May 2015 Issue

Price: $3.00

DIY: The Home-Brewer’s Primer

By Richard Fisher KI6SN

Building transmitters, shortwave receivers, antennas and station accessories is an art dating to the late 19th Century—the earliest days of radio. Almost every radio operator of the era was a builder, because commercially made radio gear was either nonexistent or, at the least, quite expensive. The term “home-brewer,” those who toiled at the workbench in order to tune in shortwave or get on the ham bands, would become a badge of honor and part of the lexicon of amateur radio. Home-brewing radio equipment is as vital to today’s radio amateurs as ever!

The Newcomers Net: Bringing together Newbies and Old-Timers

By Robert Gulley AK3Q

Like so many things in life, amateur radio is caught just as much as it is taught. Elmers (amateur radio mentors) and Newcomers really do feed off of each other, and excitement tends to generate more excitement. Whether it is trying new things or rediscovering long-lost passions, both newbies and old-timers alike grow from their shared experiences. Robert writes about the second anniversary of The Newcomers and Elmers Net, a weekly, on-air meeting of the OH-KY-IN Amateur Radio Society, geared toward pairing newcomers to the hobby with Elmers willing to offer them advice and the benefit of their experience. What they’ve done can be applied nationwide.


Digitally Speaking: Digital Voice on 220 MHz?

By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV

Our amateur radio allocation at 222-225 MHz is among those that have been left out of the “Digital Voice Club.” As this is a band exclusive to the Americas, manufacturers are less inclined to invest in producing gear than for UHF. Currency fluctuations and lowered levels of interest limit the potential payoff for commercially produced gear. Cory ponders the question, “What will it take to get digital voice on 220 MHz?”


Southern Amateur Radio Hospitality: N4H and WA4USN Special Event Stations

By Ron Walsh VE3GO

Canadian TSM Maritime Monitoring columnist, Ron Walsh, encounters “southern hospitality amateur radio” when he signs up to help man WA4USN aboard the US Navy battleship, the USS North Carolina, based in Wilmington, North Carolina and N4H near the site in South Carolina where the Civil War-era submarine, H. L. Hunley, sank after having been the first such vessel to sink another ship, the USS Housatonic, in battle. Ron had the opportunity to study US Naval history and operate two special event stations during his annual southern winter holiday.  


TSM Reviews: TitanSDR

By Thomas Witherspoon K4SWL

After discovering the power of software-defined radios (SDRs) a few years ago, Thomas has been hooked, and now does 95 percent of his home listening and monitoring via various SDRs in his collection. In this issue he turns his attention to a newly released military-grade SDR called the TitanSDR. He’s impressed with its performance, but will this super-sophisticated SDR live up to its military budget price tag?


Scanning America

By Dan Veenaman

Allentown, PA, FCC Field Offices and Dayton


Federal Wavelengths

By Chris Parris

GAO Report on CBP Radio System Problems


Utility Planet

By Hugh Stegman NV6H

U.S. Veterans Department Signs HF Contract


Digital HF: Intercept and Analyze

By Mike Chace-Ortiz AB1TZ/G6DHU

Decoding Russian MFA and Intelligence Signals


HF Utility Logs

By Mike Chace-Ortiz and Hugh Stegman


Amateur Radio Insights

By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z

A Tale of Antennas and Instrumentation


Radio 101

By Ken Reitz KS4ZR

Training your Replacement


Radio Propagation

By Tomas Hood NW7US

Sporadic-E—The Magical Summertime Sizzle


The World of Shortwave Listening

By Jeff White, General Manager WRMI and Chairman HFCC

Shortwave Broadcasters Descend Upon Oman: The A15 High Frequency Coordination Conference in Muscat


The Shortwave Listener

By Fred Waterer

Monitoring International News via Shortwave


Amateur Radio Astronomy

By Stan Nelson KB5VL

Detecting Meteor Activity with Digital TV Carriers


The Longwave Zone

By Kevin O’Hern Carey WB2QMY

More on Natural Radio


Adventures in Radio Restoration

By Rich Post KB8TAD

Powering the "Real McCoy" 75 watt Novice transmitter


The Broadcast Tower

By Doug Smith W9WI

The Big Get-Together


Antenna Connections

By Dan Farber AC0LW

Houston, We have a Downlink: Spacecraft Antennas

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