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

266 Responses to My Ham Radio Home Page

  1. dcasler says:

    There are RF relays. But I think what you need to do is put in two traps instead. Trap design is an advanced technique, but there should be info on the Internet.

  2. Joseph Lorentzen says:


    I am wondering if there is a special relay that should be used if one were to shorten an antenna remotely. I have a bunch of 12 VDC car relays and have modeled an antenna in MMANA that should suit my purposes for everything above 40 meters and higher frequencies, but for 80 meters, I really need to use 2 additional elements on the antenna. Also due to the distance, is there a way to insure enough of the DC is left by the time it travels to relay?

  3. Dave Nauman says:

    Dave, are the general class license video’s no longer available on you tube?

    I was disappointed to not find them today; i was using them to study for the exam but only am halfway through. I’ve found they are most helpful.

  4. Jeremy Lansman says:

    Thank you Dave.
    FYI, I am a new ham, who recently landed near Grabouw, S. Africa & am living in a home on a farm that used to have a rhombic antenna. This once was an international broadcast transmitter site. Some antenna poles are still standing. I would tell you more, but I better get to work on my first rig. 73s!

  5. dcasler says:

    Aaron, the lightning arrestor should be attached to the ground rod physically and electrically. The cable comes from the antenna to the lightning arrestor, then goes inside the house to your station.

  6. dcasler says:

    Congratulations on your upgrade!

  7. Mark Hall says:

    Thank you for the Amateur Extra videos on YouTube. You, sir, are an excellent and engaging teacher. I sat for (and passed) my Amateur Extra exam today. On more than a few questions I could recall your explanation of the fundamentals and was able to work out the answer.

  8. Aaron Ursulak says:

    Wow David, your knowledge is amazing! I feel foolish asking you this but here goes …

    I finally received my HNT miners and antennas . Can I screw my lighting arrestor (with a female end) directly onto my antenna (with a male end), and avoid breaking the run and order two separate cables. or dose the lightning arrestor have to be a certain distance from the antenna?

    Thanks . Aaron Ursulak

  9. Dean MORIN says:

    I am studying for my general license and having trouble retaining it do you have any tricks or suggestions ? Thank you Dean Morin KC0HJE

  10. dcasler says:

    I appreciate your opinion, but having a fan dipole that works, I must disagree with your thesis.
    73, Dave

  11. dcasler says:

    Sorry, please tell me which video? I’ve published many videos and the one you mention does not come to mind. You can find J-pole instructions on many websites. 73

  12. John McLean says:

    Saw that special J Pole antenna you featured on YouTube, but I cannot find the advertised dimensions mentioned at the end of the presentation, could you please publish the link?
    Thank you

  13. Clive G6TDI says:


    You’ve mentioned a “fan dipole” on yoir You-Tube channel made up from EFHW’s or similar.

    It won’t work in any kind of manner people would understand and would be almost entirely unreproducable if you did get it working in some way.

    The reason is rather simple and obvious when you think about it. The fan dipole is a variation on a transmission line antenna that is like a LPDA it radiates from the lowest impedence dipole at the resonant frequency.

    That way nearly all the power goes into the resonant dipole as all others are at a high impeadence and effectively draw no power from the transmission line.

    If you use EFHW or other high impeadence radiator, all the non resonant lower impeadence dipoles will “short it” out and no power will go into it.

    Regards, Clive G6TDI.

  14. Danny Malone says:

    Dave: I am operating the FT-8 mode. I am using a TEN-TEC OMNI VII with a signalink USB interface. The WSJT-X program works great. I can receive signals well. The radio keys well thru the interface. However, when I transmit, my wattmeter kicks up quickly to about 20 watts then suddenly starts slowly dropping down and settling at about 7-8 watts. I have tried another radio, the IC-718 with exact similar results. So, the radio is fine. Normal output is 100 watts. SSB no problem. I can set the TX level pot and pot on the program to max with no change. Mic gain is “0”. No one has been successful in resolving my problem. What is your suggestion to try? Danny, AA4DM

  15. Russ Sutton W3MY says:

    Do you have a video on setting up the IC 7300 for PSK with fldigi?

  16. dcasler says:

    Americo, the SDR I have in my station is the RSP1A. The MFJ loop is now repaired. I have not yet placed it outside due to weather. But I will put it in a fixed location as I do not have a rotator for it. Hope that helps and thanks for your kind words! 73, Dave

  17. Americo Pla says:

    Hi, Dave.

    As a shortwave listener, Ive enjoyed your youtube videos, reviews and advises. I always look at what you are reviewing, because I trust what you say.

    I own a SDRPlay RSP1, a RSP1A and a RSPdx, as well as a MFJ-1886 loop antenna.

    I saw once a video about your shack, where the viewers could see what equipment you had, and how did you distributed it in the room. I dont know where that video has gone!

    Now, the questions:

    a) What SDR receiver are you using right now? I thought that you have had a RSP1A that was changed by a RSPdx, but Im not quite sure Im right.

    b) The MFJ loop antena that you repaired a month ago Do you use it in a fixed position? Do you rotate it?

    Thanks for all your amazing work! Cheers from Uruguay!

  18. dcasler says:

    The “loose wire” in fact is the fuel line which had just been run hours before. I took these pics while the aircraft was in the shop. They weren’t finished, but I will double-check it before using the aircraft.

  19. dcasler says:

    I’ve never used a Flex radio. Way out of my price range. You can view them on

  20. John Sambrook says:

    Hi Dave – When you reviewed HF radios in 2019 I noticed the Flex radios were not evaluated.

    As a new radio amateur and software engineer it seems like the Flex radios are quite nice. I especially like the idea of remote operations over the internet, as I live in the city yet hope to build a small remote station off-grid in Eastern Washington.

    How should I view the Flex line?

  21. K. Carl Milbrodt says:

    Watched tubing vid. Miss use of aircraft or used radios is a hidden problem that newbies shouldn’t have to deal with starting out.
    Your real problem is the experimental nature of your aircraft and the lack of regulations in technique and materials. Did notice to the right of the rudder pulley, a loose hanging wire. This might have been loosened during repair. If not, a wear point. Didn’t see an over abundance of Zip ties. Once you get things “up to code” it will provide good service. Rams has a good rep.
    K. Carl N4KCM CFII/MEL&S Aerospace PE retired
    For motorcycle you have to try the Tail of the Dragon, NC

  22. William Domb says:

    Looking for tip jar. Gone now?

  23. Mark Filonczuk says:

    Dave, Looked at your post regarding cables for btech and boafeng radios. I recently purchased a btech uv-5×3. I was having trouble with the download chirp. Had the cable with the FTDI chip. Tried doing it on two computers. It didn’t work. on your video you said it was a driver. I was not going to buy another cable if I could help it. I used a free software called drive booster from OIBIT. Been using it for years. It identified the missing driver and installed it. But you have to have the radio on and plugged into the computer through a USB port. All I had to do was click on it. I didn’t have to by another cable. it works. Thanks for letting me know it was a driver. Mark n8umx

  24. Yehuda Cern says:

    A note of thanks, Dave. 65 years after my first license, it took YOUR show on coax to understand why different coax impedances were chosen for different applications. Listening to Eric’s QSOToday show with you, you have earned my adulation. May you be blessed to keep it up for many more years.
    Yehuda 4X1TQ / K8HGZ / WQRS / WD2XEQ

  25. Daniel Regehr says:

    Hi Dave,

    I (KL4YI) and my son (KL4YJ) have benefitted quite a bit from your exam videos. Thanks!

  26. Robin Cross says:

    You are showing your age as i am. The YouTube dated Jan 4, 2021 has a couple of missteps. There were a couple of time when you misstated things. They were easy slips. Some aplifiers and some radios [exciters] do not have an ALC connection. None [as far as I know] of Ten-TEC amplifiers have that connection. I am only offering this comment because there are sooo many new Hams who might take every word literally.

  27. Dafydd Gibbon, DJ0MZ says:

    There was a question on 24th September 2020 by Larry about the Ringo style antenna and whether it is electrically similar to the j-pole. Yes, it is. This is a good description, from

    The j-pole is a vertical, and the mast below it normally has zero influence on “performance” at all. The only issue is decoupling the antenna from the conductive mast, to prevent the mast from actually becoming part of the radiating antenna system. SWR has nothing to do with it. SWR should be fine if you use a grounded mast.

    But as noted earlier, even with a non-conductive mast, the coax feedline is still part of the radiating antenna system because j-poles are poorly decoupled antennas. Now, if you add a set of horizontal radials to the system, 1/2-WL below the antenna feedpoint, that can provide reasonable decoupling and improve antenna performance — this is exactly what Cushcraft discovered decades ago when they improved the “Ringo Ranger” to create a “Ringo Ranger-II” model that adds radials. The “Ringo” actually is a j-pole but instead of being formed like a “J,” using a 1/4-WL of parallel line to match the antenna, they wrapped the matching network around the base of the antenna to create a tapped transformer which does the same thing but is adjustable and takes up less space. That’s why the CC Ringo has been a popular antenna since the early 1970s.

    The Ringo is also made of thinwall aluminum alloy tubing, which is very strong but much lighter than copper so while providing exactly the same electrical performance as a common copper j-pole, it’s about 1/4 the weight so it’s easier to install and keep installed.:)

    The j-pole is a very old design that has been much improved by such techniques. Although it’s 3/4-WL long, it’s only a 1/2-WL radiator: The matching section occupies 1/4-WL in height without adding any gain or anything.
    WB2WIK, Feb 22, 2019#4

    And: mni tnx Dave Casler for his excellent series, 73 de Dafydd DJ0MZ

  28. Carlos Carvajal says:

    I live in a HOA.
    After looking at the MFJ 1836H I thought that would be a good Idea.
    After reading the instructions and watching your video on it . Which was very good like all the others.
    I saw this coil up loop of coax which is not mention on the instructions. This is not going to help the stealth look of it.
    I know what this is for but is this necesary?

  29. Hi Dave,
    I just wanted to thank you and let you know that thanks in a large part to your videos, I got my Technician license on October 10 2020, then my General license on October 23 2020 and my Extra class license today November 8, 2020.

    Thanks again for your great videos. I also really enjoy your reviews and am using them to help me decide what to include in my new station build.

  30. JG says:

    Hi Dave,

    Got a Balun (Transformer) question.

    Working with 43ft unbalanced vertical HF antenna. It came with a Balun Transformer with 2 62pf capacitors in series. I need to replace the capacitors. My question is since this is really not an electrical transformer does capacitors in series still work the same so 2 62pf capacitors give me 31pf, or does it work differently and add to 124pf?

    I ask this because I assumed it worked the same as electrical but when I compared putting 100pf+100pf+150pf+150pf in series to come out with 30pf it did not work as well as a single 150pf capacitor. I found this odd. 62pf capacitors are hard to find, thats why I used so many capacitors on the first try.

    However, neither combination would allow me to get swr low enough to tune on 80 meters, yet originally the 2 62pf capacitors did tune on 80.

    I have found their is little information on balun transformers so I appreciate any info.

  31. dcasler says:

    I’m not familiar with the Ringo antenna. I’ve seen them but haven’t studied them. I can’t say if they’re electrically equivalent but I think probably not.

  32. Larry says:

    Hi Dave
    N1URE here. Question on an antenna design. Is a Ringo style antenna electrically the same,as a j-pole? Thanks for your thoughts. Larry

  33. Glen Martin N0QFT says:

    I have been working with a journeyman electrician to put in the underground transmission line, the grounding electrodes or ground rods and the wire connections for bonding.
    I am using 2 inch PVC conduits with right angle bends of steel conduit to avoid cutting holes in the conduit at the bends when using string or rope- the steel conduit is not cut like the PVC, so less chance of getting water and soil into the conduit.
    Some had suggested drilling holes in the PVC conduit and placing the conduit over gravel to drain water from the conduit. Doing this would allow soil and water to enter the conduit and plug it. The conduit is there to easily replace the transmission line without digging another trench.
    When bonding, you said cad weld was not the best method for making connections. Why is this, and what do you suggest?

  34. Jeff Wittern says:

    Hi Dave,
    I could not get the normal Ask Dave page to work so hope you see this here.
    I just bought an Hy Gain AV 640 and I was wording if I can tune it while it is still on the saw horses. going to be a pain to get up and then have to take it dow again to tune.
    Thanks for all you great advice. Look forward to the live streams on Thursday and Saturdays.
    All the best,
    Jeff Wittern KE0KRO

  35. Mike says:

    Can you speak to our club
    Please call me to work out details

    thank you in advance for considering us

    Mike sage

  36. dcasler says:

    Yes, likely it will work file if it’s about 36 inches in radius or so. A smaller plate should also work.

  37. John C. Arcuri -KC2AGT says:

    Dave, brought a piece of brite stainless steel to use for a ground plane and a mag mount ant.
    I find the magnet dosnt stick to this steel well, and only a slight improvement in match. Can this non magnetic plate still act as a ground plane?

  38. david Archer says:

    I have the same antenna turner . Sometimes when I tune my antenna, the antenna knob well be on 3 ( for instance) and the transmitter knob well be on 5 or 6 why is that? should the antenna ,and transmitter knob be on the same number ??

    good on QRZ

  39. KF0AJH says:

    Dear Dave,
    I am studying for the General License and appreciate your videos.
    I want to study and experiment with auto patch and phone patch. Please let me know if there are any sources of information, links, etc. I want to learn how it works and what is required.
    Must this be done by repeater?
    How can I use a satellite for this function?
    As I often live in an RV outside normal telephone service, I want to learn about this for safety and security. Meaning very occasional use.
    I also would like to use satellite or any means to use internet by ham radio. Please recommend a resource of information if you know any.
    Thanks for any help.
    Paul C. KF0AJH
    P.S. I am now in CO, where might I connect with you by radio?

  40. says:

    Hi Dave,
    I sure enjoy your amateur radio YouTube video series.
    By way of furthering the art, I offer a cautionary note regarding the IC-7300, and damage possible from mis-steps involving use of the PTRX-7300. You may want to look at this interesting FB posting and its comments section, where the poster explains How his radio was damaged:
    Cheers & 73
    //Mike W7MDH

  41. Art Lewis says:

    I know you have answered this in the past but I did not pay attention because there was no need for me at the time. Things have changed. What cameras and microphone do you use for your live streams. I really enjoy them and have learned a lot. Good luck with your flying.

  42. dcasler says: is a web address not an email address. Click here: and fill out the form.

  43. clem kb3vay says:

    Dave I have tried to send an email to you but I keep getting put in a proper address I have put I and it doesn’t work

  44. Jon says:

    Hi Dave, I was wondering if maybe you knew the answer to this and would tell me. I’ve got Windows 10 and a Boufang v9. Ive also got an Icom Ic 7300. Ive got to download a usb port driver for my Icom to work with my PC. Your video for Chirp and Boafeng states I need a driver downloaded with a red cable I already have. Will my Icom driver work.
    Thanks for you time. I’m “Jon” KD4LPH 73’S

  45. Mike Haslip says:

    Hi Dave,
    Two quick things-
    1) Thank You for your great YouTube videos- you have an amazing gift for teaching.
    2) An anecdote: You give a shout-out reference in video #110, Antenna Modeling, about Ward Silver’s “Antenna Modelling for Beginners” book, and opine that it’s expensive at $34 but worth it. If you still have your copy, lock it up! I tried to order one tonight (based on your always reliable recommendation:-) and found the book’s out of print at ARRL. Used copies on Amazon & eBay are going for $85 to $130 now. You’ve got your hands on a rare classic asset:-)
    Cheers & 73
    //Mike W7MDH

  46. Stephen Reading says:

    HI Dave. My call is G4LD -licenced in 1981 in Dartmouth, South Devon,England in 1981. At that time I operated HF SSB/CW using a pair of Trio 599 Custom(M) specials. I also had a Yaesu FT290R working the RS Series of Satellites. I went QRT in 1986 for a private reason but returned to the hobby in 2017. Trying to catch up with technology has been a real task. I now operate HF, VHF and UHF – Yaesu Ft450D and a Yaesu FT991A. I use a OCFD Windom 80 through 6m and with a 4 element beam in a fixed position about 20 feet above ground. I have discovered your Ask Dave U-Tube series and I find them interesting and helpful particularly as you are a very good presenter with a great reasonant voice. This note is just to say hello

  47. Joseph Dupree says:

    Good morning Dave,

    I hope things are well. I just got my Tech License a month ago, before everything got locked down. I am really enjoying talking with the local Hams around my area when I am at work. However, I live a little too far away to reach the repeater from inside my garage. I would like to try a make a J-pole antenna, to help my handle reach the repeaters. I have seen people make the j-pole out of the 300 Ohm Twin lead, can I make j-pole from 12 gage household electric wire or 16 gage low voltage wire? I have more than enough of both to make one in my garage, or does it need to be Twin lead?

    Joseph KO4CWF

  48. David Yates says:

    Good morning/afternoon, I have a question I got technition license some years ago in California but recently have moved to Florida. And am considering getting back into to ham radio and get my general so my question in your opinion which band would you say is the most reliable coast to coast??.. Dave Yates KJ6JVW 73

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