Shortwave DXing

I’m in New Mexico, listening to New Zealand. 11725 kHz at about 0718 GMT, the broadcast is in English, and the station has identified itself. As being Radio New Zealand. From New Zealand.

You learn about propagation and how nighttime is the right time, but until you pick up a signal that traversed the Pacific to get to you, it just doesn’t really feel real. I mean, 50 kW is enough oomph to propel me about 114 mph (it’s about 67 horses), but 11287 km (or a bit over 7000 miles) is a hell of a distance.

I can see why these things get banned in some countries.

Cuatro ocho ocho cinco cuatro ocho
Good night
Good night
Good night

Yep, a numbers station. And just down the dial, a text-to-speech program reading some news copy. There’s something ineffably effing creepy about shortwave sometimes.

Another shortwave listening enthusiast checking in.

You might enjoy the pirate radio activity around 6925 kHz.

It seems like there are a lot fewer numbers transmissions lately. I really miss the Lincolnshire Poacher…

If you find short wave listening fascinating then you might want to get into ham radio.

No need for 50 kW. You can sometimes talk to someone in New Zealand with 100 watts or less.

I used to listen to shortwave around 1998 or so, but my radio went kaput and I haven’t done so in a while. This thread has already inspired me to get back into it. I see that sadly, the “Passport to World Band Radio” magazine has stopped publication. I’m sure that I can get all the info I need about radios and such on the internet, but after I get a new radio, I’d really like to find a magazine in my mailbox each month to enjoy as much as I did PtWBR. Anyone have any recommendations?

I looked at that a long time ago, and decided that I didn’t want a hobby that was that dependent on the good graces of the Federal government.

it has been a long time since i’ve read any issues of either.

Back in the early 1980s I worked NZ with 60W into a low slung random wire on 80M. It was a voice station working cross-mode in the US novice band, handing out NZ to newbs. I was thrilled for days afterward, and all over again when the QSL card came in the mail. I was poor and planning to upgrade, so I used to hand make my QSLs with recipe cards and colored markers. “Times are tough, you know it well, here’s a poor ham’s QSL.”

73, ko0b today ,ka0jtg back then.

If you really want to work DX, try some of the ham radio digital modes. You can work the whole world with 25W on PSK31. Not quite as nostolgic as CW but still a lot of fun.

As a teen interested in electronics, I fixed up Dad’s old Heathkit GR-64 and strung a long wire antenna from the back porch to a tree on the far end of the lot. Picked up a bunch of stuff with that. Listened to Cubs night games on WGN - about 900 miles away. Once spent an entire night before a family vacation listening to Australia. Weirdest thing was a Spanish-speaking DJ who played US English pop; don’t recall any Wall of Voodoo, though.

Currently on my second Realistic DX-440. First one apparently was killed by a power surge while I was at work one day. Meaning to see what I can pick up with a bare wire strung across the bottom of the balcony railing. The old 440 picked up some FM station in Kentucky - about 550 miles - and I called their request line. So far I’ve only been able to get NYC AM - about 220 miles - at night on the new one. The construction of this condo as opposed to my old apartment probably has something to do with the difference in reception.

What exactly is on shortwave these days besides government and religious programming? A classic country station from Alberta that I listen to online has commercials about its shortwave service, but I haven’t heard of any others.

Honestly, not much, especially if you consider the BBC and stations like it to be government programming. Domestic shortwave especially is a wasteland of religious stuff; foreign stations are more interesting, but they tend to be government-produced or at least government-funded.

There’s also the CB frequencies toward the high end of SW. One thing I liked about that old Heathkit, it shows where the useful frequencies are.

though a receiver that is good for SW broadcast might not be very good for CB or amateur radio.

that receiver would take some doing in terms of tuning, antenna, good conditions.

I recently was in charge of the amateur radio Field Day contest here in town.

We ran solar power, batteries charged by solar, and 5 watts of power.

Talked with 48 states (including Hawaii and Puerto Rico), 4 provinces, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Great Britain, and New Zealand.

Admittedly, a great antenna was used on 15 and 20 meters (21 MHz and 14 Mhz) but with 5 watts? That, even to me, was outrageously exciting.