OPINION : State of the Amateur / Ham Radio Hobby Results are in ...

OPINION : State of the Amateur / Ham Radio Hobby Results are in ...

The results of N8RMA’s 2019 State of the Hobby Survey are now in. As my ICQPodcast co-host, Frank, K4FMH, this isn’t a scientific study, as those who responded to the survey weren’t randomly chosen, but it’s still an interesting survey. Here are a few observations:

  • 53% of the respondents are Extra Class operators. Since more than 50% of hams in the U.S. are Tech Class operators, this survey isn’t representative of all hams, but rather active hams. On a related note, respondents report an average of more than 30 years in the hobby. For all licensed hams, that’s got to be a lot less.

  • The question, “Which common areas of an amateur radio test are most worrisome to you?” elicited pretty much the expected response. Technical topics top the list, although I am a bit surprised that antennas and feedlines scored so low.

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OPINION : One of These Days I’m Really Going to Learn How to Use a Smith Chart

OPINION : One of These Days I’m Really Going to Learn How to Use a Smith Chart

I keep saying that one day I’m going to really master the Smith Chart. I kind of understand them, but don’t ask me to give an impromptu lecture on how they work and what they’re used for. That being the case, I keep collecting links to articles on the net that are supposed to explain how they work. 

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TRAINING : Take Small Bites When Studying for the Extra

TRAINING : Take Small Bites When Studying for the Extra

The other day, I got a phone call from a former student. He was a bit perturbed because he’d started studying for the Extra Class exam, and right off the bat, he found himself in some deep water.

The first topic that I cover is resonance. I jump right in and define resonant frequency as the frequency at which inductive reactance of a circuit equals the capacitive reactance of a circuit. That is when 2πfL=1/(2πfC), and if you do the math, the resonant frequency, fr = 1/(2π√(LC).

Now, I’m going to take some of the blame for my friend’s predicament. The reason for this is that I really didn’t review the idea of reactance. I just assumed that they’d recall this from the General Class material. When I explained this over the phone, he got it, but I can see where my study guide could be a little confusing.

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