I remember when I started out...way back when Marconi was spitting sparks off an energized bit of wire...a ham radio station usually consisted of a big transmitter--like a Viking Valiant or a Heath DX-100--and an even bigger receiver. I had a Hammarlund HQ-180 and it was the size of a larger microwave oven. Only the rare amateur radio operator dared put radios into his vehicle, and the thought of putting any kind of station into a pack and heading for portable operation was unheard of.
Things have changed dramatically. I have a Yaesu FT-857D that is about the size of a cigar box and it, along with a tiny switching 12-volt power supply and a simple wire antenna, gets me on the air from anywhere there is AC. And Yaesu makes a version of my radio that has a built-in battery pack that removes the necessity of AC altogether. There are many other examples of very small, very advanced radios that can sit on the desk at home with a full set of features, be easily installed in the vehicle for mobile operating, or head for the campground or beach (or some emergency shelter somewhere).
Now, I have seen the most amazing bit of "kit" yet. Elecraft, a company that has really created some elegant new gear that takes advantage of emerging technology, announced a transceiver at the Dayton Hamvention in Ohio last weekend. The Elecraft KX3 is a truly remarkable slice of technology. HERE is a demonstration of this thing. I have no idea what the price will be, but I want one!
No, I want several!
Don Keith N4KC
(PS: Somebody wrote that if you just use the words Elecraft and KX3 in a blog, the search engine robots beat a path to your site. We'll see! Any of you robots interested in hooking up with a KX3?)