Amateur Extra Lesson 10.1, Topics in HF Propagation

Here’s your video introduction to Section 10.1, HF Propagation, in the ARRL Extra Class License Manual for Ham Radio. Topics include ground wave propagation, NVIS, sky wave propagation, Pederson ray, absorption, long-path and grayline propagation, and fading.

You can return to the complete list of Amateur Extra Class training videos by clicking here. If the DX Atlas software interests you, you can learn more by clicking here to go to the Afreet Software site.

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Amateur Extra Lesson 9.4, Antenna Design

Here’s your video introduction to Section 9.4, “Antenna Design,” in the ARRL Extra Class License Manual for Ham Radio. This is a short section and a short video. Included are short demos of both EZNEC and 4nec2.

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Amateur Extra Lesson 9.3, Antenna Systems

Here’s your video introduction to Section 9.3, “Antenna Systems,” in the ARRL Extra Class License Manual for Ham Radio. Topics covered include impedance matching of transmission lines to antennas, how transmission lines work, including electrical length, propagation velocity, loss, reflection coefficient, standing waves, also the Smith chart, transmission line stubs, synchronous transformers, and antenna analyzers.

To return to the list of Amateur Extra Class training videos, click here.

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Amateur Extra Lesson 9.2 Part 2, Practical Antennas

Here’s the second half of the video introduction to Section 9.2, Practical Antennas, in the ARRL Extra Class License Manual for Ham Radio. The second half covers the Beverage antenna, phased arrays, effective radiated power, satellite antennas, receiving loop antennas, and radio direction finding.

You can return to the list of Amateur Extra Class training videos by clicking here.

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Amateur Extra Lesson 9.2 Part 1, Practical Antennas

Here is your video introduction to the first half of Section 9.2, “Practical Antennas,” from the ARRL Extra Class License Manual for Ham Radio. Topics covered are ground effects, shortened and multiband antennas, the folded dipole, long wires, the vee, and the rhombic. Part 2 will cover more material.

You can return to the list of Amateur Extra training videos by clicking here.

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Amateur Extra Lesson 9.1, Antenna Basics

Here’s your video introduction to Section 9.1, “Antenna Basics,” from the ARRL Extra Class License Manual for Ham Radio. Lots of material here!

After you’ve watched the video, read the section, and are comfortable with the questions in the question pool, you can return to the complete list of videos by clicking here.

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QRP: What’s the Fuss?

Recently I ran across an old article I wrote for BARC’s Bark (Boulder, Colorado, Amateur Radio Club) in November 1994. Some things have certainly changed since then, but much may still be of interest.

BARC’s BARK Volume 19 Number 11 November 1994
What’s the Fuss about QRP?
by Dave Casler, KE0OG

Every hobby has its fanatics. There are those who do technical climbing without equipment. People jump out of perfectly good airplanes. Wonderful paintings on pin heads. Bicycling in the snow. Two acre gardens. We hams have QRPers.

If you think DXers are passionate people, try listening to a group of QRPers! QRPers are devotees of the “less is more” philosophy. They rejoice in QSOs at ever lower power levels (soon one will figure out how work with negative power). They use terms like “thousands of miles per watt.” The smaller the transmitter the better— I’ve seen plans for a functioning transmitter contained inside a fountain pen!

What’s all the fuss about? Is there something here a sane person (like you and me) might enjoy? Is it just possible they may be on to something? Read on…. Continue reading

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Video Editing Class Charts

Charts I provided at the video editing workshop I taught recently. Click on the image to go to the PDF charts.

Charts I provided at the video editing workshop I taught recently. Click on the image to go to the PDF charts.

Here are the charts from the video editing workshop I taught at the Montrose, Colorado, Public Library on Monday, 23 March 2105. The presentation also including analyzing an excerpt from The Amazing Spiderman, looking at features such as establishing shots, cuts, and reaction shots. The remainder of the presentation focused on using a simple editor, Microsoft’s Windows Movie Maker, to create a movie that contained clips, titles, transitions, voiceover, and music. The charts attached here include instructions for downloading and installing Windows Movie Maker. There was also a “vocabulary” handout that you can find here.

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Amateur Extra Lesson 8.3, Receiver Performance

Here’s your video introduction to Section 8.3, “Receiver Performance,” in the ARRL Extra Class License Manual for Ham Radio. The material in the book is rather thorny, so I provide a short refresher on logarithms and decibels. I also provide a complete work-through for a couple examples in the text.

This is a section that may require reading a couple times to sort out all the terms. After you’ve finished studying the section and have reviewed the associated exam questions, you can return to the list of videos by clicking here.

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Video Vocabulary: Handout for Video Editing Class

Here are some terms that beginning video editors will encounter, prepared for a class I gave on beginning video editing:

  • Action camera. A video camera designed to capture action or high adventure from the point of view of the particpant. The most popular action cameras today are made by GoPro.
  • Audio. 1) A video camera usually records both audio and video at the same time. The audio can be separated from the video for processing. 2) Separately-recorded audio that will be added to the video in editing. NOTE: It is hard to overemphasize the importance of good audio. Audio quality can make or break a video.
  • Background. What’s behind the object you’re capturing on video. Pay attention to the background!
  • Backup. A copy of your computer files on media that is separate from your computer’s hard drive. There are many ways to do this.
  • Black and White. A representation of an image that uses only value (luma or brightness); devoid of color.
  • B-roll. Extra footage that can be inserted for variety during voiceovers and interviews. For example, for a wedding video, get some footage of the building, the grounds, and the guests arriving; these can be slotted in later during post-production.
  • Burn. The process of copying a computer file to optical media such as a CD or DVD. So-called because a laser actually melts microscopic pits on the surface of the media.
  • Camcorder. A generic term for a camera designed specifically to capture video.
  • Capture. The actual process of recording video.
  • Chroma key. Chroma refers to color. Chroma key is a technical technique in which all objects in a video that match a certain chroma, or color, are “keyed out,” meaning they become transparent. This allows overlaying one scene on top of another.
  • Cinematic. Uses techniques similar to those used in Hollywood films. Tells a story. Uses lighting, audio, music, depth of field, and other techniques similar to the way they are used in feature films. A very subjective term.
  • Clip. The basic unit of editing. It’s a continuous single take from a single camera that has been trimmed for length. The term is derived from using scissors to clip out sections of film for inclusion in a movie.
  • Color. In video, the combination of red, green, and blue light (additive colors) used to represent nearly any color or value that can be seen by the human eye.
  • Consumer. Low-end, mass-marketed. Consumer video cameras range from less than $100 for absolute junk up to several hundred dollars for something fairly decent.
  • Continue reading

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