Category Archives: AM

Rolf experiments with MW antenna coupling

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Rolf, who writes:

I made a great discovery tuning using a second passive analog radio.

When I tune to Radio Caroline, for example, on my portable I can receive the signal okay. When I put the receiving radio on minimum then place it next to and couple it with the second radio, it is receiving a lot better!

Even stations I could hardly hear, now i can hear them!

Check out my short demonstration video:

Click here to view on YouTube.

That is fascinating, Rolf. Thank you for sharing. Indeed, this is one of the reasons why I try to maintain a good distance between radios when comparing them in reviews. In this case, though, you’re using coupling to your advantage!

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RadioTapes.com: a treasure trove of airchecks from the Minneapolis/St. Paul markets

Cassettes

Photo by Ar Meftah

One of our contributors on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive, Tom Gavaras, has been sharing some brilliant airchecks. I also discovered that Tom runs an amazing site simply chock-full of Minneapolis/St. Paul airchecks. Tom writes:

Hi Thomas,

[…]As an FYI … I own/run a website called RadioTapes (www.RadioTapes.com). It features more than 2,000 airchecks of Minneapolis/St. Paul radio stations dating back to 1924. You will also find some shortwave recordings that I previously posted (on the Special Postings page).

In addition to my collection, the website includes airchecks provided by more 100 contributors. RadioTapes also has a Facebook page with 1,400 followers.

Post readers: I strongly suggest you check out Tom’s amazing archive of airchecks.  If you ever lived in or DXed the Minneapolis/St. Paul market, you’ll certainly hear some familiar voices and IDs.

Thank you Tom!

Click here to check out RadioTapes.com.

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DRM: a solution to the “medium-wave problem”–?

(Source: Radio World)

Is medium wave in decline? Some people think so.

In the 1950s radio was declared mortally wounded by TV. But then FM with its new music rescued it, becoming one of the most successful technologies and platforms ever. Radio survived and thrived but AM should have died at the hands of the nimbler, younger and more attractive FM.

Only it did not and the medium reinvented itself by using presenter-led programming, commercial music and sport. In the United States it took until the end of 1990s for the FM and AM audiences to be equal and to this day the big AM stations are going strong, bringing in the ad dollars.

REASONS

Still, it’s undeniable that the whiff of decline has enveloped AM in the past two decades. The reasons are well-known: Analog medium wave doesn’t always deliver the best sound, it can suffer from interference, it can behave annoyingly different by day and night and even by season. Medium wave mainly appeals to a maturing population (a global phenomenon, considered shameful by some!) using aging receivers (this is bad!).

[…]

THE SOLUTION

Recently cricket fans were able to enjoy an open-air demonstration of three different DRM programs on one frequency ahead of an important match in Bangalore. The fans also received data (stock exchange values) available on radio screens. This demonstrated that digital DRM is a game changer for medium wave.

In DRM the crackling audio disappears as sound is as good of that on FM. The electricity consumption and costs decrease, the spectrum is trebled and reception, even in cars (as available in over 1.5 million cars in India currently) is excellent, too.

If it is so good then why isn’t DRM medium wave conquering the world faster? Maybe it’s about confidence in a new platform. Broadcasters and governments need to market DRM digital radio once signals are on air in their countries.

As for receiver availability and their costs, let us remember how many receivers were on sale in the 1970s when FM was taking over the world. Nowadays, many listeners consume radio in their cars rather than sit in front of a retro looking wooden box. Digital receivers (DRM alone or DRM/DAB+) are a reality and a bigger push for digital would help with volumes sold thus bringing down the prices.[…]

Click here to read the full article at Radio World.

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Mediumwave DXing: Radio setup offers “cheap thrills”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Rich Stahl (WR3V), who shares his frugal but effective mediumwave DXing setup:

My MWBC directional reception on the cheap (see photo above):

Tecsun PL-310ET $40.85
Tecsun AN200 loop $12.95
Walmart Lazy susan $7.95
Cardboard box -0-

Total $61.75

Who says its an expensive hobby?

Indeed! That’s a very basic, yet very effective setup, Bill. Thanks for reminding us that this doesn’t have to be an expensive venture!

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Radio World: Construct an EAS Receive Loop Antenna

The completed antenna, showing the F-connector on the tee box. (Source: Radio World)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Kris Partridge, who shares the following antenna construction article from Radio World:

Ken Beckwith is a field engineer with EMF based in Nebraska. Being a hands-on engineer, Ken has done his share of construction over the years. One of his projects was the construction of an octagonal-shaped AM loop EAS antenna using PVC pipe.

[…]The antenna has a broad coverage angle with a deep null when the antenna is broadside to the signal. Aim the “edge” of the loop toward the AM station you want to receive. The strongest signal will be received when the antenna end or edge is pointing to the signal source. The antenna can be mounted on a mast with U-bolts, hose clamps or whatever else works.

Here’s the construction parts list:

A 10-foot length of 3/4-inch diameter, schedule 40 PVC conduit cut into the following lengths:

2 – 4-inch
1 – 2-inch
1 – 2-1/4-inch
2 – 2-1/8-inch
6 – 9-1/2-inch
1 – 23-1/4-inch

Whatever is left over can be discarded, but before making your cuts, cut the flared end off, so all cuts are even.

1 –  3/4-inch 90 degree elbow
2 – 3/4-inch tee
8 – 3/4-inch 45 degree elbows
1 – 3/4-inch cap
1 – 3/4-inch tee box, plastic, with weatherproof gasket
1 – 7-foot piece of Belden 8777 or other three-pair shielded cable
3 – 7-foot single-pair shielded cables can substitute for Belden 8777
PVC primer and cement
Wire nuts or other connectors
1 – 3/8-inch ring terminal
F connector barrel with nut

[…]

Click here to read the article which contains step-by-step instructions.

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Jim’s Vintage DX Audio Clips

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jim (W4OXB), who writes:

I have been involved in SWLing and ham radio since the middle 1960s. Mostly listening before I got my ham ticket in 1969. My current call is W4OXB.

I used to record dx catches on mediumwave and shortwave that I put in my logbook. About 20 years ago, I transferred my recordings from reel-to-reel to digital format.

My goal is to share the old recordings with other radio enthusiasts and the easiest way I’ve found to do that is YouTube. So, I have been working on this for a few weeks.

Click here to check out W4OXB’s Vintage DX Audio Clips

Excellent, Jim! You’ve got some great recordings in your list already. Thanks for sharing and, Post readers, note that Jim also plans to share some of his recordings with the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive. We really appreciate the support, Jim!

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