October 2018

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Tracing the Development of the AM Broadcast Transmitter

John F. Schneider W9FGH

     In the Beginning, there was King Spark. There were a few early attempts at using spark equipment to transmit the human voice. This was because a spark signal consists of a continuous sequence of decaying waves, called “damped waves.” The signal faded in intensity as the energy of each spark dissipated, until it was replaced by a new signal from the next spark. In the early 1900s, there were only two devices that were capable of generating a continuous wave – an arc transmitter and a high-frequency alternator. But it was the invention of the “Audion” triode vacuum tube by Lee de Forest in 1906 that created a revolution in radio communications. Its ability to function as both an oscillator and amplifier opened doors to the creation of a practical all-electronic speech transmitter. John takes a detailed look at the evolution of the AM broadcast transmitter.


Has it Really Been a Decade!?

By Troy J. Simpson W9KVR

     There’s nothing easy about teaching school anywhere but teaching, coaching, keeping a school amateur radio club going, being a dad and a husband makes time really fly. So much so that Glenn Raymond Middle School teacher, Troy Simpson, hadn’t realized their club station license was already up for renewal until he received the notice from the FCC. Troy recaps just the last few years of this very active and successful amateur radio school club as he prepares this month for another School Club Roundup.


SDR Report Part 3: From High-End SDR Receivers to SDR Transceivers

By Thomas Witherspoon K4SWL

     Part one of our series on Software Defined Radios (SDRs), which appeared in the June issue, focused on the nomenclature and components of a functioning SDR system. Part two, in the July issue, took a look at some affordable SDR station options that would propel you into the world of SDRs for less than $200 US. This month, Thomas dives a little deeper into the SDR rabbit hole, and investigates higher-end SDRs as well as ham radio transceivers with embedded SDRs that include high-ticket rigs that have intel-agency specs and capabilities you won’t find in any analog radio at any price.


A Visit to the Tokyo Ham Fair 2018

By Keith Baker KB1SF/VA3KSF

     Once again, Keith was asked to join the Dayton Amateur Radio Association team in a trip to Japan to attend the annual Tokyo Ham Fair, which is sponsored by the Japan Amateur Radio League (JARL). As Secretary-Treasurer of AMSAT North America, Keith would be doing double duty during this trip. And, as a regular contributor to TSM, Keith nailed the trifecta with this photo essay of that trip. Keith renewed many old acquaintances, got up close and personal with new ham equipment and enjoyed handing out goodies to everyone he saw.


Scanning America

By Dan Veeneman

Hialeah, Florida, and a Public Service Radio Feud


Federal Wavelengths

By Chris Parris

Hurricane Florence Response



By Larry Van Horn N5FPW

Monitoring the US Coast Guard and the COTHEN HF Radio Network


Utility World

By Hugh Stegman 

US Coast Guard Mobilizes for Hurricane Florence


Shortwave Utility Logs

By Hugh Stegman and Mike Chace-Ortiz


VHF and Above

By Joe Lynch N6CL

International Space Station Astronauts are Calling CQ Students


Digitally Speaking

By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV

Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes


Amateur Radio Insights

By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z

Transmit Audio—How’s Your Sound?


Radio 101

By Ken Reitz KS4ZR

Viasat: Help for Rural Broadband Access


The World of Shortwave Listening

By Andrew Yoder

US and International Pirate Shortwave Broadcasters


The Shortwave Listener

By Fred Waterer

Creepy October Shortwave Programming


Maritime Monitoring

By Ron Walsh VE3GO

Stormy Weather and Changing Times


The Longwave Zone

By Kevin O’Hern Carey WB2QMY

SDR, Step One


Adventures in Restoration

By Rich Post KB8TAD

Reviving a Comanche: The Siltronix 1011D


Antenna Connections

By Dan Farber AC0LW

Artificial Ground, Part Two


Radio Horizons

Review: National Radio Club’s 39thEdition AM Radio Log

By Larry Van Horn N5FPW

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