Starting Point

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Premium Subscriber
May 9, 2020
Hello All, new to forums here. I am, with the world events as of late, re-kindled an interest in Shortwave. I don't have the time to get my license at the moment, but will soon. So I am wanting to just start listening to Ham mainly to hear uncensored voices from around the world. (I trust media kinda but don't like the citizen reporter thing...) I purchased an SDS200 for "ease of programming" and I like Uniden.
I am now wanting to upgrade my listening skills and am looking for:
1. Recommendations for amateur builds for home antenna setups. (mainly for ham) Looking for an antenna better than the stock one but am not able to build a tower. I could mount one of my house or shop.
2. Recommended resources for learning more about scanning and ham listening. I know there is a lot (s%@t ton) of info here but am looking for a course or linear progression like a book or videos on the subject that go beyond here is how you do x or y on scanner.
I appreciate any responses on this and apologize if i mischaracterized or oversimplified anything. I am ignorant at this time but wanting to learn.


Wiki Admin Emeritus
Jul 22, 2002
Bowie, Md.
Hi and welcome. Your questions open up a great many other questions that you would need to ask and understand. But one of the best places to go for information would be the ARRL

They have an extensive library of publications, some of which are available through dealers like Universal Radio in Ohio. Ham Radio is so very diverse that the number of different interests is quite mind boggling. Radios (and antennas) are as much about your budget and your home situation (condo, home, townhouse, etc.) than what your interests might be. Doing some basic homework up front will pay dividends later.

Dig around and see if there's a ham club in your area. That's one of the best ways to find out what interests you.

Now to learn about scanning -stay on this board. Learn to use our wiki. Again, homework is key, We don't know where you are (county/state is fine) - that's a very important piece of information. Some of our forums are set up by state. Get familiar with our database, and the folks in your state's forum

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Lots of questions.

Do your homework (yep there's lots of this....)

Again, welcome...Mike


Jan 30, 2016
Schwenksville, PA
The Uniden scanners only go down to 25 MHz, so you likely won't be able to hear "voices from around the world". At least not until the sunspot cycle picks up in a few years. There are dedicated shortwave radios that can pick up 20m and 40m ham bands (USB and LSB modulation) and cost a LOT less than the SDS100/200, too.
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