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.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
Ham Radio Now


All Episodes
Now displaying: November, 2016
Nov 22, 2016

We haven't heard a lot from FCC Special Counsel Laura Smith lately, but she spoke at Pacificon, a large ham conference in the San Francisco area, last October. Her talk was recorded by Bob Miller WB6KWT and his son Robert KA7JKP, and Bob gave us permission to use the talk for HamRadioNow.

Gary adds a long intro, with a summary of the talk's highlights and a few comments, along with a status report on the Amateur Radio Parity Act, before we play Laura's talk in full.

The title is a bit of click bait. Laura does actually talk about repeaters and uses that phrase, but she talks about a lot of other things, too. The headline should probably be about the plan to have ARRL Official Observers work closer with the FCC on initial investigations of complaints.

This show is mostly just Laurel (and Gary) talking to the camera. Gary tosses in a few graphic elements, but it's still a Radio Rating of A. 

Nov 20, 2016

There is life left in P25, perhaps the first somewhat popular digital voice mode on Amateur Radio VHF/UHF. The life comes from a linking system that David Krauss NX4Y introduces at the 2016 DCC. He calls it P25NX - Network Exchange.

The P25 mode started in Public Safety radio in the mid '80's. After about 10 years, those guys say their radios are due for replacement. Hams bought the trade-ins and put them on the ham bands. But the repeaters were isolated islands. D-STAR became more popular because were linked, bringing in traffic from around the country or world. P-25 is about to have even more cheap equipment on the market as they migrate to Phase 2, and David's link system could make P25 a competitive mode in ham radio again.

There are charts and diagrams in David's talk, but you'll get the idea from the audio, so the Radio Rating is B-. Someday we'll commit to a solid letter-grade without the + or -.


Nov 20, 2016

AREDN Project Manager Andre Hansen K6AH details this mesh based data network that's up and running in the San Diego CA area. It uses the 2.4 and 3.4 GHz ham bands to haul data across the region, and then distribute it to local users, with a primary EmComm goal.

Andre gave this talk at the ARRL & TAPR Digital Communications Conference in St. Petersburg FL in September 2016. There are the usual slides with text and charts that are helpful to see, so we'll give this one a Radio Rating of C.

Nov 15, 2016

From the ARRL & TAPR Digital Communications Conference in St. Petersburg FL, September, 2016.

Lou Romero W4LT has been doing remote for a long time - before it became the popular thing it is today. He'll tell his story, review the options for private and public remotes, club-based remotes, Off the Shelf and DIY.

This is not super-technical talk. It's more 'what the pieces are and
how they go together.' Lou will demo his club's system at the end of the talk, and there's some good Q&A. Lou will say that he doesn't "read the Powerpoints", but he does a pretty good job of talking to them, so that doesn't matter for the text slides. But on toward the end of the talk there are some software demos and screen shots that you'll miss, so this gets a Radio Rating of C. Maybe C+.

Nov 13, 2016

Scotty Cowling WA2DFI details a new TAPR kit that turns a Raspberry Pi into a 20 meter WSPR beacon - cheap and easy. From the 2016 ARRL/TAPR DCC.

There are the usual Powerpointish slides, but most are text that Scotty reviews. You'll get enough to know if you're interested and want to go to the web to check out more.

Nov 5, 2016

Bob McGweir N4YH wraps up the 2016 ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference (and the Sunday Seminar) by revealing what the Future of Amateur Radio will look like... in 5 years, according to Bob.

You may disagree! But note that the discussion begins here, it certainly doesn't end here.

Nov 4, 2016

Bob McGwire N4YH begins his portion of the Sunday Seminar from the 2016 ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference. 

Bob reviews a lot of history as he lays the groundwork for his prediction of a major shakeup in communications (and Ham Radio) that he'll detail in Part Three.

Lots of text-filled slides that Bob will mostly read, and a few more detailed graphics and charts, but still mostly explained well in the audio. Radio Rating B.

Nov 3, 2016

PART ONE of the Sunday Seminar from the 2016 ARRL/TAPR DCC.

Michelle Thompson W5NYV talks spectrum and cognitive radio. She expects technology to really disrupt the radio art in the near future.

That's just the warm-up act, getting ready for Bob McGwire NY4H to really shake things up in Parts TWO and THREE (coming tomorrow). If Bob's crystal ball is accurate, it will be the End of Ham Radio As We Know It. 

Yeah, we've hear that before, but this time... if we're going to have a new generation of hams... it just might have to happen.

Michelle has some slides, but you'll get most of it from the sound track, so this gets a Radio Rating of B+.

In the intro, Gary mentions a pair of TV shows that have a significant ham radio component:

Before MARS