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 Post subject: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 01, 2015 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 220
Location: Bristol TN 37620
Hi Guys,

Havent been involved in the main shortwave band in awhile, but I remember
that almost every country had a "Voice of ________" or "Radio _______" In the
1960's, I received QSL cards from everywhere. Now it seems there is very little
on the band other than religious stations or few countries except China and Cuba.
What happened?

Bill


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 Post subject: Re: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 01, 2015 3:42 pm 
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brnhornet52 wrote:
What happened?
Bill

Internet, for one

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 Post subject: Re: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 01, 2015 4:30 pm 
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Location: Central PA 16801
I feel your pain.

last summer, I tore down all my long wires and curtain antennae. I have not used them in years.

compared to the mid 90's and decades prior, shortwave in y2k to the present day is DEAD.

I wish I could find the publication that lists active shortwave stations of the world by country, by year (or decade, I don't remember).

when I saw it about 15 years ago, I was amazed of the massive decline of countries on SW. the big decline started in the 90's if I remember correctly.

there are a few reasons for the decline that I remember reading.

1. when the old mid-century SW transmitters broke down, new parts were no longer available and if they were, they were expensive. it was not a wise economical decision to repair or replace them.

2. for countries that used SW as a domestic medium within their country, once the SW transmitter broke down, a new 20 kw FM transmitter and perhaps a few repeaters (if necessary) could cover an entire nation and beyond.

3. the move to FM was cheaper.

4. as for the big international broadcasters, the cost of running huge multiple 500 kw transmitters along with their upkeep, combined with a bad economy, was a hardship.

5. #4 was saved by an internet stream.

that is the way it was explained to me.

ii remember back in the 80's during late afternoons this time of year from october to march, I could go up on the tropical bands (60 and 90 meters) and hear dozens of domestic broadcasters with armchair copy:

those days are long gone.

steve

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 Post subject: Re: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 01, 2015 4:41 pm 
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Unfortunately, the whole world of radio has changed, and not for the better. The days of hearing stations up and down the HF bands, easily scanning exciting and informative law enforcement communications and chatting on the CB with friends are gone. Even local broadcast radio is no longer unique and fun, it's all corporate and syndicated.

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 Post subject: Re: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 01, 2015 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 16, 2012 4:15 pm
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Location: Near Brandon, Iowa
The Cold War is over, the Soviet Union has been defunct for over twenty years, and the West no longer feels compelled (or able) to compete for winning the hearts and minds of the citizens of the third world.

I sometimes listen to Radio Havana and the China News broadcasts, and find them to be much less ideological than their Cold War era predecessors. They don't seem to go out of their way to either heap praise on their own regimes or denigrate others; although China seems to be a bit more evenhanded in this respect than the Cuban station. My favorite foreign SW stations are those that originate in England and Australia, probably because of those nations' cultural similarities to the USA.


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 Post subject: Re: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 01, 2015 5:41 pm 
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Location: Roanoke, VA
AndrewGS wrote:
Even local broadcast radio is no longer unique and fun, it's all corporate and syndicated.

I have a number of clients who are Mom-and-Pop local stations that originate their own programming and serve their communities. One example is an AM that does high school football and basketball, is present at a large number of community activities, and has local bands playing in the studios live on the air on most Saturday afternoons. Although they carry a few syndicated programs (none of them by satellite) most of their day is locally programmed music-on-hard-drive, but weekday mornings are live.

Dale H. Cook, Radio Contract Engineer, Roanoke/Lynchburg, VA
http://plymouthcolony.net/starcityeng/index.html


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 Post subject: Re: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 01, 2015 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 220
Location: Bristol TN 37620
Hi Guys,

As i said, I havent been an avid shortwave listener in years, and am just getting back into
it. Imagine my surprise as there's basically nothing there.

I just restored a Zenith 6S239 chairside and settled down to a nice evening of reception.
Not much there. First i thought it might be the set, being only 6 tubes with no RF stage before
the 1st detector. Then I thought it might be the aerial. No problem there as its 100 ft. Just
couldnt believe the worldwide network basically disintergrated. Figured I'd ask the forum
though.

Bill


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 Post subject: Re: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 01, 2015 8:38 pm 
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There's still plenty of stations out there, they are just not "armchair copy" any more. Pick the right time of day and the right frequency, you can hear stations from all around the world - well, I can - you may not be able to, as I understand from U.S. SWL's on another forum that background noise levels have risen quite dramatically. Plasma tv's, switch mode power supplies, BPL, etc. etc. all adds up to background hash. A lot of countries are now using shortwave for their domestic services too, with some pretty low power transmitters.

Here's recording of a little 500watt station in Brazil, Radio Voz Missionara on 5940kHz that I scored in October..

https://soundcloud.com/majoco21/radio-v ... 40khz17oct

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 Post subject: Re: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 01, 2015 9:18 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 19873
Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
Radio Romania International has quite a few broadcasts on various frequencies and still uses a format that sounds like the stations you remember.

http://www.rri.ro/en_gb/frecvente-259

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 01, 2015 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Dec Sat 21, 2013 5:15 am
Posts: 319
Location: Puyallup, WA
I've been a shortwave listener since the late '60s. It's time has passed. Some of my favorites still
pop up on occasion, like the SW Pacific Islands. And of course, if you operate an amateur station,
shortwave is still in use. 40 meter band CW is my favorite mode. There is also SSB voice and some
AM that's fun to listen to.

On the other hand, I can now listen to the BBC or Deutsche Welle on the way to work in the train with a
tiny HD FM receiver, with perfect clarity. Or choose from thousands of international stations streaming on
the internet. So it's kind of a "worst of times/best of times" thing.

Dale
KJ7SL

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Last edited by DaleMidori on Nov Mon 02, 2015 4:33 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 01, 2015 10:05 pm 
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Joined: Aug Wed 24, 2011 4:35 am
Posts: 4088
Location: Sunnyvale CA
Dutch Rabbit wrote:
I wish I could find the publication that lists active shortwave stations of the world by country, by year (or decade, I don't remember).


This lists them now:


http://www.short-wave.info/index.php?fr ... timbus=NOW

Extremely useful.

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 01, 2015 10:27 pm 
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Joined: Aug Fri 29, 2014 6:17 pm
Posts: 2526
Location: Vincennes Indiana
In countries or regions with little communications infrastructure such as cable tv and innernet service, the populace still has simple, reliable shortwave to listen to. This fact wasn't lost on hf broadcasters, some, like bbc for example, stopped beaming to advanced nations where the listenership was close to 0 (or mainly of hobbyists such as swlers) and focused on those areas where shortwave is still important and reaches people they are interested in influencing. Oh you can still copy the bbc in the US, but they don't program for the US or beam directly to it at the usual evening peak listening hours. They do however still cover most of South America.

One attempt to head off the "demise" of hfbc was with drm, but few shortwave sets have been made with drm capability built in, and the cost for a drm capable receiver is much more than one using a simple diode for am detection only. Also drm broadcasting takes up a pretty fair swath of hf spectrum, in direct opposition to the itu mandate to eliminate am hf broadcasting in lieu of ssb. If hfbc stas are ever forced by itu to actually stop broadcasting in am mode (as is planned) they will likely run into the same issue as with drm, cost and difficulty of tuning a ssb signal compared to an am signal by people located in undeveloped areas with little technological understanding and basic receivers.

All that being said the bands still have occupancy, just roll the dial and see what interests you.


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 Post subject: Re: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 01, 2015 10:48 pm 
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Location: Ohio 45177
So then if there is so very much empty SW BC real estate, why don't they get their stations out of the 40M ham band now? :evil:


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 Post subject: Re: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 01, 2015 11:04 pm 
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Posts: 23188
Location: Haledon, NJ, usa
lorenz200w wrote:
The Cold War is over, the Soviet Union has been defunct for over twenty years, and the West no longer feels compelled (or able) to compete for winning the hearts and minds of the citizens of the third world.

I sometimes listen to Radio Havana and the China News broadcasts, and find them to be much less ideological than their Cold War era predecessors. They don't seem to go out of their way to either heap praise on their own regimes or denigrate others; although China seems to be a bit more evenhanded in this respect than the Cuban station. My favorite foreign SW stations are those that originate in England and Australia, probably because of those nations' cultural similarities to the USA.

China now does re-broadcasts on the high end of the BC band, or the SW band too forget where.
They rebroadcast in this part of the world from Canada

Here's other SW radio broadcast info:
http://www.primetimeshortwave.com/

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 Post subject: Re: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 01, 2015 11:40 pm 
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Joined: May Tue 30, 2006 4:46 pm
Posts: 9383
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Yes the Internet and politics have changed shortwave broadcasting.

There is still ham radio and that is likely to continue; most of us old fogies think we have a few more decades left to play with our HF gear.

I recall as a "Sputnik" kid, listening on my Space Spanner and wondering how I could get a license to partake in this wonderful world of ham radio. I think it's still fun, though maybe the SWLs don't think so any more?

Rich

PS: My G5RV has been down while a new deck was being built. Next order of business is to string it up and get back on the air.

PPS: I still build tube and transistor regen (and superhet) receivers and really appreciate WWV as my marker signal when adjusting a new circuit. If I can hear WWV, I must be on the right track!


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 Post subject: Re: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 01, 2015 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Aug Fri 29, 2014 6:17 pm
Posts: 2526
Location: Vincennes Indiana
As to cold war broadcasts, they still take place;
http://www.rferl.org/section/russia/161.html
http://sputniknews.com/voiceofrussia/


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 Post subject: Re: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 02, 2015 1:09 am 
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Posts: 17021
Location: Dayton Ohio
I guess I was too busy "Geeking out" on Ham radio, WWV and CHU and any other odd transmission to pay much mind to international broadcasters.
Most were in a foreign language, but I do remember listening to BBC and Deutsche Welle on occasion.

The one station I miss is WRNO The Rock of the World!

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 02, 2015 1:12 am 
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If you're into Jesus there's still plenty to listen to.

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 Post subject: Re: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 02, 2015 1:19 am 
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Oh, don't forget those interval signals such as the piano jingles from Radio Canada and Deutsche Welle. :D

It puzzled me why they would play those things over and over... Now I know it was so you could locate them on an inaccurate analog tuned radio.

Ahh, the memories.

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: what happened to the Shortwave Band (5.0mc - 18.0mc)?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 02, 2015 1:28 am 
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i remember sitting down almost daily after school and listening to domestic broadcasts from so many countries in Africa as the grayline/darkness path hit the east coast of NAm.

then later, after all the Afriacn domestic broadcasters signed off, the Latin American stations would boom in.

if i stayed up late enough, i could hear many of the African countries sign on before their local sunrise.

early mornings brought many asian and pacific stations. evenings brought nearly every country in europe and central asia. my daytime was a pot luck of the big international broadcasters.

i remember when i would bandscan in the local evenings. Radio Moscow would appear every 1/2 turn of the dial on the 7, 9, and 11 mhz bands. i counted up to well over 30 frequencies one evening back in the early-mid 80's when the cold war was going strong.

"This is the North American Service of Radio Moscow. We will be adding frequencies in the 41 meter band for our listeners in North America and Western Europe. After the Kremlin Chimes, please stay tuned for the news and other features......The news read by Carl Ugora."

the bands were so crowded with so much to hear. it was great, absolutely great back in the day.

today, SW is just sad, very sad and dead compared to decades gone by.

does anyone remember the short time Radio Moscow was broadcast on AM 1140 or 1040 kcs from cuba to NAm in the evenings ? i this was in the fall or winter of 1987 or 1988. it only lasted a short time.

i remember them hammering in here on my new realistic STA-2600 receiver and set of Mach II speakers.

steve: i just saw your post. i called WRNO one january evening back in the early 80's. they put me on the air with my request of the honey drippers "good rockin' at midnight".

steve


Attachments:
USA, WRNO, New Orleans, Louisana (3).jpg
USA, WRNO, New Orleans, Louisana (3).jpg [ 41.59 KiB | Viewed 1891 times ]

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