Ham Radio Now

The audio version of our 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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Ham Radio Now


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Now displaying: July, 2016
Jul 30, 2016

I had about 20 MB of space available in this month's Libsyn upload limit, and didn't want it to go to waste. So here's one from the vault, originally produced on June 5, 2013. I think the official title is Who the Heck Would Want to Operate Digital Voice, Anyway?... or something like that. 

In this episode Mel Whitten K0PFX introduces me to Bruce Perens K6BP, and we talk about Digital Voice. I've gone on to have Bruce on the show many times, either as a guest or doing a forum at the DCC, Dayton or Orlando. I've learned a lot from him, and of course he's a very entertaining speaker. Not everyone agrees with him (or he wouldn't be nearly so entertaining).

By the way, this is Part One of Two. Most of what Bruce had to say is here in Part One, and I don't have the bits for Part Two, but you can find the video on YouTube.

Return with us now to those thrilling days of YesterYear.... - Gary KN4AQ

Jul 29, 2016

Wireless Holding's DV4mobile promises to be a groundbreaking advance in Amateur Radio VHF/UHF digital voice. A single radio that will do all the common DV modes (D-STAR, DMR, P25, C4FM (Fusion) on 144, 222 and 440 MHz. But that's just the start. Company founder Uri Altvater AG0X/DH6SAB talks about this radio in depth, and gets to details that you haven't seen in any other articles or interviews. I guess that's called an exclusive. For example, the release date, and the price range. (hint: it's not going to be cheap)

This is mostly a talking-head show, so audio listeners will miss very little except Gary blinking with his new contact lenses. So this gets a Radio Rating of A.

Note that we got a little technical problem with the audio about half way though, and every 20 seconds on the nose, there's a short dropout. So it's not you, it's us. Don't go tearing apart your phone.

And you'll hear Gary promote the KICKSTARTER that's coming along nicely, but has a ways to go before it reaches the $5000 goal, in case you've been thinking about helping out.

Jul 27, 2016

Bruce Perens K6BP and Chris Testa KD2BMH talk about what happened with the Katena project (that they're kind of giving up on), and what's happening next (so they're not really giving up).

The graphics on the slides are helpful, but you'll get a lot of of this with just audio, so we'll give it a Radio Rating of B.

Please consider the KICKSTARTER for HamRadioNow coverage of the 2016 ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference coming in September. The $5000 goal deadline is August 21, and as of this program we're almost halfway there! (If the link isn't working, just go to and you'll see links there.

Jul 23, 2016

Netflix just released a new, limited series titled Stranger Things that has a little Ham Radio in it, and a little more CB. It's an 8-part science-fiction show featuring three middle-school geeky boys, a super-powered girl, the usual collection of clueless and sometimes evil adults.

Gary shows the ham stuff, gives the program a luke-warm review, and then looks into a bunch of other programs produced for Ham Radio from the RSGB, Reddit, some TV stations for Field Day, and finally a song he found titled Ham Radio (and you'll hear why).

This episode is a pretty good radio show. While there is a lot to look at besides Gary's face in the video version, the audio track carries the message pretty well. We'll give it an A-.

We'd also like to announce the KICKSTARTER for video coverage of the 2016 TAPR Digital Communications Conference. The goal is $5000, and it's live until August 21. 

Jul 15, 2016

PokéHAM GOta? A Ham Radio version of the little game that's sweeping the country?

Sorry, no. That's just click bait to get you to check out this show about something far more important to Ham Radio, but maybe a little dry. We don't want to give it away, but nobody reads these descriptions anyway, so we feel fairly safe.

On July 13, the House Energy & Commerce Committee approved an amended version of HB 1301, the Amateur Radio Parity Act. So we'll show you that vote and a few comments, and then Gary reviews the original bill compared to the amended bill.

Gary tries pretty hard to read everything and make it accessible to the audio audience (and he even promotes the audio version of the show right up at the top), so we'll reward his effort with an audio grade of A-. Why the '-'? Well, there's gotta be room to improve.

Jul 7, 2016

The Field of Beams was in Orange County, North Carolina for a couple days toward the end of June - yes, Field Day - set up by hams from the Durham FM Association and the Orange County Radio Amateurs. You'll find their call sign, W4EZ in the #3 spot in the Top Ten box in 2015, and a few other top ten's in previous years. An impressive showing, especially considering their 95 Watt battery class.

The only thing that might shade this accomplishment is that the #2 operation, K6EI in California, was also 5 watt battery, with 11 stations. (The #4 operation, W5YA, was also 5 watt battery with just 3 stations!) 

KN4AQ hit the road to visit this operation and see how they did it. He didn't have to hit the road too hard. W4EZ was just a few miles west of his home. So he added one more group, the Alamance Amateur Radio Club K4EG to the trip. This group may not end up in the top 10 box, but they have just as much fun.

In the last third of the show (around 1:02:00), Gary plays all the video he shot at one of the W4EZ CW stations (a totally expert operation) and one of their Phone stations (with a new, young ham having all the classic difficulties, "amplified" by the QRP power level).

This episode is pretty visual, being a mostly field production, but the interviews and operating audio should hold your attention. There's a short CW segment in the middle of the Dave Snyder W4SAR interview that's captioned in video, so if you don't copy fairly high-speed CW, you'll miss that assistance. But in the full CW segment toward last third, Gary verbally describes everything that's happening.

We'll give this episode a C+ Radio Grade.