Shortwave Listening Report- Aug 2

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KK4NSF, Aug 2, 2020.

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  1. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good Morning ALL....
    It's been a rather exciting time for Shortwave Listening in the KK4NSF shack. Sure, I still like talking to all you guys on 40m, PSK-31, and 2m, but it has taken a back seat to SW Broadcast DXing lately. The TCI-612 clone loop antenna system is working like a charm and I installed a 12.5 dB low noise pre-amp that is very handy in pulling up those very weak signals. I also added an SDRplay RSP DX to the receiver line-up.... AND the SFI has moved up a few notches to ~72 or so. (The R-808 is still in use, by the way. It's old and clunky, but has it's own kind of charm) The result of all this is that I've heard all sorts of cool and interesting stations. As far as I can tell, Shortwave is not dead at all. It's quite alive!

    So.... what have I picked up recently? In addition to the regular Radio Havana, the Chinese, Supreme Master TV, and American Gospel Stations, there are a ton of English speaking broadcasts to listen to, IF you take the time to seek them out. Here are a just a few I've recently heard from my QTH:

    Radio Canada International
    Radio Romania from Bucharest
    Hamburger Radio (Germany)
    Radio Voice of Turkey
    Radio Vanuatu (Island in the S Pacific)
    Radio Slovakia (relayed via WRMI)
    RIA - Argentina- direct or sometimes via a relay from WRMI
    Radio Voice of Vietnam
    Radio Saudi Arabia- Riyadh- (mostly Arabic Religious)
    Radio Exterior de Espana (Spain)
    Voice of Nigeria
    Radio National de Amazonia (Brazil- - most in Portugese)
    Voice of America (yep.... they're still out there)
    Helliniki Radio- (Greece)
    BBC- Ascension Island (and other transmitter sites)
    KSDA World Adventist Radio (Guam- 7785 miles away)
    Radio Mali (usually in French, but a few English announcements)
    and all sorts of US based broadcasts.
    (Virtually all of them offer QSL cards for reception reports.)

    In addition, you can also hear a LOT of Air Traffic, MARS, and routine military traffic, including Shannon VOLMET, and UK Military St Eval. (those guys don't send QSL Cards, by the way :eek:) Numbers stations are also still active, and can be often heard on 11.635 during the day.

    The best bands seem to be:
    49m and 41m after ~6pm local time and all through the evening
    31m and 25m during the day

    Now to be honest, you can find some of the stations on the Internet.... but then again, I could also call all of my 40m buddies on the cell phone. What would be the fun in that? Shortwave DX can be a fun technical challenge, and a very good test of your station's receiving capabilities.... and it's a lot more fun than watching robots talk via FT-8!

    Finally, a big THANK YOU goes out to WA6KNW (Rich) for technical assistance!
    I wish you all good listening
    W4ORI, WD4IGX, VK4GAP and 15 others like this.
  2. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you for posting that. I do miss the 60's though, SWLing was more just deciding which station you wanted to listen to, than having to find them. I can see how SWL would be a lot more challenging today.
    F8WBD and KK4NSF like this.
  3. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    It IS a lot more challenging than it was back then.... but that's half it's current fun! :D
    W5TTP likes this.
  4. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    After not doing any SWLing for a long while--not since the 80s, really--I've been turning on a GC receiver once in a while. I'm (semi) retired and on days when there's not much on the bands mid/late afternoon really drags. On those afternoons, I've been listening again. One additional reason is that I thought it was a shame not to make more use of my SDRPlay receiver. I bought a while back to provide a big panadapter display for my old IC7200. It did a fine job of that and I used it successfully in numerous (CW mostly) contests. But then I got an IC 7610, and that solved the big display problem.

    So, I've been firing up HDSDR and having at it on dull afternoons (SDRUNO is still configured for use with the 7200 and Ham Radio Deluxe, and I don't want to mess with that in case I want to use it with the 7200 again). HDSDR is a very good program at any rate.

    What have I heard so far? Well, so far it's a far cry from the glory days...but there is some broadcasting. In addition to the high power stations (like the one in Miami that sells airtime to radio preachers, etc.), I am hearing quite a few (more than I expected) more interesting foreign stations other than Radio Havana. My main problem at this point is that I need to get a good idea of where to look; especially for military and utility stations. I suppose they still publish the old World Radio book...but maybe I'll search out something online. :)

    Anyhow, it's kinda fun and makes slow afternoons pass. :)
    KA4DPO, W9RAC, KK4NSF and 1 other person like this.
  5. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Rod- for Broadcasts, here are the two schedules I use. They are not always up to date, but they do have good info:

    The second one has a good search engine, and will help you identify an unknown station you might be hearing.

    For military stuff, start off between 5.4 and 5.7 Mhz right at sunset. For numbers stations try 11.635 during the day. There are tons of signals out there, but they don't publish schedules.
    KA4DPO and N4XRD like this.
  6. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    TNX, OM! :)
    KK4NSF likes this.
  7. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Super cool work. I still tune around with my R-5000 in the living room giving me a different setting than shack. I have it paired to a 160 flatop dipole@85'. Like you I enjoy some SSB & CW but also twisting the SW VFO. Thanks for sharing it, 73 Rich
    KK4NSF likes this.
  8. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Really helps those dreary winter days pass also Rod. Lots of fun with nice fire going , 73 Rich
    KK4NSF, W4NNF and F8WBD like this.
  9. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Maritime Mobile s s b stations

    They have nets like the Coconut Telegraph and others on a daily basis.
    KK4NSF and KA4DPO like this.
  10. VK4GAP

    VK4GAP Ham Member QRZ Page

    OP , yes who says SWL is no good , it's out there for sure .
    Another checker is which i use "only" for seeing who it is if i cannot hear it after a few hours or days , also take note on just how many is still listed = propagation is a major factor .

    Rather than me list individual stations as it'd be a long list , lately with relatively good propagation coming outta the speaker is a lot of EU and North Africa areas and central Asia out to the downunder , a few i like (indigenous music wise) are Saudi and Yemeni areas some using relays some direct , i must mention South America also south Africa , all those mentioned are a bit too generic as in areas as when the bands open up good the whole world seems to be about .

    Using a FRG100 atm also the DXSR8 when its not in use on HF , plenty of memories programmed in the IC7000 ready to be fitted in the mobile too .

    Also don't forget the AMBC band , out here a few are shifting to FM or internet based leaving a few "unused" channels atm (9KHz spacing out here not 10KHz) , and on the now unused local channels there are overseas stations which one can hear due to the local strong station not being there anymore

    a classic example is where a local was broadcasting for the last 20 years+ , at night now on that same freq one can hear a station from New Zealand , Japan , Indonesia and China all on the same freq and all come and go in strength and audibility during the night with the changing propagation , i have come across some others also , its a bit of fun imo .

    73 and thanks for the Info also , Paul
    KA0HCP and KK4NSF like this.

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