November 2017

Price: $3.00

TSM Reviews: Yaesu FT-891 All-Mode HF+6 100-Watt Transceiver

By Mark Haverstock K8MSH

This month Mark takes a look at the Yaesu FT-891, one of the least expensive 100-watt, all-mode HF+6-meter radios on the market today. Mark finds that, “Its small size and remote head make it perfect for mobile/portable use, and its small footprint fits even on crowded desktops. The larger display is a welcome change, considerably more readable than the tiny ones on the FT-857D and FT-897D.” Mark also notes, “Those who own or have owned Yaesu radios will be used to the menu system, and will appreciate the attempts to provide easier access to some functions.” But that’s not all the 891 has going for it, as you’ll learn when Mark puts his 891on the air.


TSM Reviews: SpyVerter V2

By Bob Grove W8JHD

The earlier version of SpyVerter got a nod of approval from Bob Grove two years ago. But what would he say about this latest version? Spoiler alert! Bob says, “I’ve never changed my mind about the superiority of the Airspy spectrum-displaying receiver to its competitors. Now, with the addition of the previously-missing lower spectrum—virtually down to zero—this is a current leader in computer accessories for radio hobbyists.” In this month’s review he even tells how to use this device to monitor birds, animals and insects in the audio spectrum as well as the sounds of fish in the sea!


TSM’s Annual Scanner Buyer’s Guide

By Larry Van Horn N5FPW

The radio scanner world has been in flux since it began decades ago. And, while the number of manufacturers has shrunk over the years, the capabilities of these electronic marvels have kept pace with the changes. In this survey of all available scanners, Larry writes that, “bare bones, conventional analog-only scanners will run from just under $100. A good analog-only trunk-tracking scanner can be purchased for less than $200 (street price); however, if you need to monitor an APCO P25 Phase I digital trunked radio system, that price quickly jumps to around $400. Add in additional digital modes such as DMR and/or NXDN and APCO P25 Phase II systems and now you are looking at a sticker price north of $500 in most cases.” But, you may not need the latest technology where you live. Find out which scanner is best for your particular location.


Entry Level HF Transceiver Comparison

By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV

Are you a Technician class amateur radio licensee, looking to explore what is available in HF transceivers in a price range that won’t break the bank? HF operation requires a little more commitment than VHF/UHF FM gear and, while you can easily pick up a high-quality monoband mobile for under $200 or a dual-band portable in the same price range, HF gear is going to run you a bit more. Considering all that you get in the deal though, it’s still reasonably priced. Cory takes a comparative look at what Alinco, Icom, Kenwood, and Yaesu have in the way of 100-watt, entry-level offerings, with a street price of less than $800. With the need for a 20A power supply and simple antenna, a “Kilobuck” budget should certainly get you on the air or perhaps even less.


Scanning America

By Dan Veeneman

Scanning Midwest Utilities’ DMR Services


Federal Wavelengths

By Chris Parris

New Kennedy Space Center Trunked System



By Larry Van Horn N5FPW

Who’s Who in the Milcom Radio Spectrum: Monitoring the HF OR Frequencies


Utility Planet

By Hugh Stegman NV6H 

Rethinking HF Emergency Communications


Shortwave Utility Logs

Compiled by Hugh Stegman and Mike Chace-Ortiz


VHF and Above

By Joe Lynch N6CL

The Leonids Meteor Shower


Amateur Radio Insights

By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z

Antenna Tuner Secrets


Radio 101

By Ken Reitz KS4ZR

Cruising the FM Band with a Little Help from the Web


Radio Propagation

By Tomas Hood NW7US

The Sun Blasts a Hole in the Earth's Magnetic Shield 

World of Shortwave Listening

By Keith Perron

Rich O’Shea: An American DJ in Asia


The Shortwave Listener

By Fred Waterer

BBC Broadcasts to North Korea; Reach Beyond Australia and Religion on Shortwave


Amateur Radio Astronomy

By Stan Nelson KB5VL

Solar Eclipse VLF Effects


The Longwave Zone

By Kevin O’Hern Cary WB2QMY

2200m/630m: Are You Registered Yet?


Adventures is Radio Restoration

By Rich Post KB8TAD

Putting the Spark back into a Sparks-Withington (Sparton 141X)


Antenna Connections

By Dan Farber AC0LW

Transformations: Getting From X to 50

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