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

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.

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

Leave a Comment

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter
News, Opinion, Giveaways & More!

Join over 7,000 subscribers!
We never share your e-mail address.

Also available via RSS feed, Twitter, and Facebook.

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

We never share your e-mail address.

Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!

  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor

Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: