The Spectrum Monitor — December, 2014


Stories you’ll find in the December, 2014 edition:

The Radio Rovers of the 1920s

By John Schneider W9FGH

Americans spent $60 million on radio sets and parts in 1922, and businessmen and hobbyists fed the radio craze by building hundreds of new broadcasting stations. Almost overnight, the radio spectrum was packed with signals from all around the country—the number of licensed stations went from 28 in January to 670 by the end of the year. But there were still many smaller cities and towns that did not yet have their own broadcast stations. To serve these cities a special class of “portable” station license was created.

Mystery Regenerative Radio
By Rich Post KB8TAD

Rich Post spotted a radio at an antique radio swap meet and was immediately drawn to it. From a distance, he thought it looked like a Lafayette Explor-Air KT-135 regenerative receiver. It used the same tubes as the Lafayette, but so did nearly all regenerative sets from the 1950s and 60s, including the Allied Knight-kit Space Spanner and the Heathkit GR-81. But who actually manufactured the set?

Testing Those Capacitors
By Rich Post KB8TAD

If you ask most radio restorers, what part or parts most often need replacement, they will answer “capacitors.” Rich has been repairing radios for over half a century, and, back in the day, often had to replace some of the capacitors. Now, those capacitors are often themselves a half-century or older. What could happen to that circuit if the capacitor was leaky or shorted? How likely is it to short? How can you test it to be sure?

Vint Hill Farms Cold War Museum Traces History of Cutting-edge Communications
By Cory Koral K2WV (Photos courtesy of Gary Morgan, Founding Member, The Cold War Museum)

Current simmering East-West tensions brings to many minds the Cold War era. At the center of electronic technology of that time was a sprawling top-secret complex in the Virginia countryside known as Vint Hill Farms, where the fine art of modern spying via HF and satellite was directed. Now, it’s a museum dedicated to remembering Cold War lessons.

Old-Time Radio Today
By Ken Reitz KS4ZR

What’s the point of having a restored vintage radio if all you can listen to are today’s ear-numbing AM talk shows? Now you can get the most out of your vintage radio by streaming the top shows of yesterday. Even if you don’t have an old-time radio you can get close to the same experience. Editor’s Note:
If you are a current subscriber to The Spectrum Monitor (or are interested in becoming one), don’t forget to sign up for your 2015 subscription.  It’s well worth $2/month to keep this great little publication “on the air”!

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

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