November 2018

Price: $3.00

TSM 2018 Scanner Buyer’s Guide

By Larry Van Horn N5FPW

     With a wide selection of scanner radios in the marketplace, many radio hobbyists are still asking an age-old question: “What scanner should I buy?” Larry flips the question asking, “What do you want to monitor? Where do you live? What systems are in that area? How much money do you have to spend? Do you want a handheld (HH) or base/mobile scanner (B/M)? Should you buy new or used?” Larry looks at the prices and features; the pros and cons of each scanner available and offers his recommendations.


TSM Reviews: Uniden SDS100—The Good, the Band and the Ugly

By Larry Van Horn N5FPW

     In March of this year Uniden announced it would release a new scanner that would incorporate Software Defined Radio technology and “digital performance better than any other scanner in both simulcast and weak-signal environments.” As with many high-tech products, there were a few glitches bringing the Uniden SDS100 to retailer shelves, but this long-awaited scanner is now available. Larry takes a critical look at SDS100—one of the most expensive scanners on the market today.


TSM Reviews: Icom IC-30R

By Bob Grove W8JHD

    Boasting a 100 kHz-3305 MHz frequency coverage, a compact size, and providing 2000 memory channels, scannable at 200 channels per second, the R30 is a potent package. In fact, radio enthusiasts might question why ICOM doesn’t call this instrument a scanner. Bob delves into the details of this remarkable receiver that covers almost every possible transmission mode: AM, FM, LSB, USB, CW, P-25 Phase 1, NXDN, dPMR, D-STAR and DCR. As Bob says, “There’s not much going on that this radio won’t hear!”


Best Portable Shortwave Radio from $25-270

By Thomas Witherspoon K4SWL

     Portables are truly the most popular category of radio among shortwave radio enthusiasts, and it’s no wonder why! Among their other virtues, modern portables can pack a lot of performance into an affordable package; they’re great for travelling, and their all-in-one nature makes shortwave listening accessible to virtually everyone. Thomas picks his favorite15 shortwave portables priced between $25 and $270 and finds there is something for everyone.  


WBCQ-SW: New Power and Programming

By Richard Fisher KI6SN

     WBCQ, “The Planet,” celebrated its 20th anniversary this past September 8—a significant milestone in a climate where AM and SW radio stations around the world are leaving the air. Soon, WBCQ will be one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful station in the world and that makes WBCQ manager, Allan Weiner, more enthusiastic about his station’s future than ever. Despite serious setbacks and major challenges, WBCQ is in the midst of a growth spurt at its home in Monticello, Maine. Richard looks at the planned changes for WBCQ as part of our on-going series profiling the private shortwave stations of the US.


Amateur Radio Antennas to Go

By Mark Haverstock W8MSH

     Perhaps you’re considering some ham operation while you’re traveling; maybe you’re interested in having an emergency antenna for your go-bag or an inconspicuous antenna to avoid scrutiny from you local Home Owner’s Association (HOA). Both the Wolf River TIA and the Chameleon Emcomm II antennas are capable of covering 160-6 meters—a pretty tall order for size-challenged HF antennas. Mark puts both to the test on the air from a vacation QTH.


Scanning America

By Dan Veeneman 

FCC Changes to 400 and 500 MHz Explained 


Federal Wavelengths

By Chris Parris

A California Road Trip



By Larry Van Horn N5FPW

FAA TRACON: Terminal Radar Approach Control Facilities


Utility Planet

By Hugh Stegman

HF Delivers Again in Indonesia and Florida


Shortwave Utility Logs

By Mike Chace-Ortiz and Hugh Stegman


VHF and Above

By Joe Lynch N6CL

FT8 SWLing in Europe


Digitally Speaking

By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV

Season of Change


Amateur Radio Insights

By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z

Cheap and Dirty Low-Band Success—Now With Data and Proof!


Radio 101

By Ken Reitz KS4ZR

Sangean HDT-20 Component AM/FM/HD Radio Tuner


Radio Propagation

By Tomas Hood NW7US

Looking Forward at a Backward Sign


The Shortwave Listener

By Fred Waterer

Eastern Europe, Jazz and Global Economy


Amateur Radio Astronomy

By Stan Nelson KB5VL

Tracking Meteor Activity


The Longwave Zone

By Kevin O’Hern Carey WB2QMY

SDR Startup: Up and Running!


Adventures in Radio Restorations

By Rich Post KB8TAD

Benrus 10B: A “Heavy Metal” Clock Radio


Antenna Connections

By Dan Farber AC0LW

Matchmakers: How Tuners Work


Radio Horizons

By Bob Grove W8JHD

Another Wideband VHF/UHF Preamplifier for Your Scanner

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