The Spectrum Monitor — December, 2017

Stories you’ll find in our December, 2017 issue:

The Beginning of Sports Broadcasting and Radio’s First Sportscasters
By John Schneider W9FGH

Despite its great advantage of immediacy, radio did not become a dominant news medium until the start of World War II. Throughout the 1920s and 30s, newspaper owners were successful in keeping the press news agencies from selling their services to broadcasters, and radio remained a secondary source for news. But, the reporting of sporting events was another story. Sports and radio were a made for each other like ball in glove, and the country’s broadcasters were quick to capitalize on that advantage from the industry’s earliest years. John charts the rise of sports on American radio.

The Brief and Colorful History of Private US Shortwave Giants
By Richard Fisher KI6SN

In AM radio’s ever-evolving place in broadcasting history, there was a time when U.S.-based AM stations took to the shortwaves, either as standalone broadcasters or as an extension of their AM broadcast band partners. While their popularity soared in the 1970s and ’80s, many have vanished as others carry on.

Powerhouse American shortwave stations, including WRNO, WNYW, WBCQ, KUSW and KNLS, profiled here, had (or have) a substantial worldwide following on the high frequencies. In this 21st Century, many are gone or have changed formats from, say, popular music and news to Christian oratory or other programming. Richard looks back at some of these stations.

Meter Matters: Modern vs. Vintage Meters in Radio Restoration
By Rich Post KB8TAD

What happens when you calibrate that Hickok tube tester at those 150 and 130 voltage specifications or the bias voltages ignoring the line that calls for that ancient 1000 ohms-per-volt meter and just use a digital meter like my very-expensive-when-new Fluke 87 or that bargain Harbor Freight CenTech P37772 instead? Well, the calibration for your Hickok will be off. Those modern meters have a specified sensitivity of 10 megohms. Rich warns that not all that will be off as he examines the use of various meters in vintage radio technology.

TSM Reviews: Yaesu FT-70DR
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV

When an item is released that offers breakthrough technology or more features and benefits than previous models, the price is typically higher. When the price of an item is higher, many tend to hesitate in buying it. Further, economy of scale eventually kicks in, allowing a manufacturer to lower prices a bit, or produce and release additional models with many of the features of the premier version. The FT-70DR (FT-70DE in Europe) is the latest dual-band portable and takes its place in the market with a substantial entry-level feature set, as well as being the most inexpensive portable produced by the “traditional” amateur radio manufacturers—all for a street price of just under $200.

Scanning America
By Dan Veeneman
Interoperability Update; Orange County, Virginia

Federal Wavelengths
By Chris Parris
Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI)

By Larry Van Horn N5FPW
Introduction to Military Monitoring: VHF Low Band—the Forgotten Military Band

Utility Planet
By Hugh Stegman NV6H
North Korea Resumes HF “Numbers” Broadcasts

Shortwave Utility Logs
Compiled by Hugh Stegman and Mike Chace-Ortiz

VHF and Above
By Joe Lynch N6CL
The Geminids and Ursids Meteor Showers

Digitally Speaking
Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV
System Fusion II

Amateur Radio Insights
By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z
A Vertical in Hospice!

Radio 101
By Ken Reitz KS4ZR
AM Band DXing Circa 1964 and Now

Radio Propagation
By Tomas Hood NW7US
Heliophysics Research Reveals More About Substorm Mysteries

World of Shortwave Listening
By Rob Wagner VK3BVW
Making Shortwave Audio More Listenable

The Shortwave Listener
By Fred Waterer
2017 SW Review and New Programming

Amateur Radio Satellites
By Keith Baker KB1SF/VA3KSF
A Wealth of New Amateur Radio Satellites

The Longwave Zone
By Kevin O’Hern Carey WB2QMY
Primetime Arrives!

Adventures is Radio Restoration
By Rich Post KB8TAD
What’s an “Acoustic Labyrinth?” The Stromberg Carlson 240M

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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