December 2014 Issue

Price: $3.00

December 2014 Contents

Feature Articles


The Radio Rovers of the 1920s

By John Schneider W9FGH

     Americans spent $60 million on radio sets and parts in 1922, and businessmen and hobbyists fed the radio craze by building hundreds of new broadcasting stations. Almost overnight, the radio spectrum was packed with signals from all around the country—the number of licensed stations went from 28 in January to 670 by the end of the year. But there were still many smaller cities and towns that did not yet have their own broadcast stations. To serve these cities a special class of “portable” station license was created.


Mystery Regenerative Radio

By Rich Post KB8TAD

     Rich Post spotted a radio at an antique radio swap meet and was immediately drawn to it. From a distance, he thought it looked like a Lafayette Explor-Air KT-135 regenerative receiver. It used the same tubes as the Lafayette, but so did nearly all regenerative sets from the 1950s and 60s, including the Allied Knight-kit Space Spanner and the Heathkit GR-81. But who actually manufactured the set?


Testing Those Vintage Capacitors 

By Rich Post KB8TAD

     If you ask most radio restorers, what part or parts most often need replacement, they will answer “capacitors.” Rich has been repairing radios for over half a century, and, back in the day, often had to replace some of the capacitors. Now, those capacitors are often themselves a half-century or older. What could happen to that circuit if the capacitor was leaky or shorted? How likely is it to short? How can you test it to be sure?


Vint Hill Farms Cold War Museum Traces History of Cutting-edge Communications   

By Cory Koral K2WV

(Photos courtesy of Gary Morgan, Founding Member, The Cold War Museum)

     Current simmering East-West tensions brings to many minds the Cold War era. At the center of electronic technology of that time was a sprawling top-secret complex in the Virginia countryside known as Vint Hill Farms, where the fine art of modern spying via HF and satellite was directed. Now, it’s a museum dedicated to remembering Cold War lessons.


Old-Time Radio Lives Today  

By Ken Reitz KS4ZR

     What’s the point of having a restored vintage radio if all you can listen to are today’s ear-numbing AM talk shows? Now you can get the most out of your vintage radio by streaming the top shows of yesterday. Even if you don’t have an old-time radio you can get close to the same experience.


December 2014 Columns

Scanning America

  By Dan Veenaman

Scanning Southwest Ohio and Western Washington State


Federal Wavelengths

  By Chris Parris

Las Vegas Federal Monitoring


Utility Planet

  By Hugh Stegman NV6H

HM01 “Outage” Still a Mystery


Digital HF: Intercept and Analyze

  By Mike Chace-Ortiz AB1TZ/G6DHU

Two More Mystery Networks: Pactor and MIL-188-141ALE


HF Utility Logs

  By Mike Chace-Ortiz and Hugh Stegman


Amateur Radio Insights

  By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z

The Cold Equations: Why an Extra 30 W Means Nothing; Why Amplifiers Dont Work; Why QRP Does, and What You Should Really Do to Boost Your Signal!


Radio 101

  By Ken Reitz KS4ZR

Radio Ephemera


 Radio Propagation

 By Tomas Hood NW7US

 Hidden Portals in Earth’s Magnetic Field


The World of Shortwave Listening

By Rob Wagner VK3BVW

Solomon Islands, Congo, Russia and More!


The Shortwave Listener

By Fred Waterer

Christmas Worldwide via Shortwave


Amateur Radio Satellites

By Keith Baker KB1SF/VA3KSF

Happy 40th Birthday AMSAT Oscar-7!


The Longwave Zone

By Kevin O’Hern Carey WB2QMY

A Cure for PPHD (Part III)


Adventures in Radio Restoration

By Marc Ellis N9EWJ

Sizing, Selecting, and Installing Capacitors and Resistors


The Broadcast Tower

By Doug Smith W9WI

The Dial: Then and Now


Antenna Connections

By Dan Farber AC0LW

Antennas of Yore: A Look Back

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