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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 06:49 PM
Original message
I just got a short-wave radio
Why? I dunno... it was cheap ($99) at Sharper Image. It's a Grundig, and gets really good reviews.

I've never had one before, and don't know much about them - anybody got any good frequencies to listen to? I'm in California.
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TheDebbieDee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 06:55 PM
Original message
Can you pick up any AirAmerica broadcasts on it?
I live in Kansas City and as far as I know, no local station broadcasts AirAmerica. So, I'm wondering if the AirAmerica broadcasts from Chicago can be picked up on short-wave? Anybody know?
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. First things first...
Switch to whatever band 10MHz is on and tune there. At 10.000MHz lives the National Bureau of Standards' WWV; I use it as a correction factor.

If you roll up on WWV at 10.125MHz or whatever, you'll know how far off the published frequency you have to tune to find your guy.

Example: your guy is at 14.250MHz. You know WWV comes in at 10.125MHz; tune to 14.375MHz and you have him. Alternately, if WWV comes up at 9.750MHz and your guy transmits at 14.250MHz, tune to 14.000MHz and he's yours.
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Waistdeep Donating Member (469 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. There's probably not much error
I would assume this one has digitally synthesized tuning, so it's not going to have noticeable error in frequency readout.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
21. You'd be surprised
Synthesizers can be off as badly as any other frequency source, and it's not restricted to cheap synths either--we had a Watkins-Johnson 8617



that came out of the box about 5MHz off.

This is a $50,000 radio. It does neat shit. It is a scanner with a difference. On the kind of scanner they sell to civilians, when you plug ten frequencies into it and send it off to scan, it will step between those ten frequencies but it won't show you anything else. WJ calls that "stepping" mode. To "scan," you plug a low frequency and a high frequency into the radio (or plug up to 49 frequency ranges in) and it will sweep the radio from the low frequency to the high frequency automatically. I had to go to a one-week school to learn to use this radio.

Fortunately, these come with on-site warranty service (as in "we fly someone in from Gaithersburg to fix your radio") and a manual large enough to use as a wheel chock for a semi, so it got squared away, but you don't expect anything Watkins-Johnson makes to come in screwed-up. Their stuff is supposed to be perfect when you get it, and it usually is.

Your radio probably isn't off, but I'd check it anyway just to make sure; if it is off, best to get it fixed under warranty.
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salinen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
2. Me too Dook
I hope it's not the Grundig that has a crank generator. Because I purchased that one at Radio Shack recently for 49.99.
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Kellanved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. interesting
Considering that Grundig has been bancrupt for some time now, I wonder who is behind those radios.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. It's Grundig
being in bankruptcy doesn't necessarily mean you suspend operations.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. It's the Grundig S350
and every online account I saw of it lists the price as $99.
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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 07:13 PM
Response to Original message
5. Good for you! Here's a link that might be useful....
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Thanks
I'm brand-spanking new to this, and trying to learn what I can. That looks like a good resource.

Is it true, btw, that the BBC doesn't broadcast to North America via Shortwave? I came across some websites from 2 years ago petitioning them to continue, but it seemed as if they stopped.
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Waistdeep Donating Member (469 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. BBC and North America
Look here: http://usa.shortwavestore.com/bbc-frequencies.html

You can probably receive the broadcasts targeted at Central America or possibly Pacific. They are likely to slowly fade in and out as atmospheric conditions change. Try it and find out.
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Waistdeep Donating Member (469 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
9. Just remember this
Edited on Sun Apr-04-04 07:37 PM by Waistdeep
Edited to remove incoherent lecture about propagation during day or night. Suffice it to say, things change dramatically at sunset.

As a previous poster stated, tune in WWV at 5, 10 or 15 MHz first. It will be just about the strongest signal around most of the time.

If you want really good reception, there is no substitute for a long wire antenna, even if it runs throughout your house, but outside is best. A good ground is also really important.

Have fun. I hope you're not in a steel framed building like I was when I lived in Palo Alto. I could barely get WWV, even with an antenna.

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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Yeah, I think I'll need a long antenna
but here's a dumb newbie question...

Does it need to be suspended, or can I just lay it across my roof?
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Waistdeep Donating Member (469 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. It doesn't have to be suspended
if it's insulated but if the wind is going to blow it around you might even be happier putting it in your attic. You always have to be aware of power lines and what could happen if a branch fell or the wire broke. You don't want to electrocute yourself.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. well I don't have an attic per se
but there is a crawlspace up there.

I could try feeding the wire up there and see if it works....

It needs to be laid out straight, right?
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Waistdeep Donating Member (469 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Doesn't have to be that straight
Just don't double it back on itself too much. If you just took a long length of wire and temporarily strung it from room to room or ran it down the stairs it would work. The higher the better and if you can suspend it away from things, especially larger metal objects, all the better. Don't run it parallel and close to power lines or right next to a metal raingutter. Sometimes just a short wire attached to a metal window frame can serve as a better antenna than the built in whip antenna.
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EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 07:27 PM
Response to Original message
10. Try this
http://www.anarc.org/naswa/swlguide /
You should be able to find something here.
I used to listen to shortwave. I need a new radio. Used to listen to BBC, CBC, Radio Moscow, Radio Netherlands, Radio New Zealand, and Radio for Peace Internetional (before they got thrown off the air by Bushies). You'll love the different take on the news. Eye-opening.
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DemoTex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 07:32 PM
Response to Original message
12. You could have heard me on 14.28 mHz at 10:30 EDT today.
That's when I checked in on the International Association of Airline Hams 20-meter net.

Tonight you might try the 80-meter ham band (3.500 mHz to 4.000 mHz) for activity. Unless you know Morse code, stick to the 3.750 mHz to 4.000 mHz (lower sideband) portion of that band (multiply X 1000 for the frequency in kHz).

During the day try 20-meter upper sideband from 14.15 mHz to 14.35 mHz.

A good guide to short wave listening (SWL) is Monitoring Times ( http://www.monitoringtimes.com / ).
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Florida_Geek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
13. Here is some links
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MichaelHarris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 07:48 PM
Response to Original message
17. I built 2 of them but
they were kinda crappy so I bought a Grundig. The ones I built needed like 3 miles of wire to make a decent antenna.
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
18. I Enjoy Mine
Edited on Sun Apr-04-04 07:58 PM by Don_G
An Icom R-71 and a Grunding YB 400PE.

I'm in the mid-west so I can't answer for what you can hear, but you should pick up on a lot of the Pacific stations I miss.

Monitoring Times and Popular Communications are both good magazines to get started with. Your local library should have a few books on antennas just to give you an idea of whats available.

Enjoy!
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-04-04 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
20. I've got a couple of them...
cheap ones witha analog tuning, and I just kind of run through the 12 bands to see what's on.

There's always something to listen to.




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