The Ham Radio College

formerly -- Kila, the Magic Husky's Ham Radio College

previsouly featuring Kila and her Trusty Sidekick, Ben

Kila Regal

in which a Nerd and a Rocket Scientist teach radio listeners how to become Ham Radio Operators and Electronics Experimenters. Sadly, Kila the Magic Husky is no longer with us so Ben is left to be guided by Wolfie Amadeos, a lovely apricot colored Husky-Wolf hybrid who is only 4 years old (so he doesn't do as well as Kila used to in keeping Ben on topic).

The show began on February 15, 2016 and is broadcast every Monday afternoon from 1pm until 2pm on radio station KPFZ 88.1 MHz FM in Lake County, CA. You can click on the episodes in the list below to listen to them or download them and listen at your leisure. And, before I forget, Here are more pictures of Kila.

Starting around the week of April 24, 2017, my friend Alan Spivak, WA6JBK who has a degree in Chemical Engineering and has worked at NASA has become a regular co-host of the show. The show originally launched as, "Kila the Magic Husky's Ham Radio College". But beginning the first week of November, 2017, one year after Kila died, the show will now be called, simply "The Ham Radio College" Apparently, not enough people voted for "Wolfie's Wide Wonderful World of Wadio".

Wolfie

Every show will be a variety of annecdotes, stories, interviews, announcements, explanations and listener call-ins explaning how Ham Radio is used and why and how to put together a station and where and how to buy or build radios and antennas and various operating practices. Here, for instance, is a partial list of a few famous persons who are or were ham radio operators.

It is my intention to make a set of shows to which you can listen which will be a continuing series of classes in everything you need to know to pass your Ham Radio Technician Class License Examination. Here is a general outline of coursework which will be covered. I haven't done as good a job as I wanted in the beginning, but if you want to get your Technician Class License as quickly as possible, just listen to shows 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 (or, after June, 2018, the ten episodes from 113 to 122) and you will already know more than enough. Otherwise, you can simply read all of the questions in The FCC's "Written Element 2" question pool along with their answers once or twice through and then take the test, depending on your own study skills. You'll still need to listen to a few of the shows about operating procedures such as 3 and 28, but you'll be ready to go quickly that way. Keep in mind that this question pool will be changed on July 1st, 2018.

Wolfie There are three different kinds or "classes" of Amatuer Radio Licenses. They increase in difficulty of examination and greater operating priveleges. They are called, "Technician", "General" and "Extra" class in that order. That is, the easiest license class to get is a Technician Class License which allows you to talk on 2 meter repeaters using handi-talkies and mobile and base VHF and UHF rigs. You can also communicate via Amateur Radio Satellites with a Technician Class License. The big change with a General Class License is that you're allowed to talk all over the world on HF (high frequency; 3-30 Mhz) bands. Extra Class Licensees can do anything an Amateur Radio Operator is allowed to do including becoming a Volunteer Examiner and administer Amateur Radio Exams for the FCC. Some of these terms won't mean much to you until you've listened to my show for a few weeks. :o)

If, after taking this course, you find the technician class Amateur Radio Exam to be too easy, you can always take your General and/or Extra class exam at the same sitting! In the Olden Days it used to be required for you to know Morse Code to get an Amateur Radio License. This is no longer the case. You need only get 27 out of 35 multiple-choice questions correct on the technician class license exam which is composed entirely of questions taken from the official question pool (There are a total of 470 questions in the technician class License Examination pool -- I knew you'd ask).

  • What do we need for this course?

    If you see something I've missed or gotten wrong, please PLEASE PLEASE Let me know!. I am happy to argue with, err -- I mean -- gratiously accept criticism of my lesson plan. I very much welcome assistance, because I don't know all this stuff as well as I want so I will learn more of it by teaching (I hope!).

    Whenever you feel you are ready to take your Amatuer Radio Exam, I can put you in touch with the Volunteer Examiners in Lake County, California. They just ask for 3 weeks' notice before they can schedule an exam just for you or you can attend one of the regularly scheduled exams. They will also ask for a $15 fee to administer the exam. The FCC actually mandates this fee. This year, the fee is $15. If you don't live in the area, you can look here for volunteer examiners in your area. Or you can visit the Lake County Amateur Radio Society"s page. If you would prefer study guides and sample test questions, Here is the second rough draft of the study guide I've been writing and there is also a breif list of additional materials at the bottom of this page, after the list of shows.

    Majestic Husky

    Here are all the shows, available to download or stream for free!

    In the table below, the dates link to specific mp3 files of the individal shows and the topics link to a page of notes for study about each show, where available. To listen to a show, click on either the date or click the topic to go to that show's study page and you can listen to it there, while you study. To download a show to a Macintosh, control-click or right-click on one of the show dates, below and choose "Download Linked File...". To download an episode to a PC running Windows, right-click on one of the dates below and choose "Save Target as...".

    #WhenTopics
    128August 13th, 2018 Electronic Components n'stuff.
    127August 6th, 2018 Due to the Ranch and River fires, this episode is entirely dedicated to live coverage and has only tiny bits related to ham radio, electronics or science.
    July 30th, 2018 Due to the Ranch and River fires, the city of Lakeport, CA was evacuated and no show could be transmitted.
    126July 23rd, 2018 More International Morse Code Language, installing mobile radios in cars or homes
    125July 16th, 2018 Test Equipment for Radio Repair, Antennas, various political opinions
    124July 9th, 2018 Pranking using (not very) smart internet devices, cellphone (in)security, optical gyroscopes, The Differential Time Rate Meter, International Morse Code Language, SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5
    123July 2nd, 2018 FM Operation, CTCSS, DCS, Repeaters, Inmate Firefighers, Service Monitors, Iso-T"s, Modern Monetery Theory; Everyone should talk about religion and politics with people you disagree with and practice doing so respectfully.
    122June 25th, 2018 Back to basics 9 -- International Morse Code language and other ham radio cultural jargon; Balasts for flourescent lights
    121June 18th, 2018 Back to basics 8 -- 2 hrs -- Radio Frequency Emissions Exposure and FCC Rules and Regulations and Black Music History. And degousing. Accidentally cut off the first few minutes, though. Sorry.
    120June 11th, 2018 Back to basics 7 -- Amplifiers and Feedlines and Antennas and The Ionoshere. Effective Radiated Power. Episode 13 Review.
    119June 4th, 2018 Local Election Coverage and Back to basics 6 -- 2 hrs -- In the fist hour, we interview Bruno Sabatier, a Candidate for District 2 County Supervisor. Then, at 58 minutes and around 52 seconds, we start the second hour: Transmission Modes, Modulation Techniques (CW, AM, FM, SSB) and digital modes of transmission. Episode 12 Review. Feedlines, Standard Coax cables, standard connectors, SWR, Antenna Analyzers, TDRs, Velocity Factor, Decibles and S-Units. Antennas, Omni and Directional. Polarization. Antenna Tuners or Transmatches.
    118May 28th, 2018 Local Election Coverage -- Joyce Overton, Candidate for District 2 County Supervisor
    117May 21st, 2018 Back to basics 5 -- 2 hrs -- Diodes and Transistors, Rectifiers and Power Supplies, NPN vs PNP, Switching vs Amplification applications of transistors. Attenuators, Amplifiers and their classes, Oscillators and their types. Power Inverters. Mixers & Filters. Superheterodyne Radio Operation. Terms: AF, IF and RF. (Audio Frequency; Intermediate Frequency & Radio Frequency). Mount Konokti Documentary
    116May 14th, 2018 Back to basics 4 -- Capacitors and Inductors in Alternating Current Circuits, Sine Waves, Peak vs RMS Voltage, Reactance, Impeadance and Resonance. Microphones and Speakers, Transformers and Chokes.
    115May 7th, 2018 Back to basics 3 -- Capacitors and Inductors in Direct Current Circuits, including Tantilum Capacitors made from the Conflict Mineral, Coltan which is required to make all cellular phones. Review of Episode 5 material.
    114April 30th, 2018 Back to basics 2 -- Insulators and Conductors and Semiconductors; Volts, Amps, Ohms and Watts. Review of Episode 3.
    113April 23rd, 2018 Back to basics 1 -- static and dynamic or "current" electricity; frequency and wavelength. Review of material from Episode 1 and 2.
    112April 16th, 2018 Yearly fundraising show. Ben and Alan are joined by Dave, AI6EL and Andy, the KPFZ Head Hancho
    111April 9th, 2018 Ben and Laurie got a flat tire. Alan was solo today, talking about measuring standards
    110April 2nd, 2018 Moble Phone Exercise apps, Satellites, Frequency Modulation and FM Stereo Multiplexing, meters and motors gr
    109March 26th, 2018 Ham Radio Activities, Old Ford cars
    108March 19th, 2018 The Seigler Peak Repeater, Mice in electronics, Lightning and Radiation. Ben and Alan are joined by Solar Scott
    107March 12th, 2018 Software Defined Radios verses Analog old-fasioned radios; Duplexers and Helical Resonators; Ionizing vs Radio Frequency Radiation
    106March 5th, 2018 Repairability and Computer Operating Systems and Joking Around. Ben and Alan are joined by Francis and Solar Scott
    105February 26th, 2018 Wires and Transmission Lines and Antennas. Weight Loss techniques. Packet Radio. Spectroscopy and x-ray crystalogrophy
    104February 19th, 2018 Alternatives to PG&E Tyrany. Home batteries with Photovoltaics, Wind, Goethermal, Lithium Flouride Molten Salt Thorium Reactors 'n stuff.
    103February 12th, 2018 Falcon Heavy Trajectory, The Ionosphere, biofeedback, hearing voices, waveguides, Jury Nullification, Civic Responsibility
    102February 5th, 2018 Impending Launch of the Falcon Heavy Rocket to Mars, 9-11 science, How aircraft stay up, Ford F250 Fuel Pumps. 5 miles is 26,400 feet. KPFZ transmitter link interference
    101January 29th, 2018 Losing weight, Wifi interferance, other stuff..
    100January 22nd, 2018 Low cost HF Transceivers, Mendocino Hams and their disaster work, linked repeaters, etc.
    99January 15th, 2018 Transmission modes (AM, Single Sideband, FM, CW), Quartz Crystal Oscillators, Falcon Heavy first mission n'stuff
    98January 8th, 2018 All about Ben's stroke and other stuff. Solar Scott joins Ben and Alan
    97New Year's Day, 2018 Dying Hobbies (I'm looking at you, film photography), Round Airports, Women in Russia, ARRL Corruption
    96Christmas Day, 2017 DC Resistance, AC Impedance, (Inductive and Capacitive Reactance), Ohm’s Law, Traditions, Racism
    95December 18th, 2017 Bitcoin, problems presented by capitalism, Potpourri
    94December 11th, 2017 Electricity, Direct Current, Resistance, Inductance and Capacitance. Alan and Solar Scott and I.
    93December 4th, 2017 The various plans, projects and companies of Elon Musk; a bit about the crowded radio tower on the mountain.
    92November 27th, 2017 Hardware and Software and Firmware; Operating Systems and Multitasking; malware & viruses; Mac vs PC
    91November 20th, 2017 How computers work and bittorrent, bitcoin and Ethereum explained
    90November 13th, 2017 Repeaters, more about Tracking down harmful interference, How do we buy electronics so cheaply from China, microprocessors and open source hardware and more about the frudulent 2016 Primary Election
    89November 6th, 2017 Ben & Alan discuss Tracking down harmful interference, lightning Rods and how computers work with Alan Spivak, WA6JBK
    88October 30th, 2017 Ben's Birthday (56); The history of oil's first billionaire; gyroscopes & flywheels, ...
    87October 23rd, 2017 Alan (WA6JBK) Repairs a professional studio CD player live on the air with Alan Spivak, WA6JBK and Solar Scott
    86October 16th, 2017 Flash Lightning, Charging money for the law (building codes, electrical, etc), with Alan Spivak, WA6JBK and various Fire updates with Besty Cawn. Sorry, recording cut off towrads the end.
    October 9th, 2017 coverage of the fires took place the week of October 9th, 2017.
    85October 2nd, 2017 Batteries, EMP, Outter Space and the New Star Trek shows with Alan Spivak, WA6JBK and Solar Scott
    84September 25th, 2017 Stringed Instruments, Oscilloscopes, RMS vs Peak Voltage and New Star Trek shows with Alan Spivak, WA6JBK. Solar Scott visits
    83September 18th, 2017 Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), Resonance and fancy Math with Alan Spivak, WA6JBK
    82September 11th, 2017 The Electromagnetic Spectrum, Resonance and 9/11 with Alan Spivak, WA6JBK
    81September 4th, 2017 Labor Day and More about The Electromagnetic Spectrum with Alan Spivak, WA6JBK
    80August 28th, 2017 The Electromagnetic Spectrum, Aliens, Meth and Nazis with Alan Spivak, WA6JBK
    79August 21st, 2017 House Wiring Overview with Alan Spivak, WA6JBK
    78August 14th, 2017 Solid Fuel Water Cooled vs Liquid Fuel Molten Salt Nuclear Reactors with Alan Spivak, WA6JBK
    77August 7th, 2017 The state of the world and other random nonesense with Alan Spivak, WA6JBK
    76July 31st, 2017 Theremins, Currency and Austarity n'stuff with Alan Spivak, WA6JBK
    75July 24th, 2017 Morse Code, Money ("Currency") and Depleted Uranium Munitions, with Alan Spivak, WA6JBK and Frances
    74July 17th, 2017 Computers, Operating Systems and how to survive our horrible government, with Alan Spivak, WA6JBK
    73July 10th, 2017 Astronomy and Radiation n'stuff with Alan Spivak, WA6JBK and Joyce Cader, KJ6ZVS from Willitz.
    72July 3rd, 2017 Algebra and Oscillators and Resonance n'stuff with Alan Spivak, WA6JBK
    71June 26th, 2017 The zero-ith, first and second laws of Thermodynamics with Alan Spivak, WA6JBK
    70June 19th, 2017 Fairness Doctrine, Field Day Stories, Elon Musk
    69June 12th, 2017 Electronic Voting Machine Tampering and the theft of The 2016 Democratic Primary Election and Artificial Cosmic Rays
    68June 5th, 2017 Energy and Bandwidth
    67May 29th, 2017 Operating Practices.
    66May 22nd, 2017 Grounding for Lightning and more radio stuff.
    65May 15th, 2017 Resistance, Capacitance, Inductance and Impeadance.
    64May 8th, 2017 Electric and Magnetic fields, Resonance and Disonance, Grounding.
    63Mayday, 2017 Using Radios in the Car, Beltane, Mainstream vs Alternative News, Bevatron vs Cyclotron.
    62April 24, 2017 KPFZ Pledge Week Alan Spivak, WA6JBK joins the show.
    61April 17th, 2017 Writing Radiograms, International and FCC rules, Sections 1 and 7 and the first part of section 2 of my study guide
    60April 10th, 2017 Sine Waves, AC Power and Section 8 -- Electrical Safety of my study guide
    59April 3rd, 2017 Grid Tied Solar Systems. Ross Eppler of Light Ray Electric guest stars
    58March 27th, 2017 Frequency Modulation, Phase Locked Loops, Analog and Digital Electronics. Dave AI6EL guest stars
    57March 20th, 2017 Technician Class Ham License Exam prep, 3 of 3
    56March 13th, 2017 Technician Class Ham License Exam prep, 2 of 3
    55March 6th, 2017 Technician Class Ham License Exam prep, 1 of 3
    54February 27th, 2017 Alan Spivak, WA6JBK is back again: Transistors and microwaves n'stuff
    53February 20th, 2017 Alan Spivak, WA6JBK is back again: Electromagnetic Vibration'n stuff
    52February 13th, 2017 Alan Spivak, WA6JBK is back: VHF and UHF Bands, Heat & Vibration, Hubble and LBL
    51February 6th, 2017 The Ionosphere and the High Frequency Bands
    50January 30th, 2017 Bandwidth, Batteries, Bannon and the Bible
    49January 23rd, 2017 The Electromagnetic Spectrum. GPS and GLONASS. Who owns the world and how. 20 ways to prepare for the impending Trumpocolpyse
    48January 16th, 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's words. The Electromagnetic Spectrum. How to prepare for the coming Trumpocolpyse
    47January 9th, 2017 Molecules and Atoms and Resistors, Capacitors and Inductors, Resonance and Filters
    46January 2nd, 2017 Raspberry Pi microcomputers, Repeaters, Resistors, Branches of Government- then and now
    45December 26th, 2016 Alternative Public Radio Communication Services (GMRS, FRS, MURS)
    44December 19th, 2016 Electronic Components and Medical Diagnostic Electronics
    43December 12th, 2016 Static and Current Electricity; AC and DC current electricity; AM and FM and SSB modulation
    42December 5th, 2016 Frequency Modulation. The War the Rich are waging against us.
    41November 28th, 2016 Frequency Modulation. The War the Rich are waging against us. The Dakota Access Pipleline verses the People of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
    40November 21st, 2016 Arduino Microcomputers and Rasberry Pi. AC and Frequency revisited.
    39November 14th, 2016 Microcomputers and Microprocessors.
    November 7th, 2016 Kila died this morning sometime between 01:30 and 8:00 am. A Prerecorded show was aired. She was a wonderful person and is sorely missed.
    38October 31st, 2016 Halloween! Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTR) and Elon Musk's Solar Roofing.
    37October 24th, 2016 Setting up a portable HF station. Electronic Components. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTR).
    36October 17th, 2016 Building my own repeater, Mustache Dave Hentricks Guest Stars. I apologize for the terrible audio quality; totally my fault. ~Ben.
    35October 10th, 2016 Multimeters and Oscilloscopes, Diodes, Transistors, Amplifiers, Oscillators, AM Modulation
    34October 3rd, 2016 Real world Solar Power, Electricity from the air, Bouncing signals off the moon, interplanitary communication and transportation.
    33September 26th, 2016 Capacitance and Inductance.
    32September 19th, 2016 Interview with Dave, W6NSE from Middletown. Aircraft and Broadcast Radio.
    31September 12th, 2016 Electricity, Magnetism, Resistance, Current, Voltage, Power
    30September 5th, 2016 Vibration, Energy, Resonance and Tuned Circuits.
    29August 29th, 2016 Repeaters, How they work and how to install them. Mustache Dave guest stars.
    28August 22nd, 2016 Repeaters, VHF/UHF Operating Practices. Len guest stars.
    27August 15th, 2016 Betsy Cawn and Alan Spivak, WA6JBK. Fire Radios, The Clayton Fire, The discovery of Antimatter, 12 volt power systems, How to buy a Ham Radio.
    26August 8th, 2016 Interview with Alan Spivak, WA6JBK. Building Radios from old TVs, Shipboard Electronics and Infared Telescopes.
    25August 1st, 2016 Electronic Construction, Computers, Arduino microcomputers, Copywrite Law, Open Source Hardware and Software
    24July 25th, 2016 The Olden Days, Public Service, Cell Tower Radiation Safety. Len guest stars.
    23July 18th, 2016 Review: Alternating Current, Microphones and speakers, Electromagnets, Frequency Modulation, Trade Agreements.
    22July 11th, 2016 SOTA, Low Power mountaintop operations, Callsigns, Comparing CB with GMRS. Repeater Interferance. Mel guest stars.
    21July 4th, 2016 Independance Day. Comparing a digital computer to a music box and explanation of the Bill of Rights and a little more about our government.
    20June 27th, 2016 The very beginnings of Digital Electronics, Gates, Memory, CPU Instructions, Firmware and Software.
    19June 20th, 2016 Review of Technician Class License Exam Pool Questions, a bit about the beginnings of computers and a call about FM Radio interference.
    18June 13th, 2016 Review of Frequency and Wavelength, Inductors and Capacitors, a little bit about Radiation, ionizing and other kinds, a few test questions.
    17June 6th, 2016 Stories from the 1980s; Review of 2m repeaters, HF, electronics. Tomorrow's Primary Election.
    16May 30th, 2016 In honor of Memorial Day, Matt Damon Reminds us to be civilly disobedient. We play some music and Rabble Rowse a little. Radio Dave guest stars.
    15May 23rd, 2016 The FCC Rules and Regulations Comedy Hour!
    14May 16th, 2016 Grounding and HF Stelth Antennas. The frequencies of ham bands. Radio Dave guest stars.
    13May 9th, 2016 HF Antennas and the Ionosphere. Radio Dave guest stars.
    12May 2nd, 2016 Decibles, Transmission Lines, Dipole and Vertical Antennas. Radio Dave guest stars.
    11April 25, 2016 Amplifiers Classes, Oscillators, Modulation Modes with examples, Democracy, Radio Dave guest stars.
    10April 18, 2016 Transistors, Amplifiers, Oscillators, Mixers, Superheterodyne Receivers, AM and FM Modulation
    9April 11, 2016 The story of Kila, Residential Power, Fuses, Circuit Breakers, Multimeters and Oscilloscopes
    8April 4, 2016 Interview with Radio Dave on his Solar Powered Home and Cars, Peak Oil, TPP and Diodes
    7March 28, 2016 Batteries, featuring an Interview with Peter of the Electric Underground
    6March 21, 2016 Review and More Interesting Inductors and Induction
    5March 14, 2016 Schematic Diagrams and Resistors, Capacitors and Inductors and more about Alternating Current
    4March 7, 2016 Interview with Solar Scott and the introduction to Alternating Current and Reading Schematics
    3February 29, 2016 Repeaters and Ohms, Amps, Volts and Watts; Ohm's Law; Resistance in series and parallel
    2February 22, 2016 What can we do with Ham Radio and the beginning study of Electricity
    1February 15, 2016 Introduction and beginning discussion of The Electromagnetic Spectrum
    0November, 2015 I was interviewed on The Tyra St. John show

    Here are some books and video lectures on electricity and electronics

    Here are some more Ham Radio specific study materials



    If you'd like to express your appreciation for the show using the medium of emailed gratitude, I'd love to hear from you! If however, you'd prefer to express your appreciation for the show using the medium of mere money, we'll gladly accept that too. Just go to the KPFZ website and click the Donate button on the right. Be sure to mention that you're donating for the sake of this show, so they know what folks like to hear!




    If you're a KPFZ associate producer and you'd like to see documentation on how to run the radio station, click here.
    Kila and her sidekick


    If I've made any mistakes, please Call me or email Kila or you can call us directly at (707) 413-6435.
    Here is my main website.