First off, I’d like to thank all my viewers and subscribers of my Youtube channel. This channel is pushing 3,000 subscribers, which is pretty amazing. The videos themselves are getting at least 10,000 views per month and the view count is creeping towards 15,000 views a month. Once again, thank you so much for the support. I’m gonna call out one such viewer. Buzz aka Buzzsah sent me this great sticker promoting his channel. Go ahead and check it out, he’s got a variety of amateur radio, DIY, and general daily activity videos there.

I do read all the comments on my videos and answer the questions the best I can. The last few videos generated a few great questions that aren’t substantial enough for a video themselves. So I thought I’d group them together here.

First off, In my Buying your First Amateur Radio, JRHali asks: If you had a general ticket, an 10-80 meter HF transceiver and had only 1 simple dipole antenna…what band would you choose to operate voice?

That’s a great question. I’d say if I had one simple dipole, I’d want it cut for the 40m band. I think 40m is a great combination of regional communications and DX when the band opens. The antenna isn’t outrageously long, so it is easy to set up. Plus a 40m dipole will also work on the 15m band, so I get two bands for one simple antenna.

In my Why You Should Upgrade to your Amateur Extra License video, I received this comment from multiple people: I have no plans to upgrade from an Advanced Class license.

I totally get the reason why you wouldn’t want to upgrade from Advanced to Extra. The difference in additional frequency privileges is minor between Advanced and Extra. And frankly, many Advanced level licensees feel that the exam they took to get to Advanced was tougher than the Extra exam. Since no more Advanced licenses are being issued, it’s kind of special to still possess that license. At least that’s the feeling my Advanced level friends have. Honestly, I think the FCC should have given advanced class licensees the option to paper upgrade like they did with the pre 1987 Technician license holders.

Another question: What’s the level or is there a level beyond Amateur Extra

If you want to keep studying and achieving, I’d recommend you check out the FCC Commercial Radio Operator license. Even if you don’t work in the radio communication industry, there no reason why you can’t posses those licenses and endorsements.

An finally, I received a question on the video: Tape Measure Beam Antenna. Can you please explain the hairpin match and how it affects overall performance.

Without any type of match, yagi antennas tend to exhibit a low impedance of about 25 Ohms. So without the match, the SWR would be 2:1 The hairpin match is a calculated piece of wire that joins the driven elements together and adds just enough inductance to bring the impedance at the feed point of the antenna up to 50 Ohms. The June 2013 issue of QST magazine has a great article on Hairpin Matches. A link to the article can be found in the video description.

Holiday Gift Guide

Coming up after the Thanksgiving weekend will be my annual holiday gift guide video. In these videos I highlight gifts of all price ranges that would be of interest to hams. Do you have a gift idea for a ham or a wish for an item you’d like to receive? Leave a comment below and I may include it in the video.

Holiday Hours

As many of you may know, my main line of income is building and selling VHF and UHF antennas. During the holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Years, production and shipping slow down a bit. So if you are planning to purchase an antenna as a gift, please allow a bit of extra time in the delivery. I make every effort to get all orders out before Christmas, but orders received by Wednesday December 20th can be guaranteed for Christmas delivery, so please keep that in mind.

WVRA Calendars

Our local amateur radio club, the Wisconsin Valley Radio Association located in North Central Wisconsin does an annual fund raiser to help keep the repeaters on the air and advance amateur radio in the community. This year’s calendar is filled with images of various amateur radio activities during the past year. You may even recognize some of the images if you are a regular viewer of my videos. The calendars are available on my website for $9 plus shipping. All the proceeds go directly to the club. They make great gifts, so consider ordering one today.