The Spectrum Monitor – July, 2014
Here are the featured stories from our July, 2014 issue:
Monitoring NATO War Games
by Tony Roper
Twice each year the United Kingdom hosts NATO’s Operation “Joint Warrior,” a combined military exercise that includes major European countries as well as the US, Canada and often non-NATO countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. For monitors who follow such exercises closely, it’s a chance to tune in via HF, VHF and UHF to monitor some fairly exotic modes. It also offers some dramatic photo opportunities for those lucky enough to be close by. Longtime military monitor, Tony Roper, tells us how it’s done, where to listen and what you’ll hear. (Pg. 9)
From Plane Spotter to Air Traffic Controller
by Tony Roper
You might think that growing up just four miles from runway 10R at London’s Heathrow airport, it would be mandatory for a kid to be interested in aircraft communications. But it wasn’t until a teenage Tony Roper was given an analog VHF radio that featured the aviation band, that he connected those countless flights overhead with what he heard on that radio. It sent him on a 25-year career path as both a Royal Air Force and civilian air traffic controller. He also became a writer and photographer specializing in military monitoring. (Pg. 16)
Moonbounce: Earth-Moon-Earth Basics
by Bob DeVarney W1ICW
As with most space-related communications, bouncing radio signals off the surface of the Moon, a distance of almost a quarter-million miles, has usually been the domain of NASA, the military, or a few of the world’s most well-heeled hams. But, thanks to inexpensive, high-powered computers, exceedingly capable software and relatively cheap antennas, Earth Moon-Earth (EME) transmissions are now possible for average hams. Bob DeVarney W1ICW traces the origins of EME and his own efforts that have netted him 53 DXCC entities and counting! (Pg. 20)
Monitoring the Chesapeake Bay by Sea and Air
by Dave Kelly
America’s Chesapeake Bay is the world’s largest estuary, with a watershed that encompasses 64,000 square miles. It’s also home to nearly constant state, local, federal and military communications on an amazing assortment of frequencies. It’s also home to Wallops Island Flight Center, Virginia’s own spaceport. From Navy Seal training in the Bay’s backwaters to the thunder of rocket launches on the shore, the Chesapeake Bay offers an abundance of radio monitoring and the best crab cakes you’ll ever eat. (Pg. 25)
Dixon, California: America’s Shortwave Mecca
by John Schneider W9FGH
The incredibly flat land around Dixon, California, was not only good for raising crops out to the horizon, it also proved a great launching point for shortwave signals that went thousands of miles beyond that same horizon. Radio historian and former Monitoring Times feature writer, John Schneider W9FGH, relates the amazing story of the rise and fall of this legendary West Coast shortwave city. (Pg. 29)
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.
A totally unsolicited comment: The Spectrum Monitor more than fills the void left by Monitoring Times retirement. Unlike some of the other online magazines, this one comes on a PDF file so I can read it without needing a wifi connection.
Agreed, John. I was very sad to see MT go and relieved that The Spectrum Monitor has turned out to be such a worthy replacement!
I tweet as often as I can (I don’t want to be *too* obvious) about TSM. Ken, you’re doing a great job and hopefully things aren’t as busy and as hectic as they were during the launch!