The Spectrum Monitor – August, 2014


Here are the featured stories from our August, 2014 issue:

The Military Auxiliary Radio System: A Partner in the Nation’s Emergency Preparedness
by David J. Trachtenberg N4WWL, AFA3TR, AFN3PL (National Planning Coordinator), AFN3NE (Northeast Division MARS Director)

In an age where anyone with a cell phone can contact anyone else halfway around the world instantaneously, we seldom think of how we would communicate if traditional means were not available. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) understands this reality. For 89 years it has authorized and sponsored a group of volunteer amateur radio operators to provide a backup communications capability for the U.S. military and other agencies in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. But, with the military relying on satellites and digital Web-based communications, is MARS still useful today?

BBG and Technology Today: The Struggle for Global Relevance
by Ken Reitz KS4ZR

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is a top-heavy, sprawling, federal bureaucracy, with an annual budget in excess of $700 million. It oversees the Voice of America, Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB). But, times have changed and more listeners are tuning in via smartphone than shortwave radio. With an ever-decreasing budget, can BBG deliver its message and stay globally relevant?

Returning to the Carrier: The YE-ZB Radio System
by Rich Post KB8TAD

It was July 30, 1935. Navy Lieutenant Frank Akers had been given a unique and hazardous assignment. As the Flight Test and Project Officer for Instrument Flying Development at the Naval Air Station in San Diego, he had been told that the Navy’s first aircraft carrier, the USS Langley, was somewhere at sea about 150 miles from San Diego. He was to find the carrier and attempt to land on it while completely covered by a hood. This would be the ultimate test for an experimental, radio-based instrument landing system. With directional radio beacons, locating the carrier to the point of visual sighting was one thing, but a blind landing on that relatively small moving flat-top was another matter.

Putting the “Radio” in Radio Shack
by Mark Haverstock K8MSH

Radio Shack started in 1921 as a one-store retail and mail-order operation in downtown Boston run by brothers. Theodore and Milton Deutschmann. They chose the name Radio Shack, a term used to describe small wooden shelters that housed a ship’s radio equipment. By 1968 they were the “McDonalds of electronics,” the “Walmart of high tech.” When they moved into Mark Haverstock’s corner of the world—the north suburbs of Pittsburgh—opening what was to become one of more than 7,300 company and franchise stores worldwide, it didn’t matter that there was an already established Lafayette Radio store less than a mile away, or an Olson’s on the other side of town. There couldn’t be enough radio stores for him and his ham/hobbyist friends.

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 (12 issues, beginning with the January 2014 issue) 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].

3 Responses to “The Spectrum Monitor – August, 2014”

  • Harry K4bad:

    This is a great magazine. It always has interesting articles about ham radio in addition to general interest articles about monitoring. For example,the latest issue has an article about using an extension ladder for a field day antenna. It comes out,promptly,on the first of each month. Try an individual copy for 3 bucks to see if you like it. I’m not affiliated with this magazine in any way….73 Harry….K4BAD

  • Jyoti VU3BGI:

    wE LIVE IN A CHANGING WORLD. lot has changed since I started DXing, never imagined there will be a day when major shortwave broadcasters will stop broadcasting, and we have to read broadcast related articles electronically. TSM is a magazine which bridges the gap between the old and new era. I have been reading this magazine ever since it was launched in my IPad. great articles and relevant topics of our hobby which is getting extinct as many thinks. I recommend this magazine to any one who really loves radio.

  • charlesN1CAI:

    I just subscribed and couldn’t be happier with The Spectrum Monitor. Both in terms of its excellent content and editorial staff. I also have to give kudos to Ken who caught a error in my billing and promptly notified me and dealt with it so quickly I had even caught it. Thanks for filling a gap that needed to be filled love the PDF format I read them on my nook.
    Thanks and great job

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