I’ve been watching Ham Nation with Bob Heil, K9EID, for the last several weeks — since I met Bob during the ICOM and Boy Scouts of America’s sponsorship announcement at this year’s Dayton Hamvention. A couple of weeks ago, Bob issued a challenge to provide the show with video tours of our ham shacks. That rang a bell — I can do that!

I’ve done a few videos for my church, but those had been mostly photos with a music sound track. I had also edited several video testimonials. All those went on a DVD for the church with a few posted online. This time I got to focus on the my amateur radio passion and on my ham shack. I also thought it might prove of interest to my blog followers, as the Ham Shack page on my  website is the most popular page after the home page.

I gave some thought to just what I’d put on the video. My first thought was to focus initially on what I feel is the most important part of the station — the antennas. I thought quite a bit about what I’d say about each antenna, perhaps even covering the plans I have for improvement. Likewise for the ham shack itself. In the end, I instead focused on a short overview of the entire station, beginning with the antennas. The final video came out to 72 seconds. You can see it here — Ham Shack Video Tour.

The video clips were captured using a simple Kodak snapshot camera, as witnessed by the low resolution video scenes. I also used a number of still images, also captured with the same camera but at a much better resolution. For editing, I used Apple’s iMovie and one of their themes for the cover page, transitions, and credit page. I used Apple’s GarageBand to generate the CW opening (K5ND) and closing (73). I then provided the voiceover directly into the built-in microphone on my Apple iMac. There does seem to be a theme here, Apple. I use Macs at work in publishing and communication. Plus, my wife and daughter also use Apple laptops and iPhones. We haven’t yet erected a shrine to Steve Jobs, but we are considering it…

I then uploaded the video to YouTube and finally learned how to embed the video on my webpage. When I’d done this earlier with the home page video for the K2BSA website, I just couldn’t figure out how to embed the file. This time I found that the standard YouTube embed code is HTML5. Which doesn’t work on my WordPress websites. For K2BSA I ended up using Vimeo, whose instructions fit my requirements. This time I found the old HTML embed instructions and was able to make it work. However, I prefer the Vimeo presentation on my site. So that’s the one I went with for the final version of the webpage.

Another fun project in My Adventures in Ham Radio!

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Jim-K5ND

Freelance writer and active Scouting volunteer. Retired publishing and communication executive who writes for fun and to finance his hobby, amateur radio.

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