In which C.Crane displays a high degree of “cool”

By Jock Elliott, KB2GOM

Okay, let’s get this straight to begin with: I’m not on C.Crane’s payroll; I get nothing for what you are about to read. I have bought two of their radios with my own money, and they sent me one for review.

Today I received an email from C.Crane, headlined “How to make a shortwave antenna.” It links to an online article, written by Bob Crane, with the same title. Here’s the link.

It explains, clearly and concisely, how to make your own shortwave antenna, and it also adds some safety warnings. Check it out; it’s worth reading and maybe home-brewing your own antenna.

What makes this a high degree of cool is that C.Crane also sells shortwave antennas . . . and yet they tell you how to make your own if you so choose. Nice.

Frankly, I’ve been a fan of the C.Crane company for years. Now I am a bigger one.

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16 thoughts on “In which C.Crane displays a high degree of “cool”

  1. Hank

    Lightning induced voltage spikes on work equipment, particularly the delicate “strain gauges” inside railroad car track scales, have been such headaches for me that I am hyper-sensitive perhaps.

    I look at that design of a simple design of external antenna and cannot think: it will just be a matter of time until the radio is damaged.

    Perhaps the picture should show the radio outside the house on a picnic table? Should there be a warning to disconnect the antenna anytime the user is not actually listening.

    When Benjamin Franklin was flying a kite to learn more about “electromagnetism, he actually had his illegitimate son handling the string. Ben later got this son made British Colonial Postmaster, and the son stayed loyal to the Empire while Ben was perhaps the best known rebel.

    1. Jock Elliott


      Of course, SWLing post readers are smart enough to disconnect external antennas when foul weather threatens . . . and never, ever, deploy antennas where they could fall on power lines or power lines could fall on the antenna.

      In my case, I have deployed long wire antennas indoors, and they really door work to improve the signal.

      Cheers, Jock

  2. Bob W6ACU

    One of the traveler’s tales I tell is that some years ago while staying at the original (in those days decrepit) Strand Hotel in Rangoon, I fell asleep with my portable radio in bed with me. I had an alligator clip attached on the whip with the wire trailing out to a window. I suddenly woke up in the night, covered with ants that had used the antenna wire as a bridge to my bed! I ran to the shower to get them off of me, temporarily forgetting that the shower water runs brown for a few minutes until fresh water clears the pipes. But I really didn’t care, I just wanted the damn ants off of me!

    1. Julian Stargardt


      That’s a wonderful story….
      The many uses of a temporary long-wire antenna – I’ll resist a pun about the ants and their antennae…

      Back then the Strand Hotel had a warning sign on an arch “Mind Your Head” – the arch was only about 12′ high, presumably the warning was for guests who entered the hotel still mounted upon an elephant.

      Back in those not so good old days my mother was travelling on an Irrawady ferry – not one of the luxury river cruise ships that now ply that magnificent river – but an elderly much patched local ferry. One evening the ferry hit a sand bar which woke her up.
      And what did she hear?
      The chimes of Big Ben and the BBC World Service news as another passenger switched on his portable shortwave radio….


  3. Julian Stargardt


    Thank you Josh for your article.

    And thank you all for your feedback, especially the link to General Squier’s article.

    To speak to Haluk’s point that the C Crane email is very simple.
    Yes it is.

    If I may share my penny’s worth, the C Crane antenna tip seems to me to be self-consciously simple and is not intended for someone who knows how to design their own antenna already – and it includes a tip on how to find a lot more information on how to make your own antenna.

    I guess the C Crane article is intended for people who don’t have a clue about how to make their own antenna… and it may amaze those of us who’ve known how to since we were kids, but there are plenty of folks out there who haven’t a clue on how to make their own antenna – this C Crane tip is for them

    I’m with Josh in thinking it’s a good tip and a nice touch from C Crane to have sent it out.

  4. RADIO645

    I recently purchased the new SKYWAVE SSB 2 for one reason only, the antenna port, even though the alligator clips works fine for hooking up to the long wire, the wire terminal adapter makes it far easier to attach to an external antenna especially for use outdoors or going mobile and I can now operate the SSB 2 with the MLA-30 loop antenna as well. The Skywave SSB performs very well without an external antenna by the way, it receives AIR band and SW without having the antenna extended!
    I agree, C. Crane radios have a high degree of COOL when it comes to very fine radios, at least for the Skywave SSB radio, I’m a very satisfied customer.

  5. Damian G4LHT

    The US Army was experimenting with tree antennas donkeys years ago they found the optimal for RX/TX was just above centre
    ie wire connected and nailed in to the tree I kid you not;

    Fascinating document by General O Squier,

    I’m not suggesting one should follow suit but always worth a thought, I’d disconnect the rock and tie it off as it may pull the radio out the window.

    1. Jock Elliott


      Thanks for your comments. I followed the link . . . I will have to explore it in detail.

      Cheers, Jock

  6. Haluk Mesci

    Yeah, but the content of the ‘DIY antenna’ piece is really shallow. Or, am I missing parts, links, etc?

  7. Chuck Dube, W1CLD

    That *is* cool. C. Crane are people who love radio and particularly AM. I have had several of their radios over the years and am grateful for their existence. I am happy to recommend them to listeners as I know people will get a good value and a great radio for their needs. I’m not on their payroll either but I enjoy giving credit where it is deserved.


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