My Ham Radio Home Page

(You may have been directed here from www.ke0og.net) You’ve landed on my ham radio home page. I’m KEØOG, an Extra-Class ham radio operator. I’m active on HF, 2-meters, and 440 MHz. I use this page as an index to ham-radio-related material on this site.




Current Geomagnetic Conditions for HF Bands

This chart shows various geomagnetic indicies and what the sun looks like now. These indicies show what HF propagation is like right now. You can use data like this to help you find a good HF band for operations. You can refresh this page to get the latest data.



Courtesy Paul, N0NBH, www.hamqsl.com

Becoming a ham radio operator

How I do it (which will be different from the way you do it, but it’s sometimes nice to have something to compare to)

Getting on HF with your General Class License – a look at station necessities

Special Techniques

Computer Issues

Miscellany

On-the-air Activities on the Colorado Western Slope

LDS (Mormon) Church ham-related activites

105 Responses to My Ham Radio Home Page

  1. Steve Rogg says:

    Dave,
    I passed both Tech and General Class exams tonight, 4/14/2017. I watched your videos after my instructor covered the material in a class room and between both of you it ready helped get the info into my thick skull. Thank you for all your work and I will continue to watch your videos.
    Steve Rogg

  2. Hi Again Dave! It’s been a while, about a year in fact.

    I’ve gotten awfully discouraged in trying to get started with Ham Radio and I just keep falling into more and more frustration.

    I got my technical and general tickets on the same day about a year ago. Boy was I excited. I took a month or two to research rigs for a simple home office setup. I chose a Yaesu 991, with and nice power supply. I also got one of those window pass throughs for my antenna…oh yeah THAT!

    The next 12 months have been just heartbreaking. I live in a single family, single story house, in a residential area. We have no trees, only nice shrubs and plants. Standard lot size home pretty much in a 1970’s tract. Height on the house is around 20ft total. I’m up in years, so I don’t do climbing on ladders higher than around 6′. With all this, the antenna possibilities are just zero, it seems.

    I’m thinking that my last option is a vertical that I might can just stand up in the back yard, much to the chagrin of my wife! I was thinking of something like an AV-640 from Hy-Gain. It “looks” like I just need to put something in the ground and then push that over it. It’s 25′ long, but I’m reading that you have to put it like 8′ above ground. There’s no way that if it falls it doesn’t hit my wooden fence or my roofline even if I put it smack dab in the middle of the back yard. No power lines though. I can probably guy it (though they say it’s good to 80mph without guying.

    I really just want to talk locally on 2m/70cm and then probably on 40m. Would love to explore some DXing, but probably not with my restrictions. Would like to try my hand at PSK31 and integrating my Radio with my home computer.

    I just keep coming back to that old thing that going high up ain’t gonna happen and I’ve been more than tempted now a few times just to sell off the equipment and try to recoup a little money back! HELP!

  3. Dennis Cornell says:

    Hi Dave, I just watched your video on using the manual tuner. You are right there with Gordon West WB6NOA. I commented to Gordon one time and also asked Gary to do a video for Hamnation on using the 259 to tune the tuner without using the radio on the air for the initial set-up. I suggested using the 259 in place of the radio into the tuner which is hooked to your antenna. You tune the 259 to the frequency you want to tune the tuner to and then adjust the tuner for the lowest SWR on the 259. After I do this I remove the 259 and briefly hit the cw key and look at the SWR. All my tuners have a meter and doing it this way you don’t put a carrier on the air while tuning. I have done this when tuning Hustler or Hamstick mobile antennas. It also works great with the TarHeel antenna tuning it up and down until you get the lowest SWR on the frequency you set on the 259. I am an Extra and have been in Ham Radio since 1967. Your way is the way I learned way back when. Back before the 259 came about. I have several 259’s and now I added the Rig Expert AA-30 to my tool box. 73 and remember to watch Hamnation either on You Tube, Roku or TWIT.TV/HN Wed night at 1900 MST.

  4. Dave says:

    Kenneth, I haven’t done a video on power supply isolation transformers. I’ve never used one and would have to experiment for awhile before I’d have anything useful to say. Thanks for the suggestion. 73, Dave, KEØOG

  5. Kenneth Lung says:

    Hi Dave,

    I am confused. (That’s normal for me). I have been watching YOUTUBE videos about isolation transformers manufactured by reputable companies, which are recommended for use when trouble-shooting problems. It seems they (the companies) are tying the ground connections to the neutral connections inside the transformers. This, according to the movies, can be very bad if you are using oscilloscopes or two prong electrical plugs on old equipment and can cause problems for the ‘scope’ or your own person. They can be severely damaged and you can be electrocuted.

    I have tried to find one of your videos on isolation transformers but haven’t been successful. If you have done a video on this, would you please give me the link so I can watch it/them. If you haven’t produced one, could you let me know if what I am saying is true.

    I think your videos are very enlightening and I have learned a lot from them.

    Keep up the good work!!!

    Thanks and 73s

    Kenneth Lung
    KD4HQQ

  6. Dave says:

    Gordon, thanks for the topic suggestion. I’ll add it to the list. 73, Dave, KEØOG

  7. Gordon Keeton says:

    I have been out of radio for years. Getting back in it and have a question about coax. I have old RG-8/U on my antennas that seams to be still good. I was thinking of replacing it and have received many different ideas from other Hams. I have my station in my back room. I plan on using 100w on HF using my Gap Titan antenna using about 60 feet of coax. Also I am using a Diamond X50 antenna with about 30 feet of coax. I have been told to use LMR 400, others have told me that is over kill and a waist of money. Can you do a video on what coax is best and adequate to use. I know there have to be more people like me.

  8. Donald Kruck K2EPE says:

    Dave, I just finished you product review on the TYT U/V 8000E . What a complete job you did. Much praises for the completeness – you found a new job. I have a question regarding the TYT. I programmed our local repeater according to your directions and saw the red light go on followed by the green. However no voice came from the TYT. I checked the FM,ok, and then I transmitted and pressed the squelch button on the side and the repeater could be heard. tried several more times and the cw id came through. Is there a function tab or procedure the locks the tx speaker from being heard? The only support I can get is to call China , since the 400-699-8858 toll free US is not recognized by Verizon. Great review but a big minus on support. Can you help me/ am I missing something? Don

  9. Alfredo says:

    Just saw your first chapter on extra class and I would like you to be my instructor.

  10. Thomas Robinson says:

    I’ve been licensed since 1975, but fell into inactivity for many years. Lately my interest has renewed and I’ve got the bug again. Your videos have been extremely helpful in my effort to relearn old things and catch up with some of the new angles. Keep up the good work. I really appreciate your efforts. WA4OKO

  11. Dave says:

    Interesting. I looked them up. For the times, their price was quite high. Also, Wikipedia has an article on the General Radio GR-874. Quite groundbreaking at the time, but no longer used. Thanks for the info.

  12. Lloyd Stallkamp says:

    Appreciated the video on RF connectors. Not all connectors though have a gender. The old General Radio Connectors are gender neutral.

  13. Dave says:

    Good suggestion.

  14. New to HAM having recently passed my technicians exam and working towards my general license. Really enjoying your videos and I only have one suggestion. Maybe you could put the camera on yourself and your radio showing exactly what you are talking about. I loved your video on the 20 meter band, but how great would it be if you actually worked your way up the dial so we could listen in on what you are talking about.

    Otherwise, great stuff.

    Sheldon
    W0SJF
    Aspen, CO

  15. Walter A says:

    Dave:

    I have waited a few months to send along this comment!!

    After being licensed since 1976, I decided to finally go for the Extra Class license, after being a General for some time.

    I signed up for a local Extra class & so began the 3 month journey. But, with the material that needed to be covered & only meeting once a week, I needed some extra resources.

    One of my fellow students told me about your videos for each of the amateur licenses. I tuned into the Extra class videos & I was hooked!!! I started watching them every chance I got. This definitely helped me with the study material. It actually made the studying a lot easier.

    This morning, I went to the local VEC, giving exams, to take the Extra exam. I passed the Extra exam!!! It was a great moment. What made it even more neat, was the instructor of the class was one of the VEs this morning & I was able to receive my certificate of credit from him.

    There were about 4 of us that got Extra, as about half of the class dropped out in the beginning. We were truly “the class of 2016”, as the test questions change on July 1st. We were glad to get Extra before the next pool!!

    So, once again, thanks for such great videos!!! I work with some guys that just got Technician & I will encourage them to check out your General videos, when they are ready to study. Also, I hope that you will go on someday, to do videos on the new Extra Class pool questions.

    If you are ever around Melbourne, Florida, give me a shout!! We can do dinner.

    Look forward to working you on HF someday…….

    Walter, WB5ZGA

  16. Phil Mills says:

    Your General and Extra Class videos are a very helpful introduction to the ARRL material. They really added another dimension to the written material. Last night I passed my: Technician, General and Extra Class exams.

  17. Dave says:

    John, E7C11 is a bit of a trick question. It’s covered on page 6-42 and 6-43 in the ARRL Manual. It’s a concatenation of two elementary networks, one with a capacitor in shunt followed by an inductor in series, the send with an inductor followed by a shunt capacitor. This creates a network that starts with a shunt capacitor, two coils in series (which add to form an equivalent coil with the two inductances added), followed by a shunt capacitor, which is a pi network. The key is to note that the two inductances are in series, and can thus act as a single inductor. Hope that helps. 73, Dave

  18. John Sutherland says:

    Great site and your videos on Youtube are a big help. I have a question on the Extra exam.

    30. Which of the following is the common name for a filter network which is equivalent to two L networks connected back-to-back with the inductors in series and the capacitors in shunt at the input and output? (E7C11)
    (This is identified as the correct anwer) A. Pi
    B. Omega
    C. Cascode
    (I chose this but is says I am wrong) D. Pi-L

    I answered Pi-L because the description says “inductors” plural. I though that was a Pi-L?

  19. Dave says:

    Phil, insulated radials act like counterpoises, and have low voltage and high current near the base of the antenna and low current and high voltage at the far end. So, if the end of the radial can be touched directly, as is often the case with cut wire, then yes, there could be an issue, potentially causing an RF burn to the unfortunate toe. Also, of course, laying radials out on the ground is a tripping hazard too! If you have buried your radials, insulated or not, there will likely not be an issue. Of course, there can also be RF exposure issues if kids are near the antenna and you’re running high power. 73, Dave

  20. Phil Kline says:

    Dave,

    Thanks for your video series “Ask Dave.” Have found the videos extremely helpful. I do have a question about antenna safety. When in TX is there any danger from the ground radials if an individual were to come in contact. I realize that the radials are part of the antenna and I am concerned particularly children walking across the area perhaps with bare feet. Should I be concerned?

  21. Dave says:

    Hi John, I’ll be getting the new ARRL book soon and will assess the videos for updates. Good luck with your studies!

  22. John says:

    Dave, The new Amateur extra question pool has over 135 new questions. I’m hoping you will be putting out a video covering some of the subjects of these. I’m currently working on my extra class license and your videos are an excellent tool to supplement my studies. Thanks for all your hard work to elmer new hams into the hobby. 73 John

  23. Dave says:

    Stephen, I don’t know much about it, but I’ll put it on the list. 73, Dave

  24. Hi David Casler

    Please can you do a video on DSTAR. or if you have please send me the link.
    And thanks for all your hard work. it really helps us all.

    Kind, Regards
    Stephen Reynolds
    South Africa
    ZS6SJR

  25. Jim Robinton says:

    Dave,
    I just wanted to send out a personal thank you. I am sure you already know what impact you are having on a lot of peoples lives by sharing your videos. I have been a Ham for 44 years, and last fall I started in on your video’s for extra class. I hit the books hard over the winter and finally got a chance and I took the exam with the local VE’s here in New Hampshire last night. It really feels great !!!

    Thanks Again
    /Jim /N1CRZ

    P.S. My daughter also lives out in Colorado (Boulder area). She hikes in the Flat Iron Mountains quite a bit. Takes her HT along with her as they are often out of cell range. Great for WX info on overnight trips, and she can normally hit some repeaters in case of emergency. I was the first ham in my family 1972, and now my son (Mineapolis), daughter, my Dad (now 85) and my father-in-law (Now Silent key) are all hams.

    The first time my wife brought me home to meet her family, there her father was sitting at the kitchen table with a cassette player learning code. He looked up and acknowledged us and said he would be with us in just one minute as he was learning code (totally independent as I was meeting him for the first time). When he finished the random letter groups, I said to him (“I think you are confusing X and P”)… needless to say we became fast friends 🙂

  26. Rice Strange says:

    Hello Dave.

    Simply another of the many dozen’s of thanks for your video series and for the super teaching technique. I just sat for the tech (100%) and for the general (Uhg …. 97% but the one I missed was a question that was supposed to be removed Feb 2015, but okay). The point being you were THE go-to source whenever I wanted more than just a “right” answer.

    “Extra”??? Not sure yet, but I know where to look for help when the time comes.

    Thanks for giving to the HAM community.

  27. Dave says:

    Chris, you’re dealing with two things going on here. You’ll have to make do with a compromise antenna, such as something tacked to the ceiling. Second, the rig you mentioned is only 5 watts. Between the compromise antenna and the anemic rig, you’re looking at lots of frustration. I recommend a 100 watt rig as a starter. If you learn and use CW, then you’ll be able to have more contacts because CW contacts don’t take nearly as much power for the equivalent SSB contact. I remember putting up a 20-meter dipole in my apartment back in Tampa, FL, in the 1970s. It wasn’t really good but did work. With your antenna that close to you, beware of the RF safety implications. Basically, you won’t be able to do 10 meters without cutting power way back, but on 20 and 40 you’ll probably be okay—but check the calculations with the RF safety calculator I mention in the General RF Safety video. Be patient and persistent. As you learn more the initial frustrations will go away. BTW, I have a friend who, when faced with your situation, put an HF mobile station in his car. Then he’d drive to the park to operate. Good luck! 73, Dave, KEØOG

  28. Hi

    I just wanted to thank you.

    Stumbling upon your videos made me interested in ham radio, then I bought a Yaesu VX8DR to listen in on repeaters and “collect” APRS packets as I drove around (could not tx, didnt have the license).

    Because I used your videos I was able to get my tech and general in my first go (just today actually), the only one in the class that was able to do it. (I say class but in reality we just all showed up, talked a bit then took the test).

    So now I have a tech related question for you.

    I am going to start saving money so that I can get a Yaesu 817ND. so I can get into the large bands I have access to (I was not expecting to get general) I live in a studio apartment, and can not put ANYTHING up. Do you know of an antenna that could fit in a small (20×20) room that will let me listen in and respond to HF frequencies?

    write me back!

    –Chris

  29. Dave says:

    Craig, indeed civility seems to be the issue of the decade. In my mind, since destroying things is much easier than building things, destroying is the thing lazy people do, and building is what the rest of us do. It doesn’t take any work or creativity to be destructive. Given the nature of radio, it takes a long time (sometimes a couple years) to track down the offending operator. Basically the FCC needs to catch him in the act. Good luck with your Extra! 73, Dave, KEØOG

  30. Craig Szwed says:

    Thank you, Dave, for sharing your wisdom and giving us that YouTube overview series of videos of the Extra Class license material. It is good for me to hear it broken down the way you do, in addition to what the manual says. The background info is good also.

    In September 2015, I took and passed my Tech and General tests, and got my General ticket that October. Now I’m cramming for the Extra ticket, as more experienced hams advised, before the current exam structure expires this coming June.

    One point of like to mention, that you brought up in video 3.1, I believe, is the responsibility of every ham to consider ourselves civilly and responsibly on the air. Having run 11 meter LSB for decades, and still using it while I’m researching and preparing a mobile rig, Over this past year, I’ve been noticing that there sound like a lot of hams using LSB on 11 meters, as a meeting place, and then they either dominate the frequencies around channels 36 through 40, or they jump over to 12 or 10 meters. I’ve heard them calling and setting the meets. One of the things that is happening as a result of that practice is that there is a while lot more hostility and outright nastiness like regular CB used to feature in the 70s. I went to CB sideband to escape the chassis and machines but now it’s killing 36 through 40 LSB certain times of day when propagation is highly favorable. Your discussion of responsibility and station management provoked me to raise this issue. There have been a few time in recent weeks that the verbal trash was so bad on LSB that I’ve even suggested that stations with RDF capability should initiate a foxhunt for the offending culprits. Too bad. As you were saying in your videos, the few Ron it for the many, unless we ask pull together.
    God bless you.
    73
    Craig
    KC1ELZ

  31. Dave,

    If you need help let me know. We have resources on the east coast ready and willing.

    73,
    W3AMD
    (formerly KC3ASE)
    John

  32. Dave says:

    Dave, thanks for the suggestion. I’m no expert on SSTV! I’ll have to study up on it. 73, Dave, KEØOG

  33. Dave/WA8BIT says:

    Hey Dave! Great job on the videos.

    I wonder if you’d consider doing something in your Ask Dave about SSTV? I’m an Extra up here in New York and I just can’t seem to figure out how to determine the modes properly to get anything decoded.

    Thanks!

  34. Dave says:

    Robert, the short answer is that I don’t know. Search Google for one and look at the results. Single-purpose spectrum analyzers with wide frequency ranges are expensive. On the other hand, a lot of the oscilloscope apps you can use with a tablet will do audio spectrum analysis. Ham Radio Deluxe and Digipan both provide spectrum waterfalls. Good luck with your search! 73, Dave

  35. Robert Buta says:

    Where can I get a good spectrum analyzer with waterfall display

  36. Jim says:

    Thank you Dave! A year ago, I tested and passed both technician and general in one night, due in large part to your videos that really helped me digest and understand the material. I had planned to take the extra test over the summer. Well, it took me twice as long as I thought to get ready, but last night I am happy to say that I passed the extra exam, and I learned a lot of the material again through your videos. I am very excited, and looking forward to getting out and using that extra bandwidth. Hope to see you on the air some day. 73!

  37. Robert S says:

    Thanks Dave for the inspiring videos to help me pass my Technician License. Now on to my General License!

    73, Robert KE0GTT

  38. Rob says:

    Dave,
    I just watched your “Station Grounding” You Tube vid and it was very nice. I did notice a couple things that seem to be contrary to what I have been taught and practice regarding “Bonding & Grounding”.
    First thing is the safety ground. I beleive that the neutral and ground wire must not be bonded inside the breaker box. Rather it should be bonded at the service entrance, at the meter. The neutral must be isolated from the breaker box. The ground bus bar must be bonded to the breaker box, inside the breaker box. I am not sure why the NEC makes it like this.
    Second thing is the use of additional ground rods. I have been dinged for this during my career. If there are additional ground rods for any other services, telephone, cable tv and antennas, they must be bonded to the electrical service entrance ground rod(s) with no less than #6 copper wire. Failing to bond the rods creates an elictrical potential between the rods and creates an additional path for electrical currents and can cause ground loops and noise.
    As far as cathodic corrosion. It does not relate to ham radio, but here in SoFla, copper plumbing under many of slab homes fail because they corrode due to small electrical current, especially if they are not bonded to the building electrode(s).
    Dave, thanks for your videos. I subscribed to your channel. Keep ’em coming!
    73
    Rob
    WD4DUI

  39. Gerald Brown says:

    Hi, Dave. Thank you again for producing these excellent training videos. I am proof that they work! I passed the Extra Class exam last Saturday with a score well north of passing. I owe a lot of my success to your videos and the knowledge and motivation they provided. I appreciate all the time and effort you put into making them.

    73, Gerald, KD9EOR
    .

  40. J.B. (W8BZA) says:

    Hey Dave! Just wanted to shoot you a “thanks”. I watched your Extra Class videos alongside my normal studying, and I just passed my Extra exam yesterday. I feel like I have a deeper understanding of the material thanks to your work. Keep it up and hope to work you in the future! 73, J.B., W8BZA

  41. Jim Massara says:

    Dave, got your QSL card in the mail the other day — thanks! Also discovered your link here, thanks to daily stats on my own website. Thanks for the plug! 73, Jim Massara, N2EST, Lilburn, Ga.

  42. Congratulations to all the new license and upgrade holders. I’ve also found Dave’s videos as some of the best available. Congratulations to Mr. Casler as well. Job well done.

  43. Dave says:

    Gerald, congratulations on your new license! I look forward to working you on the air! 73, Dave, KEØOG

  44. GeraldBrown says:

    Thank you for providing your Technician and General exam videos. I watched them and passed both exams last Saturday (after about 55 years of hemming and hawing). I have begun studying for the Extra class test and will watch your videos. Thanks again for all your efforts.

  45. Dave says:

    Hi Devin, there is some Mac and Linux software out there, but most is available for Windows. As a Windows user, I don’t know much about Mac software. You might try searching for “Mac software for ham radio” on Google. And good luck with your tests! 73, Dave, KEØOG

  46. Dave,

    I just wanted to say thank you for all the work you’ve done on putting the training videos together. I’ve worked my way through the Technician class and am now steaming through General. I take my first test Thursday, August 20th, and I’m very confident that I’ll be able to ace them thanks to the extra edge your videos have provided. In many cases, just seeing what the end result was (packet and other digital modes in particular) helped the material in the study books go down easier. I’ve been wanting to be a ham since I was a child, and now it looks like I’ll finally get to be one before my 43rd birthday in September!

    I do have a question — it looks like most of the software out there is for Windows. I’m a big Windows user, but I do have a spare Mac laying around underutilized and I was thinking that would possibly be a good computer to dedicate to the ham shack. Is there a good selection of quality ham utilities and applications for the Mac, or am I best to scrounge up an older Windows laptop to use?

    Thanks again. I hope to chat with you on the air one of these days.

    Devin L. Ganger
    Monroe, WA

  47. Gordon Evans says:

    Hey Dave I think your videos are great. I was just checking u tube tonight for info on antenna analyzers. And found your video exactly what I needed. I do have many ham questions and look forward to your new series. I have go end my message shortly as watching your videos has drained my cell battery. Will reconnect at a later time when my cell is charged up again. Keep up the good work. Regards G o r d Evans VE3ODT “old diode tech”

  48. Dave says:

    Congratulations!

  49. Tony D says:

    I passed the extra exam this morning your videos were a great help

  50. Dave says:

    Wow! I wrote that a loooong time ago! I’m glad to hear it’s still finding an audience. 73, Dave, KEØOG

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