Posts Tagged ‘HamRadioSchool.com’

Ham Radio School Does Video!

I’ve been teaching ham radio license classes with our local radio club for many years now using the Ham Radio School books, written by my friend Stu Turner (W0STU). We use a fast-paced two-day format that strives for efficient learning…go fast but have the students actually learn something. Towards that end, we were frustrated with the existing license books and online material available: they either just “taught the exam” or overwhelmed the student with too much detail. Stu ended up writing the Technician license book that solves this problem. Is easy to read and covers just enough of the material so that the student actually learns about ham radio.

Now Ham Radio School has moved to the next level, offering an online Technician class based on high-quality video training. Stu is an excellent instructor and very competent at explaining the key concepts, so the videos are easy to watch and digest. Different people have different learning styles, so the Ham Radio School learning system includes the highly successful Technician book, online videos, and an extensive set of support materials on the hamradioschool.com website. Of course, these different elements are integrated together and present the ham radio concepts in a consistent manner.

This is a snapshot from the Ham Radio School website showing the recommended study flow for getting your Technician license.

Stu has developed a video production system that really works, using professional computer graphics tools. The videos are easy to watch, proceeding at a decent pace. If you miss something, you can always back up the presentation and look at it again.

The Ham Radio School videos are professional produced and easy to watch and understand.

You can try out the first four Technician lessons at no charge and then decide if this approach works for you. The entire video course is available for an introductory price of $15.95. (The Ham Radio School book is available for $19.95). Depending on your learning style, you might just want to read the book, view the video class, or do both. Your choice.

73 Bob K0NR

Disclosure: I have contributed content to the Ham Radio School website, provided technical consulting on the General License class book, and have received compensation for this work.

 

The post Ham Radio School Does Video! appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

Choosing A First Handheld Radio

Once again, I was asked by a new ham “which handheld transceiver should I get?” This is a frequent and valid question that comes up. Often the question gets framed as “Baofeng or something better?” I say “something better.”  I am not writing to bash Baofeng radios or the people that use them. The radios are an incredible value on the low end of the market…amazing what they can do for $30 or so. Besides, I own several of them.  I just think that if you have a few more $$ to spend, you can get a much better radio. What’s wrong with these low-end Chinese radios? Out of spec harmonics on transmit and poor adjacent channel rejection on receive.

Digital? Probably Not

The other question that usually surfaces is “should I get a digital radio?” Here “digital radio” means D-STAR, Yaesu Fusion or DMR. My answer to that is “No,” unless you have a specific reason for going digital. Adding digital to a radio results in two things: 1) a higher price and 2) a more complex radio. Actually, the price difference may not be that significant, especially for a DMR radio. However, the complexity factor is always there.

What is a specific reason for going digital? You already know that there are digital repeaters in your area that you want to use, you have ham radio friends already using digital or you are technically-oriented and have researched the topic to know that it is something you want to try. If one of these things is true, then go for it.

Oh, you do need to know which digital format to get. No radio does them all and the industry is fragmented between D-STAR, Fusion and DMR. I find this very disappointing but life is sometimes like that.

Narrowing It Down

So narrowing the topic down, we are looking for an affordable (under $100) dual-band handheld that is not a cheap Chinese radio (Baofeng, etc.) and is not a fancy digital radio. My opinion is the quality ham radio manufacturers are pretty much Alinco, Icom, Kenwood, and Yaesu. The price points on basic handheld transceivers keep changing, so be sure to check the date on this post and do a little price shopping.

The Alinco DJ-VX50 is about $100, so not too expensive, but I am not seeing any eham.net product reviews on it. Also, it seems to be out of stock at several vendors, so I am not sure of its production status. Icom and Kenwood have exited the low-end handheld market, so nothing to consider there. This leaves Yaesu as the only “brand name” player in this space. I have been recommending the Yaesu FT-4XR as a good alternative: see What About the Yaesu FT-4XR? at about $80. I recently noticed that the Yaesu FT-65R has come down in price to about $85. With this price difference, it probably makes sense to go with the FT-65R. (I really wonder about Yaesu’s product line strategy at this point. Why are there two similar radios priced so close together?)

Here is a quick comparison of the two radios: Yaesu FT-4XR vs FT-65R, which is right for you? Conclusion: FT-65R is probably better for most people. Also, check out the HamRadioSchool.com article: Yaesu FT-65R Product Review.  The eham.net product reviews are generally positive on the FT-65R, but there are a few negative themes that surface. Some people are reporting radio failures that may indicate a manufacturing issue with the product. (It is made in China.)

The Good Old FT-60

The other theme that surfaces is that the FT-65R is not a complete replacement for the venerable FT-60R. Joyce/K0JJW and I have a couple of FT-60Rs that we really like and frequently use. Yaesu still sells this older model because it is so popular and, frankly, it is a really solid radio. The HamRadioSchool.com review of the FT-65R mentions several things that people tend to like on the FT-60R that were left out of the FT-65R (e.g., dedicated VFO and Squelch knobs.) The biggest complaint I hear about the FT-60R is that it has an old-school NiMH battery (the FT-65R has lithium-ion).

My conclusion is to recommend the FT-65R to newcomers to the hobby. At ~$85, it fits most people’s budgets. There is some risk that you will outgrow it down the road and want a more capable handheld for digital or APRS or whatnot. In that scenario, the FT-65R will still be a good second/backup radio. (Ya gotta have more than one, right?)

That’s my opinion. What y’all think?

73 Bob K0NR

The post Choosing A First Handheld Radio appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

General License Class – Black Forest, CO

Sat Sep 28 and Sat Oct 5
(8 AM to 5 PM)

Black Forest Fire Station
11445 Teachout Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80908

The General License provides access to regional and worldwide communications on the HF bands, greatly expanding your ham radio fun!

• Upgrade from Technician to General Class radio privileges
• Pass your FCC General Class amateur license exam Oct 12*
• See live equipment demonstrations and activities
• Learn to operate on the HF bands, 10 Meters to 160 Meters
• Gain a deeper understanding of radio electronics and theory
• Take the next step with antennas, amplifiers, digital modes

Registration fee: $30 ($20 for under 18 years of age)

Prerequisite: Students must already have their Technician License

The required study guide is:

HamRadioSchool.com General License Course
Third Edition, effective 2019 – 2023, $24.95

* Free FCC exam session on Oct 12 at Black Forest Fire Station 9:30 am.

To register for the class, contact Bob KØNR,  [email protected]

Sponsored by the Tri-Lakes Monument Radio Association

The post General License Class – Black Forest, CO appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

Technician License Class – Black Forest, CO

Time: Saturday Sept 15 and Saturday Sept 22 (8 AM to 5 PM) 2018

Location: Black Forest Fire Station 1
(intersection of Burgess Rd. & Teachout Rd., Black Forest, Colorado)
Sponsored by the Tri-Lakes Monument Radio Association

The FCC Technician license is your gateway to the world-wide excitement of Amateur Radio, and the very best emergency communications capability available!

  • Earn your ham radio Technician class radio privileges
  • Pass your FCC amateur radio license exam right in class on the second day
  • Multiple-choice exam, No Morse Code Required
  • See live equipment demonstrations
  • Learn to operate on the ham bands, 10 Meters and higher
  • Learn to use the many VHF/UHF FM repeaters in Colorado
  • Find out how to participate in emergency communications

For more background on ham radio, see Getting Started in Ham Radio.

Registration fee: $30 adults, $20 under age 18
In addition, students must have the required study guide:

HamRadioSchool.com Technician License Course
New Edition, effective 2018 – 2022, $22.95

Advance registration is required (No later than one week before the first session, earlier is better, first-come sign up basis until class is full.)

To register for the class, contact: Bob Witte KØNR
Email: [email protected]

The post Technician License Class – Black Forest, CO appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

General License Class (Black Forest, CO)

ft-991Ham Radio General License
Two-day Class

Black Forest, Colorado
Two class sessions on Sat Sept 24 and Sat Oct 1 (8 AM to 5 PM) FCC Exam session on Oct 8th
Location: Black Forest Fire Station
Intersection of Burgess Rd. & Teachout Rd.

The General License provides access to regional and worldwide communications on the HF bands via ionospheric skip, greatly expanding operational capabilities!

  • Upgrade from Technician to General Class radio privileges
  • Pass your FCC General Class amateur license exam Oct 8 *
  • Live equipment demonstrations and activities
  • Learn to operate on the HF bands, 10 Meters to 160 Meters
  • Gain a deeper understanding of radio electronics and theory
  • Take the next step with antennas, amplifiers, digital modes

Registration fee: $30
(No FCC exam fee required at Oct 8 exam session)

InGeneral Book addition, students must have the required study guide:

HamRadioSchool.com General License Course
Second Edition, effective 2015 – 2019, $22.95

Current FCC Technician License required for registration. Advanced registration is required by Sept 10th or earlier. First-come registration acceptance until class is full.

To register for the class, contact: Bob Witte KØNR

Email: [email protected]  or Phone: 719/659-3727

Sponsored by the Tri-Lakes Monument Radio Association.

The post General License Class (Black Forest, CO) appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

This Spewed Out of the Internet #31

0511-0701-3118-0930 This is another update on important stuff spewing forth from the interwebz. It has been a while since I’ve done this, so we’ve got some catching up to do.

The KØNR Radio Site has expanded to Facebook. “Like” us there.

There is a statewide email list available to Colorado radio amateurs. Join us there to stay informed about regional events.

Grid locators are important for VHF/UHF operating. I came across this web site that does a good job of mapping the grids. I wrote a Shack Talk article over at HamRadioSchool.com that explains Simplex, Duplex, Offset and Split. Stu WØSTU posted a very helpful article explaing NVIS (Near Vertical Incidence Skywave) Antennas.

In June, Keysight Technologies donated some professional measurement software to the ARRL. Yeah, I had something to do with that.

From the Cheaters Gonna Cheat Department:

The Ham Hijinks crew contributed some outstanding literary works to the ham radio community. Recently, they’ve latched onto the theme of hams using cheap radios to not make any contacts on VHF:

Dodge uses Morse Code in one of their car commercials. Speaking of cars, check out Wired’s article: Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway.

Steve WGØAT created another SOTA video, this one with Clay NF1R on Mount Herman.

I heard this song by Phil Collins on a the radio recently and I’m convinced its about the heartbreak of trying to work a rare DXpedition. Give a listen.

And then there’s this…a very well done video about ham radio that has lots of people talking.

Well, that’s all for now.

73, Bob K0NR

The post This Spewed Out of the Internet #31 appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

Announcing: Oct 2015 WØTLM Technician License Class

W0TLMHam Radio Two-Day License Class

Sat Oct 3 and Sat Oct 10 (8 AM to 5 PM) 2015
Location: Black Forest Fire Station 1, Black Forest, CO

The Technician license is your gateway to the world-wide excitement of Amateur Radio …

  • Earn your ham radio Technician class radio privileges
  • Pass your FCC amateur radio license exam right in class on the second day
  • Multiple-choice exam, No Morse Code Required
  • Live equipment demonstrations
  • Learn to operate on the ham bands, 10 Meters and higher
  • Learn to use the many VHF/UHF FM repeaters in Colorado
  • Find out how to participate in emergency communications

There is a non-refundable $25 registration fee for the class.

In addition, students must have the required study guide and read it before attending the two-day class: HamRadioSchool.com Technician License Course $20.95
(make sure you get the most recent edition of this book, updated for the new FCC exam questions)

Advance registration is required (no later than one week before the first session, earlier is better! This class usually fills up weeks in advance.)

To register for the class, contact: Bob Witte KØNR
Email: [email protected] or Phone: 719 659-3727

Sponsored by the Tri-Lakes Monument Radio Association
For more information on amateur (ham) radio visit www.arrl.org

The post Announcing: Oct 2015 WØTLM Technician License Class appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.


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