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SHORT WAVE RADIO LISTENING (SWL)

Another great radio hobby that requires no license is short wave radio listening.  All that is required is a short wave receiver (or an internet connection) and some time.  The short wave receiver can be a simple kit from Radio shack or a sophisticated desktop commercial radio costing thousands of dollars.  Generally the majority of short wave listeners have modest receivers and antennas.  The typical radio receiver will be a portable ($50-$150) or desktop AM/FM/SSB/CW receiver($100 - $300) and possibly a BFO that will allow single side band and CW Morse Code reception.  Listening to CW, facsimile, teletype or wire photo signals is little more than a curiosity at first.  Later these signals can add further enjoyment to your SWL hobby. To get started get yourself a receiver capable of tuning to 3 to 30 MHz.  A new one from Radio Shack or a used one from a local hamfest will do just fine.  Add a long wire (approx 50 feet of insulated stranded wire) antenna preferable installed high up as possible outdoors.  Be very careful to keep it well away from any electrical power cables.  Never place (in any circumstances) an antenna over, under, or near a power line.  Start tuning up and down the dial and listening to what ever stations you can hear.  The best time to listen is at night after dark.  Later you will want to obtain listings of foreign broadcast stations so you can see if you can hear them.  There are books and web sites where you can obtain the frequencies and times the stations are on the air.  For example perhaps you are interested in listening to  The Voice of America, the BBC or a radio station in Germany.  After this, you are an official DX'er (D=Distance, X=Unknown)  meaning you listen to long distance radio stations often of unknown origin.  Make a detailed log of all your listening including the time, date, and frequency and exactly what you heard.  Also record your radio type and antenna used.  Have fun!  DX'ing also (loosely) includes listening to distant AM broadcast stations.  Although this is not technically short wave radio listening it still is thrilling to see if you can hear distant AM broadcast stations across the country at night.  Don't have the money for a radio?  Then listen for free on the internet.  wmbr.mit.edu/stations/list.html

Short Wave Radio Frequently Asked Questions
WWW Shortwave Listening Guide
Short Wave Radio
ONElist : Entertainment : Short-Wave Radio
Short wave listener
Short Wave listening and Scanner Related Sites
The BID24 Guide to Short Wave Listening
Jay's Page of Radio Links

OD5SK's Amateur Radio Guide

Antennas BandPlan Callsign
Links Palm Soft PSK-31
CW Echolink HomeBrew
Operation Satellite SSTV
Introduction IRLP Calculator
Study SWL VLF

 

 

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