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Posted: 4/30/2011 7:00:13 PM EDT
So just for the hell of it I bought a shortwave radio. I have wanted one for a while, and just out of impulse got one today.
So I know there are stations that work better in the day, and some at night, but thats about it as far as my knowledge goes.
Whats the best way to use this thing? Just turn it on, and start turning the knob till I hear something or what.

Link Posted: 4/30/2011 7:06:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2011 7:07:22 PM EDT by SuperJanitor]
What good is a stereo receiver with only one speaker?
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 7:09:50 PM EDT
It has a couple jacks in the back to hook up more speakers.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 7:10:00 PM EDT




Originally Posted By SuperJanitor:

What good is a stereo receiver with only one speaker?




Headphones?





And tag. Always wondered if those sw radios are as neat as they seem to be.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 7:12:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Tomislav:

Originally Posted By SuperJanitor:
What good is a stereo receiver with only one speaker?


Headphones?


And tag. Always wondered if those sw radios are as neat as they seem to be.


I figured as much, but if they are going to pu a stereo FM tuner in it, why not just give it 2 speakers? Maybe I don't want to listen to headphones all the time.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 7:14:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 7:14:25 PM EDT
I've flipped through a few bands and havn't picked up a whole lot yet. One thing so far is that it picks up AM stations
really good, so if nothing else it does that really well. I pretty much bought it because I can see myself surfing through
the freq's. at night while I am sitting at the lake waiting for the fish to bite.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 7:14:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2011 7:15:52 PM EDT by DOUGHERTY03]
Does it have an external antenna jack?

If so get some wire up outside and as high as you can.

ETA: The Ham Forum here could be of some help. I use my ham gear to do a lot of shortwave listening.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 7:15:35 PM EDT



Originally Posted By TX_CO4:


So just for the hell of it I bought a shortwave radio. I have wanted one for a while, and just out of impulse got one today.

So I know there are stations that work better in the day, and some at night, but thats about it as far as my knowledge goes.

Whats the best way to use this thing? Just turn it on, and start turning the knob till I hear something or what.



http://i55.tinypic.com/vildat.jpg


Thats how I started back in the early 70's. With the internet you can Google SW stations and get their freq. and tune in.

Go to the ham radio forum in the Outdoor section.



 
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 7:17:32 PM EDT



Originally Posted By DOUGHERTY03:


Does it have an external antenna jack?



If so get some wire up outside and as high as you can.



ETA: The Ham Forum here could be of some help. I use my ham gear to do a lot of shortwave listening.


Yep, an antenna is going to make a whole lot of difference in what you're able to pick up.



 
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 7:22:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:

Originally Posted By DOUGHERTY03:
Does it have an external antenna jack?

If so get some wire up outside and as high as you can.

ETA: The Ham Forum here could be of some help. I use my ham gear to do a lot of shortwave listening.

Yep, an antenna is going to make a whole lot of difference in what you're able to pick up.
 


what about the $40.00 round one from radio shack? It's round, and wrapped in some sort of red wire. It has a dial on it that goes from 0-10
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 8:00:37 PM EDT




Originally Posted By SuperJanitor:

What good is a stereo receiver with only one speaker?




Its primary purpose in life is not to be a music box. Its function is to be a receiver of the spoken word. One larger cone seems a better choice for this than two smaller ones a few inches apart.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 9:07:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TX_CO4:
Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:

Originally Posted By DOUGHERTY03:
Does it have an external antenna jack?

If so get some wire up outside and as high as you can.

ETA: The Ham Forum here could be of some help. I use my ham gear to do a lot of shortwave listening.

Yep, an antenna is going to make a whole lot of difference in what you're able to pick up.
 


what about the $40.00 round one from radio shack? It's round, and wrapped in some sort of red wire. It has a dial on it that goes from 0-10


Anything bigger than the telescopic antenna most of those radios come with will be an improvement.

However, anything small enough to fit in your house is not worth spending the money on.
A frequency of 10  MHz has a wavelength of  98 feet. Hell, even building a dipole and putting it in your attic is worlds better than anything you can put on the table next to the receiver.

Link Posted: 4/30/2011 9:10:52 PM EDT
Also, don't EVER buy anything for a radio from Radio Shack.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 9:41:16 PM EDT
The Grundig S350DL is a nice SW Broadcast radio.  It does not have Single Side Band (SSB) so you cannot listen to hams talk.

There are different ways radio waves propagate, and this has nothing to do with how good your antenna or radio.  It has to do with frequency and the atmosphere.

Line of sight, directly from the transmitting antenna to the receiving antenna.  The radios have to "see" each other.  Actually you get a little more distance than that, as the radio wave refracts around the curvature of the earth a smidge, but not much more.  FM radio (88-108 mhz), TV (47 mhz on up), police and fire radios (155 mhz), marine, aircraft, etc, are all good examples of Line of Sight frequencies.

Groundwave.  Lower frequencies travel farther than light of sight.  During the day you can hear AM radio (530 khz to 1700 khz, roughly centered around 1 mhz) out to about 150-200 miles for strong stations with good antennas.  

Skip.  This is where the signals bounce off the Ionosphere, like reflecting a flashlight off a mirror.  This is why you can hear certain strong AM stations at night all over the country, such as WLS in Chicago, WGN in Atlanta, WOAI in San Antonio, KMOX in St. Louis, or WWL in New Orleans.  And due to different reasons, why HF aka High Frequency aka Shortwave, can go long distances in the day time.

Around the "40 meter band" or 7 mhz, this band will work from an hour or so before dawn, to mid to late morning, then go dead.  It will come up again a few hours before sundown and go dead an hour or two after sundown.

Frequencies below 7 mhz, such as the international broadcast band around 5 mhz and 6 mhz, the "80 meter" and "75 meter" ham band from 3.5 - 4.0 mhz, the 90 meter band around 3 mhz, the 160 meter ham band from 1.8 - 2.0 mhz, and the AM broadcast band are local only during the day, but come alive at sundown.  You can receive from all over the country at night on these lower frequencies.

Frequencies above 7 mhz will generally be daylight bands.  International broadcasts higher up, 9 mhz - 12 mhz, will be heard middle of the day, roughly from about 8 am - 4 pm.  Perhaps longer, all depending on the Ionosphere.  And the higher bands, again, daylight only bands.

Also, the international broadcast bands are all AM.  So, don't listen for FM except in the 88-108 FM band.

The S350DL has antenna terminals on back for AM and shortwave, but it has a very good ferrite loop stick internally for the AM band.  For a nice SW antenna, an "active loop" that is, battery powered amplifier, small, yet effective, let me recommend the Degen or Kaito 31 or 33.  These are essentially the same antenna but for label.  This antenna will attach to the red and black terminals on back.  You can also try a long wire, say, from 25'-100' attached to the red terminal and stretched outside to a nearby tree or other high point to hang it from.  The black terminal can be connected to a cold water pipe (copper, not plastic, duh) ground, or even another length of wire stretched out on the ground or in the opposite direction from the red terminal wire.  

There is also a socket on back of the radio that requires a PAL to F adapter.  The Radio Shack part number is in the manual and is usually hung near the shelf where you found the S350DL there at Radio Shack.  With that adapter you can connect to your cable tv wiring, if your cable system carries the FM band, as some do.  Or connect to an outdoor TV or FM antenna.  This works well, I've done it myself.

You can run RCA phono cables from the L and R outputs on the end to your stereo system and get VERY good quality sound from it, as good as many FM tuners/receivers.  

This radio has a neat feature.  Under where you would put in 4 D cells in the battery compartment it will also hold 4 AA's that you can use, scrounged from other devices.  It will not operate as long as good Alkaline D's, but it will work for a while in an emergency where you can't get D's.

BTW, for the guys putting down Radio Shack, the Grundig S350DL is sold by them, and others, but made by Eton' who owns the Grundig name brand now.  Still, this is a nice radio for under $100.

It will run a helluva long time on fresh D cells, and it is loud enough without distortion so everyone in the room can hear the news or other broadcast clearly.  But the best feature, you can hand this radio to ANYONE and without the manual, they can figure out how to turn it on, dial in a station, and adjust volume, treble, bass, frequency, etc.  That can't be said for many of the other small radios on the market.  I once had a Grundig Yachtboy 4000 that I never did figure out how to use without the manual open each time I turned it on.  Press this while holding that, then ... well, you get my drift.  Screw it.

The S350DL is a good choice.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 9:42:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SuperJanitor:
Originally Posted By Tomislav:

Originally Posted By SuperJanitor:
What good is a stereo receiver with only one speaker?


Headphones?


And tag. Always wondered if those sw radios are as neat as they seem to be.


I figured as much, but if they are going to pu a stereo FM tuner in it, why not just give it 2 speakers? Maybe I don't want to listen to headphones all the time.


If the speakers would only be 4 inches apart, why do you need two?  You can't get a stereo effect like that.  It is a one piece radio.  

HOWEVER, the 4.5" speaker in it sounds very good, lots better than the tinny 2" speaker in most other portables.  Clear, no distortion.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 9:43:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TX_CO4:
I've flipped through a few bands and havn't picked up a whole lot yet. One thing so far is that it picks up AM stations
really good, so if nothing else it does that really well. I pretty much bought it because I can see myself surfing through
the freq's. at night while I am sitting at the lake waiting for the fish to bite.


It will pick up FM really well, too.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 9:44:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TX_CO4:
Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:

Originally Posted By DOUGHERTY03:
Does it have an external antenna jack?

If so get some wire up outside and as high as you can.

ETA: The Ham Forum here could be of some help. I use my ham gear to do a lot of shortwave listening.

Yep, an antenna is going to make a whole lot of difference in what you're able to pick up.
 


what about the $40.00 round one from radio shack? It's round, and wrapped in some sort of red wire. It has a dial on it that goes from 0-10


No, the ferrite loop stick built into the radio, for AM, can't be improved on with an external loop.  

The telescoping antenna works fine for FM.

The SW bands in between AM and FM can be improved on with an external antenna.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 9:52:20 PM EDT
Kaito KA33   (which has replaced the Kaito KA31  aka  Degen DE31)

http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/sw_ant/3670.html

"The Kaito KA33 is an active shortwave, wire loop antenna that covers 3.9 to 22 MHz."

Review of the older KA31.

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/5939

You can find these on eBay.



Link Posted: 4/30/2011 10:18:57 PM EDT



Originally Posted By TX_CO4:


I've flipped through a few bands and havn't picked up a whole lot yet. One thing so far is that it picks up AM stations

really good, so if nothing else it does that really well. I pretty much bought it because I can see myself surfing through

the freq's. at night while I am sitting at the lake waiting for the fish to bite.


isnt that how a lot of horror movies start?



 
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 10:43:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2011 10:50:30 PM EDT by CCW]
Go here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clear-channel_station

After sundown, before sunrise, broadcast AM DXing is fun.  A long wire antenna and a good ground may help.

See if you can log all the stations listed.

Go here:

http://www.monitoringtimes.com/MT/lowressample.pdf

Check out the magazine, and particularly the english lang. shortwave broad cast schedule.  About all are AM so the Grundig can pick them up.  The lower frequencies are better at night.  The higher frequencies are better in daylight.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 11:20:38 PM EDT
i had a 350. about all it was good for was verifying the frequency of the rf generator i use to align am sets.

drifted too much, selectivity and sensitivity was nothing special to speak of.

was a good garage radio though.

picked up a sony icf-2001 at a good will for 7 bucks and the 350 found a new home with a coworker.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 11:41:56 PM EDT
I had one of those. It lasted a good 2 years before my kids destroyed it.  That's pretty durable around here for such a nice sounding radio.  Keep it out of kiddie reach and it should last a lifetime.
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