Short Wave Listening

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Short Wave Listening

Post  Jonas Parker on Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:32 am

Short Wave Listening

   OK, the S has HTF in the scenario of your choice, the electric grid is but a memory, and all you can get on your battery/hand-crank "emergency" radio, on the commercial AM and FM broadcast bands, is a tape recording of some DHS gonzo advising everyone to "not panic and stay in your home". Not a lot of help in decision making there.

   So what do you do? Stay put? Load the family into the car and head for the hills? If so, which hills? What direction? In every situation, not just limited to SHTF and TEOTWAWKI, information is your friend. "Ignorance", on the other hand, always hurts and sometimes can kill.

   What can you do right now, without worrying about exams and licenses? Get set to listen on the short wave bands by purchasing a small, battery-operated short-wave radio receiver. You'll be able to pick up stations from other countries like the BBC from the UK, stations that will be broadcasting some useful information. Most important, buy a radio that can receive in AM single-sideband mode (SSB). This is the phone (or voice) mode most used by ham radio operators and will allow you to listen into their transmissions. Two Christmas's ago, I purchased SW receivers with SSB for my two oldest grandsons. After much research, I settled on the Kaito KA1102 for about $100 each. Sony has a good unit out for a few dollars more.

   So you have your radio (whichever model you decide on after your research) and a bunch of spare batteries. You can also buy an inexpensive 5 watt solar panel to run your radio for $20 or so, (Vitabon is a good source) and rig an external antenna (home-made or store-bought) for better listening.

   Don't just set the radio up on the shelf to gather dust and wait for SHTF though. Get on the internet and "Google" "short wave listening", pick a site, and start reading. A tutorial ~ ~ is a good place to start. If you're in the US, the Maritime Mobile Service Net ( can be found on the 20 meter band at 14.300.00 USB and makes for interesting listening (Bill, KI4MMZ in Florida is net control as I type this, giving the maritime weather for the Atlantic).

   To sum it up, there will be plenty of good information out there when things fall apart. Just make sure you have access to it!
Jonas Parker

Posts : 13
Join date : 2016-01-31
Age : 74
Location : Old Virginia

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Re: Short Wave Listening

Post  Ozarks_1 on Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:10 am

Thanks for posting this!

I've been looking for a new SW radio and the Kaito was on my list. Looks like that's the one I'll buy.

Something that should be mentioned to those seeking to buy a shortwave radio ... try to buy one that has full digital tuning - not merely digital display. You'll be much happier.

I've got several SW radios. As much as I like digital tuning technology, I have to admit that my 1970s-vintage Westinghouse Multiband radio (no SSB, unfortunately) beats most of the new stuff for sound quality and reception. It's bigger than a lunch pail and isn't very light, but I've adapted it for solar option and have an external antenna.


Posts : 11
Join date : 2016-02-03

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