K3PI & K3LU
That means we don't
have to pay any more stinking dues.
a typical day from our childhood. Notice how dad whimps out
in the end. The true sign that he isn't a real radioman.
The usual radio zealot, upon seeing a new
radio for the first time, will twist the VFO or punch a
button. This applies even if the radio is broken or not
plugged in. We can't help it, it's in our nature. Let's
face it, we really love these electronic miracle boxes.
Give me the most worthless radio and I will play with it.
Then comes the usual problem
I must get one!
Do I really need it? Of course not! Now this usually
leads to another situation
just how can I sneak it
in to the house without my wife finding out? Better yet,
what kind of excuse or "special use" can I
justify for having another radio in the house? How does
this mania start? Listen to two SWLs talking to each
other and inevitably you will hear a few of the same
phrases. "How do you like that receiver? I was
thinking about getting one." or "I
used to have one of those radios". Many SWLs
that started in their youth begin a life long pursuit to
find every single radio from their childhood. It doesn't
matter if they ever owned it or not. A radio is a voyage
back to their youth... The sweet aroma of warm tubes
heating the radioshack while snow is falling outside the
window while mom is baking some cookies? The shortwave
hobby has so many eccentric but yet intelligent people.
It is either a global fraternity or dysfunctional family.
I haven't figured out which.
This is more than my home page but
hopefully a tool for SWLs to use while tuning around.
Russ K3PI, my Radio Amateur "elmer" from my
childhood, and I hope to work up some reviews of radios
and accessories. It is our goal to have fun with this.
It's a great match! Russ is more interested in MW DXing
and I have always been drawn to the world above 1700 kHz
but not exceeding 30 MHz.
|Ulis Fleming, K3LU Webmonkey
12 years old I first became interested in
shortwave radio when I started tuning in far away
radio stations on my father's old Telefunken
Hi-Fi. I was hooked! I went to the library and
found a book that went into detail about the
shortwave radio hobby. Unfortunately I don't
remember the title of the book. One chapter of
the book talked about Amateur Radio and suggested
writing to the ARRL to find out about a local
radio club that could help you become a radio
amateur. Sure enough, the ARRL wrote back and
told me of a radio club in Bowie, Maryland, the
Bowie Amateur Radio Club. I attended my first
meeting where I met Russ, who had just turned 18
at the time and he offered to teach me Morse code
and the theory necessary to pass the Novice exam.
Each week I would go to Russ's house to learn
Morse code and theory. Finally I passed my exam
and became WB3LUI.
Amateur Radio opened up the world
to me at 14 years old. Thanks to Amateur Radio I
have traveled to and stayed with Amateurs in El
Salvador, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica, where I met
my wife, Carmelina TI5CMA. It was shortwave radio
and amateur radio that started my interest in
international politics where I majored in
International Studies and Political Science at
Towson State University. And it was radio that
helped me to learn and eventually become fluent
in Spanish. But most of all I can thank radio for
the wonderful life long friendships I have made
over the years. Many who's friendship I will
cherish all my life. Yes, radio is a learning and
life changing experience. Since graduation from
college, I have operated amateur radio and SWLed
from El Salvador (YS4/WB3LUI & YS4/TI5NW) and
Costa Rica (TI5NW, TI5/K3LU & TI5/WB3LUI). In
El Salvador, I was one of the first radio
amateur's to operate the satellite mode RS-12.
Just about every year I visit my in laws in Costa
Rica and enjoy working the pileups on CW.
My shortwave listening is
primarily listening to news and some DXing, especially Latin
America. For the last nine years I have been the distribution
editor for Cumbre DX. The first shortwave bulletin on the
Internet. While I enjoy both hobbies, shortwave listening
I would have to say is my first love.
To See Some Shack Photos Through The
My Costa Rica Radio Exerience
|Russ Johnson K3PI Reviews Contributing
believe my indoctrination into this hobby was
caused by massive overexposure to RF at a very
early age. As a very young boy, I grew up in a
house that was directly across the street from
time standard station WWV in Greenbelt, Maryland.
The signal from WWV interfered with our telephone
and radios. It even interfered with our
television which picked up a grand total of 4
stations. Interestingly enough, this combination
of WWV and the interference into a Zenith radio
enabled me to learn how to tell time at a very
early age. I would look at a clock on the wall
and listen to WWV announce the time every minute
(they did it back in Eastern time back then).
Anyway, later on - as a
pre-teen I became interested in listening to far
away stations on the AM band. Wow, from Maryland
I could listen to Boston Bruins hockey on WBZ, or
the St. Louis Blues on KMOX....even the Ft. Wayne
Komets on WOWO. Amazing. One day a friend of mine
showed me his shortwave radio. Hey, there were
people talking to each other on this thing...ham
radio operators. I gotta be one of those! I
checked out a book or two from the library and
taught myself the Morse code. Soon after that, my
mom saw an article announcing a meeting of the
Bowie Amateur Radio Club at the library. She
agreed to drop me off and attend the meeting.
From there, I joined the Novice class they were
teaching and ultimately got my first license,
WN3QGE at age 13.
With my 60 watt
crystal controlled transmitter and kit-built
receiver, I worked stations all over the country
on cw (Morse code). I was often late for school
trying to squeeze in that one last contact. I
ultimately upgraded to General and Advanced class
as WA3VPI. During this time, I met Ulis and
helped him get his license. Finally, in college,
I got my Extra Class ticket and the K3PI call
As with a lot of
hams, my on-the-air time was reduced as I began a
career and a family. But I always have found some
time to meet some new folks on the air. I have
always felt more comfortable on cw and have never
done a whole lot on the phone bands. In recent
years, I have become more interested in my
original radio hobby, DXing the MW (AM) bands.
Recently, I acquired a Yaesu FT-817, so I hope to
give a good effort to the growing QRP (low power)
side of our hobby. The radio hobby has a lot to
offer. Find your own niche and have fun!
|Jay Allen Reviews Contributing Editor
was bitten by the radio "bug" at an early age when I
was given a tiny 6 Transistor radio
a Constant 6T-220. I
carried it with me 24/7, and soon learned that I could hear not
only the local stations but things from half the country at night
time. Growing up in the 50's and 60's I recall hearing Canadian,
New York and Chicago stations at night and being thrilled to hear
things from so far away. Somehow the latest news of the Beatles
from 77 WABC and 1010 WINS seemed more exciting than when heard
from our local stations. It seemed strange that no one else was
aware of these special night time treats, and I looked forward
to night time to be able to listen to all those stations.
I loved that radio dearly and wish I still had it
now a rather collectable model with its 60's Japanese yet somehow
art deco appearance
I became aware that some of my friend's
transistor radios could pull in weak stations far better. There
was one station all the kids loved but it was very weak in our
area. The first thing I would do when I happened upon any radio
was to check that station as a test for how "good"
that radio was. From that point was launched a life long quest
to improve reception. I was inside that tiny radio frequently,
wiring in a rod antenna I cobbled to the side of the case, playing
with the alignment adjustments which I didn't understand at
all, throwing wires out the window and wrapping them around
the radio. It's amazing the things I discovered by accident.
For instance, I discovered that if I rested the radio up against
the ground wire running down the side of a phone pole, my favorite
station boomed in like a local, so I spent lots of time playing
in that particular spot.
was also lucky that my uncle was an electronics designer working
for a Boston area company and one year he presented me with
a hand made, breadboard am transmitter
my own radio station!
This thing had 3 tubes and all exposed wiring including the
AC input which I was told to keep my hands away from. It's absolutely
amazing that I never ever got a shock from that thing! Now I
was up on the roof erecting antennas fashioned from curtain
rods, the TV antenna
anything which would get my signal
out further. I don't know how much power that thing made but
with about 50 feet of wire connected to it I could hear my station
about 4 blocks away.
I grew up (ok, I got older) but my career path took twin courses
of them as an electronic technician managing a service department
for a local audio store for 15 years and broadcasting where
I worked for years as an DJ, newscaster and am currently the
Production Director for a group of radio stations. In my current
job I produce radio commercials all day long so shortwave listening
brings welcome relief from the commercial world. My hobbies
are still electronics and long distance radio listening, and
I enjoy am and sw program listening equally. My interests also
include collecting radios
all the ones I lusted after as
a kid and more. I have a decent collection of portable radios
from the 50's and 60's (I really love the Zenith Royal 500 series),
some novelty radios, some Zenith Trans-Oceanics and nowadays,
just about every interesting sw portable that comes along. I
also spend quite a bit of time band-scanning on sw and keeping
updated logs so I have a ready reference of what's available
to listen to. For me, listening to distant am and sw stations
still brings the same excitement of listening to that first
transistor radio at night, pulling in stations from far away.
This excitement will never be replaced by listening on the Internet,
because the whole appeal is the very fact that the signal has
traveled such a long distance right to my radio. Of course I
enjoy news and discussion content from the sw broadcasters of
the world, but I will never deny that the excitement of the
reception itself is a key role in my enjoyment of the hobby.
reviews for radiointel is one of the most joyful experiences
I've had. It not only gives me an excuse to acquire more radio
equipment, but it also lets me put my two cents worth in. In
these days of free and easy exchange of ideas via the Internet
there is lots of great information freely available
there is also tons of mis-information available, and it is a
real pleasure to contribute to the former.