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Originally posted by kissmygrits
reply to post by GammaRayBurst
To Gammarayburst; The first thing you need to do is contact a local ham group and set up things with them. You will need to take a short easy test to be able to even talk on the radio. If you try to use it without the lic. and all important call sign, you may not have anyone respond back to you even if they hear you.
If you just want to use it like a walki-talki and talk to your friends ( in an emergenmcy SHTF) situation, you might as well have gone to CB. and boosted the power. Whats nice about doing it the right way is that there are repeaters that you can tune to and have your call delivered anywhere in the world free when no other common source of comm. is available to you. To get all of the news freqs and repeater freqs and other radio freqs you will need to contact your local Ham club.
Good Luck KMG
Originally posted by darklife
*First of all pick up the latest copy of Passport to World Band Radio. Check your local library, it may have it if you just want to give it a look, but I highly suggest you buy a copy.
Sadly the last annual edition is 2009 because the company that made the book went under after being around since 1984. That book is literally like a TV Guide book for shortwave radio. Has just about every station licensed in the world listed in it showing their frequencies, time of broadcast and so on.
Another book that list all of the international shortwave stations is WRTH (World Radio TV Handbook). Not anywhere near as good as Passport but at least it will continue to be published for some time.
Here is a small list I just found of some important international stations broadcasting in English along with some common frequencies used in emergencies:
VOA (Voice of America) would be a good start for international communication of our current state of the country.
WWCR carries a lot of broadcast from GCN like Alex Jones for example. Here is their schedule:
Radio Havana Cuba always has interesting news usually in English during the late hours. Also has lots of handy tips for enhancing radio reception and radio technology news when Arnie Coro is on.
For general fun listening there is WBCQ on 7415 which I recommend you read the history of the station and how it came to be the legal station it is now.
US Pirates are always found between 6825-6960KHz. Euro pirates around 6300KHz. 6925KHz and usually upper sideband USB is a popular frequency for shortwave pirate stations. If SHTF I would assume lots of pirate stations would be active. Heck even as of right now that channel is active most weekends at night. I logged 3 pirates tonight on 6925, 6950 and 6850 doing shows from my 40' longwire antenna.
Most important to know is the Ham band frequencies. If something bad happened ham radio operators would be talking about it and right up to the minute. Of course if it were a local problem it would make more sense to tune into the VHF/UHF ham bands since they would be most active for your own town, but for worldwide matters the SW frequencies would be loaded with Ham talk of the events as shortwave communications carry much further.
Here is a chart/list of all the ham radio frequencies in use for the US including shortwave:
BTW the Kaito KA1102 is indeed a fine little portable for the price and was a good choice on your part.
I personally use a Radio Shack DX398 also known as Sangean ATS909. Got it new back in 2000 and made a few modifications to it over the years. Been an SWLer (shortwave listener) since.
Besides using your Kaito for emergencies you may want to play with it just to listen in for fun. There is a large world out there on the shortwave bands and it's a great hobby to get into. I like keeping a log journal of distant stations I have been able to listen into.
Just a few tips. If you have the space you may want to string up a longwire antenna. There are many sites that carry kits with the egg insulators and copper stranded wire with basic instructions on how and where to mount it.
Using the basic whip antenna you're not going to be hearing very much.
Take some time and learn about how the ionosphere effects reception on shortwave bands during night and day. Having a basic understanding of it and when each subsection of the shortwave band is effected will greatly enhance your chance to pick up distant stations. The Passport book has a few pages to describe the effect and when is the best time to tune into what meter bands on shortwave.
One last thing, you must learn what UTC (Zulu) time format is. All shortwave stations use UTC as the standard. So when you see that a station comes on at 14 hours UTC for example, you must know how to calculate it to your current time where you live. Google it for more info. All time stations are on 2.5, 5, 10, 15, and 20MHz for NIST UTC time in automated voice format. There are other time stations in Hawaii and Canada.
edit on 10/2/2010 by darklife because: (no reason given)