Originally posted by NGC2736
dr_strangecraft, in simple form, what all is required to get started with shortwave, and how costly is it?
How much you got?
I have a battery operated (2xAA) handheld receiver that covers FM (longwave), AM (medium wave), and shortwave up to the 22 bands. It cost be like, 30
I have a hand-cranked radio/flashlight, but it only has the first two sets of SW bands, and stops at 13. it cost, what 40 bucks.
But these are just receivers, and don't receive that accurately. Which means that most of the SW stations I can pick up tend to be state-sponsored
radio from various world govts, plus religious zealots of various stripes. Grundig makes a reciever I'm interested in for about a hundred USD, that
has special circuits to help zero in on a station and keep it from fading, and to pick up much weaker signals.
Broadcasting kit probably starts around 250 USD for the total minimum, to 1000 or more. A transmitters SW license in the US is basically sitting for
an FCC test, after you've read some workbooks and cover the basics of "how it works" and what US and international laws apply.
I'm interested in numbers stations, and you can't hear that on the devices I own now. I have
picked up some dissadent radio transmitters out
of Russia and China. They broadcast in English at least every 24 hours or so, and usually have some indepth reporting on local issues. It sounds
like a stateside NPR broadcast, or maybe similar to a BBC radio program.
One of my crank radios is actually stored in a faraday cage, and so might be operable after an EMP event. SW is usually critical in disasters; some
people in remote areas use them because cell phones won't reach. Since those people often have a generator, they are often the ONLY voices during a
disaster. I think it's one of the first ways the world heard about the Tsunami is SE asia. I also remember that in the San Franscisco Earthquake
in the early 90's, it was a SW broadcaster that alerted the national guard to lawlessness in certain neighborhoods.
The national news agencies all listen to SW, and use it when there's a US disaster like Katrina. FEMA usually ships SW transmitters INTO an area
like that, so that locals are connected to civilization, and not just
to the government.
I also sort of remember that solar flare storms actually improve
SW radio, unlike cell-phones and satelite. So they are a definite backup when
telecommunications is out.
Plus, I can listen to Al Jazeera without being tracked by the feds, like I am here on the interweb.