wanted to be able to do SOTA and QRP work with a known-good rig, and HRO had this on sale when I was looking around. It seems to be the classic go-to radio for this, and the price was right. It's smaller than a lot of the radios we had to deal with in the Army, so I figured it'd be a decent backpacking radio to complement my VX6R with six metres and HF capabilities. The right answer might be to go with something like a Rockmite, but we'll see. For VHF and UHF, I've kept the stock YHA-63 as I don't have any other antennas with a BNC connector and I don't have a reason not to use it. I keep it with the longer configuration.

Yaesu FT-817ND with 6m whip antenna

One thing I like about this is that it fits well into a few of my backpacks' internal laptop sleeve (where that sleeve is top-loaded), with the antenna able to extend out through the top of the bag along with the hand mic.

The battery life leaves a lot to be desired, but I have some ideas for building portable, solar chargeable power packs for it so I can work some QRP while backpacking.

Dialing frequencies with this is a real pain by default. I'd like to find some sort of external keypad to make this easier; also, the programming cable with Chirp should help.

I've also set this up with the Elk logp antenna for satellite work.