The Spectrum Monitor — October, 2017

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

October 4, 1957: The Beep Heard Around the World
By Richard Fisher KI6SN

Listening and peering into the night sky on October 4, 1957, hams, shortwave listeners, scientists, military personnel and ordinary citizens became eye and ear-witnesses to an epic moment in human existence—the dawn of the Space Age. Richard has collected the thoughts and memories of those who were among the first to hear and see the original man-made moon, known as “Sputnik-1.” The historic event not only changed the course of human history, but also changed the lives of many of the individuals who heard those first beeps from space.

A Visual Tour of the Tokyo Ham Fair
By Keith Baker KB1SF/VA3KSF

In early September, Keith had the distinct honor of being an ambassador for the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) at the big Tokyo Ham Radio Fair in Tokyo, Japan. He writes, “Our mission was to personally invite Japanese hams to join us in Dayton, Ohio, for next year’s big Dayton Hamvention. However, unlike the Dayton Hamvention, which is sponsored by a local (albeit large!) amateur radio club (DARA), the Japan Amateur Radio League (JRRL), the Japanese equivalent of our American Radio Relay League (ARRL), conducts the Tokyo Ham Fair each year.” Keith also visits the Akihabara section of Tokyo known as “Electric Town” and presents a visual tour of both.

TSM Reviews: Digitech AR1780
By Thomas Witherspoon K4SWL

Regular contributor, Thomas Witherspoon, is always on the lookout for interesting, unheralded shortwave radios. This month he takes a look at the Digitech AR1780, a relatively unknown, inexpensive portable shortwave radio that covers longwave through shortwave, FM and even the Air-band and, while it has some quirks, it has more than a few features in its favor. Find out why Thomas says, “For $129.00 AUD (roughly $103 USD), you’re getting a full-featured radio that is, by and large, a pleasure to operate.”

The European DX Council at 50
By Chrissy Brand

It was 50 years ago, in 1967, that the first conference of the European DX Council was held. The EDXC, an organization of leading DXers, is still going strong after all these decades. This is testified by the continued success of its annual conference and through the projects and information sharing that it still carries out. Chrissy reports on this year’s conference held in August in the Finnish city of Tampere.

Tran-Equatorial Propagation: Pillows in the Sky
By John Piliounis SV1OCS

Most radio communications at VHF frequencies happens between different locations in line-of-sight propagation and, more rarely, either through the E or F2 layers’ ionospheric refraction during periods of intense sunspots, or through tropospheric ducting. But Mother Nature has provided VHF communication links that also happen between symmetrical locations to the geomagnetic equator. Propagation of this type has been named Trans-Equatorial Propagation (TEP). John looks at the theory behind this phenomenon and the historic experiments to prove its existence to skeptics.

Scanning America
By Dan Veeneman
Post Falls and Kootenai County, Idaho

Federal Wavelengths
By Chris Parris
Eclipse, Weather Provide Scanner Action

By Larry Van Horn N5FPW
Introduction to Military Monitoring:
What Equipment do you need to Monitor HF MilComms?

Utility Planet
By Hugh Stegman NV6H
Summer 2017: Nature Gets the Last Word

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

VHF and Above
By Joe Lynch N6CL
A DIY Hardware Store 2-Meter GOTA/EMMCOM Antenna

Amateur Radio Insights
By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z
The Twists and Turns of Amateur Radio Rotators

Radio 101
By Ken Reitz KS4ZR
Monitoring Emergencies via FTA Satellite

Radio Propagation
By Tomas Hood NW7US
A Last Hoorah?

World of Shortwave Listening
By Andrew Yoder
AM and SW Pirates: Then and Now, Plus: Global HF Pirate Weekend

The Shortwave Listener
By Fred Waterer
BBC Program Notes for October and More

Maritime Monitoring
By Ron Walsh VE3GO
Nothing Remains the Same Except Change!

The Longwave Zone
By Kevin O’Hern and Cary WB2QMY
Get it in the Log!

Adventures is Radio Restoration
By Rich Post KB8TAD
Re-converting a Radio for the Summer of ’42 (Motorola 50P for Pontiac)

Antenna Connections
By Dan Farber AC0LW
Getting High: Antenna Effects and Oddities at UHF and Up

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].

One Response to “The Spectrum Monitor — October, 2017”

  • David:

    At the moment, the DigiTech AR-1780 is on sale in Australia. It’s 25% off making it $99 from They offer mail order, but I always go to a shop so can’t say if it’s international.
    I’d been toying with buying one, at his price I did.

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