Shortwave Radio Advice Please

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AJB

Native
Oct 2, 2004
1,821
8
52
Lancashire
Hello, as per the title, I’d like some advice from anyone with more knowledge about shortwave radio reception than me, which is none really.

I’m curious about it but don’t really know what there is to listen to, if it warrants the expense of buying the kit and recommendations of portable equipment if you think it is.

Many thanks

Andy
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,115
266
69
SE Wales
Very difficult to answer your question without knowing what sort of person you are - it's like someone asking " is so-and-so band any good?".

The best way to start would be a second hand Sony multi-band or something of that ilk, and it takes a bit of time to learn your way around the dial,
what's broadcast from where and what time of day or night you can get it.

As for content, you'll find the wierdest stuff you could imagine, covering almost any subject. You have to put a bit of time into this but the rewards can be amazing.............be warned, though, you can get wrapped up in this and spend a good deal of time at it!

It's a long time now since I listened in, but in my opinion the above would be the cheapest and best way to get a feel for it. Atb, mac.
 

AJB

Native
Oct 2, 2004
1,821
8
52
Lancashire
That's very helpful thanks Mac. As to what kind of person I am, 6'4", blond, heavy set, best mate you've ever had :)

Cheers,

Andy
 

SCOMAN

Full Member
Dec 31, 2005
2,020
153
49
Perthshire
I bought one of these a while back and have it in my deployment bag.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/like/220690886110?hlpht=true&ops=true&viphx=1&lpid=95&device=c&adtype=pla&crdt=0&ff3=1&ff11=ICEP3.0.0&ff12=67&ff13=80&ff14=95&ff19=0

I tested it and it seemed pretty good. It has all the features of the Sony SW100 but at about a fifth of the price. The case isn't as robust as the Sony but again you get what you pay for. If you want to try it out it's less of an investment than the more expensive ones. I daresay theres more details available on other subject forums.
 

Doc

Need to contact Admin...
Nov 29, 2003
2,109
10
Perthshire
The Tecsuns are Chinese made but you get a lot for your money.

What can you get on shortwave?

Any SW radio will receive broadcast stations such as BBC World Service, China Radio International, Voice of Turkey, etc etc. There are fewer of these than there were, but there is still plenty to listen to. If travelling abroad to developing countries, where there may be no power, no internet, and natural or man-made disasters then access to reliable information is very useful - one traveller was near Chernobyl when the disaster happened, and the only non censored reliable info was from the BBC via short wave. So very good kit for interesting broadcasts or travel. Digital frequency readout is very very useful for broadcast listening, as stations publish their schedules. Occasionally you get oddities like clandestine stations opposed to a government, and Dutch pirate stations. There are also a lot of religious broadcasters.

Broadcast stations use AM and any radio will work. But if you want to listen to amateur radio, morse stations, VOLMET (weather for pilots), numbers stations (coded messages to spies - seriously), or use a laptop to decode data transmissions like PSK31, slow scan tv (from amateurs) or NAVTEX (weather for ships) or HF FAX (synoptic weather charts over radio) you need a set with single sideband (SSB). These will cost more.

There is no comparison between a dedicated desktop communications receiver with a wire aerial and antenna tuner, and a portable set. I have both - a Sony SW7600 for travel and an Elecraft K3 (actually a transceiver) connected to a 10 metre vertical antenna via automatic tuner. But the Sony costs about a hundred (Chinese equivalent about half that) and the Elecraft with all the filters will cost about £2500.




I bought one of these a while back and have it in my deployment bag.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/like/220690886110?hlpht=true&ops=true&viphx=1&lpid=95&device=c&adtype=pla&crdt=0&ff3=1&ff11=ICEP3.0.0&ff12=67&ff13=80&ff14=95&ff19=0

I tested it and it seemed pretty good. It has all the features of the Sony SW100 but at about a fifth of the price. The case isn't as robust as the Sony but again you get what you pay for. If you want to try it out it's less of an investment than the more expensive ones. I daresay theres more details available on other subject forums.
 

Jared

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 8, 2005
2,504
83
46
Wales
Notice CountyComm's latest radio, the GP5 DSP, is a Tecsun PL-360
 

AJB

Native
Oct 2, 2004
1,821
8
52
Lancashire
Notice CountyComm's latest radio, the GP5 DSP, is a Tecsun PL-360
Hi Jared, it's essentially a Tecsun PL-360, butt CC and Tecsun have adapted it, allegedly improving it and increasing battery life - they say. Think I'm going to have one!
 

Jared

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 8, 2005
2,504
83
46
Wales
Hi Jared, it's essentially a Tecsun PL-360, butt CC and Tecsun have adapted it, allegedly improving it and increasing battery life - they say. Think I'm going to have one!
Interesting, shame can't find any comparative reviews.
 

AJB

Native
Oct 2, 2004
1,821
8
52
Lancashire
The differences I can see is that CC claim 50% increased battery life and talk about the ability to charge rechargeables in the radio via a mini USB, no mention of improvements in reception. The radios on UK Amazon have the socket but don't mention recharging. I can live without to avoid the pain and expense of it coming from the US.
 

Uilleachan

Full Member
Aug 14, 2013
584
5
Northwest Scotland
I've a Tecsun P-600, fantastic little radio, but not a cheapy. Multi-SW bands, LW MW FM & SSB. Very good radio.

SW is better at night, when the sun is down, there's all sorts on that and depending what happening atmospherically, the odd rare treat.

I have a little sony bought for £15 that my daughter now has, that wee radio and BBC WS was my only source of information during the egyptian uprising back in 2011, when I was holed up in the eastern desert surviving on tinned tuna and rice. Eventually the phones went back on with us and I was able to arrange a flight home avoiding Cairo.