03 August 2005

shortwave reception

I have a small external antenna that I can hang from my balcony to slightly improve shortwave reception. However, I wanted to see what would be possible by listening from a more ideal location, reception-wise. There's a 5-story parking garage near my apartment, and sometimes I climb all the steps, look around (sometimes there's a ring of fog all the way around that's just fantastic to see), and come back down when I'm out for a walk. So I thought it would be useful to take my radio up there, as it clears all of the area's other buildings.

The reception was pretty great! Although I brought the wire antenna along with some string and clips for hanging it up, I didn't bother attaching it. Using just the telescopic "whip" antenna, I was able to pick up many more signals than I could with the external antenna at my apartment. This was the first time I picked up communication between ham radio operators, and both the Colorado (WWV, a male voice) and Hawaii (WWVH, a female voice) time broadcasts on 5000 khz. I didn't have access to my list of previously received broadcasts, and I haven't been storing stations in my radio's memory. The radio's memory is not particularly useful, because it doesn't include information such as what time of day a usable broadcast may exist.

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