The Spectrum Monitor — May, 2015


Stories you’ll find in our May, 2015 issue:

DIY: The Home-Brewer’s Primer
By Richard Fisher KI6SN
Building transmitters, shortwave receivers, antennas and station accessories is an art dating to the late 19th Century—the earliest days of radio. Almost every radio operator of the era was a builder, because commercially made radio gear was either nonexistent or, at the least, quite expensive. The term “home-brewer,” those who toiled at the workbench in order to tune in shortwave or get on the ham bands, would become a badge of honor and part of the lexicon of amateur radio. Home-brewing radio equipment is as vital to today’s radio amateurs as ever!

The Newcomers Net: Bringing together Newbies and Old-Timers
By Robert Gulley AK3Q
Like so many things in life, amateur radio is caught just as much as it is taught. Elmers (amateur radio mentors) and Newcomers really do feed off of each other, and excitement tends to generate more excitement. Whether it is trying new things or rediscovering long-lost passions, both newbies and old-timers alike grow from their shared experiences. Robert writes about the second anniversary of The Newcomers and Elmers Net, a weekly, on-air meeting of the OH-KY-IN Amateur Radio Society, geared toward pairing newcomers to the hobby with Elmers willing to offer them advice and the benefit of their experience. What they’ve done can be applied nationwide.

Digitally Speaking: Digital Voice on 220 MHz?
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV
Our amateur radio allocation at 222-225 MHz is among those that have been left out of the “Digital Voice Club.” As this is a band exclusive to the Americas, manufacturers are less inclined to invest in producing gear than for UHF. Currency fluctuations and lowered levels of interest limit the potential payoff for commercially produced gear. Cory ponders the question, “What will it take to get digital voice on 220 MHz?”

Southern Amateur Radio Hospitality: N4H and WA4USN Special Event Station
By Ron Walsh VE3GO
Canadian TSM Maritime Monitoring columnist, Ron Walsh, encounters “southern hospitality amateur radio” when he signs up to help man WA4USN aboard the US Navy battleship, the USS North Carolina, based in Wilmington, North Carolina and N4H near the site in South Carolina where the Civil War-era submarine, H. L. Hunley, sank after having been the first such vessel to sink another ship, the USS Housatonic, in battle. Ron had the opportunity to study US Naval history and operate two special event stations during his annual southern winter holiday.

TSM Reviews: TitanSDR
By Thomas Witherspoon K4SWL

After discovering the power of software-defined radios (SDRs) a few years ago, Thomas has been hooked, and now does 95 percent of his home listening and monitoring via various SDRs in his collection. In this issue he turns his attention to a newly released military-grade SDR called the TitanSDR. He’s impressed with its performance, but will this super-sophisticated SDR live up to its military budget price tag?

Scanning America By Dan Veenaman
Allentown, PA, FCC Field Offices and Dayton

Federal Wavelengths By Chris Parris
GAO Report on CBP Radio System Problems

Utility Planet By Hugh Stegman NV6H
U.S. Veterans Department Signs HF Contract

Digital HF: Intercept and Analyze By Mike Chace-Ortiz AB1TZ/G6DHU
Decoding Russian MFA and Intelligence Signals

HF Utility Logs By Mike Chace-Ortiz and Hugh Stegman

Amateur Radio Insights By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z
A Tale of Antennas and Instrumentation

Radio 101 By Ken Reitz KS4ZR
Training your Replacement

Radio Propagation By Tomas Hood NW7US
Sporadic-E—The Magical Summertime Sizzle

The World of Shortwave Listening
By Jeff White, General Manager WRMI and Chairman HFCC
Shortwave Broadcasters Descend Upon Oman: The A15 High Frequency Coordination Conference in Muscat

The Shortwave Listener By Fred Waterer
Monitoring International News via Shortwave

Amateur Radio Astronomy By Stan Nelson KB5VL
Detecting Meteor Activity with Digital TV Carriers

The Longwave Zone By Kevin O’Hern Carey WB2QMY
More on Natural Radio

Adventures in Radio Restoration By Rich Post KB8TAD
Powering the “Real McCoy” 75 watt Novice transmitter

The Broadcast Tower By Doug Smith W9WI
The Big Get-Together

Antenna Connections By Dan Farber AC0LW
Houston, We have a Downlink: Spacecraft Antennas

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 2015 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].

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