Shortwave Radio

Introduction | About Time | Resources | QSL cards | SW via RealAudio | Other Links

picture of my YB400

Welcome to my shortwave radio page! I started listening to shortwave radio in the fall of 1994, with a Radio Shack DX-375. I have since upgraded to a Grundig YachtBoy 400 (pictured on the left,) and have 15 meters of wire strung up around the room as an antenna. Reception isn't as good in California as it is in Iowa, mainly due to interference from local AM stations. Maybe those mountains behind the house cause some problems, too.... Being on the coast, though, may help with receiving Asian/Pacific stations. 

On this page you will find links to other interesting shortwave radio pages (including several for schedules, propagation tables, and station information) and my collection of QSL cards.

With more news/information being "broadcast" by Internet everyday, shortwave radio may seem less and less like a viable idea. However, there are a number of countries, organizations, and people who wish their voices to be heard, and are unable (or unwilling) to use the Internet. For these people, radio is the way to go. Not to mention, my radio runs on a few AA batteries, which is more then I can say for my computer.

That said, there are quite a few stations who also broadcast via RealAudio. I have created a list of these stations, and have been adding direct links to the RA files.

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At the tone, the time will be U.S Naval Observatory Master Clock Coordinated Universal Time

USNO Time "Live"
This feature requires RealAudio.
(Because of the RA buffering, there will be a several second delay from when the signal left the USNO Master Clock.)

About Time

Because broadcasters and listeners live in different parts of the world, potentially in different time zones, they refer to "Coordinated Universal Time," or UTC, when talking about the time. This is an international convention that replaced Greenwich Mean Time, although for part of the year they are the same. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) broadcasts time signals on 2.5, 5, 10, and 15 MHz from the stations WWV (Ft. Collins, CO--also at 20MHz) and WWVH (Hawaii.) You should be able to pick up one, if not more, of these broadcasts at any time. It is a good idea to have the clock in your radio set to UTC; it makes it easier to follow schedules, and helps when writing reception reports. Here's another explanation of determining world time.

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In Association with Amazon.comNASWA Now!

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What is a QSL card? The listener sends a reception report, which includes information like time and date heard, frequency, signal quality, and program details, to the station. In return, the station often sends back a QSL card, confirming that the listener had heard that particular station. Sometimes the card has time, frequency, and transmitter information on it, sometimes it is just a blank postcard sent in acknowledgement. I always write what radio and antenna I used, my listening location, and a little bit of personal information. I have scanned a number of my QSL cards.)

NASWA (the North American SW Association) gives out awards to anyone (members and non-members) who meet certain listening criteria, usually listening to a certain number of stations from a given geographical region. Here is the NASWA Country list, in Acrobat Reader (pdf) format.

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Shortwave via RealAudio

I have put this section on a new page, since it was getting too unwieldy here. Go here for RealAudio links.

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Other (Shortwave) Radio links

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The background is a scanned/Photoshopped picture of an International Reply Coupon (IRC) from the US.
Updated 1/13/04
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