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Author Topic: "The Glory Days of Shortwave Radio"  (Read 14037 times)
W4KYR
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« on: December 10, 2017, 03:36:35 PM »

Found a compilation of historic interval signals and ID's from former shortwave broadcasters over on YouTube called "The Glory Days of Shortwave Radio" . It runs about 41 minutes

Some of this I remember hearing back in the day...


"Historical recordings of interval signals from former international broadcasters. Back in the days the shortwave bands were the only window to the rest of the world."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf_UzdvTyKQ
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ONAIR
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Posts: 3735




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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2017, 10:01:39 PM »

Found a compilation of historic interval signals and ID's from former shortwave broadcasters over on YouTube called "The Glory Days of Shortwave Radio" . It runs about 41 minutes

Some of this I remember hearing back in the day...


"Historical recordings of interval signals from former international broadcasters. Back in the days the shortwave bands were the only window to the rest of the world."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf_UzdvTyKQ
   Thanks!  Great memories!!  Smiley
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KM1H
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 02:41:49 PM »

The shortwave glory days were roughly 1934-65 with home radios including several SW bands.
I got my start on my maternal grandmothers 1935 Zenith around 1951-52 and have several of the later 30's floor model Philco, RCA, Zenith, and a few others here all with big speakers and PP 6V6 or similar audio.

Carl
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RENTON481
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2017, 07:23:20 PM »

^^^^ One could argue those "glory days of Shortwave" extended well into the 1980's, with the addition of several new international shortwave bands, particularly the 21 meter band (13 Mhz), which -- soon after being created -- was packed with signals much of the time during the last years of the Cold War.  At that time, sales of SW sets skyrocketed. SW never again became THE international media, but the combination of new SW bands and improved and cheaper portable SW radios extended its life by maybe 20 years.

As late as the late 90's you could get a digital SW portable with over 200 SW presets already included in its memory.

I doubt there are that many SW stations on the airwaves now.

I think the "glory days" ended when the BBC started yanking its broadcasts to the Americas, and then when the Voice of Russia began to pull its SW broadcasts it was the harbinger of a dim SW future.
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WB9LUR
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2017, 09:12:45 PM »

^^^^ One could argue those "glory days of Shortwave" extended well into the 1980's, with the addition of several new international shortwave bands, particularly the 21 meter band (13 Mhz), which -- soon after being created -- was packed with signals much of the time during the last years of the Cold War.  At that time, sales of SW sets skyrocketed. SW never again became THE international media, but the combination of new SW bands and improved and cheaper portable SW radios extended its life by maybe 20 years.

As late as the late 90's you could get a digital SW portable with over 200 SW presets already included in its memory.

I doubt there are that many SW stations on the airwaves now.

I think the "glory days" ended when the BBC started yanking its broadcasts to the Americas, and then when the Voice of Russia began to pull its SW broadcasts it was the harbinger of a dim SW future.

Been listening since the 1960's as a kid ... never thought it would come to this ... just about every "Tropical Band" station in the world is gone now too ... probably a lot of old SW transmitters rusting away out there. I did just recently get an actual paper QSL card from Radio Romania though - sent in the report via email and about a month later had a card mailed from Romania waiting in my mail box...

There's a few of us still trying to have fun with shortwave - early next year I'll be hosting a new music discovery show on WBCQ 7490 Khz ... have a lot of great music already lined up - no commercials - might even have a few listeners - ha!

Here's a link to the show's website: http://www.RadioNewMusic.com

Randy
 
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. .

73, Randy / WB9LUR - http://www.CallingDX.com

. .
W7ASA
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2017, 10:31:45 AM »

I do miss listening to the world on short-wave.  I completely understand the economics of internet podcasting rather than megaWatt broadcasting, hOWEVER, it lacks the romance of shimmering audio coming in over the poles on a late winter's night and unlike internet, and radio listening is anonymous, which governments hate.  Life moves on, but I still remember all those interval signals, government jammers, and program signature tunes in my memories. Then there are the 'voice & numbers' transmissions.

"ACHTUNG! NULL NULL EINS ZWO NEUGEN     ZWO FUN-EF...."

Naturally, those are still around: business is nusiness.


>Ray

« Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 10:38:19 AM by W7ASA » Logged
KM1H
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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2017, 12:33:37 PM »

 
Quote
One could argue those "glory days of Shortwave" extended well into the 1980's, with the addition of several new international shortwave bands, particularly the 21 meter band (13 Mhz), which -- soon after being created -- was packed with signals much of the time during the last years of the Cold War.  At that time, sales of SW sets skyrocketed. SW never again became THE international media, but the combination of new SW bands and improved and cheaper portable SW radios extended its life by maybe 20 years.

But those armchair reception living room radios were no longer produced. Hallicrafters tried to enter the market with the homeowner SWL targeted SX-62 series in the late 40's and 50's. It had pretty low sales and was only kept in production as it was mostly a SX-42 in a new wrapper. Despite the semi rarity and great looks it draws low prices on Fleabay.

Only the hams were still avid SWLers and they had an abundance of choices, used (and new into the 70's).

Carl
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HFCRUSR
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Posts: 358




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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2018, 08:18:56 AM »

^^^^ One could argue those "glory days of Shortwave" extended well into the 1980's, with the addition of several new international shortwave bands, particularly the 21 meter band (13 Mhz), which -- soon after being created -- was packed with signals much of the time during the last years of the Cold War.  At that time, sales of SW sets skyrocketed. SW never again became THE international media, but the combination of new SW bands and improved and cheaper portable SW radios extended its life by maybe 20 years.

As late as the late 90's you could get a digital SW portable with over 200 SW presets already included in its memory.

I doubt there are that many SW stations on the airwaves now.

I think the "glory days" ended when the BBC started yanking its broadcasts to the Americas, and then when the Voice of Russia began to pull its SW broadcasts it was the harbinger of a dim SW future.

Been listening since the 1960's as a kid ... never thought it would come to this ... just about every "Tropical Band" station in the world is gone now too ... probably a lot of old SW transmitters rusting away out there. I did just recently get an actual paper QSL card from Radio Romania though - sent in the report via email and about a month later had a card mailed from Romania waiting in my mail box...

There's a few of us still trying to have fun with shortwave - early next year I'll be hosting a new music discovery show on WBCQ 7490 Khz ... have a lot of great music already lined up - no commercials - might even have a few listeners - ha!

Here's a link to the show's website: http://www.RadioNewMusic.com

Randy
 
Hey Randy I sure wish I could get WBCQ here in Norcal better-it's a tough catch I think because they don't aim too much this way. I used to be able to get it on 5110kHz a couple years back but not now. Otherwise I'd be a regular listener here too. I'll still try and see if I can copy 7490.
I'm with those who prefer getting signals off the air-internet aint no fun.
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Not a ham, but an avid hobbyist in HF world. All things, short of transmit happen in this shack.
VA3VF
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Posts: 2952




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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2018, 10:07:44 AM »

I'm with those who prefer getting signals off the air-internet aint no fun.

I agree, but when that is not possible, for whatever reason, using a remote receiver can still be interesting.

There is an SWLer that uses the following tag line: Logged by my own ears, on my own receiver, in real time.

I agree with him completely, but some adaption is required these days.
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RENTON481
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Posts: 279




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« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2018, 10:09:08 AM »

Quote
One could argue those "glory days of Shortwave" extended well into the 1980's, with the addition of several new international shortwave bands, particularly the 21 meter band (13 Mhz), which -- soon after being created -- was packed with signals much of the time during the last years of the Cold War.  At that time, sales of SW sets skyrocketed. SW never again became THE international media, but the combination of new SW bands and improved and cheaper portable SW radios extended its life by maybe 20 years.

But those armchair reception living room radios were no longer produced. Hallicrafters tried to enter the market with the homeowner SWL targeted SX-62 series in the late 40's and 50's. It had pretty low sales and was only kept in production as it was mostly a SX-42 in a new wrapper. Despite the semi rarity and great looks it draws low prices on Fleabay.

Only the hams were still avid SWLers and they had an abundance of choices, used (and new into the 70's).

Carl

Perhaps you're missing my point.

Some of those armchair reception radios worked OK on internal antennas but most of them needed an outdoor antenna for decent SW reception. And their readout was usually hit and miss.

Digital SW portables could usually pull in the international broadcasters from most locations on just a whip antenna -- many could handle a bit of wire. And besides that, their readouts were accurate.

And they sold. By the millions in the late 80's and through the 90's.

One can easily argue there were more SW listeners in the 70's-90's than during earlier decades. The first Gulf War in 1991 boosted sales, for example.

Maybe they weren't 'glory days', but for many people on this and other radio forums, the 80's and 90's (the end of the Cold War) were glory days. More bands, more stations, and Radio Moscow was on every band 24/7. I could take a multiband portable out onto the front porch and wash my car while listening to Vladimir Posner.
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KAPT4560
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« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2018, 11:52:12 AM »

 Before the internet, it seemed like any international conflagration like Bay of Pigs, Iranian Revolution, Falkland Islands, Iraq I and II, etc. would bump public SW receiver sales.
 I purchased a Realistic DX series radio every 3 or so years simply because the next batch of advanced features came out that the last one didn't have. Some receivers were better than others. I liked the looks of the DX-302 when it appeared, but the later DX-400 was a better performer. Generally Radio Shack had a good bang for the buck and you could walk into a store and examine one in person.
 I purchased a Sony ICF-2010 in 1987 from NDXE because of its features, like AM sync detector and optimistic early reviews. NDXE was toying with the possibility of stereo SW broadcast using the Kahn system.
 The ICF-2010 is still a collectable and desirable portable, but receiver advances like DSP and SDR have taken place since.
 I did buy a CCrane SW around 2006 because of the low price, large numerals, twin-stick ferrite, internal charger and good audio. I did add a BFO to it. That was one feature I missed.
 The Tecsun/Redsun, Eton-Grundig, et al. get variable quality reviews, but are supposedly getting better.
 I still like the warmth and nostalgia of old tech, high-feature boatanchors.
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RENTON481
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Posts: 279




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« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2018, 01:44:17 AM »

KAPT4560: what you say is true... the modern digital portables are a lot of receiver for the money, the main weakness being some fo the QC at the factory. But if you get a good one, they can be great radios.

Arguably, SW receivers that have decent features and decent performance are more affordable now than they ever were before -- accurate readout, no drift, decent performance even off the whip, multiple filters, etc.. It's just too bad it's happened during the twilight of SW broadcasting.
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