From the ARRL Letter for January 24, 2019

For those just getting started on their Amateur Radio journey, ARRL is launching a new podcast aimed at answering your questions, providing support and encouragement for newcomers to get the most out of the hobby. The podcast, “So Now What?,” will launch on Thursday, March 7, and new episodes will be posted every other Thursday, alternating new-episode weeks with the “ARRL The Doctor is In” podcast.

Co-hosting “So Now What?” will be ARRL Communications Content Producer Michelle Patnode, W3MVP, and ARRL Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q. Presented as a lively conversation, with Patnode representing newer hams and Carcia the veteran operators, the podcast will explore questions that newer hams may have and the issues that keep participants from staying active in the hobby. Some episodes will feature guests to answer questions on specific topic areas.

“No other podcast is really aimed at this segment of the Amateur Radio community…that is being underserved, that is not getting the answers to the many questions they have,” said ARRL Communications Manager David Isgur, N1RSN, who will serve as the podcast’s executive producer.

Topics to be discussed in the first several episodes include getting started, operating modes available to Technician licensees, VEC and licensing issues, sunspots and propagation, mobile operating, contesting, Amateur Radio in pop culture, and perceptions of Technician license holders.

Given the growing popularity of podcasts, Isgur believes that providing this information in a podcast format will be a very effective method of reaching out and engaging this particular part of the Amateur Radio community, which is important for building and maintaining Amateur Radio interest and activity.

Patnode said she is excited to ask questions she has about different aspects of Amateur Radio, such as how to incorporate ham radio with newer technologies like Raspberry Pi computers and Arduino microcontrollers, and to learn more about the hobby right along with the audience.

“So What Now?” podcast hosts Michelle Patnode, W3MVP (left), and Joe Carcia, NJ1Q.

Carcia believes the “So Now What?” podcast will be a perfect complement to the podcasts that the ARRL already offers — “ARRL The Doctor Is In” and “ARRL Audio News.”

In addition to serving as co-host, Patnode is also the audio editor/producer of the podcast. ARRL Graphics Department Supervisor Sue Fagan, KB1OKW, designed the podcast logo, and ARRL Radiosport Administrative Manager Sabrina Jackson, KC1JMW, will voice the introduction and closing.

Listeners can find the “So Now What?” podcast at Blubrry.com, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Episodes will also be archived on the ARRL website. “So Now What?” will be sponsored by LDG Electronics, a family owned and operated business with laboratories in southern Maryland that offers a wide array of antenna tuners and other Amateur Radio products.

ARRL Launching New Podcast Geared Toward New Radio Amateurs