November 2016

Price: $3.00

TSM Reviews: Elecraft KX2 QRP Transceiver

By Thomas Witherspoon K4SWL

As a ham who already owns both the KX1 and KX3 transceivers, and likes them very well, wouldn’t a KX2 be redundant? Maybe. But it also puts him in a perfect position to compare Elecraft’s latest offering. Thomas takes the diminutive KX2 into the field, where it was meant to be, activating more than twenty NPOTAs (National Park on the Air). What he finds is that “the KX2 is a profound upgrade of the KX1.” He also checks out the KX2 on the international shortwave bands and finds, “It’s an exceptionally sensitive and selective receiver, with a stable AGC, that would please the most dedicated DXer.”


Small HF Antennas for Portable and Restricted Space Use

By Mark Haverstock K8MSH

While small and shortened antennas have their drawbacks, their advantages—convenience for portable use, backpacking and avoiding HOA conflicts—are substantial tradeoffs. And, while their performance is less than should be expected from full-sized antennas, this doesn’t mean they don’t perform—you just need to keep your expectations in perspective. Mark takes a look at several of the more popular portable HF antennas available commercially and he looks at the options for making your own, including a 40-6 meter end-fed antenna he made himself.


Radio Power Supplies: A Primer for Hams and SWLs

By Bob Grove W8JHD

It’s the most basic piece of equipment in your ham shack or radio room—it’s certainly the least interesting—but it could be the most important. Bob Grove answers just about every question you might have had about the lowly radio power supply: Why 13.8 volts? Is a same-brand power supply best for my name-brand transceiver? Do I really need meters on my power supply? What’s a switching power supply? What’s “crowbar protection” and “variable voltage?” What amperage do I really need?  If I’m using a battery as a portable power supply, which is best?


The Kit’s Meow: Shopping for DIY Radio Projects

By Richard Fisher KI6SN

With Ramsey shutting down its radio kits division earlier this year, many hams and shortwave listeners felt it might signal the end of the radio kits industry. Don’t people build things anymore? Regular TSM contributor Richard Fisher KI6SN set out to discover the current state of kit making. What he found is quite encouraging: more than 250 online companies offering kits as varied as the spectrum we listen to, with a great range in prices and required maker skills. Richard lists them all, complete with a sampling of their wares and links to their websites.


MURS: Dots, Data and More

By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV

Along with Class D CB, GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) and FRS, (Family Radio Service) there’s another aspect to the FCC’s Part 95 two-way radio – MURS. The Multi-Use Radio Service occupies five channels in the VHF spectrum. By rule, it is limited to a 2 watts output power and may seem quite limited, but there’s more to MURS than meets the eye. In this segment of his Part-95 radio series, Cory, looks at the little known VHF service that can meet quite a few needed applications where you live.


Scanning America

By Dan Veenaman

Public Utilities as “Critical Infrastructure”


Federal Wavelengths

By Chris Parris

TSA Radio Updates and More Small Federal Agencies


Utility Planet

By Hugh Stegman NV6H

KPH Returns to Point Reyes


Digital HF: Intercept and Analyze

By Mike Chace-Ortiz AB1TZ/G6DHU

An HF “Beep, Beep, Beep,” Chirping Signal Mystery


HF Utility Logs

By Mike Chace-Ortiz and Hugh Stegman


Digitally Speaking

By Cory Sickles WA3UVV

DMR Update


VHF and Above

By Joe Lynch N6CL

Baofeng BF-F8HP and BTech UV-5X3 Handhelds and 220 MHZ


Amateur Radio Insights

By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z

Forget the Holiday—It’s Contest Time!


Radio 101

By Ken Reitz KS4ZR

What’s New in CB and FRS/GMRS


Radio Propagation

By Tomas Hood NW7US

Space Weather: Solar Cycle 24 is Dying!


The World of Shortwave Listening

By Ken Reitz KS4ZR

Trends in Shortwave Radio


The Shortwave Listener

By Fred Waterer

EU SW Stations and Election Night Listening


Amateur Radio Astronomy

By Stan Nelson KB5VL

FITS Again


The Longwave Zone

By Kevin O’Hern Carey WB2QMY


Adventures in Radio Restoration

By Rich Post KB8TAD

The Freshman Masterpiece: a 1920s TRF Experience


Antenna Connections

By Dan Farber AC0LW

And the Twain Shall Meet: Let’s Build a Dipole

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