Soldersmoke Webcast Review

The Soldersmoke webcast is produced once or twice a month by Bill Meara. Bill is an avid homebrewer and likes nothing more than designing and building his own rigs. QRP and homebrew play a big part in the podcast, but Bill's interests extend to astronomy, computing and travel, with all subjects forming part of the shows format. A radio bias generally creeps into each item regardless of the subject matter.  
 
Although Bill is a self confessed 'Knack' victim (see youtube link for more information),  his career choice was surprisingly not engineering. Instead he became part of the United States diplomatic service. This role has seen him travel the world having recently been based in the Azores, Italy and here in the UK. Currently he is back in the USA, but his nomadic existence adds an extra element to the show. 
 
 
 
The show started as technical conversations between Bill and Mike Cauraghan - KL7R using Echolink, which they later developed into a podcast. Mike tragically died in 2007 but Bill decided to continue with the project developing it into the format you hear today. His relaxed style is one that I particularly admire and he is a natural communicator who could talk all day without becoming boring or repetitive. I have listened to other amateur radio podcasts and have found them to be either a little too formal or possibly trying too hard to educate the listener. Bill's broadcasts are certainly informal with frequent visits from his family during his early morning recording sessions adding to the feeling that you are a personal guest in his shack.
 
If you want reviews of the latest amateur radio equipment, then this is probably not the broadcast for you. Bill's prized possession is a Drake 2B receiver from the 1960's and his other commercial rigs all appear to be "boat anchors" which are frequently mentioned. Even the PC used to record the broadcast is described as a "roadkill" laptop.
 
I download each podcast onto my PC then transfer it to my mobile phone via Bluetooth. The podcast certainly brightens up my regular commute into London.
 
 
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