Tag Archives: Gizmodo

Gizmodo: Preppers who are ready for next solar storm


Many thanks to several SWLing Post readers who shared a link to this post on Gizmodo which focuses on preparations for a major solar storm like the 1859 Carrington Event.

Gizmodo touches on several preparedness basics and specifically mentions tucking away a shortwave radio with your survival gear:

Several preppers suggested keeping shortwave receivers handy, preferably of the hand-crank or solar-powered variety (because, you know, the grid’s out). “Personal two way com should be stored in metal boxes in each family vehicle,” one individual recommended. Another source emphasized the value of hunting down older, “tube type” communications gear. “Modern amateur radio gear is hugely susceptible to EMP,” he said. “Amateurs who have made it a part of their hobby interest to rebuild/salvage discarded military gear, especially heavy receivers, and transmitters, are thought to be very survivable.”

I have opinions about the ideal receiver to keep on hand for preparedness reasons. While it’s true that older tube type gear is less susceptible to EMP damage, much of this gear requires 110-220 volts AC to operate.  If the electrical grid is down, you’ll need to have a reasonably robust power supply to bring these rigs to life.

I’ve had a prepper radio post in the hopper for nearly a year now; indeed, this is one of the most common questions I’m asked. Perhaps it’s time for another virtual radio challenge to flesh-out more options? There are a number of Post readers who are experts on this topic.

1930s refrigerator had built-in radio

Many thanks to Andy Sennitt for sharing this fascinating piece of radio nostalgia:


Gizmodo columnist, Matt Novak, writes:

Jesse Walker, author of the book Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America, pointed me to this rather novel invention from 1937 — the refrigerator-radio combination unit. This may seem like an odd marriage of tech, but it makes perfect sense when you realise that it in the 1930s it was becoming harder to sell new radios and much easier to sell new fridges.

Despite the Great Depression, America saw an explosion of mechanical refrigerator ownership during the 1930s. In 1930, just 8 per cent of American households had a fridge. By the end of the decade, nearly half of American homes had one.

But the market for radios was pretty saturated in the late 1930s. Over 80 per cent of American households had a radio by the end of the decade. So radio set manufacturers tried to insert their products into new places that from the vantage point of the future, we can see didn’t pan out (like refrigerators) and others that did (like cars).

Continue reading on Gizmodo…

Gizmodo: “shortwave radio deserves a place of prominence in the home of any audiophile”

(Source: Gizmodo)

Classic turntables may get all the glamour, but the shortwave radio deserves a place of prominence in the home of any audiophile. For a stylish way to surf the airwaves, try this stunning late 1950s Trans-World T-9, produced by Philco (that’s the Philadelphia Storage Battery Company, for those who don’t like to abbreviate).

[…]Its four-foot antenna can pick up tunes, blast right-wing talk radio, or catch up on the endless, mysterious recitation of Russian numbers.[…]

Though this article points to eBay auctions–which, in truth, tends to favor the seller, price-wise–they make a point: classic radios deliver audio fidelity that, in my opinion, surpasses all modern portables.