Shortwave Reception : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

My folks were trying to use their Baygen shortwave to get a program I told them about and they couldn't get anything in on it except for a german station. My baygen broke and I left it that way as I was disgusted with it (:smile:)-does anyone know if it will be a help to them to hook the Baygen up to an antenna, or are they just rotten all around? Should I be buying them one for Christmas? Thanks!

-- Doreen (, December 10, 2001


What baygen, they now make a wide varitety of radio's. What freq coverage? There are several bands that baygens can cover depending on when and where it was purchased.

IN general the baygens are good for what they were designed for. Reasonable inexpensive windup radio. Not being digital, finding a specific freq can be difficult and location on the dial will vary from radio to radio.

If your in the US, there are LOTS and LOTS of high power stations that splatter the bands. Even the "FOREIGN" stations are locals, many broadcasting from various caribiean islands.

A lot factors play into how well a station is received. An outside antenna can almost always help. A simple copper wire run between the house and another structure is the simplest. Then run the wire down to the radio. An alligator clip on the end of the wire will allow you to connect to a radio without an external antenna connection. Radio shack sells a premade antenna kit for $20 or so dollars.

-- Gary (, December 10, 2001.

I always got good reception with my Baygen, although not as good as with the Sangean. The dial is supersensitive on the Baygen and I have to just barely move it to find the stations.

-- Green (, December 10, 2001.

Gary, is there some way to ground that antenna, and sitll have it function properly? Sounds like a good lightning rod, without a ground.

I wish I were a bit more electrically edicated; I know that there are lightning protectors which are connected between the two loads on sub pumps, but don't know how they work, really.

-- joj (jump@off.c), December 10, 2001.


don't use the antenna during storms-disconnect it

-- JAY (, December 10, 2001.

I remember as a kid having a lightning arrestor on the side of the house to prevent lightning from following the antenna lead in wire to the radio. It consisted of a glass ceramic insulator, with lugs on both ends to connect the antenna wire. Between the 2 lugs was a very light duty fuse (less than 1 amp) that was supposed to keep the radio from getting fried by a lightning strike. As far as I recall it never failed.

Talk to you later.

-- Bob in WI (, December 10, 2001.

There is very little made by man that will withstand a direct lightning strike, however...

When there is lightning in the area, or even just highly charged cloud activity associated with cumulo nimbus (i.e. 'lightning') clouds there will be very high static voltages induced in your radio aerial. Your radio only requires micro volts in the way of signals and it just so happens that typical diodes have a forward voltage drop of about 0.6volts. This of course makes diodes just jim-dandy for protecting your radio receiver.

Get two rectifier diodes from your local radio parts store and connect them between your aerial and ground, one diode in the forward direction and the other reversed. That is, on one the end with the white band connects to the aerial and the other connects to ground, the other diode is connected alongside the first but the other way around.

-- john hill (, December 11, 2001.

Thanks for all the answers, folks! I don't know the exact model, but I suspect it's the one they were selling for $80 to $100 prior to Y2K, as I know that's when they purchased it. They keep it in their storm cellar as part of their preps.

They have a tv antenna that is mounted on the roof and has a box where they rotate the antenna for better reception. Would this be a good thing for them to tie into? I'm sure they could only listen to the raadio when the telly wasn't on then, but do you all think this would work for them? Thanks!!!!

-- Doreen (, December 11, 2001.

Tv antenna would most likely improve your reception of FM frequency stations, but would do little else for the other bands on your Baygen.

Talk to you later.

-- Bob in WI (, December 11, 2001.

Doreen, just about anything metalic sticking up in the air will increase the signal pickup for the radio. It is almost certain that connecting to the TV antenna would improve pick-up but just how much is impossible to estimate. Certainly, the TV antenna won't work exactly as it's designer intended so the directivity thing will probably have no effect that you can hear. For a possibly easy connection just loop the TV antenna lead a couple of times around the radio and see if you get any improvement, leave the end connected to the TV.

-- john hill (, December 12, 2001.


I got a little am/sw antenna with my Baygen. It works well and was not real expensive if I recall correctly. It clips on to the telescoping antenna and boosts reception. Got mine from C C Crane.

Talk to you later.

-- Bob in WI (, December 13, 2001.


Here is the C Crane site and a description of the antenna I posted above.

I bought the one listed at $14.95 and it has worked well for me.

Talk to you later.

-- Bob in WI (, December 13, 2001.

Hey thanks, guys!!! I'm going to pass all this info on to my Dad and see wht he wants to do. I appreciate it!

-- Doreen (, December 13, 2001.

Wes's down-n-dirty short-wave antenna:

Go to radioshack and get a 50' spool of no. 20 solid copper wire.

Wind half of it off the spool.

Bring out the 2 ends of the winding. This is your primary. Hook one end to ground, the other end to a length of wire stretched outside.

Now, wind the other half back on. Be neat. Bring out both ends. this is the secondary. One end will need to go to your reciever's ground terminal, as well as a heavy wire from the ground post to ground (ie cold water line *metal*). Connect the other end to the ext. ant. terminal.

You've just built an air-core isolation transformer.

If you want to get famcy, you can use an old ferrite rod antenna core and use it as a 'slug'. moving it in and out of the coil will vary the Q and the frequency responce.

I have used this with great results on an old Grundig-Majestic SW-BC- FM-LW radio.

If you have a tuning indicator, even better!!!

-- Wes K (, October 03, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ