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Shortwave radio still packs an audible thrill
reuters ^ | 1/14/09 | Robert MacMillan

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 ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ham; radio; shortwave
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I heard about this article on the shortwave.
1 posted on 01/16/2009 5:29:03 PM PST by mylife
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To: steveo; Professional Engineer

Ping


2 posted on 01/16/2009 5:30:12 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could be Farts)
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To: mylife

I have had a Drake SW8 for many years and enjoy it.


3 posted on 01/16/2009 5:32:21 PM PST by MamaB (Heb.13:2)
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To: mylife

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......


4 posted on 01/16/2009 5:32:38 PM PST by ButThreeLeftsDo (FR......Monthly Donors Wanted)
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To: mylife

listener ping


5 posted on 01/16/2009 5:32:50 PM PST by aMorePerfectUnion ("I've got a bracelet too, Jim")
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To: MamaB

It beats watching American Idol L0L


6 posted on 01/16/2009 5:33:26 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could be Farts)
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To: ButThreeLeftsDo

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.


7 posted on 01/16/2009 5:34:55 PM PST by brushcop (We remember SSG Harrison Brown, PVT Andrew Simmons B CO 2/69 3ID KIA Iraq OIF IV)
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To: mylife
When I was a kid, one of the teachers at school (a retired Navy Korean War vet) was a shortwave enthusiast. He lived down the road from me, so I would visit him and his wife. She made cookies while he explained how signals reflected off the ionosphere and told me about all the people he had met all over the world via shortwave radio. It was a blast to hear him chat with friends in Europe or South America or Asia.

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.

8 posted on 01/16/2009 5:36:35 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: ButThreeLeftsDo

I very simple effective antenna
http://www.grove-ent.com/ANT8.html

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


9 posted on 01/16/2009 5:38:27 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could be Farts)
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To: brushcop

Thanks. I believe he bought it at Radio Shack, so I’ll head over there, one of these days.


10 posted on 01/16/2009 5:38:45 PM PST by ButThreeLeftsDo (FR......Monthly Donors Wanted)
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To: mylife

Shortwave, the only method of communication when all others fail during the ultimate meltdown of this country.


11 posted on 01/16/2009 5:39:08 PM PST by Evil Slayer (Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war)
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To: mylife
My wife got me a SW radio for Christmas 2 years ago and I took it on our last Caribbean cruise. It was neat setting balcony and listening to radio from all over the world. A real hoot.
12 posted on 01/16/2009 5:40:14 PM PST by engrpat (End the National Nightmare on 1-20-2013)
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To: mylife
Methinks, in about two years, all of us will need short wave radio...I hope I'm wrong.

5.56mm

13 posted on 01/16/2009 5:41:37 PM PST by M Kehoe
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To: mylife

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......

;-)


14 posted on 01/16/2009 5:42:42 PM PST by ButThreeLeftsDo (FR......Monthly Donors Wanted)
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To: M Kehoe
I have the Drake SW8 plus 2 portable ones. I use to listen to them a whole lot more than I do now. I found an internet site which plays old cowboy western music so have that on most of the time.
15 posted on 01/16/2009 5:43:44 PM PST by MamaB (Heb.13:2)
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To: Army Air Corps

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


16 posted on 01/16/2009 5:45:15 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could be Farts)
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To: mylife

“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.


17 posted on 01/16/2009 5:45:23 PM PST by EyeGuy
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To: Evil Slayer

True enough.

We are becoming very dependent on our channels of communication.


18 posted on 01/16/2009 5:46:46 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could be Farts)
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To: EyeGuy

Well, there is a load of religious programing on shortwave.


19 posted on 01/16/2009 5:48:06 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could be Farts)
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To: mylife

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.


20 posted on 01/16/2009 5:48:46 PM PST by seatrout (I wouldn't know most "American Idol" winners if I tripped over them!)
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To: ButThreeLeftsDo

See? it’s an adventure!!


21 posted on 01/16/2009 5:49:02 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could be Farts)
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To: mylife
About 20 years ago, I was temporarily interested in shortwave listening. The problem I ran into was that there were no international rules governing frequency allocation. 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". These guys would simulcast on zillions of different frequencies at astronomical power levels. Every station I tried to tune into (Radio Greece, etc.) was being blown off the air by one of these half-dozen.

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?

22 posted on 01/16/2009 5:49:30 PM PST by snarkpup (We need to replace our politicians before they replace us.)
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To: mylife

so how does one get set up? where could you even buy one?
i think it’s very interesting.


23 posted on 01/16/2009 5:51:16 PM PST by MissDairyGoodnessVT
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To: seatrout

All that is very true, but I dont think Shortwave is dead yet.

I heard North Korea the other night. They are transmitting now.


24 posted on 01/16/2009 5:51:20 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could be Farts)
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To: EyeGuy
This discussion reminds of those low power TV stations. I love those because you'd be surprised what is on them. There is one here that airs vintage TV programmes like The Lone Ranger and I Married Joan.
25 posted on 01/16/2009 5:51:21 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: mylife

“Well, there is a load of religious programing on shortwave.”

####

I know.

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”.


26 posted on 01/16/2009 5:52:52 PM PST by EyeGuy
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To: mylife

—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.


27 posted on 01/16/2009 5:53:14 PM PST by seatrout (I wouldn't know most "American Idol" winners if I tripped over them!)
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To: mylife

Wait till the sunspots come back...


28 posted on 01/16/2009 5:54:07 PM PST by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: snarkpup

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


29 posted on 01/16/2009 5:54:31 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could be Farts)
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To: snarkpup

—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.


30 posted on 01/16/2009 5:54:51 PM PST by seatrout (I wouldn't know most "American Idol" winners if I tripped over them!)
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To: MamaB
Good evening MamaB.

Hang on to those Drakes SW, we may ALL need them soon.

5.56mm

31 posted on 01/16/2009 5:56:10 PM PST by M Kehoe
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To: mylife; All

FYI
Universial Radio (the best)
http://www.rffun.com


32 posted on 01/16/2009 5:56:16 PM PST by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: Army Air Corps

“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....


33 posted on 01/16/2009 5:56:52 PM PST by EyeGuy
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To: ButThreeLeftsDo

Good source for SW antennas......

http://www.aesham.com/


34 posted on 01/16/2009 5:56:55 PM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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To: MissDairyGoodnessVT
Radio Shack sells them
35 posted on 01/16/2009 5:57:11 PM PST by Evil Slayer (Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war)
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To: Army Air Corps
When I was a kid I inherited an old hallicrafter sw receiver from my uncle. I loved listening to Radio Havana, Radio Moscow, etc. I always thought it was pretty funny getting Pravda's spin on the world. Watching today's MSM takes me back to those propaganda filled evenings.
36 posted on 01/16/2009 5:58:42 PM PST by Tail Gunner John
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To: M Kehoe
I got the SW8 when hubby got his 62” tv. He died in 2006. I use to listen to it a lot. Use to listen to Bill Cooper before he died. The 2 portable ones are pretty good at picking up stations late at night. I picked up a New Year's Eve celebration from China one year. Very interesting.
37 posted on 01/16/2009 5:58:43 PM PST by MamaB (Heb.13:2)
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To: mylife; steveo

Thanks for posting and keeping the magic of radio alive.

dit - dit


38 posted on 01/16/2009 5:59:16 PM PST by Database
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To: xcamel
This is my radio. Probably the best portable SW receiver around. Great FM tuner, too. I'm near Harrisburg, Pa., and can pick up FM stations in Baltimore/DC area no problem.
39 posted on 01/16/2009 6:00:05 PM PST by seatrout (I wouldn't know most "American Idol" winners if I tripped over them!)
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To: seatrout
The “evangelist” was probably WJCB, the Voice of the Andes, out of Quito, Ecuador. Pretty strong signal.

That wasn't it. I'm pretty sure there was an "F" and an "R" as two of the other three letters.

40 posted on 01/16/2009 6:01:13 PM PST by snarkpup (We need to replace our politicians before they replace us.)
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To: EyeGuy

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.


41 posted on 01/16/2009 6:01:21 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: M Kehoe
I have two Single Side Band radios a Collins KWM-2a and a Yaesu FT-101 that I have been thinking about selling. The KWM-2a is still in its MIL-Spec packaging and the Yaesu in its original boxes.

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.

42 posted on 01/16/2009 6:01:25 PM PST by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: MissDairyGoodnessVT

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

http://www.alteclansing.com/index.php?file=north_product_detail&iproduct_id=bxr1120

http://www.radiolabs.com/products/radio/Kaito/kaito-1103.php

http://www.grove-ent.com/ANT8.html

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


43 posted on 01/16/2009 6:03:10 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could be Farts)
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To: snarkpup

There is a station out of Maine, I believe and one out of Nashville. One is WWCR.


44 posted on 01/16/2009 6:03:48 PM PST by MamaB (Heb.13:2)
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To: seatrout

Great little box for a portable...


45 posted on 01/16/2009 6:04:14 PM PST by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: xcamel

Yeah I like Universal Radio and EHam along with Radios4you


46 posted on 01/16/2009 6:07:05 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could be Farts)
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To: seatrout
this is my box here on the computer desk..


47 posted on 01/16/2009 6:07:11 PM PST by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: seatrout

That is a nice receiver. How much did that one cost?


48 posted on 01/16/2009 6:07:13 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: Army Air Corps

Got it for around $200 from Amazon. I think they might be going for more now, though.


49 posted on 01/16/2009 6:08:32 PM PST by seatrout (I wouldn't know most "American Idol" winners if I tripped over them!)
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To: Tail Gunner John

You should hear the “Voice of Justice” from Tehran Iran.

They make Voice of Russia sound fair and balanced L0L


50 posted on 01/16/2009 6:09:56 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could be Farts)
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