Best Tips for Shortwave

Discussion in 'Communications' started by dksac2, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. dksac2

    dksac2 Member

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    I was reading the other thread on shortwave radios. Some things to consider. If shortwave reception is really important to you, you are going to want to buy a quality radio such as a Grundig or Sony. I have a Sony ICF-SW7600G. It is a portable radio and has good sensitivity. The crank up shortwave radios do not have very good sensitivity or the ability to separate close stations. They will also have trouble picking up weaker stations. The Sony I have is some years old and there are newer models on the market. If you can find a quality used radio, you will be far ahead. The one feature about the Sony is that it had the ability to pick up upper and lower sideband ham transmissions and fine tuning. Ham radio users use the upper and lower sideband for their shortwave transmissions. A regular shortwave radio will not pick up the sideband transmissions, they will just sound like a lot of garbled noise that you will not be able to understand. In finding out what is going on near you or in other parts the the country is really important to you, and it should be, you want a radio that will pick up ham radio transmissions. You will learn far more from ham operators about areas of interest than from general shortwave radio stations. The other thing that will help pick up stations clearer and pull in the weak signals is an outside antenna. Your shortwave will never reach it's full potential without an outside antenna, especially the lower priced radios. They are simple to put up. With the built in antenna, you will only pick up the strongest stations. An outside antenna ca be as simple as hanging 60' of thin copper wire outside. Attach it as high up in the air as possible. Use an isolator on both ends so that the antenna not grounded. Run the other end of the wire to your radio, making sure no part of the wire is grounded to anything. You can wrap the wire around the antenna or put a fitting on it if there is an input for an antenna. Wrapping the end of the wire around the antenna works fine. If there is a thunder storm, throw the wire inside the house outside as lightning could hit the wire causing your radio to explode and possible injury or death to yourself. Radio Shack has a basic outside antenna kit for under $20.00. It's well worth the money.
    My Sony uses 4 AA batteries. If you go to www.nitro-pac.com, you will find solar battery chargers for about $16.95. These chargers charge AAA to D batteries, two at a time. Get two or three of these chargers and a bunch of rechargeable batteries in the sizes that you need. This way you will always have charged batteries for your radio as well as other uses.
    I'm not sure which other radios besides the Sony can pick up sideband transmissions, but the money spent will be well worth it. One other thing to remember is that if things get bad enough that the country is put under Martial Law, the government will shut down or control all radio and television transmissions including American based shortwave radio. You will not get any information except what the government puts out. They may have something in place to control Ham radio usage, I'm not sure about it, but Hams will still broadcast.

    JK