A few weeks ago Thomas K4SWL emailed me a book recommendation and I’m so glad that I followed through with an order from Amazon.
The book arrived and I couldn’t put the darn thing down. It was far better than I’d hoped and was compelling on many different levels.
The gist of the story is this:
“Five days before Christmas 1943, a helpless, shot-all-to-hell American bomber pilot locked eyes with a German fighter pilot in an Me-109 over the frozen skies of Europe. The German pilot spared the life of the American, and both men would reunite and become friends 50 years later. Franz Stigler and Charles Brown started the war as enemies, but during a tense wartime encounter, both men discovered a higher call.”
The phrase “higher call” might seem to have a religious connotation but that is not the case here. It simply refers to the component of chivalry shown by the German pilot and the values with which he was raised.
By the first two chapters it was clear that the book is far more than what its brief description would indicate. Continue reading '“A Higher Call” – a (non radio) book review'»
I’ve had two weeks now to flex my new-found antenna modeling skills, courtesy of Antenna Modeling For Beginners by Ward Silver N0AX.
Long story, short – I like the book and consider it money well spent (although I spent significantly less than the cover price by buying from Amazon before they raised it).
For others who may be considering the purchase of Antenna Modeling For Beginners, there are a few things you ought to know.
While this book is a how-to on antenna modeling, it is more specifically a book on the free version of W7EL’s EZNEC antenna modeling program. I mention this because the book and the software go hand in hand – and the free version of EZNEC has serious limitations. Continue reading 'Review: “Antenna Modeling For Beginners”'»
I know of only three magazines in our hobby that seek a specific audience: QRP Quarterly, National Contest Journal and The DX Magazine. Over the years, I’ve subscribed to all three at one time or another and currently – and only recently – subscribe to the latter two.
I’ve also read QST, 73 Magazine and CQ Amateur Radio for decades.
To me, the mainstream magazines are less appealing since they have to target a wide audience. By definition that means that much of what they offer won’t apply to any one reader. In each issue of QST or CQ magazine, I may really enjoy one article and will look forward to perhaps two columns.
What’s written about some school classroom’s radio project is mildly interesting in the sense that I’m glad they’re being exposed to ham radio – but a near-identical article was published two months prior regarding some other school.
Rinse and repeat. Continue reading 'The DX Magazine'»
After seeing The Clandestine Radio Operators mentioned recently on Larry’s (W2LJ) blog I decided to order a copy as I know of no other book that covers this aspect of WW2 in such detail (there is at least one exception…more in a future post).
The photography in the book is very high quality. This is good because the bulk of each page’s real estate is dedicated to images rather than text. The photos are modern studio shots of old radios as well as original B&W photos taken during the war.
One thing stood out among the original photos – the radio operators and their equipment were almost always guarded. Either an armed soldier was pictured nearby or the radio’s position on the table or ground also included a weapon in the scene – M1 Garand, handgun or machine gun. Continue reading '“The Clandestine Radio Operators” review'»
Back when I had an FT-857D installed in my Silverado, there were times when I heard a DX station on the air and wondered if it would be a new band-country for me. Soon after buying a smart phone I realized that with an online copy of my log, I could easily check and see if the fuss of a pile-up would be worth it.
I know there are some DXers who have their log memorized – I ain’t one of them…
HamLog was popular at the time (and still is) so I registered and started uploading my log on a regular basis. It was helpful and did exactly what I wanted it to do.
The fact that many DXpeditions use ClubLog for both log search and online QSL requests made me take a closer look at it and compare it to HamLog. Continue reading 'ClubLog vs. HamLog'»
With 34 years in the hobby, I’ve read and subscribed to most of the ham-related magazines at one time or another – QST, QRP Quarterly, CQ, 73, etc.
All of them have something to offer in each issue but years ago (has it been 15?) I picked up a copy of Monitoring Times at a newstand and read the thing in its entirety; an easy thing to do back then with perhaps a dozen or so pages. The appearance of the magazine on the news rack made it stand out among all the glossy covers – one glance would tell you that this was a grass roots effort.
Today, a typical issue of MT has 75 pages and a full-color cover but, more importantly, each issue is absolutely packed with interesting content. Continue reading 'Monitoring Times magazine'»