Reading List

While doing some general cleaning in the shack, I found more old hobby related publications. Leafing through some of the mags that are headed for the dumpster, I got to thinking about the volume of information that enters the shack via the postal mailbox and the computer. It’s a lot to read. Almost too much to keep up with for anyone not yet retired. In an effort to get a handle on it all, I decided to take inventory and figure out what, if anything, that I can jettison. 

QST magazine arrives in digital format each month as a result of my life membership in the ARRL. I’m often too busy to read them as they arrive, but I’ve somehow managed to keep up with QST while allowing subscriptions to other print publications expire.

The ARRL Letter – a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs available in advance of publication in QST magazine. It’s a must-read for any serious radio amateur. An archive of past letters is maintained.

The ARRL Contest Update – published every other week, it offers a useful source of timely information for both the active and casual contester. The Update includes information about events during the following two-week period, time-sensitive news items, upcoming deadlines and other news of interest to contesters.

AMSAT Journal is published six times a year amd arrives via the mailbox. It’s another benefit of AMSAT membership. An excellent treatise covering the technical and practical aspects of ham radio in space.

AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and information service of AMSAT North America. ANS publishes news related to Amateur Radio in Space. Delivered via email.

The Daily DX – a text DX bulletin sent via e-mail Monday through Friday that includes DX news, IOTA news, QSN reports, QSL information, a DX Calendar, propagation forecast and more. It’s has been hitting my inbox daily since Bernie McClenny began publishing it in the late 1990’s. The fact that I pay annually for this subscription is the best endorsement I could offer. Get a free, no obligation two week trial subscription and see for yourself.

Club newsletters are a weakness of mine. There are so many excellent publications being produced and made available for free download that it’s difficult to say which are my favorites, but here are the newsletters I never miss:

  • Cheese Bits – published monthly by the Mt. Airy VHF Radio Club for more than 50 years. Each issue contains a monthly activity calendar, swap shop ads, technical articles, operating news and articles of interest to the VHF community.
  • The Gray Line Report – a quarterly publication of the Twin City DX Association is always chocked full of behind the scenes DX news, information, and interviews.
  • 432 and Above EME Newsletters by K2UYH – published monthly for serious UHF, microwave, and moonbounce enthusiasts. Archives are available.
  • County Hunter News – a monthly publication for those interested in ham radio county hunting, with an orientation toward CW operation.
  • The OPDX Bulletin – Tedd Mirgliotta, KB8NW, is the editor of this DX info letter distributed on the Internet and packet clusters around the world. Tedd spends countless hours on making this one of the best.

Ham radio blogs have been in steady decline since Facebook and Twitter started gaining traction. But there are a few writers who have continued to hold my interest. I usually catch-up on these on my phone while on the go. I suspect I’m not alone in this practice since over half the traffic to this blog arrives via moblie devices.

Mailing lists have fallen out of favor with most online groups but not in the ham radio world where many majordomos are approaching legal drinking age. I subscribe to a couple of them though I frequently pause the emails and just peruse the archives. It’s the best way to avoid the hot topics that can send list traffic soaring to ridiculous levels.

  • AMSAT-BB – carries general AMSAT information and discussion. The purpose of this mailing list is to provide a forum for general discussion of any satellite-related topic.
  • APRSSIG – the APRS Special Interest group for general APRS-related postings is hosted by TAPR.

Tell me about your favorite reads in the comments below.

Author: Jeff Davis


3 thoughts on “Reading List”

  1. I read your blog, KB6NU’s, K3WWP’s and AE5X who’s more or less back in the writing business,
    I like SJ2W’s updates on the Big Gun side and in contrast PE4BAS who’s always having maximum fun with minimal hardware.

    I scan the CQ-Contest online archives every other day to see if something interesting pops up between all the classic black-and-white topics that return every six months.
    I quit reading email newsgroups or support groups because the volume is too high, most topics are totally irrelevant to me and my free time is VERY limited nowadays

    I get my monthly QST printed but after about fourteen years, there’s hardly anything that can tickle my interest. Same with the ARRL Contest Update. Maybe this is related to the current dip in my ham radio activity?

    I also like SolarHam because it shows what’s going on in the ionosphere at a glance without much reading.
    And not radio related, I follow a bunch of DIY YouTube channels, educational and for the product reviews.

    Occasionally I end up on some other websites, blogs and Y/T channels. Just by following links or browsing blogrolls.
    I spend a lot more time on all the above than watching TV. I could easily do without TV but I’m fond if my online content. I’m not on any so called ‘social media’.

    73 / ON5ZO

  2. Thanks for your comments Franki, there’s a LOT to read about our hobby! 73 de Jeff

  3. W2LJ’s QRP Blog and AE5X’s Blog are two of my favorites. Always well done with great photography and great topics.


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