Sunday, October 30, 2011


One of my hobbies is listening to shortwave radio broadcasts.  I've been listening for about a year.

Technically speaking, the frequencies between 1.8 and 30 MHz are considered short wave.  Radio signals within this range can "bounce" off the ionosphere and can therefore be received at a much greater distance than other freqencies.

When I first started to listen, it seemed like I had discovered another Internet.  There are many times of transmissions.  I often hear music broadcasts from South America and Asian talk shows.  There are also many government news broadcasts (BBC, Radio Australia, Radio China International, Radio Havana), the occasional pirate, numbers stations, and coded military transmissions.

I mainly look for pirates and things that seem mysterious.  It's fun to hear the static give way to something done by a person, even if it turns out that it's just a radar.

It is possible to spend a lot of money on radio equipment, but I have not done that.  Here is the radio I use the most:

This is a Kenwood R1000.  It's about 30 years old, but it was built like a tank and works quite well.  I have it connected to around 80 feet of wire which run out the gable vent of my house, across my back yard, and then down to the ground at my garage (the antenna and the radio both are grounded).  I have the antenna connected to a home built antenna tuner (just an LC circuit).  A radio with memories would be nice, but outside that I am pretty happy with it.

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