Skip to comments.Shortwave radio still packs an audible thrill
Posted on 01/16/2009 5:29:03 PM PST by mylife
So why bother with shortwave?
It's easy and cheap -- and fun. You can hear and learn things that you would never find even if you work your search engine like a mule. From Swaziland to Paris to Havana, shortwave broadcasters can surprise an adventurous listener more than any MP3 playlist.
"You tune carefully, twist the radio from side to side, and there's still a bit of a 'Hey, I made this happen!' sort of thing," said Harold Cones, retired chairman of the biology and chemistry department at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia.
It's also magic. Shortwave radio enthusiasts acknowledge the thrill -- the romance, in a way -- of going out at night and snaring news, music, odd bleeps, religious zealots and other broadcasts from the wild sea of frequencies in the sky.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
I have had a Drake SW8 for many years and enjoy it.
I inherited my Dad’s SW. Don’t know what to do with it. I assume that I would have to erect some sort of external antenna to make it useful......
It beats watching American Idol L0L
Yes you need an external antenna but nothing really sophisticated, locate local hams and SW enthusiasts inc. Radio Shack, they’ll steer you to get you up and listening. During this next reign, SW may be our source of real info.
A few years ago, I bought a little Grundig portable multi-band receiver and I enjoy listening to music, news, and general chatter from around the world.
I very simple effective antenna
Just cast a fishing line over a tree, Tie it to this wire and drag it up into the tree. Tie a weight to the free end that will keep it taught but allow it to flex when the tree sways in the wind
Thanks. I believe he bought it at Radio Shack, so I’ll head over there, one of these days.
Shortwave, the only method of communication when all others fail during the ultimate meltdown of this country.
I suppose that I should investigate what he was using for an antenna, as well....
Guess I’ll have to crawl around in the rafters over at Mom’s......
It is a fun hobby. And yes, you meet nice people.
I find the Kaito 1103 http://www.radiolabs.com/products/radio/Kaito/kaito-1103.php along with a Pars end fedz antenna(link posted up thread) to be an excellent little rig.
I run the audio into the compter and use some 15 dollar altec lansing speakers.
I very impressive set up with SSB for less that 200 bucks
“Shortwave radio enthusiasts acknowledge the thrill...of going out at night and snaring news, music....religious zealots....”
Yeah those ignorant, superstitious religious zealots sure can be entertaining.
Any chance of snaring some secular zealots expounding on their religion of say environmentalism, diversity or socialism?
Oh wait, they can get that in a more conventional manner, through a mainstream propaganda organ like.....Reuters.
We are becoming very dependent on our channels of communication.
Well, there is a load of religious programing on shortwave.
I loved listening to shortwave during the 1970s-80s. Those were Cold War years, and the bands were full of strong broadcasts from all sides. Radio Moscow’s signal would “break your windows” as the CBers would say, the BBC and Deutsche Welle were at their best, and even stations like Radio Nederlands and Radio RSA (the Voice of South Africa) were fun to listen too. I could list plenty of others too; even poor Eastern Bloc nations were in on it.
VOA was strutting its stuff, too, in about 100 languages.
Now, the bands seem empty, even at night; much of the programming, at least in English, is of the evangelical Christian persuasion, and the signals are weak. Internet radio may be the next best thing; it’s big in Europe, and the reception is always great, so long as your WiFi is good.
See? it’s an adventure!!
After ten days of this the receiver failed; and after three futile attempts by the factory to fix it, I returned it for a refund and sold my antenna to a friend who was still into this stuff.
Does anyone know if the situation has improved?
so how does one get set up? where could you even buy one?
i think it’s very interesting.
All that is very true, but I dont think Shortwave is dead yet.
I heard North Korea the other night. They are transmitting now.
“Well, there is a load of religious programing on shortwave.”
I was commenting on Reuter’s little coy slam by automatically terming them all “zealots”.
To the secularists at Reuters, bi-annual attendance at just Christmas and Easter services, undoubtedly qualifies one as a religious “zealot”.
—I heard North Korea the other night. They are transmitting now.—
Wow. That reminds me of the old Radio Tirana broadcasts from Albania years ago. 30 minutes of Stalinist hilarity.
Wait till the sunspots come back...
I pick up Greece and Turkey Along with Cypress very well, though not lately, but thats because the ionosphere is crappy right now due to no sunspots.
I like listening to the music on those stations
—There were about half-a-dozen powerhouses that included Voice of America, Radio Moscow, Radio Havana, the BBC, and an evangelist whose call letters (as I recall) began with a “W”.—
The “evangelist” was probably WJCB, the Voice of the Andes, out of Quito, Ecuador. Pretty strong signal.
Hang on to those Drakes SW, we may ALL need them soon.
Universial Radio (the best)
“There is one here that airs vintage TV programmes like The Lone Ranger and I Married Joan.”
Hey, the one here in St. Louis, which is owned by a truly beneficient preacher/charity, broadcasts The Lone Ranger also. Additionally, Davy Crockett, Ozzie and Harriet and the old Jot cartoon.
Often, it is the best programming on....all 200+ channels included....
Good source for SW antennas......
Thanks for posting and keeping the magic of radio alive.
dit - dit
That wasn't it. I'm pretty sure there was an "F" and an "R" as two of the other three letters.
Sounds like the same programming list as one here. Good, old-fashioned TV. When I lived in Houston in my youth, there were three Indy TV stations alongside PBS and the major networks. These Indy stations were awesome - they aired nothing but classic TV and cartoons (including some anime fresh from Japan). They also aired TV shows that, at the time, had just entered syndication. It sucks that there really isn’t any indy TV anymore.
I told my wife that I might be keeping them for awhile longer. Told her we need to buy an antenna and test drive them.
I posted some links to some entry level stuff that performs very well.
The Kaito 1103 receiver and Par end fedz antenna along with some Altec Lansing computer speakers
Be aware, that Shortwave is atmosphere dependent and right now propagation is lousy. Conditions change, since the earth and the Sun are not static.
If you like to learn and dont mind things that dont work the same way from day to day, but bring surprises when you least expect them, shortwave could be for you
There is a station out of Maine, I believe and one out of Nashville. One is WWCR.
Great little box for a portable...
Yeah I like Universal Radio and EHam along with Radios4you
That is a nice receiver. How much did that one cost?
Got it for around $200 from Amazon. I think they might be going for more now, though.
You should hear the “Voice of Justice” from Tehran Iran.
They make Voice of Russia sound fair and balanced L0L
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