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Post Info TOPIC: Short wave radio

Senior Member

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Short wave radio

We recently got ourselves a handcrank shortwave radio and were playing around with it last night.  We picked up a lot Spanish speakers but we also picked up an Austalian accent,  a definite Slavic-Eastern European voice and some Chinese music.  It was kind of fun.

Fun stuff aside, this radio is part of our emergency preparedness stockpile.  I'd like to know more about shortwave and which stations to listen to, but I'm a novice at this. A few questions:

1. What purpose would a short wave radio serve in an emergency and what kinds of emergencies?  What are the advantages of shortwave versus broadband, etc.? Is it EMP proof?

2.  Are there any reliable stations for emergency situations?  What kind of stations use short wave currently?

3. Have any of you used your shortwave radio for an emergency, or are you an "expert" with it?

4.  Am I just complicating a simple device with overly technical questions?

I could probably just web surf and find the answers for myself, but I like personal advice better along with two way discussion.  I'd appreciate any information you  could give me.

"The void is the supreme fullness." Simone Weil

Veteran Member

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and some Chinese music.As a kid, I used to listen to an old Hallicrafters S-38 shortwave radio. It started my future in nerddoom. At the age of 3 I'd paint the tubes with fingernail polish so my mother didn't know the radio was on... and the headphones were under my pillow. I delighted to sing Chinese Opera that I'd heard the night before. My parents thought I was posessed.

Shortwave, in an emergency, may be of little value locally, but it will let you know what's going on in the rest of the world.

Most nations use shortwave as a means of broadcasting political propaganda, such as Radio Free Europe, Voice of America, Radio Moscow, etc.. Then there are other radio services such as Deutche Well, the BBC, and others that broadcast at certain times of the day/night and beam their broadcasts toward varied nations. It's fun, and informative to listen too. I highly recommend it.  I use a simple, inexpensive Radio Shack reciever.  Also, many Christian religious organizations use shortwave to get their message accross to the heathens they're trying to convert. This is especially true in Asia, South America and Africa.

I have used the shortwave in emergencies, but as I said, it's pretty dismal for local information unless the radio can receive local emergency information broadcast from local civil and police authorities. That is a consideration when you purchase a shortwave.

You are not oversimplifying... so keep asking.

You'd be better served in local emergencies to have HAM radio gear, and be able to not only dial in frequencies, but transmit out as well. The license requirements for a Technician Class Ham license is easily done by passing a no-code test. Contact your Ward or Stake Communications specialist. They'll be glad to assist you in getting the license.

There are also lots of shortwave listening guides on the Internet. It is not a bad idea to look into them, and print out the data so that if the Internet is down, you know what frequencies and times broadcasts occur.


Head Chef

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I've been thinking about getting my ham radio license. I hear that all that is required is that you answer the questions correctly, and all the answers are available on the internet. Perhaps I should act on that curiosity.

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!
- Samuel Adams

Veteran Member

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Go for it... If I can pass the test (I did.. and I'm dumber than small box of rocks), you can!

There are several study guides that you can download and use as practice tests.  After a while of review with the use of a good manual.. you'll have you license.  The go and pick out the radios you'd like to have and start studying for your General Class License.

-- Edited by LEVE at 16:49, 2009-03-04

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