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Trials and Errors

  • Short Takes #26: Cables, Coax, Connectors and Kooks

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    New! Short Takes article on Cables, Coax, and Connectors, as well as how to spot the kooks and sham suppliers! Fine-tuning your station, or your hi-fi system, can easily lead to buying products you don't need. Read: Dave's last "Trials and Errors" seeks the advice and prognostication of many well-known hams who put their efforts into forecasting ham radio a decade from now! Use this link to read.
  • Issue #39: Forecasting the Future of Ham Radio

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    New Hamvention Issue! What will Amateur Radio look like in a decade or more? How will the equipment change, or our spectrum? Will the Amateur Radio Services survive the changing demographics? Many comments from well-known hams are included. Read: The "Boys of Radio" -- In the early days of the hobby, young people took to radio in huge numbers -- innovating as well as concerning government. Click here to read.
  • Issue #38: The Boys of Radio

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    New! It was young boys and young men who were innovators in the early days of radio. Referred to as "radio boys," this crowd had a primarily positive influence on radio's development. This issue talks about the history of our radio boys and proposes that we need to find that same magic once again. Read! Dave's last issue discusses a monster open source hack and how it started as a long con, most likely by a State actor. Click here to read.
  • Issue #37: The Hack That Nearly Hammered Amateur Radio

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    New! The newest issue of T&E features the story of a hack that could have taken down a good portion of digital ham radio, and certainly the Internet at large! Read more about this in an interview with Michelle Thompson, W5NYV. There's a similar "cultural" issue facing amateur radio projects done in open source! Read: Dave's last column, a Short Takes issue dealing with weird antenna patents. How does this stuff make it past the patent office? Click here for article.
  • Issue #36: Ham Detective Solves 150 WPM CW Mystery!

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    New! Short Takes describes a patented design for a new antenna that sends RF "faster than the speed of light." An amazing antenna design if it works! Also, read about the 1971 Emergency Broadcast System screwup and how it affected radio. Read: Ham Detective Solves 150 WPM code mystery! A story of intrigue and how a US amateur radio operator caught the Germans sending coded messages from the USA. Click to read.
  • Short Takes #25: The Hyper-Lightspeed Antenna

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    New! Dave's new Short Takes features a patented design for a new antenna that sends RF "faster than the speed of light." An amazing antenna design if it works! Also, read about the 1971 Emergency Broadcast System screwup and how it affected radio. Read: Ham Detective Solves 150 WPM code mystery! A story of intrigue and how a US amateur radio operator caught the Germans sending coded messages from the USA. Click to read.
  • Issue #35: An Editorial on Copycat Ham Products

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    New! Read Dave's comments on the fact that we rely an awful lot on tuners and compromise antennas. At least, compared to the "Good Old Days."  Also, check out this miniature CW paddle! Read: Dave's editorial on "look alike" ham radio products. Some people don't care, but Dave sure does.  Should each new product have its own look or is W7DGJ off his rocker? This Apache Labs product looks an awful lot like another big seller!  
  • Short Takes #24: Antennas, Tuners and a Miniature CW Paddle

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    New! Issue #36 of T&E describes the remarkable Sayville NY radio station operated by the Germans prior to the USA entry into WWI. It was possible to get away with a lot of intrigue when you are sending code at 150WPM! Read at this link.  Read: Dave's "Short Takes" article on the old school ways we used to string up antennas, resonant antennas that is. Tuners? Who needed 'em.  Read at this link. 
  • Short Takes #23: Wild West Roping with the Weaver Arborist

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    New! Dave's new Short Takes review describes how the Weaver Arborist saved the day on an antenna installation -- 40 ft. up on a giant cactus! Despite threatening rain and floods, Dave's new TX500 transceiver did the job. Also, a brief question for readers on e-Mags. Read: Ria Jairam's (N2RJ) Guest Column talks about how YOU can participate in spectrum defense, and just how important this is for the ARRL.
  • Issue #34: Protect Our Airwaves - Can YOU help?

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    New! Dave's new Short Takes review tells the story of how the Weaver Arborist saved the day on an antenna installation -- 40 ft. up on a giant cactus! Despite citizens interferring, Dave's new TX500 transceiver did the job. Read: Ria Jairam's (N2RJ) Guest Column talks about how YOU can participate in spectrum defense, and just how important this is for the ARRL.
  • Issue #33: Guest Article: Where Have All the YL's Gone?

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    New! Protect Our Airwaves - Spectrum Defense and Advocacy are more important than ever for hams! Dave and Ria Jairam (N2RJ) dissect the ARRL's role in this issue and Ria provides tips on how you can help. Read: Dave's last column, with special Guest Columnist (Patti Donahue, KE7IR) and her thoughts about how we deal with Silent Keys and the spouses/radios they leave behind. Something to think about!
  • Short Takes #22: Why Hams Get Feisty, PLUS - New Contest Ideas!

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    New! Issue #33 of T&E features a Guest Author, Patti (KE7IR), with a bit of history and advice on how we might change our approach to the surviving partners of Silent Keys. It's inspiring and full of ideas! Read: Dave's last Short Takes piece about ham frustrations and also a forum discussion for-and-against contests. Plug your favorite ideas for a new contest! Click here.
  • Issue #32: VK-Amps Expands the High-Power Linear Amplifier Market

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    New! Issue 22 of Short Takes has two elements. For one, why is it that ham arguments always spin out of control? Click to read. Also - here are some thoughts on how we might design a new contest, one that would be a great gateway to Radiosports. Thoughts? Join the forum discussion. Read - Dave's review of the newest VK Amps 2KW solid-state amplfier, the "beast from Melbourne." Click here to read and join in.
  • Issue #31: Women of Amateur Radio

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    New! Read W7DGJ's biggest gripes of the year, and take part in shooting down the columnist's views in our forum discussion. It's that time of the year! Read! Issue 31 features a discussion of how women have impacted the world of Amateur Radio, and in particular how radio has positively impacted the lives of two recent Extra Class female operators.  See this link. 
  • Short Takes #21: End of Year Ham Radio Gripes

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    New! Dave's biggest ham radio gripes of the year. A great chance to argue his points and nail this columnist at the best time of the year for complaining about the hobby! Click here to see this new content. Read: Dave's Trials and Errors edition about some of today's Women of Amateur Radio. Click here to read this article.
  • Short Takes #20 - 30th Anniversary Interview with QRZ Founder, Fred Lloyd

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    New! On this 30th anniversary for the website QRZ.com, Short Takes features an interview with founder, Fred Lloyd (AA7BQ). Fred talks about the site's history and some of its most important elements. Read: Click here to read Dave's recent Trials and Errors issue with a discussion of new ways to think creatively about problems/solutions, whether in the shack or at home.
  • Issue #30: Problem Solving for the Amateur Radio Operator

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In our 30th edition of Trials and Errors, W7DGJ reflects on his mentor, Dr. Edward deBono, and the impact his books have had on the thinking process. Try deBono's "Thinking Hats" approach to solving big or little problems, at your shack or for Amateur Radio's future! Read: Dave's last "Short Takes" on the Two Ways to PASS the Ham Radio Exam. Click here.
  • Trials and Errors Issue #29: More Hero Hams -- the 1937 Ohio River Valley Flood

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    New! Short Takes covers two methods of studying for and PASSING the Ham Radio exam (link). We all want and need more newcomers. Is studying the "easy way" really so bad compared to the old tried-and-true radio theory classes? Read: Dave's last issue (link) which concluded the series of Hero Hams, this one on the disasterous Ohio River Valley Flood, and the amateurs who saved so many lives.
  • Short Takes #19: Two Methods to PASS the Ham Exams

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In Short Takes this month, W7DGJ describes the "tried and true" approach of learning radio basics and theory, and compares it to the Flashcards and Books process that gets you to that license much quicker. Is one preferable?
  • Issue 28: The Marconi Men and the Sinking of the Lusitania

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    Join W7DGJ for a story of radio's past, and two hero operators who stayed on board the sinking Lusitania to get their messages out despite the danger. Read this story here. Read: Latest Short Takes product review features tiny transceiver and tiny everything! See this link.
  • Issue #27: Building our Radio Future -- Together!

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In the latest Short Takes product review, A field trip with the tiniest ham radio equipment Dave can find. Can you still have pleasure with radio but without a $4000 amplifier? The answer is YES. Read this column! Read: W7DGJ's editorial about the ARRL, with the question "Has the ARRL strayed into anti-competition, instead of focusing on representing us?" Click here to see the article.
  • Short Takes #18: Tiny Time -- Shrinking the Kit!

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    Dave's product review article this week features a variety of very tiny ham radio products, allowing him to get out into the field with a total pack smaller than a child's lunchbox. Read here about the Venus SW3B radio, the N9SAB antenna, and an unfortunate experience with the Z-Tuner from AliExpress.
  • Short Takes #17: New Mercury ATS Tuner

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    Read new Short Takes feature: A first look at the Mercury ATS tuner, a sophisticated automatic antenna tuner for high power operations. In addition, W7DGJ looks at the venerable COMET CAA-500 Mark II, a well-built and classic analyzer. Read our first Guest Column: Dr. Dan Marks presents the new RFBitBanger radio. CW with decoder, SSB, and a new Digital mode without a computer!
  • Issue 26: Guest Article - The RFBitBanger and SCAMP by Dr. Dan Marks

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    Our Issue 26 includes our first guest columnist article with an overview of a new transceiver and matching digital mode. Click here to read Dr. Daniel Marks' (KW4TI) article on his RFBitBanger radio kit and new digital mode (SCAMP) developed for EmComm.
  • Issue #25: Heard on the 2m Band Recently . . .

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    New: Dave's issue 25 editorial is about the degradation of our 2m band into LID-like communications mixed with nets and emergency use. Is there a path to more radio activity for the 2m band which is so important to amateur newcomers? Click here to read and comment. Read: Our Short Takes column, "A Tale of Two Whips," product review for the Chameleon Delta Loop. Click here to read this one.
  • Issue #24: Cool Devices for Learning the Code

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
      New: in this week's Short Takes, W7DGJ describes his experiences with a unique antenna, a tactical "delta loop" design which may be a consideration for your next POTA trip! Click here to read "A Tale of Two Whips." Read: Dave's recent article about cool CW training tools. Check out this compare and contrast article linked here!
  • Short Takes #16: A Tale of Two Whips

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    Short Takes #16 describes the Chameleon TDL antenna, a "tactical delta loop" design that performed very well in a portable deployment. 
  • Issue #23: Life Lessons from Ham Radio

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In this edition, QRZ columnist W7DGJ describes how many ham radio lessons actually have a larger impact than just radio. Through the work of two Elmers, Dave learned the code and got his first license. But many of the lessons learned were broader than simply Morse code or Ham lessons, as they were life lessons as well.
  • Short Takes #15: Ham Shack or a Museum?

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In issue #15 of our Short Takes feature, W7DGJ describes the party atmosphere taking place in the 120 degree weather of Phoenix, Arizona. This particular function took place at a fantastic ham shack (KG7YC), or was it actually a museum somewhere? You be the judge.
  • Issue #22: Hams and our Most Important Relationship (Conclusion)

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In our SURVEY CONCLUSION - columnist W7DGJ reviews the responses which lead to some surprising conclusions. Read this to see what YOUR significant other may be thinking about our hobby! NEW THIS WEEK - Short Takes this week has an editorial about age discrimination on the air, and a short review of the VTUS 5000 Step Up/Step Down Transfomer. Click here to read.
  • Short Takes #14: Age Discrimination in Ham Radio? Plus, the VTUS 5000 Transformer Review

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    Short Takes #14 features an editorial about age discrimination on the radio, as well as an introduction of a very functional step up transformer to run 240V equipment at your bench if you only have household voltage. 
  • Issue #21: Hams and our Most Important Relationship (Part One)

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    XYL SURVEY REPORT The first half of our survey responses from XYL's and partners who describe their feelings and experiences with Ham Radio. The responses come from the most important person -- our spouse. The survey is still live and when it closes, Dave will summarize the results in Part Two. New this week: Short Takes features rig thermometers, external speakers, and ham coffee! Click here to read this week's Short Takes.
  • Short Takes #13: Rig Thermometers, Add-on Speakers, and Ham Radio Coffee!

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    No Summary Available
  • Issue #20: Let's Ditch the One-Minute QSO!

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In Issue 20, QRZ columnist Dave Jensen (W7DGJ) describes how the radio hobby harbors a fair number of introverts on the air (like him) who gravitate to the one-minute QSO.  POTA, Contesting, Digital Modes and more have taken away our interest in real communication. Join the forum discussion as well, linked at article. New this week! Check out Short Takes this week for a review of the new MFJ Powerpole connection strip which features RFI filtering. Click this link.
  • Short Takes #12: New MFJ RFI Reduction Powerstrip

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    This week's Short Takes is a product review of a new Powerpole power strip from MFJ, one that incorporates some RFI reduction circuitry.  Dave compares two Powerpole connection points, one at less than $40 from Amazon along with the new MFJ. While both do their job, the MFJ may help you pull in a weak signal or two if the local RFI is reduced.
  • Issue #19: Radio's Battle of the Century

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In Issue #19, Dave takes us back more than 100 years for a fascinating time in history, when the commitment of two key radio pioneers, a fight promoter, and amateur radio operators led to an event that would take radio on a new trajectory. The Battle of the Century was on! New this week: A fantastic ham-as-hero story born in a huge storm, and Dave's thoughts on Service as a key ingredient when choosing a vendor. See this Link for Short Takes.
  • Short Takes #11: Ham Hero Story & Thoughts after Hamvention

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In Short Takes #11, Dave goes back to October 21, 1934, when a terrible storm battered the lighthouse on Tillamook Rock near Cape Disappointment. Luckily for ships at sea, the station was manned by ham radio operator W7DIZ who used ham ingenuity to build a working rig and transmit a warning! Also, Dave talks about his experiences with service as a part of the sales and relationship process for vendor companies.
  • Issue #18: A New Solid State Amplifier from ACOM (Tiny!)

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In Issue 18, our QRZ Columnist (W7DGJ) reviews a new LD-MOS Solid State Linear Amplifier, this time from the venerable ACOM. Bulgarian ham radio products continue to impress . . . this 500W amplifier is small, powerful, and only 17 lbs. New this week . . . A Short Takes product review featuring a CPAP Machine antenna, two great QRP dipoles, and a Palomar Engineers QRO monster you need to see! Click here for Short Takes.
  • Short Takes #10: Antennas, Antennas, Antennas!

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In this issue of Short Takes, Dave talks about an antenna build he had fun with using components from a CPAP machine. In addition, he further complicates the "buy or build" equation with three antennas that perform well and that are built to last. 
  • Issue #17: The Best, But at What Cost?

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In Issue #17, our columnist describes the XYL Factor, Ham budgets, and impediments to owning the best of the best. Two paddles are compared - the Kent and the Eridan.  But there's a cool story behind the Eridan! New this week: In Short Takes #9 linked here, you'll find great new software available free for repeater owners. And, read Dave's request to join him in publishing your own ham content in Trials and Errors!
  • Short Takes #9: Great New Software and NEW Ham Publications Venue

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In Short Takes #9, Dave opens the door for ham operators who want to get their own great articles in front of amateur radio eyeballs all over the world. Also, a new software program has been released that will make life a lot sweeter for repeater owners. The repeater owner deals with malicious attacks, noise, power outages and more. Now, one remote Dashboard monitors all of these and saves countless hours. Read about Fluidity here, the first time in print anywhere.
  • Issue #16: Traits and Common Threads Across Radio Innovation

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    The most recent Short Takes product review column features a terrific portable flagpole antenna, and a classic ham book. See this link. In issue 16: "Traits and Common Threads Across Radio Innovation - Part One" W7DGJ provides stories of innovation that share common themes. These "common threads" of innovations have examples across radio history. Stay tuned for Issue 17 later this week!
  • Issue #15: Great Ham Radio Products from Eastern Europe

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In issue 15, QRZ columnist W7DGJ checks out the ham products available through manufacturers in Eastern Europe, from the well-known and highly respected Rig Expert brand, to the Cobweb or "folded dipole" that is so popular on that side of the water. In addition, Dave installs a Bulgarian WiFi enabled antenna switch with excellent results. New Product Reviews: Short Takes #7 announces two new Ham Radio books and points you to a great SWL listening website!
  • Short Takes #8: Great Vertical Portable Antenna and KØNR's Book on VHF and Summits

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    Short Takes #8 features a review of the TNØ7 Engineering antenna, the SFP-102, or "Green Flagpole" as it has become known. 32 feet high and exceptionally well built, this antenna performs on all bands and can be used with or without radials and/or the 35 foot wire extension for the top. This issue of Short Takes also features a review of the book "VHF, Summits and More" by Bob Witte, KØNR. 
  • Short Takes #7: Great SWL Site and Two New Books!

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In this issue of Short Takes, QRZ columnist Dave (W7DGJ) tells the story of a very unique radio website, one that is quick and easy to use and that allows you (from any location in the world) to dial into distant radio stations. While it may not be as much fun as lying in bed as a 12-yr old listening to a crystal set, it can be addictive. Also, this issue introduces two great new Ham Radio books, including one focused on the CW "life" and another on an advanced course for those training to get their Extra Class licenses. Now may be the time to learn CW, or extend your skills with a license upgrade!
  • Issue #14: Collecting the Classics

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    in Issue #14, QRZ's columnist W7DGJ dissects just what it is about classic radios that drives ham operators to collect these boat anchors. Are these radios truly different, and do they still have qualities that today's radios just can't emulate? While there's always a certain amount of love for the past that comes up when talking about old radios, boat anchor enthusiasts tell us that it’s more than simple reminiscing. Also, see a new Short Takes product reviews column this week!
  • Short Takes #6: More CW and Dayton Hamvention

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    Issue #6 of Short Takes, a part of "Trials and Errors" by W7DGJ, features reviews of a couple of inexpensive straight keys. One which could be relegated to CW classrooms for beginners, and one which might actually find a home in your go-bag. Also, two paddles are discussed as well as a Dayton Hamvention reminder, and a plug for W7DGJ's talk.
  • Issue #13: Behind the Curtain of a Secret Language

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In Issue #13, our QRZ Columnist Dave (W7DGJ) discusses the best of the current CW advice for those of us who are still improving on our code skills. Two hams who have been instrumental to the hobby are interviewed, and both Ulrich Steinberg (N2DE) as well as Pietro Begali (I2RTF) have added their commentary to this historical review of what makes CW special. And for those interested in product reviews, this month's Short Takes profiles a number of portable CW keys and a great book review!
  • Short Takes #5: New "Dummies" Book and 3 New Paddles!

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In this issue of Short Takes, our columnist W7DGJ dives into the book "Ham Radio for Dummies" and finds that the newest edition has much more valuable content than he expected. It's a keeper! Also, three new CW Paddles are discussed, and weighted against one another. There's a turkey in there, but also two winners -- at dramatically different price points.
  • Issue #12: From Startup to Market Leader - Martin Jue on Innovation

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In Issue 12 of QRZ's "Trials and Errors" column, W7DGJ interviews Martin Jue, CEO and founder of MFJ Enterprises, one of the world's largest ham radio suppliers. Martin discusses his ham radio history, the early struggles of MFJ, and in particular talks about both the technical and commercial innovations that have led to his company's rapid growth. There are some nuggets of wisdom here for anyone with an interest in taking their hobby into a business!
  • Issue #11 - Field Day 2023 with the Mountain Topper and Sotabeams Bandhopper

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    Field Day 2023 with the Mountain Topper radio and Bandhopper: In Issue 11, QRZ's columnist (Dave, W7DGJ) joins his radio club for field day in order to review the new version of the Mountain Topper QRP rig, designed by Steve Weber and built by LNR Precision. Dave finds his club primarily focused on big signal, full power operations, but sets up the Mountain Topper with a Sotabeams antenna for great results.
  • Issue #10 - Logging the Future! Net Control in Interactive Nets

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    Logging the Future! Net Control in Interactive Nets -- Issue 10 of our new QRZ column describes the innovation process when the ham radio meets the computer. It's a special kind of product development, and in this issue Dave (W7DGJ) interviews Sean Lynch, the founder of Ham.live, to hear more about the newest way to log interactive on-the-air nets. If you are using Netlogger, you owe it to your net to read further. 
  • Issue #9- QRO with the Mercury LUX Legal Limit Amplifier

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    QRO Edition! In Issue 9, our columnist describes his experience with a new and powerful entry to the legal limit linear amplifier market, the Mercury LUX. W7DGJ invites several other Mercury users to comment on their use of the LUX, with experiences noted from the pole barn to 33,000 ft on a transcontinental airline flight. ALSO - New "Short Takes" review of cool ham accessory items this week.
  • Short Takes #4: Antenna Accessory and Cup Style Mobile Mount

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In Short Takes #4, Dave (W7DGJ) looks at two accessories. One of them will help anyone putting up a mast to attach just about anything to the pole . . . perhaps wire antennas or guy ropes, but this gadget may be just what you need. The other accessory is a unique cup holder for (many) cars, but which can disappoint if you don't measure first (Dave didn't!). 
  • Issue #8 - Kick that Radio Club into Gear!

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In Issue 8, Dave reviews the differences between ham radio clubs that thrive and those that simply stagnate. Marty Buehring (KB4MG) joins to discuss the steps that clubs can take to ensure they are relevant to their membership and, most importantly, recruiting new members to the ranks. Whether you are a Board Member, a long time club member, or a new ham considering joining, this is for you!
  • Issue #7 - For the Love of QRP

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    "For the Love of QRP" -- This week's column concerns W7DGJ's experiences, both intended and accidental, with QRP. Low power operation requires a conscious change of attitude, and that doesn't come automatically when you buy a QRP radio. After two purchases and disappointments from both ICOM and Xiegu, Dave has learned his lesson. It's not the radios - it's him.
  • Issue #6- Four Things Your Elmer Never Told You About Ham Radio

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In issue 6 of Trials and Errors, W7DGJ recounts four aspects of amateur radio that newcomers might bump into after becoming licensed and getting on the air. If you are like Dave, there could have been some initial disappointments and maybe even shock that not everything was as great as your Elmer had indicated. But even with a few surprises, ham radio comes out on top as a fantastic hobby.
  • Short Takes #3: First Look at LUX Amp and New Software for SDR Control

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In this Short Takes, columnist W7DGJ goes into a "first look" at the Mercury LUX amplifer, by KM3KM Electronics. Also, a "no net" fun operating group is mentioned, a great way to check your propagation. Lastly, new software for the Mac and the IC-7300 (full SDR control) and new RT Systems software as well. 
  • Issue #5- An Expensive 7 Band Dipole

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In Issue #5 of our new column on QRZ, W7DGJ describes his process in selecting a unique type of dipole for his Arizona QTH. After the usual discussions with his XYL, and a few technical trials and errors in getting it situated and installed, Dave puts the legal limit through this antenna and tests it out on 7 bands.  Read and find out if this expensive dipole does what it promises!
  • Issue #4 - Tuning Up a Kilowatt

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In this week's issue, Dave talks about the growing trend for new hams to get power levels up to 800-1000 watts, and how this changes your broader requirements -- often requiring an antenna tuner. Three kilowatt-capable antenna tuners are discussed, the LDG model 1000PROII, the MFJ 998, and KM3KM’s Mercury AT. Each of these is substantially under $1000 and comes with its own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Issue #3 - An Innovator of Today, Kenny Martinez

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    Issue #3 of our new QRZ column, "Trials and Errors" features an interview with one of today's brightest ham radio innovators. Kenny Martinez, founder of KM3KM Electronics (Florida). Kenny tells his story of building a boutique radio manufacturing company from the ground up to produce a popular line of linear amplifiers. His move from a teenage Cuban ham to an American entrepreneur is inspirational and exciting, as Kenny clearly has a handle on ham radio innovation.
  • Short Takes #2: Great Portable "Go Kit" Items from Tables to Antenna Packs

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In Short Takes issue 2, Dave (W7DGJ) finds a portable table for POTA work out of the pages of Amazon.com. It works well to hold up his gear and give him a professional look while sitting in the middle of cactus somewhere in Arizona . . . Also, new tool packs from Home Depot make great water resistant storage bags for small dipoles, collections of gadgets and connections, coax and more!
  • Issue #2 – Trials and Errors – POTA Lessons Learned

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    Issue 2 of our new QRZ column features “POTA Lessons Learned.” Read about Dave and Steve as they head out for Lynx Lake in the Prescott National Forest and survive to tell about it, despite broken antennas and pileups. Reviews of the Workman bulldog clip, the PAC-12 antenna, and WSPR for your next POTA outing. Also, see our Short Takes reviews of Ham accessories from IKEA and Amazon!
  • Short Takes #1: Ham Accessories to Improve Your Shack!

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    In the Short Takes series, our columnist Dave Jensen (W7DGJ) will regularly bring you reviews of accessory items or smaller ham gadgets that he's found of interest. In this issue #1, W7DGJ points to several items found at IKEA which make the shack more user friendly. No more spilled coffee on that keyboard with this gear! And, from Amazon, some great and inexpensive equipment racks . . . while they won't support a Henry Amplifier, today's gear looks mighty impressive on these black stands.  
  • Issue #1 – Trials and Errors – Intro to Trials and Errors

    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
    QRZ.com is proud to announce new exclusive editorial content, beginning with Trials and Errors. This new column will include product reviews, articles about radio entrepreneurs who built the industry as well as those who represent its future, reports from the latest Hamfests or POTA/SOTA activations, and editorials on the state of our hobby. Join QRZ.com columnist Dave Jensen (W7DGJ) in his regular musings about the ham life – featured only on this site – with new topics several times a month.
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    by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ • Published June 15, 2024
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