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Quick Start Guide to Shortwave Listening (SWLing)

So, now that you have a shortwave radio, understand universal time, how to read shortwave frequencies in kHz & MHz, and how to find a broadcasting schedule--it's time to get on the air. In fact, based on the previous sections you've read, you may have already hopped onto the bands and have found a good broadcast.  Below you'll find a Quick Guide to getting on the air.  You can print this page and keep the Guide by your radio for quick reference until you get the hang of SWLing.

Not all radios are "old school." Software Defined Radios, like the WinRadio Excalibur, leverage the power of your computer to offer a wide array of features and award-winning performance.

SWLing in four easy steps

1 - Check UTC

Find out what time it is in World Time or Universal Time (UTC)

2 - Check Schedule

Check your shortwave broadcast schedule of choice and look up stations based on current UTC

The listing, whether online or in a book, will always give the following information:

3 - Turn On & Tune In

Turn on your radio and go to the best broadcast frequency based on the time of day. As a general rule of thumb, lower frequencies are better at nighttime, higher frequencies in daytime.

4 - Listen

Congratulations! Now you're SWLing!

After you've been tuning in to the world bands for a while, you'll get to know different broadcasters. Unlike your local news media, shortwave news travels with you. That's the glory of shortwave radio. It doesn't care about borders.

If you've found this guide helpful, please consider bookmarking the site and coming back in the future. I would love your feedback, especially if it helps make my guide easier to understand.