July 2018

Price: $3.00

The Development of Police Radio Communications in the United States 

By John F. Schneider W9FGH

Policing in America before the 1920s was done by the beat policeman, who wandered his assigned neighborhood on foot. If he needed to communicate with his precinct officer, he used a street corner police call-box. The Detroit Police Department, led by a visionary police commissioner, was the first to seriously experiment with installing radio receivers in patrol cars, beginning in 1922 with the licensing of its own radio station, KOP. But, although the emerging technology of radio held obvious promise as a means of communication, there were still many shortcomings in its fledgling years that prevented its reliable use in vehicles. John notes the historical issues involved with police broadcasting and the general public tuning in—a nearly one-hundred year-old tradition.


Listening in on the WWI Western Front: The SCR-54A (BC-14A) Receiver

By Rich Post KB8TAD

One hundred years ago, the United States was at war. At the start of the World War I, the US Navy, as authorized by the President, ordered that all private radio transmitters and receivers, whether licensed or unlicensed, be dismantled. The order was not just for the spark transmitters of the day, but even simple hobbyist crystal receiving sets. Rich explores the SCR-54A BC14A , a state-of-the-art WWI radio receiver system, which along with a BC-15A spark transmitter wedged aboard an airplane would allow the pilot to provide reconnaissance from the battlefield. Rich takes a look at this combo, which took serious skills to operate in testing—let alone in battle.


Cheerio: Amateur Radio’s Checkered History at the BBC

By Richard Fisher KI6SN

Last fall, with the pomp and ceremony for which Great Britain is so well known, Lord Tony Hall, Baron Hall of Berkenhead, and head of the BBC, cut the ribbon to officially open amateur radio station G8BBC, turning the page to the newest chapter in the British Broadcasting Corporation’s on-again-off-again romance with amateur radio. Richard explains how hams at the BBC have fared over the decades, occupying a thin sliver of real estate, courtesy of the world’s most well known shortwave voice.


TSM Reviews: Palstar LA-1K Solid-State HF Amplifier

By Mark Haverstock K8MSH

 Since the beginning of ham radio, vacuum tube amplifiers have dominated the market. They’re relatively economical to manufacture, tolerant of abuse, and have some leeway to match antennas that aren’t exactly resonant. More recently, solid-state amplifiers have gained traction among amateur radio operators. They’re instant-on and more convenient—getting you on the air with less operator intervention. Mark examines the Palstar LA-1K solid-state HF amplifier and finds some very positive attributes that come at a stiff price.


Scanning America

By Dan Veenaman

Portsmouth (VA), Grant County (WI) and the ISS


Federal Wavelenghts

By Chris Parris

More Federal Digital Modes



By Larry Van Horn N5FPW

Update: Monitoring Military Hurricane Communications


Utility Planet

By Hugh Stegman 

U.S. Radio Strangeness Continues


Shortwave Utility Logs

By Hugh Stegman and Mike Chace-Ortiz


VHF and Above

By Joe Lynch N6CL

Contests and Field Day for VHF and Above


Digitally Speaking

By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV

When Elephants Fight, it is the Ground that Suffers


Amateur Radio Insights

By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z

Static and Frustration from DC to Daylight—Welcome to Summer Propagation  


Radio 101

By Ken Reitz KS4ZR

$664 Solution to Solar Cycle Doldrums


Radio Propagation

By Tomas Hood NW7US

The Sun in Sonic and Visual Art: an Aid to Scientists


The World of Shortwave Listening

By Thomas Witherspoon K4SWL

SDR Primer Part 2: Exploring the World of SDRs for $200 or Less


The Shortwave Listener

By Fred Waterer

40 Years of Shortwave Listening


Maritime Monitoring

By Ron Walsh VE3GO

Sailing On


The Longwave Zone

By Kevin O’Hern Carey WB2QMY

Looking Back, Looking Ahead


Adventures in Radio Restoration

By Rich Post KB8TAD

Ballantine 300 and the Boonton Connection


Antenna Connections

By Dan Farber AC0LW

Understanding Ground: A Review

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