Possibly in the 90s you saw the British TV show called “The Secret Life of Machines”. It featured maker and cartoonist Tim Hunkin. I hadn’t seen anything about him in years, but he recently started a YouTube channel and started a new series of videos called “The Secret Life of Components”.
Though not ham radio specific, it discusses many things that still may be of interest. Six have been released and they are still being released about 1 per week. Prominently featured are his hand-built arcade/novelty machines.
His Secret Life of Machines shows have been remastered for his YouTube channel.
Though some of the topics might seem elementary, I find I learn something in every episode.
The Kenwood TS-890 is now for sale. Here is a recent YouTube video by a new owner. This radio is a down conversion superhet, with some amazing specs. The bad news is the initial price is over $4K. But it out performs many more expensive radios, at least in close-in dynamic range numbers.
A YouTube Channel I watch regularly. This is a good example of one of his typical videos. He is German, speaking in English, and it is a bit slow moving at times. I usually speed it up to 1.25 X normal speed. This is an excellent example of his methodical troubleshooting techniques to narrow down the problem – even on a modern type radio. No real special equipment used in this video. A multimeter is the main tool, but a signal generator is used, and a scope briefly, but really not necessary.
You might have read about a new digital mode in QST this month. Apparently it was part of a pre-release version of WSJT-X, but it is already in wide use. If you saw our program on JT65 last fall, or have used JT65, this is very similar. In JT65 each exchange is 1 minute, and a full QSO takes 5 minutes. In FT8, an exchange is 15 seconds, and a QSO takes about 1 minute and 15 seconds or 1 1/2 minutes.
JT65 obviously allows contacts with weaker stations, but FT8 is substantially quicker to complete a QSO.
Because of the minimal time allowed between decoding a transmission a the start of the next one (2 seconds), FT8 usually requires auto-sequencing of the standard exchanges. This makes the QSO almost automated (except for choosing the station to contact or calling CQ).
This might make FT8 more fun, or less fun, depending on your point-of-view.
If JT65 was boring for you because of the length of each transmission, FT8 is a mode you might want to try.
Search WSJT-X, and download the latest version (currently a version 1.8 Release candidate. The released version doesn’t have FT8)
Mr. Carlson is VE7ZWZ. He has an amazing shop full of test equipment. It seems like his videos are intended for a wide audience, so depending on your point of view, it may be too basic or too advanced. But most people will probably learn something.
I’m s sorry I don’t know who this is. His videos are mostly repair of ham radio gear. He sounds German, or from that area of Europe. His English is very good. The videos are fairly slow paced but quite thorough. His explanations of his troubleshooting strategies is excellent.