My Ham Radio Home Page

(You may have been directed here from 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.

What is ham radio? Watch this video from the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB)

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,

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


On-the-air Activities on the Colorado Western Slope

LDS (Mormon) Church ham-related activites

247 Responses to My Ham Radio Home Page

  1. Shawn R Mernagh says:

    As a new to HF Ham operator I’ve definitely learned a lot from watching your videos on YouTube. Thank you for sharing so much good information. I was really excited to hear you on 7.237 this evening from Arizona. Maybe one evening the band conditions will let us talk. 73s. KJ7KZJ

  2. dcasler says:

    His antenna includes a matching device, providing the necessary reactance to get 1:1 SWR.


    Dave “OG” , here is the youtube video of the “Half wave end fed vertical antenna for DX” by VK2PRC. He gets 1:1 swr. I would like your opinion of this antenna, if possible. Thanks, W9PTT, BarnacleBrad.

  4. dcasler says:

    I just did a video on a reference mast system. Check that out.

  5. Gary Wixom says:

    Based on your recommendation, I purchased an MFJ 2100 Octopus antenna core and then added enough sticks for 10, 20, 40, 75 meters. I am in the process of setting up and tuning this rig in my living room on a short MFJ 1919 tripod. It will ultimately be installed in my small backyard (HOA community); My question is: what antenna mast should I use? You have sort of recommended galvanized chain link fence top rail (10ft sections); I am looking at aluminum 5ft sections with squeezed ends for concatenation up to 20 feet; I need to also figure out a base (the tripod maybe) and guy lines; what’s your opinion of the MFJ-1904HD telescoping (fiberglass) pole? How do you anchor this baby? It has a 2.5 inch base piece. Use Guy lines with base on a piece of wood as I saw you do with your Octopus in your back yard with surplus military poles? As you can tell, the mast is perplexing to me.

  6. Calvin Long says:

    Dear Dave,

    I really enjoy your videos. I have one of these antennas (please see below). I was genuinely pleasantly surprised by it’s performance. I’m just wondering if you would consider doing a review of it at some point in the future.

    Harvest HVU-8 Eight Band base station antenna


  7. Bob Roberts says:

    Just read through your “40 meter dipole” post – It’s probably going to be my motivation to finally get a wire in the air for 40m.
    I read at the bottom: “In another post Ill talk about trimming up that antenna so it has a low SWR, but with a simple 66-foot antenna, youll be close.”

    Given that this was posted some 9 years ago, I’m guessing that the “trimming” update ain’t happening, eh?

  8. Tom Ewing says:


    So many books and videos skim over the science of radio, failing to connect the dots for real understanding. And outside the classroom and ability to Q&A as instruction takes place makes for a more challenged learning process; if not insurmountable.

    I even struggled to find simple, basic examples of a cohesive ham shack with all connections as a “system” when I was putting my first shack together – made it much more difficult than it needed to be in hindsight. One simple visit to a club member’s shack and seeing it all together as a system answered all my questions – so fast, so instantly, over questions I was agonizing over trying to figure out – and I then knew everything I needed to complete my shack after one visit. All the books don’t seem to do that for the basic components of a basic shack, comprehensively as a system; fronts, backs, connectors, etc. in actionable detail. And all the books on various subjects from Grounding, to Antennas seem to be the same, speaking over the novices heads without connecting the dots in actionable ways at the basic level.

    With that in mind, after watching your Chapter 9, Extra. I wonder if you’d consider something.

    Would you consider a series of 3 videos. Starting with the first, take a deep dive into “every detail” of the science of radio related to the performance/design of a simple antenna solution of your choice, say a simple dipole. From transmitter output to antenna; the feed line to antenna. What makes it work, how does it work, what is happening from every aspect of performance and nature.

    Cover all the jargon, everything that gets swapped in jargon in the ARRL Extra book, from volts, to impedance (the book even says at one point that impedance is defined as changing the ratio of voltage to current? – counter to every other definition of impedance in the same book, without explanation), closed loop, open loop, feed line impedance, where, how, what happens (when, where, why), every detail of what makes the antenna system tick. Include at the appropriate time in the video a model of the antenna?

    For the second video, do the same thing, but for a different antenna, perhaps one with a balun, and go over the same information and how it differs from the video 1 antenna… not skimming, but in detail, feed point impedance, what the balun is doing, current, voltage, everything.

    For the third video, you got it, the same thing, but for yet another type of antenna (case study) for contrast and to reinforce the dynamics of antenna system as knowledge.

    That by going in to detail, and observing how the science of what is going on with one solution (Video 1 of the series) we learn also by seeing how it changes with changes to the antenna, baluns, or other factors in other case studies.

    The goal is to get people to really understand the nature of what’s happening with the antenna system/solution. So much talk and jargon, so much skimming in books, but not seeing anything that really dives deep and covers this, and gives other examples (videos 2 and 3 suggested) to make sure we really get what’s going on – really helps us connect the dots, to be actionable for our knowledge going forward. Everyone I know struggles with this, “antennas are a mystery, just try it, see if it works.” Is it a mystery, or is it a science that can be understood?

    I look at videos and text talking about the impedance mismatch between antenna and feedline and they say something like, “all you need to do is change the ratio of voltage to current.” No further explanation, leaving one to say, “what? It’s impedance, that’s reactance and resistance… what’s a ratio of voltage and current got to do with it, let alone solve it?” Never an explanation.

    I really think someone knowledgeable demonstrating in detail, to tear down the entire performance/nature of a single antenna system from every aspect, and then do it again with another example, and another, would really go a long ways to helping people struggling. If you have some other way to tackle this, you’d know better. But given I’ve not found anyone do this in text or video, just focusing on one case study, then another for contrast, leaving no jargon or element of performance unturned… practical, clear.

    Please consider if this is in your wheelhouse. Best regards.


  9. dcasler says:

    My Saturday live stream is on YouTube.

  10. Art Lewis says:

    I am currently using a simple ladder-line thin-jim j-pole for my 2m rig, which works quite well. We keep hearing about other antennas will much better gain. If I parallel several inexpensive thin-jim type antennas together would I get more gain?

  11. Art Lewis says:

    How do I find your Facebook live feed on Saturday? I located your personal Facebook page but I have not been able to find the link to the other.

  12. dcasler says:

    Yes. I’ll post them on

  13. Anthony Rogers says:

    Would it be possible to get a copy of the slides you used for the APRS DMR video you did with the 878?
    Anthony – KJ7ITE

  14. Guy Hornbeck says:

    Hi Dave:

    I want the thank you for the considerable time and effort you have dedicated to your YouTube episodes. Ive been licensed fir some time, but find interesting insights and additional information from watching.

    By the way, we have two things in common: were both Amater Extra license holders and both attended BYU.

    Guy – AE6FE

  15. dcasler says:

    No, this license does not permit use of amateur radio frequencies. For that you need a ham license. See Technician Class Ham License – On-Line Help for Your Self Study

  16. David Trainham says:

    Good morning Dave, i am currently studying for my Technician’s license and i have been searching the internet for software to use once i can legally use my radio’s, ( still in the box’s, well i did look at them lol ) i want to have compatible radio’s for my OS which is Linux. I downloaded CHIRP daily builds from ppa. I haven”t used software since i have no radio’s to legally use until i get my license. I use a antivirus called ClamAV, TK. I really don’t need it because the kernel doesn’t recognize virus or malware and cannot harm my computer. I recently did a scan and this is what came up. ( /home/user/virus/UV-5RTP. Win.Virus.Parite-7096471-0 . I have seen Beofeng”s all over the internet and so i recognize the name UV-5R. I tried to locate a email for CHIRP at the website, but could not find any. i replaced my user ID to just (user), just for privacy ! So i am wondering if people realize they are POSSIBLY downloading a virus on there Windows boxes. People use ClamAV because they may have dual boot with Windows and they can detect a virus on Windows from the Linux box via ROOT. This antiVirus will remove all viruse’s and malware as a admin. I have learned many valuable lessons from you and you have given me many valuable insights on becoming a amateur radio user. I have 2 Yaesu radio’s, FT60, 70 currently and the GD-77- which i will have to use my son’s computer since all i have is Linux boxes, due to your review. Anyway, thank you for your time and keep up the good work ! Yours truly, David

  17. Kevin Conery says:

    I currently hold This License. I believe its element 1. According to the school description.
    Is this a license to operate a ham on a limited basis?

    FCC Marine Radio Operators Permit Class – Course #130

    This 34 hour course is generally offered as an evening seminar which includes an explanation and review of the operating procedures and regulations pertaining to radio usage. It is valid for Single Side Band and VHF Use.

    Included in the course is the written examination for the FCC Element One which licenses you as a Marine RadioOperator. MPT will process all of your FCC Paperwork at no additional charge and your license will be mailed to you by the FCC within approximately two weeks of finishing the course.

    Marine Radio Operators Permit is Required On:
    All vessels with a length of 65 feet or more.
    All inspected vessels carrying passengers for hire.
    All vessels subject to the Radiotelephone Act.
    All towing vessels 26 feet and over.
    All vessels going out of the country

  18. dcasler says:

    Yes, I’d be very interested. I can do a supplemental video.

  19. Glenn Davis KI5DIP says:


    I wanted you to know that I started my licensing journey in February (2019), earning my Technician license, then my General license in May, and just today (July 13, 2019) my Extra license. Your excellent, entertaining and informative Licensing videos were a key part of my learning process, clarifying key concepts and giving me the encouragement to trudge through the difficult parts. THANK YOU very much for all of the work you do and your dedication to the Amateur Radio community!

  20. Rick DeWitt (AA0RD) says:

    The CHIRP driver for the TYT TH-UV8000 series has just been released (7/12 build). I know this because I am the developer that wrote it!
    In your online review of that radio there were a few settings that you mentioned you did not know what they did. After having gone through the radio in detail, I can now provide info if you have a means to update the video, perhaps just with text overlays. Let me know if you are interested.

  21. James Entenman says:

    Loved your review of the Vector Antenna Analyzer FA-VA5. You made assembling it easy. I’m not sure if you answer questions on this kit. It worked great until I tried to update the firmware to 1.09. I loaded the firmware and was getting ready to run it. I have the right com port as it asked for. Now I get an “ezbl communications error no target response”, and the display won’t stop blinking. I tried the forced reset to no avail. I’m stumped at this point, and don’t know where to go with it. I’m also running Java 7.0 on windows XP if that makes any difference. I’d appreciate any help you could give me. Thanks

  22. KC says:

    Hi David I am looking forward to your review of the Anytown 878UV plus I have one and I am on my second push to talk button my experience with it is that the Bluetooth ptt buttons connection to the radio comes and goes and hope that you will give yours a good work out to see if it is stable thanks

  23. dcasler says:

    The site really is https, but you have to put it in as a prefix because so much of the site was made prior to getting the certificate.

  24. james says:

    This is not a Ham radio comment but just a heads up. Your site is not https. which means it’s not secure. You don’t have SSL enabled. Google and other web browsers are soon to block sites like yours. And that would be a shame as your full of information that helps a beginner like me. Ask your web admin how to make your site secure. Good luck

  25. Barry Burge says:

    Hi Dave,
    It was a real treat to finally meet you at Hamvention in Xenia, OH last Saturday! I passed my Technician, General, and Extra License Exams in large part due to the course videos you produce and of course, your “Ask Dave” series. I now serve as President of my local Radio Club, (Radio Amateurs of Greater Syracuse). We regularly recommend your course videos to all of our members studying for their license upgrade. Thanks Dave, for all you do for Amateur Radio!
    Barry Burge KD4MCB

  26. Glen says:

    Hey Dave,

    I see that you are somewhat of a train buff. Did you see they (U.P.) has refurbished the BIG BOY Steam locomotive engine in Cheyenne, WY and will be sending it back onto the tracks from their to Ogden, UT? They will be having a ceremony of some sort tomorrow morning and it will hit the tracks stopping at bunches of spots along the way for the next several days.

    I enjoy your ham videos. Keep up the good work.

    Glen, W8YP

  27. Dan D'Eon says:

    Just an FYI, the etsy 3D printer gent you mention in the video about inexpensive morse keys ( no longer recognizes the discount code you show in the video.

    Keep up the nice vids!

  28. dcasler says:

    It’s not that simple. Look in the ARRL antenna book for the formulas.

  29. Michael Cormier says:

    Hi Dave!

    I have a question about how to tune / trim an “Arrow J-Pole” (Here is a link to what I had copied/built):

    My question is how do you trim / cut it for a different Frequency range? This antenna is designed for the 2m ham band 144-148 MHz, I want to center it in the Railroad range 159.8100 Mhz – 161.5650 MHz. (actually I’m shooting for 160.4100 in my area).

    I know I can use the formula ” find the minimum SWR Frequency and divide by the desired operating frequency, and then Multiply the present antenna length times the result which gives you the amount you mus remove from the antenna length to give you the desired 1.0:1 SWR at your desired Frequency.

    Example: Measured SWR 1.0:1 @ 155.5000 MHz, and a desired SWR of 1.0:1 @ 160.5000

    155.5000 / 160.5000 = 0.969
    Present antenna length 19.250″
    19.250 x 0.969 = 18.653″
    19.250 – 18.653 = 0.597″

    Cut 0.597 off of your antenna and you should achieve a 1.0:1 SWR @ 160.5000.

    So, the question is, do I trim the same amount off of both the short and longer elements, or do I just trim the shorter 19.250 element?

  30. dcasler says:

    Double-check all the connections to look for shorts or opens. The way you describe your system it should work. Have your friend go through it with you–it helps to have an extra pair of eyes. Good luck with the exam!

  31. dcasler says:

    The transistor 1500w amps are new, so I doubt you’ll find much on the used market. They’re pricey. The technology for high powered amplifiers is undergoing change, and there are still some great tube amps you can buy with lots of bells and whistles for less money than the transistor amps. Take a look at the entire field and check reviews.

  32. Ted Jacobson says:

    Hi Dave,

    Just a short note to sincerely thank you for your website and the countless hours you have spent making your instructional videos. The ARRL manuals are great but for those of us with a non-EE background, watching your invaluable videos made the lightbulb come on more times than I can count. So many Ah-Ha! moments when a particular concept finally clicks. I really cant thank you enough-I recently passed my Amateur Extra exam and can honestly say I could not have done it without you. You are a true credit to the Amateur Radio Service.

    Thank you so much and 73s sir!

    Ted Jacobson

  33. Justin Smith says:

    Hi Dave,

    I would appreciate any recommendations you could offer to help guide my selection of a new or gently used amplifier for my Flex Radio 6600 with GPSDO. I am looking for a 1500 W PEP linear solid-state amplifier with automatic tuning that is under $4500. I would like to avoid amplifiers that contain tubes because of the potential difficulty of finding replacements as time goes by. Please let me know if you think of this concern is causing me to overlook some excellent amplifiers. Thank you for your help.

  34. wallace freeman says:

    Hi Dave, sitting at home going over ques. and ans. for the General exam tomorrow. Thanks to you and a lot of information I’ve picked up on U tube shows I think I’ll be o k. Got the manual just about worn out over the last month. I have a question about a home made J pole ant. I have it mounted about about 20 / 21 feet to the J part. I have a $25 Boufang right out of the box. A friend of mine talked in the yard on simplex with stock ant. and we could talk. I hit the repeater about 12 mi. from the house o k . and could here him on his base. I hooked up to the J pole ( which shows about 1.3 swr) and went through the repeater to his base but could not hear him at all on my radio. I’m wondering if my ant. is not good or the radio is not working any more. I haven’t talked to another ham but him on my handheld. If I get my general tomorrow he will let me borrow a good radio to try it out. Also I will get me a good multiband ant. to set me up a home station. Hope to catch you tomorrow on live chat. Wallace KI5DER, Biloxi, Ms.

  35. dcasler says:

    Thank you. Good luck with your studying! 73, Dave

  36. Jason says:

    Hi Dave,

    It looks like you just hit 50,000 subscribers on your YouTube channel. Congratulations, and keep up the great work! Im a new ham already studying for my extra license and your video is what got me to take the next step.



  37. dcasler says:

    Hi Ken, sorry to hear about the radio. Have you tried the factory reset instructions from the manual? If you are still able to program the radio, look to see if the function key got defined as something else, and program it back to be the function key. Good luck with your radio! 73, Dave

  38. Kenneth Ralph says:

    I recently purchased a tyt 8000 D.
    After my neighbor programmed it the function key stooped working. Please help us reset the radio. Btw I’m a big fan.
    Thank you

  39. J. Gary Donnelly says:

    Dave, I just used your information and that from W4EEY to pass my General. I held a Technical Plus (or at least that’s what it used to be called indicating I passed a 5 wpm code copying test) for many years but wasn’t very active on 2m. Actually I do mostly SWLing.

    I am on fixed income, so my funds are not infinite and I am careful as to where I spend it. I have found your information to be more than worth my time in helping me in my “ham path”.


    Gary KC8IQZ

  40. Mike Weston says:

    Mr. Casler,

    I just wanted to drop you a quick line and tell you thanks for your many wonderful, informative and educational videos you have posted on YouTube. They have been a great help to me not only in rekindling a long held interest in this hobby but also for the education I’ve received through the Technician and General class license course series. Today I sat for my exam and not only passed element 2 but went on to pass element 3 in one sitting! As I only have just passed the exams today, I have no received my call sign from the FCC yet but I am looking forward to that as well as the Baofeng UV-5Rx3 that I ordered this afternoon. I’m already looking forward to diving into the HF bands soon but I have a little more research to do before that jump (as well as another paycheck or two). I also joined the Lewisville Amateur Radio Association ( and I’ve already met many wonderful people and gotten a ton of great getting started help there.

    Thank you again for all you do for this hobby and hope to see you on the air soon.

    Mike Weston
    Lewisville, TX

  41. dcasler says:

    David, good luck with your studies. The choice of a handheld is a highly personal decision. See what your local club members are using–if you get something like that, you’ll have others around you to help you with the rig. 73, Dave

  42. david dugan says:

    Hi Dave,

    Working my way towards Technician Test next month – Using your videos and the ARRL Manual to study. Do you have any new recommendations for a starter HT radio? The TYT UV 8000E you reviewed looked good. Is it FCC certified? The 8000D seems to be . . .

    Is there something newer, better that I am missing? There is so much out there. DMR, GPS, etc.

    My first ever “73” is offered to you, David

  43. dcasler says:

    Kenny, you might be safer to transmit into a dummy load, then have a short antenna on the radio under test. I don’t trust attenuators unless they’re lab grade with lab grade cables and everything perfectly grounded. Not much signal needs to find its way around the attenuator to completely overload the receiver. Hope that helps. 73, Dave

  44. Kenneth Lung says:

    Hi Dave……I can’t afford to purchase a real comm tester unit, way too expensive for my budget. I need a way to generate microvolts for testing radios. I was wondering if using a HF radio (power output 1 watt or so) fed into a variable attenuator (adjustable 0 – 82 dB) and then fed into malfunctioning radio, might work? Would this be safe and also generate the microvolts needed for testing? As long as I can get an acceptable input level, I suppose it doesn’t need to be exact. I just need to be able to trace the signal through the radio. Any other suggestions for doing same would be greatly appreciated, too!!



  45. dcasler says:

    What you are seeing is the factory calibration mode. Contact using the email address on the page and ask what to do to get it out of calibrate mode.

  46. Gary North says:

    Hi Dave I saw ur video about the bitx40. I’m wondering if u can help me. I put mine together and the display say calibrate when turned on, any ideas what’s causing it.

  47. dcasler says:

    Try one of your suggestions and see how it works. When you have multiple factors present that can affect antenna performance, often your best bet is simply to try things.

  48. Chuck says:

    How are you, Dave? ANOTHER Q for ASK DAVE..

    So. our house has a metal roof. on which a short (~1.5 m ) TV-mast is mounted (sans antenna) at its peak, at about the roof’s center; there is also a chimney (not yet used).

    My (still flexible) plan is to:

    1. mount a (6 m – 23 cm) discone atop that mast… &

    2. find ways to ways to use it to also support 1 end of an HF wire antenna, eg:

    – a Sloper: HF wire would extend over the backyard, eg, down to 3-conduits, duct-taped together – over their entire length (= 4 m) to form a “DIY vertical support,” secured to a well-planted metal fence-post, w/ guying to keep it from bending / falling L or R, in wind..

    BTW, I could replace the 3x conduits with 3x larger-dia. 6 m drainage pipes (also PVC) & similarly duct-taped ’em together, to get the back end up 2 m more than the conduits would.

    Alternatively: A shorter Inverted-V with its center atop that mast: 1 leg to a tree in front yard; the other to a metal shade-cloth frame, between back of house & back yard.

    What would you do, in a similar situation? Any other comments welcome.

    Thanks, Dave & 73

  49. Robert Anderson says:

    Dave I want to thank you for all of your efforts in advancing the hobby for newcomers like me. I was able to successfully complete all three of my tests, in one testing session, thanks in great part to your training videos. I combined them with and the ARRL manuals and pass. I have also learned a great deal from your “ask Dave” series. Please keep up the great work and thank you!

  50. Richard says:

    Hi Dave!
    I used your videos a couple of years ago to study for my technician and general class license. Thanks for everything that you put into those! I know for sure when I decide to work on my extra, I’ll be back for more of your videos!

    I remembered you are a motorcyclist as well. I saw your video going over Engineer’s Pass.
    I am back on two wheels myself finally after 10 years of not riding. This time I’ve found myself on a Vstrom 650, and have quickly learned that I want to do more of this adventure riding thing. What better way to combine so many hobbies all into one?! Riding, camping, hiking/exploring, and now I’m adding radio on top of it all. I’m wanting to do things like SOTA, APRS, Winlink, and maybe even limited voice contacts through my Bluetooth helmet system too.
    Have you done any motorcycle mobile installs, and/or made videos about it?

    Right now I only have my new Kenwood TH-D74 to experiment with, but I plan on building a com box for the bike with my TM-D710, and eventually a 857d for HF too. Though the HF won’t be a bike mounted antenna, just along for the ride and used as a portable field set up at campsites and the like.

    Thanks again!

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