December 2016

Price: $3.00

The Coast Guard Cutter Courier: “A Cold War-era Battleship without Guns”

By John Schneider W9FGH

The Voice of America operated a unique shipboard radio broadcasting facility on the medium wave and shortwave bands in the Mediterranean Sea from 1952 to 1964. The US Coast Guard Cutter Courier was a seagoing Cold War shipboard broadcaster, which preceded the famous pirate radio ships of the 1960s and 70s and was the home to the most powerful transmitter ever operated aboard a ship. But, it was not always smooth sailing. There were complications with the 900-foot balloon-tethered medium wave antenna and constant jamming from Russian-based transmitters.


Experiences of a (Relatively) Young Ham with Vintage Radios

By W. Eric McFadden WD8RIF

While the author has been a licensed ham for 38 years, he’s relatively young. And, since most of his operating gear is modern, he’s fairly new to vintage radio. He writes that he wanted to experience what the hobby was like for earlier generations and he felt the contagion of many of his close amateur radio friends who are quite into vacuum tube-era gear. He’s apparently a quick study because now he has some good-looking vintage gear in his shack, including a Heathkit HW-16 and a Drake 2-NT transmitter and 2-C receiver as well as tube-fired 6-meter gear. He’s definitely hooked!


Beware the Mods: Drake 2NT Transmitter

By Rich Post KB8TAD

Longtime vintage radio guru, Rich Post KB8TAD, helps Eric McFadden restore his Drake 2-NT transmitter and shows the rest of us some of the things he does to give vintage radio gear new life. Here’s a hint: It’s not easy and it helps to have good diagnostic equipment, skills to operate that equipment and many decades of understanding the variables of tube-technology.


Shortwave Listening with the “Old-Timers”

By Eric Beheim

Growing up in the 1950s and listening to his grandfather’s 1936 23-tube Scott All-Wave console shortwave radio was a pretty good start for young Eric Beheim. That’s why today, Eric likes to listen to the shortwave bands on number of vintage shortwave radios, including a 1936 Hallicrafters S-20R Sky Champion and a 1942 Zenith model 7G605 Transoceanic “Clipper” among others. Listening is not as easy as you might think. Eric writes, “Most older radios lack the sensitivity, selectivity, and stability that we take for granted in our modern sets. But that’s what makes monitoring with the ‘old timers’ both challenging and exciting.”


A Salute to the Esteemed Regenerative Receiver

By Richard Fisher KI6SN

Fifty years ago, a teenage Richard Fisher, sporting his Novice call, WN1DWL, found he was at loose ends during his high school winter break. What better way to pass the time than to build a regenerative receiver that he could use to cover the ham bands from 160 through 10 meters? It was a project financially within reach of “a broke 16 year-old.” Years later, while he still had the rig, it had fallen victim to the ravages of time and “parts scrounging.” Now, Richard thought, what better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of that little radio than to restore it to its full regenerative glory?

Scanning America

By Dan Veenaman

Scanning Radio History


Federal Wavelengths

By Chris Parris

Holiday Radio Logs


Utility Planet

By Hugh Stegman NV6H

Russia to Activate Arctic OTH Radar in 2017


Digital HF: Intercept and Analyze

By Mike Chace-Ortiz AB1TZ/G6DHU

What Digital HF Signals can you Hear and Decode Today?


HF Utility Logs

By Mike Chace-Ortiz and Hugh Stegman


Digitally Speaking

By Cory Sickles WA3UVV

Holiday Wish List


VHF and Above

By Joe Lynch N6CL

ARISS: A Brief Flyover and My Experiences with ARISS QSOs


Amateur Radio Insights

By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z

The Hows and Whys of DIY Open-Wire Feed Line


Radio 101

By Ken Reitz KS4ZR

Getting Started with Free-to-Air Satellite TV


Radio Propagation

By Tomas Hood NW7US

Plasma Bullets


The World of Shortwave Listening

By Rob Wagner VK3BVW

On the Road with a Tecsun PL-680


The Shortwave Listener

By Fred Waterer

Christmas Around the World on Shortwave


Amateur Radio Astronomy

By Keith Baker KB1SF/VA3KSF

Amateur Radio Satellite Operating Protocols


The Longwave Zone

By Kevin O’Hern Carey WB2QMY

Resources: What's On Your Bookshelf?


Adventures in Radio Restoration

By Rich Post KB8TAD

The Heathkit Laboratory-type Signal Generators: LG-1 and IG-42


Antenna Connections

By Dan Farber AC0LW

Sunspot Maybe: Surviving without Upper HF

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