Author Archive

The ‘Blue-Collar Scholars,’ Ferrite Sleeve Loop Antennas, and Antennas for the ELF and VLF Bands

Stories you’ll find in our October, 2021 issue:

Amateur Radio’s Lost Tribe: The ‘Blue-Collar Scholars’ Who Started It All
By Frank M. Howell PhD K4FMH

We all know the history of US amateur radio: Hiram Percy Maxim founded the American Radio Relay League, and the rest is history, right? Not quite, says Frank Howell, who takes a closer look at the origins of what he calls amateur radio’s ‘lost tribe of blue-collar scholars,’ the thousands of unlicensed wireless experimenters who learned radio science through the pages of Hugo Gernsback’s prolific wireless publications years before there was an ARRL or QST magazine.

AM Band DXing Today
By David Yocis

With over one hundred years of listening to the AM band, you might think there’s nothing new to learn, but David shows that Twenty-first Century technology has brought new life to the oldest radio hobby. From software defined radios to remote-controlled receivers to advances in antenna technology, there is almost no limit to what an average listener can hear today.

Ultralight MW DXing with Ferrite Sleeve Loop Antennas
By Jock Elliot KB2GOM

Taking small, inexpensive portable radios outdoors and turning them into DX machines is what ultralight medium wave DXing is all about. And, thanks to DIY ferrite sleeve loop antennas, you can try your hand at the action. But it will be tough to top those already in the game who have logged medium wattage stations at 8,000 miles. Jock explains how it’s done and who’s doing it.

Feeling the Geomagnetic Pulse: Antennas for the ELF and VLF Bands
By Georg Wiessala

There was a time when listening to Extremely Low Frequencies (3-30 Hz) and Very Low Frequencies (30 Hz to 30 kHz) required expensive laboratory equipment and acres of antenna installations. Georg reports that’s no longer the case as he dives deep into the receivers, antennas, and software you’ll need to explore this radio territory.

CB Radio: Six Decades of Utility and Fun
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV

Citizens Band radio has the distinction of once being the leader as an American popular culture icon in its first three decades. From Top 40 records to network TV shows to feature films, millions of everyday Americans were ‘ratchet-jawing’ on their CB sets. But never count CB as dead—Cory reports that it’s still alive and now with FM modulation!

Scanning America
By Dan Veeneman
A Tale of Two Counties: Branch and Hillsdale (MI)

Federal Wavelengths
By Chris Parris
TSA UHF Update

Milcom
By Larry Van Horn N5FPW
More Government Master File Diving

Utility Planet
By Hugh Stegman
KiwiSDR Ale Scanner Goes Live Online

Shortwave Utility Logs
By Mike Chace-Ortiz and Hugh Stegman

VHF and Above
By Joe Lynch N6CL
ARISS Space Station Contact Opportunity

Digitally Speaking
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV
VHF AM: The Rediscovered Country

Amateur Radio Insights
By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z
Shack Screens: Big is Beautiful!

Radio 101
By Ken Reitz KS4ZR
OTA-TV and FTA-TV Update

The World of Shortwave Listening
By Andrew Yoder
HF Pirates Sail on the Shortwaves

The Shortwave Listener
By Fred Waterer
Fall Shortwave Programming

Adventures in Radio Restorations
By Rich Post KB8TAD
That Jukebox Sound: Wurlitzer 530 Audio Amp

Antenna Connections
By Robert Gulley K4PKM
An Ounce of Prevention

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.

Ham Radio on a Budget, Stay at Home Projects and Whatever Happened to 10 Meters?

Stories you’ll find in our June, 2020 issue:

Weather Satellite Image Reception: Part 2
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV

Among many radio enthusiasts, there is a certain fascination with being able to directly receive images from space—whether from polar orbiters in low earth orbit or geostationary satellites thousands of miles overhead. Years ago, a working weather satellite image downlink station required hard to find dedicated hardware that represented a serious investment. Today, such costs have dropped significantly and most of the items used can be easily purchased. Cory gives us a glimpse of this fascinating aspect of satellite monitoring.

Weather Watching and Radio: A Natural Fit
By Georg Wiessala

I think it is probably fair to say that most amateur radio operators and radio enthusiasts also have a healthy interest in the changing weather. Next to radios and accessories, weather stations are among the most popular radio shack accessories. In his own shack, Georg has long been the owner of the Davis Vantage Vue model, which sits on the roof and transmits to an indoor console. And, with his scanner, for local weather data and information; shortwave radio for weather facsimile and NAVTEX broadcasts and a receiver tuned to coded weather information on long wave, he has access to a wealth of valuable current weather data.

100 Years of Radio Series: Celebrating the Young Heroes of Early Wireless, and Beyond
By Richard Fisher KI6SN

You can always tell when a technology becomes a cultural phenomenon; it’s where all the young people want to be. There was no more interesting topic or career opportunity than radio in 1920. Richard takes a look at the popular literature of the time in books and magazines that feature “boy heroes” (and a few girl heroes, too) whose understanding of wireless technology saves the day.

Ham Radio on a Budget—Get great gear for less than you might expect!
By Robert Gulley K4PKM

Anyone who has priced the latest 160 through 6-meter HF rig might be put off by the “kilo-buck plus” price tag, especially if you are a licensee who has recently upgraded to General Class. Robert has good news for you—there are a great many such rigs on the used market that are excellent performers with modern features often at less than half the price of a brand-new model. He shows you which models to look for and why as well as what to look for in a reseller. This is also good news for shortwave listeners who want superior reception performance not found in portables.

TSM Reviews: Geochron Clock and Inrad W1 Amateur Radio Headphone/Mic
By Mark Haverstock K8MSH

Two great accessories for your shack that will add some joy and operating pleasure are under review this month: The Geochron Clock and Inrad W1 amateur radio headphone/boom mic. The Geochron Clock/World Map was once a high-ticket mechanical contraption, but today’s version is basically a small computer that displays a world map with call sign prefixes, greyline indicator and much more. Mark also tests the INRAD W1 amateur radio headphone/boom mic that features over-the-ear cushions and a long mic cord.

Scanning America
By Dan Veeneman
Changes are Coming to the 900 MHz Band

Federal Wavelengths
By Chris Parris
More Stay at Home Projects

MilCom
By Larry Van Horn N5FPW
Monitoring the Navy P-8A Maritime Surveillance Aircraft

Utility Planet
By Hugh Stegman
German Weather RTTY: A Blast from the Past

Shortwave Utility Logs
Compiled by Hugh Stegman Mike Chace-Ortiz

VHF and Above
By Joe Lynch N6CL
VHF and Above Contest Season Starts

Digitally Speaking
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV
Xenia Stayvention 2020

Amateur Radio Insights
By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z
Six-Meter Minimalism

Radio 101
By Ken Reitz KS4ZR
Whatever Happened to 10 Meters; WorkTunes Revisited

The World of Shortwave Listening
By Andrew Yoder
Pirate Shortwave Broadcast During the Covid Pandemic

The Shortwave Listener
By Fred Waterer
WBCQ’s Big Broadcast of 2020; RNZI, RRI and BBC Programming Notes

Amateur Radio Satellites
By Keith Baker KB1SF/VA3KSF
Amateur Radio Satellite Primer (Part VI)

The Longwave Zone
By Kevin O’Hern Carey N2AFX
What’s your Longwave “Thing”?

Adventures in Radio Restoration
By Rich Post KB8TAD
A Tubeless Bargain: Hallicrafters S-40

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.

The CommRadio CTX-10 vs. Elecraft KX2, SDRplay RSPdx, and the AM band gold rush of 1920

Stories you’ll find in our February, 2020 issue:

A Tale of Two Radios: CommRadio CTX-10 vs. Elecraft KX2
By Thomas Witherspoon K4SWL

A longtime ham and shortwave listener who enjoys taking his hobby into the field, Thomas was intrigued by two seemingly different transceivers that also appeared to have a lot in common. Which would be better for his purposes and why? Both offer low-power and battery-operated portability, but with a totally different design approach. Thomas examines the pros and cons of the CommRadio CTX-10 and the Elecraft KX2, not the least of which in the monetary component.

TSM Reviews: SDRplay RSPdx Software Defined Radio
By Larry Van Horn N5FPW

SDRplay Limited is a UK-based company that has been developing cutting-edge software defined radios since 2014 with its RSP1 model. In the ensuing years, newer models have offered advanced reception features on receivers capable of tuning from 1 kHz to 2 GHz at moderate price levels. In this review Larry takes a look at the company’s latest product, the SDRplay RSPdx and compares it with lower level SDRplay editions.

Radio in the Pre-Broadcast Era Series:
The Trailblazers of Commercial Radio Manufacturing in the 1920s
By Richard Fisher KI6SN

Beneath the dust accumulated over 100 years of consumer-entertainment radio broadcasting are the names of literally hundreds of manufacturers who have largely disappeared since the AM band gold rush of 1920. Richard takes a look at the radios available 100 years ago and finds a long list of names that urgently filled a huge void in practical receivers that could capture the signals of the handful of commercial broadcast stations that burst onto the airwaves early in the second decade of the 20th Century.

TSM Annual Review of Books for Shortwave Listeners
Klingenfuss 2020 Shortwave Frequency Guide
Reviewed by Bob Grove W8JHD

Joerg Klingenfuss never disappoints serious shortwave listeners with his exhaustive databases, and these two latest releases are no exception.

2020 World Radio Television Handbook
Reviewed by Gayle Van Horn W4GVH

The 74th edition of World Radio TV Handbook continues to be a comprehensive reference book. It remains the gold standard as the most authoritative for a global radio and television audience and the gem of the broadcast industry.

Global Radio Guide
Reviewed by Ken Reitz KS4ZR

The Winter 2019-20 edition of the Global Radio Guide, now 500 pages, includes many full length articles on shortwave listening today, but the best part is the Global Radio Frequency Guide that makes tuning in to signals from around the globe faster and easier than ever.

Scanning America
By Dan Veeneman
Nassau County, New York and TIS Stations

Federal Wavelengths
By Chris Parris
Federal Monitoring Mysteries

Milcom
By Larry Van Horn N5FPW
Monitoring the Australian Wildfires

Utility Planet
By Hugh Stegman
HF Steps Up in Australian Fire Emergency

Shortwave Utility Logs
Compiled by Mike Chace-Ortiz and Hugh Stegman

VHF and Above
By Joe Lynch N6CL
Morphing the Planned Hexagon-type Antenna into a 2-Element Quad

Digitally Speaking
By Cory Sickles WA3UVV
DV: How Low Can You Go?

Amateur Radio Insights
By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z
Floods, Pestilence and Interference?

Radio 101
By Ken Reitz KS4ZR
2020 DRM Shortwave Report: Trials and Tribulations

World of Shortwave Listening
By Andrew Yoder
MW/SW Pirates; Carrier Sleuth and SWL Fest 2020

The Shortwave Listener
By Fred Waterer
Vatican Radio; BBC and WBCQ

Amateur Radio Astronomy
By Stan Nelson KB5VL
Geminids 2019 and Quadrantids 2020

Adventures in Radio Restoration
By Rich Post KB8TAD
The Reflex: Crosley Trirdyn Special

Antenna Connections
By Dan Farber AC0LW

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.

Regulated power supplies, sunspot cycles, ham radio satellites and more

Stories you’ll find in our December, 2019 issue:

Before Radio’s First Century: “Pre-Broadcasting” Activity in North America
By John Schneider W9FGH

For many decades, the prevailing myth has been that broadcasting in the United States first occurred on the night of November 2, 1920. According to this general conviction, no broadcasting took place anywhere before that date, but then, in a brilliant stroke of genius, it was suddenly invented that night by the Westinghouse Corporation when its new station, KDKA, broadcast the Harding-Cox election returns. Nothing could be farther from the truth! By 1920, experimental broadcasting had already been happening around the US for many years. John takes a look at the country’s transition from that early experimentation to formal broadcasting.

Radio’s Role During Pearl Harbor’s ‘Day of Infamy’
By Scott A. Caldwell

Diplomatic relations between the United States and the Japanese Empire had steadily deteriorated in the years that followed the First World War. On May 7, 1940 the US Navy Fleet reluctantly relocated its operating headquarters from San Pedro, California to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. President Franklin D. Roosevelt considered the redeployment as vital because it represented a significant military deterrent to the growing Japanese bellicosity. However, there was great concern and opposition to this action that was headed by Admiral James O. Richardson, Commander-in-Chief US Fleet, who believed that they would be unnecessarily exposed to attack from the Japanese Navy. Seven months later a price would be paid.

Those Regulated Power Supplies from Heathkit and Others
By Rich Post KB8TAD

In recent columns on testing and restoring the National SW-3, FB-7 and the HRO Senior, Rich initially used metered regulated power supplies in place of the matching “doghouse” power supplies to keep those vintage National supplies from possible overloads and damage before full restoration of the receivers. In his previous column on the HRO, he mentioned replacing the entire HRO power pack with a totally voltage-regulated supply since varying the RF gain control changed the set’s current draw somewhat and thus the B+ on both the oscillator and the mixer. As promised, he takes a second look at that supply.

Novice-era Hamming Today: Still a Thrill
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV

Cory’s first amateur radio station consisted of a solid-state Realistic (Radio Shack) DX-150A general coverage receiver and a gently used Heathkit DX-20 transmitter, that incorporated three tubes to produce 20 Watts out. He used a set of house switches in a metal box to swap the antenna between the receiver and transmitter, plus mute the receiver when transmitting. It was not the best solution, but it was cheap, and it worked. If you, like Cory, have a hankering to revisit your old Novice operator days, it can still be done—with vintage gear or even their modern equivalent. Cory explains how you can start your own Novice-era memories.

Scanning America
By Dan Veeneman
Tillamook County, Oregon; Vintage Scanner Crystals

Federal Wavelengths
By Chris Parris
Scanning Projects

Milcom
By Larry Van Horn N5FPW
Monitoring the DoD High Frequency Global Communications System

Utility Planet
By Hugh Stegman
HF Utility in Troubled Ukraine

Shortwave Utility Logs
By Mike Chace-Ortiz and Hugh Stegman

VHF and Above
By Joe Lynch N6CL
Planet Alignment and Sunspot Cycles Linked?

Digital Voice
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV
Three Short Subjects for New Hams

Amateur Radio Insights
By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z
A Log-Periodic Tragedy

Radio 101
By Ken Reitz KS4ZR
Free-to-Air Satellite TV Update

Radio Propagation
By Tomas Hood NW7US
Largest Sunspot in Solar Sunspot Cycle 24

The World of Shortwave Listening
By Rob Wagner VK3BVW
Online SDRs: Impacting the Way We Listen to Shortwave

The Shortwave Listener
By Fred Waterer
Shortwave Listening Past and Present

Amateur Radio Satellites
By Keith Baker KB1SF/VA3KSF
Amateur Radio Satellite Primer (Part VI)

The Longwave Zone
By Kevin O’Hern Carey N2AFX
LF Info: 101

Adventures in Radio Restorations
By Rich Post KB8TAD
Helping Dan: A Silvertone 6230A Farm Set

Antenna Connections
By Dan Farber
Feedlines: Getting There from Here

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.

Elecraft KP-1500 Review, Restoring a Halli-Kit HT-40, and Hand-Held Spectrum Analyzers

Stories you’l find in our November, 2019 edition:

TSM’s 2019 Scanner Radio Buyer’s Guide
By Larry Van Horn N5FPW

For scanner enthusiasts, the digital revolution has changed the VHF/UHF radio spectrum that we monitor. Many public safety agencies worldwide, especially in metropolitan areas, have transitioned from analog to digital communications protocols and are utilizing trunk radio technology. There are also many statewide trunk radio systems that are either operational, being built or planned that use trunking and/or digital modes. In this year’s guide, Larry breaks down the lineup of digital vs analog receivers and asks a few personal questions: What do you want to hear in your area and how much do you want to spend?

TSM Reviews: Elecraft KPA-1500 Linear Amplifier
By Mark Haverstock K8MSH

Solar Cycle expectations may lead you to conclude that, to be heard, you should try raising your voice. That’s exactly what the Elecraft KPA-1500 linear amplifier does—and it does so in style. Mark takes a look at this top-of-the-line amplifier and says, “If your budget allows, the KPA 1500 is an excellent choice–especially if you own an Elecraft K3 or anticipate getting a K4. The seamless integration is well worth the price, and even if you have another brand of radio, you’ll find the KPA-150 to be a winner, as it plays well with all rigs.”

RF Explorer ISM Combo+ Slim, Hand-Held Spectrum Analyzer
By Bob Grove W8JHD

Miniaturization of solid-state receivers and panoramic displays has evolved into more compact, even handheld, spectrum analyzers. Bob takes a look at this latest entry into the signals surveillance market and notes, “This handy handful has the ability to display signal presence over a wide range of frequencies as well as digitally analyze and display a variety of data. Added to this flexibility, the unit can also be used as an RF signal generator for the 2.35-2.55 GHz Wi-Fi band, and it includes an analyzer for this band as well.” Best of all—it’s available for under $300.

The Latent Contester
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV

Since the time he first became licensed as a Novice in the early 1970s, Cory has tried to experience many of the various aspects of amateur radio. Some have held his interest, some have come and gone and some really never took hold. Contesting was a sub-interest that fell into the latter category. He would periodically dabble with it in various forms then move on to something else. While he admits to possessing a competitive nature, it had never really emerged in the on-air world of amateur radio. Recently, that changed. He had been invited to sit in on a contest at one of this country’s premier contest stations. Now, he’s hooked.

Scanning America
By Dan Veeneman
Iredell County (NC) and Cape May (NJ)

Federal Wavelengths
By Chris Parris
Monitoring Road Trip: Arizona and California

Milcom
By Larry Van Horn N5FPW
DoD Aerial Refueling Frequencies

Utility Planet
By Hugh Stegman
US Coast Guard May Discontinue NAVTEX

Shortwave Utility Logs
By Mike Chace-Ortiz and Hugh Stegman

VHF and Above
By Joe Lynch N6CL
USMA Cadets Contact Alum Aboard ISS

Digitally Speaking
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV
Digital Voice Radio Buyer’s Guide

Radio 101
By Ken Reitz KS4ZR
Propagation: Hearing is Believing

The World of Shortwave Listening
By Ken Reitz KS4ZR
A Better Antenna for Better Shortwave Listening

The Shortwave Listener
By Fred Waterer
Radio Tirana; BBC Monthly Programming

Amateur Radio Astronomy
By Stan Nelson KB5VL
Meteor Monitoring Digital TV Carriers on Channel 2

Adventures in Radio Restoration
By Rich Post KB8TAD
The Hallikit HT-40 Transmitter

Antenna Connections
By Dan Farber AC0LW
Do the Math: Numbers Crunching for Radio Enthusiasts

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.

Saving Your Amateur Radio Club, the Airspy HF+ Discovery, and More

Stories you’ll find in our September, 2019 issue:

TSM Reviews:
Airspy HF+ Discovery: It’s a Whole New World of Radio
By Larry Van Horn N5FPW and Gayle Van Horn W4GVH

While the term “digital radio” has been around since the 1970s in US government circles, it wasn’t until 1984 that the term “software defined radio” first surfaced. At first, many old-timers in the radio hobby scoffed at the idea that any radio that didn’t have a tuning knob and all the circuitry associated with it was a real radio. People pushing a computer-based technology were on the outside looking in as far as major manufacturers were concerned. It did not take long for software defined radio, or SDR, to come out of the shadows and be embraced by the radio hobby industry. Larry takes a look at the Airspy HF+ Discovery, the latest in a series of high-performance, low cost SDRs that are changing the world of HF radio listening.

Digital TV Ten Years Later and ATSC 3.0 Today
By Ken Reitz KS4ZR

The mass migration of analog television transmissions to digital television (DTV) broadcasting in the US officially went into effect June 12, 2009. The run up to the switch was years in development and involved extensive technical testing and a huge investment on the part of broadcast TV interests. There was nothing smooth about the transition. Ten years later, the dream of HDTV with 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound has faded considerably, with few channels actually achieving that benchmark. Now the FCC is preparing to do it again—this time with DTV’s successor: ATSC 3.0, which promises landmark 4K Over-the-Air TV channels and auxiliary channels in HDTV. Unfortunately, ATSC 3.0 is not compatible with any ATSC 1.0 TV sets in use today. Having failed to deliver ATSC 1.0, will the broadcast TV industry be able to deliver on ATSC 3.0.? And, anyway, whatever happened to ATSC 2.0?

The Hunt for the Bismarck
By Scott A. Caldwell

Summer 1941 was a dark time for the British Empire, which in reality was alone and isolated. Nazi Germany was rampant in its military conquest of mainland Europe and now one of the most powerful battleships in the world was ready for a commerce raiding campaign in the North Atlantic Ocean. The pursuit and sinking of the Bismarck was a turning point in naval strategy that was based on the utilization of a central command structure, which acted as a clearing house for intelligence information. Scott examines the communications systems used by both German and British commanders and how mistakes were made on both sides that led to the sinking of both German and British naval vessels and how the eventual sinking of the Bismarck became a turning point in the war for sea superiority.

Zen and the Art of
Amateur Radio Club Maintenance – Part 2
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV

If you did your homework from the previous installment, you have some better perspective into the size, finances, direction and overall health of your amateur radio club. Hopefully, you did not find yourself in or on the edge of critical mass, where your organization is about to fail. Even if you did, there is probably time to still be able to turn things around. If not, then perhaps the answer is to reflect on what went wrong and start anew. Cory gives us all more tips on how to save your ham club from itself.

Scanning America
By Dan Veeneman
Scanning Sumner County, Tennessee

Federal Wavelengths
By Chris Parris
Nevada DoE Update; FAA Closeup

Milcom
Larry Van Horn N5FPW
Phantoms in the Desert

Utility Planet
By Hugh Stegman
It’s Summer “Numbers” Time!

Shortwave Utility Logs
By Hugh Stegman and Mike Chace-Ortiz

VHF and Above
By Joe Lynch N6CL
PTRX-7300: A Panadapter Module for the IC-7300

Digitally Speaking
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV
Digital Voice Moves On

Radio 101
By Ken Reitz KS4ZR
Hits and Misses: Grace Digital Mondo+

The World of Shortwave Listening
By Jeff White, Secretary-Treasurer NASB
Can the Internet Replace Shortwave? Plus: NASB and SWL Fest 2019 Report

The Shortwave Listener
By Fred Waterer
WWII Radio Commemorations

Amateur Radio Satellites
By Keith Baker KB1SF/VA3KSF
Amateur Radio Satellite Primer (Part V)

The Longwave Zone
By Kevin O’Hern Carey N2AFX
Gearing Up!

Adventures in Radio Restoration
By Rich Post KB8TAD
Reviving a “Poor Man’s Collins” The Heathkit SB-301 Receiver

Antenna Connections
By Dan Farber AC0LW
Top Band: Antennas for 160 Meters

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.

Yagis, DMR Portables and Underwater Communications

Stories you’ll find in our August, 2019 edition:

The Yagi-Uda Mystery: The Remarkable Backstory of this Ubiquitous Antenna
By Richard Fisher KI6SN

Shintaro Uda and Hidetsugu Yagi were mirror images of the antenna they created in 1926—known around the world today simply as the Yagi—an array invented by Uda in collaboration with Yagi. Ninety-three years later, this design is still widely in use for both amateur and commercial installations on the HF, VHF/UHF bands and beyond. It is the antenna so often seen atop amateur radio towers, at military installations and many municipal and commercial buildings. Yet Shintaro Uda seems to have faded from the picture of the origins of this antenna. Richard tells us about two stories of intrigue and historical significance behind the Yagi.

TSM Reviews: Yaesu FT3DR and Radioditty GD-73A
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV

The Yaesu FT3DR and the Radioddity GD-73A are two very different digital voice (DV) portables, with widely divergent feature sets. Each needs to be considered for its merits and the applications you have in mind. The Yaesu FT3DR is the latest of a series of DV hand-held portables with the features you’d expect from a full-featured HT. The Radioddity GD-73A is a UHF-only, DMR/analog portable with minimal features: There is no provision for an external antenna and the internal one protrudes under plastic, much in the same way as a 0.5-watt blister-pack FRS (Family Radio Service) transceiver is packaged. Cory goes deep into the details and tells us there’s more to each than may be at first apparent.

The USS Thresher on Eternal Patrol
By Scott A. Caldwell

The USS Thresher(SSN 593) was an icon of the United States Navy and was often used in recruitment posters. She was regarded as the most technologically advanced submarine in active service, designed to hunt and engage Soviet submarines that patrolled the deep North Atlantic Ocean. Her loss on April 10, 1963 shocked the entire nation and the subsequent inquiry raised more questions than answers, in light of the confusing radio transmission with the submarine escort vessel USS Skylark (ASR 20). Underwater communications were subjected to temperature and density fluctuations that often deflected and distorted the amplitude of the sound waves. Scott looks at the difficulties of undersea communications while telling the story of this disaster.

The Care and Feeding of Electronic Equipment: Part 2
By Robert Gulley K4KPM

Electronic equipment for our radio hobby requires periodic checks for proper operation, as well as occasionally performing preventive maintenance or repair as needed. This includes radios, power supplies/connections, computer hardware, antenna systems, and a host of other potential troublemakers. In this second article Robert discuss troubleshooting tips, electrical and antenna system maintenance, computer hardware/software updates, and other preventative measures to help keep things running as smoothly as possible.

Scanning America
By Dan Veeneman
Scanning Michigan

Federal Wavelengths
By Chris Parris
Las Vegas Mysteries and Frequencies

Milcom
By Larry Van Horn N5FPW
A New Way to Monitor the Military on January 1, 2020

Utility Planet
By Hugh Stegman
Cycle 25: Coming to an Ionosphere Near You

Shortwave Utility Logs
By Mike Chace-Ortiz and Hugh Stegman

VHF and Above
By Joe Lynch N6CL
The ‘Ah-Ha’ Behind Some Types of Aurorae

Digitally Speaking
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV
Another Look at D-Star

Radio 101
By Ken Reitz KS4ZR
The Trouble with Alexa

Radio Propagation
By Tomas Hood NW7US
Sunspot Cycle 24 Solar Minimum is Coming!

The World of Shortwave Listening
By Rob Wagner VK3BVW
Whatever Happened to the 11-Meter Band?

The Shortwave Listener
By Fred Waterer
German via Shortwave Plus BBC Highlights

Amateur Radio Astronomy
By Stan Nelson KB5VL
The Next Generation Very Large Array: ngVLAA

Adventures in Radio Restoration
By Rich Post KB8TAD
The Rolls-Royce of Radios: National HRO Part 2

Antenna Connections
By Dan Farber AC0LW
The End-Fed Antenna

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.


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