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Ham Radio Now

The audio version of our TV programs for and about Amateur Radio (Ham Radio). The video version is hosted at www.HamRadioNow.tv (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: November, 2017
Nov 20, 2017

The name HamCasters was created when Gary used it to label a new Reddit sub designed to be a place for ham radio podcasters, YouTubers, bloggers and media creators in general to announce their work, and for the audience to comment on it. There are several Amateur Radio subs on Reddit, but they discourage 'self-promotion' more than on rare occasions. And while a whole sub dedicated to promotion skirts the line, too, this sub is for promoting all Amateur Radio media. So far, the Reddit g(m)ods have not hurled a lightning bolt at it. 

The sub is just getting going. Not all ham-media creators have signed on, but it's picking up one or two a month. 

So for this episode, Gary and David invited a bunch of show creators and regular participants to get together for a pre-holiday gabfest (because that's what we all do). Here's who we got:

  • Sterling Coffey N0SSC (Phasing Line Podcast, YouTube star)
  • Dan Romanchik KB6NU (ICQ Podcast, author, blogger)
  • Curtis Mohr K5CLM (Everything Ham Radio Podcast)
  • Onno Benschop VK6FLAB (Foundations of Amateur Radio Podcast)
  • Sam Reynolds KM4WDK (HamKID YouTube show)
  • Bill Stearns NE4RD (Linux in the Hamshack, Newsline)

Radio Rating: A+. All talking heads, and a few web sites (and one clip of Sterling at school looking young and nerdy, but he's young and cool now, so it's OK).

Links:

  • Phasing Line Podcast http://phasinglinepodcast.com/
    • N0SSC Blog: http://n0ssc.com/
  • ICQ Podcast https://www.icqpodcast.com/
    • KB6NU Blog http://www.kb6nu.com/
  • Everything Ham Radio Podcast http://www.everythinghamradio.com/
  • Foundations of Amateur Radio Podcast  http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/
  • HamKID show www.HamKid.com
  • Linux in the Hamshack https://lhspodcast.info/
  • Newsline  https://www.arnewsline.org/
Nov 12, 2017

Skip the intro - FF to 5:14 (but think about clicking the Pig).

Full title: How to Fill a Terabyte Disk: Using SDR in the HamSCI Solar Eclipse Experiment

Count on John Ackermann N8UR to put a TAPR spin on the HamSCI experiment. John combined his ultra-accurate time/frequency skills with the TAPR/HPSDR radios to generate a lot of information from the Eclipse QSO Party and WWV observations. All from a little island in Lake Michigan.

Radio Rating: C. You'll miss the data in the charts. So not an F, but watch the video if you can.

Nov 12, 2017

Skip the intro - FF to 5:14 (but think about clicking the Pig).

You probably heard about the Eclipse QSO Party that generated lots of activity during the Great American Eclipse of 2017. It also generated lots of science, currently being digested by the team at HamSCI. They presented preliminary results and talked methodology in this team-talk at the 2017 DCC, led by Nate Frissell W2NAF. (And they're all so young!).

Radio Rating: B-. There are lots of charts and graphs, and you'll miss some details, but the guys explain it pretty well, and the story is compelling.

Nov 12, 2017

Skip the intro - FF to 5:14 (but think about clicking the Pig).

Full title: Ground Based DVB-S2 Repeater for GEO Satellites.

At last year's DCC, Bob McGweir N4HY presented this talk:

HRN 272: A GeoSync Ham Radio Satellite for the Americas

(here's the audio link)

This year, Wally Ritchie WU1Y wrote a paper that was presented by Steve Conklin AI4QR with more detail on the satellite, but mainly on plans for ground-based repeaters to do make the satellite easier to use for hams.

Radio Rating: B. Steve has some graphics slides, but many are text. And much of the talk is Q&A with no slides. As usual, go to the video if you need a fill.

Nov 12, 2017

Skip the intro - FF to 5:14 (but think about clicking the Pig).

Actually TNC-Pi 9.6k - Mark Griffith KD0QYN has upgraded the TNC Pi to 9600 bps... if you're signal is strong enough. Lots of details in this talk that puts the P back in TAPR.

Radio Rating: C. Keep in mind that this is not rating the quality of the program, just how much you lose (or keep) without the video. So lots of charts and graphs, but pretty well explained.

Nov 7, 2017

Last episode we had a little fun with some clips from a recent episode of NCIS, a popular and long-running crime drama on CBS. The episode titled Trapped had a significant amount of amateur radio in the plot. What we found in a quick scan was the usual butchering of radio procedure, along with a nice pat on the back.

We missed a lot, and were promptly told about it in comments and email. Besides 'handles' and wacky call signs, one of the hams apparently had serious paranoid delusions, and we were all pretty much tossed under the anti-social bus.

So we went back and picked out three sets of clips. First, we'll hear what ham radio sounds like in this corner of TV-land. Then we'll get a look at the gear they assembled for two stations (Kenwood will be happy, maybe). Finally, we'll hear what the NCIS agents think of ham radio, and we'll meet the ham who represents us in Prime Time, now that Tim Allen has retired.

Speaking of Tim Allen, Gary reached out to Last Man Standing Executive Producer John Amodeo NN6JA for his thoughts. John didn't want to appear on the show directly (you'll hear why), but he did give us cogent comments in writing. Gary and John are used to ham radio being inaccurately depicted in the general media, but Gary thinks this time we're seeing some actual damage.

Radio Rating: B. The dialog plus Gary's descriptions should carry you through this one pretty well.

Nov 3, 2017

We lead this episode with a note from ARRL HQ responding to our Force of Two episode about ham radio's part in Puerto Rico's recovery from Hurricane Maria. We invited the League's Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey KI1U to talk to us (or pass the request along). He did pass it along, HQ declined the invitation to appear, but did send a short note that we'll read.

Next, the click-bait headline story. On October 30, Ray Novak N9JA, Amateur Division Manager for Icom America, wrote a story on the ICOM blog titled Is Your Digital Repeater Ham Friendly? Our baitworthy headline comes from Ray's warning that some features in the radios designed for an un-named commercial digital radio service (cough dmr cough) can be used against the unwary operator (stun, kill, monitor) and have no place in the amateur radio service. We agree, but find Ray's treatment of the subject somewhat opaque, heavy-handed, and less than helpful. But what the heck - we're clearly not above a click-bait headline ourselves.

Helping us understand the details is Jason Johnston KC5HWB from the Ham Radio 2.0 show. Jason reviews just about every Chinese/DMR radio that crosses the ocean to America. Ray also casts a shadow over a DMR 'required feature' called talkgroups. Our discussion branches out to cover that and other comparisons between DMR and D-STAR.

Finally, the night before the show, CBS aired a new episode of NCIS that had a significant ham radio element. We show (you'll hear) a couple of clips that do the usual hack job on real ham procedure, but also include an almost press-release explanation of what ham radio is. Unfortunately (we are told... we didn't watch the whole show) the ham-protagonist in the plot turns out to be unstable, and (we are told) that hams are portrayed as anti-social in general. Maybe we should watch the whole thing.

Radio Rating:A-. We read all of the ARRL's note, so you won't miss that on-screen. There's a link to Ray's blog so you can see it all for yourself, as we don't read the whole thing to you. And you'll miss the video from NCIS, but if you picture a well-equipped, Kenwood-centric station, the dialog will carry you the rest of the way.

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