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Reviews Categories | Amateur Radio Periodicals | QST Magazine Help

Reviews Summary for QST Magazine
QST Magazine Reviews: 251 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $34
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N4OI Rating: 4/5 Feb 19, 2014 03:37 Send this review to a friend
QST-The Archives are Priceless!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Ham radio is a great hobby, and somewhat unique in that being licensed for 11 years still makes me a relative "newbie." I fully support the ARRL for many reasons, and receiving QST every month is just icing on the cake.

I consider access to the QST archives all the way back to 1915 priceless for a relatively new ham like myself. From learning about the initial challenges securing amateur spectrum, to the introduction and expansion of SSB, and the ever-present bemoaning of "rotten QRM" and "bad fists" -- it is an unfolding education about what you Old Timers have experienced.

The only reason I degraded the rating to a "4" is the cumbersome .pdf arrangement. It is a challenge to follow an article that is continued on non-contiguous pages. It would be great to just page through a complete issue, or at least a whole article without tracking bread crumbs.

Regardless, the content is certainly worth the effort. Thanks, ARRL!
K4KB Rating: 2/5 Feb 18, 2014 18:29 Send this review to a friend
Continues to Decline  Time owned: more than 12 months
Let me start by saying that I am A Life Member of the ARRL and support many of its endeavors.

Talking about QST, it's sad to see what it has become.

Case in point; The last issue was supposed to be the "Annual Antenna Issue" QST's cover showed two huge beams that made me think that there will be extended coverage of all types of antennas their construction, performance, comparisons,et al.

However on the index page in small blurb it disclosed that the beams on the cover, had been built by two overseas hams. No further coverage was made of these beams, so why have them in the cover?.

QST has become 50% advertisements, almost like a catalog. I understand the revenue it produces, but tone it down some.

I was also surprised to see that the Letters Section only had two letters.

On the positive side they have a winner in "The Doctor is in"!

Jorge, K4KB

W6LBV Rating: 4/5 Oct 21, 2013 18:58 Send this review to a friend
A Rock for the Ages  Time owned: more than 12 months
“Is QST better or worse today than in years past?” This question plays into many other reviews on this page. Rather than depending on hazy memories, in a non-scientific survey I compared two different issues of QST separated in time by exactly 52 years: July 2011 and July 1959. The period of the 1950s and 1960s has sometimes been labeled “the Golden Age of Amateur Radio.” Since many new hams are not yet 52 years of age, the results should be of interest.

The comparison’s bottom line: the magazine has remained remarkably constant through the decades.

Physical and Appearance: Compared to the 2011 issue, the 1959 magazine had a smaller page size but contained more printed pages (188 vs 152). The 1959 issue had no full-color illustrations and looked, in some respects, somewhat like a technical journal. Today’s QST has a “glossy, color magazine” appearance, and seems less technical. Printing and paper quality remained good through the period.

Advertising: The 1959 issue devoted 50% of its pages to advertising, the 2011 had 47% of its space so allocated. The 1959 ads, however, were oriented more toward promoting electronic parts and assemblies intended for use in project construction, while 2011 ads heavily featured finished commercial products.

Technical: The 1959 issue devoted 13% of its space to electronic engineering/technology articles and snippets, while in 2011 the figure was 11%. However, the 2011 articles and snippets are generally set at a lower technical level than the 1959 articles were. This may be a consequence of the additional ARRL outlets for higher-level engineering articles available today. In 1959 QST was the League’s only monthly/quarterly publication.

News and Operating: This broad classification includes regulatory news, features, schedules, nets, contest results, social news, etc. In 1959, this category had 23% of the pages (this figure is probably a slight underestimate), in 2011, 19%.

The discrepancy is probably due, in major part, to QST’s no longer printing a monthly “Station Activities” column, which was regularly published in 1959. This department was a dreary feature in which the magazine tried valiantly to print as many names and call signs as it possibly could under the guise of “local news events.” Most subscribers read only the paragraph of news concerning their local section and ignored the remaining 20 or so pages of fine print that comprised the feature.

Other areas: The number of magazine pages devoted to reviews of commercial products doubled during this time period, and laboratory measurement results from product testing were introduced.

By 2011 there was a perceptible refocusing of the contents toward “beginners,” who presumably are the League’s future membership base. Basic concepts and terms in QST articles, whose fundamental explanations were not included in 1959 articles, might have sent the reader of that time scrambling to the “Handbook.” Today they are extensively described within the magazine’s pages.

The magazine, perhaps reflecting the interest of today’s subscribers, now devotes more time and attention overall to “operating” than to “engineering,” and operating features tend to illustrate stations composed almost entirely of commercially manufactured gear. The range of subject matter coverage, especially in the ARRL’s “public relations/organizational image” area, has expanded considerably today.

Summary: “Is QST ‘better or worse’ today than in years past?” Objectively, the magazine has been fairly invariant throughout the last half-century. Thus an attempt to answer to this question inevitably raises another, more general question: “Is the Amateur Radio Service itself ‘better or worse’ today than in years past?”
N3DF Rating: 5/5 Oct 4, 2013 15:20 Send this review to a friend
An Outstanding Resource  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have read QST monthly for almost 50 years. As a Novice in the 1960s, there was much about Amateur Radio that I did not understand. Over the decades, QST has been my primary teacher. In addition, it has developed into a much more readable and better edited publication. I can't imagine that just about any Ham wouldn't find much of interest in nearly every issue. To me, reading QST each month is virtually synonymous with being an American Ham.
W9CW Rating: 5/5 Oct 2, 2013 19:17 Send this review to a friend
Good Read Each Issue  Time owned: more than 12 months
I find QST to be a good read with each issue, some better than others. I do wish they had more QRP design and build articles, but I understand the editorial limitations.

What consistently amazes me, however, are the posts here that denigrate QST for the number of display advertising pages. Evidently, these folks don't understand the basics, and economics, of magazine publishing. Without the display advertising pages, there wouldn't be a QST. Display advertising Net Sales determines the success or failure of any magazine... either a stand-alone, or a journal of an organization.

Refer an issue of QST back in the '50s and '60s... still a significant number of display advertising pages even then. Critique QST on its editorial content, NOT the display advertising, because without the ad pages, you wouldn't be holding it in your hands!
W7ASA Rating: 1/5 Oct 2, 2013 14:06 Send this review to a friend
It's A Catalog  Time owned: more than 12 months
QST many decades ago was useful, probably because of the competition from CQ, Ham Radio, 73 & etc. Now, it's SO filled with advertising that it's basically a monthly catalog for appliance operators.

I am reminded of its generally poor quality of editing and lack of proof reading whenever it's time to actually build a project from QST and the on-line community has a list of corrections for QST article misprints in schematic, parts and instructions. This was even the case for a SIMPLE Wheatstone Bridge regenerative receiver from QST. Think about THAT - many corrections required for an article about a SIMPLE regen in QST. This is a simple version of what I built as a 'kid radio' from vacuum tubes when I was 9 years old. That's just poor editing.

With the HUGE on-line ham radio community and all the excellent information out there about ham projects, methods, emerging technology and etc. I do not need or want QST and all the ARRL 'sign me up' junk mail that comes with it. I dropped my membership 3 years ago and never looked back. For technical lit, there are a few books from ARRL worth their salt, but most of my ham reading now comes from the internet or from RSGB.

73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._

WB7QXU Rating: 5/5 Oct 1, 2013 19:41 Send this review to a friend
Just Love  Time owned: more than 12 months
QST covers it all. Maybe not as deep technically as some might want, but that is why I get QEX and other ARRL publications. This magazine has something for everyone from beginner to advanced. When you have been a ham for almost 40yrs well you find out the other stuff like specialty items in other publications, sometimes CQ. which I get. and CQVHF. but I can't find anything wrong with ARRL QST as it keep me informed on current trends. I look forward each month. it simply a must have.
K1FPV Rating: 5/5 Oct 1, 2013 09:39 Send this review to a friend
Decent Magazine, Tech Articles were Better years ago!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been an ARRL member now for between 45 and 50 years. Time was I was excited to see QST in my mailbox primarily for many of the construction articles.

But over the years, they are fewer and farther apart! Many of the articles now are primarily for beginners or intermediate knowledge hams. Guess that the is way the hobby is going! Time was we could all fix our own rigs when they acted up. I still do fix mine....even the new microprocessor rigs. Unfortunately, now, most guys send their rigs off to repair facilities.

At least ARRL is still there to fight for our frequencies and privileges.

Bill, K1FPV
Life Member
SWMAN Rating: 4/5 Oct 1, 2013 09:36 Send this review to a friend
ok for me  Time owned: more than 12 months
Nice to read and look forward to getting it every month. Some of the articles are a little over my head though.
DJ0RD Rating: 5/5 Oct 1, 2013 08:53 Send this review to a friend
The Only Game in Town  Time owned: more than 12 months
C'mon, QST may not be perfect, but it's the best we have, respected and read worldwide. Yes I read Ham Radio and 73 Magazines, but they are extinct, and if you think CQ is an alternative, check the reviews here. As for the Ads, think of how expensive QST would be without, and they are informative.. As for not testing what they don't like, I never have heard of any such specific instance. Just what equipment have they refused to test? Curious minds want to know. Tell us please.
Vy 73 de Bob DJ0RD/WU5T
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