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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've picked up a Tecsun PL-880 SW radio. Its good at pickup up FM signals, but not so good with AM and can't pick up any SW. Even with the generic antenna that came with it isn't helpful, even if I have it close to a window.

Purchased this via Amazon, which is recommending the following antennas:



Does anyone have any experience with either of these? As rating are high for both, however I'm new to SW.

thanks
 

· Dog Lives Matter
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I'm also new to SW.

I recently purchased the Tecsun PL-330 and experienced the same issues. I found nothing on the SW bands. I just bought the Sagean antenna, but have not yet tested it.

I will be watching this thread, as well.

Does anyone know of a good book or online tutorial that teaches us newbies about SW? The videos I found on YT are demos and reviews, not tutorials.I also looked for a course on Udemy, but did not find one. A basic Shortwave 101 tutorial would be beneficial.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also forgot to point out...I live on the Eastern Seaboard of the US in a major metropolitan city, so would think I would be able to pick something SW up.

I have a hand cranked Kaito KA500 Voyager Emergency Radio and had to use it the other day as we lost power due to high winds. I switched over to SW and was able to get transmissions from Canada and other places, however you really have to keep cranking this radio to keep things going, so not ideal.

thanks
 

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I'm also new to SW.

I recently purchased the Tecsun PL-330 and experienced the same issues. I found nothing on the SW bands. I just bought the Sagean antenna, but have not yet tested it.

I will be watching this thread, as well.

Does anyone know of a good book or online tutorial that teaches us newbies about SW? The videos I found on YT are demos and reviews, not tutorials.I also looked for a course on Udemy, but did not find one. A basic Shortwave 101 tutorial would be beneficial.
Yeah I'm with you I'm not sure I understand SW.

I recently bought a small radio it seems to be good enough for me.

 

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If you have some speaker wire and a small alligator clip, you can make an antenna.. You just split the speaker wire to whatever length you want and put the alligator clip on the other end that isn't split and clip the alligator clip to the antenna on the SW radio. I have a small one hanging in my room and I can pick up some SW. It could be better but I wanted something cheap to try. From my understanding the longer it is, the better. I'm not sure if it would improve things if it was higher up or not but it might be something to try. There are plenty of other options but for super cheap using things that a lot of people may have around the house, might be worth a try.
 

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Yeah I'm with you I'm not sure I understand SW.

I recently bought a small radio it seems to be good enough for me.

I have that same radio. For the money, it's a great little radio. The SW isn't the greatest but considering the price tag.....there's not much to complain about. I haven't used it a ton but I get it out once in a while and hook it up to the homemade antenna just to see what I can find to listen to.
 

· Storyteller
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SW needs an electrically quiet area to work in. Middle of a City is very SW radio unfriendly, all the static drowns out most SW radios signals. I’m no expert, but that’s my experience.

As you noted, during a power outage, you were able to get some signals. I have my long wire antenna in the garage attic separate from the main house. leave any fluorescent lights off, they are also a noise generator. I get a lot of stations at night with the same radio you have. Mostly foreign languages and religious stations.

Dont give up, learn the difference between Mhz and Khz.
 

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SW needs an electrically quiet area to work in. Middle of a City is very SW radio unfriendly, all the static drowns out most SW radios signals. I’m no expert, but that’s my experience.

As you noted, during a power outage, you were able to get some signals. I have my long wire antenna in the garage attic separate from the main house. leave any fluorescent lights off, they are also a noise generator. I get a lot of stations at night with the same radio you have. Mostly foreign languages and religious stations.

Dont give up, learn the difference between Mhz and Khz.
Just a thought Aberro.
Have you tried an active QRM eliminator or even a simple lowpass or tunable notch filter?
On 11m my QRM was a solid S7 24/7 until I fitted an active QRM unit. Now it sits S3-4.
 

· Live Secret, Live Happy
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Sounds like you have a desktop shortwave receiver. The cheap, easy antenna solution is a length of 18 or 20 ga wire, stretched from the high point of your roof to the ground. I typically put the coax connection point at the highest spot, and stretch two lengths in the shape of an inverted vee. Then bring thecoax down and connect it to the external antenna port on your radio. When I did this in California using my Sangean 818, I could pick up commercia broadcast from New Zealand.
 

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Like posted before, go to the hardware store and buy an alligator clip and 100ft of 18ga wire. Strip off about an inch or so of insulation off the end of the wire and attach it to the clip, run the wire outside into trees as high up as you can and stretch the wire out. Put the clip onto the radios antenna and that should improve the reception and pick up SW stations worldwide. This is what I did with mine and it did improve the reception 100%. Just remember to un-hook the wire from the antenna during an electrical storm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
SW needs an electrically quiet area to work in. Middle of a City is very SW radio unfriendly, all the static drowns out most SW radios signals. I’m no expert, but that’s my experience.

As you noted, during a power outage, you were able to get some signals. I have my long wire antenna in the garage attic separate from the main house. leave any fluorescent lights off, they are also a noise generator. I get a lot of stations at night with the same radio you have. Mostly foreign languages and religious stations.

Dont give up, learn the difference between Mhz and Khz.
Actually parts of the city lost power, we never did. However we turned off alot of stuff in the house in case we did. We turned on the hand crank radio to listen to NOAA reports.
 

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The evening is often a better time to pick up SW stations and when many are broadcast. As others have stated, try and use your radio outside away from the electrical interference inside a home or apartment. Use the schedules as well to know when to tune in to a specific channel that you know will be broadcasting at that time.


Short Wave Frequencies:

Pirate Radio Frequencies:
 

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I've picked up a Tecsun PL-880 SW radio. Its good at pickup up FM signals, but not so good with AM and can't pick up any SW. Even with the generic antenna that came with it isn't helpful, even if I have it close to a window.

Purchased this via Amazon, which is recommending the following antennas:



Does anyone have any experience with either of these? As rating are high for both, however I'm new to SW.

thanks
A basic primer on long wire SW antennas. Hope this is helpful.
 

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Probably a bit beyond the scope of this post but I'd be interested in knowing what some of the better SW radios might be. I'm sure there is a range (price and quality).
Try CC Crane radios. They are good to deal with and what I got from them was a Sangean ATS 818 radio and it does give me good reception. I have had this radio for over 12 years now.
 
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