Quick [video] introduction to shortwave radio listening

Peter Parker, of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, today posted a video primer on Shortwave Radio Listening: Quick introduction to shortwave radio listening.

In his video, Peter explains the basics of the shortwave bands, how radio waves get from the transmitter to the receiver, and shows a few ideas for outside antennas. Peter also demonstrates what broadcasts sound like when received. As you’ll see, the audio is not like a local FM station.

In writing about shortwave listening, my thoughts generally have been about Christians receiving Christian broadcasts with out internet or local stations broadcasts. In a quick trip across the bands, I mentioned a programs featuring talk radio and music. There are other ways that shortwave broadcasting is used today, as it has been for many years. This article, while a bit technical, explains how pro-democracy groups are beaming broadcasts to Chine, to citizens that are generally not able to hear anything but China propaganda: How Dissidents Are Using Shortwave Radio to Broadcast News Into China.

Then there are the Pirates. Pirate radio or a pirate radio station is a radio station that broadcasts without a valid license–Wikipedia. There are some famous, or infamous depending on one’s viewpoint, pirate stations. While the name pirate may sound sinister, not all are such.

“Pirate radio in the UK first became widespread in the early 1960s when pop music stations such as Radio Caroline and Radio London started to broadcast on medium wave to the UK from offshore ships or disused sea forts. At the time, these stations were not illegal because they were broadcasting from international waters. The stations were set up by entrepreneurs and music enthusiasts to meet the growing demand for pop and rock music, which was not catered for by BBC Radio services.” Wikipedia.

BBC pretty much had a monopoly on radio in the UK then. And the Brits wanted to listen to Rock Music. I can’t imagine being in London and not even being able to listen to the Beatles. Stranger still, the British government required citizens to have a permit to receive broadcasts, even if those broadcasts were from the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). If that isn’t enough, the permits excluded listening to certain stations, such as the pirate radio stations.

That reminds me of the many WWII movies I’ve watched that included as scene in which Nazis confiscated radios. And if radio transmitters were found, well, the owners were murdered.

L-RD Bless, Keep, Shine. . .

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