Welcome to Brandon Clark Labs!

Amateur radi ooperator for the CQ WW VHF
Operating the CQ WW VHF contest and SOTA

My hobbies have involved some pretty complicated stuff over the years: navigation, electronics, networking, radio communications, welding, reloading, exterior ballistics, and other topics. Throughout it all I’ve been mostly self-taught . . . which was a terrible way to do things.

One resource I always had was the internet, and especially the sites that others put up showing how they accomplished things. Without others posting what they learned I never would have come this far. This site is my chance to give back.

Amateur Radio

Licensed radio operation has come a long way since the time of Morse code and vacuum tube gear. Modern amateur (or ham) radio uses highly portable, digital-enabled, and software-driven gear that can go anywhere and do nearly anything.

A lot of us get started in amateur radio for “serious” things like emergency use, but there are also a ton of just-for-fun activities to do. One of my favorite is VHF/UHF contesting, where you set up at a good location and try to make as many contacts as you can in a limited time. Check out the contesting pages to learn more.

If you’re a glutton for punishment you can also try one of my other loves: Summits on the Air (SOTA). As an “activator” I hike to the top of a mountain and sets up a portable station. The “chasers” operate ham radio from home, contacting activators like me. Whether you chase or activate it is a ton of fun.

Outdoors Life

If you’re like me, working 8-5 in an office isn’t enough. I’ve always been happiest when I have dirt under my boots, the stars overhead, and a rock for a pillow at night.

I’ve been lucky – I taught myself how to be at home in the outdoors and managed to do so without losing any (important) body parts. Leaving the pavement behind and heading for the hills always sounds great, but if you don’t know what you’re doing it can get real ugly, real fast.

Browse through the Outdoors Life pages for tips, tricks, and projects to help you get off on the right foot when leaving civilization behind.

Shooting Sports

Here in the United States, our system of government was founded on the principle of rulers being accountable to the ruled. This is in opposition to how things are in much of the rest of the world where people are subjects, rather than citizens. Our second amendment is an insurance policy to ensure that things stay that way.

The projects in the Shooting Sports section will help you learn how to build and service firearms, load your own ammunition, calculate trajectories, understand terminal ballistics, and other topics so that you can exercise your rights responsibly.