December 4, 2011

Hunting Shortwave Broadcast Radio Stations

A common pattern among amateur radio operators is to have developed an interest in radio from having access to a shortwave radio.  Sadly the trend over the last decade has been a decline in the number of shortwave broadcasters.  However, there are still stations on the air and shortwave listening (SWL) has remained a wonderful way to enjoy "playing radio" and experience the "magic".

As a youth, we would simply turn on the radio and tune up and down until finding an interesting station.  It was mostly a random process.  Over time, we learned to identify stations and programs and could tune to the right place at the right time.

Yeasu FRG-100 50Khz to 30MHz Receiver
We still do spend time tuning up and down the bands on our Yeasu FRG-100 or Sangean ATS-909X.  We also take advantage of the power of the Internet for improving our ability to locate radio programs and identify shortwave radio stations.  An excellent SWL resource is the website

This site offers several useful tools including:
  • World map identifying the location and frequency of stations currently on the air
  • A query tool for finding stations transmitting in English (or any other language) at a given time
  • A query tool for finding stations presently transmitting on a certain frequency is easy to use and enhances the shortwave radio listening experience with information.  It can help you spend more time listening and enjoying and less time randomly tuning.

If you are interested in becoming a shortwave listener, checkout the Monitoring Times article, "Getting Started in SW Listening" by Ken Reitz for some helpful information.

If you are ham, checkout our related article, "Hunting LoTW Stations",