Shortwave listening (SWL)?

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pakarinen
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Shortwave listening (SWL)?

#1

Post by pakarinen »

Anybody here a shortwave listener? I had a little portable AM/FM/SW radio decades ago - used to listen to BBC World Service and such, but stopped after the radio died and never got back into it. I do have a railroad / air / etc. scanner that I fire up occasionally.

Dunno, do many SW stations exist anymore? I know BBC stopped World Service a few years back. Ft. Collins still transmitting their "bee-boo-boo-boo XX hours, YY minutes Coordinated Universal Time" broadcasts? I was assuming everything is pretty much broadcast on the Internet now.
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Re: Shortwave listening (SWL)?

#2

Post by Ylem »

Yes, I have several radios. A new Tecsun 660 (nice), a Zenith tube Transoceanic, 2 transistor Transoceanics, a Radio Shack DX 440 and a DX 160 :)

The good ole glory days are gone though :(

Radio Habana Cuba is still on, and with decent programing.
Then there are the wacko conspiracy theory stations, Bible preaching and some decent smaller US based music stations.

Here is a decent site to find what's on;

https://shortwaveschedule.com/?now=true
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Chich
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Re: Shortwave listening (SWL)?

#3

Post by Chich »

I was just listening to an episode of the 'SolderSmoke' podcast and they were talking about SWLing. The glory days are long gone but there are still some interesting things to pick up. They did mention that a lot of the stations appear to be "if you got the cash we'll broadcast your trash" variety but even with them there are some good shows mixed in the wackos.

I started years ago with a receiver on the farm. Especially at night in the winter after the chores were wrapped up. My uncle and I would spin the dial. Deutsche Welle, Radio Moscow, Havana, RCI, BBC world service, etc. The dial was all marked with pen dots on our favourite frequencies.

Used to like finding the interval signal of Deutsche Welle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=troQMC_g6AQ and Radio South Africa https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9ZXYWWyVzQ
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Re: Shortwave listening (SWL)?

#4

Post by Mac »

I still listen to AM and Shortwave DX stations. Started back in 1969 with a Heath GR-54 receiver that I built and then became a ham radio operator in 73.
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Re: Shortwave listening (SWL)?

#5

Post by Lady Fraktor »

Along the top of the bookshelving there are Grundig YB400PE, Grundig S350DL, Eton E-5 and E-10, Sony ICF-SW7600GR, Tecsun PL-660, Tecsun PL-230, Tecsun PL-360 and in the breakfast nook is a Grundig Satellit 800
What is SW? ;)
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Re: Shortwave listening (SWL)?

#6

Post by UlteriorModem »

I have a Grundig YB, couple of Heathkits, and a Yaesu FTDX (Transciever). With a G5RV antenna that stretches some 102 feet across the property.

When they say the good days of SWL listening are over that is not an overstatement! Unless you can speak Chinese or Farsi or really enjoy religious programming there is next to nothing out there.

I remember the days of getting a 'novice' amateur radio license with only permissions for CW (morse code) on the 40 meter band and struggeling to find an open frequency that was not swamped by broadcast SW stations. Now you are hard pressed to find anything broadcasting in that spectrum.

VOA is gone BBC is gone, even American Armed forces radio is nearly gone. Internet has replaced them.

Not to mention the fact that the bands are all but snuffed out with the current solar conditions.
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Re: Shortwave listening (SWL)?

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Post by KathyNS »

I still have the portable shortwave receiver that I bought as a kid, sitting on my desk. It is dead now, and the reason it's on my desk is because it is waiting for its final journey to the electronics recycling depot. I used to listen to Radio Moscow and Radio Havana back in the day. I even picked up Radio Yerevan, which I'd never even heard of before.

At one point, I acquired a general-purpose test-bench oscillator that I used as a BFO to listen in on ham radio SSB conversations using that receiver.

It is also the radio on which I listened to Neil Armstrong and the Apollo 11 moon landing on the AM band.
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Re: Shortwave listening (SWL)?

#8

Post by UlteriorModem »

Radio Havana is one of the few SW stations still broadcasting. They come into Florida loud and clear on some evenings.
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pakarinen
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Re: Shortwave listening (SWL)?

#9

Post by pakarinen »

UlteriorModem wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 1:15 pm
VOA is gone BBC is gone, even American Armed forces radio is nearly gone. Internet has replaced them.
I do wonder how people will manage when the Net and / or cell phones eventually go down for an extended period.
The lamp once out
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~Soseki

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Re: Shortwave listening (SWL)?

#10

Post by Ylem »

Lady Fraktor wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 3:36 am
Along the top of the bookshelving there are Grundig YB400PE, Grundig S350DL, Eton E-5 and E-10, Sony ICF-SW7600GR, Tecsun PL-660, Tecsun PL-230, Tecsun PL-360 and in the breakfast nook is a Grundig Satellit 800
What is SW? ;)
Yeah, they are like EPs, they multiply LOL

I also had those 2 Etons, they were nice :)
Had a portable Grundig, and a few other RS portables, and 2 Heathkits.
Wish I kept those, since I built them.
Clear Skies,
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A bunch of SCTs and MCTs scattered around the house and an Orion ST80.
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Re: Shortwave listening (SWL)?

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Post by Graeme1858 »

The BBC World Service is still going. Here's an excellent series they did recently:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p083t5q9

Regards

Graeme
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Re: Shortwave listening (SWL)?

#12

Post by UlteriorModem »

Graeme1858 wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 3:52 pm
The BBC World Service is still going. Here's an excellent series they did recently:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p083t5q9

Regards

Graeme
No broadcasts into North America, interwebs only I am afraid. I do miss them.
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Re: Shortwave listening (SWL)?

#13

Post by Ylem »

I do listen to the BBC n my car on XM, it brings me back :)
Clear Skies,
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Re: Shortwave listening (SWL)?

#14

Post by Makuser »

Hello pakarinen. I started in 1959 as an amateur radio operator with a Hallicrafters SX-110. I have had many Hallicrafters and Hammarlund (tube) receivers over the years. When the ham bands where slow, I started listening to commercial shortwave stations (including the ones Chich mentioned), and then later I wanted to see how far away I could pick up commercial AM band radio stations as well as vlf aircraft positional beacons. My current line up is a Yaesu FT-840 transceiver and Palomar vlf converter (down to 30 khz.). For vhf/uhf I have a Radio Shack Pro 2040 (am/fm) and a Yaesu FRG-9600 (am/fm/ssb) with the optional video card. I got a super clean used Radio Shack DX-302 receiver for low money and it is a pretty nice receiver for the money. Last I have a Sangean ATS-803A portable receiver which has am/fm/mw/sw/lw bands. I used this at work on my desk to listen to the BBC World Service many years ago. Today the lights have gone dark on most of the old shortwave stations because of the satellite links and Internet, and the vlf aircraft positional beacons have been replaced with GPS systems onboard the aircraft. Sad to say, it is not nearly as much fun today as it used to be. :(
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Re: Shortwave listening (SWL)?

#15

Post by UlteriorModem »

Yea long distance AM radio reception can be a lot of fun in the evenings. I listened to a station out of Chicago one time, clear as a bell, in Florida!
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Re: Shortwave listening (SWL)?

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Post by KathyNS »

UlteriorModem wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 11:03 pm
Yea long distance AM radio reception can be a lot of fun in the evenings. I listened to a station out of Chicago one time, clear as a bell, in Florida!
My brother used to do long-distance AM radio when he was a teenager. He'd wrap a coil of wire around the ferrite bar antenna that was in a crappy little AM radio built into the base of his desk light. Then he'd connect an outdoor long wire antenna to the coil. He logged programs from all over North America, and collected the QSL cards to prove it.
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Re: Shortwave listening (SWL)?

#17

Post by Mac »

Me in 1974 on my just finished HeathKit SB 301/401 pair

Notice the QSL cards from SWL

Scan 5.jpeg
and my new rig

Screen Shot 2020-05-14 at 7.41.39 PM.png
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Re: Shortwave listening (SWL)?

#18

Post by Ylem »

I still find Long Wave fasinating.
I take the portables outside while observing. I have a long wire up in a tree and tune around picking up the beacons :)

Yes I am a nerd ;)
Clear Skies,
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Re: Shortwave listening (SWL)?

#19

Post by UlteriorModem »

Mac wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 11:39 pm
Me in 1974 on my just finished HeathKit SB 301/401 pair
Nice, I had the 303 and 401 setup at some point. Main difference is the 303 was solid state. Still have it. Still works as far as I know. It is stored safely away.
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Re: Shortwave listening (SWL)?

#20

Post by Lady Fraktor »

http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/

Here is a fun station to play with based in the Netherlands.
If you want to listen to a specific station move your location to where the signal is being broadcast to and play with the radio settings to pull the station in.
You can here stations from all over that you normally would not hear in your location.
I used this a lot while in North America.
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Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Bresser 102 f/13.2, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Berlebach Planet w/ pier, Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
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