Longwave SWL

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KB3ZGV, Nov 12, 2012.

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  1. KB3ZGV

    KB3ZGV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'd like to start listening to the longwave broadcasts. What can I use for a receiver? Can I modify something easily. What would be good to start with? Do you think my 80 M dipole would work well for listening? What is the propagation like?
  2. N2RJ

    N2RJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Shouldn't that be LWL? Because Longwave SWL really means Longwave Shortwave listening. :)

    I do listen from time to time. I hear quite a few european stations. They are low but audible.

    For antennas you need something like a Beverage. Basically a long wire low to the ground.
  3. AB2T

    AB2T Ham Member QRZ Page

    Catch those LW broadcasters while you can! BBC shut their LW tx'ers down last year; most western European broadcasters have moved their LW outlets to FM. WRTH tells me that there are still a number of LW tx'ers left in Russia and the former USSR countries. Many of these stations run (or at one time ran) 1 MW (1000 kW)+. The lighting bills must be hideous!

    In general, even the major SW services have pared back their coverage to Africa, the Mideast, and Asia. BBC only broadcasts to the previous three, for example. Save for China Radio International or Voice of Russia, (the latter's budget must be the same or greater than Radio Moscow), few if any SW broadcasters have a worldwide program.

    LW/SW international broadcasting days are numbered. Try tropical band DXing (2000 -- 4000 kHz) or BCB (broadcast band, AM) DX'ing for new challenges.

    73, Jordan
  4. N2RJ

    N2RJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  5. KB3ZGV

    KB3ZGV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I could probably do a beverage of about a 375' here without too much trouble. Do you think that is enough?
  6. N2RJ

    N2RJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not optimal but better than nothing. I have 800' phased Beverages for 160m and I use that.
  7. N0SYA

    N0SYA Ham Member QRZ Page

    A long wire and a preselector should get you in the ballpark, What about your local noise level on those freqs??
  8. AB2T

    AB2T Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, but R4 has precious time. The article you cite notes that 90,000 British households still listened to R4 LW in 2011, primarily because FM does not cover the most remote regions of the UK. There's a need for BBC 4 LW, so long as the transmitter hangs on.

    BBCWS 693 kHz is next to go, certainly. The Oman tx station still broadcasts English on 693 kHz from 0200 to 0230 UTC.

    73, Jordan
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  9. G0GQK

    G0GQK Ham Member QRZ Page

    There aren't many long wave broadcasts these days and for a good reason, the transmitting valves are not available. They are not manufactured, and like it says in the supermarket, when they're gone , they're gone ! Some broadcasting companies have a few in stock and they use them carefully

    Mel G0GQK
  10. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Platinum Subscriber Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I use an RCA 9K. There are plenty other radios of this vintage that will do that. Of course, there are newer ones too...

    There are converters, you can even build one.


    First ask yourself what is the power line noise like? Then ask yourself what is the other QRM like?
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