There are many shortwave (SW) frequencies traveling around the world, even today. They totally deserve some of our attention since they are pretty magnificent. Fair warning, after this article, you will probably want to start listening to these shortwave radio frequency broadcasts every day! So, if you have any kind of shortwave radio lying around your dad’s old garage, you might want to take it out on time, so that you can follow along.
We will be also showing you how to tune in to shortwave radio frequencies and listen to them.
If you are interested in finding out more about what shortwave frequencies are, how were they discovered, how to listen to them, and which frequencies are popular today, stay tuned until the end of this article.
Quick-reference list of SW frequencies
What are shortwave radio frequencies?
Shortwave radio frequencies are frequencies of the electromagnetic waves that have different lengths. These waves usually are long from 10 to 80m or 33 to 262 feet. This means that since their length is long, their frequency will belong as well. Now, their frequencies may vary but are usually within 29.7-3.5 MHZ.
The history of shortwave radio frequencies
These frequencies, and basically the electromagnetic waves have were discovered in the middle of the 20th century. Back then, the scientists have been working on finding a device that will be able to transmit bigger frequencies and cover up higher ranges.
The 1920s decade was a very successful decade when they actually did some experiences that eventually led to discovering devices, now known as shortwave radios, that have the ability to transmit signals like those all around the world.
When shortwave radio signals first appeared, the scientists knew little about them. Basically, it was discovered later on that these waves are able to bounce off of different layers of surfaces, travel through the air, water and earth, and still get to their destination untouched. This discovery has certainly been the start of something new, a whole new way of communication, to be exact. Shortwave radios and the shortwave radio waves will soon begin their journey of becoming the world’s number one way of communication, especially in the world war two and in the cold war.
Popular shortwave radio broadcasts
Even though shortwave radio broadcasts are not nearly as frequent as they used to be, there are still some regular ones even today. The good thing is that, since these are shortwave radio signals, you can basically listen to them from any part of this world.
We were able to find a list of available broadcasts in Africa and Asia, and we will be leaving you a link here so that you can see and find your favorite ones.
As you probably know, these frequencies are not available all the time. In fact, broadcasts are being scheduled upfront so that the listeners have enough time to prepare themselves for listening. Since these radio stations are nothing like the ones that we, perhaps, listen to in our cars, they basically do not need to be broadcasted all the time. There’s actually no point in that. So, that is why shortwave radio frequencies and radio stations are available for listening only on certain times and dates.
We recommend you to do some research online and find the perfect radio station for yourself if you are new to this whole shortwave radio stuff. After you do that, check when their next broadcast has been scheduled. And then, proceed to the next paragraph to find how to listen to it from the comfort of your home.
On the other hand, here are some of the popular shortwave radio stations in the US and Canada. There are many more of these than anywhere else in the world. These are both commercial and non-commercial ones. The USA even has some radio stations that are being broadcasted and confirmed by their government.
For an example, the Voice of America is a government-owned broadcast radio station. Some other popular ones are Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, Radio Mashaal, Radio Azadi, and many others! Check the full list here.
How to listen to shortwave radio frequencies
So, obviously, in order to be able to listen to shortwave radio frequencies, you need to have a shortwave radio of some sort, or, a PC computer. Yes, you have read that right, shortwave radio stations can be listened to from a PC with a good Wi-Fi.
- Listening to shortwave radio frequencies from a computer or a phone
Basically, all that you have to do is find the radio station which you want to listen to and check its broadcasting schedule. After you have done that, search for that particular radio station’s official website. If that radio station does have a website, you will be able to see the instructions of how to listen to it online there. Just remember that it’s important to tune in on time so that you do not miss the broadcast.
- Listening to shortwave radio frequencies on a shortwave radio
Now, if you have a shortwave radio, you will need to learn the basics of tuning. Of course, if your shortwave radio is digital, you will need just a few clicks on a button in order to tune perfectly into some frequency. But, if your shortwave radio is an analog one, and possesses a tuning knob, you will have to learn how to put a little bit of effort in order to tune it right!
After finding out all of the details about the broadcast, turn on your radio and turn the knob left or right. You will be able to see that the diameter is moving on your analog screen. Simply turn in until you find the right frequency. You will be able to hear by the sound that is coming out of the speakers if you have hit the right frequency, or if you need to tune it a little bit better.
Final words of the Shortwave Radio Frequencies
See how a little experiment done by a bunch of scientists a hundred years ago could end up changing the lives of millions of people in the future? A world without shortwave radio frequencies would be a totally different world, and who knows how it would turn out. This discovery has replaced telegrams and telephones in the 1900s, and it still has a huge impact, even today in modern society!
FAQs Shortwave Radio Frequencies
Are there any shortwave radio stations left?
Yes, there are a lot of shortwave radio stations still broadcasting daily all around the world. You have the ability to view the full list online.
What frequencies are considered shortwaves?
Shortwave frequencies are those frequencies that operate between 29.7-3.5MHz.
Are shortwave radios obsolete?
Yes! The landscape of shortwave radios is changing, but, there will always be some radio stations just waiting for you to tune to them!
Do I need a license in order to listen to shortwave radio frequencies?
No, you do not need any kind of license in order to tune into shortwave radio frequencies. You have the ability to listen to them freely. But, on the other hand, if you want to broadcast something, you might need an international license for that.
Where can I buy shortwave radios?
You can check if some of your local tech stores sell shortwave radios. But, if you are looking for some particular model, you can always do your online search. Amazon can basically offer you all kinds of different shortwave models made by different brands.
Recommended reading: Best shortwave radio
Can shortwave radios be traced?
Actually, yes they can be traced. To be more precise, the single that your shortwave radio produces can be traced or tracked by others.