Day Bands/Night Bands - The difference is very important
Because shortwave signals depend on such factors as the sun, the ionosphere and interaction with the earth itself, signals can be heard on all the bands throughout the day. Some bands are best during the daylight hours, and some are best at night. Here are some good 'rules of thumb'.
. In general, the bands with frequencies below 13000 kHz are better at night and the bands with frequencies above 13000 kHz are best during the day. This guideline is not 'cast in concrete' but is a useful general rule of thumb.
. Around sunrise and sunset, both the day and night bands might be good, sometimes exceptionally good.
. In the summer time, the day bands often are good into the early night.
. While most shortwave stations are found within the frequency limits of these defined bands, some are found outside of them. It pays to take the time to tune in-between bands too.
. These guidelines can be used worldwide and are not dependent on location. Listed below are the Characteristics of the major shortwave bands. Follow these guidelines for best listening results.
Shortwave listening is generally at its poorest during the daylight hours of about two hours after sunrise until about two hours before sunset. The major reason for this is that the broadcasters are not transmitting to North America at this time, assuming that we are all either at work or at school and are not able to listen during the day. If you want to try daytime listening, use the guidelines below. Typically, daytime shortwave tends to be better in Eastern North America than in Western North America.
This is the best time to listen, because the broadcasters are deliberately transmitting to North America. These bands may be extremely good around sunset and sunrise too.
120 Meter 2300 - 2500 KHz Shortwave Broadcast Band (Some low-powered transmissions from tropical areas of the world, including Brazil, Indonesia, and New Guinea. Best during nighttime hours)
75 Meter 3900 - 4050 KHz Shortwave Broadcast Band (Transmissions from Eastern hemisphere Africa, Europe and Asia. Best during nighttime hours).
49 Meter 5800 - 6300 KHz Shortwave Broadcast Band (Transmissions from North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Best during nighttime hours. Some reception during daylight hours).
31 Meter 9300 - 9995 KHz Shortwave Broadcast Band (Good during daytime and nighttime hours. Transmissions from North America, South America, Africa, Europe and Asia)
22 Meter 13500 - 13900 KHz Shortwave Broadcast Band (Good during daylight hours, with some transmissions during nighttime hours. Transmissions from North America, Europe and Asia)
16 Meter 17400 - 17995 KHz Shortwave Broadcast Band (Good during daytime hours, and somewhat good during nighttime hours. Transmissions from North America, Africa, Europe and Asia)
13 Meter 21450 - 21995 KHz Shortwave Broadcast Band (Good during daytime hours, and somewhat good during nighttime hours. Transmissions from North America, South America, Europe and Asia)
90 Meter 3200 - 3400 KHz Shortwave Broadcast Band (This is another tropical band, with transmissions from such places as South America and Africa. Best during nighttime hours)
60 Meter 4700 - 5150 KHz Shortwave Broadcast Band (Transmissions mostly from South America, but also features transmissions from North America, Africa and Asia. Best during nighttime hours)
41 Meter 7200 - 7600 KHz Shortwave Broadcast Band (Transmissions from North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Best during nighttime hours. Some reception during daylight hours)
25 Meter 11500 - 12200 KHz Shortwave Broadcast Band (Good during daytime and nighttime hours. Transmissions from North America, South America, Europe and Asia)
19 Meter 15000 - 15900 KHz Shortwave Broadcast Band (Good during daytime hours, and somewhat good during nighttime hours. Transmissions from North America, Africa, Europe and Asia).
15 Meter 18800 - 19100 KHz Shortwave Broadcast Band (A somewhat new band, with only a few stations transmitting from North America and Europe. Good during daytime hours, and somewhat good during nighttime hours)
11 Meter 25500 - 26200 KHz Shortwave Broadcast Band (Somewhat good during daytime hours. However, this band is rarely used by shortwave broadcasters, so don't be too surprized if you only pick up one or two European transmissions here
The "Radio Regulations" of the International Telecommunications Union define the shortwave broadcast bands. At the 1992 World Administrative Radio Conference, new bands were created and existing bands were expanded. The band limits in the following table reflect the WARC-92 agreements and broadcast band expansions used on a non-interfering basis (e.g., the 41 m band starting at 6890 kHz on a non-interference basis): Although the allocations do not become official until 2007, in practice many stations have already started using the expanded portions under the motto "use it or lose it." Additionally, there are a few stations that broadcast outside the band edges above, e.g., Iran on 9022 and a number of African stations around 9200 kHz. Clearly, receivers with continuous coverage between 1.6 and 30 MHz are preferred.
Whichever antenna you choose, it's best put outside, reasonably high, and away from power lines and your dwelling. Next best bet is an attic crawl space, as close to the roof peak as possible. Always use coaxial cable from the antenna to the receiver; its shielding prevents electrical noise pickup from your environment, although the antenna itself remains vulnerable to nearby electrical noise.
The choice of antenna isn't really all that critical--typically, a random, 20-60 feet of wire is entirely adequate for listening between 1-30 MHz, and the coax may be attached anywhere along its length. While larger antennas with better impedance matching may provide more signal, they also provide more noise, so the net result of signal above noise is about the same.
One final note: If you are using a long antenna wire, chances are very good you will get signal overloading on your portable radio; such receivers typically have poorer dynamic range than the more professional desktop receivers, resulting in phantom signals appearing all over the spectrum. Try listening with your attenuator (DX/LOCAL) switch activated.
If you’re a fan of rock’n’roll, you no doubt heard the sad news of Chuck Berry’s passing today after 90 years at full throttle.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike Hansgen (K8RAT), who notes that a number of pirate stations have been playing Chuck Berry tributes tonight; these will, no doubt, continue into tomorrow night, as well.
Mike’s message prompted me to trigger a spectrum recording, as I’m currently on the road. I’ll pull out a portable tonight and listen live, but it’ll be nice to catch up with Chuck later as I play back my spectrum recordings. (This is why I love SDRs.)
Many thanks to the pirates who are paying tribute to the legend.
Rest in peace, Chuck. A toast to the grandfather of rock’n’roll.
(From: SWLing Post)
Many thanks to a number of SWLing Post readers who shared a link to this article via Radio Slovakia International:
Why is shortwave radio still alive?
If you use the internet to listen to streaming audio and podcasts, you could be forgiven for assuming there’s no need for shortwave radio any more. It seems many broadcasters appear to agree, with stations dropping their shortwave services year after year.
But not so fast. Shortwave’s not dead, say its proponents. Rather, it’s in a state of transformation. Not only does it still provide a vital service for the many millions of individuals worldwide who don’t have access to the internet, but this medium also has a certain ‘magic’ which, we discovered, is very hard for its fans to explain.
In this entertaining, full-length feature, Gavin Shoebridge asked shortwave listeners from across the globe to explain why they still use the service, why they don’t ‘go digital’, and where they think shortwave will be in the coming years.