|Topic||Online Guides / Books / Magazines|
|Equipment Required||Computer + Internet|
|Document last reviewed and updated (reviewed each year)||19th March 2024|
Archives – Don’t write these off due to age
Since writing the original article in 2022 it was highlighted by VKHamradio.com users that https://archive.org has a reasonable content with Amateur / Ham Radio news letters and other documents. I originally had a very brief look when this was raised, and whilst there was quite a bit available, I don’t think I understood how to look correctly, thinking it was just the “Wayback Machine” showing the old websites, but a second visit recently, provided a lot more content, which includes Pod Casts / One off interviews / Books…all related to Ham/Amateur Radio. It is well worth a look, and to make your visit worthwhile use the following links (but don’t limit yourself to just these links)
Now separate to this, is the website https://www.worldradiohistory.com and this has become my new favourite website (it has really pushed on over Covid with a lot more archives especially for Amateur Radio) and is great for looking up information on subjects,particularly subjects that have been around for many years. For instance if you look up FT8 or WSJTX, you will come back with empty searches as most publications that have been scanned are outside their Copyright Validity period (unless the owner renewed the copyright) or there is a certain date up to where they are allowing copies of their magazine / book to be scanned and placed online. I think it is a great idea and a great project, making sure that these printed magazines are not lost to time.
A few links that I use are as follows (but check the menus at the top of the page for Australian and other countries magazines)
- https://worldradiohistory.com/Home-DX.htm – Amateur Radio Magazines
- https://worldradiohistory.com/Australian-Amateur-Radio.htm – WIA Amateur Radio Magazines
So what can you do with the magazines and books that are 15 – 20 + years old…Quite a lot!! You need to at remember that this hobby of ours is grounded on Electrical, Electronic & RF principles that whilst vastly improved, have their foundations established over the last century. Just a quick example, is Balun design, quite a few good articles on building Baluns and the science behind it (in most cases in more detail than many web articles). Yes they had 64:1, 9:1, 4:1 and 1:1 back those days as well. Article after article on Antenna Tuners and great detail on how they work and again information on the design behind them, again much more than you can glean from some of the websites. Even come across an article in 1988 from a VK6NNN (a novice) named Peter Parker. I was on a sure bet that this was the same Peter Parker that many of us know, yep VK3YE. It’s not just the technical articles that are interesting, it’s the history, the decisions, the people that make up the hobby.
And just one final thing, even if your interests are just Electronics, you will find some of the Electronics project books from publications from Electronics Today International as well as many others as well as early books on IC timers, which include the 555 Timers, and even include a schematic for a 555 timer using transistors. You will also find books on how transistors work, which would be good for a read if you are doing your Standard or Advanced Examination.
As for the rest of the Internet
One of the first things you will start to realise as a Foundation Licence holder is that there is a lot of stuff on the Internet for Amateur Radio.
You will also start to realise after a while, is that you need a garbage filter. There is a lot of box opening videos, click-bait, aimless videos, that will teach you very little. It can be frustrating, especially as it can take a few minutes through a video before you realise that you wasted your time. Likewise, sometimes the poor titling of the video means that it either has nothing to do with the subject you are interested in.
This page will grow over time with links to videos that have been reviewed and confirmed as worth while. Think of it as a ham operators play list. Whilst we talk about foundation licence holders, there is no reason it is not suitable for Standard Licence holders as well. With learning, there is no delineating line between Foundation and Standard.
We will categorise them into categories to make it easier to watch the videos that will actually teach you or explain to you the subject you are interested in. You will note that some videos are from the same source, and that my be the case, but generally it’s because the author/presenter actually does a great job with their subject matter.
You will notice that many (not all) are Australian in content if it is available and has good content.
There are lot out there, but these I have found good to listen to on the way to the office and they are current and they release on a regular timetable.
- QSO Today Podcast – Interviews with the leaders in amateur radio – listen to how many respected users got into Ham Radio
- Icqpodcast’s Amateur / Ham Radio Podcast – A bit rambly – but very much worth a listen
- ARRL Audio News – Good to hear what the U.S. is up to.
- Ham Radio Workbench Podcast – Long but covers some technical talks very well and as well as thinking projects through.
- What is RF? – Some great detailed information on RF
- Understanding VSWR and Return Loss – Great video on the basics of VSWR with diagrams
- Understanding Amplitude Modulation – Takes it past what you learnt in the foundation licence
- Understanding Frequency Modulation – Takes it past what you learnt in the foundation licence
- Understanding Single Sideband – Takes it past what you learnt in the foundation licence
- Understanding HF Propogation – Just that next level again – great diagrams
Baluns are generally needed to impedance match your different types of Antennas to your transceiver (50 ohms. Whilst there are plenty of videos, I think the static web pages are easier to follow and some of them have superior graphics.
I will point out that whilst building you own baluns is a good skill and a low cost, it takes a large amount of patience, and you may find purchasing prebuilt baluns on Ebay / Aliexpress / Bangood or even local sites.
- (Website) – 1:1 Guanella Current Balun – Used with Dipoles and Sloper Antennas (parts from Jaycar)
- (Website) – DIY 49:1 Unun Impedance Trasnsformer for EFHW Antenna – Nice guide
- (Website) – 9:1 Magnetic Longwire Balun / Unun
- Simple and Effective Antennas for Amateur Radio Operators – by John Dawes VK5BJE – Covers the basics
- The NanoVNA, a Beginners Guide to the Vector Network Analyzer – Start here for an overview on VNA
- NanoVNA for Ham Radio Introduction – An alternative to the video above
- Gettin started with NanoVNA-Saver – Using PC software to view your results
- NANOVNA tuning antenna with transmatch – good video on Antenna Tuning and NanoVNA
- Flower Pot Antenna’s for VHF/UHF – Simple to build and well described VHF/UHF onmidirection antenna.
- Understanding NVIS – Video on near vertical incidence skywave propagation – good
- Understanding CTCSS and DCS – If you have not used repeaters, explains what the tones are used for
- Online Repeater Map – Australian Amateur Radio Repeater Maps HF, VHF, UHF and Digital
- Repeaters in Australia – WIA page on repeaters – good repeater guidelines for download
- CHIRP – Programming software for Programming a large range of HT’s
- Using DMR – Good high level instructions on use of DMR – will save you some angst.
- DMR Repeater Dashboard – shows you a live view of communications on DMR talkgroups
- DMR Hotspot Dashboard – shows you a live view communications on DMR hotspots
- VK4NGA Facebook Page – Glenn is very active on the Australian DMR Scene – up to date info
- Australian Retevis RT3S users Facebook page – Ben runs this and keeps up to date info.