Foundations of Amateur Radio

http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Starting in the wonderful hobby of Amateur or HAM Radio can be daunting and challenging but can be very rewarding. Every week I look at a different aspect of the hobby, how you might fit in and get the very best from the 1000 hobbies that Amateur Radio represents. Note that this podcast started in 2011 as "What use is an F-call?".

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Website
http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/
Description
Starting in the wonderful hobby of Amateur or HAM Radio can be daunting and challenging but can be very rewarding. Every week I look at a different aspect of the hobby, how you might fit in and get the very best from the 1000 hobbies that Amateur Radio represents. Note that this podcast started in 2011 as "What use is an F-call?".
Language
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-11-16 15:47
last episode published
2019-11-17 00:00
publication frequency
6.63 days
Contributors
Onno (VK6FLAB) author  
Onno Benschop owner  
Explicit
false
Number of Episodes
246
Rss-Feeds
Detail page
Categories
Technology Games & Hobbies Gadgets Hobbies

Recommendations


Episodes

Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors
17.11.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Putting a radio in a car.

Foundations of Amateur Radio Putting a radio in a car. As you might recall, most of my radio activity is done away from my shack. I tend to operate portable, camping, sitting on a jetty or using a picnic table while a BBQ is going nearby. For me ope...
Onno VK6FLAB author
10.11.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Where is North?

Foundations of Amateur Radio The other day we were aligning an antenna for a contest. It had slipped on the rotator pole during a recent storm and when the rotator was set to zero it was pointing somewhere south east. Not ideal if you want to point yo...
Onno VK6FLAB author
3.11.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

In pursuit of a challenge

Foundations of Amateur Radio An interesting question came up the other day. It's there such a thing as a solo contest? At the time I answered with examples like talking to a hundred countries to achieve the DXCC, or doing that on every band. I gave ot...
Onno VK6FLAB author
27.10.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

First Solo

Foundations of Amateur Radio The other day I looked in my diary and noticed that it was the anniversary of my first solo flight. If that's not familiar to you, it means I got in an aeroplane on my own for the first time, taxied to the end of the runwa...
Onno VK6FLAB author
20.10.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

World Wide Radio Operators Foundation

Foundations of Amateur Radio The other day I accidentally learnt something new. I know, it's crazy, sometimes I surprise myself. I received an email that announced an activity from something called WWROF, more specifically, the World Wide Radio Opera...
Onno VK6FLAB author
13.10.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

How to make contesting interesting to an audience?

Foundations of Amateur Radio As you might know I enjoy doing contests, actually that's an understatement; I LOVE doing contests. I think that they represent an excellent way to learn about operating procedure, propagation, band selection, antenna dire...
Onno VK6FLAB author
6.10.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Leave some bread crumbs behind

Foundations of Amateur Radio About a year or so ago I received a message from a friend of mine. The message asked if I would have or could find a use for some amateur radio gear from their active amateur father who became a silent key. That started a ...
Onno VK6FLAB author
29.09.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Lessons Learnt

Foundations of Amateur Radio Lessons Learnt Learning to me is an ongoing process. For some reason that's not a universal experience. I've met people who cram for an exam, pass their test, get the certificate and hang out their shingle. The retained k...
Onno VK6FLAB author
22.09.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Going on an outing

Foundations of Amateur Radio Going on an outing After my fun and games working out how to manage power for a temporary radio set-up, away from my shack and normal infrastructure, I had the pleasure of actually going out to get on air and make some no...
Onno VK6FLAB author
15.09.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Planning for an outing

Foundations of Amateur Radio Planning for an outing Recently I had the opportunity to use a new radio whilst I was far away from my shack. It wasn't unexpected, I took the radio with me, planned for the experience and packed light with intent. My or...
Onno VK6FLAB author
8.09.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Boating adventures

Foundations of Amateur Radio Boating adventures The other day I was on a boat. That's right, me, on a floating thing, on the water, the ocean actually, steering and everything. I should confess that when I was younger I spent most weekends sailing as...
Onno VK6FLAB author
1.09.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Gate-keeping, special people and bullies.

Foundations of Amateur Radio Gate-keeping, special people and bullies. One of the recurring topics in my experience of amateur radio is that associated with people who use the hobby as an excuse to sow discontent. That comes in many forms, at the ext...
Onno VK6FLAB author
25.08.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

New Entrants are Everywhere

Foundations of Amateur Radio New Entrants are Everywhere The hobby of amateur radio has been around for a long time. It was here before I was born and it will be here after I become a silent key. The same is true for you. While there is a recurring d...
Onno VK6FLAB author
18.08.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

What's in a Watt?

Foundations of Amateur Radio What's in a Watt? We need more power. I'm giving her all she's got, Captain! She cannae take anymore. I'm sure your Scottish ancestors are rolling in their graves right now, but in our community of radio amateurs we have...
Onno VK6FLAB author
11.08.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

It broke and now what?

Foundations of Amateur Radio It broke and now what? Imagine you're a new amateur. You've woken up in the middle of the night because insomnia seems like a good way to use amateur radio as an excuse to get on air and make some noise. You turn on the r...
Onno VK6FLAB author
4.08.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

What's in a word?

Foundations of Amateur Radio What's in a word? When you join a new community you learn very quickly that each community has its own language. A word in one community has a different or extra meaning in another. For example, the word "Snowflake" in on...
Onno VK6FLAB author
28.07.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

How far can I talk on radio?

Foundations of Amateur Radio How far can I talk on radio? A question that regularly hits the enquiring minds of people who are not (yet) radio amateurs is one about distance. For both amateurs and those who are not ye) inducted into our community the...
Onno VK6FLAB author
21.07.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

What's allowed on our bands?

Foundations of Amateur Radio Recently there was a discussion on social media about the legality of various types of transmissions. Before I get into the specifics, it's worth looking at some of the rules around this. I will point out that this isn't e...
Onno VK6FLAB author
13.07.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Your Software Defined Radio around the home

Foundations of Amateur Radio What would you do if you found that at random times your garage door opener didn't work, or the Wi-Fi network dropped out, or you couldn't switch off a light with an RF controller? That's the position I found myself in an...
Onno VK6FLAB author
6.07.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

The Software Defined Radio vs. Traditional Radio choice

Foundations of Amateur Radio For some time I've been explaining how some of the internal workings of a Software Defined Radio operate with a view to getting into the nitty gritty of the why and the how. This exploration is happening within the context...
Onno VK6FLAB author
30.06.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

The Regulator

Foundations of Amateur Radio From time to time our hobby changes. While the idea that we're all a bunch of old men playing with spark gap transmitters, or using strange noises to the annoyance of others, the reality of amateur radio is markedly differ...
Onno VK6FLAB author
22.06.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

From Milk to Direct Conversion in a Software Defined Radio

Foundations of Amateur Radio It seems my analogy with milk glasses hit a nerve when I explained some of the inner workings of a simple Analogue to Digital Converter, also known as an A/D Converter or ADC as part of my exploration into Software Defined...
Onno VK6FLAB author
15.06.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Milking Software Defined Radio

Foundations of Amateur Radio One of the unsung hero components of a Software Defined Radio is the A/D or Analogue to Digital converter. Its job is to convert the analogue signal that's coming in via the antenna into a digital signal that is processed ...
Onno VK6FLAB author
8.06.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

When digging gives you more understanding, the magic of software.

Foundations of Amateur Radio Today I'm going to go sideways to move forward. In amateur radio we consider circuits, components such as transistors, inductors, capacitors, crystals and how they're connected to each other. The framework in which that ex...
Onno VK6FLAB author
1.06.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Software Defined Radio offers another path to the same information.

Foundations of Amateur Radio Over the past few weeks I've been describing how some of the fundamental concepts of software defined radio work and how some of these operate and interact with each other. You might think of some of these ideas and techn...
Onno VK6FLAB author
25.05.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Digital Origami in Software Defined Radio

Foundations of Amateur Radio As a quick recap of what I've discussed before, a Software Defined Radio is a tool that essentially measures the voltage at the base of an antenna system and sends that to a computer for processing. The faster you measure...
Onno VK6FLAB author
17.05.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

SDR: How many colours inside a Software Defined Radio?

Foundations of Amateur Radio SDR: How many colours inside a Software Defined Radio? If you were asked to make an image of the Sydney harbour bridge and only use four dots, the viewer might struggle to determine what was the bridge, the sky, the water...
Onno VK6FLAB author
11.05.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

SDR Sample Rates: How fast is fast enough?

Foundations of Amateur Radio SDR Sample Rates: How fast is fast enough? If you measure the voltage at the base of an antenna and record the readings, you end up with a collection of numbers that represent the voltage over time. These numbers, or samp...
Onno VK6FLAB author
4.05.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Software Defined Radio is fundamentally a different way of looking at radio spectrum

Foundations of Amateur Radio We think of radio as operating on a specific frequency. We select an antenna resonant on a single band. We configure the radio for that same band and then turn the dial or the VFO, or Variable Frequency Oscillator to a par...
Onno VK6FLAB author
26.04.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

How does a Software Defined Radio or SDR work?

Foundations of Amateur Radio If you've been around the hobby in the past decade, you may have come across the invention of a Software Defined Radio, or SDR. You might even own one and if you've looked into how it works, read the explanation that essen...
Onno VK6FLAB author
20.04.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Antennas out of sight and out of mind ...

Foundations of Amateur Radio Previously I've spoken about the dynamic nature of your station. Even if from day to day use, nothing changes, things around you are always in flux. Propagation changes, power fluctuates and the environment in which your a...
Onno VK6FLAB author
13.04.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Fragility of Communication

Foundations of Amateur Radio Our day to day life is full of communication. We listen, although less and less, to the radio for news and entertainment, sometimes mixed together as food and games for the masses. We can communicate with family, friends ...
Onno VK6FLAB author
6.04.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

When you hear a distress call ...

Foundations of Amateur Radio When you hear a distress call ... When you get your amateur radio license you become part of a select group of humans who are required to notify authorities if you happen to hear an emergency transmission. Not only that, ...
Onno VK6FLAB author
29.03.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Overcoming Microphone Anxiety

Foundations of Amateur Radio Overcoming Microphone Anxiety If the thought of keying up a microphone has you break out in a cold sweat, or the notion of making a mistake sends you into fits of anxiety, the idea of performance in public makes your hear...
Onno VK6FLAB author
23.03.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

The Station Log

Foundations of Amateur Radio The Station Log A topic that rarely if ever gets any serious air-time is the humble station log. It's a process where you track what contacts you've made with whom, when and what conditions prevailed at the time. Notice ...
Onno VK6FLAB author
15.03.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

What's in a Chirp?

Foundations of Amateur Radio What's in a Chirp? On Thursday the 3rd of July 2008 at 6 minutes to 7 at night a developer called Dan KK7DS started to scratch an itch and published the results. The next morning before breakfast Dan added more. Since the...
Onno VK6FLAB author
8.03.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Creativity comes with practice

Foundations of Amateur Radio Creativity comes with practice I grew up with Lego, plastic blocks that you can put together in infinite variety. My oldest Lego kit hails from 1964, kit 324: House with Garage and it's still in pretty good nick today. It...
Onno VK6FLAB author
3.03.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

All the power in the world and not enough battery!

Foundations of Amateur Radio All the power in the world and not enough battery! The transceiver you use to get on air and make noise needs power to operate. The traditional voltage for our amateur equipment is 13.8 Volts. Why not 12 Volts you ask. Th...
Onno VK6FLAB author
23.02.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

More WSPR adventures

Foundations of Amateur Radio More WSPR adventures Previously I've spoken about the joy of making something out of not much. On that theme I've covered WSPR, the Weak Signal Propagation Reporter, a mechanism to use a modest station to report signals r...
Onno VK6FLAB author
15.02.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Modern Tools for a Modern Hobby

Foundations of Amateur Radio The hobby we call amateur radio is enormous. One amateur called it a thousand hobbies in one and that just about sums it up for me. Being bored inside this hobby is not an option, because there is just so much to do and se...
Onno VK6FLAB author
8.02.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

How effective is your station?

Foundations of Amateur Radio How effective is your station? We tend to spend most of our energy looking at antennas and power to evaluate how well our station works. Based on a better antenna or more power, you're likely to make more contacts is the ...
Onno VK6FLAB author
1.02.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

How to select a mobile operating location

Foundations of Amateur Radio Operating your amateur radio station at home, in your shack, is one of the often discussed aspects of our hobby. Much has been said about installation, antennas, grounding and the like, but what if you want to operate mobi...
Onno VK6FLAB author
26.01.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Brand New Callsign

Foundations of Amateur Radio Today I have a new callsign, it's exciting, special, kind of strange, to be known as something other than VK6FLAB. It's hard to overstate how much of your identity as a radio amateur is linked to your callsign. It's a str...
Onno VK6FLAB author
18.01.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

The reported death of Amateur Radio due to FT8 is an exaggeration

Foundations of Amateur Radio The reported death of Amateur Radio due to FT8 is an exaggeration In 2017 a new digital amateur mode called FT8 joined the ranks of inventions related to our hobby. Since then it's taken the amateur world by storm, filled...
Onno VK6FLAB author
11.01.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Fan Vertical Antenna

Foundations of Amateur Radio One of the single most recurring topics within our community is that of antennas. Everywhere you look is a story or a photo or a website or a contact about an antenna that came into being because somebody had an idea. Now...
Onno VK6FLAB author
5.01.2019 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Empirical evidence and the scientific method

Foundations of Amateur Radio Empirical evidence and the scientific method The hobby of amateur radio is a curious animal. It sits at the junction between empirical evidence and the scientific method. On the one hand it's all about physics, electricit...
Onno VK6FLAB author
30.12.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

QRP EME project update #1

Foundations of Amateur Radio QRP EME project update #1 Over the past year and a half I've been working on a secret project. Today I'd like to share what I've been up to. To set the scene, I'm not doing this on my own, a fellow co-conspirator is Randa...
Onno VK6FLAB author
23.12.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

What are you proud of?

Foundations of Amateur Radio Often we forget the things we've done or achieved and every now and then it seems like a solid use of time to reflect a little on what went before and what that did. Recently I asked various amateurs what they were proud o...
Onno VK6FLAB author
16.12.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Contest Headphones and glorious HF SSB

Foundations of Amateur Radio Recently I managed to get some quality on-air time when I participated in a contest. This isn't about contesting. Although I suppose tangentially it is. It was a most enjoyable experience shared with some friends and becau...
Onno VK6FLAB author
9.12.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

How do I get a better antenna?

Foundations of Amateur Radio The question that new amateurs most often ask after "What radio should I buy?" is "How do I get the best antenna?". In a household where you're the only antenna affected aficionado the question is likely more along the li...
Onno VK6FLAB author