What is Shortwave Radio?

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Shortwave radio is a type of long-range radio transmission that bounces signals off a layer of the atmosphere to be received in another part of the world. The shortwave radio spectrum is made of groups of frequencies between about 3 and 30 megahertz (mHz). Shortwave radio depends largely on special layer of the Earth's atmosphere called the ionosphere. The ionosphere, located about 100 miles (160 km) over the earth's surface, has the unique ability of being able to reflect certain radio frequencies. Unlike AM and FM radio, shortwave radio frequencies can bounce off of the ionosphere and be heard many thousands of miles away. This allows users to be able to hear shortwave radio broadcasters from other countries throughout the world. The ionosphere typically bounces the widest variety of shortwave radio frequencies at night, especially within a few hours of sunset and sunrise. The unique ability of shortwave radio transmissions to travel large distances have led to many uses. Radio ... more
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We've all heard AM and FM radio stations on our car radio. But what about shortwave? A shortwave radio is specially designed receiver that receives stations from places far away from where you live and are "hidden" in between the standard AM and FM band on frequencies from about 3 Mhz to 30 Mhz. This article will introduce you to some good basic information about shortwave radio listening and will recommend some excellent shortwave radio receivers to get you started in the exciting world of shortwave listening! Read on...... If you live in the U.S., you can easily listen to stations broadcasting from foreign countries like the BBC from London, Radio Australia, Radio Cuba, Swiss Radio International, Deutsche Welle (Germany), Radio Netherlands, Voice of Free China, Radio China International, Radio Japan and many other countries if you have a good shortwave receiver! These stations and many others broadcast in English at certain times, usually in the evenings. These stations broadcast ... more
A shortwave radio is a radio receiver that can receive the frequencies between 3 and 30 MHz. These frequencies are used for long-distance, worldwide radio broadcasts because the short wavelength enables the signal to propagate for long distances. Shortwave works well for this purpose because of two characteristics: Shortwave frequencies tend to follow the curvature of the earth, which allows them to bend around the horizon rather than going off into space. Shortwave frequencies can be bounced off of the ionosphere, which also allows the signal to be sent past the horizon. Longwave frequencies tend to travel in a straight line and are more likely to keep going though the ionosphere than they are to bounce off and return to earth. Two communications types that use shortwave because of the distances allowed are international broadcasting and coordination of long-distance shipping. Why would I want or need a shortwave radio? The primary reasons people own and use shortwave radios are ... more
Simply put, shortwave radio exists just above your car's AM dial and goes all the way to around 30MHz. In other words, your AM dial starts at approximately 520KHz (.52 MHz) and goes all the way up to around 1700 KHz (1.7MHz). In radio circles, AM is known as medium wave (AM is simply a modulation method, in fact, broadcast shortwave uses AM for modulation), and the stuff before medium wave is known as long wave, so you should see by now that just a bit after AM and on up to 30 MHz, everything is known as Shortwave (or HF - High Frequency). Shortwave begins just above where AM ends, and the frequencies it relies on provide for long distance reception and long distance transmission. The 'world above' 30MHz is full of radio signals as well - police departments like the California Highway Patrol work around 44MHz, commercial FM stations operate between 87.5 MHz and 107 MHz. Immediately above FM radio are aircraft bands. These VHF and UHF signals do not have nearly the range of a HF ... more
A shortwave radio gets stations from places far away from where you live and are "hidden" in between the standard AM and FM band on frequencies from about 3 Mhz to 30 Mhz. Shortwave radio signals are capable of traveling long distances, unlike AM and FM stations which usually can only be heard for about 50 - 75 miles from the broadcasting station, depending on your antenna. Shortwave radio signals are designed to skip around the world and bounce in the atmosphere, meaning they can be heard far away. You can listen to news from around the world, propaganda, music, religious broadcasts, sporting events, etc. In short just about anything. Very handy when you are camping in the middle of nowhere! many of our shortwave radios are also solar radios and/or windup radios. Check out out great selection or solar radios and windup radios at the best prices right here. more

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