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First post, by keenmaster486

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One by one, shortwave stations around the world are discovering they can't pay the bills and are shutting down. WWV (the U.S. standard atomic time station) might get shut down soon, as NIST has requested that they be allowed to kill it. It's sad really.

But there's still a lot of action on shortwave. I hear of a lot of pirates operating around 7000 kHz but their schedules are erratic in order to not get caught, and I've never managed to pick one up.

I'm a big fan of vintage radios and communications receivers. Back in the day, shortwave was the best way to get worldwide radio stations. These days you can just find Internet streams, but what fun is that? Radio is much more fun.

I've picked up some crazy stuff. Communist propaganda... the BBC... religious nuts buying time on big American stations... various foreign music stations... etc.

I really wish the FCC would carve out a slice of the shortwave bands for low-power unlicensed broadcasters. Right now they require you to broadcast at 50,000 watts in order to receive a license. The power bills for that sort of thing are ridiculous.

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Reply 1 of 27, by 133MHz

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I did, before widespread access to computers and the Internet were a thing, it was quite fun. Nowadays I imagine that if I were to try it I'd end up listening mostly to the chatter of LED lamps, switching power supplies and other China Pride™ gadgets.

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Reply 2 of 27, by DracoNihil

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The FCC can shove it, honestly.

Though yes I used to DX alot when I had a Grundig Globe Traveller G3, but when I broke up with my ex that radio got misplaced somewhere and I never saw it again, and was never given another one to replace it as compensation.

The radio I ended up getting from him for Christmas before he finally severed all ties to me entirely is too useless to make use of. (Huge size, really poor tuner, poor antennae reception, no single side band tuning at all)

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Reply 3 of 27, by keenmaster486

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133MHz wrote:

I did, before widespread access to computers and the Internet were a thing, it was quite fun. Nowadays I imagine that if I were to try it I'd end up listening mostly to the chatter of LED lamps, switching power supplies and other China Pride™ gadgets.

I've been experimenting with eliminating RF noise. Basically, if you unplug enough things, it eventually goes away.

DracoNihil wrote:

The FCC can shove it, honestly.

Though yes I used to DX alot when I had a Grundig Globe Traveller G3, but when I broke up with my ex that radio got misplaced somewhere and I never saw it again, and was never given another one to replace it as compensation.

The radio I ended up getting from him for Christmas before he finally severed all ties to me entirely is too useless to make use of. (Huge size, really poor tuner, poor antennae reception, no single side band tuning at all)

Sorry about the breakup.
Those Grundigs are good radios. I have the equivalent Sony model, which works pretty well, but the speaker is broken. Gotta open it up and reconnect it. My main listening radio right now is a big Hallicrafters boat anchor.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
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Reply 4 of 27, by Errius

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Someone has mentioned that there is a lot more electrical interference now than in the past. Everything interferes with radio transmissions nowadays, like telephones and lightbulbs.

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Reply 5 of 27, by akula65

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It was a different time:

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Reply 6 of 27, by Jo22

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I for one still listen to short wave radio. Either by using my Realistic DX301 and a longwire antenna or by using WebSDR of Uni Twente.
Every sunday beteeen 0900UTC to 1000UTC on 6070KHz Radio DARC has a little radio show about amateur radio (German language).

To me, radio means freedom. It can't be censored so easily like the internet.

keenmaster486 wrote:

I've been experimenting with eliminating RF noise. Basically, if you unplug enough things, it eventually goes away.

I'd recommend trying a magnetic loop, too. Electrical interferences in the near field are no issues for it
(where it receives the magnetic field component).. Also, it has a preselector built-in.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 7 of 27, by Kerr Avon

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Forgive me for briefly hijacking the thread, but this seems like a good place to ask; can the radio you get at the start of Bioshock actually work under-water?

If you've not played Bioshock, it's a first person shooter set in a city built at the bottom of the sea. The game is set in 1960, and the city, which is on the ocean's floor, looks a lot like a 1950's American city, with forty floor skyscrapers and lots of large buildings, and neo lighting, and advertising, etc - there's no real concession made by the game's developers to make the city look like it might need to look if such a city was real; there are no bio-domes to take advantage of a hemisphere's strength to counter the water's intense pressure, for example, imagine 1950's Chicago, for example, teleported to the ocean's floor, and you've pictured it.

We're not told what the city is made of, except at one point where brief mention is made of a material that was created that is transparent like glass, but strong enough to support the water pressure from miles of ocean above.

So the city you move through consists of large buildings, looking like they consist of something like concrete, metal where needed, plus this ultra-strong glass, and some buildings are linked by tunnels that are made almost entirely of this special glass. It's all air-tight, of course (except for where parts of the city are in disrepair), but the oppressive air of the city, the gloom from the sun-less water that you see from every window, and the physiologically always present threat of a leak which would then become a flood as the hole grows larger and larger, is ever present (the game is very atmospheric).

RaptureLocation_FEAT-969x545.jpg

Anyway, at the beginning of the game, when you get to the city you get a short-wave radio, and use it to hear distant people give you information. But I've heard people say that a short-wave radio couldn't work through all of the water that is everywhere, plus the buildings, the water pressure (does that even matter to radio-waves?), etc. I know the game is fictional, and has lots of already impossible stuff, so one more impossibility doesn't matter, but I'm just curious to know if a short-wave radio could work on the ocean floor, in a city miles under the ocean surface.

Reply 8 of 27, by keenmaster486

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Shortwave would definitely be blocked by water.

The only radio waves that can get through water in any usable capacity have very long wavelengths, thus the military uses VLF transmissions to communicate with submarines... I think around 16 or 17 kHz, compared to the AM broadcast band which is 540-1700 kHz and shortwave which goes up to about 20000 kHz.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
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Reply 9 of 27, by Jo22

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I think the same. Longwave or rather "longestwave" (vlf) can work under the sea.
Since most shortwave radios are communications receivers, actually, (0-30MHz) they may work below the 150KHz range.
However, sensitivity might be poor in that range, so building a convert box using a NE612 mixer IC might be a good idea.
I did build one in the past, to listen to SAQ @17.2 KHz, the world's last machine transmitter.. SAQ Grimeton Christmas transmission

Edit: It was a К174ПC1, actually (a SO42P clone).
Schematic got from here (I think).

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Last edited by Jo22 on 2018-09-21, 13:55. Edited 1 time in total.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 10 of 27, by digger

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It's unfortunate that DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale, not to be confused with Digital Rights Management) doesn't appear to be gaining much traction in the shortwave AM world. It would breathe some modern life into this broadcast technology. And combined with modern encoding algorithms, a world-wide radio station could broadcast at substantial audio quality, compared to the old analog days. I know the major burden to adoption is getting enough receiver units out there, but I'd reckon that with so many people owning smartphones these days, even in developing countries, it wouldn't be that hard to add AM receivers to them and having the phones handle the decoding in software. If the Opus codec were used, it could even be done without having to pay any royalties!

Reply 11 of 27, by Jo22

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^Oh, I remember DRM! 😀 Built myself a receiver for that. Okay, two actuallly. First with the help of some BC548 transistors and the second one with an EF95 tube.
The tube receiver was much better! No overload-issues. For reception, I used DREAM software and a Win XP laptop, Good times! ^^

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 12 of 27, by AlaricD

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keenmaster486 wrote:

I really wish the FCC would carve out a slice of the shortwave bands for low-power unlicensed broadcasters. Right now they require you to broadcast at 50,000 watts in order to receive a license.

[citation needed]

For non-commercial broadcasts, no, there is no 50kW requirement to receive a license.

I occasionally fire up a 1937 GE-F107 or just my Realistic DX-160 to listen to the shortwave bands. The DX-160 has the added advantage of a bandspread dial and variable BFO for SSB.

Reply 13 of 27, by Jo22

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Hi there, fellow Realistic owner! 😁 Is this the GE F107 you're having got ?
https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/general_el_g107.html

If so, that's really cool. 😎 It wouldn't look too much out of place on a Titanic-like ship, either, I think. 😀
(The oldest "receiver" I had been using so far was a Sommerkamp FT-277 (Yeasu FT-101), followed by an Eddystone EC-10.
My father, on the other hand, started listening to shortwave with a Trio 9R59DS, I believe.)

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 14 of 27, by Kerr Avon

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Thanks for the replies. It does seem a little redundant to question Bioshock's radio usage, considering it's a game world where you can inject yourself with a magical, sorry a SCIENTIFIC, substance that will grant you telekinesis, or the ability to shoot cold out of your hands and freeze enemies (whereas in our universe, of course, you'd have to draw the heat of out the enemies) or the ability , or the ability to turn literally invisible (and when you're invisible then apparently you're also non-corporeal, as the flying turrets that are searching for you can fly through you without them seeming to meet any obstruction). But it is another interesting point about the game, and another one that the games' designers either didn't know, or just didn't address by adding an in-game explanation.

Still a great game, though I much prefer Bioshock 2.

Reply 15 of 27, by jxalex

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hey, I listen too, and the middlewave too as much as the interferences allow.

Also I am radioamateur and try to get communication as much as the interferences allow (the people around are nuts about their impulse power supplies which is in abundance in the village here, so I take the blackout as a blessing becouse then the air is clean from static atleast ! )... 160, 80, 40 meters.

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Reply 17 of 27, by keenmaster486

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AlaricD wrote:
keenmaster486 wrote:

I really wish the FCC would carve out a slice of the shortwave bands for low-power unlicensed broadcasters. Right now they require you to broadcast at 50,000 watts in order to receive a license.

[citation needed]

For non-commercial broadcasts, no, there is no 50kW requirement to receive a license.

https://www.fcc.gov/general/high-frequency-broadcasting
https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/guides/f … casting-station

They clearly require 50 kW... if there's a non-commercial class for shortwave, I can't find it.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
World's foremost 486 enjoyer.

Reply 18 of 27, by AlaricD

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Jo22 wrote:

Hi there, fellow Realistic owner! 😁 Is this the GE F107 you're having got ?
https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/general_el_g107.html

That is the one! It's a gorgeous set. I need a variac so I can bring it up slowly instead of taking a big chance on the capacitors.

I'll have to take a good picture of it soon-- the pic on that page scarcely conveys the beauty of that wood.

That Trio has a great look!

Reply 19 of 27, by AlaricD

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keenmaster486 wrote:

https://www.fcc.gov/general/high-frequency-broadcasting
https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/guides/f … casting-station

They clearly require 50 kW... if there's a non-commercial class for shortwave, I can't find it.

It's called "amateur radio". Shortwave occupies the frequencies between 5,950 kHz and 26,100 kHz. There are several bands for amateur radio operators well within that range with privileges depending on ticket class, for example, the 40 meter band from 7.0 to 7.3MHz, and the 12 meter band (24.89MHz-24.99MHz) and several in between.

And with a 1500W Peak Envelope Power (PEP) restriction for even the Amateur Extra Class, obviously a 50kW requirement is impossible for amateur radio.