Shortwave radio itch

Before getting into ham radio, I really enjoyed listening to shortwave radio. My first rig was a Realistic DX-300. Later on, my parents bought me a Radio Shack DX-392 radio. The nice thing about this radio was that it had SSB capability so I could listen to hams and other SSB signals. It also had a cassette recorder and could record programs automatically while you were away. One of my favorite stations to listen to back in the day was HCJB: The Voice of the Andes in Quito Ecuador. I remember corresponding with host Allen Graham who read some of my letters on his shows. Sadly they ceased shortwave transmission in 2009. (If anyone knows of a website that archived their recordings, please let me know!)

Last month while I was visiting my parents, I asked if they still had the DX-392. Sure enough, it was easily found and it came home with me. I live in an apartment, so getting any signals was going to be a challenge. I tried using the built-in telescopic whip, but that was futile with all the interference in the building. I then decided to string up a wire from one end of the apartment to the other which faces the outside wall. Using an alligator clip, I attached the wire to my whip and started picking up signals.

Last weekend I stopped by Barnes and Noble to see if they had any shortwave books. I dug around and found the World Radio TV Handbook 2014 book in the science section. I thumbed through it and was impressed with all the information, so I purchased it.

There is something about spinning the dial and researching where a signal is coming from that makes the hobby fun. Between the WRTH 2014 book and various online resources, it is pretty exciting to figure out what you are hearing.

Anyone else into shortwave radio? Are you using a dedicated receiver or one of your ham rigs? Any tips for indoor antennas?

One Reply to “Shortwave radio itch”

  1. Most of my shortwave listening in done via a slightly battered Realistic DX-394, easy to use and small enough to fit on my office desk. Glad your parents still had your old radio, its nice to play with those childhood pieces of gear and I would try slinging a decent length of wire out the window and see if that improves reception.

    You mentioned audio of HCJB and Ive noticed that the shortwave radio archives has a few audio files along with a mountain of other files to listen to.

    All the best

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