Mike brings the latest updates from his Ham Radio set up including new gear, antennas and connectors. We take a look at both his new rig as well as antenna setups. I think you will find it very interesting.
Full show notes, transcriptions, audio and video at http://theAverageGuy.tv/hgg458
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[3:24] Patreon Virtual Meetups
[4:43] BBQ Meetup
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[8:13] Ham Radio Update from Mike
[1:16:34] Future Show Schedule
Full transcripts below
Ham Radio Conversation with Mike
Mike upgraded in August to General
- This means Mike has more privileges in the HF frequencies
- Mike utilized hamstudy.org to study and find an online test to take
- Mike now operates primarily on 40m and 20m bands
- Band Plan – http://www.arrl.org/images/view//Charts/Band_Chart_Image_for_ARRL_Web.jpg
- HF is long distance point to point communication
- This makes things a lot of fun and also very challenging
- New programs become available like Parks on the Air and Summits on the Air
- Ability to build and experiment with more equipment
Mike’s New Setup
- iCom 7300 Radio – https://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/amateur/hf/7300/default.aspx
- Off center fed dipole antenna that is 40 meters through 6 meters. https://amzn.to/2QRqK6J
Mike’s Favorite Part of HF Privileges
- Parks on the Air – https://parksontheair.com/
- Mike’s portable setup for activating parks
Digital HF Modes
- You can use your computer interfaced to your radio to do digital modes on HF. FT8 is very common right now and Mike shows off how this works.
Jim Collison [0:00]
This is The Average Guy Network and you have found Home Gadget Geeks show number 458 recorded on September 3, 2020.
Here on Home Gadget Geeks we cover all your favorite tech gadgets that find their way into your home news reviews, product updates and conversation all for the average tech guy. I’m your host Jim Collison broadcasting live from the beautiful Bellevue Nebraska and for some post the show and we’ll have some show notes. Mike’s got some good ones for tonight. So make sure you head out theaverageguy.tv/HGG458 and tonight we are talking ham radio stuff.
We’ll get to that here in just a second. So for all you YouTubers who have come in and are waiting to where’s the content where you can skip ahead a little bit. We got some community stuff to do up front but appreciate you guys being here.
First of all, big pandemic Thanks. It’s September Mike and in big pandemic, thanks to hellofresh I gotta say this it’s the month of September. They have big got me through the pandemic, like, I can’t I can’t gonna choke on my own.
Mike Wieger [1:17]
He’s so excited. He gets all jacked up when he says about holy hell approach should be like, Oh, this
Jim Collison [1:21]
guy’s a loser. We’re
not sure what happened there. But of course, early in the pandemic, we you know, we’ve been on hellofresh for the last couple years and Sammie and I kind of took over the cooking starting like March, and I don’t like I don’t like regular cooking anymore. Like I don’t want to go to the grocery store. buy the ingredients, put it together. I just want the I want to show up in a box. Take it out of a bag, cut up a few things and make some dinner. And we’ve been we’ve been able to do that pretty easily.
Mike Wieger [1:54]
keeps you healthy, too. I mean, it’s so easy. Everyone’s talking about the quarantine 30, the quarantine 50 whatever you want to call it. eating those meals though, you know, keeps you keeps eating good, right tastes amazing and relatively healthy.
Jim Collison [2:05]
Yeah, no, it’s been it’s been super good. So if you haven’t tried it yet, and you want to give it a try, maybe now’s the time you can head out to theaverageguy.TV/hellofresh and get $40 off your first order. So we appreciate you guys doing that
Big thanks to Dave McCabe who was here last week talk lawn care and Mike you know my lawn was looking good during the show. I don’t know what happened over the weekend. It just dried out I think I got lazy on the water or something and so I’m doing some emergency watering this week. Trying to bring things back. Did you take anything from the show last week and implement it?
Mike Wieger [2:39]
Well, I’m just waiting for that timeframe. You know we’re waiting for kind of that that cooldown to kind of happen I noticed that we when we were looking at the calendar we saw some you know, cooler temperatures but this weekend again we’re back in the 90s so I don’t know I will have to see when when we’re actually going to get that cool down here in Omaha but I did notice my neighbor was out there with his thashing rake and he had a spot in his front yard. This completely dead and I was shocked. I was seeing him rake and just how much stuff was coming up that dead grass? Yeah, we should we just probably really going to help him out in the spring.
Jim Collison [3:08]
Yeah, I wouldn’t seed just yet but getting some of that up and getting ready is pretty good. Big thanks to Dave lots of material hour and a half of the show last week but kind of get you ready for the fall and for the winner. So big thanks to Dave, for being on the show last week, he always kind of crushes it.
We’ve been talking about meetups and we’ve kind of we’re starting that trajectory of doing some virtual meetups. So nothing in person just yet, but we have some dates. So Mike for our Patreon subscribers. So for those of you who’ve been supporting us on Patreon, we’re gonna kind of throw up Patreon. Thank you party. So the week or I’m sorry, the September 24. That’s a Thursday night, hour before the show. So 630 to 730 and patreon subscribers. I’ll send you this info, but 630 to 7:30pm Central. We’re going to kind of do an open meetup. You and me and those folks an hour kind of goof around, we’re going to talk about the barbecue meetup. I’ll talk about that here just as a second that’s coming up. But we just want to spend some time with our Patreon subscribers.
So for those of you on Patreon, look for your look in your inbox for something from me. And, and we’ll do kind of a Patreon subscriber meetup. I kind of want to talk with them. They’re the most engaged listeners that we have since they help support the show. And when you get some ideas just on around meetups, what we can do virtually and eventually in person, things will come back. So we’ll be planning something along those lines. But that again, that’s September 24. If you’re a Patreon subscriber, you get an email from me 630 to 7:30pm, right before the show will drop and then head into the show. That night on September 24.
BBQ meetup is going to also be in October. And so we talked about this before that date right now we’re shooting tentatively for October 24. That’s a Saturday. That’s going to start we’re going to do actually three different times we’re going to connect so we’re going to connect like seven in the morning on a Saturday. I know that’s early. But for us grilling, barbecue smoking folks, mostly smokers, we need to get the brisket on the grill, whatever, right? We need to get that stuff. So Time to get up, get it prepared. We’re going to spend some time it will be not just for barbecue folks, not just for smoking, folks, just it’s for everybody to show up. But we’re gonna be focusing on some of those kinds of things, then we’ll take a break.
For the folks that want to if you can get your grill or your smoker on a cam, we’re going to stream those all day. So that we’ll have it on the grill cam. I’ll set some things up. We’ll do it here in stream yard, we’ll have it going out. So you can kind of watch people’s grills we’ll get back together around noon or one US time of US time and just check on things how are things going What are things doing which stuff looking like another kind of conversation other our meetup and then in the evening, seven to eight, as things are either coming off the grill or we’ve brought them off the grill or whatever. We’ll get together again that way we can catch Europe and Asia with the across time zones, you don’t have to beat all of them. But if you can be at one of them, that’d be super great. That is, again, that’s going to be October 24. That’s what we’re shooting for right now. completely free, completely virtual love to have you join us more details coming out here. As we progress forward,
Mike Wieger [6:15]
when you are talking, my mouth was watering, I started doing like, it’s gonna be tough. I’m going to be well, and it’s going to be one of those things, too, which will probably pick a shorter smoke item, right? Because like your briskets your pork shoulders, those are, you know, 13, 16 hour cook. So probably, I want to see some recipes that are shorter cooks or you’re right, you know, higher temp, faster cook
Jim Collison [6:35]
could start earlier if you don’t have to, like you can join us, you know, you could start it early and join us through Yeah, right. So you know, we’ll get you know, we’ll get some bark. I’m going to kind of depend on mark to help us with some of these things if he’s available that day. Yeah. But it’ll be just kind of fun. You can move in and out. You don’t have to be at all of them. They’ll just be general times to jump in. But what kind of focus in that area and just kind of have some fun show what you’re doing. That’ll be October 24, at this point. So I’m pretty excited.
Again, no cost for those to get started no swag either, but it’s all 100% virtual. And so will there’ll be more some, some more details about those coming up on the website as well. Pretty excited about that.
I’m in conversation with bitdefender. By the way, this is something that’s came up come out of our Twitter, kind of the Twitter feed. And as we’ve been talking, I think on Twitter, we’ve been talking about some VPNs. And of course, I’m a bit of a bitdefender box user. And so I reached out to them, they reached out to me, we’re talking a little bit. If you’re listening live or you listen to the recording, do me a favor. Tweet them right now at bitdefender. Just let him know your listener say hey, I’m a Home Gadget Geeks listener. We’d love to see on the show. Don’t do it exactly like that. Everybody do something a little bit different. So it doesn’t look dorky.
But do that right now if you can let bitdefender know copy me in and just say hey, we’d love to have you have loved to have you come on Home Gadget Geeks. We’ll talk a little bit about their their network setup with the bitdefender box and I’d also like to talk about their VPN coverage that they have. And so if you would, especially if you’re listening live, that would be great. Drop a tweet at bitdefender is who we’re trying to do. And make sure you copy me @jcollison in there as well.
Mike we are. We’re not that didn’t take too long. But we’re here to talk a little bit of so youtubers get off my back.
Mike Wieger [8:20]
We’re rolling 12 minutes in. I know
Jim Collison [8:24]
it took 12 minutes to get to him. We will talk some Ham Radio stuff and I’m pretty excited about this. You have you’ve made a resurgence in the ham community want you tell the story? What got you from you bought to you kind of got a general license and then all of a sudden you’re like I’m going all in and tell me the story. How’d you get there?
Mike Wieger [8:42]
Yes, well, okay, so you guys have kind of been with me on this journey. And I apologize. I’m looking back and forth. You’re watching the video. This is my camera. Here’s where you guys are. So I’m gonna I’m gonna try and focus on you guys.
But you know about a year ago, actually, almost exactly a year ago, I went and got my technician license and that’s the first license you can get here in the united states and I told you guys kind of a story on a first episode so we can reference back Jim wants to look back and put in the show notes that first time we talked about ham radio because I’m gonna kind of skip over the technician portion of this but, so that was a year ago I spent the you know the last year talking on local repeaters because with that technician license, you have a few privileges when it comes to hf but very very limited when I say hf that means high frequency which hf is your long distance think of long distance point to point so my radio to someone else’s radio a long ways away with nothing needed in between but I spent the last year with the technician license talk on local repeaters which is think of like almost like a cell tower but for ham radio, it takes in a signal and repeats it out.
So you get your signal a little bit further and and really you know tried to utilize my technician license to the max and spent a lot of time meeting a lot of local hams here. I went and joined the local ham club and and really kind of jumped in. But you know as as Jim warned and as everyone predicted There was some time there probably, you know, as we started to get, especially towards the pandemic, where I kind of, you know, just didn’t spend much time with it, I was in and out of different hobbies and, and I always had a radio in my car. And that’s honestly when I spent the most time on the radio was drives to and from work, I’d hop on the walk, or Peter, it’s kind of like having your own little coffee club.
Because as you’re driving, you find the guys who are driving to work during the same time as you and you kind of all get on the repeater and you’re just chatting away about your day. And then you do the same thing on the way home with maybe a different set of guys depending on what time you drive. Well, the pandemic eliminated my commute. And so that eliminated for me about 90% of my Ham Radio time because that’s when I was talking on the radio the most so really, you know, a lot of people talk about the pandemic, a lot of people being at home having more time to be in the shack, as we call it Ham Radio, talking on it. Well, that’s not when I talk to them. The Ham Radio the most you know, I have kids, I’m a young kids and I have other hobbies around here so I didn’t spend much time at home on the Ham Radio.
But what got me kind of get back into it was we kind of hinted at this a few weeks ago was I went to Montana. And we were in the mountains of Montana and there was no cell service. And so I had actually taken my two HTS, HTS, a handy talkie, their little handheld units for ham radio. And I took those up there. And it was really cool because my family was actually really interested in it. Because there was a local repeater on the mountain and had something gone wrong. You know, had we needed medical help anything like that someone fell sprained their ankle, we had something.
The ham radio would have literally been the only way besides one of us going back down the mountain and we did hiking a lot while we’re out there every day and we had my two boys with us. So you know, a lot of things could have gone wrong. And so my fan was actually man, this is really cool. We did a few radio tests at the top of the mountain and sure enough, someone came back on the repeater. And so there was someone there someone listening, which was pretty cool. And that really kind of, you know, that was the first time where Ham Radio made practical sense for me when I’m around here. In in the city, and I’m doing my drive to work and I’m sitting here, I have a computer with the internet, the internet’s a pretty crazy cool thing.
And, you know, just like we’re podcasting now. So I wouldn’t call it necessary most of the time, right? You’re you do ham radio for a few different reasons. Number one, you do it for fun. It’s just really cool. Like, I think there’s a little part in all of us that just, you know, communicating, the challenge of communicating, we’re all kind of spoiled with the internet. So we kind of take it for granted. But getting back to really solving problems and, and trying to communicate in the most efficient way possible. It’s just a lot of fun. Number two, a lot of people do it for a little bit of prepping, right. If communications were to go down. Could you communicate, and especially when we have field days and events in ham radio, where you go out outside your shack outside your Qt h as they call it your home? Can you go out and operate in a field? Can you go operate at a park? Can you do that? Do you have what is necessary to do it?
And so that’s another reason people do it. So for me, it was like it kind of reinvigorated that. Okay, let’s look at it that was a practical way of using hamriyah was the first time that I really in a long time that I had zero self service and could have needed it in that time. So that’s really what got me back into it. So when I came back home I, I started studying for my general license. And the general license here in the United States really opens you up to a lot of hf, high frequency bands. And you’re then able to use single sideband as we call but phone talking via via voice on the hf bands. And I knew that that was really something I wanted to get into.
And so came back, studied for it for a little bit. And actually, this is the interesting part about this is how do you test how do you take a test or the pandemic? How do you you know, where do you go and usually, the way that these tests run is they’re run by local ham clubs. They called volunteer examiner’s their VA ease. So the way it’s structured is you have to you know, sign up for a test usually pre pandemic The way I took my technician, there’s a list on the a double RL website of all the locations you pick one you go, there’s three v E’s volunteer examiner’s. They’re in there, they watched you take the test multiple choice, it’s paper, you fill it out, and then they mail that in. So it’s actually a very long process before, but between the time that you take your test, and when you find out what your callsign is, or you get the actual privileges that you that you get from passing the test, you do find out if you pass right away, they have their little, you know, bubble sheet and they tell you if you pass but it takes a little bit. Well, so since the pandemic started, they actually totally redid the way testing works.
And this was kind of done by local ham clubs. Local ham club said, Hey, just because we have a pandemic, we can’t get together. We still want people to be able to take the test. So I’m not I don’t have all the details on who started this but ham study org, fantastic website if you’re going to be studying for any of the tests in Ham Radio, but it’s also A great resource for finding an online session. So they and they’ve gone through already two versions of their software that they use for testing in this time, because they learned a lot, and a lot of him, you know, aficionados got together and said, hey, let’s make this work. And so Hamsa Yep.
And Jim’s got it pulled up on the screen here. It’s a website where you can go and take practice tests. Because the way that these tests work, all the pool of questions is public. So they post the pool of all the questions. So you could actually if you want to just go and you could memorize all 500 questions, and then go take your test.
Ideally, you want to learn the concepts I would highly recommend,
Jim Collison [15:37]
but it’s a lot of work to study and memorize 500 questions, so it’s gonna do that much work, you’re gonna know what you’re doing. Right,
Mike Wieger [15:44]
right. Exactly. Yeah, and a lot of times the way that a lot of these programs work is you take a question, you get the answer, and then you get an explanation for why that is the answer. Or in the I did the hardcopy version. I actually have the book under here. I got the actual book to study from and It has the codes for, hey, this is the question. This is where you reference back in the book to read up on that section, which is really nice. So that’s what I did, I did a mix of memorizing, and then going back on some of the ones where I’m like,
Okay, I have zero clue here, what they’re even talking about, go back, read that section of the book to really to find out what you’re doing. Um, so, long story short, you can find it online session and you can now take all these tests online. And it’s a really unique process. So they actually have it down to a science. So the people the glove I took it through was a radio club in Los Angeles. And you could tell they had gotten this down to a science. What happened was you sign up, you join a zoom call, and you get put, I had no idea who even had these options. So they start putting you into breakout rooms. So as soon as you come in, there’s the first person they check your license, they see you and they said,
Okay, I’m gonna send you over to this guy. And you use they start splitting you out because there are hundreds of people coming to take this test. But each person the way that they have to do it is they’re doing three volunteers to one person So they have a lot of volunteers but the great part about it is the volunteers don’t have to be local to LA these can be volunteers from all over the world that help out with this. So they have a lot of volunteer examiner’s. So you get passed around from waiting room to waiting room. And then in the end, you end up in front of three volunteer examiner’s they have you show all the way around you with your camera.
And to show you know, you don’t have any cheating materials, you don’t have anything. Ideally, you have two cameras, so I would have the one on my computer facing me. They had me put another one actually down at the end of my desk facing this way to make sure you can’t cheat. And then the test is just taken online to their software. So you go to a website, you they put give you a code to punch in, and you just take the test on the computer. And it was super quick and easy. And you know, within one second after you hit submit, you find out if you passed and they’re all there, it’s kind of funny because they’re all waiting in suspense like oh, congratulations, you know, and that’s
Jim Collison [17:51]
pretty generous, though. That’s like, yeah, that’s effort. You know, you think ham I mean, it’s not it’s not like you’re getting a license to run a nuclear power plant or Something right? I mean, right. Oh, good on that, do you think that system will stay? Even after we after the pandemics over? I hope so
Mike Wieger [18:10]
it was it was it was pretty slick. Now, I will say it did take a lot longer than it would have had. I just gone to my local club when I went to my club because in your club, they have you in a classroom and they’re watching everyone take the test at the same time, right? I was I was in and out. And it’s like seven to 10 minutes when I went and took my technician. This took two hours. Because there you have to be in the waiting room and then you’re in these breakout rooms, they’re just waiting for rooms to open up for you to jump into. And so you’re waiting there the whole time.
So for the first hour and I it took me 10 minutes to take the test an hour and a half of just kind of in these waiting rooms. So that was the only downside they they might be able to figure that out a little bit better, because I am gonna start studying for my extra which will be the final portion that’s your kind of your top tier and amateur radio in the US is your amateur extra. And so we’ll see but I really enjoyed it in the fact that it was in stint and they also through their testing software are able to submit that electronically to the FCC. And so I was in the FCC database the next day with my new privileges with my new general.
So it was really cool. That part like the technology of all this has been very interesting in how they have been dealing with with the pandemic. And I think they have just done a really good job. Obviously, I’m not in school anymore. So I don’t know how the schools are handling this, but it’s kind of a little insight into, okay, how do we do testing? How do we do you know, this sort of stuff in an online manner, and it worked really well. So
Jim Collison [19:34]
so my cat is has changed the way you operate then, as far as far as
Mike Wieger [19:38]
Yes. So let’s go ahead and pull up my screen here. What I’m sharing with you guys right now is it’s called the US amateur radio band, and this is the band plan. And what the band plan does is it lays out the different frequencies and which level of amateur radio operator what privileges they have on each band. So you’ll see an E an A and A G like, let’s look up at 40 meters here you see an E up top you then an A then g so amateur extra, they have a lot of privileges.
And then you have your general and General has a little bit and you’ll see then technician down here has very little they don’t have any green which means they have no phone privileges all they have a little bit of CW CW is Morse code. So a technician what I was before I was a general they could do a little bit of CW if you knew Morse code, but the funny part about that is most technicians don’t know any Morse code that’s something they’re going to learn later. The they used to I don’t know what year they removed the requirement but it used to be a requirement to get your even your technician license.
You had to be able to do Morse code at at least five words per minute. So everyone had to do it. They got rid of that requirement and a lot of amateur radio operators are kind of split on that they thought it was a good idea. But the other side said you know they’re kind of traditionalist, no you need to know CW to get an Ham Radio. But what they found is that it actually encouraged a lot of people to go learn Morse code, there’s no more pressure. It wasn’t a pressure for the test. It was more fun.
Jim Collison [21:06]
Probably what they’re trying to do, right increase some, it was probably eliminating too many people. Exactly.
Mike Wieger [21:11]
Yeah, yeah. So technicians have the only band they have phone privileges on it which when I say phone that means talking via voice is 10 meters and 10 meter band right now especially does not have very good propagation meaning you don’t go very far. It’s not a great band to talk long distances, but it does at least give them a little bit of privileges to to have some single sideband conversation. So
Jim Collison [21:35]
what yours isn’t very far I mean, I’m sure yeah
Mike Wieger [21:39]
right. 10 meters 20 megahertz two, I should I should kind of equate this to I know we talk in bands and we say the 40 meter band that is actually in a range of frequencies right around seven megahertz. So when I say you know hf being high frequency, think about that in terms of, you know, the lowest really that you’re going to talk on a lot. I mean, people do talk Got 160 meters, but usually 80 is where people the lowest they go and that’s 3.5 megahertz all the way up to you know, you’re looking at your your six meter band which is which is about 50 megahertz.
That’s you’re talking about, you’re talking hf. But so for me when I upgraded General, you’ll see I really got access to a lot 40 meter band, I can do, I can do radii and data on 30 meters, I can do 20 meters, I can do phone and I can also do radian data. And you really get privileges on on every single band when you’re a general a little bit. And then obviously, you get even more when you do amateur extra, but at least what you’ve done is you’ve opened up yourself to be able to operate on all the different bands. But this is I like this band chart, this kind of helps kind of understand the different privileges you have. And I actually have this chart right here. It’s printed out right in front of you when I’m sitting at my station. Because you know, as a new general operator, you do have to make sure you stick within your privileges when I’m up on 40 meters, if you look up here, so the amateur extra they can start Talking on the front on phone on single sideband at 7.125. So if I’m scrolling around my dial and I hear some conversation at seven 130, I might just, you know, be like, Oh, hey, I’m gonna join the conversation.
Well, my privileges don’t start till 7175 of the general. So you got to keep in mind, you know, and so you that’ll be getting green in your head, but that’s why I have it printed out right in front of me to make sure okay, you know, where’s my privileges start and end on each band. So this is nice though, that the a double RL and the SEC have worked together to kind of develop this plan and have it organized. It’s not just a mess. A lot of times when you think of CB and you think of kind of the wild, the Wild West, you think of frs gmrs, things like that and they’re still organized, but this is a much more organized plan than you would get
Jim Collison [23:46]
nice. It’s pretty intense. Mike I I was a CB guy, and I’ve been on CB in a long time. I did it when I was younger. And in it. It was we had fun with it, but I can see it’s it is crazy. out there, like there’s no rules,
Mike Wieger [24:01]
right? exactly what’s on CB, you want to be licensed, you don’t have to say your call sign. Now, you know, there’s there’s no saying that I could just go steal someone else’s callsign and start using it, but people would figure it out. Because the other thing is there’s qR Zed, qR z comm where you can type in any callsign. And you actually everyone, it pulls everyone from the FCC database into their system. So you’re there, whether you like it or not. And your address, whether you like it or not, whenever you register with the SEC is out there as well.
Now that makes it fun, because you can send QSL cards, and you can have, you know, fun little exchange cards via post mail the old fashioned way and do that, but people would figure it out, right if you start using someone else’s calls and it’s not yours, but again, yeah, it’s a lot more regulated than I think a lot of people initially think. But that’s initially so that’s why I got into general that’s why I went in, took my test and passed it. And ever since then, it’s just been a whirlwind of open doors and we might doesn’t do well with just a lot of have room to play. I just want to open every door as fast as I can. And
Jim Collison [25:04]
that’s why we get along so well because we’re like once we get into something like I did, I just didn’t run 10 K’s I ran half marathons then ran five marathons, right? Yes. You know, I didn’t I I don’t I didn’t start pot. I just didn’t do a podcast, I started podcasting. I did seven podcasts, I started podcasting at work. I’ve been podcasting for almost 10 years now or a little over. And so this is why you and I get along. So well. And I give you a hard time about this. But it’s super fun. One of the things I really like when you do this as you go all the way in and you know it all I mean, you really have studied this and so super cool. So you mentioned Okay, so kind of upgrading got you the ability to go farther right now, but farther, but what other benefits come with upgrading that besides or in addition to what you were doing before?
Mike Wieger [25:54]
So what I would say is, so when I say the ability to talk further and the ability to talk on these different bands comes with other fun things you need to do to be able to do those things. When we think about the technician license, we think about operating UHF VHF, which is you know, the repeater system, UHF VHF, typically, the antennas are relatively short. Because your your antennas have to do with your wavelength. So the longer your wavelength is, the longer your antenna is going to be.
So obviously VHF UHF is a shorter wavelength than when you start to get down to say 80 meters. Well, 80 meters means a full wavelength is 80 meters. So it’s huge. So what this means is, though, is you need to start building antennas, you need to start finding places to put those antennas. You need to start figuring out what type of antenna Do you want, you need to figure out okay, well, do I want to talk on 40 meters? 80 meters and 20 meters will do I want a different antenna for each of those or do I want kind of a compromised antenna that will do all three with the use of a tuner. I mean, so these are All the type of questions that you really start to dive into. And I don’t think there’s a single ham alive that has gone through every single thing and built every single type of antenna that you can do in ham radio, that’s really the fun part, you’ll start to see, you know, this desk right here has really just like grown in the past three weeks with all different tools because, you know, to build antennas to do cable connections for my batteries, and we’ll talk about some new connections I found for even a non ham later to do all that kind of stuff is you know, first of all to learn it Second of all, really to do it well and master it and then a lot of ham radio is really meant around testing and learning. They really want you to be out there and test things out.
Right do experiments, test out different random links the wire test out on off center fed dipole, you know, where is the perfect place to put the center of that off center fed dipole. You know what lengths of wire on the end work best and so, Jim, this really reminded me of when you and I got into crypto mining and there was just so much you could do and you could tweak to your heart’s content and you could just keep getting you know you can make better and better and better and there’s always new coins to do that is the same I feel the same stimulus in my brain that I had from that is what I get from Ham Radio there is constantly just there’s there’s always something to explore and you can always get better in the time and the last three weeks I put up the first antenna in my attic didn’t like it put a second antenna in my attic didn’t like that took it back out so went back to the first antenna but did outside and then just this last week I added a 10 foot math to that to get up even higher because I wasn’t happy with my performance. So every weekend since I’ve had my general I have changed up my entire engine I
Jim Collison [28:45]
know right on pletely and I feel about antennas coming off the
Mike Wieger [28:50]
you know she’s she Oh Hannah. Yeah, I feel bad for cuz the first time in the attic. It was great because you couldn’t see So number one check, right I thought I was perfect. Well, then I went to go transmit and every time I transmitted her zoom call cut out because I ran the CO x right next to the Ethernet wires. And that 100 watts cranking through that co x to the antenna West. Yeah, so that didn’t work, right. So that didn’t when the wife approval, well then I moved it outside and added an added one mass to one into the home and she was like, Ah, that’s not the best look, but Okay, and then last weekend, when she was in Lincoln, I put up a longer 10 foot mast in the center PVC and painted it brown, it’s pretty ugly, and I didn’t, I couldn’t get a thick enough PVC. So it kinda has a bend to it. And actually, you know, I might be able to all look for a photo while while I’m talking here about it, but
Jim Collison [29:45]
so you can go anywhere, I mean, but you need to be able to run cable to him, right? Right. It’s not like you can go somewhere set up an antenna different and then access an antenna. So from from a remote location right you gotta you gotta kind of want to have a close as close as you need to be able to be able to run a cable into your shack
Mike Wieger [30:06]
and and do that so here is let’s pull it up here
Jim Collison [30:10]
while you’re doing that Brian has a little advice he said you need to go to her her farm Mike so you can build it on the silo.
Mike Wieger [30:17]
Jim I’ve almost wanted to move because of Ham Radio cuz I need to put up like 100 foot steel tower on my property but I can’t do that in a city. Okay.
Jim Collison [30:27]
No, not in your neighborhood. While you’re while you’re looking that up as a kid. Not not across the street, but across the street down a little bit. We we are we had a neighbor that had a big antenna. Oh my gosh, like all right, we’re short. For our audio listeners. You just kind of describe what what we’re looking at.
Mike Wieger [30:48]
Yeah, so this is the back corner of my house luckily. But I used it There used to be a satellite dish on the corner of my house and we obviously don’t use satellite, we haven’t moved in. And so I took off satellite dish kept the mountain there and imagine a 10 foot PVC pipe sticking out of that satellite dish holder. So that is running up at the very top of that pole is the centerpiece of an off center fed dipole. So there is a wire coming if you’re looking at the picture coming back towards us. So I’m standing under a tree that this wire comes off and connects to the top of a tree that I’m standing under the other side because there’s two sides of wires on the dipoles.
The other wire goes all the way down to the front of my garage and I have a little three foot like I’d like a TV antenna mast up on the corner of the front of my garage and that’s where that other wire connects to. But the reason I put it here is because I can run it down there was this is where all my electrical and Cox Cable and everything punches through. So I was able to just run the coax down and not make any new holes in my house. I did have to make a new hole but not in any new locations when there’s not already cables running.
The house. So that runs right down in the basement along the basement and right down here to the shack to this radio sitting right here. But this is what I’m talking about, you know, so this antenna, the other antenna for my VHF UHF for me to talk to local repeaters. That antenna is probably from like, you know three to four feet and it hangs in my attic on a nail. It just hangs up there in the middle of the attic it doesn’t need to be outside it just really it just hangs down just a random you know, antenna that’s really short. But when you get an hf you’re really committing because you know your antennas, you can do shorter antennas but you’re gonna have terrible performance on them. You really need to get a nice long antenna.
Jim Collison [32:40]
Jim Shoemaker has a comment he says run a connect a transmit wire to a drone run power up the wire to keep the drone in the air whenever you need to transmit launch only when you want ham. Otherwise, just really, this was kind of my idea about Home Security like when the you’d have like when the cameras go off. You’d have a drone in your backyard that would launch and go up into the air that way you get an you get a down approach on camera like you’re not sure that would work but
Mike Wieger [33:09]
they do have other sorts of like portable antennas. You know there’s one that we’ll talk about later that I have in my in my go bag for when I do parks on the air activations. So there’s all sorts of stuff but you know I’m on my radio enough that I don’t want to have to be going out and setting up an antenna every time but some guys do.
There are some guys who you know they live in an HOA so I do live in an HOA but I went and read the bylaws and there’s nothing about antennas or anything like that on your on your home so this is perfectly acceptable. Surprisingly from that picture, it looks really bad. But from the like my curb appeal wasn’t effect you can’t see this mask from the street. The only person who can see this really are are my neighbors in the circle, which I’m really jealous of them they have these beautiful like hundred foot trees in their backyard like man well if I had 100 foot tree I wouldn’t need this ugly Brown.
Jim Collison [33:55]
Rough there Mike.
Mike Wieger [33:56]
Well I just see the paint stripe now I have because I painted that PVC pipe in Oh So now I have a permanently painted Brown.
Jim Collison [34:04]
I like that you’re all in. you’re committed. I do. I do. Like, I do like that. I like the commitment of like, add the lines. Okay. The antenna is the important thing. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So besides antennas to do this, and I think we’re gonna hear some intense stories over the next
Mike Wieger [34:22]
Jim Collison [34:23]
I think there’s enough here to keep you active and busy for at least six months before you decide to stop doing it. But maybe just calling it
Mike Wieger [34:31]
Christopher I think the rest of my life man, this has been so much fun. I’ve said that before. I mean, we were in a hit. We’re in a crypto for I don’t know how many years. So it’ll probably be a few years. We’ll see
Jim Collison [34:41]
that Jim. Jim’s being serious and i and i don’t i don’t disagree with the gym. I that could be that could be a great idea as you need attendance for that. Mike. What What else though? Okay, so we’re going to be seeing new antennas from you for the next six months. What other kind of equipment does it take to be a part of this? Did you have to upgrade hardware Then
Mike Wieger [35:01]
yeah and we have to be very careful my wife’s upstairs and she can care so we’re not gonna talk prices right now but you do need a new radio. So that’s why the new angle temporary angle for tonight This is my quote unquote shack. So this is where all my radios exist. So I have two radios sitting here and it’s actually kinda hard to see this one. But over here is my radio that I’ve always had as a technician.
So this is my UHF VHF radio. I use this tiny little thing to talk to all the repeaters and and I’ve had that for a while so that’s nothing new but for those of you who are interested, this is a really cheap radio that I think just works great as a little workhorse, the fans a little loud but it’s a cue it at 900 D This, this is only like 65 bucks on Amazon super cheap. And the antenna that I have is like a 30 $30 little antenna for my attic and I have perfect reception get perfect reports on my audio so technician you don’t need to spend a lot of money. You do need a power supply. So the interesting thing About radios as they don’t just plug into the wall, they need DC power.
So you have your your power supply here. And then this is the new my new baby. And I treat her very well because she’s my new baby. But this is the icom 7300. This is the hf rig I went with, I will tell you guys hf equipment does come with a pretty hefty price tag. And, you know, there’s a lot of second hand markets out there and you can on qR Zed or anything like that you can get stuff secondhand, but it holds its value for so long. So you know you can find good deals, sometimes some guys will be maybe doing $100 off things like that, but in general, you’re going to have to shell out probably at a minimum, I would say five to $600 for a rig and you can spend up to it you know, like any hobby, you can go crazy with this. You can get massive radios and and amplifiers and things like that, but you’re gonna be around the one k mark for a radio like this. We’ll see that so you’re going to get In theory, but this radio, it got great reviews, I did a ton of research pretty much the entire time I was a tech, I was excited to get into hf so I really did my research here to try and and find the best radio and this radio is what they call an SDR software defined radio.
So the difference between this and what they refer to in the ham community as a boat anchor, the boat anchors are the really old radios your grandparents might have that your grandma, your grandpa was a ham. They’re really heavy, and they have actual like crystal tubes inside of them. These ones this one is not this is all software defined radio, which has a lot of benefits. You can easily have what they call a spectrum scope. And so in the picture Jim showing or you can see a blue little scope right across the center of that radio. And I wish I had a second camera cuz I could have shown you guys I’m actually gonna I’ll throw up a high rez
Jim Collison [37:54]
photo here. Yeah, it sounds great. You
Mike Wieger [37:56]
bring you keep talking, but a spectrum scope what that does and this is the Well the great parts about an SDR is it shows you the as as wide of the band as you want. So let’s say I’m on 20 meters, and it’ll show you it with a visual representation if there’s activity on the band. So there we go. So right in the center there, you see that blue with some white stripes coming down, they call it the waterfall. So that is showing you about let’s let’s let’s pretend that that’s 80 megahertz worth of worth of space right there.
So you can see Oh, hey, so if I scroll around, if you go to one of those white little lines on the screen, there’s there’s activity that there’s someone talking, and this is compared to like an old style radio where you would just crank and you would be tuning in, you’re losing your ears, you’re listening for people, you still do that with the 7300. But this helps a little bit, you can kind of find activity easier with a waterfall which is which is really nice. It kind of helps on especially on days where the band is really dead propagation changes based off of the Sun cycle and based off of a lot of different factors.
There have been even times last week where I was talking to someone in order And we wouldn’t be having an organ I can hear him clear as day You call that a five nine report a five being one through five How well can I understand you so he’s a five he was perfectly understandable. And one through nine is what we call an S meter rating and your radio actually will tell you what how strong their signal is coming to you.
So one through nine and then you could be a nine plus you can be like rural if you’re blaring into me You’re a nine plus so he’s a five by nine that’s that’s a good rating. It’s a perfect score when it comes to audibility him and I would be talking we’d be having a five nine conversation and all sudden he would be gone and the band had changed something happened in the you know, the you know, the sunspots. If something had happened in the ionosphere I wasn’t getting the skip I was getting before over to him.
That’s the fun of hf and that’s kind of the crazy part is he would be there and then all sudden he would be gone 30 seconds later he might be there again. Um, so the bands change all the time and so your propagation and who you can talk to really depends on a lot different factors but but I’ve really enjoyed this radio, it’s really good if you are going to be getting in hf, it’s got everything you need. And it sounds it is expensive. But that is another kind of an intro price, honestly, to having a shack radio radio that you’re going to have in the shack nowadays, in the
Jim Collison [40:13]
shack, I like it, I like it, that’s kind of top of the line right in that in that in that group or you can get more,
Mike Wieger [40:21]
it’s top of the line for an intro radio, okay, so you can get a lot more expensive, you can spend seven to $10,000 on a radio, and then you can start getting into amplifiers and things like that. So this I would say is, is top of the line for the intro because there are more portable options and ones that put out less power and maybe ones that don’t have that, you know, the nice screen with the scope, maybe they’re just the old school showed you a frequency and you’re gonna keep scrolling and those ones might be cheaper in the five to six to $700 range. But I would say I would say this is about an average price but it is a top line intro radio to describe it.
Jim Collison [40:58]
Mike, you talked about Your you talked about the antenna piece, we showed pictures from the outside, but the whole goal is just to get this piece as high as possible Is
Mike Wieger [41:09]
that right? That’s totally true. Well, you know, as high as possible, there is a law of diminishing returns, you want these at a minimum to be a quarter wavelength off the ground. Right. So if you are trying to talk on 40 meters, you want that thing at a minimum to be 10 meters off the ground, that’s really you know, any lower than that you’re going to start getting some some noise on the band your your propagation can be while you’re not gonna be getting out as well.
So whatever band you’re trying to talk on, you need to try and be a quarter wave off the ground. So it gets a little bit harder though if you’re going to be you know, getting into 80 meters, well then you need to be 20 meters off the ground and and that really gets hard to do without a tower so I don’t operate on at my antenna doesn’t do 80 I’m fine with that. I will I would not be able to get it up high enough anyway, so I’m mainly on a daily basis operating on the 40 meter and 20 meter band. And that antenna now is roughly 2627 feet in the air.
So it’s right on the border of being too short, almost I could still actually get it higher. And man the difference of because what I used to have before I put that 10 foot mast up as I had it right attached to that, that satellite antenna base, and then so it was 10 feet lower, massive difference getting it up number one, it eliminated a lot of the QR M which is your RFI, your radio frequency interference that you’re going to get from things in the house. Now this is a funny little aside I didn’t put this in the show notes but the biggest rabbit hole I went down when I first got into this all Jim wasn’t and this is the point I think I was like man, Jim would actually maybe kind of enjoy this. So you would i would turn on my radio and there would just be interference all over huge electrical static. You could see it on the scope.
When on that blue scope. You could just see lines everywhere and the way you test Is this something in my home? Or is it something outside of this just you know, the neighbors is that the atmosphere is you put your radio on a battery, and you go and flip off the power to your house, just have the breaker turn off all the power. And sure enough, a lot of it went away. And it was it was it was pretty clear and I’m like well, great. So now I have a lot of RFI in my house. So now the hunt was on to find what causes the RFI in my home. And this I am still probably hunting for a few offenders here, but I found some of the big ones. And one of the ways you can do it is you can actually use a portable am radio. So you can use just a regular am radios like you know cheap ones, or even better if you have a shortwave radio, but these are just you know, the little compact ones you would sit on your desk and you’d listen to some am radio. That’s what you use and you tuck in the antenna.
You tuned to a frequency it’s not in use and you literally just start walking around your house, like a wild man just kind of put it up two things and what’s causing the RFI and it really does start to drive you nuts. It You can do a little more scientific approach, which is flip off all the breakers and then start turning them on one by one. And when do you start to get a lot of noise on your radio and that’s how you at least hopefully you’re down to the room or two.
Jim Collison [44:13]
You made sure Hannah and the kids were gone right you’re not Yeah, you’re not torturing them with the power
Mike Wieger [44:18]
no power elite. You know, this is a family sacrifice gym. This is a family hobby. So yeah, teach the kids Yeah. Oh my god. I’ve done
Jim Collison [44:26]
some I’ve done some crazy things to Sarah but Mike I think you’re beating me now in this
Mike Wieger [44:31]
I probably this category. No, this wasn’t a time where they were not here. Luckily. But so so you start to go around, you start to try and find what’s what’s causing RFI and it’s really cool. You’ll start to hear like a really high screech on that am radio when you’re getting something that’s putting it out. You got to be really surprised what causes RFI. So there are certain LED bulbs that will cause RFI so the first thing I found and this one was hard to find because was actually way closer than I thought it was right above me right here and I haven’t turned on right now.
I have the long What do you call the long tube lights that usually, I can’t remember they’re called anyway, for a tube for us did the tubes and a really long tube they were workshop lights right, so I have two of those for the LEDs. So those actually cause a lot of interference with my radio. The second thing I found was our baby monitors because usually what’s gonna cause it is wall warts. So any sort of wall wart power plug is going to cause it. And our baby monitor plugs caused a I mean, just an insane amount of RFI so much so that just turn those off. Takes me from an I had an S nine level of noise when you talk about how powerful a signal is, that’s as strong as you can get. I turned baby monitors off, it goes down to an s3.
So it was that much being caused by just the the power plug on a baby monitor. That’s what you’re trying you’re literally Gianna hunt for tiny little things like that. And then just connect those things when you’re like. Okay, go ahead. So I have a solution for that. Yeah. This was the fun part. So then, the final piece, the final thing I had was there To secure my security cameras, they’re old. I repurpose them from my Cox homelife and the way that the power gets to the ethernet cable causes some RFI. So here’s what I did. Obviously, we need the baby monitors on. And obviously I’m lazy.
There’s there’s two, there’s two constants here. I want to be able to sit right here and not have to go upstairs every time I want to play radio and gorilla stuff. So you’re seeing where this goes. where this is going. I bought three more of the TP link smart plugs. And I went and put those on all of the devices that caused RFI so and then I went into a lady into the app and I grouped them and I call them RFID devices. So now when I’m wanting to go to play radio, I just say La turn off the RFID devices and everything that causes RFI, I have a TP link smart plug on there, and it turns it off, and all of a sudden my scope clears right up. That’s brilliant.
Jim Collison [46:50]
Yeah, that’s such a great way to use home automation.
Mike Wieger [46:53]
I was super proud of it. I was like yeah, this is this
Jim Collison [46:56]
is great. You are a Home Gadget Geeks my friend. Yeah, you are Home Gadget Geeks so
Mike Wieger [47:00]
there’s a combination of some some home automation and how you could use that with your radio. But so that that’s for home and and that’s really what causes more fun. But really Jim, for me, you know that I’m an outdoors person. And when HF radio does is it opens up not that you couldn’t do this as a technician, but it’d be very difficult.
So now a general being able to operate hf there are two programs that I just think are the coolest thing ever with ham radio, and the first one is parks on the air. The second is summit’s on the air. And really whichever one you do depends on where you live in the country. Here in the Midwest, we don’t have any summit.
So when you think of a summit like literally the summit of a mountain of a mountain, we don’t have any of those around here. So around here parks on the air is is the popular program and what parks on the areas is you know the history of this was really to get ham operators out into the world for multiple reasons. Number one, it helps you test your portability can You go out, could you operate from a field in case of emergency?
That’s more of an archaic test now, right because it I mean, although I could pack this up, take it and use it in emergency, I’m going to be honest and that’s probably not the first thing I’m going to do. But now I have the ability if I wanted to, but number two, education wise you get out there you have your antenna and people will get curious and they’ll come up to you and ask you questions. So it raises kind of awareness for Ham Radio but the structure of this is really cool. So I’m gonna talk about parks on the air and then you know, someone on the air is very similar but just with some ads instead of parks. The way this works is there is a whole system in gym if you actually go to the map
Oh, yeah, this this this works to go up to find a park that you went to. And near me. Yes, we Great. So while you’re talking so the way this works is there are parks all across the country that are either state parks or local parks and you know everyone has them around the world. Well, the parks on the air system and on the screen that Jim showing, it’s all these yellow dots that are all over. So these are all parks that are loaded in the system. And they have to be parks that are there in their system, but it should have most of them in your area, all the recognized state parks. Now it’s not going to have your neighborhood park, but it’s going to have all your big parks. So these are all in the system. And they all have an identifier to them.
Like it starts with the K and it’s like a four digit number. So what you do is there’s people called activators. And there’s people called hunters. So activators is you pack up your radio, everything you need, and you head to the park. Now parks on the air is very hard to be running on battery. Like if there’s an outlet at the park, go ahead and use it. Just whatever you need to do. You can even be in your car, you just need to be in the park limits. So once you get into the park limits, there’s really as however you want to make your contacts you’re going to make your contact so as an activator. I’m like this weekend we’re gonna go try and activate SRAM Park over at the Platte River.
So I will Pack up, I will go to the park. I actually have my battery just came in and man I forgot how heavy sealed lead acid batteries are. But that came in. So I’ll take all my gear, we will set up in the park so I’ll have to throw my antenna. So I actually have a bag with all my stuff in it I have an N FET antenna and I will throw that up into a tree. I have a rope with a tree weight on it and I can actually sling that thing up into a tree. So I’ll put the antenna up into the tree.
I’ll attach my radio and I will attempt to activate the park now what an activation entails is making 10 contacts while you’re in that park. So that conversation would go I’m going to call CQ which CQ is I’m looking for. I’m looking for someone out there CQ CQ is is parks on the air, I’ll say my callsign and I’ll wait. And then usually your hunters are your people that are usually at their home and they are looking trying to find people that are activating parks because you get points for both you get points for activating and you get points for hunting.
So there’s hunters out there. I love hunting. When I’m at home, I think it’s so much fun because there’s also through the poteau website, people can go and spot like, Hey, guys on this frequency and he’s in this location. And then you can even go out and find them on that frequency and and try and make a contact with them. So I would put on my call sign, someone else would say their call sign, I have to let them know what Park I’m in, give them a signal report real quick, are they a five, nine, they would tell me the same thing. And there we go.
So now they’re in my log, and I’ve logged who I spoke to. And to get a minimum of 10 of those. Afterwards, you submit that log to your there’s a person on pota depending on what region you’re in, and they log it. So actually, Jim to if you go back to that website real quick, and you still have an open.
Jim Collison [51:39]
Yeah, give it give me just a sec. Yeah.
Mike Wieger [51:41]
So there is actually a full dashboard here, where they show you all the different statistics on so yeah, go go back to home. Yep. Oh, it actually took you to polka.us go to parks on the air calm. So this is actually the interface as well as talk about where they’re spending. So, right now, those are all spots of people who are out there. And some go to dashboard and login. I don’t have a login. You shouldn’t need a login.
Okay. Yes. Yeah, there you go. So so here is all the stats. And if you did have a login, you would you could see your own stats of how many hunter activations you have, how many activator points you have, I mean so there are people out there that are doing this multiple times a day. A lot of retirees love to do this. So they’ll go and find you can only activate one Park every 24 UTC hours. So it runs off the UTC clock, but every 24 hours, you could go back to that same park but a lot of these guys are doing multiple parks in a day.
So there are call signs on there and they have you know, this year alone so top activations for the current year was that 405 for the top one 257 unique parks that person has been at 257 parks this year and activated them and so that means he has gotten in he or she has gotten at least 10 contacts at each of those parks. And so this really you know gym for me obviously it’s competitive, right it’s a lot of fun you get out of the house you get to have a purpose for getting on the radio and when you are doing this people have a reason to reach back out to you so there’s a game to it and so I’ve kind of gone all in Jim already on no one on mobile.
Oh, I have like so I didn’t get a second radio. I thought about it. I didn’t I it’s the same radio so I do just but what I did was I got all the same power cords I unplug this thing. If you guys ever need a hard sided foam pick pick foam i think is what they call it you know the foam Ark comes all together and you can pick out to make the exact shape or whatever they want. Yeah, um, Harbor Freight. This thing is I would obviously it’s not a pelican, right like we all know Pelican cases, but very similar very watertight and for 35 bucks Whoa, compared to like 200 so Harbor Freight if you guys ever need these.
So this is for my Radio I have a backpack with my throw line to get my antenna into a tree at a local Harbor Freight or Georgia online I ordered online Okay, I think we do have a local one
Jim Collison [54:10]
here I think like 72nd and lose something oh did it I think it moved okay I went looked it up because
Mike Wieger [54:16]
yeah it used to be 72nd are you in oh yeah right yeah. Okay but yeah those are great little cases for anything by the way so if you need a hard sided kind of like a pelican ripoff 35 bucks 35 bucks for this size
Jim Collison [54:30]
and this fits this I want to I fit in there Oh, you can fit a lot.
Mike Wieger [54:34]
They have smaller versions too. And they even have larger versions for people because I kind of wish I would have gotten a larger because then I could have fit my battery and the radio but then I have just my backpack for for everything else but I saw I just connected and go What are you taking the
Jim Collison [54:49]
kids with you when you do we do go on with the boys right? I mean, that’s it. Oh yeah, I’m thing to do with them, pack them up and go do those things well,
Mike Wieger [54:57]
and Hannah wouldn’t. So we went and did this. The other weekend, we actually went our local ham radio club had a meeting at a park on a Saturday morning and people just kind of showed off what they were working on. And we tried to activate the park and guys brought air cannons to get their antennas into the air. It was a lot of fun. And oh yeah, it was. I mean, these guys are custom like PVC pipe, just air cans, and they’re watching this antenna. Like it was it was really cool.
Jim Collison [55:21]
Yeah, for that. That makes some good Home Gadget Geeks video.
Mike Wieger [55:24]
Yeah, I think you have some pictures. I’m gonna try and find some pictures of it. And I plan on making some videos of these activations because it was like one what Hannah told me what she was man, you didn’t tell me that there was like a part of radio where we could go to a park every Saturday. She loves that. That’s great. And so she’s she even brought up she was, you know, what if we tried to hit like, what if we tried to activate every park in Nebraska? Like that would be a ton of fun like having that as a goal. Obviously, it would take someone like us without much time a while to do that. But over a course of maybe three, four years. So try and hit all the places in Nebraska. I think it’d be a lot of fun.
Jim Collison [55:55]
Fun to do. That’s pretty great. Yeah, it’s great when you can call it is I think it’s great. When you get get the whole family, including your wife or partner, I’m interested in this and to do the thing together. I think that’s a that’s a super great, super great, great way to go about it, Mike. Okay, we’re Home Gadget Geeks and you don’t have to justify it because like, you use, you know, you used remote plugs. You’re talking about like, you know how to get things up in the air. We talked about drones some of those other things right. I think our geek credit is covered on this. Yeah, but can this thing I mean there is we do have computers now. And we do have the internet so is there a way to interface this in? I mean, can I can I use this with my computer? Can Is there a way to do some things on the internet with that? How does that work?
Mike Wieger [56:44]
Um, so yes, and right. So the internet is is very interesting when it comes to ham radio. There are the digital modes that utilize the internet there’s a lot more of those on UHF VHF and actually a lot easier to use with technician license. You know, there’s a lot of different technologies like echo link and D star and system fusion. And those Connect repeaters via the internet as a backbone. Right. So there are repeaters here in Omaha where I and you know, Ron’s out in our chat room. And he’s been wanting me to get an echo link repeater because he’s up in Canada, and we could actually talk on our handy talkies in our house and it’d be like we’re having a phone conversation. Those are linked by the internet as the backbone.
So there’s digital in terms of it uses the internet as the backbone for hf, a majority of digital and hf, it uses the computer to I think it is like modulating the sound to the radio to kind of give the radio what sound doesn’t, but you’re not using the internet. Right? So I’m going to show you guys a digital mode right now. It’s called FTA and FTA. You know, there’s, there’s no I could unplug the internet from this computer and it would still work fine. The computer is really just it’s listening and it can copper We would come together sounds like a modem, when you if you were to turn the volume up on your radio kind of sounds like a modem, it can interpret what that means, but I can’t. So the digital modes here are interesting because number one, the benefits of digital is they can be heard with the slightest volume.
So when I’m doing digital, I can be heard by France and Germany. And there’s a website, you can actually see where you’re being heard from what your digital modes were at, because it doesn’t need to be very loud for a computer to pick up the sound. Whereas if I was doing voice, no way, no way I’m reaching that far, and especially for someone be able to hear me so digital goes a lot further. With the same level of power, right? We’re still running 100 watts here, right? This radio is 100 watts 100 watts on single sideband which is voice knock can be heard as well as on an FTA signal that goes pretty far.
But so there are a lot you know, I am just now getting into different digital ways to interact with hf there’s You know, there’s ways to send email via hf right signal there so there are ways that use the internet but but the FTA is probably a fun one because although it’s fun to have the connection internet I don’t know Jim like to me that kind of defeats the purpose. right because I could jump into a discord and talk with someone across the world if I want to, if I’m gonna utilize the internet Yeah, for me, I kind of want it I want to be able to do it from radio to radio without you know, repeaters one thing but without anything in the middle. Sure. Let me pull up FTA for you guys real quick and this is I will share my screen and show you guys the computer interface.
Okay, so here we are on ft eight. And let me just switch over where you are gone 40 meters tonight. So what this is, is this is an application running on my computer and I’m going to kind of explain how this is set up. So there is a USB cable running from my computer. To my radio. The great part about the icom 7300 is that you can do everything through that one USB cable, it can control the radio as in, hey, switch this frequency, switch to this mode, do this do that it can tell the radio through cat control what to do, but it can also send and receive audio signals. So on some other radios, you might need an actual audio card like a USB audio card that can and then you would run to like a headphone cable and a microphone cable into that but with the size 7300 is just one cable, which makes things really nice. But what we’ve done here is we’re using a program called Ws JT, and this application allows us to operate with multiple different modes of digital hf modes, but ft eight is the one we’re doing.
So right now what we’ve done is we’ve told the radio via this program to go in tune to 7.074 megahertz and that is there’s a designated frequency for different Digital protocols. So for FTA, on 40 meters, that’s the frequency people are going to turn turn to, for FTA. So you got to think if they didn’t have that you have to scroll all through the band to try and find just one FTA signal. So this puts it into a centralized location. And so what I’m doing right now is the way FTA works is there’s a listening period, and a sending period. So where every time you see this blue progression bar, so we’re and I think it’s 15 seconds, I believe it’s 15 seconds. I don’t know that facto, I think it’s 15 second periods. So we’re listening. We’re listening. We’re listening. And you see that decode pop up.
So it’s hearing signals, hearing signals, and then over on the left, here’s what spitting out. And what it’s spitting out. It might be hard for you guys to see. But literally what it’s telling me is how strong of a signal that I just hear what frequency I hear it on because although it’s 17 or seven out oh four, there’s little tiny segments of that frequency that it’s using. So what exact frequency is it using and then what is the message that was sent. So you could technically send anything with FTA. You could type in any message you want, if you really wanted to the way the program works and the way the whole system is set up is there is a certain cadence to the conversation. And the cadence goes, I’m calling CQ, which is CQ is saying, Hey, I’m looking for people to talk to someone, someone reach out to me, I’m seeking you his way people think about I’m seeking you. And then when someone hears back they say, Yep, I heard you And hey, you’re you were this strong to me.
And then if the person who called CQ usually responds to the first person who respond to them, they’ll give them back their signal report will say, Okay, cool. Thank you. 73. Goodbye. And that’s it. It’s a very quick back and forth conversation. So this is not a chat room. This is not Hey, how’s it going? How are you? This is literally just contact quick and easy contacts. There are definitely protocols to use, like riddhi and things like that, or you can have more of a textile conversation. This is really fun because you start to see how far your radio can go. So Let me just as an example, let’s pick one of these guys calling CQ. So let’s wait for this receive to go through. Okay, so guidons in green are our CPUs.
So we’re double clicking. So right now my radio is transmitting. So you heard it you might you heard a click was actually tuning I forgot to hit the tune button before so it was using the internal tuner to tune. So what we just said here was, hey, callsign of this guy Kf. For UDL. It’s w zero, Eg R, which is me. And this is my grid square. This is where I’m located. And we’ll see if he picks us we’ll see if number one he can hear us. And then number two, if he responds, he did. So here’s him. So he said w zero gr. This is him Kf. For UDL. You’re a negative 12 Db to me. And so now I’m responding now my my radio is transmitting, it is all automatic. I didn’t have to click this. See it’s flowing through these messages down the right side, based off what he’s saying. So he gave me a signal report of five negative five dbx and so he should come back here and say rrr
Yep, he actually combined it. So he does our our 7373 means Have a great day. Good, good talking to you. And then you guys can’t say so much sharing but my software just came up here to log this conversation in my logging software. And that’s it. That was the entire conversation. So right now my radio is transmitting 73 CCI said Kf or UDL. It’s w three gr 73. And there we go.
That is that is the end of the conversation. So what we saw there was a guy was out there calling CQ and by the way, he was 845 miles away from me. So it says right down here, it looks up his call sciences how far away he is. The other thing you can do now for fun if you want to is you could open up your qq rz.com Qr Zed, and you could type in his callsign and we can read all about him his bio, who is he? He might have some pictures up there for his profile, what he’s into things like that. But that is literally so the quick back and forth.
So let’s do the opposite real quick. I’m going to call CQ And my computer’s gonna wait, because we’re right now in the receiving portion of our time slot. So as soon as this bar gets done and now my radio is transmitting, so it’s putting out 100 watts through my radio. So all this is happening, my computer is generating what to send. It’s doing the signal. It’s saying that’s my radio. My radio is pushing out the CO x to the antenna in my backyard, pushing out 100 watts, and it with a message it’s saying digitally is CQ, CQ, my callsign whiskey zero echo golf Romeo with my grid square and we’ll see if anyone comes back.
Unknown Speaker [1:05:33]
No wonder the lawn is dead. Push 100 watts bouncing off the lawn.
Mike Wieger [1:05:39]
So someone did so someone sent back so we’re talking to Victor alpha three. Foxtrot Foxtrot and he is also 194 miles much of really good skip to someplace 894 miles away. Real quick, I’m gonna look up this call sign while I’m talking to you guys and see where this guy is. Just for fun. So again, we are located in Omaha, Nebraska. And this guy is
Jim Collison [1:06:12]
what site are you using to look it up
Mike Wieger [1:06:13]
qR z calm. It’s called cute qR Zed people. Name radio. Can you refer to
Jim Collison [1:06:22]
some a three, three letter URL that’s pretty great. Like somebody grabbed that thing early.
Mike Wieger [1:06:29]
So this guy’s actually in Canada. This is Igor. He lives in Brampton, Ontario. And that’s who we’re talking to you right now. So actually, we just got through the whole conversation in that time that we were talking. So what happened was, you know, we called CQ, he came back to me, and he gave his grid square. I was a really strong signal to him, I was only a negative one dB. And he was actually really strong to me, he was zero dB. And that was the whole conversation right there.
Jim Collison [1:07:00]
Ron says that somewhere in Toronto. Okay. Yeah. Mike, I’m kind of thinking we need to the November, virtual meetup needs to be ham. That’s, I think, like fun. Like, I think that would probably be a good, it’d be fun to get some folks together. Maybe we do, you know, morning and an afternoon, meet up and get some folks involved. Kind of, you know, get a group together, talk about it, do some things, see if you can reach each other. I mean, it’d be kind of fun. I think it’d be and then for folks who are interested in and maybe getting into ham, you know, I kind of I think I said this to you the last time you were in. I thought that was dead, like CB radio, but apparently not. Douglas. Douglas had jumped in earlier and said I’m a volunteer first responder firefighter during emergency ham operators are critical to getting information out to the public. They’re part of the emergency center during disasters, and so I think we’ve We’ve talked about that before but I again I this is I just until you got into this I just kind of thought
Mike Wieger [1:08:06]
Well, to be honest, I think the you know, I have to give a lot of credit to there are a few YouTubers, some big YouTubers, well, big in terms of they got big because of Ham Radio, and they are doing such a good job getting people like me into ham radio, right because there’s a whole generation who lives on YouTube. And it’s really if it weren’t for their videos and they’re always talking about new antennas. And you know, these are these are younger guys to write though a lot of them are my age, there’s a few of them that are older. And and that’s been huge because there’s a lot of education. It’s the way I learned I learned through YouTube.
And what since there’s now a community there, there wasn’t a really a ham radio community. I mean, there might have been your niche guy, probably a really small YouTuber, but there are now probably 10 to 12 to 15 of just guys who are doing car crank out a bunch of really Good Ham Radio content. And I think that’s what’s you know, driving a lot of people into this because I’m a part of their discord in their Facebook groups. And I mean, there are just thousands and thousands and thousands of people and so many comments of
Hey, just got my callsign today and all the new people. So yeah, I don’t know what caused the resurgence in this I will say, I mean, I would love to see the numbers on how many new hands each year, how many new call signs are, are issued? And see if that number has gone up. I feel like it probably has, I don’t know, maybe that’s just my feeling because I’m into it now. You know, it’s because I have the red car everyone has a red car. But yeah, it’s it’s it’s a it’s a lot of fun. Yeah, it’s interesting.
Jim Collison [1:09:37]
Again, I thought those days were gone. But but certainly not. And I think they go in cycles, you know, kind of it kind of goes in waves. It’s like social media networks. Now, there’s enough operators. I mean, you know, that was again, that was a kind of a generational thing that I thought would die with kind of my ex is actually really popular with the generation ahead of me. So, people now who are in their late 60s, early 70s, that would have been really, really popular during their adult life, let’s say in the 80s, maybe 70s and 80s.
And now, you know, it’s getting young people back into and just the fact that you take this test and that they still have it available, and that it’s done digitally I mean, that people are still caring about it would be would be super cool. Ron is trying to do everything he can to get me into this. It wasn’t it wasn’t No, I know how much fun it is. It wasn’t long ago. I was quoted as saying I need a Raspberry Pi like I need to hold my head there was when those first came out everybody’s like you need to get into this I’m like, I have enough things I’m into at this point but but no super good for you. I’m gonna like a lot of things Mike, I’m gonna live vicariously through you. That’s why I have you on here. So we’ll we’ll get together and and and do some things around. I’m sure it’ll come back as a subject here on Home Gadget Geeks for a while until next week when Mike sells all his gear. Yeah, no just kidding. I’m just kidding Mike anything else we didn’t cover.
Mike Wieger [1:11:10]
The only thing I want to mention and this is actually Ham Radio but not Ham Radio can be used in multiple areas. I discovered the power of Anderson powerpole connectors. And I don’t know if any of you guys have ever used Anderson power pole connectors, but this is generally what they look like. I’ll pull one out here and I have put them on literally everything and I’m probably everything in my home is probably going to get one of these Anderson power poles.
So here’s why they’re awesome. So there’s a way of crimping but you would put this little plastic end onto any sort of power lead or wire for that matter if you’re connecting wire and need to plug into another wire for any reason. You could put but there’s a there’s a white or a red one sorry and a black one so you could have your positive and your neutral wire and you can put them together so I have these on all my radios on all my batteries. But here’s why they’re awesome is because it doesn’t matter that it’s the same connector.
This could be an hour either end, they just snap together. And these ones don’t have wires I’m not going to do either I just realized that but they just they just snap together so then these two connect and they’re universal so like any n can connect to any other end and then you have the same connector on everything you need you know when you think of usually you might be putting some you might be putting some other sort of terminal on there you might be putting a ring terminal you might be putting on these little these little I don’t know if there’s a call to a plate at home. Yeah, a little pin head you might have all you might have rings and and all sorts of loops. hooks. Yeah, thank you. Thank you. I wasn’t thinking of all the different names.
Jim Collison [1:12:41]
I used to be an electrician So did you really no not really I know in the army I was but it’s like I as 1000 years ago.
Mike Wieger [1:12:47]
Yeah. But But these Anderson power poles they I don’t know why Ham Radio adopted them. They become pretty standard so much so but on the front of my power supply. I actually have Anderson power pole connectors built into the power supply So Ham Radio kind of adopted them but man they are just the most handy thing ever. So now instead of unscrewing a ring terminal when I can connect from my power supply to take this thing mobile everything even this battery I retrofitted this battery now it has it just has two wires with Anderson power poles on it so I can offload from the power supply plug into here.
So yeah, if you guys um, Anderson is up and I think Anderson is probably like the proper who invented them. When I ordered these obviously, I think these must be knockoffs but they’re just from Amazon. This is made by less tech. So they just call it a connector kit. They don’t really have a name on them. But if you search Anderson powerpole you’ll you’ll find they are super easy to put on. There’s one internal metal piece the clamp down. You do need the power pole ratchet little wrench to tighten them down the crimper but once you have the crimper and these, man, I’m just I’ve literally been trying to what else can I powerpole Is this the best thing ever? I’m probably gonna retro Get a little light from my mobile
Jim Collison [1:14:01]
stripping the wires behind your TV box and yeah,
Mike Wieger [1:14:05]
Anderson, Anderson everything like I don’t know, why did you need to cut that? No, I just wanted the connector.
Why doesn’t the Xbox work? Well, HDMI over powerpole didn’t work as I expected. Neither did Ethernet. We also have no internet. Okay, this hobby got really out of hand. And now
Jim Collison [1:14:23]
I got a little crazy. I go. No, that’s super cool.
Mike Wieger [1:14:26]
Yeah, you know, that’s the only thing at a time there’s a lot Jim we can I mean, this, this show will read for hours. So we’ll save We’ll separate this out maybe once or twice a year have a conversation on ham radio and, and kind of I can fill you guys in on what I’m I’m working on at the time. There’s a lot of other digital modes I want to try out. But pota is going to be my thing. Like I think that is that’s really what I want to do.
Jim Collison [1:14:48]
Yeah, take some pictures. There’s lots of things you can do here. You know, one of the things I’ve loved about hosting the show for 10 years is just the variety we get like the ability to have a ham conversation. You know, last week we talked about On geeks this week, ham geeks, right? I mean in for me, I mean, for some people that seems a little fragmented. But for me, it’s just the breath of knowing these things. I mean, getting an hour and some change of a deep dive into ham radio. Now I kind of can have a fairly intelligent conversation with somebody about him, right? Yeah. And just exactly at least know of it or be aware of it or what’s going on, right.
And so I just love, I love hosting the variety that we get to have. So if you’re even a longtime listener, Home Gadget Geeks, thank you for being around for the last 10 years and didn’t put up with these shenanigans. But I do feel like it’s just it is Mike we kind of have a niche that’s not a niche. Like, there’s not a lot of variety show tech variety. It’s mostly tech niche, right?
They get Yeah, they go super deep on one topic and and we have the ability to kind of do whatever we want which is I think which is super cool. For the for the 10 or so who’s come to join us live and for the thousand or so that listen on a regular on a weekly basis. Thank you for listening and thanks for kind of putting up with these shenanigans. I should say, you know if you’re interested in a topic and I get this from time to time and by the way, I can’t fulfill every topic, but you want to get back on the right side. There we go. We we’d love to hear from you. So send me an email Jim, at the average guy TV. If you got a topic in our discord group, those come up from time to time. There’s been some there was some discussion in the network in the discord group about some networking, like, hey, let’s do a show on networking.
And then we had some conversations and Justin got really deep, very, very fast. And I think it was bust out was like, well, that’s a little more than I was thinking I think I could have those names wrong, but but it’s great. Well, you know, we get those we get those kinds of opportunities.
In fact, we’ve lined up my beginning I’ve begun to line up some folks coming back, Kyle’s coming back to talk a little bit about some networking and camera gear that he’s learned through the pandemic. Kristen Nessie, he’s gonna come back and talk a little bit now that we know he remember he was on kind of early in the pandemic and they’ll have some kind of an update, getting Nathaniel back as well what the school district do and what are they doing and some of his stuff.
We’ll dive in a little bit deeper on some of the tech that he’s doing. Erin Lawrence be back in in November to talk about things and of course, the big show the December 3 Home Gadget Geeks 10 Year Anniversary Show, you’re not gonna want to miss that. I’d love to get as many people live as I could. If you made it this far in the show. You’re pretty engaged. If you never made it on Thursday night, come join us December 3 live Christians coming back that’s already not in. Try to get Zajdler I need to get Andrew Morrison fact. Andrew, if you’re listening to this, contact me. I’ll try to remember you. And we have a 10th Anniversary Show. So we’re super excited about that. Mike, anything else before I can wrap this?
Mike Wieger [1:17:55]
No, I appreciate all the new guys in the chat. I know there’s a few of you. Ham Radio people in the chat though. On I know we had, who was it November eight, Oscar Quebec pause out there from Akron and dumbing it down. Dave I think maybe also Henry a person I know. So Bristow new people in the chat to his job, I hope, hope it was a decent conversation. If you guys have any questions, I will say, I know that Ham Radio can be like, how do I get started? Where do I take my test, things like that. Feel free to hit me up. easiest place on that probably Twitter, just send me a Twitter dm. My Twitter is at Wieger tech vi Eg er, tech, or my website is my callsign. So whiskey zero echo golf romeo.com you can actually go to that website, my Ham Radio emails there. I plan on kind of posting some more content out there. So you can go there and any questions, hit me up,
Jim Collison [1:18:41]
update the show notes with all that stuff too. So you can just bring it over again. So if you’re joining us for the first time you’re coming in on ham, we don’t do this every week. But if if you like it, um, chances are it’s gonna come back. I’m just gonna, just gonna say
A couple reminders. Before we go. I want to thank everyone who, who joins us on Patreon each and every week. kind of mentioned in the beginning of the show, we’re gonna do a Patreon meetup. So for all the folks who are currently supporting and if you get in before the 24th, so September 24, you don’t even have to, if you join Patreon now, they won’t even bill you till the end of the month. So, if you want to jump in, before the 24th, I’ll get you in on that little, little meetup that we’re going to do kind of talk a little bit about like, I want to get some opinions on what you guys think about meetups for the future. Of course, we’re going to do in virtual for now eventually we’ll get back in person but you guys have been dogging me for so long. To do a meet up, this is the very beginning of it. And so September 24 2020, just get in before that and you can join us on that. It’ll be 630 to 730 Central before the show and just an hour to kind of get together and goof around and kind of have some conversations I want to listen to your opinion, theaverageguy.tv/Patreon if you want to get in on that. And I just really have one plan. I think it’s five bucks. So if you want to jump in and support the show, I always appreciate that that helps out as well.
I mentioned Discord. If you want to jump in there, the average guy TV slash discord will get you in that group. And and we get a few folks who still join us over there a lot of conversation on the Facebook page, the average guy.tv slash Facebook that will get you there. If you want to contact me at its Jim at the average guy.tv and we’d love to have your show suggestions on twitter at Jay Collison at Wieger tech for Mike if you want to follow him over there.
Of course, the average guy.tv both web and media hosting powered by Maple Grove Partners get secure reliable high speed hosting for people you know you can trust and actually the team Christian and the team over there at Maple Grove Partners and we just did Cyber Frontiers with Christian on Monday it’s it hasn’t been produced yet but for for you listening on the podcast, it’s probably out by now because I’m going to get it out this weekend. Christian spend a little bit of time we’re going to talk about his new infrastructure there at Maple Grove Partners Mike pretty cool like that. You know what I need to do you me and we’ll interview Christian talking on Cyber Frontiers talking about its infrastructure because it’s it’s Super cool now Yeah, he’s got some great stuff planned start at 10 bucks. It’s really, if you’re a podcaster or you just want a website, it’s really the most affordable plans.
Mike Wieger [1:21:08]
And doing Christian it’s like Fort Knox like good luck getting in there.
Jim Collison [1:21:11]
No, no, it’s super great. It’s it’s just super great. So I’m gonna get a chance to see him here here in a couple weeks. And we’re excited about that as well. So Maple Grove partners.com and he’s been a big sponsor and supporter of the show for the last 10 years so he’ll be on the 10 Year Anniversary Show as well.
And then one more thing the average guy TV slash hellofresh if you want to just just one word hellofresh if you want to jump in there, Mike, I was going to show something really quick since we’re at the end of the show. Anyways, let me let me get the let me let me for just a second let me make you hungry cuz like,
Mike Wieger [1:21:44]
I need that right now. I’m gonna
Jim Collison [1:21:45]
tell you like this is this week for us. This is Sarah and I need they’ve got oh four people meals and they got two people meals and you can get two or four three. You got some variety. This is this week. So Sonic fig chicken which is tomorrow night. It’s Sitting in the fridge waiting for me to cook this thing right?
Mike Wieger [1:22:02]
walnut crusted chicken looks at
Jim Collison [1:22:05]
oh we heard that that one yeah we had that last night okay they actually sent us the pans in this case for both the broccoli and the chicken. They sent little little pants a little tin foil pans. So I didn’t even have to I literally didn’t have to get any pans out to get this done. So that that was the the walnut crusted chicken was actually they say it’s a 20 minute meal. It was actually a 20 minute meal. In fact it was boring like I’m used to chopping and cutting and getting the getting the food ready and such.
But this walnut crusted chicken was was just it was super easy. In fact, we added our own toast we wanted they sent one you know thing a toast we want it to so we made our own, which is super great. You can you can add to it, you can do different things with it. With this with the Sicilian penny. We actually I went by family fare and picked up some fish. And so we got some salmon and and baked salmon with it. So it’s a vegetarian meal. We added our own to it so you can there’s tons of things you can do custom with it. It’s just been pretty great. And of course, if you want to see what’s coming up, you can just up from the website you can see the meals that are coming up. I think next week, this bulgogi that we’ve been doing has been dynamite.
We love there there that we have a spicy Maple chicken coming in some buffalo chicken tacos like, dude, dude, let me just say it has been in. And for me, it has just been I mean, during this time, and just part of the life I’m in. It’s just been so great to have those ready and have a couple of meals and not be like, oh, what are we going to do for dinner tonight? Yeah, so the average guy TV slash hellofresh get 40 bucks off your first just try one for one month and I cancel I feel like whatever. I you know, I’ve been doing it for two years now. And they just they are just life changing to me and so we’re gonna be talking about them through the month of September, a little bit more. And if you want to join again, the average guy.tv slash hellofresh I need to go get a snack
Mike Wieger [1:24:00]
I wish I was like, I don’t have that gym and the only thing open right now is Taco Bell. So
Jim Collison [1:24:05]
I know. I know. Now we
Mike Wieger [1:24:07]
are not as good. Oh
Jim Collison [1:24:09]
yeah, it’s good thinking about it though Taco Bell is one of those where you’re like, then that’s gonna be so good. And then you’re like that was so bad. What was I thinking we are live every Thursday pm Central nine Eastern out here at the average guy TV slash live. I mentioned a whole bunch of things that are coming up, you’re gonna want to you’re gonna want to stay close. between now and the end of the year. We got a ton of great stuff coming up. I’m excited for it.
We got some meetups coming up. September 24 meetup that’ll Patreon subscribers. Do a open public meetup on October 24. That’s coming up kind of around grilling but you ruined smoking but you don’t have to do that. It’s just going to be a day a couple times for you guys to check in. Stay close. I’ll have some details coming up here next week. For those. For those who are listening live. stay around for a little bit in the post show. With that, we’ll say goodbye.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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