Product Reviews

Field Day Gear Series Part 5: Tool Kits, Foot Switches, Headsets, Portable Masts & More

With ARRL Field Day 2024 rapidly approaching, OnAllBands will be looking at a few more items to consider loading in the trunk before heading out to your operating location on June 22-23. These Field-Day-friendly devices and apparel (and more than 30,000 other amateur radio products) can be easily ordered at and shipped to you in plenty of time for the big weekend.

Need help figuring out exactly what you need? The Elmers at DX Engineering—with more than 1,000-plus years of amateur radio experience and a slew of Field Days under their belts—will make sure you’re selecting the right gear for your needs and budget.

Before we get into today’s featured products, check out these Field Day suggestions for coaxial cables, solar panels and LiFePO4 batteries, portable HF antennas, and antenna analyzers.

Tool Kits

Nothing says emergency communications preparedness (the original purpose of Field Day, after all) more than having the proper tools handy when setting up your stations or when things don’t go exactly as planned. Visit for the full lineup of ham radio tools and tool kits, including:

DX Engineering coaxial cable prep tool kit

What do hams say about the Ultra-Grip 2 Crimp Connector Hand Tool Kit?

Five Stars: “This is an outstanding tool. If you are thinking about going to crimp-on connectors, this is what you need to put on just about anything that can be crimped. I use it for my coax as well as my power poles. It is a solid tool and everything you need is included in the box. Dies can be switched in just a few minutes and all the dies you will ever need are included. Highly recommended.”

Wilburn, DX Engineering Customer

DX Engineering cable stripping/cutting tools for crimp connectors can be purchased separately or together in the DXE-UT-KIT-CC1. The simple-to-use devices allow you to insert the coax into one end, close the cutter and twist to cut to the correct measurement. Then insert the coax in the other end of the cutter, close it and withdraw to produce a slit for easy removal of the cut portions. The model below strips 8X size cables:

dx engineering coaxial cable gripper
(Image/DX Engineering)

Hinged cable grippers, strippers for 50-ohm cable (DXE-UT-8213, DXE-UT-808X, DXE-UT-8213LR, below), gripper/stripper combos, and crimper tool and dies are also sold separately.

dx engineering cable stripper tool
Coax Cable Stripper for RG-213, RG-8, and similar size cable. (Image/DX Engineering)

Band Pass Filters

For issues with wideband n0ise from transmitters in multi-station Field Day setups, band pass filters can make a major difference. DX Engineering carries VA6AM 150W PEP HF Band Pass Filters for 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10M. These high-quality, multi-stage inline passive band pass filters are specifically designed to limit the transmitting and receiving RF passband to a single amateur band.

VA6AM Band Pass Filter
(Image/DX Engineering)

Headset & Foot Switch Packages

Make it easy on yourself by adding a quality headset and foot switch in one purchase. Combos come with DX Engineering’s rugged and budget-friendly plastic foot switch (DXE-FS-001) or cast metal model (DXE-FS-002). The foot switches are paired with Heil Pro Set Elite Headsets or Pro 7 Headsets.

dxe-pro7bu-ic-p_xl headset & footswitch package
(Image/DX Engineering)

Just looking for a foot switch to add to your Field Day setup? DX Engineering offers three models sold separately here. Below is the extra-wide super-duty cast metal foot switch (DXE-FS-003).

dxe-fs-003_xl extra wide footswitch from DX Engineering
(Image/DX Engineering)

What do hams say about the DXE-FS-003 Foot Switch?

Five Stars: “Not a Toy! I’m impressed with the quality of the DXE-FS-003 Foot Switch. I spent decades working in public safety 911 dispatch centers, and this is comparable to the foot switches used in that service that get stomped on 24/7/365, year after year. As the title to my review says, it’s not a toy. It’s solid, heavy, and doesn’t slide around or mar the polished wood floor it sits on. I would expect years of service under the feet of any club-footed ham. This is the real thing, not a cheap imitation.”

Mel, DX Engineering Customer


Heil Sound offers a range of headsets perfect for hours of comfortable, fatigue-free Field Day operating. Models include:

  • Pro 7 Headsets have passive noise-canceling ability that blocks out background noise, audio balance control, a phase reversal switch for digging out weak signals, and adjustable mic boom.
  • Pro Set Elite Headsets deliver bright, articulate audio with acoustically-tuned chambers that facilitate a high rejection of outside noise.
  • Lightweight and comfortable Pro Set 6 Headsets use Heil’s HC 6 wide-response mic element so you can take advantage of the microphone EQ of your modern transceiver.
  • Heil’s lightweight BM-17 Emergency Communication Headsets come with a swivel-mounted boom that makes easy work of moving the microphone to the desired position. They feature extremely sensitive speakers that don’t require much AF drive from the transceiver; a frequency response of 200Hz-5kHz; and low distortion.

You’ll find all the Heil headset and microphone adapter cables you need at Also available is the INRAD W1 Headset and the 4O3A NC-1 Noise Canceling Bluetooth Boom Mic Headset.

Telescopic Masts

DX Engineering’s Premier Telescoping Carbon Fiber Masts make a great choice as a temporary antenna support on Field Day. Available in four versions (24-, 33-, and 49-foot, and heavy-duty 33-foot), these masts collapse down to a compact size for easy portability. They are lighter than aluminum and fiberglass, yet stiffer than steel of the same thickness. 

Also available are DX Engineering Complete Telescoping Fiberglass Tubing and Cam Lock Clamp Kits. Made for easy deployment and transport, the kits feature high-quality pultruded fiberglass tubing with nominal 0.120-inch wall thicknesses for strength, durability, and smooth telescoping. Depending on the kit, tubing is collapsible to either 4 feet or 7.5 feet for easy storage and convenient loading in a vehicle. 

dxe-tfk46-hd_xl DX Engineering Complete Fiberglass Tubing and Cam Lock Clamp Kit
(Image/DX Engineering)

What do hams say about the Complete Telescoping Fiberglass Tubing and Cam Lock Clamp Kits?

Five Stars: “The fit, finish and quality of this mast is very good. Putting together the mast with the included cam lock clamps was very easy…everything just fit well. The provided instructions were spot on. This mast is an awesome addition to my RV radio expeditions.”

Leonard, DX Engineering Customer

Visit for more portable mast options, including WiMo Telescoping Masts from 13 to 52 feet tall. 

Looking Good!

If you want to make a fashion statement on Field Day, you’ll find an excellent selection of DX Engineering T-shirts; polo shirts; hats, including the new camo-style ball cap below; and more at

DX Engineering Camo Ball Cap Hat
(Image/DX Engineering)

Here’s a quick list of a few more items you’ll want to consider crossing off your Field Day checklist, with convenient links to

dxe-viz26-g150_cj_xl DX Engineering High Visibility Antenna Wire
(Image/DX Engineering)

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