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
2019-06-15 15:45
last episode published
2019-06-15 09:41
publication frequency
6.59 days
Contributors
Onno (VK6FLAB) author  
Onno Benschop owner  
Explicit
false
Number of Episodes
224
Rss-Feeds
Detail page
Categories
Technology Games & Hobbies Gadgets Hobbies

Recommendations


Episodes

Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors
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
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