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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Slides from “Introduction to YouTube” Class on 16 March 2015

Click on the slide to go to the PDF set of charts presented 16 Mar 2015 at the Montrose (Colorado) Public Library. Note that the YouTube logo belongs to YouTube and is used here only for educational purposes.

Click on the slide to go to the PDF set of charts presented 16 Mar 2015 at the Montrose (Colorado) Public Library. Note that the YouTube logo belongs to YouTube and is used here only for educational purposes.

Here are the slides from the class I taught at the Montrose (Colorado) Public Library on 16 Mar 2015. The slides cover only part of the presentation; the rest of the material was in video format. I’ve been asked to put the slides up for reference. Here they are in PDF format. Click to access the slides: Introduction to YouTube (slides only).

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Amateur Extra Lesson 8.2, Amateur Television

Here’s your video introduction to Section 8.2, Amateur Television, in the ARRL Extra Class License Manual for Ham Radio. It covers both amateur fast-scan television (real-time images) and amateur slow-scan television (non-real-time transmission of still images).

When you are finished and have studied the manual and the test questions, you can return to the list of Amateur Extra Class videos by clicking here.

To see how to download MMSSTV, continue reading. Continue reading

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Publishing on Amazon’s CreateSpace

Here are the slides I presented last night describing how to publish on CreateSpace. Clicking on the slide will bring up a rather large PDF file; please be patient while it loads.

Here are the slides I presented last night describing how to publish on CreateSpace. Clicking on the slide will bring up a rather large PDF file; please be patient while it loads.

Here are the charts I presented yesterday. The occasion was a class at the Montrose (Colorado) Public Library. The first several charts discuss the pros and cons of self-publishing and the benefits and limitations of CreateSpace. The rest of the charts follow the entire process of uploading and publishing a book. The example is The Capricorni Conundrum, now in proof stage, which is slated for an April, 2015, release. NOTE the PDF file download is large at 8.5 MB, so this could be a slow download if you do not have a fast link. Click on this link: Publishing with CreateSpace. (The file will not appear on your screen until it is completely downloaded.)

Please note that although I publish several books on CreateSpace, I have no other attachment or affiliation with them. This post also appears at www.mtsneffelspress.com.

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Logging and QSLing for the Radio Amateur in the Electronic Age

Here’s a presentation I gave last night at the February meeting of the Montrose (Colorado) Amateur Radio Club. I generated the presentation in response to a request to explain how to get the ARRL’s Logbook of the World (LOTW) to work. I decided to backtrack a bit and also include background on logging and QSLing.

I recorded audio to go along with the slides today.

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Amateur Extra Class Lesson 8.1, Digital Protocols and Modes

Here’s your video introduction to Section 8.1, “Digital Protocols and Modes,” in the ARRL Extra Class License Manual for Ham Radio.

When you have finished viewing the video, have studied the section, and are comfortable with the associated questions in the question pool, you can return to the list of videos for Amateur Extra Class by clicking here.

There is an error in the discussion of Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum. The chart is correct, but the annotation chooses the wrong row of colors for the zero case. The correct row for the case of a one is the top row, and the correct row used in the case of a zero is the second row, not the third. The third row is actually the transmitted sequence. Sorry ’bout that!

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Amateur Extra Class Lesson 7.4, Interference and Noise

Here is your video introduction to Section 7.4, “Interference and Noise,” in the ARRL Extra Class License Manual for Ham Radio.

After you’ve viewed the video, studied the section, and are comfortable with the associated test questions, you can return to the full list of Amateur Extra videos by clicking here.

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