Episode 332 - Wayne Yoshida - KH6WZ
This episode of QSO Today is sponsored by ICOM America, makers of the finest HF, VHF and UHF transceivers and accessories for the radio amateur, reminding you to check out their new IC 705 all band portable transceiver and their new ID 52A dual band portable, both shipping now. My thanks to ICOM America for their continued support of the QSO Today podcast.
Welcome to the QSO Today podcast I'm Eric Guth 4Z1UG, your host. Flex Radio is a platinum sponsor of the upcoming QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo that will return in March 2021. We have updated the technology platform for the QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo to make it even more user friendly using video chat. If you have a ham radio, business or organization and want to engage over 10,000 amateurs by last count, like Flex Radio in our Expo, please contact me for the best ways to engage your customers and audience.
Wayne Yoshida, KH6WZ, has been an active ham since the 1970s. Growing up in Los Angeles, Wayne is a home brewer, especially microwave equipment on 10 gigahertz and has taken our amateur radio hobby to the Maker Faire in the Bay Area for live demonstrations. As a technical writer and contributing editor to CQ magazine, Wayne is in one of the best places to experience just about everything in ham radio. KH6WZ is my QSO Today, KH6WZ this is Eric 4Z1UG Are you there, Wayne?
Good evening. Yes, I am. Thank you for having me on the show.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 1:41
Wayne, thanks for joining me on the QSO Today podcast, can we start at the beginning of your ham radio story? When and how did it start for you?
Well, let's see. This could be a funny story. I actually learned about ham radio through magazines, right so for Popular Electronics being one and I can't for the life of me remember the stories that were written? I think it's not Tom and Jerry, but it's something like that. Anyway, it's a story about two ham radio kids, and they were talking about adventures and things like that. And of course, Popular Electronics had a ham radio column in there. And it starts off with, my parents would tell me funny stories about you know, when ever the family got together during the holidays, and one of the things they would say was that I spent a lot of time behind the TV set rather than watching it actually watching it right. So I was fascinated with the looking at the glowing vacuum tubes inside and and you know, feeling the warmth of the the TV set and that weird high pitched noise that came from the thing. And of course, that electronics smell when smells right when smelling electronic equipment. And so that was probably my first inkling of what I was interested in. Right. So. And you know, when my mother would go to the grocery store and go shopping, I would go with her, but I would kind of you know, ditch her and stand by the magazine stand and read Popular Electronics. And I think it's Electronics Illustrated and probably Electronics World. You know, most all those magazines are gone. But you know, that was probably where I got exposed to ham radio and electronics. I was just fascinated by all that stuff. And at about, you know, nine or 10 years old, I was a subscriber to Popular Electronics. And I thought it was pretty funny one day, I can't remember if it was weekday or weekend but I was you know, sitting in the living room reading Popular Electronics magazine and a salesman, somebody, knocked at the door, my mom answered. And it was a sales guy for the Cleveland Institute of Electronics CIE and he wanted... because he found me as a subscriber to Popular Electronics... He came to the house. And he asked my mom, if I was home, and that was unusual. I still remember the guy's face when I came to the door because he was asking for me. And it turns out that he was a sales guy for the Cleveland Institute of Electronics. And that was a 10 year old kid. So I don't know, to this day, I wonder what would have happened if I enrolled or if they would even have let let me do that. But that was pretty funny.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 4:20
How did you become a ham radio operator? Did you find a mentor or someone like that, that saw you reading Popular Electronics at the supermarket magazine stand?
It's not quite as interesting as that. In fact, it was a long time before I actually got a ham license. Right. So I mean, this is probably like I said when I was about 10 or so years old nine or 10. But it wasn't until I got to high school that well. Let's go back. You know, in our school system, we have elementary school, junior high school and high school, right? So in junior high school, this would have been seventh grade and this is when we finally get shop class and this was shop class back then which is hugely a mistake that we don't have this anymore. So of course the favorite one of course was for me was always the electric shop, but I just took it. Well, again, same thing, right, I got really tired of making Blinky light projects. And I think in the 10th grade is where I met two guys with ham radio license. One of them was George, who you've had on the podcast, and you know, and George Zafiropoulos. Right. Back then was WA6CMM. So he actually was passed as novice class back then. And Bob Adams KA7CRE, I don't know if he upgraded his call or not. George's KJ6VU now, and so when I met those two guys, of course, our projects were way more way beyond the Blinky light projects. And I remember Bob building a variable power supply. And I made a code practice oscillator. And that's when I got more excited about ham radio. And that's when I started getting to this, but still didn't get my license. It wasn't until my, I'm going to say 11th grade year junior year in high school that I met somebody through of all places, a newspaper, you know, throw away junk newspaper called the Penny-saver. And I don't know if it even exists today. But you know, the Penny-saver is a newspaper thing. It's filled with classified ads, that's all you see there of used stuff that you want to give. And for some reason, I picked it up and I read through this thing. And there was a really tiny ad, I think it was like maybe two lines. And it started off with interested in ham radio, or want to learn Morse code. And it was, you know, contact this guy, and with his phone number turns out that Bob Miles and his callsign back then was WA6LLW. He's retired. And I think he moved to Utah, and I've lost track of him. But turns out that this Elmer guy lived within bicycle distance of my house. So that's kind of nice, because you know, back then when your kid in high school, you don't have a car, or at least I didn't my mode of transporting my bicycle. And that's where I finally got, you know, he gave me a code practice tapes back then we had to learn the Morse code. And he said, two or three weeks every practicing every day, and you'll know it. And I didn't believe I was pretty skeptical about his his advice about learning Morse code. But he gave me the code master brand of code tapes, and I listened to it. And I actually did learn it. I learned enough so I can pass the exam. Bob was the guy who gave me my novice test. And he looked at me says, yep, you passed congratulations. And it was all of a sudden, it was sort of a no big deal. I studied really hard for this test. But the actual exam was much easier than I thought it would be. And it was easy to pass. So I guess that's one piece of encouragement for anybody who thinks or might be afraid or scared of the ham radio test. It really isn't that.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 7:50
Well, let's go back just a second. And because we're talking like some periods of time, and for our younger listeners, they may not know when you say talk about blinky lights in electronics class. As I recall, this is like the late 60s, early 70s. These were called color organs.
Yes, color organs.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 8:09
They were sound powered, used triacs for controlling of electric Christmas lights, right up to three different colors. And they were popular everywhere.
Yeah, that's right. This was this was probably 1972, 73, 74 or something like that, in fact, 73, of course, has a special meaning for hams, as everybody knows. And I still have commemorative stamps for 73 1973 World DX Friendship here, because back then, of course, you know, I was a shortwave listener. So I guess we can call one of my rigs was a Trans Oceanic, right, it was a black suitcase thing. And I got it used, it was pretty in pretty bad shape. But it was kind of neat to listen to BBC and Radio Canada and Radio Japan and things like this. And of course, whenever I showed this to all my friends, the first thing, the first thing that they would ask me is, well, can you talk? Then I would say no. And then everybody says, well, who cares? Right? So that was another motivator for me to get away from shortwave listening and get into the ham license. Because then you can say, Yeah, I can talk to these people on the other side.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 9:20
So how old were you when you got your first ham license? And what was the callsign?
Yeah, let's see. That would be that I was 17, 1976 was the year, of course we need to know your first license for the radio contest, right like sweepstakes,
Eric, 4Z1UG: 9:34
And what was your callsign?
My callsign what Oh, yes, this was the interesting part. Back then, novice licensees had Whiskey November call signs WN for novice. However, when my license happened or that year and in 76, they issued me a recycled call sign with no “N” in it. So my very first call sign was WA6SGH “Signal Go Haywire”, it was never on the air. So but you know, of course, I had my ham license finally. And then my family moved. So you know, there went my friends, George and Bob. So I got stuck going to electric shop again in a different high school with no hams in it and the shop teacher who kinda didn't care,
Eric, 4Z1UG: 10:23
Or didn't know,
Didn't know about ham radio. Yes. Okay. My electric shop teacher back then was I think he was the metal shop guy. And so I sort of had the reputation in the shop class where I knew more than the teacher did.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 10:37
Where did you move? When did you move out of state? Or did you just move across town?
That's a good question. Yeah, my Yes, I met George and Bob back in Venice High School in Los Angeles, Calif, family moved to Orange County, California, in Fountain Valley, and went to La Quita High School in Westminster, California.
At that time, if you weren't a ham, so we can put it in context. I mean, right now, it's across town, from Los Angeles to Fountain Valley. But in those days, I was also subject to being moved around at the same time, without ham radio, if you were moving from one side of town to the other, like from one part of the basin to the other. It was like moving to Mars, you were away from your friends forever, unless they were on ham radio.
That's true. And mostly because you know, as a kid, we don't have much of a choice, right? Our parents determine where we go, where we live, and what school we go to. Right. We had no choice. And so it was pretty disruptive to everything. And of course, timing for me was especially bad, because I was in my you know, in my junior year, so I'm so part of my high school experience, like the prom, for example, wasn't very good. Because you know, I missed that because they didn't have an established friend base back there. The athletic team back then was horrible. And Venice high school back then had a really good reputation. I believe it still does. A lot of Olympic athletes came from that high school way. But this little dinky Orange County High School, no offense to La Quita alumni out there, but you know, not the same.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 12:12
So you're this teenager that has an interest in electronics, you have your first ham license, did ham radio play a part at all, in the choices that you made for a career in education?
That is yes. So when I got to high school, and because of my ham radio experience, and in studying to take the test and understanding Ohms law and Watt's law, and and things like this, and taking electric shop, learning about very similar things, including, you know, math, one of my weaknesses, but that's another subject. But yeah, it you know, it drove me to things in science, right. So I took all the science classes and so forth. And I especially liked my chemistry and physics classes. And I still remember this right? One day after taking a physics exam in high school, teacher called me after class in order to speak to me, right, and that's never enough. So Mr. Leonard asked me said, hey, you're getting C's and D's in algebra, and yet, you're making A's and B's in my class. And I said, Well, you know, a lot of these things we're learning right now, I've learned before when I was probably about 10, or 12 years old, because my interest in ham radio, and they said Ohms law and Watts law and things like this. And although we didn't study the wave or particle theory, in ham radio, and so forth, part of the things I remember or enjoy, are the the demonstrations that you put on, of course, you know, rubbing his ego helped me out into this jam. And I said, that's, that's part of the thing. It's learning about, you know, formulas and working them out. And I didn't know this at the time, it wasn't until I got to like something like the third year of college, they found out that I have a learning disability called dyscalculia. And it's, I think, the general or oversimplified definition of that is it's dyslexia with numbers, but it's a lot different like that. I don't have a severe case, a lot of some people have a severe case of this. And so for them, they can't tell time with analog clocks is a little bit weird. Or they have other issues. But I have, I think, eight of the nine symptoms or something like that, which is interesting. But again, because I was driven right and and to this day, I really wish that math class were taught like our physical science class. So for example, in physics class, right, I enjoyed understanding the working in the numbers only because there's something I can physically see and understand or the phenomena that we observe the statistical analysis, for example, have any chemistry or by biology tests and things like that were always fun for me to do because I saw some real value In its usage and application, and so you know, that's another reason why I think shop class being gone is, you know, truly a waste, really a sad thing.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 15:08
So what happened? Where did you end up going to school?
After high school? You know, for me, I went to junior college, I actually applied for scholarships and grants during my high school because I did have a good high school counselor at La Quita. So going back to my bashing of La Quita high school, you know, what I do have to say my guidance counselor back then was okay, because he did, and I think his name was Mr. Allen would help me and he showed me a whole bunch of scholarship opportunities for him to apply. And so I did that I ended up qualifying for two of them in California, California State scholarship, and Cal Grant, I think it's called Cal Grant B. I don't even know if they're still offered. But it was based on financial need. So yeah, my parents needed the financial help. And I got one, so I chose Cal Grant B, because it was more money. But it also required me to go to a junior college first, but that was okay for me, because I still wasn't quite sure I knew what I want to do, right? Because my math skills were kind of not that great. But I did love the physical sciences, right. I considered engineering at one time, electrical engineering specific, but you know, again, math, so I didn't know what to do. So I took the opportunity and got rid of, or took care of the general education requirements, right. So after that, and again, yes, indeed, at Golden West College, there was a(n antenna) tower and I think there was a tower with a tri-bander on one of the buildings, I never was able to find out where that was, or who did or what, that was too bad. But to be honest with you, I really wanted to get out of junior college as fast as I could, because I quickly discovered in many of my classes, that it really wasn't what I expected. And I wanted to sort of get away from most of the two year experience and move on to a real college four year college and of course, my choice was always UCLA because George and goes back to my friend George who's now KJ6VU, and I would hang out you know, quite often in Westwood and the UCLA campus area so but one of the other pulls for me was noticing the giant four element tri-band quad and two elements on 40, on top of the engineering building called Boelter Hall. Giant skyscraper penthouse floor, giant antenna, I had to meet those guys. I had to find out what this was as soon as possible because I had you know, this is because I had a ham license for a long time, but it was never on the air. And of course, back then, right, the license was not a ten year license. Right, it expired. So I had to reapply. Let's see what it is, the operator and station license are two different things for U.S. Ham operators, so I lost my callsign. But yeah, I lost the callsign. But the operator license was still valid. So I just reapplied and got a new callsign. And so my new call sign as a Novice was a kilo alpha six call. KA6KGU, and on CW that sounded really, really neat. So for the guys who know code, you know what I'm talking about. And the pattern is sometimes really useful when digging out your call in the DX pile-up. So KA6KGU was a really fun call to have. And that was on the air actually, that was on the air sometime, because I would operate out of the UCLA ham radio club, W6YRA. And at one time, I think, at one time I was president of the ham radio club.
And of course, all the guys are engineering students, right because it was in engineering building on the engineering side of the campus. But I was not an engineering major remember this. So I think at UCLA I had something like 12 different declared majors because like I said, I still didn't know quite what to do. I was getting really really close to violating a a policy or rule in the UC system and that is having too many units having too many units and not qualifying for a degree so that kind of scared me once again motivation either quit or let's get the degree and so not by choice but more like by chance I graduated with a sociology again moving away from numbers and things like that, and from the physical sciences over into the social science.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 19:30
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So when you're telling my story, I had the same problem at UC Santa Barbara. I got married the summer before my senior year and my wife said, you know you've been at the school for seven years, I think you need to declare a major and get out. I'm listening. You're smiling as you're telling the story because this is exactly what happened to me. Okay, so you have this degree in sociology, but it doesn't appear to me that at least from your professional resume that you've ever spent any time in sociology, what happened after that?
No, I didn't. And this is also what I tell people when I'm counseling people about college, you know, now there's this sort of a bad trend about or the question about is a college diploma or university diploma worth anything, you know, especially because of the costs involved and how much student debt is out there. But I always say look, if the thing for me and I think the thing for everybody with a college degree, it makes us different. Even if it's a four year degree, it is the need to have goal setting learning research methods and understanding about the world. I mean, that's a general education is all about for in the college programs, right. And I still to this day, remember this very, very old full page newspaper ad that ran into Hartford Current. That's another story part of my history that we'll get into, but it was a full page ad about the reason college education is valuable and I can't for the life of me remember it but some examples included things like sure, you might not remember how to solve that quadratic equation but you do know that they exist and you know that the results of the math involved is useful in everyday life. Because the analysis of marketing and so forth. You might not be able to recite that Shakespeare sonnet but you do understand they exist and you have been exposed and understand the beauty of a Shakespearean sonnet and, and there was the full page ad went on and on about what happens or what you're exposed to when you go through that college journey. And that, you know, and of course, a lot of it is living on your own and paying bills and becoming a responsible young adult. And a lot of times that's missing. For example, I have several nieces and nephews who didn't go to school. Not quite sure why that happened. But they're different. And I, it's hard to explain. But getting back to my career. Yes, it taught me. And, you know, all of my roommates were, let's see, I had a Poli Sci political science major roommate, I had a business roommate. And I had another one, I can't remember what what major he was, but he was the thing. I had papers in every single one of my classes. And most of these guys had no research papers through I said, you know, I'm going crazy spending hours and hours doing research papers, research papers for all of my classes, and these guys go through classes without doing any research papers, but the fact of doing all the research and back then, you know, you had to go to the library and look at real books to do research or publications and do your own research and create these papers. So that got me into the discipline and the activity of studying and reading and formulating decisions and formulating hypotheses or arguments to support your claim. And so that in itself was what my degree in sociology helped me to create a career in the field of what might be called journalism, right? Because it's the writing and research and understanding facts and understanding how to interpret facts and figures and reporting them into some distinctive way. So my first job out of college, right, you know, the the term at around the college campus at UCLA for seniors and juniors and seniors probably was get a real job. And that usually meant, you know, a real job is when you work at some office, and you don't have to wear a plastic name tag with your name. So get a real job. So there you go. My first job, by the way,
Eric, 4Z1UG: 27:17
Unless you worked in aerospace...
Then it's an ID badge. But that's something else, right? It's not the same as Bob in that plastic thing, or Wayne, your “Wayne” tag. I suppose it's better than being called Hey, you come here. So my first job and this is again, ham radio, ham radio related, of course. So when I got to college, I graduated. And I was one of the statistics at the time college graduates being unemployed. Now, I wasn't in debt, right, because I had my scholarships. And my grants, did work study, had a lot of really interesting jobs, by the way. And yes, a lot of more electronics in ham radio, I got a job assembling high voltage circuit boards for the physics department for some high voltage experiment never knew what the thing was, was a very unusual thing with multiple PC boards, and soldering a lot of high voltage capacitors all over the place, and then we had to clean them in an ultrasonic cleaner. And that was the scary part. We're moving on a tangent, but I think it's gonna be a fun story. So here, I am a sociology major in the physics lab soldering these components. And then the step was to clean them with in the ultrasonic cleaner, which was heated. And so understand there was I can't remember what kind of alcohol it was. But you know, I think at one time I saw the ultrasonic cleaner steaming, there's actually a visible vapor coming up, and it connected it to a gray lab timer, so then it would be washed for a certain amount of time, when we're supposed to remove the piece of board and scrub off the rest of the residue. Well, I told the supervisor who was of course not a ham but a physics guy, but I'm not sure if you understood what happens when you heat alcohol. And you have this great lab timer which has some kind of timer in it, which switches on or off the ultrasonic cleaner. So you know when you have this flammable vapor, and there's a switch inside this or relay inside this timer, and if it were to create a spark, do you think we'll have an explosion? And the guy said don't worry about it? Well, one day you know, we're doing this procedure and one day I noticed coming into work some sort of yellow stickies powder all over the floor and all over the lab. Guess what happened? Yeah, something exploded. I don't think the guy who is there that was close to the the cleaner got hurt, but the story goes that Yeah, he lost... he had to change his pants... So once again, you know, here I am. I'm a kid English major don't know what I'm talking about. But I said, you know, you somebody better be careful. You know, I didn't say I told you so. But I just shook my head and went back to, anyway, bad things. So yeah, so my sociology degree led me to my first job out of college which is ham radio related of course, I landed a job at ARRL headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. So you know, like I said, I was one of the unemployed, college graduates reading QST one day and noticing classified and QST saying, looking for I can't remember the position but I did not get that position I applied for but I had a really nice letter and it said that although we filled this position, we have another position that's similar to this one would be would I be interested and they asked me to send you know, writing sample and that kind of stuff my mail and got the job! Title was Assistant Public Information Officer. I reported to Peter O'Dell.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 30:44
So what happened there? How long were you there?
Oh, it was neat. I mean, it's kind of neat working at headquarters right because I read QST Magazine since I was a kid right? So it's kind of neat to see or actually meet these people that you read about right or have these columns in the QST magazine, Paul Pagel for example, N1FB. Doug DeMaw W1FB know that I think I got there. McCoy actually retired before I got there, but I did know Doug DeMaw. The call was N1FB, Paul Pagel. You know, all kinds of staffers from 1982, 1983, 1984. So I spent two years there. And working at league headquarters. It was interesting for me, because here's a place where 100% of one's life is centered on ham radio. So I met all kinds of other people that you'd never see in CQ magazine, because their staffers, right, but they're still very dedicated hams. But the sense of humor gets kind of warped. I mean, one of the most famous sayings in in the office turns into a ham radio joke or a ham radio reference, right? So it's a don't write this or don't say this to loud, because what's his name will go into grid current, watch that grid current goal. So for people who haven't had the pleasure of tuning an HF radio tube final you have to understand plate and dip, or peak and dip. And I guess we can let people Google those terms and to understand how to tune up a tube amplifier final, and understanding what the dangerous grid currently and then relating that to somebody's emotion was way up, I guess the equivalent could be rising blood pressure.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 32:34
Let's segue a little bit here. You spoke at the last QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo in August on building and contesting on 10 gigahertz. So how did you get involved in microwave?
That's a great question. I, my ham radio experience, I'm not going to be, I'm not able to say that I've tried all the modes they're offered are available on ham radio, but I've done a lot. So yeah, and a lot of them centered on building things, right? Because remember, my earliest electronics experience is always about building things. And so my aspects of ham radio sort of centered on building things. So the first thing that comes to mind is QRP, right? Yeah, you can, you know, turn your power controlling your radio down to like five or 10. But most of the QRP guys are home brew. Right. So I started off with that. And you know, building stuff is fun. But when you spend all that time and build us a nice 40 meter CW QRP, and then you connect it to a dipole. And then you can't work anybody things kind of get disappointed. I've built 40 meter radios, 20 meter radios, you know, of course, all of them are CW rigs, because you're QRP, you want some advantage on that thing. But it's still not really enjoyable because getting back to that ham radio experience from UCLA's radio club, giant four element quad at 40 It's so nice to hear a CQ and call them and they can hear you right are calling CQ. And somebody when you're in QRP it's a bit challenging, especially when you have a dipole. Now, he should probably be careful because I know there are a lot of QRP guys who actually have success. But for me, it just wasn't really effective. So I've also tried transmitter hunting, right fox hunting because once again, it's home brewing aspect there. So I did that, of course, met Joe along the way, Joe Mo...
Eric, 4Z1UG: 34:23
Also in Orange County...
And he's also been on the podcast so kind of a neat thing there. I got into “T” (transmitter) hunting, did that, you know, just made my little active attenuator and then one day I decided and here's another thing too... one day my active attenuator broke I can't remember what happened but something happened. And so rather than stop or quit, I decided to just try this instead of using this I had a I disconnected the antenna and I would hold the the two connectors right and I separated them apart with my fingers in between to attenuate the signal and then as I wanted to vary the attenuation, I would change the distance between the two connectors on the assembly. And so that, you know, instead of using an active attenuator, I was able to vary the signal separating or disconnecting antenna and just changing the distance to find the missing transmitter. But same thing that got a little boring for me too. No offense to T hunters and Fox hunters out there because yeah, they can understand how enjoyable that is kind of fun.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 35:24
Where did you do them?
I think my last T Hunt was with Joe and April and it was, it was a park and Fulton I can't remember. It's been many, many years since I've done that, though. Very long time.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 35:37
Did you do the transmitter hunting in the car where you'd like start on a hilltop in like Palos Verdes or Tustin and spend the entire night chasing a transmitter?
No, this was an on foot transmitter hunt...
Eric, 4Z1UG: 35:49
They call those Fox hunts in Europe, right?
The way we do it here, or at least my experience is definitely not like the ones in Europe or in Asia. But I did build that tape measure antenna, I still have it. Still have my the active offset attenuator still have that. It's all in a quick go box. Right? So but the same thing, I didn't get into it too much. But But then I discovered 10 gigahertz. And my discovery of 10 gigahertz is kind of weird, because because I it started off as a field day exercise, meaning after Field Day, as you know, after every field day, I always tried to do an assessment, what went wrong? What went right, what do you want to do for next year, in terms of building up our score or making things more efficient? And I thought, well, what if we changed frequency bands? And what if we had added something like, I don't know, 10 gigahertz or some microwave frequency into into this thing? No, it's not a multiplier, but it is a different band. So it could be more points, right? So I started researching into into the microwaves and discovered and chose 10 gigahertz as my first band. And that continues to this day as my favorite mode. My most interesting favorite mode. And, you know, sorry, but I don't have a picture of my shack because my shack is a portable microwave station, I suppose I can show you a picture of the back of my car in the trunk of the gear inside and or set up the unit on a tripod and be here's my station, but with antenna restrictions, right? I live in a place where I can't put in any antennas. This is one answer and it actually answers two things if not more for me and my ham radio preferences. One it's building something right You can't just go to the store and buy a 10 gigahertz radio you can buy a 10 gigahertz transverter but you still have to interface it with what we call the IF radio which is an all mode VHF UHF for so there's still quite a bit of building.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 37:57
Let me take a quick break to tell you about my favorite amateur radio audio podcast. And that's the Ham Radio Workbench podcast with George KJ6VU, Jeremy KF7IJZ, and now includes Michael Walker VA3MW, where they pursue Topics Technology and Projects on their ham radio workbenches. Every two weeks, the group documents their projects and make circuit boards available to their listeners. They have interesting guests and go in deep. Jeremy may complain about the overall length of the podcast. But friends, let me tell you that I could listen to it all day. And that's good. Even if you are a seasoned ham radio builder or just getting started. Be sure to join George, Jeremy and Mike for the Ham Radio Workbench podcast on every podcast player, use the link on this week's show notes page by clicking on the image. And now back to our QSO Today.
The jump from building QRP radios to deciding that you're going to do 10 gigahertz for Field Day. That's a huge jump. Did you actually have to find an organization? Or did you join an organization? Or did you find some mentors or peers that were already doing 10 gigahertz in order to be able to pull that one off? Or were you just confident that you know with enough research, you could do it yourself?
Oh, that's a great question. Because I actually wrote about this in one of my CQ magazine columns. It's called successful failure. So the answer is yes to all of the above. A: I did a lot of research but but I also had to find other people who've done it. I discovered the San Bernardino radio club, excuse me, San Bernardino Microwave Society SBMS, through a Google search and turns out that there's quite a drive from Orange County to over there. And at the time, I was doing a lot of volunteer work with the city of Huntington Beach RACES group for emergency communications at Huntington (Beach). And a friend of mine it with the RACES group. I decided that that why not go to a meeting and see what else is out there, especially this microwave thing and especially if it helps us on field day. It's probably what a two hour drive from Orange County traffic at least. So we drove up there. And interestingly enough, once again how small the world is, in the very first meeting I attended, I joined on the spot because there are more than several people that I already knew in my ham radio experience, right one of them was Michael Ramirez, W6YLZ. I know Mike through our friend George (Zafiropoulos), KJ6VU, so I've known this guy Mike W6YLZ it since I was a kid, and he was a member of the club. And also present at the meeting was Chip Angle, N6CA, a very famous VHF UHF contester builder, highly skilled and technical. And I think they're, I think, because of those two guys I already knew, and because I already knew their reputation, and because I met other microwave, you know, contester guys, I joined that club on the spot with no ifs or buts. I can't remember the year but it's probably close to, I don't know, eight, nine, maybe it might be 10 years, I'll have to check. Um, so yeah, my very first rig was a disaster. I'm not gonna call it a disaster. It like I said, I call it a successful failure. Because I learned a lot. I did a lot of it on my own, but with some help, not a lot. But it didn't make any QSOs. I mean, I think I think it could receive but didn't transmit or something. But because I'm a builder, right? And, and, you know, this whole phenomenon, Maker Faire is something old, some people think it's new but really isn't any ham radio guy knows. I kept improving things, right. And the challenge of getting something like that is satisfying to me. Right. And so I think part of the draw for me, you know, because I get this question all the time from (scoring) on ham radios, operators are not exposed to ham radio, they say that thing still exists. Does ham radio, ham radio still valid? Do people still do ham radio? I mean, we have cell phones, right? what's what's the big deal? And I tell them, it's so much more. And, you know, it's also the same thing when I meet people in public service aspects of ham radio. And then I think that's in my personal experience. I don't know if this is universally true or true everywhere else. But the biggest push in your ham radio folks, are the guys who are interested in public service, right? Emergency communication. What happens when we have that big earthquake and something happened? Oh, my cell phone's not going to work, all that stuff. And especially here in Southern California, we've got earthquakes and fires and things like this and other parts of the world and the country. Yeah, there are other natural disasters, but the same thing. But when I talk to a lot of these public service minded people, they're only exposed to computer HD repeaters. And I always tell them, Look, you know, there's so much more to ham radio. And if you're willing to take a look, let's, you know, let's I'll show you some of the things that we can do. And it's just so amazing. And, you know, that was part of my drive for doing participating as a maker, a demonstrator-maker and maker fairs here in Southern California and Northern California. And unfortunately, those are now gone. And I think they're still online, it's still not the same, right? The Bay Area...
Eric, 4Z1UG: 43:25
Because of the pandemic, of course...
Well, actually, the Bay Area Maker Faire, the biggie in the US. And there are two there, lots of regional ones, but the Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo, California is the biggest one and the first, the very first one. The other event for the East Coast guys is what's called the World Maker Faire in New York City. I'm not sure if the World Maker Faire in New York City is still going on but the Bay Area Maker Faire, right the event that started at all is is no longer at last year 2019 basically, it was the last one and that's just so disappointing and sad for me.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 44:06
But that but that's because of the pandemic not because of loss of interest right?
No, mostly the public reason, the news release, the information that comes from Maker Faire was that they were not able to make enough money to continue.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 44:23
I kind of believe that because yeah, it actually is believable because as a person participates in Maker Faire as a maker or person who exhibits, everything is free. And venue is a public space. If anyone knows anything about any trade shows, you know that a 10 foot booth space can be very, very expensive. Because you know, and by the way, everything you need to support your exhibit is free, right so your AC your electricity is free. You need to compress gas. Yeah, that's free. If you wanted anything to support your high voltage experiment, you need three phase electricity at 220 volts. Yeah, they can get that for you. And so if anybody understands the cost of putting on a trade show and the amount of cost, you know, it's pretty huge. And that's one of the reasons why I, as soon as I found out about Maker Faire Yeah, I decided, yeah, you know, I feel like this, and the opportunity presents, let's do it. Now they started getting commercial exhibitors which helped somewhat, but I think they may have done that too late. I also wanted to suggest to the Maker Faire people that why not use the Maker Faire as a career, or a job search opportunity or recruitment opportunity, right, to recruit people who are doing these things. Now, people who exhibit understand that Maker Faire is not only technical and electronic it is anything and everything, it's concept is make, instead of buy, fix or repair instead of throwaway, which is the really basic core concept. And that started changing. I noticed that several years ago, and I thought this was kind of weird, you know, Maker Faire is all about making, and yet now there are commercial companies that are displaying and now they're selling stuff. I said, doesn't that defeat the purpose and definition?
Eric, 4Z1UG: 46:18
Wayne, I also was looking at your YouTube videos, and I'll put the links online, about you took movies of things that the Maker Faire, and what was interesting to me was that while some of the physical concepts of the larger stuff that was outside that you were showing, was interesting, from a physics standpoint, it also appeared to me that it was beginning to look like that thing out in the desert. You know, every summer Burning Man, it started looking like these were pre Burning Man technologies that were being tried at Maker Faire before they were sent out to the desert. Was that your impression as well?
Actually, no, although I can tell you this, a lot of the giant displays and all the pirate technical displays or whatever you want to call it, yes, they a lot of them are directly from the same guys who display the same things at Burning Man. But that's okay. For me, it was exciting, because I'm not able to get to Burning Man. Although it is on my list. There's some other things I want to go to too, right. Rock stock is another one. But that's a whole 'nother story.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 47:20
I had a question about the maker movement. And since you brought it up, we got out of microwave. And I guess we could spend more time in microwave but you're an interesting guy. So there's a lot to talk about. I'm sorry to hear that the maker movement seems to be going away, it seems to me that people will pitch tents to attend a Walmart sale on the one hand, and yet they're not necessarily interested in building or recycling anything. But as an active guy who was involved in the maker movement, you made a presentation called not your grandpa's ham radio, at the Bay Area Maker Faire as a ham radio community. And as a guy who's been involved in ham radio, journalism and community for years and years now, are we missing an opportunity to build our ham radio numbers by not putting more efforts towards the maker community?
And says yes, short answer a very short answer. His answer is yes. By the way, let's be clear. The Maker Faire in in the Bay Area is discontinued, but the maker movement itself still continues. In fact, there is an organization that I think they converted everything over to maker community. And I think it's make.co. (#maketogether) And if that's not accurate, I can find the link for you. So you can post it. Yeah. And so everybody's doing it online, which is still okay. But it just isn't the same when you can actually see it and go click. There's a great site. There's a great warning sign and one of the dangerous exhibits. It's it says something like danger, flammable, come closer, something like that. But that's sort of the thing that you see at Maker Faire.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 48:55
We're always lamenting, and I guess if you go back in ham radio history, as part of the QSO Today podcast, I do a lot of research. And I'll go back into old QST magazines, they're lamenting in the 50s, that we're not getting more young people. Now in the 50s and 60s, they got a lot of young people. This tends to be the continual cry throughout the history of ham radio, that we just aren't replacing our numbers and we're not doing it with young people. It seems to me that we're always looking in the bottom of the same barrel for new hams rather than looking at ways to sell ham radio. So when you said earlier that and they say it to me too, when I say I'm involved in ham radio, they'll go Oh, is that still around? Do people still do that? It seems to me that the maker community should be the target because one of the great things about ham radio is that we are makers, and it extends from DC to blue light that we're making. I don't see a lot of traction in the amateur radio community towards the maker community as the source of our new hands. What do you think about that?
Yeah, actually, it's something I've been thinking about for a long time, especially now that I'm older, I still remember conversations I've had with some when I was pretty young in the industry, I would talk to other company representatives of ham radio equipment, and these older guys would tell me about how sad it is to know that so and so is now a silent key, or so and so from this company is a silent key for so and so is gone now. And I think this problem with replacing, or getting new blood into the into the hobby is still not limited to just ham radio. It's actually I think it's actually a problem with all kinds of other pursuits, including, you know, recreational things like sports, skiing, for example, or golfing, for example. And the other thing I wonder about is what ever happened to stamp collecting as well. Right? When I was a kid, I did that, but now that we have self adhesive, you know, forever stamps, what's happening to stamp collecting. I think every pursuit has these issues. And for ham radio in particular, I think part of it is simply being exposed when a person is a kid, right? It can't start with, hey, you want to know about this, or you want to learn about this? It's a push versus pull type of thing. And that's why I always thought Maker Faire was was possibly the greatest thing that could happen to ham radio. And it's up there with possibly with the no code license chain, as well as the Ham In Space missions. Because part of that Ham In Space mission is about educational aspects of getting hams in space. Those are the two events that were really hugely giving a boost to ham radio. Maker Faires are the maker movement. Yes, absolutely. They are a prime target. And I am, quite frankly shocked at how much of, and I could be wrong. And I would love to hear responses to this observation. And I really wish you know, the ham radio folks would pay more attention to the to the to the Maker Faires, or the maker movements or the maker community. I started writing about Maker Fairs in CQ magazine for quite some time probably before I saw things in QST magazine, no offense to headquarters, but you know, just saying, but yes, the maker community could be a huge opportunity. I mean, look at the Dayton Hamvention for example. And yes, I know the COVID-19 lock-down has had an effect, but why not? Since Maker Faire is gone? You know? Wouldn't it be nice to have the the people in charge of the Maker Faire get together with the people in charge of the Dayton Hamvention and maybe allocate some space for maker projects? And do they have to be ham radio? Maybe Maybe not. I think that can't be too crazily away from ham radio, but I think they could be ham radio, like high voltage things, maybe computer, computer interfacing, maybe those types of things right? Micro-controllers are doing those are very huge. So the answer is yes. You know, and I think what tends to happen is this: if and this happens with this is sort of what happens in in education, right? And career paths for people. When kids are young, they have to have some kind of awareness that something exists, right? Otherwise, they will never understand that it's out there. For me, for example, I discovered ham radio on my own by just looking at magazines or things like this and taking things apart. Or when the TV repairman would come; Yes, we had TV repairmen come to the house and fix the TV set when it was broke. And just enjoying talking to the guy...
Eric, 4Z1UG: 53:58
...with his big tube carrier.
That's right, and his big mirror, and I helped them hold the flashlight and things like this. Right. One has to be exposed to these things and and that in itself is going to be the biggest thing. Like I said the question is ham radio still around to me baffles me because the answer that is yes. But it demonstrates that people are still not aware that it even exists. And so that's really what needs to happen. So yes, maybe if we get somehow ham radio into the more popular culture, right? Maybe movies, TV shows. I mean, if you look at old Twilight zones, yeah, there's I think one episode out of all of them that mentions ham radio, and the ham radio guys, guy is kind of, you know, a bad guy.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 54:46
And I think last man standing has done a great job of presenting ham radio, but it's one television show. But it seems to me that maybe even the ARRL probably needs to do some public service announcements. If those are even available on network television. But then who watches network television anymore? It's a very interesting thing. Now one of the things that you brought up and at least I'm thinking about as you're speaking is that your whole ham radio story is my story, putting my head in the back of the television and smelling the electronics. Now, it might have been hot dust that we were smelling. But when you're a kid, there's a sense of wonder that you have, an awe inspiring sense that electronics had. So it became this perfume that you always smelled and that you were always attracted to. For any listeners that joined ham radio in your 30s and 40s. And 50s. God love you, we need those bodies. And those people that come in at age 30 are going to live God willing to a long life. They'll be ham radio operators for 50 years. And I guess that's what the maker community seems to mean has the possibility there's a chance to get a kid, male or female, it doesn't matter. A sense of awe, a sense of like, this is awe inspiring, and that a smartphone is not awe inspiring. And a lot of the technology that people have in their homes is no longer inspiring. Although if you know how it works, it's quite inspiring. But it seems to me that there's the opportunity so that when you bring up something like Dayton, and I'm hesitant to make any criticism of any expos because I'm now a target as an expo provider, but a lot of the families that come to Dayton, if they came with a whole family, you could have a whole exhibition that's maker that is even not electronic, so that those family members who are not hams could also enjoy the Expo, what do you think about that?
You know, that's, that's a very good point, as you were talking, I was about to say that as a person who went to Dayton Hamvention. And yes, it truly is amazing. I think it has to be on every hams bucket list. And it not only has to be on every ham's bucket list, and you cannot go to Dayton only once, you must go to the Dayton Hamvention at least twice, okay? Because it's just like going to Disneyland, you cannot go to Disneyland and see it all in one day, you must go multiple times. So I tell people, you know, when you have to go to Dayton, because it is probably it absolutely is for us here in the US, it is the place to go if you're involved in ham radio, and don't go once because it's impossible to develop an opinion about the Hamvention by going just one and maybe it has to be three times because you know, there's a whole list of guest speakers and presenters and the new equipment, you just cannot do it. Do it in one sitting and maybe not even in two. But as a person who went to Dayton Hamvention as an employee of a radio company, and I've been to some 13 Dayton Hamventions, this is back when they were still at Hara Arena (in Trotwood, Ohio). Your observation about when a family comes and they bring their kids, it's so horrible for the kids because as I watched people, the parents either it's the dad or the mom dragging the kids by the arm and pulling them. And of course, the kids are wailing because they're bored as heck. And there's nothing for the kids to do. And I always felt sorry for that aspect of of these radio conventions no matter where they are. So for me, since I'm not in the ham radio industry, I can proudly say this, because it's only my personal opinion. But the answer is absolutely. We need some kind of kids activity. And it should not be daycare, it should be something more fun and interesting, because right now, I think this possibly could be the reason why some people don't like ham radio, because they remember a childhood experience which might have been traumatic, right? I mean, it's almost like, it's almost like going shopping for clothes when you're a kid. And you don't want to be there. You got to be dragged around, you have to try things on. And that's horrible. Why not make it a really fun experience? And yes, you know, having some kind of activity geared for kids is something that that really needs to have that otherwise it turns it quite possibly, like I said, it turns into a traumatic experience. And they don't like ham radio. I mean, I know a lot of people, right, with families, family members, and especially if ham radio comes up sometimes somebody will say, Yeah, my dad was a ham. And he also spent time in the garage or the basement talking to strangers, and you wouldn't come out, you know, all this type of stuff. So it's a negative experience for kids. It's pretty rare that I'll hear somebody say yeah, but that was a ham, you enjoyed it. I loved it. You got me into it. Yeah, yeah. So I don't know. I think every hand needs to be an ambassador. Right? So this is the call to action of what the definition of ham radio and what it's about. It's all about mentoring, right or “Elmer-ing”. And that was the emphasis. What that's the other emphasis of the maker movement, of other people helping people and bringing it out things into the open. In fact, Maker Faire encouraged people to bring their projects in anyway, even if they weren't working, because you can have other people take a look and suggest, you know, suggest solutions. And everybody in the maker movement thinks, oh, wow, what a neat idea. And I keep telling people, it's not a new idea, hams have been doing this for what, over 100 years. And so once again, it's a PR thing, PR issue that, you know, our league headquarters should be more active. And yes, as an ex league employee, and as the ex publication and Public Information Officer, yeah, it was sort of my responsibility to participate in getting the word out. So once again, the Ham in space mission that W5LFL Owen Garriott mission, the STS-9 mission that I participated in, was probably the hugest boost. And I think it still remains today, because it was the first.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 1:00:59
Doesn't Maker displays... This is elementary to ham radio operators, but simple electricity, simple plumbing, simple anything, it seems to me and I see this, even with adults here in Israel, that nobody knows how anything works. Nobody knows how the electricity is generated and sent to your house anymore. It seemed to me that everybody knew that when we were growing up. But it seems like nobody knows that now. Or how water gets to your house, I'm involved in a water tunnel project here, you know, you have 10s of millions of gallons that have to be pumped up into the Jerusalem area. Nobody knows how that happens. They think it just happens, you know, they just turned it on. Those are fascinating technologies. And even with the basics, I think those things could also be put into a pavilion at the Dayton Hamvention for those bored kids who are not into ham radio yet, or maybe never will be but at least they'll learn something about the things that we take for granted every day that are really quite amazing technical miracles,
Right. And I think you hit something. And maybe it's, maybe we need a PBS public television documentary, ham radio, and it's history or ham radio and what's happening today. And you know, I call upon the ARRL headquarters to that and have ARRL HQ reach out into all of the ham radio member organizations across the world to do the same thing, and put together one awesome show about why ham radio is not only awesome, but useful, especially now as we start losing, right? ham radio privileges in our frequency allocation. And so it's beyond use it or lose it because, you know, the biggest issue is Yeah, commercial. I mean, you know, it's amazing how much revenue can be generated by these frequency allocations. So you can't use that argument of, you know, it's a value in terms of dollars and cents, we have to look at in terms of its value in terms of technology and experimentation, and the free aspect of what happens and the importance of maintaining all of these abilities to have access to these frequencies.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 1:03:09
What do you think the greatest challenges facing amateur radio now in that context?
Yeah, there's a couple of them in for the longest time, especially for me, and I think everybody here, at least in the US, are other restrictions against ham radio antennas, the CCNR or HOA or whatever you want to call it, or zoning restrictions. Back when I was in at the league headquarters in the early 80s. We all talked about PRB-1, Federal preemption you know what's happening, it still continues to be an issue of why licensed hams cannot erect an antenna structure. I mean, you know, if it's safe, I mean, sure, aesthetics is everything right. I have a friend who lives in Palos Verdes and he put up a small vertical for his, you know, two meter FM radio and it was a (Cushcraft) Ringo Ranger (Vertical Antenna). I thought, I don't know if it was a Ringo or Ringo Ranger mounted on a balcony on his railing, and some neighbor complained because it obstructed the view. Now understand that a Ringo Ranger or Ringo, I can't remember which one it is, is a slim aluminum pipe or two, and the neighbor complained because it obstructed. Now to have many antennas, beautiful, right? Right. Other people, we have to figure out some ways to to combat those issues and understand right? What happens if you take that antenna down. Now he's no longer able to communicate, you know, with his radio set, what happens if there's a fire or an earthquake, the telephone, landline cell phones are jammed and cannot be used. You have asked this guy to take away this public service aspect of emergency communications out and so what are you going to do? And people don't or can't get past the... it's kind of ugly. it obstructs my view.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 1:05:03
Don't you think that it's incumbent on that ham, if he's going to use that as an excuse, that he actually should be involved in a local ARES or something like that?
Absolutely. Absolutely. The other thing too is the ham should be responsible for installing the antenna system safely and as aesthetically as possible. If that is possible, maybe paint the thing white or some other color, or maybe mount it in a corner does not obstruct it or other alternatives.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 1:05:29
It comes to mind that there's something else that could be done as a person is a representative of his local ARES, why doesn't he canvass his neighborhood and say, I'm involved in the amateur radio emergency service, maybe there's a checklist, a safety checklist, a communications checklist, or something like that, that he could use to build awareness in his neighborhood about the fact that there actually exists an emergency system that works if everything else doesn't work? And certainly there's lots of video in history of where amateur radios played this amazing role, because everything else got blown away. What do you think about that?
I believe that's part of the solution to this issue. But it's a, this is a whole big topic, in itself. And I think we should probably find a couple of guests to talk about these issues, right? In solution.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 1:06:19
You're going to help me Wayne, I've decided you're going to help me with this...
I might be able to have a few names and call signs for you.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 1:06:25
I think this is a discussion that if we want to advocate, I know we like to have our organizations advocate for us. But you know, we're 800,000 in America, where maybe 2 million(*) in the world perhaps, if we want to be noticed, then I think that we actually have to all of us, in some way have to do the public relations for amateur radio. And maybe it's too big of a task to put on a single organization or a single national organization in order to do that for us. If you had advice for new or returning hams. What kind of advice would you give them?
There's probably two parts of that. This is a probably a two part answer. Let's Let's start with... let's see... the old timers who have not played around with ham radio for a while and I know several of these guys who who keep their license right, but are not active. I always tell people go back to what brought you to ham radio in the first place. Why did you bother to you know, studying learned about ham radio? And why did you take the exam and buy the equipment and now here it is, you know, 10 years ago, five years, five years ago, 10 years ago, excuse me five years later, 10 years later, and all of a sudden you're just off the air and not doing anything. And I ask people, you know what happened? A couple of things happened, right, depending on a person's age, its family obligations, etc. Well, I always tell people, why don't you get your family involved, especially with kids, because there's a huge educational aspect of ham radio, it's not only electronics technology, right? It's always about just getting kids curious to learn more and and just being exposed to ham radio, and maybe they will enjoy it or like it. So for old timers, I usually say what brought you to do this in the first place. For me, like I said, it's always been about building something. And so you know, QRP kits, yes, there's all kinds of things to build, especially now. CQ magazine, for example, has a kit building, column. And so take a look at some of the publications and take a look at what we're doing now in terms of building - surface mount technology is doable in one's home lab. It's not something to be afraid of. Point to Point is still there. I mean, there's a huge resurgence and people building tube radios once again from old issues of QST or other publications. So there's that aspect. Certainly there's an aspect of restoring projects right, one of the things I do I take old Heathkit units and I completely disassemble them basically creating, turning them once again into the kits and then cleaning everything and refurbishing everything and making them work again. I've got several pieces of test equipment and ham radio equipment and Heathkit that I've restored and are back on the air. So I usually ask an old timer you know what made you drop ham radio and think about what brought you into this hobby in the first place and think about ways that we can get back into it in today's terms for new people that are into ham radio. Let's talk about this, right. Like I said, in my experience, most of the new hams are coming from the public service aspect, which is a very awesome, right we need all of these emergency communicators out there. But I also try to encourage them to take a look and at least check out to see what that license means and what you can do with it. So for me, like I said, it's been a huge discovery of all kinds of things to do is huge satisfaction for me to do and it continues to this day and for all people right. It's impact, especially if you have kids. And why not expose them to it. I mean, my ham radio experience as a kid has brought me some amazing opportunities in my in my career, and in fact, created a path right for me to develop interest. If I had not been involved in ham radio, I still wonder what I would have. Maybe I'd be it maybe I'd have a physics degree.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 1:10:26
Wayne, I want to thank you so much for joining me on the QSO Today podcast, it went in a different direction than I thought it might. But I think it went in a great direction. And I think it raises some questions and some, maybe not a lot of answers yet, but some questions in terms of how the ham radio community might extend itself into the non ham radio community and be known better. With that, I want to thank you so much, and wish you 73.
Thanks, Eric. I enjoyed being here. 73.
Eric, 4Z1UG: 1:10:51
That concludes this episode of QSO Today, I hope that you enjoyed this QSO with Wayne, please be sure to check out the show notes that include links and information about the topics that we discussed. Go to www.qsotoday.com and put in KH6WZ in the search box at the top of the page, be sure to click on the expo menu item at the top of the page or in the middle of the show notes page for the updates on the upcoming QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo coming in March 2021. I'm updating it as I have more information. My thanks to ICOM America for its support of the QSO Today podcast, please show your support of ICOM America by clicking on their banner in the show notes pages. You may notice that some of the episodes are transcribed into written text. If you'd like to sponsor this or any other episode into written text, please contact me. Support the QSO Today podcasts by first joining the QSO Today email list by pressing the subscribe buttons on the show notes pages. I will not spam you or share your email address with anyone. Become a listener sponsor monthly or annually by clicking on the sponsor buttons on the show notes pages, or use my Amazon link before shopping at Amazon. Amazon gives me a small commission on your purchases while at the same time protecting your privacy. I'm grateful for any way that you show appreciation and support. It makes a big difference as I head towards Episode 400. QSO Today is now available in the iHeartRadio, Spotify, YouTube, and a bunch of other online audio services including the iTunes Store. Look on the right side of the show notes pages for a listing of these services. You can use the Amazon Echo and say “Alicia, play the QSO Today podcast from TuneIn”. My thanks to Ben Bresky who edits every single show and allows both this host and my guests to sound brilliant. Thanks, Ben. Until next time, this is Eric 4Z1UG, 73.
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Transcribed by W3TTT.