Listener Post: Dave Humphries

Analog Radio DialDave Humphries’ radio story is the latest in a new series called Listener Posts, where I will place all of your personal radio histories. If you would like to add your story to the mix, simply send your story by email!

In the meantime, many thanks to Dave for sharing his personal radio history:

Dave Humphries

My interest in shortwave radio started in the early 1960s, I bought a National Transistor Radio that had the shortwave radio bands on it, I got the radio so I could listen to the local AM stations Top 40 Hits but that changed when I switched to shortwave.

NationalTransistorI could not believe what I was hearing, stations from all over the world in dozens of different languages, I was totally amazed as to how I could hear all these stations in my flat situated in Melbourne Australia.

I used to look forward to the evenings so I could sit in my chair with a set of headphones and listen to the world, I had no idea what DXing was I simply enjoyed listening to music and news from the world over.

In the mid 1970s I did what many others did and got into CB Radio, I was just as amazed to find I could talk to fellow CBers in the USA, Japan and many other countries, it was then that I found out what a QSL Card was, I also learned about sunspots, the 11 year cycle, ionosphere and skip.

About the same time I rekindled my interest in Shortwave Radio, I got a circuit diagram for a Receiver and went off the an electronics shop and bought the components, building the radio took me about three months of spare time but I got it finished, with great expectation I connected a length of wire to the antenna terminal, by this time I had the wife and four kids standing around waiting to see what would happen, all of a sudden the radio sprung into life and the kids were dancing around the kitchen to fantastic music from the UAR Radio Dubai.

Realistic-DX160-From-PrintI Like so many other shortwave listeners I used a Realistic DX160 for quite a few years, my circumstances changed and I went for years without shortwave, I got hooked on HiFi equipment and worked as Manager of a large Melbourne HiFi Shop, as time went on my hearing started to deteriorate and I got Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) so music did not sound the same anymore.

Fifteen years ago I got back into shortwave, bought several desktop radios the Lowe HF-150 being my favourite, for the first time I started chasing QSL cards and finished up with a reasonable collection, once again my circumstances changed and I started playing guitar in a Counrty Band, this went on until six months ago.

The Lowe HF-150 (Source: Universal Radio)

The Lowe HF-150 (Source: Universal Radio)

Now in retirement I decided it was time to get back into shortwave, not knowing what to expect when I found out that so many of the major broadcasters were shutting down I bought a couple of Portable Radios put up a couple of random wires plugged the headphones in and now enjoy the hobby again.

I do not go along with the rumours that shortwave radio is finished, I believe shortwave has never been better, with some of the major broadcasters leaving the airwaves it has made it so much easier to hear those lower powered stations that were so hard to hear because of splatter caused by the big guys, there seems to be plenty of smaller broadcasters that have filled the void left by major broadcasters which to me has made the hobby of SWLing so much more interesting.

I couldn’t agree more! Many thanks, Dave, for sharing your story!

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