And this is what’s to my back when DXing at 0945 AM local time
It was warm today, 4F above zero (-15.5C) instead of yesterday’s -18F below (-27.7C)!
That’s it, Paul! Next time I hear a DXer complaining about the weather, I’m just going to send them a link to this post! 🙂 Those are some seriously cold temps, yet I know it gets much, much colder there in the winter!
It has to be away from home as I have 2 FM and 1 TV transmitter above my head plus an ungodly amount of electrical noise and RF overload. The banks of the Yukon River are 500 feet from my office and apartment, so that’s a good location.. just need a way to secure a long wire or box loop. I am also in the process of finding an FM Low pass filter to filter out the FM stations real nearby that overload certain parts of the SW dial.
I am in Galena, Alaska. It is a village of about 500 people in the central part of Alaska, we are 300 miles west of Fairbanks and 300 miles east of Nome. Off the road system, everything is flown in 8 months or so out of the year and when the river is flowing, it’s barged in.
Radio Australia and Radio New Zealand are weak here, some days barely listenable, other days passable, but not very strong here. I’ve not heard anything from Radio Taiwan International here, yet I could get them weakly in California and in Arkansas.
I can hear CRI daily, the stuff that comes from their Beijing area SW transmitters is quite listenable.
What I can hear with regularity and strangely, a very good signal depending on the frequency, is The Voice Of North Korea. I’ve logged The Voice Of Korea on about A DOZEN different frequencies! What I can’t figure out is why? Some of the Voice of Korea broadcasts are near local AM radio station like strength many nights. I could hear them fairly well in northern California, but not always so strong.
Why I can’t figure out is the Voice Of Korea broadcasts that I’m hearing, what is their target area? It would sure seem I am not in the direct beam for any of their target areas, being so far north.
The strongest Voice Of Korea broadcasts for me are generally, not always, 15180 kHz and 11735 kHz. I’ve heard them on several 6 and 7 MHz frequencies which are listenable, but never very strong. I’ve also heard them in a few places in the 9mhz band and those are generally pretty listenable.
I did hear Voice Of Korea on 3250 kHz about a week ago. The signal was weak but steady and it was very clearly them.
I’ve heard them in the 13 MHz band one night and that signal was pretty strong. I did get them a few days ago smack in the middle of the day at 11910 kHz which was a bit surprising.
I expect when I construct a massive(and very directional box loop) or put up a longwire, My DX will greatly improve beyond the average stuff I’m getting now.
I’ve also logged Radyo Pilipinas on 17700 and 17820 kHz, several instances of the Firedrake Jammer on different frequencies, CRI and NHK (CRI & NHK are to be expected here).
I did have a surprising reception of All India Radio on 7550 kHz.
Also logged recently was RFI on 15300 kHz, BBC WS on 15400 kHz, Voice of America on 15580 kHz, Radio Exterior De Espana 15390/15500 kHz, RN de Brasilia 11780 kHz among others.
Some of my clips range from merely 30 seconds long to 20 minutes. The longer clips are usually when I had much better. Some clips are video, held up to the radio showing the dial, others are audio onlly.
As always, comments and discussion always welcome.
I had built a simple crystal radio from plans in a library book…(I think it was “The Boy’s Book of Radio” or similar. ) I added a one transistor amplifier later. I had a really great long wire antenna from the garage to the house, up about 30 feet, about 75 feet long, and a good earth ground.
I was playing around with it, and I had an old phonograph amplifier I connected to the output of it. I de-tuned the coil and apparently managed to get it tuned into the 49 meter band. All of a sudden I was hearing broadcasters from Europe. Some were in English, others in foreign languages.
Up to that point I had thought that all radio was like AM broadcast, only good for a few hundred miles even at night. I was flabbergasted. That marked the beginning of my addiction to radio. I have never gotten over the miracle of HF radio ever since.
Many thanks, Greg, for sharing your memories with us!
I can only imagine the thrill is must have been to tune in stations from across the planet on your simple, home-brew radio set.
I encourage other SWLing Post readers and contributors to submit their own listener post! Tell us how you became interested in radio!
In the meantime, many thanks to Landon for sharing his personal radio history:
My interests in SWL’ing began back when I was a teen, in the 1970’s. I was inspired by two of my maternal uncles, who as teens, had started out pretty much as I was at the time, when they were teens in the 1960’s. One of them had also given me his collection of 1960’s era ‘Popular Electronics’ and ‘Electronics Illustrated’ magazines, which were filled with information about the hobby of radio monitoring.
The neighbors next door to my grandmother, an elderly couple, had a shortwave radio, which I can remember listening to out on their patio in the summer. Another neighbor of mine, had an old AN/GRR-5 military receiver, which I was infatuated with.
I spent much of my childhood monitoring the AM Broadcast Band, seeking out far away stations, until I finally got my own shortwave radio.
I had acquired a used transistor radio that had some of the shortwave bands on it, and began picking up what I could. Transistor radios were a new thing back in those days.
Finally, when I turned 16, I got my first job as an orderly at the local hospital. I saved my money, and purchased my own AN/GRR-5 from Fair Radio Sales. I was hooked! I still have that radio today.
I remember I used to salivate over the Allied Radio, Lafayette Radio, and Radio Shack catalogs, dreaming of someday owning a ‘good’ receiver, like the Realistic DX-160. And today … I have one that I purchased on e-Bay! Yes, it’s outdated, but I purchased it more for nostalgia, as well as listening to now and then.
Through the years, I’ve purchased and owned a lot of shortwave radios, and now, as a licensed amateur radio operator, I own some of the latest equipment. Yet, I like going back and listening to the ‘old school’ equipment for the nostalgia of it all.
Realistic DX-160 (Source: Universal Radio)
Last night (Jan 31, 2015), I sat with my 15 year old son, who has recently gotten an interest in shortwave and ham radio. As we sat there and he scanned across the SWL bands, I saw myself, and I saw the excitement in him that I had begun with. His first experience last night was tuning across the bands with the 70’s era Realistic DX-160!
Some of my favorite memories are tuning in HCJB in Quito, Ecuador, and receiving QSL cards from far away stations. Today, decades later, I still have those QSL cards, program guides, and yes … the collection of 1960’s era radio magazines my uncles gave me.
Some things change, and some things never will.
Many thanks, Landon, for sharing your memories with us!
If I ever find a AN/GRR-5 in good shape, I will snatch it up! You must have had some great memories listening to that military receiver. Amazingly, Fair Radio Sales, in Lima, Ohio, is still very much in business. I hope to visit their store next time I’m in the area (possibly for the Dayton Hamvention).
Ironically, you mention the Realistic DX-160 and only a couple days ago, Dan Robinson shared a video of a DX-160 he recently purchased that was still “NIB” (new in box). The DX-160 is a great rig, as Dan demonstrates in this video:
Thanks again, Landon, and I encourage other SWLing Post readers and contributors to submit their own listener post! Tell us how you became interested in radio!
In the meantime, many thanks to Tim for sharing his personal radio history:
The Sony Earth Orbiter CRF-5100 (Source: Universal Radio)
One night, when I was about six or seven, my brother put me in front of his Sony Earth Orbiter and changed my life forever. He handed me the earplug and told me that, if I was really quiet and didn’t bother him, I could hear stations from all over the world. His ploy to keep me occupied and out of his hair worked like a charm, as I was completely fascinated by what I heard.
Fast forward about ten years later to 1987, when I received the best Christmas present ever: a Realistic DX-360. I remember staying up until the wee hours of the morning listening to the BBC, Radio Havana, and many other stations. Imagine my surprise when I found Radio Australia the next morning. Radio from Australia? How was that even possible!? For the next few years, that radio went with me just about everywhere, and serenaded me to sleep just about every night for years. Back then, my favorite stations included not only the BBC and Radio Australia, but also Monitor Radio and Super Power KUSW, the station that sent my my first ever QSL card. I still have it too.
One afternoon while I was in college, my roommate and I decided to stop into a local liquor store and do some comparative shopping. We were just about to leave when I turned around and found myself eye to eye with this beautiful old European style shortwave radio. It turned out that one of the proprietors, a guy by the name of Howard, was a ham, and sold old used radios out of the back of the store. I got to know Howard a little, and bought several radios from him. One day while visiting his store, he shows me the most beautiful thing made of metal I’d ever seen: a Hallicrafters SX-73. Believe it or not, he sold it to me for $75! I think Howard new it was worth ten times that, but he also knew I was a young radio nerd that would give it a good home. That radio was my main receiver for many years after that, and I still have it today. My estate executors can sell it when I’m gone. Until then, it’s a keeper.
Hallicrafters SX-73 (Source: radioreprints.com)
These days, my shack is an odd mix of both the old and new. I have an old r390a that was recently overhauled by Rick Mish, and a Watkins Johnson WJ-8718a that was brought back up to spec by PCS associates. If I do my part, both of these cold war relics should give me decades of service. My latest addition to the shack is an Elad FDM-S2, which is an amazing receiver! I’ve never been much of an SDR guy, but this radio might change all of that. Stay tuned!
Anyways, thanks for letting me go down memory lane.
Many thanks, Tim, for sharing your memories with us! Snagging a Hallicrafters SX-73 for $75 was, indeed, an excellent deal. Sounds to me like Howard enjoyed feeding your interest in radio. Keep that old girl in good nick and you’ll have a radio that will outlast us all. Tell your executors to put it in the casket!
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