Welcome to W5JCK.com

I'm Jack Swinden. My residence is in Arlington, Texas in the southwest part of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. I hold an Extra Class license with code credit, am a member of the Arlington CERT, Tarrant County RACES, and I am a W5YI Volunteer Examiner. Additionally, I love my other hobby of astrophotography.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: I designed this website to showcase and provide resources for my hobbies and passions: astrophotography, community service, and amateur radio. However, I no longer have the time nor inclination to maintain the articles, charts, Extra Class study aids, and manuals in the amateur radio portion of my website. So please do NOT contact me about future documents as there will not be any. There are also no plans for any edits to existing documents, study aids, or any of the amateur radio stuff. I will keep the links to them available, but please understand that they might be or become outdated.

Astrophotography: In last few years I've developed a passion for nightsky or astrophotography, so I have set aside a part of this website to showcase my photographs and videos as well as to discuss related resources and methods. Please note that I am currently disabling this portion of my website for a future redesign.

Arlington TX Scanner logo Skywatcher WX: Since I was a child I have had a since of community service no doubt derived from growing up in a small, rural town in central Texas where my Dad and my brothers belonged to the Volunteer Fire Department. Unfortunately large cities do not well understand the usefulness and abilities of volunteers as do small towns who rely on them, but I still try my best to help out my community through Storm Spotting (not chasing!) as well as RACES and CERT efforts especially as they involve amateur radio. Recently I became so annoyed at the local Dallas/Fort Worth media for rarely giving much news coverage for midcities like Arlington, that I sat up a Twitter account through which I can tweet about all important Weather events that impact the citizens of Arlington. On April 3, 2012 I tweeted live updates as an EF2 tornado caused major damage in Arlington. Click the Skywatcher WX link in the left sidebar to go to this area of the website. You can follow me on Twitter: .

Amateur Radio: This material will NOT be updated henceforth.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: As noted above this portion of the website will not be updated, nor will the material contained herein. Again, please do NOT contact me with suggestions for edits, corrections, et cetera. I have truly appreciated those comments, but I simply have no time to devote to this at the moment. The information contained herein should be considered static from this point forward.

  • Click the Radio Manuals link in the left sidebar to go to the area of the website where I have made available (for free) several user manuals and other documents I wrote or modified that are helpful to hams for using their radios. These include manuals for various Yaesu and Icom radios.
  • Click the Extra Exam Study Aids link in the left sidebar to go to the area of the website where I have made available (for free or dirt cheap) some study aids I wrote when I was preparing to take the Element 4 Extra Class Exam several year years ago. I keep these aids up to date for the current question pool.
  • Click the Ham HF Band Charts link in the left sidebar to go to the area of the website where I have made available (for free) band charts that are designed to be easy to read, especially if you have older eyes like mine.
  • Click the NVIS Antenna Design link in the left sidebar to go to the area of the website where I have made available (for free) a PowerPoint presentation on designing NVIS antennas. NVIS antennas are used for short to medium range communications and come in very useful when participating in Emergency Communications (EMCOMM).

Thank you for visiting.