Sunday, December 27, 2009

Strengthening Your SW Reception Antenna On Grundig / Eton SW Receivers

The radios named in the title come with antennas that are very well constructed, and good for almost all SW reception. Mike, over on the SWA Facebook site brought this topic up, and it was agreed that this topic is an excellent one to post! So, Mike, Thanks for this material!

The Grundig and Eton SW Receivers come with a small antenna connector in the back of the radio. You can use a longwire such as cheap copper stereo wire or something similar, and it's very easy to use!

If you live in a dwelling that allows outside antennas, throw your antenna around two of the highest points of the roof. If you cannot erect any antennas outside, using the highest points of the inside of the dwelling will also work well.

Always make sure to extend your attached manufacturer's antenna to full length, as the antenna will hear much better. Unless you are very advanced in radio technology and electronics, I do not suggest taking your radio apart to work on the provided factory antenna. Doing this will also void your warranty if it is still in effect.

For those who are advanced, or have access to someone who is advanced, a good pre-amp can be used in line with the factory antenna. MFJ and a few other corporations make some nice pre-amps!

Prices will vary by brand and model, so be sure to do lots of looking around. One draw back of using a pre-amp, however, will be that a pre-amp can help bring in noise along with your desired signal reception, so knowing how to work with various filters in the radio helps!

This is just a basic article and will not become much more technical than this tonight. Perhaps a follow-up article will be written giving links directly to working with these issues.

73 for now!


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Shortwave America On Twitter!

SWA can now be found on Twitter. The whole blog name was too long, and S_W_A was already taken, so look for SWA as ShortwaveUSA.

In the most recent Twitter revolution, it was thought that readers may want to use Twitter to catch up with SWA if there are those people who use it for radio information that follow SWA.

One fan of ours, PCJ Media is also there and will be very happy to see SWA make it's appearance there!
Hope to see everyone there!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Shortwave America (SWA) will be on break during Christmas. Posting at Facebook, and the official SWA blog sites will resume December 27th 2009, and will be followed by another break in posting from New Year's Eve through New Year's Day. Posting will then resume January 2nd, 2010.

Everyone be sure to celebrate safely! If you plan on drinking, even one alcoholic drink, make sure you have a designated driver. If you don't think that's possible...then hand your keys over to someone who will let you stay the night so you can drive home ALIVE and help keep other people using the roads safe and alive as well!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

CCrane 2 Radio With 2 Meter Amateur Radio Band

CCrane has accomplished something that no other radio manufacturer has! The marketing of a dedicated AM/FM radio with the addition of the 2 meter amateur radio band. This came to the attention of this author via WBBM Radio commercials by CCrane.

The CCrane website tells the basic story of this radio. There are some radio enthusiasts, especially licensed amateur operators who might be happy using their all band - all mode transceivers for this task, but if you wanna shut down the rigs and just have simple coverage in your home somewhere outside the shack without having to buy a scanner receiver, this is your option!

A small review of this radio can be found at E-Ham direct,  via this link

Shortwave America Special: VU2RBI Receives Recognition

Bharathi Prasad - VU2RBI, an international Amateur Radio Dignitary from India, has a long history in Amateur Radio specifically using her public relations skills and wealth of knowledge in the radio service to bring about international goodwill with a special focus on the well-being of others, has been recognized by IRESC (International Radio Emergency Support Coalition) for her service. Carl Caracol - W2WRX, issued the Certificate saying: "Your services, time, labour and support has help this team in time of disaster crises when it has arise. I wouldn't have done it without your support and all you have done for me within the IRESC organization team." This news comes from VU2SGW

You can learn more about Bharathi at her profile, where you will see a list of Bharathi's other awards.Bharathi has been in the Amateur Radio service for 25 years. IRESC, started as a small Amateur Radio Service club focused on serving the international community and has grown to be the premier service organization among the other popular service organizations such as SATERN, RACES, and ARES.

Among other work Bharathi is involved in is NIAR, India's largest and most well known Amateur Radio Organization. On December 2nd, 2009, Bharathi was the guest of honor in the Brisbane area in Australia, where she visited with other radio amateurs.

Please join Shortwave America, and the amateur radio community as a whole in celebrating the talents and achievements of Bharathi Prasad! Keep up the great work Bharathi!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Today's Station Log: DX Galore!

Today's Shortwave finds started using a method in which the VFO was started at higher frequencies, worked back downwards and then back up again. Not all stations were able to be identified, so just the language of the broadcast is given with the freq in Khz and the signal report.

All of these finds took place between 1PM Central Time and 3:30PM Central Time.

AWR Nigeria - Freq: 11.750.00Khz Signal: 5 by 9

Polish Broadcast - Freq: 11.664.00Khz Signal: 5 by 9

German Broadcast - Freq: 11.565.00Khz Signal: 5 by 7 with fading

Middle Eastern Broadcast - Freq: 11.865.00Khz Signal: 5 by 9

Middle Eastern Broadcast - Freq: 13.650.00 Signal: 5 by 9 (sign-off)

Spanish Broadcast - Freq: 17.628.00Khz Signal: 20 over 9

Top Hits Of 2009 (possibly a UK Broadcast) - Freq: 9.503.00 Signal: 5 by 7 with fading

Classical Music with Female Vocalist in English followed by middle-eastern pop style music also with a female vocalist in arabic - Freq: 7.450.00Khz Signal: 5 by 9

"Mary Did You Know?" Freq: 7.462.00Khz Signal: 20 over 9

CHU Canada Freq: 7.850.00Khz Signal 5 by 9 peaking to 15 over 9

Portuguese Language Broadcast - Freq: 9.420.00Khz Signal: 5 by 7 swinging to 5 by 9

Arabic Language Broadcast (I.D. as Family Radio, Open Forum, Oakland, California)- Freq: 11.662.00Khz Signal: 5 by 9

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Test Posting - New Feed Option

Testing a new feed option that hopefully, will send this post to LJ and also Facebook simultaneously. Crossing fingers!

Update: Test unsuccessful, guess it's time to try another method of connecting blogs automatically. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

SWA Facebook Group & Livejournal Account Opened

In the first twenty four hours, the SWA Facebook group has seen nine members add themselves to the group. It's a small beginning, but better than nothing! Thanks to the people who have joined! SWA hopes you have a great time being able to discuss all the radio related topics your hearts can conceive. A new growth experiment is taking place at Livejournal, as SWA makes it's presence as Shortwave_Blog. 

Facebook isn't able to find the blog URL over here for some reason, so an LJ account has started and LJ will post SWA material to Facebook!

Shortwave America Now On Facebook!

For those of you who frequent Facebook, you can now check out what's going on over at the Facebook group. This blog is also being imported to the same site by a very cool Facebook application. Please feel free to let this blogmaster know if the feed doesn't work well using this application.

Using Facebook, Twitter For Amateur Radio

While surfing the ARRL website, it seems that their "surfin" feature has hit on an interesting concept:

Using social networking sites for Amateur Radio. How can a person use one of these sites for radio related activity beyond simple social networking? This author has no clue, but will be watching to see what develops. The most interesting thing out here in terms of internet and social networking is D-Star, Echolink, and IRLP. WebSDR is also a neat thing. Various applications for cellular phones are available as well. Most of the cell applications are for RX only, unless you are one of those who use their cell to remotely access your HF rig at home.

Radio Prague To Keep Shortwave Station On Air, Chicago Radio Talent Feel Effects Of Economic Decline

This news is a bit late on both topics, but a double post is worth something. Radio Prague will keep it's shortwave station on the air but there is a trade-off. Their transmissions will not be as frequent as listeners are used to. In other radio news, famous Chicago voices worth millions of dollars are being cut from station talent lists. Shortwave America has recently discovered that there may be more to this story than meets the eye. Economic decline is just a small part of the picture. 

It seems that Arbitron is being accused of cooking their ratings. The context of this accusation has more to do with shutting out stations who are important to minorities. An investigation is on-going, and it might be reasonable to expect that if Arbitron is indeed guilty of this, radio stations would be in a position to lose alot of money just because of their association with the well known ratings company. 

The talent with million dollar voices are being given a second chance to stay around by a short list of Chicago stations IF they agree to stick around for less than that cool million. Some personalities have stated that they have entered into agreements with their stations because they can live on just a bit less and they need their jobs, just like the rest of us. See the entire story here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Shortwave Schedules

This new set of shortwave listening schedules has recently been posted. Shortwave America hopes your Thanksgiving was a fun, healthy, and safe celebration and apologizes for the delay in posting. There were a few hindrances in the happenings, but posting resumes now on a regular basis.

Enjoy the new schedules, enjoy your listening, and feel free to post in the comments section about anything interesting you hear. On that topic, what is YOUR favorite shortwave band or specific frequency to tune?

73 for now!