Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Richard Cuff, for sharing this article written by Bradley George of Nashville Public Radio:
“From ages 11 to 15, I spent hours hunched over a tiny Magnavox radio, straining to hear the world’s shortwave radio stations.
The big dogs of international broadcasting — BBC World Service, Voice of America, Radio Canada International, and Radio Netherlands were easy to pick up. Their signals were strong, and the cheap receiver I had would find them automatically.
Otherwise, listening to shortwave takes patience and lots of fine tuning. Signals bounce off the earth’s ionosphere, and travel further at night. Stations fade in and out. Imagine someone talking in a gigantic tin can on a beach — a hollow, static filled sound.
But through that static comes a grand, global audio bazaar.[…]”
And it still does today…! In fact, we just posted a recording of the Voice of Korea on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive; George mentions Radio Pyongyang as memorable QSL.