August 2014 Issue

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August 2014 Contents

Feature Articles

The Military Auxiliary Radio System: A Partner in the Nation’s Emergency Preparedness

By David J. Trachtenberg AFA3TR, AFN3PL (National Planning Coordinator), AFN3NE (Northeast Division USAF MARS Director)

     In an age where anyone with a cell phone can contact anyone else halfway around the world instantaneously, we seldom think of how we would communicate if traditional means were not available. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) understands this reality. For 89 years it has authorized and sponsored a group of volunteer amateur radio operators to provide a backup communications capability for the U.S. military and other agencies in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. But, with the military relying on satellites and digital Web-based communications, is MARS still useful today?

BBG and Technology Today: The Struggle for Global Relevance

By Ken Reitz KS4ZR

     The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is a top-heavy, sprawling, federal bureaucracy, with an annual budget in excess of $700 million. It oversees the Voice of America, Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting. But times have changed and more listeners are tuning in via smartphone than shortwave radio. With an ever-decreasing budget, can BBG deliver its message and stay globally relevant?

Returning to the Carrier: The YE-ZB Radio System

By Rich Post KB8TAD

     It was July 30, 1935. Navy Lieutenant Frank Akers had been given a unique and hazardous assignment. As the Flight Test and Project Officer for Instrument Flying Development at the Naval Air Station in San Diego, he had been told that the Navy’s first aircraft carrier, the USS Langley, was somewhere at sea about 150 miles from San Diego. He was to find the carrier and attempt to land on it while completely covered by the hood. This would be the ultimate test for an experimental, radio based instrument landing system. With directional radio beacons, locating the carrier to the point of visual sighting was one thing, but a blind landing on that relatively small, moving flat top was another matter altogether.


Putting the “Radio” in Radio Shack®

By Mark Haverstock K8MSH

     Radio Shack started in 1921 as a one-store retail and mail-order operation in downtown Boston run by brothers Theodore and Milton Deutschmann. They chose the name Radio Shack, a term used to describe small wooden shelters that housed a ship’s radio equipment. By 1968 they were the “McDonalds of electronics,” the “Walmart of high tech.” When they moved into Mark Haverstock’s corner of the world—the north suburbs of Pittsburgh—opening what was to become one of more than 7,300 company and franchise stores worldwide, it didn’t matter that there was an already established Lafayette Radio store less than a mile away, or an Olson’s on the other side of town, he thought, “There couldn’t be enough radio stores for my ham/ hobbyist friends and me.”


August 2014 Column

Scanning America

By Dan Veenaman

Radio Activity in the National Radio Quiet Zone

Federal Wavelengths

By Chris Parris

El Paso, Texas, Federal Monitoring


Utility Planet

By Hugh Stegman NV6H

U.S. Air Force HFGCS


Digital HF: Intercept and Analyze

By Mike Chace-Ortiz AB1TZ/G6DHU

The World of SITOR-B


HF Utility Logs

By Mike Chace-Ortiz and Hugh Stegman


Amateur Radio Insights

By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z

Mysterious End-Fed Antennas


Radio 101

By Ken Reitz KS4ZR

Field Day on a 16-Foot Extension Ladder


Radio Propagation

By Tomas Hood NW7US

Researching Propagation using JT65A


The World of Shortwave Listening

By Rob Wagner VK3BVW

The Australian SWL Perspective


The Shortwave Listener

By Fred Waterer

Exotic Programming on Shortwave


Amateur Radio Astronomy

By Stan Nelson KB5VL

A Visit to the Owens Valley Radio Observatory


The Longwave Zone

By Kevin O’Hern Carey WB2QMY

Dog-Day Monitoring


Adventures in Radio Restoration

By Marc Ellis N9EWJ

Buttoning up the Crosley Sixer


The Broadcast Tower

By Doug Smith W9WI

Why is that Tower where it is?

Antenna Connections

By Dan Farber AC0LW

Whats My Line? Pros and Cons of the Various Feedlines

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