The Spectrum Monitor — November, 2016

tsm-112016Stories you’ll find in our November, 2016 issue:

TSM Reviews: Elecraft KX2 QRP Transceiver
By Thomas Witherspoon K4SWL

As a ham who already owns both the KX1 and KX3 transceivers, and likes them very well, wouldn’t a KX2 be redundant? Maybe. But it also puts him in a perfect position to compare Elecraft’s latest offering. Thomas takes the diminutive KX2 into the field, where it was meant to be, activating more than twenty NPOTAs (National Park on the Air). What he finds is that “the KX2 is a profound upgrade of the KX1.” He also checks out the KX2 on the international shortwave bands and finds, “It’s an exceptionally sensitive and selective receiver, with a stable AGC, that would please the most dedicated DXer.”

Small HF Antennas for Portable and Restricted Space Use
By Mark Haverstock K8MSH

While small and shortened antennas have their drawbacks, their advantages—convenience for portable use, backpacking and avoiding HOA conflicts—are substantial tradeoffs. And, while their performance is less than should be expected from full-sized antennas, this doesn’t mean they don’t perform—you just need to keep your expectations in perspective. Mark takes a look at several of the more popular portable HF antennas available commercially and he looks at the options for making your own, including a 40-6 meter end-fed antenna he made himself.

Radio Power Supplies: A Primer for Hams and SWLs
By Bob Grove W8JHD

It’s the most basic piece of equipment in your ham shack or radio room—it’s certainly the least interesting—but it could be the most important. Bob Grove answers just about every question you might have had about the lowly radio power supply: Why 13.8 volts? Is a same-brand power supply best for my name-brand transceiver? Do I really need meters on my power supply? What’s a switching power supply? What’s “crowbar protection” and “variable voltage?” What amperage do I really need? If I’m using a battery as a portable power supply, which is best?

The Kit’s Meow: Shopping for DIY Radio Projects
By Richard Fisher KI6SN

With Ramsey shutting down its radio kits division earlier this year, many hams and shortwave listeners felt it might signal the end of the radio kits industry. Don’t people build things anymore? Regular TSM contributor Richard Fisher KI6SN set out to discover the current state of kit making. What he found is quite encouraging: more than 250 online companies offering kits as varied as the spectrum we listen to, with a great range in prices and required maker skills. Richard lists them all, complete with a sampling of their wares and links to their websites.

MURS: Dots, Data and More
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV

Along with Class D CB, GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) and FRS, (Family Radio Service) there’s another aspect to the FCC’s Part 95 two-way radio – MURS. The Multi-Use Radio Service occupies five channels in the VHF spectrum. By rule, it is limited to a 2 watts output power and may seem quite limited, but there’s more to MURS than meets the eye. In this segment of his Part-95 radio series, Cory, looks at the little known VHF service that can meet quite a few needed applications where you live.

Scanning America
By Dan Veenaman
Public Utilities as “Critical Infrastructure”

Federal Wavelengths
By Chris Parris
TSA Radio Updates and More Small Federal Agencies

Utility Planet
By Hugh Stegman NV6H
KPH Returns to Point Reyes

Digital HF: Intercept and Analyze
By Mike Chace-Ortiz AB1TZ/G6DHU
An HF “Beep, Beep, Beep,” Chirping Signal Mystery

HF Utility Logs
By Mike Chace-Ortiz and Hugh Stegman

Digitally Speaking
By Cory Sickles WA3UVV
DMR Update

VHF and Above
By Joe Lynch N6CL
Baofeng BF-F8HP and BTech UV-5X3 Handhelds and 220 MHZ

Amateur Radio Insights
By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z
Forget the Holiday—It’s Contest Time!

Radio 101
By Ken Reitz KS4ZR
What’s New in CB and FRS/GMRS

Radio Propagation
By Tomas Hood NW7US
Space Weather: Solar Cycle 24 is Dying!

The World of Shortwave Listening
By Ken Reitz KS4ZR
Trends in Shortwave Radio

The Shortwave Listener
By Fred Waterer
EU SW Stations and Election Night Listening

Amateur Radio Astronomy
By Stan Nelson KB5VL
FITS Again

The Longwave Zone
By Kevin O’Hern Carey WB2QMY

Adventures in Radio Restoration
By Rich Post KB8TAD
The Freshman Masterpiece: a 1920s TRF Experience

Antenna Connections
By Dan Farber AC0LW
And the Twain Shall Meet: Let’s Build a Dipole

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].

2 Responses to “The Spectrum Monitor — November, 2016”

  • Lawrie Bennett VK3BV:

    Hi very interestng comments and drticles in this edition

  • Harry K4BAD:

    Excellent and wide ranging articles in this edition. Also,the last few issues have expanded coverage of ham radio.
    Lastly,without fail,the issues come to my Ipad email adr on the first of each month.

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