K3PI & K3LU
are


That means we don't have to pay any more stinking dues.

 

     

 

 

MP3
Hear 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.


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Ulis Fleming, K3LU Webmonkey
At 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 Years
My Costa Rica Radio Exerience

Russ Johnson K3PI Reviews Contributing Editor
I 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 sign.

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!

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Jay Allen Reviews Contributing Editor
I 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.

Although I loved that radio dearly and wish I still had it…it's 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.

I 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.

Unfortunately I grew up (ok, I got older) but my career path took twin courses…one 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.

Writing 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…but there is also tons of mis-information available, and it is a real pleasure to contribute to the former.

 

   

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