The 2021 34th Winter SWL Fest is virtual this year!

If you’ve thought about attending the annual Winter SWL Fest, but found it difficult to make the travel arrangements, this year you can get a taste of the Fest by attending virtually.

You’ll find the program below, but click here to view it at the Winter SWL Fest site, and click here to register (only $5 for both days including all presentations and the hospitality room).

The event takes place February 27-28, 2021. I strongly encourage you to attend!

2021 Winter SWL Fest Program and Forums Schedule


All sessions except the “Shindig” nominally one-hour but may run longer or shorter at the option of the presenter.

This schedule, accurate as of January 16th, is subject to change.

Friday February 26th, 2021 (UTC)

1800 UTC / 1300 EST / 1000 PST / 1900 CET / 0500 (Sat.) AEDT

The Well-Equipped Scannist – A Scanner For Every Purpose – Tom Swisher

. . . and the gadgets, doohickeys and trinkets to enhance your scanning pleasure.

2000 UTC / 1500 EST / 1200 PST / 2100 CET / 0700 (Sat.) AEDT

Easy Antennas for SWLs Who Want to Become HF Hams – Skip Arey

Communicating is just as much fun as listening. Can your shortwave receiving wires do the job or should you be rethinking your station’s antennas?  Uncle Skip will show you how to get on the air without mortgaging your house to do it.

2300 UTC / 1800 EST / 1500 PST / 0000 (Sat.) CET / 1000 (Sat.) AEDT

The Annual Free Radio Forum – Larry Will


— News, FCC actions or lack thereof

— Shortwave free radio year in review

— Everyone’s still doing the 6850-6980 area

— …But! There’s been a noticeable diversity in frequency use because of lousy DX

— …Noticeably in the 4000-4100 KHz and 5100-5200 KHz areas

— Most active stations

— Gallery of interesting QSLs and SSTVs from the past year

— Medium wave free radio, the world above 1700

— North American Pirate Radio Hall of Fame inductees for 2021

— Resources for the free radio listener



— hfunderground

— free radio network

— Free Radio Weekly (25 years!)

Preparations are underway to simulcast this forum on WBCQ 6160 kHz. Watch this space!

 Saturday, February 27th, 2021 (UTC)

0100 UTC / 2000 (Fri.) EST / 1700 (Fri.) PST / 0200 CET / 1200 AEDT

The Shortwave Shindig in Exile – David Goren

From a secret location, David’s annual freeform celebration of the medium. This time it shapes up like this:

0100 – Shortwave-related music videos, a look at the recent Brooklyn Pirate Radio Sound Map update, and a review of radio-related bits and bobs from the past year.
0200 – Live on WRMI! (frequencies TBA) – with music, Meet the Archivist w/ Thomas Witherspoon and other special features.
0300 – A Replay of “Shortwaves/Long Distance” – the 2017 two-hour broadcast featuring the top submissions to NASWA’s and Wave Farm’s call for shortwave-related music and sound compositions.

1800 UTC / 1300 EST / 1000 PST / 1900 CET / 0500 (Sun.) AEDT

QRP General Coverage Transceivers: Bridge Between Transmitting and Listening – Thomas Witherspoon
We’ve seen an amazing array of full-featured general-coverage QRP transceivers hit the market in the past few years–during the doldrums of the solar cycle, no less. These rigs provide SWLs and even DXers a means to easily escape RFI and to experiment with portable listening posts. We’ll take a look at a number of QRP general-coverage transceivers I consider to be truly worthy, with a particular focus on the innovative Icom IC-705.

2000 UTC 1500 EST / 1200 PST / 2100 CET / 0700 (Sun.) AEDT

Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood…er, Basement – Dan Robinson

Premium Receivers In A Time of Plummeting Shortwave
With All India Radio GOS in English all but gone from shortwave and Brazil shifting to DRM, among other depressing developments, Dan takes a look at the used receiver market in 2021, including premium receivers, and discusses the Japanese Buyee site.

2300 UTC / 1800 EST / 1500 PST / 0000 (Sun.) CET / 1000 (Sun.) AEDT

The Addictive Quality of Curiosity – Mark Fahey, Live from Freemans Reach, Australia

This building in the sleepy rural village of Freemans Reach in southeast Australia rarely needs heating. 18 receivers running 24x7x365 provide continuous coverage from 1kHz to 12.8GHz. Can the quest for knowledge ever be satisfied? This presentation is a live dive into the presenter’s Sisyphean obsession to monitor the world’s culture.

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2 thoughts on “The 2021 34th Winter SWL Fest is virtual this year!

  1. Phil - VE3OMI

    This is one of the benefits of events having to go virtual… more of us can actually attend!
    Looking forward to this, and great to see you;re presenting, Thomas.

  2. Joseph Patti

    Will these offerings be recorded and available for post-fest viewing? I’ll be busy that weekend but would love to see the fest activities. The cost and “location” is perfect for me for the first time…


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