September 2018

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New-Generation Weather Satellite Takes One Giant Leap in Weather Forecasting

By Richard Fisher KI6SN

Last November, NOAA took one giant leap for mankind with the launch of the first in its series of new-generation, polar-orbiting satellites designed to give scientists the best data ever about the Earth’s weather. Richard reports on JPSS-1, now known as NOAA-20, the first of four such satellites in the JPSS program.


TSM Reviews: The Mighty µBITX!

By Robert Gulley AK3Q

The µBITX is a multi-band amateur QRP (low power) radio transceiver kit capable of full coverage reception from 500 kHz through 30 MHz. This makes it ideal for amateur radio operation and shortwave/utility/military aviation listening, as well as “numbers” and pirate-HF stations. While Bob looks at the transmitter side, for this review he focuses primarily on the reception side of the radio, as well as notes about the build and operation.


Analog Scanning in a Digital World

By Chris Parris

In case you haven’t noticed, the digital revolution has not just arrived—it has run over us. There are so many things in our daily lives that have moved from analog technology to digital that it has left a trail of old electronic and mechanical devices, such as land-line phones and tube televisions, making them seem like antiques or museum pieces. This definitely holds true for scanner radio and monitoring technology. Chris has a number of second or third generation analog trunking scanners that still receive very well, but they suddenly have nothing to listen to in my area—or so he thought.


TSM Reviews: MFJ 1866 Discone Antenna and Super-M Ultra MP Multi-Polarized Base Antennas

By Bob Grove W8JHD

The discone design emerged during World War II; its descriptive name is based on the original, sheet metal configuration of a cone topped with a disc. Designed to provide reliable air-to-ground communications in the 225-400 MHz military aircraft band, the discone was eventually reconfigured to a lighter weight, less wind vulnerable construction of wire elements. Bob compares two similar and popular scanner antennas to see which works best for the money.


Using TV Pre-amps for Scanners

By Bob Grove W8JHD

If weak signals are the bane of your listening, then a preamplifier may be in order; but it isn’t necessarily that simple. If you have local transmitters that are quite strong such as repeaters, FM or TV broadcasters, or even a two-meter ham operator next door, amplifying their signal strengths will aggravate your scanner’s strong-signal-overload problems. Bob explores how effective these pre-amps are on scanner bands.


ATSC-3.0 Update and Progress Report on FCC Repacking Plan

By Mike Kohl

The FCC Over-the-Air TV repack is under way with TV stations cashing out  their previous frequencies now off the air; full powered stations having been assigned their new permanent frequencies, and LPTV and translator stations having left channels 38 to 51. Mike gives us the details of the first three phases of the repack and how it will affect those markets. 


Scanning America

By Dan Veeneman

Orange County, Virginia; Whistler Update Program and FCC Findings


Federal Wavelengths

By Chris Parris

The Center for Domestic Preparedness



By Larry Van Horn N5FPW

Monitoring the Veterans of the Cold War


Utility Planet

By Hugh Stegman 

KiwiSDR Offers Public RDF Capability


Shortwave Utility Logs

By Mike Chace-Ortiz and Hugh Stegman


VHF and Above

By Joe Lynch N6CL

September’s Contests; a Mag Loop for my KiwiSDR and a Tribute to W3XO


Digitally Speaking

By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV

Repeaters? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Repeaters!


Amateur Radio Insights

By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z

Schematics: The Latest Aren’t Necessarily the Greatest


Radio 101

By Ken Reitz KS4ZR

Radio in Pictures


Radio Propagation

By Tomas Hood NW7US

It is That Time, Again: The Winter DX Season!


The World of Shortwave Listening

By Jeff White

The Passing of a Modern Shortwave Pioneer


The Shortwave Listener

By Fred Waterer

World Travel on the Shortwave Bands


Amateur Radio Satellites

By Keith Baker KB1SF/VA3KSF

Amateur Radio Satellite Primer (Take 2)


The Longwave Zone

By Kevin O’Hern Carey WB2QMY

SDR Startup; Other Happenings


Adventures in Radio Restorations

By Rich Post KB8TAD

The Unusual Clock Radio Philco 53-706


Antenna Connections

By Dan Farber AC0LW

Artificial Ground: Part One 

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