Amateur Extra Class Lesson 4.1: Radio Mathematics

Here’s your video introduction to Section 4.1 of the ARRL Extra Class License Manual for Ham Radio, which covers Radio Mathematics. This is our first deep dive into the technical material. I’ve tried to provide extra explanations to help. Please post a comment if you have questions or concerns.

After you have viewed this video, studied the material in the text, and ensured you understand all the answers to the appropriate questions in the question pool, you may return to the list of Amateur Extra videos by clicking here

I added some background music. Let me know what you think.

Posted in Amateur Extra Class License Training, Ham Radio blog entries, Video | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The New “Parallel Trail” (#139): Uncompahgre National Forest

Friend Gary, my wife Loretta, and I traveled the newly-opened Parallel Trail, Forest trail #139, in the Uncompahgre National Forest near Montrose, Colorado. Gary has a Polaris RZR, as do my wife and I. The RZRs are 50 inches wide, so they are allowed on ATV-only trails in Colorado, and the Parallel Trail is an ATV trail. (Motorcycles, horses, and hikers are also allowed, but no Jeeps.) This short video shows scenes from the trail plus shows the map and how to get to the trail.

Posted in All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) and Side-by-Side, Montrose County, Video | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Imogene Pass: Video Short

Here’s a two-minute video with highlights of our trip yesterday to Imogene Pass, not far from our home. The ride was sponsored by the Uncompahgre Valley Trail Riders Association.

Imogene Pass is located at 13,140 feet above sea level in the San Juan mountains in Colorado, astride Ouray and San Miguel. It’s a popular tourist destination for those who like incredibly rough roads! My wife and I made the trip in our Polaris RZR. The camera is a GoPro Hero2 HD. The video was assembled in CyberLink PowerDirector 12, and the music is courtesy of YouTube’s audio library.

Posted in All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) and Side-by-Side, Ouray County, San Miguel County, Video | Tagged | Leave a comment

Amateur Extra Class Lesson 3.6: Miscellaneous Rules

Here’s your video introduction to Section 3.6, Miscellaneous Rules, in the ARRL Extra Class License Manual for Ham Radio. If you have comments, questions, concerns, or suggestions, please post a comment below.

After you’ve viewed the video, study the material in Section 3.6 and be sure you understand all the answers to the questions in the pool. You can return to the list of Amateur Extra videos by clicking here.

Posted in Amateur Extra Class License Training, Ham Radio blog entries, Video | 1 Comment

Field Day: Amateur Radio Outdoors

Here’s a video I put together for the Montrose (Colorado) Amateur Radio Club.

Field Day is the biggest ham radio event of the year! The Montrose, Colorado, Amateur Radio Club put on its event atop Sunset Mesa to the west of downtown Montrose, Colorado. The point of Field Day is to encourage hams to become proficient at communicating in emergency situations. As you can see, the group is running on generator power under field conditions. Oh, the other point? Eat, chat, and enjoy each other’s company!

Listen to the dialog too—some is quite funny. I didn’t add any music so it was easier to hear the dialog. I made each clip very short—most don’t exceed a few seconds. Videography and editing by Dave Casler, amateur callsign KEØOG.

Posted in Ham Radio blog entries, Montrose County, Video | Tagged | 1 Comment

Instructional Videos: How I Make Them

Here’s a “behind the scenes” look at making one of the ham radio instructional (training) videos, in this case for Amateur Extra Lesson 3.5. The purpose of these instructional videos is to help people get their ham licenses, and they are companions to the respective ARRL study guide. Learn more by clicking on the appropriate heading in the right hand column of every page on this site.

I captured the video with my Brinno TLC200 Pro time-lapse camera. You can clearly see the equipment I use. I stand on that little rug behind the music stand – it keeps me from wandering too far. The green screen is separately lit by three fluorescent fixtures: one above and one on each side. I use a rather bright soft box as the key light, and another at half-brightness as the fill light. I also have two lights mounted on the bar as hair/back lights, which makes it easier to pull a key (chroma key/green screen) in post production in CyberLink PowerDirector 12. I use a teleprompter to keep myself on script and avoid the “uhs” that come otherwise. Plus, with the teleprompter, I can capture several takes of the same script segment and choose the best one (meaning no errors, dropped words, substituted words, mispronounced words, or outright flubs).

Making the ham radio instructional videos is a lot of work! I do it because the feedback I get indicates they’re useful. I’ve already created complete sets for Technician and General, and am now working on the Amateur Extra series. The first videos were pretty primitive; I’m trying to improve production values with each one I make. And, yes, I really enjoy making them.

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Amateur Extra Lesson 3.5: Volunteer Examination Program

Here’s your video introduction to Section 3.5, Volunteer Examination Program, in the ARRL Extra Class License Manual for Ham Radio. In this video I provide lots of background that helps put things in context.

After you finish viewing the video, study Section 3.5 in the text. Be sure you understand all the answers to the relevant questions from the question pool. Then return to the list of Amateur Extra videos by clicking here. If you have comments, questions, or concerns, please comment here or on YouTube.

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CyberLink PowerDirector 12: Tips on Getting Started

Here are a few tips on getting started with CyberLink PowerDirector (PDR) 12. I use PDR to produce all my videos, including the ham radio training videos and the occasional travel video.

  • I’m assuming you already have some video clips stored on your hard drive. I’ll call the location of these clips the “project folder.”
  • Open CyberLink PowerDirector 12 by clicking on its icon or by selecting it via the Start Menu.
  • I find it easiest to simply select and then delete the sample clips. They get in the way. Note that there’s a place in Preferences that you can select that will suppress them when PDR loads (discussed below).
  • Before adding any files, let’s do some work in Preferences. You can get to Preference two ways. You can click on the gear icon:
    The gear icon in PDR takes you directly to Preferences

    The gear icon in PDR takes you directly to Preferences

    or you can select Edit > Preferences:
    You can also get to preferences by clicking on Edit and then clicking Preferences

    You can also get to preferences by clicking on Edit and then clicking Preferences

    This brings up a screen with many preferences. Continue reading
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Grand Mesa National Forest: Independence Weekend Ride

A good friend organized a ride through Grand Mesa National Forest, north of Cedaredge, Colorado. What you see here is a seven hour ride reduced to seven minutes of highlights. I drove my Polaris RZR. In front of me for about the first half of the trip is Gary’s RZR. The others in the ride rode ATVs. The July 5th scenery is spectacular and all the lakes are full.

Here’s the GPS track for the trip:

GPS track of Grand Mesa ride on July 5, 2014. Click on image to see larger image.

GPS track of Grand Mesa ride on July 5, 2014. Click on image to see larger image.

Posted in All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) and Side-by-Side, Delta County, Grand County, Video | Tagged | Leave a comment

Amateur Extra Lesson 3.4: Amateur Satellite Service

Here’s your video introduction to Section 3.4, Amateur Satellite Service, in the ARRL Extra Class License Manual for Ham Radio. You can find a complete list of these video introductions for the Amateur Extra license by clicking here. Please post comments on this post or on YouTube if you have any comments, concerns, or questions.

After you have watched the video, studied the material in the text, and have ensured that you understand the answers to the relevant questions from the question pool, you can return to the list of videos by clicking here.

Posted in Amateur Extra Class License Training, Ham Radio blog entries, Video | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments