The Ham Radio Series

 A more wide-ranging series on ham radio topics.  The series and this page are a work in progress.


1.  Sporadic E Propagation 

2.  A Propagation Preface 

3.  HF Propagation Practicalities 

4.  Antennas, Tuners, and Analyzers 

5.  Antenna Polarization 

6.  Choosing an Antenna 

7.  Bigger is Better (Antenna Version) 

8.  The Basics of RF Design 

9.  Software Defined Radio 

10.  Transmission Lines - Part I

11.  Transmission Lines - Part II 

12.  Filters and Impedance Matching 

13.  What Do You Do With Ham Radio?  

14.  The Self-Policing Aspect of Ham Radio 

15.  Control Loops and Radio Design 1

16.  What's a Phase Locked Loop?

17.  The New Kid - Direct Digital Synthesis 

18.  Is There a Transmit Equivalent of the RTL-SDR?

19.  What is Phase Noise?

20.  Modulation, Constellations and Bandwidth, Oh My!

21.  A Little Getting Started on HF Information

22.  Operating on HF  

23.  An Introduction to Power Supplies

24.  Power Supplies part 2 - Linear Regulated Supplies

24A. Addendum - The Supply is Finished

25.  An RF Safety Worksheet 

26.  RF Noise and Coping With It

27.  The World Runs on Quartz

28.  Directional Antennas    

29.  Directional Antennas Part 2

30.  The Perennial Question of New Hams

31.  Very Directional, Very High Gain Antennas

32.  Phased Arrays, or A Dish Without A Dish

33.  One Antenna To Rule Them All 

34.  One Antenna To Rule Them All – Part 2

35.  One Antenna To Rule Them All – Part 3

36.  What Are S-Parameters and Why Should I Care

37.  Meet Mr. Smith Chart Part 1

37a.  Smith Charts - An Addendum 

38.  Meet Mr. Smith Chart Part 2

39.  My Station 

40.  Ham Radio in the Information Age

41.  Ham Radio in the Information Age - Part II

42.  What's All This Noise Figure Stuff Anyway?

43.  When Hobbies Converge or What The Heck is Meteor Scatter?

(Note that this one isn't labeled as being part of the Ham Radio Series - there's only so much room on that title line!)


  1. Hello brother been following your blog in rss for a short time now and am just getting into your HAM stuff. Been licensed now for 5 or so years and really enjoy the hobby. My main focus is disaster comms especially since I'm on the Eastern Seaboard and hurricanes are just a part of life.. You have some great content and I will be referring people here from now on. IDK if you have messed with JS8CALL at all but it is an interesting program and works well

  2. Graybeard,
    I have been out of the HF business for a very long time. I have been mostly on 2 meters, for the past 15-20 years. But that is about to change. I bought an Icom 735 yesterday from an estate sale, for 100$. I could not check it out, since they didn't have a power cord but I have ordered one, and I have a 13.8 volt power supply that has been around for awhile, that I picked up for 10$ from Craigslist a year or two ago.
    I have already downloaded the owners manual and the electronics repair manual for this rig, and am planning on going through it once I get my power cord. At the price, I am expecting to probably have to put new tuning caps in and do an alignment. For the price, I have no problem with doing some repairs to get it back running.
    This was one of the better rigs that was out, when I was a young man. The same estate sale had an Heathkit HW 7, for sale, for 100$. I had one when I first started the hobby, and I think that I paid less than 50$ for it, yet now, the normal cost of one is 200$. Everything has gone crazy, as far as prices go. This estate sale, whom ever the man was, had a lot of things, from ham radio related to tools, wood, wire, rope, ladders, they even had a few hundred rounds of 7.62 x 51 military issued ammo.

    1. I had an Icom 735 back in the 1990s. Very good rig.

      I checked the site to see if there was a group for it, and there seems to be one, although not very active. Kind of what I'd expect for a radio that old.
      Mine never did anything wrong, never failed, never needed anything, so I can't offer much insight to getting it running. I think this was one of the first radios with a battery on the main board that kept some memory alive, but I don't remember details about it. You might look into that and see if you should replace the battery, and if that's a problem getting one restored.

    2. Thanks for the help. I expected that I would have to do some restoration. At the least, some cleaning up and checking out the components to make sure that none of them have broken down. I am still trying to figure out the right antenna for the rig. Ideally, I would like to go with a multi band vertical, but many of them tend to be expensive. I might go with some form of a multi band dipole, that I used to use, when just using CW. I almost forgot the fun of HF.
      Looking forward to getting back on the air, just to see what I have missed. Be well, and have a good week.