Best Public Alert, All-hazards, NOAA Weather Band SAME Radios

Weather radios can be small portable radios, or larger home units. There are dedicated weather radios, dual-purpose AM/FM/weather radios, and weather radios built into other devices (police scanners, walkie-talkies, multi-function emergency radios).

Dedicated radios cost from $20 to $50 and up. Brands include Sangean, First Alert, Oregon Scientific, Eton, Reecom and Midland. Some of the information in this article is based on user reviews on the website. (more…)

Radio Frequency Scanners: Police, Fire Services Live Audio

Radio scanners are used by civilians to listen in on police, fire fighter, ambulance, NOAA weather, ham radio, FRS (walkie-talkie), CB (Citizens’ Band), air traffic control, NASCAR drivers and crew, taxi, railroad, marine and other radio communications. Large concerts and sporting events have multiple crews working to make everything work smoothly. A scanner provides an interesting behind-the-scenes look at a world hidden from most people.

They can be used for:

  • Entertainment (they are good gifts for retirees, anyone with time on their hands).
  • Keeping track of family members who are pilots or who work in emergency services.
  • Situational awareness during disasters or smaller emergencies. Find out what is really going on, as it happens.
  • Spotting airplanes, ships or trains.


How to Build a Shortwave Radio

Kits and Homebrew Radios Have Character and Quality

There are two ways to build a workable short wave radio. The choices involve building a radio from scratch or purchasing a kit with parts and plans included. Each technique has its own merits and its up your personal preference to decide.

Choose a Kit for Convenience or ‘From Scratch’ for Cost

Building from a plan is less expensive but a design must be chosen and parts have to be ordered and tested. Make a copy of the old Zenith “Oceanic” model with most parts available from Radio Shack. Those desiring a kit project should investigate the Ten-Tec series of kits at The are wonderful, easy to build radios.

Get a Copy of the Plans

Download and print all plans and diagrams from Most parts are available from Radio Shack though some parts may have to be ordered elsewhere. Check that you have access to all the tools listed. This kit can be built in a weekend. Have an unobstructed work area. (more…)

The Basics of Ham Radio Speak: A Guide to the Most Commonly Used Phrases and Abbreviations

Most of the time when amateur radio operators are on the air, the conversations are no different from those that we have on our telephones. However, at the same time, there is a lexicon which hams use that may sound quite foreign to the new or non-ham.

In this article, the most commonly used terms and phrases will be discussed, which should be sufficient to make sense of “ham speak.”