Ham Radio Now

The audio version of TV programs for and about Amateur Radio (Ham Radio). The video version is hosted at (and, to be totally honest, on YouTube). Our shows come in three flavors: Talk Shows, Seminars/Forums, and mini-documentaries. Sorry for the mash-up, but any episode may be in one (or more) of those categories.
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Now displaying: April, 2016
Apr 24, 2016

Gary considers usurping the 100 Watts and a Wire show name because nobody on the show runs 100 watts and a wire anymore. But he tempers his hostile takeover because co-host Katie Allen WY7YL has taken a new job, and it look like she won't be able to participate in the show (but Katie, you didn't even say good-bye!). Gary's HF rig can't even muster 100 watts anymore, so he settles for 85.. and he's legit on the wire thing.

Next he reviews the new web site (with a real URL!). some news stories he won't be covering because of 1) Time; 2) Inefficiency, and 3) a vacation. He'll see you at Dayton (and probably squeeze in a show or three before that.

Finally, the Missouri House has passed it's version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act. It's in a Senate committee. Gary's got the audio of the House 'debate' that's kinda odd (but all's well that ends well?). 

This episode scores a Radio Rating of A-. You don't need the pictures for much at all. In fact, they kind of get in the way. Just imagine that Gary replaces the HamRadioNow logo with the 100 Watts logo.

Apr 21, 2016

Is NTS, the National Traffic System, stuck hopelessly in the past, or is it leading the charge into the future? In this conversation with North Carolina Section Traffic Manager Dave Roy W4DNA, we find the answer is somewhere in the middle. Most traffic is still passed (laboriously) by voice or CW, but some... mostly in the middle of the system where messages transit from one region to another... flows quickly by HF digital systems (RMS Express, Pactor 3).

Gary challenges Dave about whether hams do what we claim we can: send health and welfare messages on behalf of people in disaster areas who are cut off with friends and relatives unable to reach them. And he asks if the system could really handle thousands of messages flooding in at once in a mass disaster if hams actually succeeded in originating them.

This episode gets a 'radio rating' of A - you may wonder how often Dave wants to come across the desk and whap Gary upside the head (or why he doesn't), but otherwise you'll miss little from not seeing the talking head visual cues.

This episode was recorded at the RARSfest- the Raleigh NC Hamfest on April 2, 2016. The opening celebrates the event of the 250th episode with a couple of unsolicited testimonials from fans who approached Gary as he wandered the aisles taking pictures.

Apr 21, 2016

The full title: Emcomm - Relationships with and expectations of served agencies. Yep, a mouthful.

This episode begins with a forum at the Charlotte Hamfest. Mike Patterson KG4PDA with the Salvation Army, and Greg Hauser W3FIE with the Charlotte Fire Department talk about how ham radio integrates with their agencies.

Then Gary takes over for an extended monolog about Emcomm. Key points: he wants to do a monthly Emcomm show, and he wants a co-host. It'll take him a while to get to those points. He thinks that means anyone who reaches that point of the show will be really interested and perhaps dedicated.

Audio show rating is a solid B+. Mike and Greg have slide shows, but they mostly tell you what you need to know. Gary has some web sites, but he's mostly just talking. Why do we even bother with cameras?

Apr 21, 2016
HRN 248: Digital Voice Progress 2016
Things move pretty fast in the world of Digital Voice, even in Ham Radio (especially for Ham Radio). Roland Kraatz W9HPX provided an update on the modes and equipment in this talk at the Charlotte Hamfest. It is a slide presentation, so see what you can get out of the audio, and go to the video if you think you're missing too much.

The PDF with all the links Roland mentioned is at
Apr 21, 2016

This ramble actually stays sort of focused on four topics: Friday Hamfests, Lifetime Licenses, the Parity Act, and Shifting the 80 Meter Band. Gary KN4AQ is joined by ARRL Roanoke Division Director Dr. Jim Boehner N2ZZ and Jeff Parker WA1WXL. Both have appeared on HamRadioNow in previous episodes.

Because Gary was recording forums all day, this talk didn't start until the hamfest was being torn down around them (you'll hear lots of banging and clanging, thudding and screeching. Extra thanks to Jim and Jeff for hanging around late when everyone really wanted to be getting home after a long day!

Apr 21, 2016

This ought to be a pretty good audio show, because it's based on Gary appearing on Neil Rapp WB9VPG's new live audio podcast, Ham Talk Live ( We do throw in some visual elements, but Neil isn't even on video, so you're not really missing anything.

Apr 21, 2016

On Thursday, February 11, the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology voted to forward HR 1301, the Amateur Radio Parity Act, up to the full Energy and Commerce Committee "as written." But there's a catch. A homeowner's association had requested amendments, and had the ear of at least one subcommittee member. So while there wasn't time to negotiate the counter proposal, the bill was voted out of the subcommittee with the understanding that the negotiation would take place before the bill was brought up at the full committee.

In this program - a good 'radio' show, though it's interesting to see all the players in video from Congress - we'll play all of the subcommittee comments and testimony from a January hearing, and this February 'markup' session (aka 'Vote').

But what about those amendments? Turns out the homeowners group - CAI, Community Association Institute - filed a letter with the subcommittee at the hearing back on January 12 outlining 7 amendments they'd like to see. Some pretty reasonable, and one or two pushing a little too far (room for negotiation?). Gary reviews all 7.

Then a look at ARRL objections to HRN 241: Parity in Missouri. The League doesn't want guest Larry Scantlan KEØKZ saying, or implying, that the League 'endorses' the effort to pass a state version of the Parity Act in Missouri. They're happy to assist, but 'endorsement' is a technical term they say does not apply. And they ask HamRadioNow to edit out any statements making that claim. Turns out there weren't any (save for one casual "sanctions"), but we double-check to be sure.

Finally, Gary gets fan mail.