In the event that you haven’t heard, this past April the ARRL started a bi-weekly podcast called “The Doctor is in.” The doctor is Joel Hallas, W1ZR who’s written “The Doctor is in” column in QST since 2006. His co-host is QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY. Each podcast has a topic and they also answer at least one question that was submitted to them that is usually related to the topic. The podcasts are about 20 minutes long.
This is an excellent podcast. It’s very well done and the topics are handled with just the right balance of science based in reality. Typically when Steve asks Joel a question his first response is something along the lines of “well it depends” followed by a reasonable explanation of the science flavored with the reality that there are always a number of variables at play so it’s hard to make exact statements with three decimal places of accuracy. This is especially true with most of the topics that they’ve presented so far, the vast majority of which have been related to antennas, feedlines, and propagation. The theme of “it depends” certainly applies in these areas. The math and science will get you in the ballpark but at the end of the day you have to fiddle with it to get it to do what you want. Antennas and feedlines will always do something, it’s just a matter of whether they are doing what you want them to do. The “Doctor is in” podcast definitely improves the signal-to-noise ratio of the topics that they address. I’d highly recommend that you add it to your list of favorite podcasts.