The Spectrum Monitor — August, 2018

Stories you’ll find in our August, 2018 issue:

SHARES: The Federal Government’s Plan-B HF Communications System
By Steve Handler

In the aftermath of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crises, President John F. Kennedy wanted to improve the communications systems that linked the federal agencies. The goal was to provide better interconnectivity and also survivability of the system in the event of war or natural disasters. The result was the National Communications System (NCS). On September 20, 1988, NCS created the SHAred RESources (SHARES) High Frequency (HF) Radio program. This program was tasked with backing up the landline, and later cellular, telephone systems. Current SHARES participants include the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Health, and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs. Other governmental entities include the Federal Communications Commission, General Services Administration, NASA, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Non-governmental organizations include entities such as the American Red Cross. Critical telecommunications infrastructure companies such as AT&T and Verizon also participate in SHARES. Steve explains how it all works.

APRS and other Digital Communications: Part 1
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV

While many hams may think of APRS as a mode that has little more to offer than beaconing and radiolocation functions, it is a figurative Swiss Army Knife of utilities that can be of use in contacting other hams while traveling, exchanging quick text messages, satellite communications, email, public service, and many other activities. From the mechanical age of RTTY, with its clacking printers chewing through rolls of paper to the peculiar digital whine of FT8, amateur radio has always been at the forefront of wireless digital communications. Cory explores the various facets of APRS and other non-verbal digital communications in Part 1 by looking first at the history of digital communications starting with the original binary code: CW.

Not the Sounds of Silence: Exploring the ELF and VLF Bands
By Georg Wiesalla

The many (man-made) signals and (nature) sounds in the low frequency regions can travel for thousands of kilometers all around the globe and inside the Earth-Ionosphere waveguide. Therefore, ELF and VLF emissions have been, and are still being studied for a very wide range of military and scientific purposes. They can be found in many areas of science and public life, even in some leisure pursuits including aviation, amateur radio, detection of nuclear explosions, ELF and VLF-range emissions by meteorites, geological mapping, ionospheric research, military communications, radio astronomy, seismic research and under-sea exploration and oceanography. Georg takes us on a journey into radio depths.

Buying New and Used Radio Gear
By Robert Gulley AK3Q

Buying new or used radio equipment can be a daunting task for the experienced radio enthusiast, but even more so for folks new to the hobby. As an avid radio enthusiast and amateur radio operator, Robert has owned many different types of radios and associated radio equipment. From AM/FM broadcast radios to scanners, shortwave radios to amateur gear, and very old radios, to some of the latest SDR equipment, he has purchased gear from many different sources. He has been very fortunate (and yes even lucky) in that very few purchases have been made from less-than-honest people. The few, which were bad experiences, certainly taught him some valuable lessons.

Scanning America
By Dan Veeneman
Lenoir County (NC); Missouri Dept. of Conservation

Federal Wavelengths
By Chris Parris
Nevada Scanner Safari 2018

Milcom
By Larry Van Horn N5FPW
Military UHF Traffic Control Frequencies

Utility Planet
By Hugh Stegman
The Silent Summer: US Gets Quieter

Shortwave Utility Logs
By Hugh Stegman and Mike Chace-Ortiz

VHF and Above
By Joe Lynch N6CL
It’s All About Propagation

Digitally Speaking
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV
DV33

Amateur Radio Insights
By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z
Portable Generators: Test and Enjoy!

Radio 101
Ken Reitz KS4ZR
Monitoring HF Marine Radio During the Tropical Storm Season

Radio Propagation
By Tomas Hood NW7US
Solar Wind and Coronal Mass Ejections

The World of Shortwave Listening
By Rob Wagner VK3BVW
FT8, WSPR and the Shortwave Listener

The Shortwave Listener
By Fred Waterer
Health on SW; Canada as DX; BBC Offerings

Amateur Radio Astronomy
By Stan Nelson KB5VL
Cosmic Podcasts; Books, Charts and the National Radio Quiet Zone

The Longwave Zone
By Kevin O’Hern Carey WB2QMY
SDR: You can do it!

Adventures in Radio Restoration
By Rich Post KB8TAD
The Rescue: Drake SPR4 Communications Receiver

Antenna Connections
By Dan Farber AC0LW
Collinear Array: Multiple Elements in a Single Piece

The Spectrum Monitor is available in PDF format which can be read on any desktop, laptop, iPad®, Kindle® Fire, or other device capable of opening a PDF file. Annual subscription is $24. Individual monthly issues are available for $3 each.

Ken Reitz, KS4ZR, is publisher and managing editor of The Spectrum Monitor. Contact him at [email protected].

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