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eHam Forums => SWL (Shortwave Listening) => Topic started by: G0DOQ on August 25, 2012, 08:43:28 AM



Title: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: G0DOQ on August 25, 2012, 08:43:28 AM
Years ago, I was a keen short wave listener, but one by one my regular broadcasters shut down. The final nail in the coffin was the end of Radio Netherlands and Canada.
Thats it, its over.
However, I wonder, as many utilities have also finished, could any of the frequencies be allocated to hams? nobody else is using them and its a complete waste of the spectrum.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: N0SYA on August 25, 2012, 09:13:36 AM
Yeah! I'll meet you on 9.465 @ 2000Z, we'll see if we can dig up some more hams and have a swl contest!


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: HFCRUSR on August 25, 2012, 10:49:45 AM
Go here
http://www.short-wave.info/index.php

and put "any station" in "English" then watch the map light up. Still a ton of BCs and lots of utilities keeping a bunch of us SWL's quite busy. Maybe you need a better antenna? On any given day here I can get at least a dozen BCs in English. What antenna are you using there?


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: G0DOQ on August 25, 2012, 03:15:01 PM
I clicked on that link and a list came up, but every one was the BBC world service. that is ONE broadcast station left with some interesting programs.
I used to listen to Radio Sweden- Sweden for dxers, Swiss Radio International- the 2 Bobs, Canada- as it happens, VOA, Netherlands. now I find CRI everwhere, with Chinese propaganda reminding me of Moscow during the cold war era.
to be fair, there is still Australia and Turkey, and Japan


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KC0KEK on August 25, 2012, 04:47:43 PM
It's a shame. I got into SW and MW DXing as a teenager in the '80s and had a blast. At least MW will be around for a while longer.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: HFCRUSR on August 25, 2012, 08:04:21 PM
yeah BBC is the default-once the site comes up, you need to put the desired info into the boxes at the top-where it says "find frequencies for" there's a box with an arrow to the right-clik the arrow and it brings down a list-scroll to the top of that list, and clik "any station", make sure the second box with an arrow to the right of that says "English" then clik "go"
you will see something like this every time-mind you these all are English BCs JUST in the 0200 hour around the world!

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx34/ridgerocker2001/IMG_1970.jpg
it is nothing like you portray it to be. Yes SW BCs are slowly fading one by one, but judging by what you see here and what I DX every night, it is still alive and well. You need a better antenna.
Forgive the "self promo" but I don't know how else to show you-go here and see what I mean
http://www.youtube.com/user/globalswgetter/videos
if you deploy a halfway serious SWL antenna you will start having fun again!

Off the top of my head I get English BCs weekly from
Australia
New Zealand
Africa
Madagascar
Seychelles
Ascencion Island
Italy
China
Russia
Croatia
Turkey
Spain
UK
Germany
India
Brazil
Netherlands
Guam
Singapore
SriLanka
I could go on lol


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: WA8055SWL on August 26, 2012, 05:16:40 AM
ya its dying but i think the current internet crackdown starting i am confident it will come back or at least level
out but theres still a few left and theres always pirate radio and ham monitoring so yes bcb is dying but theres still allot of
options left and i have been focusing on mwdx if anyone is interested in getting into it cheap go on amazon and get a
sangean pr-d5 best mw portable radio to come along in a long time
thanks
Dan


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: G0DOQ on August 26, 2012, 05:43:55 AM
Go here
http://www.short-wave.info/index.php

and put "any station" in "English" then watch the map light up. Still a ton of BCs and lots of utilities keeping a bunch of us SWL's quite busy. Maybe you need a better antenna? On any given day here I can get at least a dozen BCs in English. What antenna are you using there?

My rig is an Icom 7410, and previously a Kenwood 870. antenna- long wire and G5RV, good enough for SWL.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: G0DOQ on August 26, 2012, 06:09:40 AM
yeah BBC is the default-once the site comes up, you need to put the desired info into the boxes at the top-where it says "find frequencies for" there's a box with an arrow to the right-clik the arrow and it brings down a list-scroll to the top of that list, and clik "any station", make sure the second box with an arrow to the right of that says "English" then clik "go"
you will see something like this every time-mind you these all are English BCs JUST in the 0200 hour around the world!

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx34/ridgerocker2001/IMG_1970.jpg
it is nothing like you portray it to be. Yes SW BCs are slowly fading one by one, but judging by what you see here and what I DX every night, it is still alive and well. You need a better antenna.
Forgive the "self promo" but I don't know how else to show you-go here and see what I mean
http://www.youtube.com/user/globalswgetter/videos
if you deploy a halfway serious SWL antenna you will start having fun again!

Off the top of my head I get English BCs weekly from
Australia
New Zealand
Africa
Madagascar
Seychelles
Ascencion Island
Italy
China
Russia
Croatia
Turkey
Spain
UK
Germany
India
Brazil
Netherlands
Guam
Singapore
SriLanka
I could go on lol
cross Netherlands off, go to their website and this is what you can read,
We are sorry to inform you  that the English service of Radio Netherlands Worldwide closed on Friday 29th June 2012.
OK, thats one station,
ONE STATION THAT HAS BEEN THE PIONEER OF BROADCAST LISTENING, with good in-depth, unbiased reporting, as well as entertainment.
RIP


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: HFCRUSR on August 26, 2012, 07:45:11 AM
Hey I know how you feel brother :-[ but it aint over till it's actually over and I hope I helped show you it aint over like you say. Your thread title is inaccurate. With the equipment you have and given your position, maybe you THINK it's over because of overwhelming RFI or you aren't looking where they are at what times. Here's another site for you
http://www.hfskeds.com/skeds/
set that one up and hit the "English Broadcasts" tab then scroll through the still vast English BC list still there till your eyes wobble lol
I hope I helped you so you can still enjoy the hobby-and if you seriously WANT to acknowledge that these websites I gave you show the hobby is still very much alive, hit me a PM and I'll help you find 'em one at a time because I am an SWL NUT :D and hate to see you missing out, and I am happy to help!
If you don't want to acknowledge these facts-well, I did my best lol
73s


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: G0DOQ on August 26, 2012, 09:04:14 AM
Thanks,I do appreciate that.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: HFCRUSR on August 26, 2012, 10:02:57 AM
You're welcome G0DOQ
good DX!


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: RENTON481 on August 28, 2012, 06:13:13 AM
I don't see shortwave as dying.  It's changing, but not dying -- well, not quite yet. 

I tune through the 41 meter band and 31 meter band any night and both are loaded with signals.  Granted: most of them I hear where I live are from Asia or from and to South America.  And fewer stations are "international broadcasters".  And 19 meters obviously is more dead than it used to be.   In the 70's there would be twenty or thirty signals on 19 meters where there are maybe eight to ten now.  I don't think the difference it just the poor propagation we've had this sunspot cycle.  19 was a big band for international broadcasters.

Shortwave may slowly be on the way out, but I think it will be around for another decade at least, if only because of the economics of radio waves vs. internet connections in the third world.  Chinese companies and factories are churning out cheap shortwave radios by the gazillions.  They wouldn't be doing that if the medium were going to die tomorrow.

I left the hobby (more or less) for a few years in the 1990's, and got back into it in 2002, and noticed a big difference.  There were less SW broadcasts in English aimed at the U.S. and Europe, and more foreign language broadcasts aimed at Asia and South America.  After a while, I found those broadcasts more interesting than some of the English broadcasts that left the air.  For example, Radio Nacional Da Amazonia is all Brazilian Portuguese, but they play some really cool sounding jazz, and folk music on their broadcasts.

The other day I heard a cool sounding broadcast on TWR out of South Africa.  It was in Amharic, which I don't understand, but there was a terrific folk tune in the middle of the broadcast that made it worth tuning into.  A guy with some sort of odd sounding fiddle, a piano, and an odd sounding accordion.

I think there's still some interesting listening out there.  It's just different than the sort of interesting listening we got used to before.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: HFCRUSR on August 29, 2012, 09:34:25 AM
Oh yeah the multicutural music is very cool sometimes. I will tell you that Africa has a better appreciation for OUR music than seemingly we do-the VOA has several programs there that play our classic rock, country, jazz etc. I can get more classic rock on VOA from 10,500 miles away than I can here in Frisco lol!
Voice Of Russia plays some cool sounds from Russian artists too (a lot of their stuff sounds American) and I'm not a jazz guy but some of their jazz is very slick.
Radio Australia and Radio New Zealand play a lot of their artists from there with that "down under" flavor that is definately interesting and a bit weird too.
I don't have the "best" antenna up there on the roof, but it's enough to pull in all the great stuff that is going on overseas.
I know there are hams in here from what I've read so far, that can throw a switch to one of their big ol' bogs or such, and pull out a flea transmitter from an ice station in Siberia, but SWL is of no consequence to them-I'd sure like to see one of them post up in here once in a while.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: N4OI on August 30, 2012, 06:46:51 AM
... I know there are hams in here from what I've read so far, that can throw a switch to one of their big ol' bogs or such, and pull out a flea transmitter from an ice station in Siberia, but SWL is of no consequence to them-I'd sure like to see one of them post up in here once in a while.

Well, I certainly do not have a noteworthy antenna, but I am an active, CW-only ham with roots in SWL.  I enjoy listening to international broadcasts and have no problems still finding great stations!  My Drake R8 is best for music when I open up the filters, switch on the sync detector, and turn the tone control all the way to the left! 

Although it is a fact that English-language broadcasts directed to NA are declining, I can find plenty of signal strength falling off the sides of those directional antenna arrays...  Listening to programs intended for Africa and Asia is more interesting anyway! 

That said, there is nothing as great as the continual propaganda from the Iron Curtain countries back in the early 60s... But North Korea and Cuba help keep the memories alive once in a while...  So keep listening and have fun!

73 ES GOD BLESS U ES URS DE KEN - N4OI   ;D


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: HFCRUSR on August 30, 2012, 11:15:23 AM
N4OI
rodger on the "challenge" of pulling in those beamed in another direction-those account for from what I see, the majotity of them. To me that's the fun of it.
I cannot listen to cuba-man every other word is bashing America lol!
73s-Frank


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: HFCRUSR on August 30, 2012, 05:05:51 PM
uh..comma after "account for" and I misspelled "majoRity" sorry


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: EI4GMB on August 31, 2012, 08:34:53 AM
'HFCRUSR', thanks for providing those links. I will listen out for these stations.

Kind Regards

Fred EI4GMB


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: N3HAM on August 31, 2012, 03:18:29 PM
Even though I have several ham rigs and nifty tiny portables to listen to, it's still fun to listen to the SW broadcast bands on old gear. Radio Australia an RNZI sound great on on an Hallicrafters. There is enough English broadcasting to occupy my attention span and SW will never die, just change.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: N3HAM on August 31, 2012, 03:24:46 PM
Sorry, I'm a bad proofreader. Meant "on an old Hallicrafters".


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: HFCRUSR on August 31, 2012, 04:15:00 PM
'HFCRUSR', thanks for providing those links. I will listen out for these stations.

Kind Regards

Fred EI4GMB
EI4GMB
you're welcome :) They run very helpful SWL sites-both of them-I use them daily.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: HFCRUSR on August 31, 2012, 04:17:30 PM
Even though I have several ham rigs and nifty tiny portables to listen to, it's still fun to listen to the SW broadcast bands on old gear. Radio Australia an RNZI sound great on on an Hallicrafters. There is enough English broadcasting to occupy my attention span and SW will never die, just change.
I agree! You just cannot knock Hallicrafters' rich audio-it just adds to the enjoyment.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KJ6ZOL on September 14, 2012, 11:18:00 PM
My first radio was a Hallicrafters S-40. Got it from a Elmer in my mom's church congregation. I'd been bugging her for a SW radio, but the prices gave her sticker shock. This was in 1986, when I was 12. The Halli was sitting in this guy's closet, so it was mine. I used it for a while, but eventually the dial cord broke, and the rectifier (they were using a 4 pin 80 tube as a rectifier in 1946, go figure) died. I never could get it to work right afterward-those radios were a bear to align. By that time I had a Realistic DX-440. Used that until I got a DX-396, and eventually a Degen 1102, domestic Chinese version. The 440 now resides with a family of Ukrainian immigrants, who listen to Russian domestics with it. The 396 went to Iraq with a welder of hillbilly armor.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: W4ARZ on April 21, 2015, 08:21:56 AM
 >:( Obviously you are yet another "educated Ham ".  So I guess that since not as many hams are on the air as once was.Ham radio is also going in the trash like YOU so intelligently claim that shortwave is !  Fact is...  So why not open your mind to the fact that the face of radio changes over the decades.Doesn't mean that anything is in the trash...or is dead . YAWN !!!!   Do you have a cell phone ??? If so then why are you still using HAM RADIO ??? huh ??? COme on guy....give us all a break.
Fact is there's a lot more use of the spectrum than ever before that we have to enjoy. I am an extra class ham, I have a cell phone. I listen to shortwave every day ..and there are some new stations that just came online this year. and some that went away.. NO it will never be like it was in the 60's but Ham radio isn't the same either....And you cell phone will also not be the same in 10 yrs as it is now..  Wise up ! Just because you don't enjoy shortwave listening doesn't mean that it is gone or dying...just evolving... Hey...I'll even bet you have evolved yourself over the past decade or too... Bet you were once a lot more objective years ago than now. The frequency spectrum is HUGE... and there's a lot more fun we can have with it than we ever had before in the history of our hobby. I'll bet you think AM broadcast radio is dead too...ha ha ha ha ha ...  oh ye of little faith...or knowledge.. Enjoy your own little nich and be happy we still live in a country where that's possible..  Ted Randall of WTWW played all xmas music this year on one of his transmitters 5.085...  He asked listeners to send in pics of the vintage radios they were listening on...He received 8000 ( 8 THOUSAND) pics via email. and not everyone who listens sent in anything..  Allan Weiner of WBCQ owns 4 transmitters. He constantly gets emails from listeners worldwide. Check out Glenn Hausers world of radio. Many people here in good old usa are offended these days by christian radio.. My guess is that gives some people a reason to bust on shortwave.  SO...because of the stuff that goes on at 14.313 and on75 meters at night...we should trash ham radio also ?


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: N8YX on April 23, 2015, 05:38:51 AM
If one knows where to dig, all manner  of utes, pirates, clandestines and similar entertainment may be found throughout the MF/HF radio spectrum.

Personally, I'm glad that the days of stations such as Radio Mockba occupying every 10KHz slot from 7100 and up are long gone.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: N9OGL on April 23, 2015, 12:01:34 PM
Shortwave radio IS dying, according to reports it's costing to much to maintain a SW station, and most are focusing on radio in their country, not worldwide. A lot of stations also found it was cheaper to stream online then running a 50+ KW transmitter(s) on various bands. Shortwave radio is slowly coming to an end.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: WW7KE on April 23, 2015, 12:55:38 PM
Shortwave radio IS dying, according to reports it's costing to much to maintain a SW station, and most are focusing on radio in their country, not worldwide. A lot of stations also found it was cheaper to stream online then running a 50+ KW transmitter(s) on various bands. Shortwave radio is slowly coming to an end.

True.  Governments won't fund expensive multi-hundred kW transmitters and antenna farms for a few tens of thousands of hobbyists to listen to.  Streaming is far more cost-effective. 

There are exceptions, like China who maintains a network of regional SW stations.  Many of those stations are clearly audible in the US.  Of course, it helps to understand Chinese when tuning them in.

In the case of the old tropical band broadcasters in Latin America, most of those moved to FM when economical transmitters for that band became available down there.  There are some still around, but just a fraction of what there used to be.

But overall, shortwave broadcasting is a dying breed, despite having more and wider bands nowadays.  It won't ever go away completely, but even now, there are probably less than 1/3 of what there was 30 years ago.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KAPT4560 on April 23, 2015, 01:31:17 PM
 It seems that some countries that are broke or in debt manage to run international SW stations. Radio Bucharest comes to mind. It comes in loud and clear most of the day on multiple bands here.
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Romania_International


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: N9OGL on April 23, 2015, 04:16:09 PM
One solution here in the US would be to allow lower power levels. But this wont happen because the FM AM stations don't want competition. I say that because despite what the FCC believes a lot of people in the US DO listen to SW programming that originates from US.  5 to 10 Kw would be enough to transmit to another country. The general rule is, that the SW station has to be transmitting to another country. It not requirement that it has to be worldwide. On the right Frequency 5KW and 10KW can go long way.

Todd N9OGL


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: WW7KE on April 23, 2015, 05:34:49 PM
One solution here in the US would be to allow lower power levels. But this wont happen because the FM AM stations don't want competition. I say that because despite what the FCC believes a lot of people in the US DO listen to SW programming that originates from US.  5 to 10 Kw would be enough to transmit to another country. The general rule is, that the SW station has to be transmitting to another country. It not requirement that it has to be worldwide. On the right Frequency 5KW and 10KW can go long way.

IIRC, the FCC's policy since the end of WW2 has been that shortwave broadcasters must point their antennas away from the US, or they won't get licensed.  Broadcasts intended to be heard mainly by US audiences cannot be aired on the shortwave bands.

I'm sure, now that broadcast transmitters on US soil are on the 60 and 90 meter "tropical" bands, that could get challenged if an AM or FM broadcaster really wanted to add shortwave.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: N9OGL on April 23, 2015, 05:56:25 PM
oh yeah, the FCC could go about "saving" shortwave broadcasting, but apparently don't want to.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: N8YX on April 24, 2015, 06:15:18 AM
oh yeah, the FCC could go about "saving" shortwave broadcasting, but apparently don't want to.

In the grand (world) scheme of things, an FCC policy reversal regarding domestic SWBC regulations won't do squat with regards to "saving" anything.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: N9OGL on April 24, 2015, 10:56:46 AM
What do you mean? You seemed to lose me there. If the power levels were reduced the shortwave broadcast would probably go back up. Allowing shortwave stations to run say 5 am to 5pm daily would also help (SW stations aren't required like AM / FM to be on 24/7) One of the main reason for the cost is the energy (electricity) to run 50+KW stations


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: K5RT on April 24, 2015, 03:58:20 PM
It's not just the electricity, what do you do for programming material? Live On air Personalities? How do you pay them? Advertising? Good luck with that with an audience of a few thousand, especially when that number is spread across thousands of square miles. Do you think our Goverment would have any reason at all to fund internal SWBC services? What would be the justification?

Yes, there are places where internal SWBC services survive; China and Brazil are two examples. The reason it survives is where population densities are low and distances are great, it's the best solution. But, for the most part internal SWBC services have been replaced by the Internet which is delivered by cellular telephony to the 3rd world.

In the continental USA internal SWBC service won't work. TV, cable/broadband/satellite are ubiquitous. AM and FM broadcasting struggle to remain relevant today.

Certainly the romance of listening to SWBC is strong with those of us who grew up during the Cold War, but that's the way it's going to stay for most, nostalgia.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: N8YX on April 27, 2015, 07:21:03 AM
'RT nailed it.

As an example, almost all of the medium power/local-coverage, "tropical" SW operations (typically, those in the 120/90/60M bands) have been replaced by the Internet or by VHF-FMBC transmitters. The FCC could grant a gazillion low-power licenses tomorrow for those allocations...but who would listen? A few die-hard hobbyists bent on reliving youthful nights staring at the tuning dials of their DX-160 or SW-717 receivers?

The same argument surfaces from time to time when people speak of expanding the Class D CB allocation within U.S. governance boundaries. As with most SWBC and practically all marine comms, more efficient information-exchange technologies rendered CB radio obsolete to almost everyone but the die-hard skip-shooter or over-the-road trucker...and I hear less and less of the latter on the road these days.

Cold-war shortwave broadcasting wasn't instituted for the purposes of aggrandizing the egos of the station owners/operators. No, it served a more serious purpose: The delivery mechanism of the propaganda war. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the targeted "external programmes" of organizations such as the VOA, BBC along with their proxies (e.g., Radio Free Europe) were no longer necessary in the grand scheme of things.

There doesn't seem to be much of a private market for SWBC content these days, and without such a market no one has the incentive to develop and distribute affordable HF receiver equipment for the masses. Thus, expect shrinkage on both sides of the aisle to continue.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: N9OGL on April 27, 2015, 03:13:21 PM
Let me modify this

my point is maybe it's time to redefine Shortwave broadcasting. Both Nationally and Internationally. Although shortwave broadcasting is going down, that doesn't SW listener are. Thanks to the internet and people who have SW receivers hook to the internet. people are allow to and can listen to the SW band over the Internet. I am one of those such persons, My receiver is a ICOM PCR 2500 and it hooked to the internet. Anyone can access it and listen to the Shortwave bands any time. My point is people don't have to buy SW receiver to listen to the SW bands any more. To say people don't listen to SW isn't not necessary true, there are various ways to listen to SW radio.
The main problem is the NAB and Broadcasters. FM and AM radio doesn't want the competition, just like back in 80's they tried to stop Low Power TV, in 2000 they tried to stop Low power FM. They even ran a campaign against to stop XM radio when it first came out. The broadcast don't and can't accept change.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: WW7KE on April 27, 2015, 07:59:30 PM
Let me modify this

my point is maybe it's time to redefine Shortwave broadcasting. Both Nationally and Internationally. Although shortwave broadcasting is going down, that doesn't SW listener are.

Outside of China and a few other Asian and maybe African countries, the number of people who listen to shortwave broadcasters is miniscule  -- single-digits in percentage -- and most of those are hams.

Quote
Thanks to the internet and people who have SW receivers hook to the internet. people are allow to and can listen to the SW band over the Internet. I am one of those such persons, My receiver is a ICOM PCR 2500 and it hooked to the internet. Anyone can access it and listen to the Shortwave bands any time. My point is people don't have to buy SW receiver to listen to the SW bands any more. To say people don't listen to SW isn't not necessary true, there are various ways to listen to SW radio.

I'm willing to bet that these online receivers have very few users each.  Each server can only handle a fixed number of ports to connect to.

Quote
The main problem is the NAB and Broadcasters. FM and AM radio doesn't want the competition, just like back in 80's they tried to stop Low Power TV, in 2000 they tried to stop Low power FM. They even ran a campaign against to stop XM radio when it first came out. The broadcast don't and can't accept change. 

The main problem is that the Cold War is over, and Hallicrafters and most of the other quality receiver manufacturers went out of business decades ago.  There is statistically zero interest in shortwave in the US, except for hams.  This has been the case for about 25 years.

I'd like to see real sales figures for general coverage receivers from Yaesu, Icom, Kenwood, and the others.  Hundreds of units each?  Maybe a couple thousand?  And how many of those are bought by non-hams?


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KJ6ZOL on April 28, 2015, 01:07:50 AM
The last real tabletop general coverage SW rx's by Kenwood/Yaesu/Icom were made around 25 years ago, in the early 90s. Drake went out of business around that time, so did Heathkit. Even back then there was virtually no demand for rx-only sets. Such rigs rarely show up on Ebay, and when they do they fetch around $200 or so. The main manufacturer of SW portables is the Chinese govt via Tecsun.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: K5RT on April 28, 2015, 04:27:20 AM
I don't understand (unless it's to access a remote receiver), why listening to streaming audio via the Internet is referred to as SWL.

Shortwave Listening (by its very definition) is using a receiver with antenna as required to detect radio signals transmitted between 3 and 30 MHz. Along with the desired programming, you get fading, static crashes, local noises and the odd interference caused by other broadcasters, utility stations or jamming. The "experience" is also "enhanced" by your Star Roamer drifting and it's broad as a bar door selectivity. Not to mention your Dad telling you to "Turn that Commie garbage off".

There is absolutely nothing wrong with listening to the programming from Radio Prague via streaming audio on the Internet, just don't tell us it's SWLing, it's not.

Paul


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: N8YX on April 28, 2015, 07:47:10 AM
There is absolutely nothing wrong with listening to the programming from Radio Prague via streaming audio on the Internet, just don't tell us it's SWLing, it's not.
This deserves another bolding.

And it also beggars the question of "Why the middleman"?

If Radio Prague streams their programming directly (and most of the major SWBC stations do these days), why should an intermediary station be required?

A far more productive use of a remote receiver might be the monitoring of the VHF/UHF bands and streaming the audio of interesting content. Since all the cell-phone carriers have gone digital, that particular swath of the spectrum is useless. So...there must be something left that's good to listen to, right?


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: N9OGL on April 28, 2015, 11:10:13 AM
I don't understand (unless it's to access a remote receiver), why listening to streaming audio via the Internet is referred to as SWL.

Shortwave Listening (by its very definition) is using a receiver with antenna as required to detect radio signals transmitted between 3 and 30 MHz. Along with the desired programming, you get fading, static crashes, local noises and the odd interference caused by other broadcasters, utility stations or jamming. The "experience" is also "enhanced" by your Star Roamer drifting and it's broad as a bar door selectivity. Not to mention your Dad telling you to "Turn that Commie garbage off".

There is absolutely nothing wrong with listening to the programming from Radio Prague via streaming audio on the Internet, just don't tell us it's SWLing, it's not.

Paul

What I was referring to was SW receivers hooked to the internet and can be accessed remotely like here: http://www.globaltuners.com/ Like I said I have a PCR-2500 hooked up to the internet which anyone can access and tune to any frequency they want. it goes from 3Khz to 4Ghz. (cellphones blocked) 


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: N8YX on April 29, 2015, 06:59:32 AM
I have a PCR-2500 hooked up to the internet which anyone can access and tune to any frequency they want. it goes from 3Khz to 4Ghz. (cellphones blocked) 
Does the software controlling it have a logging function which shows the frequencies it's tuned to, and which ones are tuned most often?

If so, that might be an interesting data-set to look at.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: K5TED on April 30, 2015, 07:59:35 PM
I have a PCR-2500 hooked up to the internet which anyone can access and tune to any frequency they want. it goes from 3Khz to 4Ghz. (cellphones blocked) 
Does the software controlling it have a logging function which shows the frequencies it's tuned to, and which ones are tuned most often?

If so, that might be an interesting data-set to look at.

Remote receivers on the internet are just an extension speaker for a communications receiver. There is no definition of 'SWLing' that precludes the use of extension speakers.

Remote receivers on the internet allow for listening to stations that otherwise simply are not receivable from a given location.

Remote receivers on the internet can serve as auxiliary receivers when your local conditions are too noisy.

Remote receivers on the internet are good for checking propagation.

Remote receivers on the internet are a great tool for those who are inclined to use them.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KAPT4560 on May 01, 2015, 08:44:26 AM
 Speaking of propagation, it is interesting to use an antenna in a different part of the world at a different time of day than yours. You hear things there that you can't hear here. http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/
 There are still parts of the world with no internet service and no reliable electricity. FM is virtually useless in mountainous regions. Shortwave is still in use. Shortwave stations are much like an ambassador and teacher to many.
 I have the National by my bedside as a quiet way to bring a close to the day.
 I build tactical radios at work and HF is still very relevant and popular enough to keep the orders coming in.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: IZ5PQT on May 01, 2015, 01:01:22 PM
I fear that I will have to give up SWLing because of interference from VDSL2 internet on nearby phone lines.
Since two weeks I can only listen to the strongest stations and also my ham activity is confined to
above 14 Mhz (VDSL2 spectrum ends at 12 MHz).
So Internet is killing radio in several ways!
At the moment a solution for SWLing is in fact the University of Twente SDR remote radio mentioned above

73 Giovanni


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: K6JHU on May 05, 2015, 04:49:29 PM
Just like there are people still using hardwired landline phones and others restoring old Model T's, AM and SW will never go away (unless WRC mandates it). AM and SW will still exist, and there will still be broadcasters, but both AM and SW will be relegated to the backwaters of communications. And not much can be done at this point to bring either back.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KD8IIC on May 05, 2015, 09:29:02 PM
  Interesting note on how times have changed and all. I was reading the history of the pioneer Christian SW broadcast station HCJB in Quito, Ecuador. Even the Good Lord has said move on to the internet as shortwave was finished as a way to spread the gospel with efficiency. HCJB is no longer broadcasting but is now internet based.
Dislike changes as we all may, we must come to grips with reality. 73   :)



Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: AE6RO on May 06, 2015, 08:32:52 AM
Oh, I don't know. Not every country  has given up on shortwave radio or staked their fates on the Internet. I listened this morning and there were tons of stations on, despite the historically poor propagation we have now.

Trouble is, none of them are in English. Hardly any Spanish.  It's mostly Chinese, Korean, and a host of  other Asian languages.  Not so dumb, methinks. John


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: K5TED on May 08, 2015, 07:33:39 PM
Almost three years later, the OP is still wrong about SWL.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KJ6ZOL on May 08, 2015, 11:54:42 PM
Oh, I don't know. Not every country  has given up on shortwave radio or staked their fates on the Internet. I listened this morning and there were tons of stations on, despite the historically poor propagation we have now.

Trouble is, none of them are in English. Hardly any Spanish.  It's mostly Chinese, Korean, and a host of  other Asian languages.  Not so dumb, methinks. John

The Asian stn's used to play some traditional music. I remember about 15 years ago I was up really late into the night so I pulled out the trusty DX440. The only thing I heard was a Chinese domestic stn playing what apparently was a Chinese violin. It was kinda spooky TBH, hearing that music at 1 am Pacific time. I haven't heard Asian music in SW in a long time. The Russians don't seem to like playing music.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: HFCRUSR on May 09, 2015, 08:39:51 AM
They still play a ton of music on Asian BCs. Right now I have 12025kHz Radio Free Asia doing that wacky violin stuff with all the banging too.
In my early morning, there are several down in the 80m ham band through 4-5megs too that play Asian music.
I can fire up the radio and catch Asian music pretty much any time of the day here.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: RENTON481 on May 11, 2015, 04:39:36 PM
They still play a ton of music on Asian BCs. Right now I have 12025kHz Radio Free Asia doing that wacky violin stuff with all the banging too.

You're probably hearing the Chinese jammer "Firedrake". It's a high powered Chinese station that jams Radio Free Asia and other broadcasts into China.

They play non-stop Chinese classical music, which is actually quite cool sounding music.

There are SW enthusiasts that actually track Firedrake broadcasts, because there have been times Firedrake has inexplicably been off the air. Also, they seem to have changed the recording they use - it sounds different from the one they played two years ago.

I often hear Arabic music during late afternoons and early evenings, usually on the 25 and 21 meter bands. And sometimes AIR India plays their 'movie music' -- All India Radio can sometimes be heard here on the west coast of the U.S. during early evening or early morning.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: HFCRUSR on May 11, 2015, 06:48:39 PM
Ya think so? Could be, and I was assuming it was R Free Asia according to the NASWA at that time. It remains that I hear a bunch of Asian music here daily and being on the left coast makes them huge signals.
That Firedrake shows up in the strangest areas! Often below or above the usual SWBC bands.
That morning the signal was +30 over and I even heard some RTTY type jamming under it.
Maybe the jammer was jamming the jammer jamming the intended jamee ;D


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KJ6ZOL on May 12, 2015, 05:58:01 PM
I often hear Arabic music during late afternoons and early evenings, usually on the 25 and 21 meter bands. And sometimes AIR India plays their 'movie music' -- All India Radio can sometimes be heard here on the west coast of the U.S. during early evening or early morning.

Saudi Arabia would broadcast morning prayers around 0300 UTC, years ago. It would come in, weak but audible, in California. Started out with Quranic chanting, then a newscast, then prayers until the rising sun in SA would wipe out the signal around 0430. Apparently that particular tx fell victim to budget cuts about 7 years ago or so. I guess some princeling needed a new set of gold faucets or something.  ::) But yeah, the Middle East is audible during late afternoon/early evening in the US, which is predawn for them. Once the sun rises on their end, the signals go away. I find that All India Radio is extremely difficult to catch in CA. I've only heard them once or twice.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: K8QV on May 16, 2015, 10:49:50 AM
I miss the Cold War broadcasts. Propaganda from the soviets and propaganda from the VOA. Good times. I still can find some stations with mediocre ham antennas and even just a whip on the radio. There are fewer stations, however, in my estimation. I also have trouble finding 8-track tapes. Time/technology marches on!


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: WW7KE on May 16, 2015, 05:55:24 PM
I miss the Cold War broadcasts. Propaganda from the soviets and propaganda from the VOA. Good times. I still can find some stations with mediocre ham antennas and even just a whip on the radio. There are fewer stations, however, in my estimation. I also have trouble finding 8-track tapes. Time/technology marches on!

There are fewer broadcast stations that Americans and Europeans would be more likely to listen to.  The South American and African tropical band stations have moved to FM for the most part (but not all).  But the Asians are still thriving, and will be for many years to come, especially the Chinese.  But most foreign stations that might be of interest to "the first world" are online now.

There are more bands, they are wider, and in some cases the broadcasts are longer than in decades past, however.  It's just that SWBC's day in the English- and Spanish-speaking world is just about over.  Technology does march on in our world, but not yet on the other side of the planet.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KC8MWG on July 11, 2015, 05:32:11 PM
There are still a few shortwave stations in the USA, mainly Christian broadcasting from what I have heard, as well as (mostly) right-wing political shows along the same vein as Rush Limbaugh.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KQ4YA on July 12, 2015, 05:07:05 AM
SWL as a hobby has a distinct disadvantage not shared with most other hobbies. When it comes to shortwave listening, the hobbyist has no control over the inevitable dying out of commercial stations.

For ham operators, you can work toward attracting more members; same deal with almost any other hobby from collecting stamps to catching butterflies. The hobbyist can work toward keeping the hobby alive.

But the SWL hobbyist can work as hard as he wishes but still can't control the fact that the landscape is changing for the worse.

So the hobbyists will have to do the changing - instead of changing the hobby they'll have to change how they practice the hobby. For the time being there are utility stations, broadcast band DX, etc. But even much of that will disappear over time as information finds more efficient platforms for transport such as the Internet.

I'm not at all pleased with this, but it seems inevitable that the hobby will diminish greatly, even compared to what it has already dipped to now. Will it die? I don't think so. But it's already a tiny niche and that niche will contract even more.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: W7AIT on July 16, 2015, 02:49:12 PM
See PBS NOVA TV episode on excessive space junk.  We are almost to the point where no more satellites can safely be orbited, and that happens in the next few years.  Guess what, when they can't get satellites up to support the web, cell phones, whatever, HF will become relevant again.  Just wait a few years.  And if the Chinese blow up more space satellites making 10,000 more pieces, it'll happen much sooner.  Give it time, bet SWL / HF comes back into vogue again.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: AE4RV on July 21, 2015, 12:32:57 PM
See PBS NOVA TV episode on excessive space junk.  We are almost to the point where no more satellites can safely be orbited, and that happens in the next few years.  Guess what, when they can't get satellites up to support the web, cell phones, whatever, HF will become relevant again.  Just wait a few years.  And if the Chinese blow up more space satellites making 10,000 more pieces, it'll happen much sooner.  Give it time, bet SWL / HF comes back into vogue again.

I love HF and don't want SWLing to go away but, we'll cover the planet with fiber and cell towers before satellites become impractical. Or, very shortly after they do...

As for non-communication/tv sats, they are not typically in the crowded geosynchronous orbit. Maybe HF will regain popularity with ships...


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: K1ZJH on August 03, 2015, 09:24:29 AM
And when the IP based crap fails, and when the digital stuff takes a dump.... old fashioned MW and SW will rule the airwaves again.  I'm a die hard AM listener, but I've noticed that no one under the age of 50 bothers with AM radios these days.  There was nothing sweeter than the roar of the crowds listening to a ball game on AM. 

Even FM radio is in decline... stations are fully mechanized, and play the same song list over and over, and over....

Pete


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: WW7KE on August 03, 2015, 07:51:43 PM
And when the IP based crap fails, and when the digital stuff takes a dump.... old fashioned MW and SW will rule the airwaves again.

That will happen about 50 years after the Cubs win their next World Series. ;D

The chances of the internet getting blown up are somewhere less than zero.

Quote
I'm a die hard AM listener, but I've noticed that no one under the age of 50 bothers with AM radios these days. 

Because the rest of the world is listening to their favorite programs either on FM or via the internet.  BTW, I'm 60, and it was my generation that switched from AM to FM back in the early '70s. 

The days of Jack Benny and Fibber McGee & Molly -- as well as Cousin Brucie and Larry Lujack -- are long gone.  So are the days of the major European capitals (and that's really what we're talking about when we talk about the good old days of international broadcasters) broadcasting on shortwave.  World War II and the Cold War are over.  Get over it.

Quote
There was nothing sweeter than the roar of the crowds listening to a ball game on AM. 

Which is why sports is the last remaining viable secular, English-language format that works on Ancient Modulation.   Other formats like talk radio are in major decline due to their audiences dying of old age.  Other than sports, the AM band will be pretty much religion and foreign-language broadcasters in the next 10 years.

Quote
Even FM radio is in decline... stations are fully mechanized, and play the same song list over and over, and over....

Decline?  Then why are so many Ancient Modulation stations building FM translators?  Why is Mexico shutting down its AM stations other than in Mexico City and near the US border?  Newsflash:  FM is in no way in decline.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KJ6ZOL on August 03, 2015, 11:06:02 PM
I should note that I recently read an article on MSNBC that claimed that the global network of fiber optic cables that carry internet traffic will reach capacity in around 2023. This is due to companies putting everything online to "save money" and due to bandwidth hogging apps like streaming movies. Most of the world's fiber was installed during the dot.com boom in the 90s by a since long defunct company called Global Crossing. They believed that what they installed would be far more than enough bandwidth for decades. Back then, people used dial up net connections. Web pages were mostly text and photos. They simply didn't see the spread of cable internet. So, apparently the US military is experimenting with HF as a way to carry data traffic. Some sort of internet throttling is probably assured in a few years. There is little appetite by big internet providers to install new fiber. The big American providers are still upset over being regulated as a utility. Overseas, high speed internet is largely provided by governments. There simply isn't the money or will to install new fiber, and Obama is too corrupt and lacks the vision to start a REA-type program to lay fiber.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: SOFAR on August 04, 2015, 12:46:39 AM
And I read that there's still glut of fiber optic capacity. .... I would not put much stock in 'news stories'.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: SOFAR on August 04, 2015, 12:51:16 AM
As far as the short wave hobby goes. .... If the signals are there you listen, if not it's time to do something else .


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: K1QQQ on August 04, 2015, 07:27:39 PM
Commercial AM/FM radio is sick. Soon it might be one corporation running everything at least in the USA.

FM ? Here listen as long as you want and not one note of time/weather/news/traffic or ? A playlist of music maybe that plays over and over and the corporation decides the format for their various owned stations.


A local FM'er drive time has an announcer/dj or whatever playing like he is live but never even a traffic report or anything live. (in NYC area)

AM. National Talk Shows. Travel. Every AM'er is repeating the same thing.


A local host would have to be paid to have local programming. (but assuming most would enjoy local topics)



Otherwise who knows the future. It would seem if there were broadcasting space somebody would broadcast there. What if the AM/FM 530-1700 was given to somebody who did not have billions to buy/sell the stations ?

I almost think the corporation is deciding that AM is dead. It is cheaper to maintain a FM station.


I have a funny feeling the internet boom might bust some year. Radio is free to listen to accepting ads. (a trend is FM'ers to run about 40 ads in a row)


The college FM stations I still find interesting but big money rules and their future ?

I find it depressing the AM fading out (vanishing) as it often does go beyond a FM signal and especially in hilly areas.

I listen often to 880 WCBS/1010 WINS New York 'News all the Time'. It is live. FM competition with same format has been unsuccessful.

For example in a study of the Pacific most the AM'ers vanished due to high costs and nobody knew how to run them. A FM'er antenna vs. an AM'er on 540 khz, etc.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KJ6ZOL on August 04, 2015, 09:44:32 PM
QQQ, I've noticed that the remaining AM stations tend to cluster on the upper end of the band, since antenna requirements are easier to fulfill. Here and there one can find local programming. I know that small stn's in rural areas will have an hour or two of local news and talk, then everybody goes home and the satellite feed is switched on. There's a FM pop stn here in Sacramento that is largely live during daylight hours, they have a live morning show and a live commute time hip hop mix program complete with ticket giveaways and an updated traffic report. They even play local rap artists like Young Dizzy, who is actually pretty talented compared to some of the big national artists. And then there's KCBS in SF, 740 khz, which is all live news. KFBK (1530 khz) here in Sacramento is largely live during the day, a couple newscasts and local talk, then after 8 or 9 pm they play Coast to Coast AM and infomercials. So, yeah, during the day you can find local interest programming, but at night when dxing is possible everything is shut down or playing infomercials.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: HFCRUSR on August 04, 2015, 10:24:43 PM
KJ6ZOL-HUH?
Here in San Francisco, I refuse to listen to my local stations. I also refuse to listen to Coast To Coast AM. There is so much other stuff out there and I can get DX in to boot. Daytime, I listen to your Sacramento stations 1530, 650, 1380kHz, 1350 in Santa Rosa, 580 in Fresno, 1420 in Stockton.
At night, I get LIVE talk and old school music from Fresno, Oregon to Washington to Colorado to L.A. San Diego, Reno, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah-it goes on. Not at all how you portray the situation in MW.
Granted I have an antenna on the roof, but I can easily DX this stuff on my GE Superadio or any radio in here with a decent ferrite loop in it.
You must be lacking in reception there for some reason.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KJ6ZOL on August 04, 2015, 11:05:01 PM
KJ6ZOL-HUH?
Here in San Francisco, I refuse to listen to my local stations. I also refuse to listen to Coast To Coast AM. There is so much other stuff out there and I can get DX in to boot. Daytime, I listen to your Sacramento stations 1530, 650, 1380kHz, 1350 in Santa Rosa, 580 in Fresno, 1420 in Stockton.
At night, I get LIVE talk and old school music from Fresno, Oregon to Washington to Colorado to L.A. San Diego, Reno, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah-it goes on. Not at all how you portray the situation in MW.
Granted I have an antenna on the roof, but I can easily DX this stuff on my GE Superadio or any radio in here with a decent ferrite loop in it.
You must be lacking in reception there for some reason.

The last time I tuned the AM band, I was using a cheap transistor radio. Maybe I should try using my Tivoli. Also, it's possible that your antenna setup is favorable to pull in low watt AM stn's in small towns, the type of stn's that turn down the wattage at night. I know that little towns in the desert have lots of local programming, you can sometimes hear old school country music too. I should note that I have lots of QRM at my location, there are a couple broadcast towers within a few miles of me, and also for a while there was that weird S9+20 noise on HF that I never did figure out what it was, now I'm thinking somebody was growing pot in one of the abandoned houses in my neighborhood. Apparently the weed man got canned as I don't hear the noise anymore. Also, I have lots of insulation in the walls of my house, and it seems to block signals for some reason. Anyway, Coast to Coast AM is trash, I agree. I may have a different definition of "night" than you do, I know of stn's that will shut down at midnight or so. Some may think that's pretty late, but in the late 80s there were plenty of stn's that were 24/7. I know that KTNN, which during the day serves the Navajo People, used to have pgm's geared to truckers at night.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: K5TED on August 07, 2015, 06:16:41 PM
Check http://short-wave.info then tell us about dead shortwave.

Domestically, yes, with a few exceptions like WTWW and WBCQ.

Having a second or more language helps. There is a ton of Spanish language secular programming.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: SHORTWIRE on August 26, 2015, 11:49:10 AM
Just like there are people still using hardwired landline phones and others restoring old Model T's, AM and SW will never go away (unless WRC mandates it). AM and SW will still exist, and there will still be broadcasters, but both AM and SW will be relegated to the backwaters of communications. And not much can be done at this point to bring either back.

A major solar flare might!

A new Carrington Event could bring our networked world to a standstill, and the Old Standbys would have to be brought out of the mothbag and activated.

Those that haven't been scrapped already, that is..


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: SHORTWIRE on August 26, 2015, 11:53:12 AM
See PBS NOVA TV episode on excessive space junk.  We are almost to the point where no more satellites can safely be orbited, and that happens in the next few years.  Guess what, when they can't get satellites up to support the web, cell phones, whatever, HF will become relevant again.  Just wait a few years.  And if the Chinese blow up more space satellites making 10,000 more pieces, it'll happen much sooner.  Give it time, bet SWL / HF comes back into vogue again.

Irrelevant, since most Telco traffic today is via marine fiber cables...

Still, it would be a real blow to weather forecasting...


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: N7DMA on October 23, 2015, 07:46:59 PM
Biggest pain is religious broadcasting. Harumph.

WTWW on 5085 kHz has some pretty interesting content.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KD8TUT on January 15, 2016, 02:02:33 AM
Biggest pain is religious broadcasting. Harumph.

WTWW on 5085 kHz has some pretty interesting content.

Yea they were carrying Art Bell before he quit (again) for about 6 months. Could get them in most of the time from my QTH.

And yes, unless you are meditating on Jesus 24/7 there's not much to listen to.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: N8YX on January 15, 2016, 05:57:31 AM
And yes, unless you are meditating on Jesus 24/7 there's not much to listen to.
Ignore the SWBC stations and concentrate on the utes, clandestines, pirates, WEFAX feeds, experimenters...anything off the beaten path. There's a lot of interesting traffic to be found if you tune around a bit.

I miss the shortwave spectrum of my youth, and the nights spent in front of my DX-160 spent scouring the "Tropical Band" for new or unusual BC stations. Most are now gone - as is the '160 - but opportunities for listening enjoyment do pop up here and there.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: ONAIR on January 16, 2016, 06:25:05 PM
And yes, unless you are meditating on Jesus 24/7 there's not much to listen to.
Ignore the SWBC stations and concentrate on the utes, clandestines, pirates, WEFAX feeds, experimenters...anything off the beaten path. There's a lot of interesting traffic to be found if you tune around a bit.

I miss the shortwave spectrum of my youth, and the nights spent in front of my DX-160 spent scouring the "Tropical Band" for new or unusual BC stations. Most are now gone - as is the '160 - but opportunities for listening enjoyment do pop up here and there.
   I still have my Starlite A-120 (Hallicrafters S-120 clone).  I remember the nights listening to Radio Habana Cooba on 6,135 KILOCYCLOS!!!  Loved BCB DXing late evenings, and even listening to the kids in my neighborhood chatting on 27 mc. CB!!  It got my whole adventure in radio started.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: K9RZZ on January 17, 2016, 05:40:13 PM
Like anything in life, it's what you make of it. My health has kept me nailed down at home recently, so I've been doing quite a bit of shortwave listening with my stock Icom R75 and simple wire antennas. Here's a clip I made of Transworld Radio out of Swaziland on 3,240khz the other night, I thought the African type music was very cool. Again, just 100 ft of wire up 15 feet. Just keep tuning!   ;)

https://soundcloud.com/k9rzz/3240khz-0310z-twr-swaziland-15jan16


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: N4OI on January 21, 2016, 05:19:19 AM
Like anything in life, it's what you make of it. My health has kept me nailed down at home recently, so I've been doing quite a bit of shortwave listening with my stock Icom R75 and simple wire antennas. Here's a clip I made of Transworld Radio out of Swaziland on 3,240khz the other night, I thought the African type music was very cool. Again, just 100 ft of wire up 15 feet. Just keep tuning!   ;)

https://soundcloud.com/k9rzz/3240khz-0310z-twr-swaziland-15jan16

Very good perspective on the hobby.  Also, nice audio clip -- the static just adds to the mystic!

73 ES GOD BLESS U ES URS DE KEN N4OI    ;D


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: G7IDJ on September 12, 2016, 07:32:35 AM
Hi Guys,

I had a go yesterday (Sunday) with my FT817, a small 10 dollar short wave radio and a Yaesu VX 3 to see what I can get to hear on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Recently I was often  disappointed by the constant indoctrination of CRI making me wish I was Chinese but to my surprise with a minimalist antenna, a tuning loop and a wonder wand antenna I managed to entertain myself for quite some time. Stations came through from the Middle East, from throughout Europe, VOA and of course CRI but they were not the only one's utilising SW. I have to say a Sundays seem to be much more interesting than weekdays.
I just had another go in the staff car park (Monday) and not a single station with a limited antenna other than QRM.
I think the answer is obviously a good antenna, some patience and possibly a focus on weekends.
I wonder whether other OMs noticed the same!
So SW not yet dead. If you keep listening and drop the odd broadcaster a "thank you" email,  I am sure they will stick around.
Mike G7IDJ/DL6MS



Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: AC4RD on September 14, 2016, 04:08:05 PM
I miss the shortwave spectrum of my youth, and the nights spent in front of my DX-160 spent scouring the "Tropical Band" for new or unusual BC stations. Most are now gone - as is the '160 - but opportunities for listening enjoyment do pop up here and there.
   I still have my Starlite A-120 (Hallicrafters S-120 clone).  I remember the nights listening to Radio Habana Cooba on 6,135 KILOCYCLOS!!!  Loved BCB DXing late evenings
[/quote]

This got me to thinking about my own SWLing days, late 1960s to early 80s, with some big gaps.   Havana made me remember that (IIRC) Radio Rebelde out of Cuba played Cuban music for the domestic audience--that was great music!  Other great music was "highlife music" on Africa Number One, and the local music on Radio Tahiti.  Lying at night listening to local ads from the Solomon Islands or a cricket match from New Zealand ...  Good times!


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: AE5X on September 18, 2016, 07:10:13 AM
However, I wonder, as many utilities have also finished, could any of the frequencies be allocated to hams? nobody else is using them and its a complete waste of the spectrum.

This is the last thing our hobby needs. We are dispersed enough as it is and these is so much HF spectrum available to us that we can't come close to using it. With more bands allocated, we'd tune far and wide to find activity - more so even than now.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KC2QYM on September 19, 2016, 07:07:34 AM
IMO, hams have very restricted HF spectrum....I like the idea of stretching out the bands for hams beyond the current limits...After all, most rigs are open a few hundred Khz either way already.  I know you can cut a diode here and there and open a radio to transmit throughout the range but why does the FCC allow the manufacturers to sell radios that have the capability beyond the band limits?


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KC2QYM on September 19, 2016, 07:11:01 AM
IMO, hams have very restricted HF spectrum....I like the idea of stretching out the bands for hams beyond the current limits...After all, most rigs are open a few hundred Khz either way already.  I know you can cut a diode here and there and open a radio to transmit throughout the range but why does the FCC allow the manufacturers to sell radios that have the capability beyond the band limits?

In the more congested metropolitan areas of the US you experience extreme crowding on the active bands much of the time.  Just because rural/exburban hams have low noise levels and QRM doesn't mean that areas in denser population areas don't need spectrum relief.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: WD8DK on September 25, 2016, 08:43:18 AM
I have no problem listening to SW. I still hear much up here on the hill with the full size 135' dipole. I think a lot of people either don't know where to listen or have a less that adequate antenna system for SW.

I still hear number stations, WX broadcasts, odd digital and analog stations, broadcast stations and aircraft reports. Just my opinion. 


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KX4OM on September 25, 2016, 05:13:22 PM
I'm not a regular SWL, but I dabble in it. About 5 years ago, I listened for awhile to a broadcast from Belarus. Pretty nice music. I was using my DX-440 with the attached whip. I emailed them with the reception info, and they sent me a QSL card. The most interesting thing is they sent me a Christmas card that year and the year after.

Ted, KX4OM


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KK4YDR on September 27, 2016, 08:15:31 PM
I use a 950 foot or so transmission loop for Ham Radio also as a SWL antenna. I have a MFJ matchmaker which is a broadband noise generator, non RF transmitter, so I can nullify the noise by the way of a my tuner and I get a perfect match for the SW band I am listening too. Then I can hear lots of stations with no problem at all.

So if you have a HAM radio antenna and as we know are prohibited from transmitting a tuning carrier over short wave bands, a good alternative is a little MFJ-212. Push the button, generate noise on your antenna system, nullify by matching the antenna to the frequency you are on, typical swr is 1:1 if you were to transmit and now you have a fantastic RX antenna for a particular SW frequency. Just offering an idea.

Everynow and then I can tune into radio China, cant understand them, or Radio Iran, still cant understand them but the music is different for a change.

I feel like the internet has completely changed everything to the point of nothing is free anymore and nothing is analog and when it all collapses and it will in time, there is no fallback for basic human communication, hence a mad max scenario.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: K1VCT on October 14, 2016, 02:43:17 PM
I'm almost 59 years old, and I think I've been into SWL for 50 years give or take six months.  My uncle (two doors down) had a wire strung up in his attic, but alas, I know now, no ground, or a terrible one, as his radio was rather static prone.  But, I'd set his chronometer to WWV as I could receive it.

I'm still a fan of SWL, own a "everything Lowe HF-150", including a nice battery pack I made from a Lowe case and parts I got from them as spares.  My ICOM R75 gets most of the duty for SWL.

Used to listen to Radio Netherlands, someplace I have a certificate of achievement from them, in their "radio-class" about radio propagation.  The Voice of America Breakfast Show was another favorite.

These days, I get Art Bell doing his thing, and stations that carry a mix of offbeat commentary, political sarcasm, and blues music.   Its different, but its not dead.

There was a time when they said that AM broadcast was dead.  It just changed.   I think we'll find the same with SWL, perhaps not a product of governments but taken up by the niche broadcasters.

And, radio Havana actually has an interesting English language show - you don't have to agree with all the commentary, but who'd have thought they'd be doing a pretty decent show in English? 


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: SHORTWIRE on October 14, 2016, 08:35:37 PM
The hobby isn't dead yet, but I'd admit it certainly smells funny..


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: W3TTT on November 07, 2016, 12:13:55 PM
That will happen about 50 years after the Cubs win their next World Series. ;D

THE CUBS WIN THE WORLD SERIES!!!


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: WW7KE on November 07, 2016, 05:01:42 PM
That will happen about 50 years after the Cubs win their next World Series. ;D

THE CUBS WIN THE WORLD SERIES!!!

OK, 50 years after the Cleveland Browns win their first Super Bowl. ;) ;D


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: N8AUC on November 08, 2016, 10:44:38 AM
That will happen about 50 years after the Cubs win their next World Series. ;D

THE CUBS WIN THE WORLD SERIES!!!

OK, 50 years after the Cleveland Browns win their first Super Bowl. ;) ;D
Ouch.

But congrats to the Cubs on their win. If anyone was going to beat my beloved Cleveland Indians,
I'm glad it was the Cubs. Cubs fans are just about the only fans who have waited for a championship
longer than we have.

Now we gotta work on the Browns. They need a lot of help. Badly.

73 de N8AUC
Eric
(Yes - from Cleveland, OH)


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: WW7KE on November 12, 2016, 03:10:38 PM
Now we gotta work on the Browns. They need a lot of help. Badly.

Is LeBron available to play QB on Sundays? ;D


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KK3OQ on December 28, 2016, 11:49:27 AM
Years ago, I was a keen short wave listener, but one by one my regular broadcasters shut down. The final nail in the coffin was the end of Radio Netherlands and Canada.
Thats it, its over.

WBCQ is still there.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: RENTON481 on January 02, 2017, 04:42:43 PM
The BBC is still audible in English during the mornings on the West Coast (broadcast from Singapore), if propagation is favorable.

Problem is, propagation hasn't been very favorable lately on the SWBC bands. Tuned in R. Australia the other night on 9580 -- it used to be S4-S5 signals consistently.  Could barely hear it. 49 meters had three or four grainy signals.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: HFCRUSR on January 02, 2017, 04:56:06 PM
I get their transmitters in Seychelles, Ascension, Africa, and Europe here on the west coast-even my daytime. Luckily, BBC and VOA are still rolling in here from those points and I am happy to hear them.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: WW7KE on January 02, 2017, 05:05:21 PM
The BBC is still audible in English during the mornings on the West Coast (broadcast from Singapore), if propagation is favorable.

Problem is, propagation hasn't been very favorable lately on the SWBC bands. Tuned in R. Australia the other night on 9580 -- it used to be S4-S5 signals consistently.  Could barely hear it. 49 meters had three or four grainy signals.

Their 0500-0600Z English transmission from Ascension I. on 7445 comes into Arizona at S9 to 20 over just about every night.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: RIVERRAT373 on January 07, 2017, 12:07:54 PM
I got interested in shortwave listening in 1969 when I built a Star Roamer  shortwave radio from a kit. Not only do I miss the BBC, Radio Canada, Radio Nederland, and many more silent stations, I also miss the magazines we used to have! I was just looking over an old issue of POPULAR COMMUNICATIONS. I used to have the original issue but foolishly let it go! I also subscribed to MONITORING TIMES when it was a free publication printed on newsprint paper!  :'(


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KC2QYM on January 25, 2017, 08:17:18 AM
I believe that those who own SW receiver boat anchors only have a short time window to get a reasonable price for their radios in what will soon be an obsolete hobby...SWLing. Specific to North American listeners, more governments are defunding and closing down their external services. Now unless you speak numerous languages, the pleasure of listening to English language transmissions is vanishing. Sure you can receive amateur chatter, RTTY, occasional marine and aviation transmissions, etc. English language transmissions are too few to generate any excitement. I have moved my Hallicrafters receiver into a closet and gave up trying to sell it as there have been no takers. I sold off the few portables I had at ham fests for $25 a piece. I still scan through the SW bands with my transceiver and am always disappointed. So yes, SWL is finished in my opinion.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: ONAIR on January 25, 2017, 06:48:09 PM
I got interested in shortwave listening in 1969 when I built a Star Roamer  shortwave radio from a kit. Not only do I miss the BBC, Radio Canada, Radio Nederland, and many more silent stations, I also miss the magazines we used to have! I was just looking over an old issue of POPULAR COMMUNICATIONS. I used to have the original issue but foolishly let it go! I also subscribed to MONITORING TIMES when it was a free publication printed on newsprint paper!  :'(
   You can now see all of those old magazines for FREE on:  www.AmericanRadioHistory.com !!   ::)


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: K5TED on January 27, 2017, 08:18:18 PM
Shortwave continues to be a great hobby for me. The bands are noisy and I'm not fluent in Latvian but still find plenty of interesting stations.

My best radio hobby friend is Bob Sillet's Shortwave Log. Still working after all these years.



Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: KC2UGV on February 06, 2017, 08:07:04 AM
I believe that those who own SW receiver boat anchors only have a short time window to get a reasonable price for their radios in what will soon be an obsolete hobby...SWLing. Specific to North American listeners, more governments are defunding and closing down their external services. Now unless you speak numerous languages, the pleasure of listening to English language transmissions is vanishing. Sure you can receive amateur chatter, RTTY, occasional marine and aviation transmissions, etc. English language transmissions are too few to generate any excitement. I have moved my Hallicrafters receiver into a closet and gave up trying to sell it as there have been no takers. I sold off the few portables I had at ham fests for $25 a piece. I still scan through the SW bands with my transceiver and am always disappointed. So yes, SWL is finished in my opinion.

I'm going the other way:  I hear lots of foreign language stations.  So, the fix for me is:  Start learning a foreign language, and use my SWLing as language practice.


Title: RE: short wave listening as a hobby is finished.
Post by: RENTON481 on February 06, 2017, 09:37:43 AM
Or -- just learn some key words in foreign languages, like the polite endings in Korean and Japanese (to be able to tell them apart if you have difficulty doing that)... Korean polite ending to words is "-amnida" and Japanese has one that I forget but if you listen you'll hear it nearly every third sentence.

Urdu and Hindi have the verb "is" or "be" which is heard frequently, "hai".

Stuff like that makes it a bit more interesting -- you don't necessarily have to learn the entire language, just getting accustomed to the sounds and it can help you ID a language, and ID a station that way.

I don't mind hearing foreign languages on the SW... But it's a bit better if the stations play music, too.

I know a little Spanish, which helps sometimes. And sometimes doesn't. :-)