MT INTERNET EXCELLENCE AWARDS
o Radio Reference o WUN Club
Monitoring Times and Grove Enterprises have had a presence on the web since 1996, even though Grove had to become its own internet provider to do so – there was no internet provider in furthermost western North Carolina in those days! Since then, the internet and email have transformed the way we do business and transformed the radio hobby itself.
Hobbyists have become increasingly sophisticated about making the Web work for them, and some dedicated individuals have created websites that are head and shoulders above the rest – usually for little compensation except for the satisfaction of creating a stellar product. Ten short years after we logged on, the Internet is such an integral part of our hobby that MT has created the Monitoring Times Internet Excellence Award to honor outstanding sites that come with our highest recommendation.
If you have a website you'd like to bring to the attention of Monitoring Times as deserving of an award, you are welcome to send your recommendation to email@example.com
Second MT Internet Excellence Award: WUN Club
*NOTE: This club and its website have now disbanded. It is reorganizing as a Yahoo group. Check out http://groups.yahoo.com/group/udxf/ to learn more.
Monitoring Times is proud to give its second "Internet Excellence" award to the Worldwide Utility News Club (www.wunclub.com) for its dedication and excellence in the field of shortwave utilities. This is a challenging area of the hobby which requires a lot of original work and analysis to uncover users, modes, locations, etc. WUN's club president, Ary Boender, and webmaster Jason Berri shared a bit about where WUN has come from and where it is headed:
"The Worldwide Utility News (WUN) club web site was started as part of the creation of WUN back in 1995. WUN was created to provide an electronic medium (mailing list and web) for utility DXers to exchange information. The site was put together in the early days of the internet, when web browsing was still in its infancy.
"The WUN club site has evolved over the years from a simple design that was basically an archive of monthly club newsletters, to the more sophisticated, comprehensive design you see today. The site is constantly being updated, and undergoes regular reviews of design and content. In the future the site will continue to be a mainstay on the internet to provide information for utility DXers around the world."
While the site appears simple and utilitarian, there is a wealth of information available via menus or the search button. One of our favorite tools for the beginner is the library of audio files for about 30 different digital modes. Other comprehensive lists of ships, aircraft, callsigns, etc, help in the identification of intercepted signals. The WUN listserver is an excellent tool for sharing real-time intercepts for propagation and direction-finding purposes.
As always, a club or publication is only as good as its members and contributors, and in this, too, WUN is a winner. We hope you'll visit them soon.
First MT Internet Excellence Award: RadioReference
* NOTE: This site is also evolving -- some of the services on the site are now only available via subscription -- $7.50 per quarter. Much of the information is still free. We have discontinued our link to the site, as the site’s sponsor did not allow a reverse link to Monitoring Times acknowledging our award..
The very first site to receive the MT Internet Excellent Award is RadioReference – the creation of Lindsay Blanton. The RadioReference site grew up with trunking, coming on line to help the hobby figure out this new, puzzling technology. It has grown to become a huge database, including conventional frequency assignments, trunked radio system information, frequencies, and talkgroups, but it's more than that. You'll also find FCC License assignments and maps, 10-Code Lists, agency maps, files, downloads, links, and detailed agency information for most public safety, military, and local government activities, as well as hosting very active forums with over 145,000 posts.
Larry Van Horn, MT's assistant editor and frequency guru, says when it comes to VHF/UHF, RadioReference is the first place he goes when he needs a radio reference.
All the data at RadioReference is free; however, you must register to access the Radio Reference Database and to post to the Radio Reference Forums.
Monitoring Times is proud to name Lindsay C. Blanton III as the recipient of the First Monitoring Times Internet Excellence Award for his RadioReference.com website. We invite our readers to visit Lindsay's site and to contribute, since all websites, including MT's own, are largely dependent upon its users for the quantity and quality of the information found there.