shortwave broadcasts

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tommyscan

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I recently pulled out my grundig 800 to see what I could hear. I was amazed to find the bands so EMPTY!!! Why is the question. I know about the sunspot cycle and know that most big international stations stream their programming over the web, but where did everyone else go??? Not even hearing the amateur sidebanders?? wow!! how things have changed!!!
 

ka3jjz

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As you say, propagation is pretty crappy right now. The antenna is everything! Yes, it's a bit more difficult, but with the right data and forums you can find what you need. We have an entire section in the wiki devoted to HF antennas. Time to warm up the soldering iron, and get busy reading.

Your 800 is a fine radio, just give it a good antenna. There's still lots out there to hear 73 Mike
 

ka3jjz

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The ferrite rod is likely for MW (you would think of it as AM) only. The whip would be a compromise for HF in any case. It would certainly work, but not nearly as well as a good outside antenna. Start reading!

73 Mike
 

ridgescan

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You GOT TO GET OUTSIDE with an antenna. Also-the vast majority of activity will come on late afternoon/evening generally. The SW freqs seem to be VERY sensitive to electrical interference (personal experience) I use a 4-element yagi designed for VHF ham and it is pointed east-it is 3 stories up on a 10' pole. I get TONS of activity from 6-9:00PM (pacific) between 5-7KHZ, 9-10KHZ, 11.5-12KHZ (general areas for you to check out:) I have no idea where you live but hope this helps! By the way-I googled your radio-Thats a NEAT one I would LOVE to have!! It deserves a shot at an outside antenna for sure:)
 
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chrismol1

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You dont think the built-in ferrite rod is good enough? Seems tall enough!!
NOPE!!!

Put up a 60 foot tower with a yagi and a rotator or a 100 foot wire and then we might consider offer some kinda guarentee
theres PLENTY! of broadcasts out there from what i've heard on a table top portable shortwave, but you can just whipe it out and expect to hear China without some really good HF ham gear and a very good antenna setup, the ferrite rod aint enough either
that 3 foot telescopic antenna aint good enough even though you might think that it will poke your eye out and be hard to manuever whereever your taking it

when you turn on your radio into the shortwave bands,
DON'T expect it to be like turning on your boom box with your favortie local FM station
 

eleet

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If I am looking for an HF broadcast directed at North America I can usually tune it in using a toy radio or the stereo in my truck. They must be strong if I can hear them over ignition noise.

Try primetimeshortwave.com for schedules.
 

zz0468

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Between the IC746PRO and the ITT Mackay 3041A, a few outside antennas and a rotatable active loop, I'm hearing PLENTY. Yeah, propagation stinks, so it takes considerable effort to hear anything decent.
 

gcgrotz

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Actually you can hear China on the built in whip. Only it is coming from eastern Canada.

But there is plenty of stuff out there that your 800 should have no trouble hearing.
 

edmondcops

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Sounds to me like your 800 is one of the bad ones. I'll do you a favor. I'll give ya $200 + shipping for it, and you won't have to worry about it anymore.

:)
 

corbintechboy

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I have a Sony ICF2010 and hear plenty off the whip. I also have a longwire strung around the ceiling of my room and when I have a hard time hearing I bring the radio to life with the longwire.

There is still a lot to hear on the shortwave bands. Maybe not as much as there was when I was a child but still a lot.
 
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reports of the bands death are truely exaggerated and premature....they never completely die, they reach a minimum....

why, just last night i worked every continent except antarctica using low barefoot power (90w) and a sloper dipole hung over a low tree limb 20' off the ground at the top...not exactly a monster installation ! and these contacts were spread out over the entire spectrum....Canada on 50 Mhz...Asiatic/Siberian Russia on 14 Mhz....Tahiti and New Zealand and Australia on 7 Mhz...Liberia on 10 Mhz...and Iceland and Denmark and Uruguay on 3 Mhz.....

it's out there....trust me !
have fun....

Barefootdipole
 
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jleverin

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I have a Sony Sw Portable radio that my husband used while in the military in Bosnia. He lost the darned paperwork that goes with it so I found a downloadable copy on the internet. Right now the only antenna I have for it is the one that came with it, the metal kind of telescopic antenna. Have heard you can get better reception on these radio if you attach an alligator clip to the end of the telescopic antenna attached to a larger outside or indoor antenna. The few times I've tried to use it I can't pull in anything but regular radio stations, a few garbled sounds on the other bands but nothing readable. I understand SW is not very popular these days, just would like to be able to pull in a few stations, even foreign language ones would be okay. Right now it is sitting on a shelf while I use my scanners more than anything......
 

ridgescan

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I have a Sony Sw Portable radio that my husband used while in the military in Bosnia. He lost the darned paperwork that goes with it so I found a downloadable copy on the internet. Right now the only antenna I have for it is the one that came with it, the metal kind of telescopic antenna. Have heard you can get better reception on these radio if you attach an alligator clip to the end of the telescopic antenna attached to a larger outside or indoor antenna. The few times I've tried to use it I can't pull in anything but regular radio stations, a few garbled sounds on the other bands but nothing readable. I understand SW is not very popular these days, just would like to be able to pull in a few stations, even foreign language ones would be okay. Right now it is sitting on a shelf while I use my scanners more than anything......
If you dont want to bother with external antennas try this-attach a length of thin wire (like speaker wire) from the telescoping antenna to that center screw on the electrical wall outlet near the radio (PLEASE DO NOT INSERT WIRE INTO THE SLOTS!!) this makes a pretty decent antenna of the electrical conduit in your house:) Another crazy alternative is get a metal tape measure and simply attach the end to the telescoping antenna then reel it out as far as you can (try to face it in an east west direction as this is essentially a directional antenna)
 

ka3jjz

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That center screw is supposed to be the ground for the plug. It would likely also carry noise from just about any source that would plug into an outlet, throughout the structure. Not a particularly promising way to go.

A much better alternative would be a small amplified loop, such as the ones made by Kaito/Degen. If the Sony has an external antenna input, you'd be in business. The loop rejects certain kinds of noise, will in all likelihood not overload the radio, and is relatively inexpensive. The cream of the crop of these is the Sony AN LP-1, which is no longer manufactured, but I understand shows up on EBay from time to time. If memory serves, there's some reviews and comments on these loops on the RadioIntel website, which is linked in our SWL wiki article

73 Mike

[edit] Here's the link comparing the little Degen to the Sony loop...

http://www.radiointel.com/review-degende31.htm
 
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ridgescan

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That center screw is supposed to be the ground for the plug. It would likely also carry noise from just about any source that would plug into an outlet, throughout the structure. Not a particularly promising way to go.

A much better alternative would be a small amplified loop, such as the ones made by Kaito/Degen. If the Sony has an external antenna input, you'd be in business. The loop rejects certain kinds of noise, will in all likelihood not overload the radio, and is relatively inexpensive. The cream of the crop of these is the Sony AN LP-1, which is no longer manufactured, but I understand shows up on EBay from time to time. If memory serves, there's some reviews and comments on these loops on the RadioIntel website, which is linked in our SWL wiki article

73 Mike

[edit] Here's the link comparing the little Degen to the Sony loop...

http://www.radiointel.com/review-degende31.htm
OK but I have DONE it and have gotten decent results-go figure. Cant hurt to try it-I was just offering super easy ways to gain some reception for a person who made clear her disinterest in getting too involved:)
 

ka3jjz

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Hey, whatever works. I did try exactly that once, and that was my experience. No biggie. 73 Mike
 

kb2vxa

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"Have heard you can get better reception on these radio if you attach an alligator clip to the end of the telescopic antenna attached to a larger outside or indoor antenna. The few times I've tried to use it I can't pull in anything but regular radio stations, a few garbled sounds on the other bands but nothing readable."

The trouble with that notion is the majority of portables are overloaded by strong signals hence the garble. You can hear "regular" AM stations because that section only uses the internal ferrite rod antenna but the shortwave section relies on the telescopic whip and is designed for optimum reception using it alone. It's hard to explain without all the techie stuff but basically it's too sensitive to handle more input than the whip provides.

Again without getting too technical about the best you can do with that sort of receiver is lengthen the antenna just a bit by connecting 10 or maybe 20' of wire to it but no more. Just toss it across the floor and roll it up when not in use, if you still have garble roll it up a little at a time until things clear up and leave it that way, the excess wrapped with a bit of tape.

I would avoid any connection to the wall outlet, that mounting screw is grounded and would make the radio itself part of a giant loop antenna, the AC side of it being also part of the loop. Look at it this way, at the service entrance panel there is a grounded bus bar with the afore mentioned screw and the U shaped blade slot connected to it through a safety ground wire within the power cable. Also in that cable connected to the ground bus is the AC neutral connected to the wider of two slots in the outlet. The narrower slot is the hot lead that eventually goes outside to the pole and may be disregarded for the sake of this discussion. Now visualize the loop back to the bus, the AC neutral being one side and the grounded screw being the other and the radio right in the middle. This makes for more antenna than the radio can handle from an overload point of view AND being part of the AC mains wiring will pull every little bit of static and noise generated by everything on the block, switches opening and closing, fluorescent lamps, dimmer switches, home appliances and everything under the sun channeled right into your radio.

Funny how you remind me of myself and my Frankenstein lash ups when I first started out in the hobby. I had old radio chassis scrounged from the junk pile behind the local repair shop, car radios from the junk yard, transformers, batteries and loads of wire all over the place and somewhere in the middle of it all was a mother shaking a broom and screaming "You better get this mess cleaned up before your father gets home!" My radio adventures taught me one thing about moms and late night DXing, if they don't have radar or some extreme sensitivity to electromagnetic waves at least they have ultrasonic sonar hearing that can pick up the tiny vibrations of a set of headphones at barely audible volume from a thousand yards and homing torpedoes that'll get you every time. Uh oh, I hear her coming up the stairs... Down periscope, DIVE DIVE!!!
 
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