National Communications Magazine FAQ

 

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Here is a list of frequently-asked questions (FAQ) asked at National Communications Magazine’s offices. We hope this information can prove to be of assistance. If you have additional questions, please feel free to send an email to service@NatComMag.com

Is online the only way to receive National Communications Magazine?

Yes, National Communications Magazine converted from print production to online only at the end of 2012. If we had not made that move, we probably would have had to have gone out of business because of rising postage and printing costs. While other hobby radio magazines such as Popular Communications and Monitoring Times have gone out of business, National Communications Magazine remains as strong as ever.

What does the magazine look like online?

National Communications Magazine looks just like the print edition online, but it is done in an easily downloadable PDF format. You can either view the PDF file in your browser on your computer or download the PDF file to your computer or tablet. We even know some who look at the file on their smart phone, but it's kind of wonky. Hopefully, we will be able to offer a mobile version in the future, but the technology isn't there yet for us. If you want to check us out before buying, a FREE copy of an older issue of the magazine is available for download and testing at http://www.nat-com.org/sample.pdf

What do I get with my paid online access?

National Communications Magazine is scheduled to be published six times a year: January-February (posted online around Jan. 1), March-April (posted about March 1), May-June (posted about May 1), July-August (posted about July 1), September-October (posted about Sept. 1) and November-December (posted about Nov. 1). In addition to being able to download all current issues posted during your online access term, you also receive access to download every issue of National Communications Magazine, including predecessor titles such as National Scanning, going back to our start in 1988. All back issues can be downloaded in convenient PDF format. The Mr. Scanner FCC frequency search database also is available for paid online access users when using their login credentials to access.

Why does my online access expire in about 10 or 11 months? Why am I not receiving one full year for my online access?

National Communications Magazine is produced every other month. When you sign up for online access to NatCom, your access starts with the current issue that has been posted online. For instance, if your receive your online access user name and password on June 10, your online access term starts with the current issue, which is the May-June issue. Thus, your online access will be set to expire April 30 in the next year. That will allow you to receive all six current issues posted throughout the year of your online access term: May-June, July-August, September-October, November-December, January-February and March-April -- six issues. Still confused? We can try to explain further: service@NatComMag.com.

How do I access the current or back issues of National Communications Magazine online?

Please go to our home page at http://www.nat-com.org and click on the large type link that says “NatCom online issue access – CLICK HERE.” That link will take you to a logon page where you will type in your user name and password. Once you do that, you will see a page with links that allow you to download the current issue of National Communications Magazine or back issues. You may download as many issues as you wish with your paid online access.

Did National Communications Magazine move from Ohio?

Yes, the magazine’s offices moved from Kettering, Ohio, to the small country town of Aledo, Illinois, in May 2014. At that time, the magazine’s editor and publisher emeritus, Norm Schrein, retired from the publication and it was taken over by long-time National Communications Magazine contributing editor Chuck Gysi, N2DUP. The magazine operated as a division of SCAN Services Co. All mail addressed to our former offices in Ohio takes up to two months before it is forwarded to our new offices in Illinois.

What are the office hours for National Communications Magazine?

Being the backbone of America, National Communications Magazine is a small business with irregular office hours. This keeps the cost low for our online access users. We do not maintain regular office hours. When you reach the voice mail on our office number, please do not hang up. Leave a detailed message with the reason for your call. If you only leave a name and/or number, we cannot research your situation before returning your call. It is essential that you leave the detailed information prompting your call. We strongly suggest, however, that you send an email to service@NatComMag.com for faster service. It isn’t unusual that you will get an email reply either on the weekend or late at night. It’s when we do our best work! Please do not call our office number repeatedly expecting to get someone to pick up the phone during one of those tries. Be courteous and leave a detailed message.

What do I do if I lose my password or user name?

All requests for lost user names and/or passwords must be emailed to service@NatComMag.com. Please be sure to include your user name, if you know it, and your first and last name so we can research your account. If you send an email from an email address different than when you paid for online access to the magazine through Paypal, to ensure the security of your user name and password, we will send it to your email address used when you signed up and alert you to look there. If you no longer have access to that email account, we will work out another method to deliver your user name and/or password to you. User names and/or passwords may not be obtained by a telephone call; only email support is offered for this service. If your correct user name and password are not working, we can reset them for you. The biggest issue with passwords we have found is that a new password is issued to you when you renew your online access and most people lose the new password. Please check your email for the new password that we send to you when you renew.

What do I need to access my magazines online?

When you pay for online access, an email is sent to you if you have paid online, or a letter is mailed to you if you mail in your payment and have not included your email address with theorder. This email or letter contains your logon credentials, which are system-generated user names and passwords. When you use your user name and password to log in on our website, you can download and/or view the current issue of National Communications Magazine or any of our back issues going back to 1988. Your user name and password also is used to access the Mr. Scanner FCC frequency database on our website through a separate portal.

How much does National Communications Magazine cost?

One-year access to National Communications Magazine costs $25. This includes access to all current issues as they are posted online during your online access term and all back issues going back to 1988. Included is access to the Mr. Scanner FCC frequency database, too, for the length of your paid online access. If you wish to purchase the Mr. Scanner FCC complete frequency/license database CD with your online access, we offer a bundle package of $45 for the CD and one-year subscription, a $10 savings if purchased separately. At the current time, we also are offering two years of online access for $48 ($2 savings) and three years of online access for $70 (a $5 savings). These various online access packages can be purchased on our website through the safe Paypal payment process.

Can I purchase a single copy of National Communications Magazine?

Yes, we offer the current issue of National Communications Magazine for $6 per copy. This may be purchased on our website through the safe Paypal process. Your issue will be emailed to you. If you prefer a back issue of National Communications Magazine instead of the current issue, please send an email immediately to service@NatComMag.com after making your purchase so that we can accommodate your request before sending the wrong file to you.

What topics does National Communications Magazine cover?

National Communications Magazine’s forte is scanning and CB radio. We focus on police scanners and citizens band radio because we do it best and no other publication covers both of these topics! We also cover the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), the Family Radio Service (FRS) and the Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) as they also are hobby two-way radio services. We also cover two-way radio in general as it is related to scanners and scanning and the hobby radio services. We do not, however, cover amateur radio as the ham radio magazines do that well. We also do not cover shortwave listening or broadcasting. We are America’s Hobby Radio Magazine.

Can I find out what’s in the current issue of National Communications Magazine?

Yes, scroll down toward the bottom of our home page at http://www.NatComMag.com and you will see information about articles and features in the current issue of National Communications Magazine. You will see links that take you to other pages that include more information about each article, as well as telling you how many photos are included in that feature. Each issue contains our editor’s commentary in a feature called “Thoughtwaves,” a news feature that includes a roundup of items of interest to radio hobbyists, and a cover feature and other articles about scanning and citizens band radio. We also have a featured photo of communications interest in each issue. We think you will enjoy the hobby radio articles in each issue of National Communications Magazine.

Is there a list of articles from back issues of National Communications Magazine?

We have a list of articles that have appeared in National Communications Magazine on our website at http://www.nat-com.org/contents.htm. It currently covers issues from our start until 2009. We hope to update this list of articles in the future with more recent articles included.

How long has National Communications Magazine been published?

We trace the roots of National Communications Magazine back to 1988 when a simple “The Radiogram” newsletter was published for radio hobbyists. This morphed into the Bearcat Radio Club newsletter until 1991 when we became National Scanning Report. In 1993, “Report” was dropped from our name and we became National Communications Magazine in 1997. We’re the longest continuously produced hobby radio magazine still in existence today!

Is National Communications Magazine on social media?

Yes, we are very active on social media and our social media friends love our posts! We hope you will join in and share in the excitement. We post on a daily basis. We can be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NatComMag and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NatComMag. We’re also testing the waters on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/NatComMag. Please like our pages and comment!

Are you looking for writers?

National Communications Magazine always is looking for new authors and writers who can write well about scanning and citizens band radio. We purchase a minimum number of free-lance articles for each issue that meet our readers’ needs. If you are interested in pitching a story idea to the editor, please send a basic outline for your planned article to the editor at service@NatComMag.com. We do not accept manuscripts without going through the outline vetting process, so that the writer and editor don’t waste valuable time. Our editor is a long-time experienced editor who has worked with and taught many new writers over the years and is especially willing to work with radio hobbyists who want to share their hobby through writing. We also pay for free-lance articles and unlike many publications, we pay immediately on publication, a long-tradition here at National Communications Magazine. We respect our free-lance authors!

I love National Communications Magazine! Do you sell items with the NatCom logo on then?

We do! Our third-party vendor, CafePress, sells all types of items with our NatCom logo so your friend will know you support America's Hobby Radio Magazine! Go to http://cafepress.com/NatComMag and see these items and more with the NatCom logo: T-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, drink bottles and glasses, clocks, bar ware, pillows, bags, phone cases, notebooks (great for logging!), calendars, decals, magnets, hitch covers, key chains, ball caps, watches and much more! All items come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, too. When you shop at our CafePress shop, you help support National Communications Magazine.

I don’t want to pay to access the Mr. Scanner FCC frequency database on your website. Does National Communications Magazine offer any free frequencies for anyone to view?

We have some older frequency lists on our website that contain valid frequencies for you to view. These include Family Radio Service (FRS), fast-food drive-through, military base, VHF low band skip, sports, national and shortwave frequencies. We have not updated these lists in recent years, but you will find plenty to monitor from these lists if you wish to view these free lists. Click on the “scanner frequencies” link on our home page to see these frequency lists.

I need more information about scanning or citizens band radio. Can you help?

We have separate FAQs on our website for scanning and scanners and also CB radio. Please check the links on our home page and you can learn more about these radio hobbies.

Do you program scanners?

National Communications Magazine does not program radio scanners, however, our preferred vendor at http://www.BearcatOutlet.com can assist you. It is operated by NatCom’s former editor and publisher, Norm Schrein. You also can purchase scanners at a discount from this website.

Can I get a refund?

Essentially, no. Once a user name and password have been either emailed or mailed to you, you no longer may request a refund for your online access. The reason is that your paid online access not only includes access to all current issues of National Communications Magazine during your paid access term, but also access to every issue of the magazine going back to 1988, as well as frequency search access through the Mr. Scanner frequency database available to paid users only. You are paying for much more than access to the year's six magazines.  We invite you to try National Communications Magazine for FREE before you pay for online access! We have an older issue that is available for download on our home page that allows you to get an idea what National Communications Magazine is all about. We find that most people pay for online access once they take a look at our free issue! We're the only magazine covering CB radio, scanning and the hobby radio services.

How long does it take for me to receive my user name and password when I pay for access?

If you sign up for online access through our website and through our safe Paypal payment system, we try to get your user name and password emailed to you within a week to 10 days. There are some exceptions, such as over holiday periods or during the last two weeks of every other month (February, April, June, August, October and December) when we very busy are in production, working on putting together the next issue of the magazine. If you mailed your payment to our Illinois offices, we typically email or mail your user name and password to you within a week of its arrival at our office. However, if you mail your payment to our former offices in Kettering, Ohio, or you are taking advantage of a special office such as from Uniden, RadioShack or Cobra and mail your payment to Kettering, Ohio, it takes anywhere from one to three months before we have your payment forwarded to our Aledo, Illinois, office. Please be patient and we typically process those payments within two weeks after we receive them.

I don’t want to pay for my access online. Is there another option?

Yes, while Paypal is a very safe system for making online payments with your debit card, credit card or checking account, we respect that not everyone wants to use this online payment portal. If you wish to purchase online access, you may mail your payment payable to National Communications Magazine and mail it to National Communications Magazine, PO Box 1, Aledo IL 61231-0001. If you wish to call us to process your credit card number over the phone, please leave a detailed message stating that you want to make payment in that method and we will return your call if we didn’t answer the call live. All our return calls come from 309.228.8000 so you can feel safe about making payment in that way.

What credit cards do you accept for payment?

National Communications Magazine accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. We also might be able to process payments from Bankcard, Switch and Solo.

Is Paypal secure for making payments to National Communications Magazine?

Yes, Paypal uses SSL technology to keep your information safe. When you use Paypal to send your payment to National Communications Magazine, we don’t see or receive your sensitive financial information such as your credit card, debit card or bank account numbers. All we receive from Paypal is your name, address, phone number and email address, as well as the amount of your purchase.

When does my online access term expire?

When you pay for online access to National Communications Magazine, you will receive either an email or letter with your user name, password and online access expiration date. Please print out or save this information so you can recall your logon information and online access expiration date. If you should lose it, you may send an email to service@NatComMag.com to find out this information. Your online access term begins with the current posted issue of National Communications Magazine and runs for the term you have paid and as indicated on the email or letter you receive from our offices.

Is National Communications Magazine hiring?

We’re not hiring at the time. We have a very small office staff in order to keep the cost of our publication low for our online access users. We do work with free-lance writers who can write about scanning and citizens band radio topics, however. See the other FAQ item above about writing for National Communications Magazine.

What is the history of National Communications Magazine?

There is a Wikipedia article about the history of National Communications Magazine that can be found at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Communications_Magazine

What’s the frequency, Kenneth?

If you know the answer, please tell Dan Rather. Don’t have a clue? Google it … https://www.google.com/search?q=what%27s+the+frequency%2C+kenneth

 

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