Shortwave Radio Questions : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

I'm interested in purchasing a shortwave radio. Are there any particular brands or types that seem better than others? Worse than others? What are you using now? I'd rather get feedback from the people who use them, like you guys, rather than doing a WWW search for radios. Any help would be appreciated.

-- StevenB (, July 24, 2001


ooh goody..I cannot wait for the answers! Please include the pricing of this equipment..I am thinking of getting a short wave radio set up (the basics) for my husband for Christmas....

-- lesley (, July 24, 2001.

Radio Shack has some nice inexpensive kits if you can solder. Also maybe you can search the web for an online SW reciever station like the web radio stations. That way you could use your 'pooter to check out some SW radio first. If sites can play rock and classical why not SW too?

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, July 24, 2001.

Aw, Jay..I got all psyched up and did multiple searches..were you pulling our proverbial legs here??????

-- lesley (, July 24, 2001.

I have a receiver only. got it from ebay in super duper condition. It's a Sangean 818. Not the 818CS which has a cassette recorder on it. Grunig is really good as a brand as well. I don't reccommend the Baygen at all. It has rotten reception.

There are several shortwave broadcasters that have sites...Genesis Communications, WWCR, ...drawing big blank....there are a bunch more. There are quite a few sites where you can listen to sw on your puter, but you usually need some kind of webcast thing. Or at least Macs do.

The thing I would reccommend is to do an ebay search for sw and check out some of the seller's sites. Quite a few people are way, way into it and they like to get others into it as well. good luck in your quest!

-- Dreen (, July 25, 2001.

Check out. go to, H.F., Receiver, For R,X.320 Good Radio For The Money. Plug inTo Your P.C. Download progam See How It Work

-- Rich (, July 25, 2001.

Shortwave radio can provide a wealth of information. Differning views on many aspects of life, politics and link you to other parts of the world in a unique way. Shortwave has also turned into wasteland of militant thinking and over the edge religious views as well. Its now pretty cheap to put a program on shortwave. This plus the fact the the old shortwave stations, BBC, VOA, Radio Canada, Radio Netherlands, Radio moscow have been cutting back programming short wave is not was it once was. It still is worth having and listening to.

There are lots of shortwave radios on the market, Everything from a pocket radio to $10000 top of the line survelance units. You need to find one that fits your budget.

One thing you MUST have on shortwave radio is a connection for an external antenna. One thing you must do is put up an OUTSIDE antenna for your radio. Without that your not going to be listneing to anything but the megawatt powerhouses and your going to be missing the real benifit of shortwave radio. Dont worry about the number of bands a radio has. In the digital age, bands mean nothing and are an artifact of machanical tuning. You do want a shortwave radio that covers .5mhz (or 500khz) to 30mhz. You want a radio that allows you to enter the freq directly on a keypad but also has a tuning knob to brose for stations and fine tuning. You want a radio that can do AM and sideband (SSB or USB/LSB). Some shortwave stations are going to SSB, SSB also allows you to listen to Ham radio operators as well. A radio with both batterys and 110v power is also nice for emergency conditions. Figure your going to spend $100-$200 for a good entry level SWL radio.

-- Gary (, July 25, 2001.

I was serious. The BBC is on the net. Surely other shortwave type sites should exist also. I was temporarily assined to a computer plant that had net hookup at all workstations and even in their breakrooms and the guys there hooked us into west coast radio stations and even police band scanners from around the country. Maybe a ham radio operator could clue us into some sites.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, July 25, 2001.

Whoa!!!! I went to the Tentec site and found the internet Short Wave Radio hook up from Boston..I got excited...then I clicked on the "instructions" to access the program..YIKES!! I will not live long enough to understand all of that!!! LOL..It has taken me since October of '98 when I first touched a computer keyboard just to figure out how to send a "link" to somebody! (Who knew the "mail" function had a thingy called send-a-link)? That page reminded me of Graduate school they say in New York, "Forget about it!"..I will search for the companies who sell the radios...DH is much more clever than I about things that come in boxes with tiny parts....God bless.

-- lesley (, July 25, 2001.

I agree with Dreen's assessement of the Baygen. I have the AM/FM/SW windup radio. AM/FM bands are fine, but the SW is lousy, even with the antennae extender.

-- Skip in Western WA (, July 25, 2001.

I personally have not had good luck with Radio Shack radios in any form. Maybe it is just us, but they all seem to break before the warranty runs out. One of them was replaced 3 times, and Radio Shack announced they would not cover the third radio. Guess what? It broke a week after it's warranty ran out. The radios were not abused, just used and carried from room to room which is what portable radios are meant for. The Sangeans are good and will pick up many, many stations.

-- Green (, July 29, 2001.

I have a Radio Shack DX-375 that I got 3 yrs ago and it works great.I have taken it on vacation,camping,etc. 3 yrs ago it cost about $69 so it might be a little more now. I set it up so I can hook it up to a external antenna when I need to and I use radio shack Pro-100 headset with it so i can listen while not bothering others.

-- TomK (Mich.) (, July 30, 2001.

I've got a little Radio Shack DX-350 I've carried in my backpack camping for almost 10 years now, never had a problem and it's been dropped and knocked around a few times.

-- somebody (, July 31, 2001.

you can find quite a few live and recorded shortwave broadcasts to listen to with realaudio or windows media here;

-- somebody (, July 31, 2001.

I use a Grundig Yacht Boy 400. No complaints. Great Sensitivity and Stability. Checkout the Grundig website for details. Digital Tuning. SSB. The works. Cost me AUD$300. So should be under USD$150.

-- Matty the Croc Hunter (, September 27, 2001.

I got a Grundig World Traveler. It's not much bigger that a credit card, comes in a leather wallet and has an earplug. I found a solar widget for it that fits in the wallet. The pull-up antenna doesn't pull much reception, but a spool of copper wire and a tree top roost makes this toy red line the gadget-o-meter.

-- Just Duckie (, September 27, 2001.

I also have the Grundig Yacht Boy 400. Excellent and available for close to $100 on sale. I live on the east coast, so I do not need an outdoor antenna to get some pretty terrific sites. Yes, BBC and many others are on-line. But I like listening late at night snuggled up and don't want to tie up the phone line or curl up with the computer. Also, the Yacht Boy can run very efficiently on batteries. I would try it first before investing in the big guns.

I bought the Baygen for under $30 new and have it for back-up emergency radio use. The shortwave use on it is poor--its not digital and has a hard time picking up anything but the really big stations.

-- Anne (, September 27, 2001.

I recently purchased a Grundig YB400-PE from for under $150. After purchasing the radio, I discovered "Passport to World Band Radio 2001" in my local library. It has reviews of all kinds of short-wave radios. I encourage you to check this book (or "Passport to World Band Radio 2002", if it is out) before you make any decisions. FYI, Grundig YB400-PE has a rating of 3 1/4 stars out of a possible 5 stars.

-- "a Silicon Valley Prisoner" (, October 12, 2001.

I found this site that gives some info on how to find good cheap radios...

-- Stephanie Nosacek (, October 12, 2001.


-- Gerald thorne (, May 25, 2002.

Sangean ATS 404 is cheap and good.

-- General Robert E. Lee (TIEMPOLATINO2003@YAHOO.COM), January 31, 2003.

Don't forget that there are (were) some absolutely excellent analog radios out there from the 60s, 70s, and (suprisingly) even the 80s. Just because it's digital does not mean it's superior. It's all about the design and engineering, and quality of the components in the radio.

Of course, having the ability to get a digital display of the frequency is a HUGE convenience, and there are analog radios with digital readouts (I have a Worldstar radio - the MG6100) that has this ability.

Another thing worth mentioning is that, in radio, "it's all about the antennae". You can have all the money in the world in the radio, but if your antennae is non-existent or cheap, it won't pick up anything. Inversely, you can have an average radio (the Worldstar is a good example of this), and if you jack in the proper antennae and you are have high elevation and little interference, you can get absolutely amazing reception.

-- Wittling (, February 01, 2004.

Check out the Passport to World Band Radio 2004 edition. It has reviews on different types of short wave radios (portables, portatops, tabletops, etc.), receivers for pcs and antennas and will give you useful tips on how to choose a radio that best suits your needs. It is very useful for someone just getting started in shortwave.

I used to have the Grundig Yacht Boy 300PE when I was living in the Philippines. I had no problem receiving broadcasts from the BBC, VOA, Voice of Russia, and China Radio International, and even Deutsche Welle, especially with the reel-in outboard wire antenna, even if I lived in a high density area full of high rise concrete buildings. The only problem is the radio started giving me problems after only a year; the volume knob would make a loud crackling sound when turned and now it (the volume knob) doesn't work at all. If I were to purchase a new radio now, however, I would go for either the Grundig Yacht Boy 400PE or the Grundig S350. Both seemed to be rated quite well by Passport, depending on whether you are looking for performance or audio quality.

-- hans del rosario (, March 02, 2004.

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