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

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.

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

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

  • Karl WA8NVW:

    MATT –
    Time to adjust your glasses or motivate the Amateur proofreader?? The teaser line for this e-issue reads “Stories you’ll find in our May, 2018 issue: ” which seems to be about 21 months behind the calendar.
    Seriously though, the mag cover photo correctly shows February, 2020 issue, and your article index is intriguing.

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: