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
2019-01-18 16:44
last episode published
2019-01-18 12:55
publication frequency
6.54 days
Contributors
Onno (VK6FLAB) author  
Onno Benschop owner  
Explicit
false
Number of Episodes
203
Rss-Feeds
Detail page
Categories
Technology Games & Hobbies Gadgets Hobbies

Recommendations


Episodes

Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors
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
2.12.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

When does knowing more make it harder?

Foundations of Amateur Radio The other day one of my non amateur friends asked for some help. He wants to set up a receiver for his bush fire brigade that's available via the internet so his community can listen to the communication channels when ther...
Onno VK6FLAB author
24.11.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Are you an Elmer?

Foundations of Amateur Radio Are you an Elmer? In our hobby there is a term "Elmer", referring to someone who helps new amateurs find their way inside the community, locate resources, understand techniques, etc. It's part of what we might consider th...
Onno VK6FLAB author
17.11.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

When failure doesn't matter ...

Foundations of Amateur Radio The other day I read a message from Theodore KS5I who has been around the block a couple of times. He recalls the excitement he experienced when he was first licensed in 1967, the year I was born. He described that at the...
Onno VK6FLAB author
10.11.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

The Golden Age of Amateur Radio is Now

Foundations of Amateur Radio The Golden Age of Amateur Radio is Now Imagine a world where electronics are pervasive, a transceiver can be purchased for the price of two Big Macs, kits are designed and built using simple tools at home, software makes ...
Onno VK6FLAB author
3.11.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Everything you wanted to know about amateur radio but were afraid to ask!

Foundations of Amateur Radio There are people who ask questions and there are people who answer them. Sometimes the people who answer even know what they're talking about, but sometimes they just repeat what they've been told without any form of criti...
Onno VK6FLAB author
27.10.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Get on air and make some noise ...

Foundations of Amateur Radio Get on air and make some noise is a phrase I use often to encourage amateurs to be active on-air and use the bands that are available to us. One thing that's often glossed over is how to actually make that noise. It can b...
Onno VK6FLAB author
20.10.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Celebrate accomplishments

Foundations of Amateur Radio Mistakes are common in all aspects of life. Sometimes they are only known to you, other times they are public knowledge and open to ridicule and lambasting. Getting on air for the first time is an accomplishment and often ...
Onno VK6FLAB author
13.10.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Everything you know about dipole (calculators) is wrong ...

Foundations of Amateur Radio Everything you know about dipole (calculators) is wrong ... The other day I did an experiment. I searched for "dipole calculator" and using the first 20 results I calculated the length of a dipole suitable for 7.130 MHz. ...
Onno VK6FLAB author
6.10.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Random bits of wire ...

Foundations of Amateur Radio One topic that is longer than all other topics combined is that of antennas. Designing, planning, sourcing, building, tuning, using, you name it, all of this is regular fare in the day of a radio amateur. I've discussed th...
Onno VK6FLAB author
29.09.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Is man-made noise really vertical?

Foundations of Amateur Radio One of the often repeated attributes of noise and antennas is that man-made noise is vertically polarised and that is why a vertical antenna sounds noisier than a horizontal dipole. It's an interesting thing to say, but it...
Onno VK6FLAB author
22.09.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Antenna Polarisation and you

Foundations of Amateur Radio The first time I came across the concept of antenna polarisation was a decade before I became a radio amateur. To connect to the internet while driving around Australia I became the proud owner of a portable satellite dish...
Onno VK6FLAB author
15.09.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Cloud Warming in style or what is NVIS?

Foundations of Amateur Radio The term NVIS, or Near Vertical Incidence Skywave is in my short experience as an amateur heaped with scorn and ridicule. Terms like cloud-warmer come to mind when people discuss the principles associated with NVIS, but th...
Onno VK6FLAB author
8.09.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

How can I talk to my friend?

Foundations of Amateur Radio A recurring question for people who are not yet, or newly licensed is something along the lines of: I have a friend who is 400 kilometres away, can I talk to them on my hand-held 2m radio? This particular question arrives...
Onno VK6FLAB author
1.09.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Nothing like the standard of Morse Code ...

Foundations of Amateur Radio Nothing like the standard of Morse Code ... Morse Code is a way of communicating with people across the globe using dits and dahs and the spaces between them to convey a message. It's no longer required to get an Amateur ...
Onno VK6FLAB author
25.08.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

How to start your own net ...

Foundations of Amateur Radio How to start your own net ... In the past I've talked about a weekly net I run, called F-troop. It's intended to be a place where new and returning amateurs find their feet, have a chat, test their gear, meet new friends,...
Onno VK6FLAB author
18.08.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Getting Started ...

Foundations of Amateur Radio Getting Started Don't get me started, Let's start this thing, Where do I start, Start me up, I could go on, but I have better things to do today, like starting a podcast. Amateur Radio is a hobby with an enourmous range ...
Onno VK6FLAB author
11.08.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

The mysterious three phase power ...

Foundations of Amateur Radio The mysterious three phase power ... There are times when you realise that you've always nodded your head when a particular topic came up and after doing that for long enough, you think you know what's going on. Turns ou...
Onno VK6FLAB author
4.08.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Water and Electronics a match made in hell ...

Foundations of Amateur Radio Water and Electronics, a match made in hell ... It's been raining around here for a while now. Not in the order of 40 days and 40 nights, but significant. Mind you, I have lived in a place where it rained every day for 57...
Onno VK6FLAB author
28.07.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Heated Elements and Circuit Boards

Foundations of Amateur Radio Heated Elements and Circuit Boards Recently I had a conversation with a group of amateurs, ranging in experience from newbie to salty, from purchase to build, from buy to scrounge, in other words, the whole range. One pe...
Onno VK6FLAB author
21.07.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

The Contesting Coin Toss for the rest of us

Foundations of Amateur Radio The Contesting Coin Toss for the rest of us If you've been part of the amateur community for a while and have heard me talk on matters of contesting, you'll know that I'm an avid contester and that for me it's better than...
Onno VK6FLAB author
14.07.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Programming Repeaters ... Revisited.

Foundations of Amateur Radio It seems that when you categorically state something, like I did recently, you get emails and feedback, almost immediately, pointing out the folly of your assertion. Within the context of setting up your radio, an hour be...
Onno VK6FLAB author
7.07.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Which repeaters should I put into my hand held radio?

Foundations of Amateur Radio A regular question from people who go on holiday is: "Which repeaters should I put into my hand held radio?" If there was infinite amount of memory and time, the answer would be simple - All of them. If it were that simpl...
Onno VK6FLAB author
30.06.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

How to get the best Amateur Radio gear?

Foundations of Amateur Radio How to get the best Amateur Radio gear? A recurring question for new entrants to our hobby, and truth be told, some experienced ones as well, is: "What's the best hand held to buy?", or the best antenna, or the best base ...
Onno VK6FLAB author
23.06.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

The Power for your Radio

Foundations of Amateur Radio A question that occurs more often than you might think is one related to powering your radio. It comes in a few different flavours, like: "I want to install a radio in my car, how do I power it?", or "I want to operate por...
Onno VK6FLAB author
16.06.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Get a Contesting Buddy

Foundations of Amateur Radio There is a solitude about amateur radio. Sitting in your shack, listening to the bands, trying to locate an elusive station and if you're doing a contest then even that can be something that you do alone. Don't get me wron...
Onno VK6FLAB author
9.06.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Logging of a Different Kind

Foundations of Amateur Radio Logging of a Different Kind We as radio amateurs log things. We log our contacts, we log our progress towards an award, we log how many different countries we've contacted, which stations we heard with WSPR, how many kilo...
Onno VK6FLAB author
2.06.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

The Internet of Digital Radio

Foundations of Amateur Radio The topic of how radio evolves and embraces available technology is one that describes the hobby itself. From spark-gap through AM, SSB and FM our community picked up or invented solutions to make communication possible. W...
Onno VK6FLAB author
26.05.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

How to find other Amateurs on Air

Foundations of Amateur Radio Where are all the Amateurs is a question that I am asked regularly by new entrants into our community. The journey most new amateurs go through and the one I followed starts with becoming interested, getting a license, buy...
Onno VK6FLAB author
19.05.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

How does a waterfall display work?

Foundations of Amateur Radio With computers becoming more and more ensconced within the confines of our radio shack the variety of information available is increasing regularly. The introduction of a waterfall display has dramatically simplified the p...
Onno VK6FLAB author
12.05.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Why do you contest?

Foundations of Amateur Radio The other week I participated in a contest. This particular contest was on the 80m band, around 3.5 MHz. The contest itself, while worthy of a mention, the Harry Angel Memorial Sprint, runs for 106 minutes and commemorates...
Onno VK6FLAB author
5.05.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Preparation for an outing ...

Foundations of Amateur Radio Previously I've talked about leaving your shack and setting up your station in a different location. I have my car configured as a mobile shack of sorts, that is, it's got a radio, an antenna mount and wiring to manage the...
Onno VK6FLAB author
28.04.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

SWR assumptions

Foundations of Amateur Radio In the past I've talked about the Standing Wave Ratio, the SWR, and how it describes some of the characteristics of your antenna system. I say system because it's not just the antenna, it's the connection between your radi...
Onno VK6FLAB author
21.04.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Learning on 2m FM

Foundations of Amateur Radio Last week during F-troop something very interesting happened. If you're not familiar with F-troop, it's a weekly net for new and returning amateurs and every Saturday we welcome callers to the one hour net to discuss anyth...
Onno VK6FLAB author
21.04.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Learning on 2m FM

Foundations of Amateur Radio Last week during F-troop something very interesting happened. If you're not familiar with F-troop, it's a weekly net for new and returning amateurs and every Saturday we welcome callers to the one hour net to discuss anyth...
Onno VK6FLAB author
14.04.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Shakespeare and Coax Stub Filters

Foundations of Amateur Radio If you read it on the Internet, it must be true, but what happens if you read it and there are 700 different answers? In my day job I search countless times a day for answers to problems. Based on my experience I can look...
Onno VK6FLAB author
7.04.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Experience comes from doing ...

Foundations of Amateur Radio During the week a friend reminded me that the process of determining what's happening within a shack comes with experience. In my day job my whole skill-set can be summed up with one word: "debugging", in all its many and ...
Onno VK6FLAB author
3.04.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

eBook Volume 6 - short

Foundations of Amateur Radio is now available as an eBook. In Volume 6 - Joy of discovery - read about microphone technique, the dead band, propagation maps, melting coax, amateur radio satellites, strange antennas, self-training, SOTA adventures and...
Onno VK6FLAB author
31.03.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

You and the IARU

Foundations of Amateur Radio Have you ever considered the infrastructure that exists to make it possible to tune to 7.090 MHz, call CQ and make contact with anyone on the planet? In a world where we as radio amateurs share spectrum with radio and tel...
Onno VK6FLAB author
24.03.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Coax Loss vs Connector Loss - now with more coax

Foundations of Amateur Radio Recently I spent some time discussing the losses associated with connectors between your radio and your antenna. The traditional wisdom, and I use the word "wisdom" ironically, says that each connector introduces loss into...
Onno VK6FLAB author
20.03.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

eBook Volume 5 - short

Foundations of Amateur Radio is now available as an eBook. In Volume 5 - Getting on air - read about the perfect SWR, how to become a better operator, what batteries to use, the difference between a propagation forecast and reality, the phonetic alpha...
Onno VK6FLAB author
17.03.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Coax Loss vs Connector Loss

Foundations of Amateur Radio A question that comes up regularly is one about loss, specifically loss in the coax and connectors between your radio and your antenna. The general wisdom is that better coax gives you better results and more connectors is...
Onno VK6FLAB author
10.03.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

Amateur Radio Minimalism

Foundations of Amateur Radio The ultimate radio shack is a nirvana that most amateurs I've met strive for all their life. One of the many views I've heard on the topic keeps speaking to me, one of minimalism, less is more, what is the absolute minimum...
Onno VK6FLAB author
6.03.2018 http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/foundations-of-amateur-radio_1400.jpg

eBook Volume 4 - short

Foundations of Amateur Radio is now available as an eBook. In Volume 4 - Just get started - follow my journey through the amateur radio community, how to use QSL cards, mobile antennas on HF, licensing requirements, policing the airwaves, the super c...
Onno VK6FLAB author