John AE5X

Book excerpt: Illicit shortwave listening


I thought some readers might be interested in an excerpt of a book I recently read regarding conditions in North Korea as they relate to shortwave radio. The book is The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag. As you may infer from the following excerpt, the book is well written, interesting…

Portable SDR with built-in antenna analyzer


As I read the web site and watch the embedded videos, I am of course interested in the technology described – but perhaps even more interesting is the age of the ham involved. We often hear about the “graying” of ham radio and I’ll be the first to agree with those who say that the hobby…

Why not a “smart” autotuner?


Three decades ago, every issue of QST had an ad from Palomar Engineers with exactly two products being pushed – a VLF converter and a noise bridge. They looked quite similar in identically-sized bright red housings. I bought the VLF converted and had a lot of fun experimenting with it. As for the noise bridge –…