Friday, 25 November 2016


I know I am late to the game on this but I have just discovered Podcasts.  I was going on a trip and wanted something to listen to on the plane just in case my flight had no TV/movies available.  My iPhone has a podcast player so while I was at home on wifi I went in and started to do some searching for Ham Radio.  I found a few different sources on various topics so I downloaded a bunch to my phone as well as one that I knew was good that was not ham radio related.  The first leg of the trip was a very short (Ottawa to Toronto) 50 minutes so I just listened to a podcast.  I enjoyed it very much and proceeded to listen for the duration of my 7+ hours of travel.  I did the same on the return trip as I was totally hooked.  Not all podcasts are created equal, for sure, and some I listened to, although possibly full of interesting information, were difficult to listen to as the presenters were seemingly unprepared or simply just not very good at presenting.  

There are two main types of Ham Radio podcasts I found.  One type has the presenter speak on a number of topics.  These were OK but lacked the breadth of knowledge and experiences that come with the second type of Amateur radio podcasts I found which is in the format of presenters interviewing guests.  This format, depending on the guest, is far more informative and captivating.  Listening to these podcasts made my travel time pass by quickly and painlessly.  The first podcast I got hooked onto is the QSO Radio Show.  This Podcast is not only a podcast but is also a short wave broadcast.  The program is hosted by Ted Randall (WB8PUM) and co-host David Klimkowski (KG4WXW).  Ted is a broadcaster/engineer by profession so the program is very professional and quite informative.  The guests interviewed ranged from manufacturers of Ham Radio equipment, ARRL Engineers, the CQ magazine Editor and many more.  There are advertisements at various points throughout the podcast from his show sponsors which is to be expected.  The podcasts are usually about 2 hours in length.  

Another enjoyable podcast I found was the QSO Today podcast hosted and prepared by Eric Guth (4Z1UG).  What he does is choose a notable amateur operator as a guest and then proceed to ask them a host of questions, generally the same from show to show.  The carefully chosen questions evoke great discussion and result in 90% of the talk being provided by the guest.  The topics discussed are quite varied and the guests come from far and wide.  The audio quality from the guests is sometimes not the best as Skype is used and the surroundings at the guest's location of the line cannot be controlled.  This is soon forgotten once the discussion begins and I am enveloped by the content.  This is by far my favourite ham radio podcast.

Another type of podcast is the deep technical "work bench" type discussions found in podcasts like Ham Radio 360.  Some of their podcasts are the "work bench" style while others are more guest discussion based.  Both are very informative and some are multiple hours long.  These are great for gaining insight into how various things work such as Oscilloscopes but at an in-depth level.

Another, less time involving but equally valuable, type of podcast is the short "Quote of the Day" or QOTD podcasts provided by The Morse Resource and Steve Conklin (AI4QR) that are sent in Morse code at various speeds,  The actual quotations are provided courtesy of The Quotations Page.   The podcasts last a few minutes and are great for working at improving your Morse receive skills. 

I am so glad to have found podcasts albeit years after they have become popular.  I also listen to some non-ham radio related podcasts and there are thousands out there to choose from.  You can subscribe to them as well which means that you always have the latest podcasts ready to download.  Make sure your player settings are such that you only download these shows when you are connected to wifi.  Do yourself a favour.  If you haven't checked out this medium, have a listen with your favourite podcast player or even just from your PC.  You won't be disappointed.

Cheers and thanks,
de Scott ve3vvf

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