The Beginnings of the FM Band, the Story of EICO, and DX’ing with AM Transistor Radios

Stories you’ll find in our December, 2018 edition:

The Beginnings of FM Radio Broadcasting
By John F. Schneider W9FGH

We take broadcasting on the FM band for granted today, but getting to this point required early proponents of FM broadcasting to fight every step of the way. Among FM foes were the giants of AM broadcasting; the emerging powers behind television; that rascal David Sarnoff of RCA; even the FCC itself and the fact that there were only 25 FM receivers in the entire world. John explains all the things you don’t know about FM radio (including the fact that Edwin Armstrong didn’t invent that method of modulation—by a long shot) and how FM almost died in the aftermath of World War II.

The EICO story; the Electronic Instrument Company and its Kits
By Rich Post KB8TAD

Founded in 1945 by Harry R. Ashley, with an investment of $1,500, EICO was a competitor of Heathkit and Allied Knight-kits in the heyday of kit-built test equipment, audio products and ham gear. All those kits are now in the nostalgia category, but because they were well documented, mostly put together with screws rather than rivets, they can still be repaired and used. In fact, Rich tells us that some of the ham and audio gear and certain useful pieces of test equipment have become quite collectible. Rich also explains how, despite a shift to consumer electronics audio gear, like Heathkit and Allied Radio, EICO never made it past the computer era.

Classic Rock Era is Alive on Shortwave
By Ken Reitz KS4ZR

There’s something about Classic Rock music that just won’t fade. And, anyone who remembers shortwave radio programming in the 1970s and 80s, knows that rock music was readily found on the shortwave bands from the BBC and VOA’s regular music programming to private American shortwave stations such as WRNO “The Rock of New Orleans,” and Radio New York Worldwide. But thanks to programming on WTWW, WRMI, Radio New Zealand International and the Mighty KBC, the bands are alive once more with the pulsing sounds of Classic Rock.

BCB DX’ing With That Old Transistor Radio
By Richard Fisher, KI6SN

You have to wonder how many AM transistor radios have been relegated to the back of our junk drawers because “they just don’t work very well.” A reasonable guess would be in the seven figures over the decades. For strong local stations that may be just fine, but for the BCB DXer, the shrinking antennas bring awfully discouraging results. These transistor portables are more prone to local manmade interference as well. Richard shows us an easy and inexpensive solution to this dilemma in a tunable AM broadcast band loop antenna. Follow his step-by-step instructions and make even your transistor radios perform.

Scanning America
By Dan Veeneman
Fayette County (GA) and Intro to ULS

Federal Wavelengths
By Chris Parris
Federal Wavelengths 2018 Wrap Up

By Larry Van Horn N5FPW
Monitoring Santa Claus, NORAD and Combat Air Patrols

Utility Planet
By Hugh Stegman
Chasing Italian MF Coastal Stations

Shortwave Utility Logs
By Hugh Stegman and Mike Chace-Ortiz

VHF and Above
By Joe Lynch N6CL
CubeSats go to Mars

Digitally Speaking
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV
Complex Simplex

Amateur Radio Insights
By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z
Confessions of an Autotuner Abuser

Radio 101
By Ken Reitz KS4ZR
Chasing AM Band DX: Then and Now

Radio Propagation
By Tomas Hood NW7US
Winter DX is at the Door

The World of Shortwave Listening
By Rob Wagner VK3BVW
Propagation Tools, Wire Antennas and DX News

The Shortwave Listener
By Fred Waterer
New Programming from Spain and Greece Plus: Christmas Around the World

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

The Longwave Zone
By Kevin O’Hern Carey WB2QMY
SDR Startup: It’s a Wrap!

Adventures in Radio Restorations
By Rich Post KB8TAD
Recollecting My First EICO: The 425 Oscilloscope

Antenna Connections
By Dan Farber AC0LW
First Antenna: The Selection Process

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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