QSO Today is a weekly conversation, or QSO, between amateur radio operators about ham radio. Eric Guth, 4Z1UG, hosts a new guest every week to talk about their ham radio journey, their specialized expertise in ham radio, and how amateur radio has impacted their personal and professional lives. QSO…
Listeners of QSO Today - The oral histories of amateur radio that love the show mention: ham radio, 73 de, amateur radio, hams, eric's, hobby, interviewing, background, interviews, passion, lives, knowledge, guests, interesting, every week, different, keep up the good, enjoy, questions, keep up the great.
Geoffrey Mendenhall, W8GNMs, early interest in electronics, germanium transistors, and later high power triodes led him to a career, as an engineer, designing, building, and managing broadcast transmitters projects for Gates Radio and later Harris Broadcast. Geoff made a presentation in the last QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo on Beverage Antennas, urging us to try building Beverages even if conditions are not optimal, and being surprised by the result. W8GNM is my QSO Today.
Vince d'Eon, VE6LK, has taken hold of the many amateur radio opportunities on HF SSB, VHF/UHF mobile operation, repeater building and maintenance, and supporting events with his Calgary based amateur radio club. Vince is a regular contributor to the bi-weekly Ham Radio Workbench Podcast and made a presentation at the last QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo on Disaster Communications and Leadership Imperatives for Radio Amateurs. VE6LK is my QSO Today.
Charlie Brown, NJ7V, is twice a mountain goat, a title that comes from many SOTA activations. Of course this means achievement and expertise operating portable from mountain tops across Arizona and the West. NJ7V will share his amateur radio story, secrets to SOTA success, and some ideas on how to build a local SOTA organization in this QSO Today.
Kirk Kleinshmidt, NT0Z, has spent most of his professional life working in amateur radio as an editor, author, and contributor to the amateur radio magazines that we have grown to love including QST, ARRL Handbook, Spectrum Monitor, and others. His own book, Stealth Amateur Radio, continues to advise us how to get on the air and enjoy our hobby, even when our living situation is against it. NT0Z is my QSO Today.
Dr. Jack Purdum, W8TEE, licensed since 1954, is a prolific author of at least 17 books on computer programming languages and microprocessor projects for amateur radio and is now the Microcontroller Editor at CQ Magazine. This episode is part of my series of interviews to introduce you to QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo Speakers. Jack and Al Peters, AC8GY, are now prolific creators of Arduino projects and gave a presentation last August 2021 on building an HF SSB/CW software defined transceiver, called the T41. W8TEE is my QSO Today.
Julian White, OH8STN, operates outdoors in Finland's Arctic Circle and records, on his popular YouTube Channel, his expeditions with his compact but sophisticated simulations of grid down communications. Julian is a natural teacher and his channel may be one of the best ways to understand how and what to pack and take into the wild. OH8STN is my QSO Today.
Pablo Lewin, WA6RSV, has an interest in radio astronomy and scans the heavens with his hydrogen line radio telescope using an SDR or software defined radio. Pablo had an interesting aviation career where amateur radio weaved in and out of it since the late seventies. Now in aviation retirement, he does stand up comedy and creates content for the film and television industry. WA6RSV tells his amatueur radio story in this QSO Today.
Stephen Houser, N1SH, was essential to helping Rex Harper, W1REX, present his Build-A-Thons at the QSO Today Virtual Ham Expos with multi-camera coverage of Rex's project demonstrations. Stephen had early exposure to amateur radio and was no stranger to our hobby years before he got his first license. Stephen has a strong interest and expertise in computers, programming, building projects, and he makes his own contributions to our interesting hobby. N1SH is my QSO Today.
Michael Johnson, WO9B's ham radio career has evolved through a number of phases over the last 50 years that now include CW and QRP operation, with his dog, during CWOPs weekly tests from local parks in Milwaukee. Mike's park operation has become a weekly meetup for his local radio club. WO9B also enjoys DMR and HF digital modes and is my QSO Today.
Nelson Farrier, NF7Z, is a relatively recent new ham, a retired middle school teacher of STEM learning to children, and a graduate of the ARRL Teacher Institute. He has some refreshing insight into what we as an amateur radio community do better to relate to children and strengthen our numbers with younger hams. NF7Z is my QSO Today.
Courtney Duncan, N5BF, has humble amateur radio beginnings in Texas where he earned a degree in musical piano performance. Destiny intervened, allowing Courtney to get a degree as an electronic engineer and a career at JPL, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, associated with NASA and CalTech in Pasadena, California working on flight radio systems for spacecraft that go to Mars and beyond. Now retired after 30 years, N5BF is active as the president of the San Bernardino Microwave Society, amateur microwave operation and contesting, and moonbounce. N5BF is my QSO Today.
Paul Mower, VA6MPM, treks across the Canadian Rockies, often for days at a time. Amateur radio connects Paul to the outside world when he is far beyond his cellular telephone coverage. Paul enjoys working Summits on the Air from some of the most remote outposts in the world. VA6MPM is my QSO Today.
Andy Mitchell, VA3CW, as an eleven year old Boy Scout, participated with his small troop in Boy Scout Jamboree on the Air, in 1974. This exposure changed the course of Andy's life, profession, and interests. Getting on the air and working DX are the simple ham radio pastimes that contribute to his free time enjoyment. VA3CW is my QSO Today.
Dr. Brian Callahan, AD2BA, has a background in music, anthropology, Japanese video arcade games and open source software leading him to amateur radio and his Extra Class license. As a new and younger ham, as well as a college professor to younger potential hams, AD2BA shares his experience and insight on how we might involve young people in our hobby. Brian is my QSO Today.
Dr. Robert Nash, G4GEE, discovered early on that amateur radio is a social hobby that makes him a citizen of the World with friendships on every continent. Working DX and dedicating time to his local club, the Coventry Amateur Radio Society, is his formula for ham radio success. G4GEE is my QSO Today.
Alan Thompson, W6WN, was a volunteer rescuer to the Camp Fire in Northern California a few years ago. This experience made Alan an evangelist for the deployment and use of conventional radio communications and the training that saves lives and property, as a backup to the costly but fragile smartphone systems that suddenly do not work in a natural disaster. Alan tells his ham radio story in this QSO Today.
Mark Beckwith, N5OT, grew up in Southern California, with amateur radio's most famous television producer, Dave Bell, W6AQ, who was his amateur radio mentor in the 1970s. Dave opened a lot of doors to Mark, allowing Mark to build up his contesting and DX on-the-air skills. Mark was a professional opera singer for over 30 years, leading to some interesting conversation both on and off the QSO Today microphone. N5OT is my QSO Today.
Augie, “Gus” Hansen, KB0YH, always had an interest in radio, but did not get his first ticket until he was in his mid-thirties. Gus enjoys operating the 80 meter nets and building antennas, now especially STL or Small Transmitting Loop, also known as magnetic loop antennas. And as this is the 20th Anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, Gus has his own story in this QSO Today.
Jim Condon, AD4YM, listens for the most rare DX, signals from outer space as a radio astronomer, and keeps his fingers in the gear by collecting and restoring the best ham radio boat anchors, including Collins, Drake, Hallicrafters, and Hammarlund. AD4YM is my QSO Today.
Tony DePrato WA4JQS had an early love of radio and a junior high school mentor who helped him get on the air in the early 1960s. An 80 meter DX contact from his native Kentucky to Australia ignited a passion for DX that resulted in Tony leading two DXpeditions to the most sought after DX entities in the World. WA4JQS tells his ham radio story in this QSO Today.
SOTA Operator Rene Lutz, HB9NBG, has the European Alps as his challenge to conquer every summit with his partner Carine, HB9FZC. Together they operate their successful rural Swiss ham radio sales and service center that attracts ham radio tourists. Rene and Carine document their amateur radio adventures on their popular YouTube channel. HB9NBG is my QSO Today.
George Dominick, W4UW, focuses on the fundamentals of amateur radio including antenna design, building HF power amplifiers, and the simple fun of getting on the air. Amateur radio still fascinates George after almost 70 year on the air. W4UW is my QSO Today.
James, “JB”, Anderson, K8OS, will be presenting in the next QSO Today Virtual ham Expo, on August 14th and 15th on the topic of Vertical Yagi-Uda Array using Wire Elements - Stealth HF Gain on a Budget. I thought that it would be good to introduce the QSO Today audience to the presenters themselves. While JB has been a ham for over 50 years, he is also an accomplished electronics engineer and a radio astronomer. K8OS tells his ham radio story in this QSO Today.
Antoine De Ramon NYeurt, 3D2AG, is one of three hams in paradise, who holds up the CW representation from Fiji, the largest Island in the South Pacific and the second largest island in the World next to Australia. Antoine gave an excellent presentation last March at the QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo about operating from Figi and Rotuma, another island 600 KM North of Fiji. 3D2AG shares his Fiji and ham radio life in this QSO Today.
Chip Angle, N6CA, harnessed an early interest in the bands, VHF to microwave, as a passion that continues to this day. While he is active on every band, Chip pays special attention to low noise receiver performance on his radios that work well above 10 GHz. This attention to detail and training from the aerospace industry allowed Chip to start his own company building low noise preamps, filters, duplexers, and other hardware ultimately used by government including NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. N6CA shares his ham radio story in this QSO Today.
Andreas Spiess, HB9BLA, is a well known YouTube personality from Switzerland with over 330 thousand subscribers, over 30 million views, and focused on sensors, microcontrollers, Raspberry Pi programming, and projects that use this technology applied to amateur radio. I found Andreas on YouTube as I am preparing my own QO100 geosynchronous satellite earth station, to allow me to work the Quatar Telecom satellite from Israel. I know that you will enjoy my QSO with Andreas and perhaps become a fan of his YouTube channel.
Tom Perera, W1TP, has a collection of over 3000 Morse code keys and bugs going back to pre-American Civil War, perhaps the largest collection in the World. He displays these keys in his virtual, on-line museum. W1TP shares with me the history of his collection, some interesting stories, and his newest interest and collection of military cipher machines, including the WW2 German Enigma, in this QSO Today.
Greg Algieri, WA1JXR, began his ham radio journey by asking his dad for a Gillette Blue Razor Blade to make this first receiver, leading to amateur radio licenses, higher electronics education, and an entire career with Raytheon, where he worked in radio and antenna design. WA1JXR is active in his amateur radio community as a teacher of new and existing hams, restoring boat anchor vintage radios, and getting on the air. He is my guest in this QSO Today.
Ted Holland, WB3AVD, describes himself as a cultural anthropologist who creates artistic telegraph or CW keys based on themes that move him, including OZ's Emerald City. An avid QRP contest operator and local emcomm enthusiast, WB3AVD shares his amateur radio successes in this QSO Today.
Frank Kollins, WA9CWX, loves to operate CW from multiple operating positions, from restored vintage to the most modern rigs. Frank is a student and teacher of radio history from its very ether-like beginnings, to radio's evolution through World War 2. WA9CWX has an amazing CW key collection and is my QSO Today.
Marty Woll, N6VI, found his way into amateur radio, along with other high school teens in Southern California's San Fernando Valley in the late 1960s. Interested in CW, chasing DX, and contesting, Marty's ham radio interests evolved to include VHF, UHF, and microwave contest “roving”, and now emergency communications. N6VI has always been a leader in our hobby and is my QSO Today.
For Peter ODell, WB2D, amateur radio morphed into a professional life at the ARRL during the time of Spaceshuttle STS-9 and the introduction of the first amateur radio broadcast from the Shuttle. Peter describes his amateur radio journey and the challenges of being a ham radio journalist in this QSO Today.
Thomas, Tom, Tate, WA7NPX, began his ham radio journey with his best friend in middle school. The amateur radio hobby can make lifelong buddies as well as develop practical and professional skills. WA7NPX shares his ham radio story and how it can serve as a springboard for developing expertise in other hobbies as well.
Henry Seidner, WA2ROA, like many of his contemporaries in the 60s, discovered amateur radio from Shortwave listening and was licensed in high school. Henry spent most of his professional life living and working in New York City, and travelling the world. Amateur radio was his door opener allowing him to make lasting friendships. WA2ROA tells this ham radio story in this QSO Today.
Larry Tyree, or Tree, as he is known in amateur radio circles, loves to operate contests, work DX on 160 meters, from his 28 hilltop acres in the Oregon forest, near Portland. Tree is a serious CW operator, where good antenna design, focus, skill, and patience bring the amateur radio rewards. Tree tells his ham radio story in this QSO Today.
Roland Smith, K7OJL, entered ham radio almost 60 years ago after the launch of the Sputnik satellite. His ham radio activity paused for many years as a result of professional relocations and family commitments. Roland has since returned to amateur radio at a fast and furious pace, operating in just about every band and mode.
Patrick (Pat) Brown, AK5TX, has always had a love for radio leading to opportunities from Minnisota to Alaska. Amateur radio was the game changer for Pat when he suddenly lost his eyesight, almost 20 years ago. Pat is now “handycapable” and continues to contribute to his amateur community in Tyler Texas and to our amazing hobby. AK5TX is my QSO Today.
Dan Marler, K7REX, owes much of his professional opportunities and success to his amateur radio background. A people person, K7REX, likes to give back to the amateur radio community as an ARRL Section Manager and founder of the RATPAC, a group that does not include Sammy, Dean, and Frank. Dan tells his ham radio story in this QSO Today.
Tom Robinson, G0SBW, made a very interesting presentation at the Expo called, “Amateurs Research Poor Radio Communications at the Battle of Arnhem, in 1944”, where the British lost this WW2 battle because of poor communications. I urge you to go view Tom’s presentation at the Expo. I interviewed Tom back in September of 2017, because Tom likes to operate backpack mobile on the English Shore, dragging his counterpoise, like a tail behind him. He has had amazing success with this operating mode, and shares how you too can get out of the noise by also operating manpack mobile. G0SWB is my QSO Today.
When it comes to understanding how antennas really work, then the “go to” ham is Bob Zavrel, W7SX, author of the ARRL book, Antenna Physics - An Introduction. Through this book, Bob bridges the gap between “how to” antenna books, and calculus based antenna theory books for engineers. Bob has a long resume in radio and electronics, is the accidental creator of the Signetic NE602 mixer chip. Bob was my guest in this interview over 200 episodes ago and shares his story in this replay in this QSO Today.
FlexRadio is the Platinum Sponsor at the next QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo. I wanted to bring back an interview that I had with Steve Hicks, N5AC, VP of Engineering at FlexRadio. Steve will be a speaker at the Expo. Steve is a natural teacher in addition to leading a team developing the most advanced software defined radios for amateur radio. Of course, he also has a great ham radio story that he tells in this QSO Today.
John Ackermann, N8UR, was my guest almost 200 episodes ago and is a speaker in the upcoming QSO Today Virtual ham Expo. John spends much of his time as a proponent of open source, freely sharing both hardware and software designs with the TAPR community. Join us as we discuss TAPR, SDR transceivers, and the issues around open source and the maker movement.
Gerald Youngblood, K5SDR, is the founder and CEO of FlexRadio that is now on the cutting edge of building advanced software defined radio (SDR) platforms for amateur radio, as well as for government, business, and the military. Gerald is a leader and pioneer in the development of SDR leading to the founding of FlexRadio. This episode is a newly minted version of the original interview that I had with K5SDR in 2015.
Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK, is best known for his satelite QSOs using portable gear from grid squares all over the World. He documents and captures many of his contacts and the equipment that he uses on his website and YouTube Channel. WD9EWK is a recent addition to the AMSAT board of directors and is my QSO Today.
Bob Allphin, K4UEE, was my guest in Episode 79 over 5 years ago. As he is one of the speakers in the next QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo, his ham radio story would interest today’s listeners. K4UEE has traveled the World in pursuit of activating DX entities that are isolated, desolate, and uninhabited. Forty in total. Out of his love for travel, he has been to 126 countries during his lifetime. I know that you will enjoy my Bob Allphin, K4UEE.
Jerry Weisskohl, AC4BT, always had a love of radio and short wave listening. He got a late start in amateur radio but thinks that the art and practice of CW, or Morse code, is exactly what quiets and relaxes the mind after an engaging day as a computer scientist. AC4BT has taken lead roles with CWops and CW Academy and is my QSO Today.
Peter Butler, W1UU’s ham radio journey began with the purchase of a J38 code key and a trip to the library. Sputnik inspired Peter to a career in microwave engineering reinforced by this ham radio interest. Peter is the Vice President of CWops and actively involved in sharing his love for CW and good operating practice with the hundreds of amateurs who are signing on to do the same. W1UU is my QSO Today.
Mel Swanberg, WA6JBD, has a love of radio that goes back to his childhood. Growing up in Southern California, Mel found his Elmers and Mentors that led him into a career in the land mobile business and public safety radio. Mel is the former president of the Cactus Intertie, perhaps the largest point to point full duplex amateur radio network in the World. Other interests include microwave communications and he is a leader in the San Bernardino Microwave Society. WA6JBD is my QSO Today
Clint Turner, KA7OEI, is an experimenter, builder, and operator on all bands and modes. He shares his background in microwave communications, EME or Moonbounce, and his involvement in the Northern Utah Web SDR Project, an amazing on-line resource hams who want to listen to all of the lowbands with waterfall display at the same time. KA7OEI is my QSO Today.
Tim Deagan, KJ8U, loves to build just about anything to try out a new tool, and he has an amazing assortment of tools to support his construction of amateur radio antennas as well as Burning Man like propane powered visual displays. KJ8U is a maker, and since ham radio operators were the original makers, Tim’s cross-over between the maker community and the amateur radio community is just natural. Tim tells this story in this QSO Today.