Shortwave radios in emergency situations

Discussion in 'Communications' started by Fetthunter, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. Fetthunter

    Fetthunter Ready for Doomsday!

    We have a Grundig S350 AM/FM/SW radio. Great for local broadcasts, and if there ARE no local broadcasts (due to disaster), you can hit the shortwave bands and listen to broadcasts from further away (domestically and internationally).

    What do you have for gathering information in the event of an emergency? :)
  2. justsayno

    justsayno Guest

    do you have a power source for it? I hear that they sell crank powered ones? I am not sure though

  3. Denny

    Denny Praying for America

    At home, we just got a battery operated AM/FM radio. I plan on getting one of those crank radios with shortwave capabilities and a handheld CB.
  4. Denny

    Denny Praying for America

    I saw some crank ones online. I think it was like or something. I'll try and find it. I also saw one for sale on , but who knows what they'll have up for sale next...
  5. OldTXCop

    OldTXCop Member

    County Comm has some small shortwave radios that run on batteries. I thought they looked pretty interesting, but wasn't sure what I could use them for. Check them out.
  6. bkt

    bkt Well-Known Member

    Got a crank/battery/mains am/fm/sw radio.

    Does anyone have a list of channels/stations on the sw band that might be good to try to tune into? That would be handy to keep with the radio.
  7. Fetthunter

    Fetthunter Ready for Doomsday!

    Before buying a radio, check for customer reviews on it. That's what I did with my S350. Read the reviews, then bought on from an estate sale for $40 off eBay. :D

    For power, right now it's just AC and battery powered. I have a LiION battery charger and lots of LiION AA batteries. I'd like to get a solar charger to power the battery charger so that I can use the radio at night, too, with the batteries. It's a future plan. :)
  8. Fetthunter

    Fetthunter Ready for Doomsday!


    They sell annual books with SW frequencies in them ("Passport to World Band Radio") on Amazon: . I don't have one, but just listening around, I've been able to find broadcasts on these frequencies. These are at NIGHT U.S. TIME:

    3215 Nashville
    3490 ?
    3760 ?
    5840 ?
    5955 Radio Taiwan?
    5980 BBC
    5995 Voice of America (Armed Forces radio)
    6006 English speaking
    6026 Japan?
    6066 Spanish?
    6160 polka?
    6180 Radio Havana
    6185 Caribbean music
    6400 World Harvest Radio, South Bend, Indiana
    7315 Radio Liberty, California
    7410 Maine
    7490 WHRI World Harvest Radio
    11570 ?
    11835 ?
    13575 ?
    14675 ?
    15000 Coast Guard
    15590 ?

    It doesn't seem like an extensive list, and it's not, but I have stations in California and Maine - on both coasts, as well as Indiana and Nashville, Havana, the Coast Guard, England, and Taiwan. That at least covers a decent section of the world. If something BIG were to happen, by listening to these stations and using the process of elimination, you'd at least (hopefully) be able to determine what area(s) of the world were affected by the incident(s) by which stations were/weren't still broadcasting.
  9. Fetthunter

    Fetthunter Ready for Doomsday!


    These are AWESOME crank radios with great reception and play times: Many crank radios either won't pull in signals (what good is THAT?), or only play a few minutes on a cranking. These will run about 45 minutes per cranking session (about 1 minute), and are great. They have a built-in light, weather band, and a cell phone charger too!

    Amazon was clearing out their PINK ones for $29, so we snagged a few. Who cares what color it is if it saves your life? Besides, hot pink makes it easy to find in our emergency kit! ;)
  10. groundhogsniper23

    groundhogsniper23 Active Member

    check out they have some crank radios from eaton and other companys.
  11. Fetthunter

    Fetthunter Ready for Doomsday!

    Eton is a good brand.

    Eton and Grundig are the same company, and often you'll see the same radios with the same model numbers on them, with different brand names on them. For instance, you might see an "Eton S350" and a "Grundig S350" on different websites. Same radio, though. :)
  12. kc5fm

    kc5fm Emergency Manager

    Shortwave and Disasters

    Please remember that ALL disasters start locally and end locally.

    Your LOCAL public information officers will be using communications streams to get the word to broadcasters and other media outlets closer to you that the British Broadcasting Company (which, by the way, has suspended shortwave broadcasts to the USA).

    Therefore, I'd invest in a scanner to monitor the local public safety channels and consider getting an amateur radio license. Your friends at the American Radio Relay League will be happy to provide you a name of a local club and test session.

    If you really WANT to monitor shortwave for emergency messages, here's the current list of broadcasters with programming to the USA.
  13. Fetthunter

    Fetthunter Ready for Doomsday!

    While they have suspended broadcasts to the US, you CAN still pick up the local BBC UK broadcasts (I picked them up on the frequency I listed previously). They still discuss lots of news and information, and I've heard things on there about the US that I haven't heard on US news broadcasts. That might be useful in times of need... :)

    I have a trunk-tracking handheld Bearcat scanner to monitor the most local fire/police/EMS frequencies, but we are so rural that in the event of a "situation", we're basically on our own. A call to the state police results in a 1 hour response time, for example. In a widespread emergency, I expect much worse. Another reason for self-sufficiency! :D
  14. Fetthunter

    Fetthunter Ready for Doomsday!



    Althought the $29 sale is long gone, my wife noticed last night that Amazon has the CAMO FR400 radios on sale for $34.99! For a radio/light/cell phone charger, that's dynamo powered, it's tough to beat! These are normally $80.

    Hope it helps! :D
  15. mtnscout

    mtnscout Active Member

    Shortwave solutions

    I have a crank shortwave and it's great fun on camping trips as well as being ready for any emergencies. But you can get tired of cranking fairly quickly, it's boring! Also the internal battery doesn't last as long as rechargable batteries do. I bought a solar charger that does all types of batteries and AA's charge very quickly so I have a set in the radio and another ready to go.

    Here is a website that lists english shortwave broadcasts,
    As far as the BBC goes it's to the left of NPR and can't be considered a reliable news source.

    Midland sells a radio base station with am/fm/GMRS/Noaa that has a crank and is a good compliment to the shortwave and it also takes AA batteries.

    A good idea is to take a ammo can and line it with high density foam to store your radios in for traveling. Both of these radios fit just fine.
  16. N8EPE

    N8EPE Member

    While I don't personally own one, I've heard very good things about the Kaito KA1102 radio.

    Shortwave radio with side Band, SSB Radio, Kaito KA1102

    It's a few more dollars (a quick google search showed one place selling them for $69.00 us) than some of the do all, hand crank, flashlight, siren, compass, etc radios out there, but personally, I've already got a few good flashlights and a compass. If it's purpose is to be a radio, it should do that job well.

    What sets the Kaito KA1102 apart from most portables is the ability to receive SSB (single side band) stations, along with the usual AM / FM & shortwave broadcast stations. If there is a broader event than city / county VHF range, such as a statewide, regional, or national event, an excellent source of info and updates are going to be available on the HF ham bands. You'll need the ability to receive SSB to understand the transmissions.

    As KC5FM said, the first line of info should be local VHF sources, that still stands. Everyone wants to know what might affect me first, and that's what VHF does. But, if you want the ability to reach out further, and are considering a radio with short wave capabilities, why not go the extra $20 - $30 and get one that does that well. While there is some entertainment value to the short wave broadcast stations, while you're sitting around the fireplace, they are still going to be doing their agenda format. Useful info will be rare. However, buried among all those shortwave bands, are ham bands. Those are the folks like you and me. They will be passing info and traffic from city to city and state to state. For a few more bucks, why not be able to tap into that radio network and get some real time info?

    The Kaito KA 1102 also has a connection for an external, random length wire antenna. That's a plus. That's going to beat the pants off of any built in whip antenna. The radio is sensitive, meaning it has the ability to receive a weaker signal and not just the big gun broadcast stations. It's also selective, which means it does a decent job of separating signals and makes it easier to pick one out of the pile, if other stations are close by.

    Here's a link to a review of the radio, done by hams that are pretty darned picky about the performance of their gear. There's very very few $70, portable receivers out there that will cut the mustard with these guys. This one gets a lot of 5/5 ratings (5 out of a possible 5 stars or thumbs ups).

    Kaito KA1102 Product Reviews

    Hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving

  17. ke4sky

    ke4sky ke4sky

  18. gysgtdchsr7292

    gysgtdchsr7292 Member


    This is a good website for unique items of interest, radios ant', led lighting and what not. Check it out.:)
    C. Crane Company, Inc.