Radio Information

Copthorne Macdonald, ham radio enthusiast and the inventor of slow-scan television, recommends a number of radio information sources for amateur radio enthusiasts.

| July/August 1980

copthorne macdonald - 1980

Amateur radio expert Copthorne Macdonald recommends a number of radio information sources for enthusiasts.


Copthorne Macdonald founded New Directions Radio and is the inventor of slow-scan television, a method of amateur radio transmission that allows ham operators to both hear and see each other during shortwave broadcasts.

I frequently receive letters from folks who are looking for in-depth facts and figures on some particular aspect of radio. In answer to such queries, I've put together a list of a few radio information sources that I know to be especially valuable.

Radio is, of course, a multifaceted medium, and its diverse nature tends to complicate data gathering a bit. Each "facet" group seems to have spawned its own separate literature of books and periodicals.

The International Scene

International broadcasting, for example, has inspired publications which focus on that activity alone. The serious shortwave listener (or SWL) is apt to find both the World Radio TV Handbook and the Review of International Broadcasting to be worthwhile investments.

The WRTVH contains listings of time, frequency, and language for all the major world shortwave broadcast services. Furthermore, the 1980 edition includes a comprehensive technical review of shortwave receivers. A one-year subscription to the monthly Renew of International Broadcasting can be had for $12.

Ham Radio Publications

Radio amateurs—because they're involved in two-way communication—have interests different from those of shortwave listeners. For many years now the primary source of ham information has been the American Radio Relay League, which is the national amateurs' organization. A year's membership in the League (costing $18) includes a subscription to QST magazine, a broad-spectrum ham radio publication presenting news of on-the-air activities and FCC regulatory matters as well as technical articles.

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