20 July 2005

shortwave update

I've picked up around 7 - 10 different shortwave signals, but they've all been mostly static. I have only been able to identify a few phrases, and I don't have a clue as to the origin of the broadcasts. In terms of languages, I believe I've heard English, Spanish, and Chinese. My next goal is to learn how to properly hang my wire antenna to improve reception as much as possible. I would also like to determine how much interference might be generated by all of the technology around me.

I've found a few more frequency listings/schedules, so I will refer to that to increase my chances of picking up something useful. The web searches I did tonight suggest that shortwave broadcasting to North America is not a top priority for major broadcasters. This is understandable, due to the proliferation of more convenient and reliable information sources. I'm curious enough to ask some shortwave radio resellers how their North American sales are doing.

Regarding the Kaito 1102 ease-of-use comments I made in an earlier post: I read web pages about using this radio before it arrived, and I also read parts of the manual. Since then, I have not needed the manual as much as others have suggested.

Here is my updated list of annoyances:
* frequencies can change when switching memory pages (which is primarily necessary for switching single sideband tuning on and off)
* automatic scanning isn't available in single sideband mode
* the "on" button is really an "on for 60 minutes" button. the manual explains how to disable this, so i guess i better learn
* i forget what position the dx/local switch is in, and i accidentally scan in local mode. i wish the dx/local state was displayed on the LCD


Ian said...

*tick* *tick* *tick* *tick* ... At the tone. Twenty hours, thirty five minutes, coordinated universal time. ... *BEEEP* ... *tick* *tick* *tick* *tick*

Chuck said...

Various technologies found throughout the house/apartment can hugely degrade shortwave reception. Some of the worst are computers/monitors, TV sets, flourescent lighting, light dimmer controls, touch lamps, etc.

Also a lot of noise is generated along the power grid...I hear that streetlights can be a noise source too. Shortwave gets little respect these days.

weatherall said...

Since my first listening experiences, I've had much clearer reception when taking a portable outside and running on battery power. It's a shame that shortwave listening isn't very well suited to home use in the same way as AM/FM and now even satellite radio. Those technologies are very simple to acquire and install, with near-instant great results.

Chuck said...

Our radio club boss swears by using DC power with his shortwave radios. Still he's had to relocate his listening shack as all the electrical wiring into his house turned out to be right next to his radio setup. Your idea of outdoor reception sounds like one answer, but have you tried using an outside antenna with lead-in to indoors? That along with DC use might be an option, but disconnect the antenna during storms...