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: December, 2016
Dec 31, 2016

Last Man Standing is a hit, prime-time TV sitcom on ABC starring Tim Allen as Mike Baxter, a husband and father of three girls, employee of Outdoor Man (an outdoor-everything store like Carbellas or Bass Pro Shop) and ham radio operator KA0XTT. Ham Radio appears in the background of every show, with a fully functional shack in Mike's Outdoor Man office. Two episodes have put ham radio right in the spotlight as a major part of the story.

Last Man Standing co-Executive Producer John Amodeo NN6JA has often told the story of how ham radio came to be part of this TV show. If you missed it on other ham media, he'll repeat it here, but then go in far greater depth about how ham radio does and doesn't fit into it, ham radio in general media (and why most shows get it 'wrong'), John's personal history (he thought he was going into the ski industry), and a little on ham radio's own new media.

John says that he appreciates HamRadioNow for our long-form programs. He'll really like this one, not (just) because he's on it, but because it's over 2½ hours of in-depth one-on-one with KN4AQ.

This is an extra-long, mostly talking-head show, and it's earned our first Radio Rating of A+. There are a few video clips, but you'll miss almost nothing.

We've reviewed Last Man Standing episodes twice before when they aired those episodes that put ham radio front and center. Here are links to the YouTube videos (sorry, not available as audio just now):

Dec 20, 2016

TAPR's John Ackermann N8UR details this little Arduino based device - he calls it a stopwatch - that will measure time to the trillionths of a second. Why does anyone need that, when, according to Star Trek, it's possible to give verbal start-stop commands controlling spacecraft going faster than light? Aaaaand... Go! But we digress. 

This is a fully assembled device, not a kit (Gary will make that mistake in the intro).

There are lots of charts and diagrams, so the Radio Rating is D+, though if you're already conversant with the material, John's description might carry you through. If not, enjoy Gary's diversion for the first 8 minutes, then skip to YouTube.

Dec 11, 2016

Author Jim George (JK George) N3BB talked to Gary about his (relatively) new book Contact Sport at the 2016 Dayton Hamvention®. The book takes you deep into the world of the participants of the 2014 WRTC (World RadioSport Team Championship), perhaps the most elite contest in Amateur Radio. Jim was embedded with one of the teams, but got lots of additional detail through interviews (and spies?). As a former WRTC competitor and referee, he knew what to look for. And as a writer, he knew how to tell the story.

Lots of background noise, recorded in a busy exhibit hall, and we're maybe a little more fun to watch talking, but still a talk show, so Radio Rating of A. If you get the thumbnail picture with your podcast, pretend the mouths are moving and you'll have it.


Dec 10, 2016

Emcomm Extra co-host David Goldenberg W0DHG reviews a hospital Emcomm drill that he participated in a few weeks ago.

Then Army MARS Program Manager Paul English WD8DBY/AAA6B introduces us to Air Force MARS Chief Dave Stapchuk KD9DXM/AGA5C, and they review the MARS/Ham Radio Interop Exercise A Very Bad Day.

We've got a few graphics, but mostly this is talking-head territory, so it gets the Radio Rating of A, and it's almost two hours with, so happy listening!

Dec 7, 2016

Mel Whitten K0PFX leads this double-length session to show how practical High Definition Digital Amateur Television is for you, today. Great picture, lower bandwidth, and affordable equipment available now.

So this is a superb contradiction – an audio show about television. And Im afraid you'll miss a lot, from the graphics to the demos. So a Radio Rating of C-. But as usual, listen and see if it drives you to the screen.

Well help with one – click HERE for Gary's VHF/UHF Band Plan chart PDF.

Dec 2, 2016

2016 is the 20th anniversary of Gary writing A Ham's Night Before ChristmasIn this episode, he'll tell the story of writing it, performing it live, then recording audio and finally the video. Then he 'performs' the poem on camera (sort of), which, of course, you miss here in the audio version. 

We're conflicted about the Radio Rating of this episode. The poem's first media was audio, so this should be an easy A. But you'll miss all the cute QST covers and ads from across the decades, so that knocks it down to a C-

So if you can scratch up the bandwidth, the High Def video version is only three minutes long. Listen to the story here, then go play the video:

Dec 1, 2016

Tampa Bay NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Dan Noah WX4DAN joins Dan and Gary to talk about SKYWARN Recognition Day. The Special Event will see 24 hours of ham operation from dozens of National Weather Service offices from 7 PM Friday December 2, to 7 PM Saturday (Eastern Time). 

SKYWARN is well known, but needs lots more participation from hams, especially in rural areas.

We show some maps and web sites, but this show is mostly talk, so Radio Rating of A. Maybe A+ considering how much Dan and David's Skype video is frozen.