Keith's Ham Radio



"Paying It Forward"

When my two amateur radio "Elmers" (Jack Mitchell, AA8Q and Karl Thurber, W8FX (now a Silent Key)) first took me under their "wings" when I was a budding ham radio operator, both of them stressed the need for everyone in our wonderful hobby to "pay it forward"...that continually look for ways to introduce or strengthen what we do as amateur radio operators to others both within and outside the hobby.  

Each of my their own way... did exactly that.  Jack was one of the key committee members of the large Dayton Hamvention for several years and then took a turn as the show's General Chairman for two of those years.  Before his untimely death, Karl published a number of ham radio-related articles in a number of publications over his lifetime and, later, authored a monthly "Antennas and Accessories" column for many years for CQ Magazine.  

I recently had the unique pleasure of again meeting up with one of my two "Elmers" (Jack Mitchell, AA8Q, shown with his hand on my shoulder in the above photo) at the 2018 Orlando Hamcation in Orlando, Florida.  It was great to chat about old times and reminisce about his very first words of encouragement that got me into this wonderful hobby we call amateur radio.  Jack, I'm forever in your debt!

Needless to say I, too, have strived to spend the better part of my 40+ years in the hobby trying to emulate my Elmers' excellent works.  For example, I've taught a number of introductory ham radio classes and volunteered my time and talents as an accredited amateur radio license examiner in both the USA and Canada.  I've also taken a turn as a volunteer Board of Directors Member, Executive Vice President and (later) President of the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT).  I am currently serving AMSAT once again as its Corporate Treasurer.

Besides my work with AMSAT, I also write extensively about the amateur radio and, in particular, the amateur radio satellites.  My features, columns and ham radio-related photos (aimed primarily at beginners on the "birds") have appeared in Monitoring Times Magazine, The Spectrum Monitor Magazine, The Canadian Amateur Magazine (TCA) and the AMSAT Journal.  I also served as an editor for the most recent edition of the ARRL Satellite Handbook.


Feature Articles

A brief sampling of my feature articles (abbreviated reprints from the full editions) that have appeared in Monitoring Times, The Spectrum Monitor and The Canadian Amateur are shown below.  Unfortunately, because these articles are in .PDF format and have internal links (and due primarily to the passage of time) some of those links may no longer work. In addtion, some of the satellites mentioned in these articles have since de-orbited or are no longer operational.

While Monitoring Times has since ceased publication, many of the same authors (including yours truly) are now writing for The Spectrum Monitor (TSM).  In many ways, TSM has since become an equally popular, online "E-Zine" version of that long-running Monitoring Times publication. 

And, needless to say, for anyone interested in the many facets of our radio hobby, a US $24 yearly subscription to TSM is well worth the money!

(Click on the thumbnail cover photos (and/or titles) shown below to read the feature article)

Ham Radio Satellites
 Monitoring Times
 January 2010 

Oscar at 50 
Monitoring Times 
May 2012

Ham Radio In Canada
Monitoring Times
June 2013

The CubeSat Revolution
The Spectrum Monitor
February 2014

DXCC On Vacation
The Spectrum Monitor
June 2014

Portable HF Antennas
The Spectrum Monitor
April 2016

The Spectrum Monitor
January 2017

Portable Sat Antennas
The Spectrum Monitor
April 2017

Tokyo Ham Fair
The Spectrum Monitor
October 2017

Satellite Column and Tokyo
 Ham Fair
The Canadian Amateur
November 2017

Oscar-1 Feature
The Canadian Amateur 
March 2018

Tokyo Ham Fair
The Spectrum Monitor
October 2018

Tokyo Ham Fair
The Canadian Amateur
November 2018
The above feature articles from the copyrighted publications Monitoring Times , The Spectrum Monitor and The Canadian Amateur appear by written permission of their respective publishers. Thank you MT, TCA and TSM!


Besides Monitoring Times, The Spectrum Monitor and The Canadian Amateur, many of my photos have also appeared in a number of other amateur radio-related publications published worldwide.  These include The Radio Amateur's Handbook (USA), The ARRL Antenna Book (USA), The ARRL Satellite Anthology (USA), The ARRL Satellite Handbook (USA),  QST Magazine (USA), CQ Magazine (USA), CQ VHF Magazine (USA), 73 Magazine (USA), The AMSAT Journal (USA), the AMSAT-UK Oscar News (Great Britain), The Canadian Amateur Magazine (Canada) and CQ Ham Radio (Japan).  A group of my photos also appeared nationally in the United States on a segment of the Sci-Fi Television Network program Inside Space



Over my many years in Ham Radio (and particularly during my time in AMSAT as a BOD member and officer) I've also been interviewed about that work by various radio and other personalities both inside and outside of amateur radio.  Shown via the links below are a few of those interviews.


I've been interviewed numerous times on Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show on WTWW (150+ Kw!) International Short Wave.  I recently stopped by his studio and transmitter site just outside of Nashville, Tennessee (photos below) and I spent some two hours on the air with Ted that evening talking about amateur radio and AMSAT.  

During the program, Ted's wife Holly (who was also in the studio at the time) received over 200 e-mailed signal reports of the program from all 50 states (including Alaska and Hawaii) as well as from Mexico, Columbia, South Korea and Vietnam!  Ted's QSO program is heard regularly on WTWW's Tramsmitter 2 every Tuesday evening at 8 PM (Central USA Time) on 5085 KHz.  

(Click on any of the photos below for a larger-sized view)

Yours Truly "on the air" at WTWW

And standing beside WTWW's massive 100+ Kw Transmitter 2

Here are some links to my various live interviews on WTWW

Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show (International Short Wave) from my vacation cottage in California:
Part 1: Telephone Interview - November 2017.

Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show (International Short Wave) from the Dayton Hamvention 2013: 
Part 1:  (Starts at 1:03:40 into the broadcast)

Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show (International Short Wave) from the Dayton Hamvention 2011:
Part 1:  (Starts at 6:38 into the broadcast)
Part 2:
Part 3:

And then there's the evolving WTWW "Boss Radio Dream Team"

As of late, Ted (along with his one-time 60's-era Rock and Roll DJ friends) are now firing up WTWW's Transmitter 2 on most evenings from 8 PM to Midnight (Central Time) to again play what they call "The Greatest Hits Ever Made". 



Give them a listen on 5085 KHz when you get a chance. Or, you can listen to a live stream of Transmitter 2's on-air signal HERE.  Once the link comes up, just click on the ">"...and enjoy!  You can also listen to all of WTWW's extensive programming (24/7) via their various transmitter "listen live" streams at


Interview with Bob Allison (ARRL Laboratory Engineer) during the 2011 AMSAT Symposium: 

Part 1: