Posts Tagged ‘Elmer’

Radio Virgin: the First QSO

My first QSO (and, yeah, it was with Morse code) was petrifying and…

What’s your story of your first QSO?

73 de NW7US

Let’s Call CQ – QSO Today Episode 184 with NW7US

I got a Skype call a few weeks ago from Eric, 4Z1UG–the creator and host of the QSO Today Podcast–during which he asked me about how and why I got into amateur radio.  Here’s the result.

Eric writes,

We talk a lot about the band conditions due to the Sunspot cycle. Most of it on Facebook and other places is about how “dead” the bands are at this point. We all can’t wait until the cycle starts to rise and we will be making contacts with little effort. I remember in my conversation with Chuck Adams, K7QO in Episode 58, that he really enjoys operating is “Pigrig”, one watt, CW transceiver on 20 meters. When I asked him, (I liberally paraphrase) “but Chuck, the bands are dead. How does that work for you?”. His reply was that while most hams are listening to the bands, he calls CQ until he gets a reply. Works every time.

My QSO this week is with Tomas Hood, NW7US, who has years of expertise in propagation and Solar activity. He is the propagation editor of more than a few radio magazines and websites. In our post-recording conversation we discussed this phenomenon of listening and not calling CQ. I even had this idea that maybe one of the reasons that the digital modes are so successful is because they “beacon”, as part of the whole digital experience, the same as calling CQ. This is why they make contacts. From what I see, looking at PSK Reporter, hams are making lots of contacts worldwide using the digital modes. While SSB may not be working so well, CW and the digital modes seem to work fine.

I like to work on my bench or make the podcast while listening to the bands. Jeff Damm, WA7MLH, in Episode 177, says that he will put his keyer in CQ mode while he is working on a new radio. Invariably, sometimes after many minutes, he gets a reply. Great idea Jeff!


Eric, 4Z1UG

Episode 184 can be found here:

Highlights of Episode 184:

Tomas Hood, NW7US is the propagation editor of a number of shortwave and amateur radio magazines, and has a wide variety of websites, that grew out of his love for all things radio, and for listening on the bands to far off DX and commercial broadcast stations. Tomas shares his understanding of propagation and the lessons we can learn from listening, really listening to the QSOs and exchanges during contest operation.

All of the QSO Today episodes are great.  I enjoy hearing about many different hams.  Do check out all of the episodes that Eric has published.

73 de NW7US dit dit


LHS Episode #123: Busted for Jaycasting

jay-dighsxHello, folks! It’s February 2014, and we finally announce the winner of our Raspberry Pi contest! But before all that excitement, we have a great interview with a fellow radio amateur. Around that, we have news and information about the usual suspects, and covering it all is a thick layer of fun. Thanks for tuning in, and we hope to see you all in Dayton in May. Please donate to our Indiegogo campaign if you can. Every little bit helps. And don’t forget about the perks!

73 de The LHS Guys

Pacificon 2012 – Night of New Media Elmers

  This coming weekend, October 12, 13 and 14 the ARRL National Convention at Pacificon will take place in Santa Clara, California.  The organizers of the 2012 Pacificon event have worked hard to make this years event the best ever.


You’ll find all the usual activities you expect to see and hear at these types of events including top-notch forums, events, vendors and even an astronaut.  How cool is that? 

I’m especially excited and honored to be a part of a special Friday evening event titled “Pacificon Night of New Media Elmers”.   This event brings together some of the most beloved podcasters in the world of amateur radio in what I believe is the first event of its kind. 

I will join Randy Hall K7AGE, Chris Matthieu N7ICE and Gordon “Gordo” West WB6NOA through a Skype connection from Colorado for this very special night.

New Media is sort of the all encompassing term to describe podcasting (both audio and video) and blogging.  I’m truly honored to share the ranks with dozens of audio and video podcasters and hundreds of bloggers who frequently write and record audio and video all in an effort to help Elmer and promote the hobby and service of amateur radio.

I’m sure Randy, Chris, Gordo and myself are not strangers to you.  But perhaps if you are new to the hobby, a very brief introduction might be in order.

Randy Hall K7AGE resides in Grass Valley, CA and has been creating videos for YouTube since 2006.  His most popular video content has been his complete instructional videos on the digital mode PSK-31 and how to work the amateur radio satellites.   It was Randy’s YouTube video series on PSK-31 which inspired me to upgrade from technician to general so that I could use this wonderful digital mode.

Chris Matthieu N7ICE resides in Phoenix, AZ and is the founder of the first amateur radio social network and very popular  Chris also creates instructional videos on his website.   Chris has a level of enthusiasm and excitement in everything he does which is extremely contagious. 

Gordon “Gordo” West WB6NOA resides in Costa Mesa, CA and has helped many get their start in amateur radio through his license study materials.  Gordo also appears each week as co-host in the popular Ham Nation video podcast.

Jerry Taylor KD0BIK – Yep…that’s me!  Realizing I had a face for radio, I have mostly stuck to an audio only format for my Practical Amateur Radio Podcast which I launched in 2008.  I do from time to time post supplemental video material on my YouTube channel.  Between the audio podcast and video content, I’ve created over 100 audio and video episodes in the past 4 years all in an effort to help entertain, encourage, educate and inspire others.

I’m told the “Pacificon Night of New Media Elmers” event will be recorded and just as soon as all the post production work can be completed and the finished product uploaded, I’ll be certain to pass along how you can watch this special presentation.

For now, please watch the promotional video below.

Watch this video on YouTube.


Until next time…

73 de KD0BIK

PARP News – Episode 59 and Transcripts

PARPiTunes copy

It’s been a while since I posted any new news regarding the Practical Amateur Radio Podcast (PARP).  However, I did want to pass along two points of interest.  First, PARP 59 was released yesterday.  PARP 59 is titled “The Well Equipped Ham Shack”.  In this episode I share some thoughts on items to consider other than the usual transceiver, tuner etc. 

Second, I received an email yesterday from a fellow ham who just discovered PARP.  He introduced himself and explained he was hearing impaired and asked if written transcripts were available.  He was aware of the quality of content in my PARP episodes but is unable to listen to my audio podcasts. 

Some may know that I prepare a written script which I read from for each of my shows content.  I do this for several reasons.  One, I believe those who can sit down in front of a microphone and just begin talking without stumbling, stammering, inserting hmmmms and ahhhhhs truly have a gift.  I’m not one of these individuals and I’m OK with that.

Second, while I understand the content I discuss…..I try very hard to ensure what I put out for my listeners is accurate.  Yes…sometimes I make a mistake…but after all I’m only human.  For me, writing out a script just helps make sure I have all the information I need to communicate already available to me in the script.  Since I already have the written script I use to record my audio podcasts, it was really simple to fulfill the request for a transcript. 

Going forward, each regular monthly PARP episode as well as the weekly PARP Plus editions will include a link in the show notes to a downloadable transcript in Adobe PDF format.  Just visit and view the show notes.  You’ll see a link labeled “Transcript”.  I’ve also linked all regular monthly PARP episodes recorded in 2012 and 2011 with their transcript.  I’m working on 2010 and 2009 as I have time.  Unfortunately, I can only go back to episode 16 as the first 15 scripts have disappeared.

I hope you’ll help me share this news with any of our fellow hearing impaired hams you may know. 

Thank you for your time.

Until next time…

73 de KDØBIK

PARP 47–A letter and a poem

PARPiTunesA letter written by fellow amateur Christopher Seright, KE5ZRT has been posted on several blogs and on social media platforms such as Facebook and Google+.  I’m sure most will agree when I say some of our fellow hams and some amateur radio clubs are not as tolerant to the the recent changes in licensing procedures and new hams in general.  This episode I read the letter Chris wrote along with a poem by Eddie Phillips, N4EMP.

I hope you’ll listen and share this information with others.  You can download or stream episode 47 of the Practical Amateur Radio Podcast from


Thank you for your time.


73 de KD0BIK

PARP Episode 45 Now Available


The Practical Amateur Radio Podcast (PARP) is an amateur radio or ham radio podcast I created in 2008.  Like many, I discovered podcasts when I purchased my first iPod and was introduced to the world of iTunes.  I subscribed to many podcasts in those early days but it wasn’t until after I got my ham ticket in 2007 that I discovered amateur radio related podcasts.  I decided to launch PARP as a mechanism for giving back to the hobby I love so much.  The Practical Amateur Radio Podcast is a podcast about all things ham radio.  While geared towards the brand new ham or someone interested in getting into the hobby, I do cover a wide range of topics which have even inspired individuals who have been in the hobby for many years, to try out and find they truly enjoy some of the newer modes.

If I remember correctly, I created this blog several months before the podcast was born.  While both have suffered over the years due to my sometimes hectic work and life schedule, I’ve tried to keep both going and never allow either to duplicate each other.  I really think of this blog as more of an extension of my radio hobby and the podcast more of the educational mechanism for Elmering new and prospective hams alike. 

In any event, I just released my 45th episode and you can download it via iTunes (just search for the practical amateur radio podcast) or you can stream it direct from my podcast website.  A site designed for smart phone users is also available.  The topic for episode 45 of the Practical Amateur Radio Podcast is, So you have your technician class license, now what?  I encourage the newly licensed ham to join a local club in his/her area and get involved.  In addition, I’m a strong supporter of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and encourage all to join and support this organization.  I also share many of the exciting things a new tech class license holder can get involved with. 

As it is with every episode, I encourage all listeners to share the knowledge learned through my podcast episodes with others.  The Practical Amateur Radio Podcast, creating Elmers one podcast at a time. 



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