The Spectrum Monitor — April, 2016

tsm-april-2016Stories you’ll find in our April, 2016 issue:

Let Portable Antennas give you a Noise-Free Vacation
By Keith Baker KB1SF/VA3KSF

An increasing cacophony of mostly man-made RF noise on our HF bands makes it ever more difficult to hear particularly weak incoming stations, sometimes to the point of making reception of favorite shortwave or ham DX stations all but impossible at home. Keith shows us how you can take a break from noise using portable antennas that really work.

What You Should Know before Investing in an Antenna
By Richard Fisher KI6SN

Whether you are a relative newcomer to amateur radio, SWLing, TV DXing or VHF-UHF scanning, or are a seasoned card-carrying veteran, only you will know the antenna parameters best suited for your amateur station or listening post. Your own passions, needs, capabilities, real estate, budget and a jillion other factors inform your antenna choices. Richard helps sort out the options and explains how to get the most S-units per dollar spent in pursuit of DX.

Wi-Fi Radio Primer Part 1
By Thomas Witherspoon K4SWL

Always a hard-core shortwave radio listener, Thomas likes the tactile experience of turning the knobs of the shortwave, tuning in stations across the globe. So, when online listening became popular, it never occurred to him to give it a try. Then, at the 2012 Winter SWL Fest, an excellent presentation on the merits and technologies behind Wi-Fi radio intrigued him. After downloading and installing the Pro version of the TuneIn radio app, he had to admit, it was a pretty powerful listening experience…one he could easily get used to.

Piggy-Bank Ham Radio Part 1
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV

After hearing someone bemoan the “high cost” of amateur radio and how such a “prohibitive expense” was preventing many from becoming hams, his knee jerk reaction was, “Really?” Sure, if you’re referring to a super-mega-über contest station, then he might agree, but just to get started, you don’t need deep pockets—just some preparation and some well-placed effort. Cory outlines a “cheap and dirty” way to start enjoying HF—with the basic Technician class license. Just as ham radio itself has no barriers as to age, the ideas he shares can work for anyone, whether you’re a student, retiree or somewhere in between.

Multiple FTA Satellite Reception Techniques Revisited
By Mike Kohl

The most cost effective way to get into Free-to-Air satellite reception is with 75 to 90-cm antennas for most Ku-band reception because they’re cheaper and shipping costs are less. But needing to monitor multiple FTA satellites forces a decision about whether to use multiple Ku-band antennas linked together with a DiSEqC switch, or to motorize one or more antennas. Which Ku-band satellites do we actually watch on a regular basis? After the busy Galaxy 19 satellite at 97 degrees West, what satellites do we need continuous access from on a 24 hour basis? Mike shows us how to properly set up a motorized Ku-band dish or use a DiSEqC switch.

Scanning America
By Dan Veenaman
Growing Acceptance of TETRA

Federal Wavelengths
By Chris Parris
The 2016 Political Season

Utility Planet
By Hugh Stegman NV6H
Uncovering U-2s on HF

Digital HF: Intercept and Analyze
By Mike Chace-Ortiz AB1TZ/G6DHU
US ALE Smorgasbord

HF Utility Logs
By Mike Chace-Ortiz and Hugh Stegman

Digitally Speaking
By Cory Sickles WA3UVV
Digital Destinations

VHF and Above
By Joe Lynch N6CL
The Meteor Shower Nobody Saw—Revisited—Again

Amateur Radio Insights
By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z
Home-Brewing and Kit Building Isn’t What It Used To Be—But It’s Almost What It Will Be!

Radio 101
By Ken Reitz KS4ZR
Last of the Standalone DRM Portable Radios?

Radio Propagation
By Tomas Hood NW7US
Season of Lights (Aurora)

The World of Shortwave Listening
By Rob Wagner VK3BVW
Clandestine Stations Alive and Well

The Shortwave Listener
By Fred Waterer
The Queen’s Birthday, KBC Cutback and VOA Tibet

Maritime Monitoring
By Ron Walsh VE3GO
Radio Action on the Great Lakes Returns

The Longwave Zone
By Kevin O’Hern Carey WB2QMY
Spring Remedies

Adventures in Radio Restoration
By Rich Post KB8TAD
Sound and Light: The Mitchell Lumitone 1260

Antenna Connections
By Dan Farber AC0LW
Multi-banding a Single Antenna: Several Routes Beckon

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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