Since there are many people out there who do not quite know what shortwave radios are, we believe that it’s our job to change that thing. So, today, we will be educating you, informing you, and answering all of your questions about the shortwave radios which you have had in the past couple of months.
You should know that shortwave radio is a very wide term that contains lots of information, but, today, we will be mainly focusing and explaining what shortwave radios actually are and how do they work.
In this article, we will be discussing several topics in order for you to better understand what shortwave radios are and how do they work. So topics such as:
- What is actually shortwave radio?
- How do shortwave radios work?
- The history of shortwave radios
- The best shortwave radio stations
- Are they still in use?
- Should you purchase a shortwave radio?
- The future of shortwave radios
- Where to buy a shortwave radio
- The conclusion
It Will all be discussed here today.
What is actually shortwave radio?
Before we start, the exact definition of shortwave radio is basically that shortwave radios are transmitting shortwave radio frequencies. Their range may vary, but it’s usually a big one, a big range, and can be extended to a few MHz of high-frequency bands. That’s basically all that you need to know for starters, the rest will be explained throughout the article.
How do shortwave radios work?
As you might have heard sometimes in your life, shortwave radios contain lots of tuning buttons, tuning numbers, and, of course, the tuning screen. Basically, shortwave radios are devices that are able to receive electromagnetic waves that have different wavelengths, and different frequencies, of course. For you to understand better what these devices actually represent, and how do they work, we have to look back at history and see when these radios were invented.
The history of shortwave radios
When we take a look at history, you might be amazed that advanced devices such as these were created in the twentieth century. Basically, the idea of shortwave radio has shown up in the mid of 1920s, when scientists were trying to create a device that is able to transmit a radio signal over very long distances by making it bounce off of different materials and layers.
Even though the experimentation has begun in the 1920s, the first-ever shortwave device was created in the next decade, or the 1930s. We could only imagine the shock of people back then when a device (which was considered an advanced technology) was created in a time like that one. Shortwave communication was then enabled, and there were many worldwide shortwave broadcasts happening.
Most people were using shortwave radios back then in order to have a little entertainment by listening to funny shows, and similar broadcasts. Although these radios were not used equally in all parts of the world, they were used mostly in Europe, North America, and countries that were developing fast.
The role that shortwave radios play in our history is immaculate, they have helped bring the world together, enable all sorts of communication, and were later on used as a source of information.
So, how do they work?
Most of the shortwave radios contain an AM KHz radio frequency scale to which you are able to tune in your radio. It’s important to say that some of the shortwave radios are only able to receive AM frequencies, while others can receive FM signals too (measured in MHz).
Roughly said, frequency ranges of both AM and FM signals can vary but are usually in between 88-108 MHz, and 145-285 kHz. (a megahertz is one thousand kilohertz)
You might also see the MW label near your AM and FM signals, and it stands for medium wave. Basically, this means that the lower the frequency is, the longer the wave.
Shortwave signals are referring to three MHZ and 30 MHZ. In other words, shortwave radios have a higher frequency, but, the waves which they receive are shorter. Since the shortwave radios are able to receive short wave signals, which reflect even over the water, and are able to travel very fast; this means that you will be able to even listen to radio stations from all around the world. Of course, the ability to do that sort of thing depends on the time of day and the weather conditions, as well as the strength of your own shortwave radio.
These are basically all of the main information that you must know if you have gained interest in shortwave radios. There are other more specifications about them, and we would like to advise you that you do some more research if you would like to know more. But then again, since this information is basic, main ones, you are all caught up.
Some of the shortwave(SW) radio stations
If you are an owner of a shortwave radio, and you would like to try it out and listen to some of the world’s most popular SW radio stations, you can easily tune into it right away. We have found a list of SW radio stations for basically all of the world’s continents, and you can check them here and here. Read more about shortwave radio stations.
Are shortwave radios still in use?
Even though shortwave radios are older technology, shortwave radios are still in use. Many people from all around the world are using it even today. Since many people are impressed with the way that these radios work, their popularity keeps growing, even when we have all of the new fancy technology.
The magical thing about these radios is that they have the ability to basically catch a signal from all around the world and bring it to your radio, without interfering with any kind of obstacle. And that is what impresses people the most. So, yes, shortwave radios are still being widely used, and we believe that they will always be in use since they could easily qualify as emergency radios when you need to have an urgent conversation or transmit a message. But, besides that, they are also pretty cool!
Why are shortwave radios interesting, should you purchase them?
Shortwave radios have become the main interest of many people in the past year we could say that the pandemic has brought yet another light to them. Shortwave radios weren’t that famous over the past few years since they were replaced by other high technology devices that have had the ability to do much more than them. But, as you can see, shortwave radios are pretty interesting.
Their sales went up in 2020.and that’s great news! So, basically, if you have any kind of interest in these devices, we advise you to purchase one for yourself and start a new hobby. Usually, when people start this kind of hobby, they have no idea what do to, at the beginning. So, that is why we have tried our best in this article just to bring them a little bit close to you.
There are many different brands that make shortwave radios and you are able to basically purchase any kind of shortwave radio. Since the market is not that expensive, you will be able to find a perfectly good shortwave radio for just as little as $20. Give it a shot, this little hobby might turn into something more.
The future of shortwave radios
For now, the future of shortwave radios looks very bright. We cannot for sure ay that these radios will be widely used in 10 or 15 years, but there is always that chance. What we know is that the shortwave radios are bringing back their popularity and that currently now they are in wide usage all around the world.
All that’s left is to wait and see if they will be changed for a more advanced device with similar features as them. But, it should be a good thing to have a working shortwave radio laying around in your house, you never know when you might need it.
Where to buy a shortwave radio? All of the possible places
Since shortwave radios are not nearly as popular as they used to be back in the 20th century, it may be a little bit harder to find them, but, they are still available in many different places.
Their popularity certainly has had an effect on their manufacturing, which has been reduced to a minimum since not many people have an interest in shortwave radios nowadays due to the constant growth of new technology and devices.
Luckily, we are still into shortwave radios and for those who have the intention of keeping up with this legacy, there are still some places that sell shortwave radios. Internet is actually a gold mine when it comes to that! And, that is why we will be discussing where to buy a shortwave radio topic here today, and even giving you a mini buyer’s guide at the end so that you purchase just the right radio.
Here are some topics which will be discussed here today:
- Where can you purchase a shortwave radio nowadays
- Are shortwave radios still in use
- Buyer’s guide: How to choose the best shortwave radio
Where to buy a shortwave radio today
Off-line Store (near me in the USA)
- Ham Radio Outlet store
- GigaParts Las Vegas
- Main Trading Company
- Voice of America
- WYTN Radio
- FlexRadio Systems
- RadioShack etc and
- shortwave radio near me (search on google)
We have already mentioned that we know that shortwave radios are a little bit harder to find nowadays due to the lack of their usage. But, when you know where to look, you will find anything you want. In other words, there are still some stores all around the world that proudly sell different brands and models of shortwave radios. And, lucky for us, there are still old brands producing these types of radios, and new brands which are just appearing.
That is basically the thing that we will be talking about today: different shortwave radio brands and where to find them.
Before we start with that, we just wanted to mention straight away that, if you have already found the model of shortwave radios that you want to purchase, you should definitely check the availability of that model at some of your local tech stores. Basically, this is the startup point, you should always check at your local dealer, or at your local tech shop first. Who knows, many of those local stores are official dealers of many brands, and chances are that you will be able to find the radio model that you have been looking for there!
For example, if you live in Portland, US, you will for sure be able to find shortwave radios in the Ham Radio Outlet store. The good thing about this store actually is that it is available in many different states in the US, so you might even have it in your home town!
For people who live outside of the US, we left you a hyperlink that will lead you to the Ham Radio Outlet store’s website since they also have an online store from which you can order from!
Otherwise, if you do not find shortwave radios at any of your local tech stores, there are other places where you can look. For example, let’s start with one of the most famous shortwave radio brand Sangean. Sangean radio is, as you probably know, one of the oldest radio technology brands that exist today. They have been producing good quality and affordable radios for decades now, and can still be found at many stores. The good thing about this brand is that it has its official online store from which you can purchase any of their radio models.
You can find the link to the website HERE. But, besides that, many other shortwave radio brands have their online stores. And, if some did not have an online store before, they for sure have opened it now in the times of a global pandemic so that they could expand their market.
And overall, you should do a little bit of research yourself, because you will for sure be able to find all of the models which you would want to purchase at some online store. Amazon is also an official distributor of many brands, so, if you do not find that model you want to at your local store, nor at the official store of the brand, make sure to look on Amazon.
Are shortwave radios still in use?
All of us who have had a radio hobby for a while now know that shortwave radios are still widely used in all parts of the world. Yes, their usage has for certainly dropped a lot since there are new technology devices that are being released and invented every day. But, the true radio lovers for sure have a model or two lying around in their home.
The global pandemic actually helped a little bit since shortwave radios gained some popularity. Especially when the whole world was under lockdown, and when people had nothing to do at home. Some people were looking for a new hobby, and that is when they discovered the beauty of shortwave radios. So, the shortwave radio market is totally not dead nor will it be as long as there are true radio lovers who appreciate them.
What to look for in a shortwave radio?
As promised, we have told you that we will be giving you some tips on how to find and choose the perfect shortwave radio for yourself. So, here they are. These are just some simple tips and the most important things that you should look for in a shortwave radio. Of course, since all of us are different, we have different demands and wishes, so make sure that the model has everything that you seek for.
Are you looking for a portable or a tabletop shortwave radio?
The beauty of shortwave radios lays in their portability. Since these radios can catch signals from all around the world, you could easily purchase a travel, portable shortwave radio and carry it around on trips or some outdoor activities. By determining if you would like your radio to be a portable or a tabletop shortwave one, you are lowering your choices and making your decision easier.
- The battery duration matters
If a radio that you have chosen is a portable one, you should make sure that the quality of its batteries and the duration is at the highest level possible. The longer the duration of the battery, the longer you will be able to use it. So, make sure that it uses strong batteries and does not drain the power out of them quickly.
- Paying attention to the budget is also important
You should know your limits. Determine your budget before you decide to purchase something. Try to stick to it as much as possible so that you do not end up purchasing a super expensive shortwave radio model that is way out of your budget. Invest smartly and save some money on the way.
In summary, we are 100% sure that you will end up finding the best store to purchase your shortwave radio from, and, most importantly, that you will be able to find the perfect model of shortwave radios for yourself. Just take your time and do thorough research online and in your hometown because you never know, you might find a model that you have seeking for at your first search.
Remember to be patient, and have fun!
As you could have seen so far, shortwave radios have been a true revelation when they were first discovered back in the 1930s. One of the best things about them is that they remained popular all of these years, with a slight decrease and increase in their usage throughout the years. Thanks to the pandemic in 2020, many people have yet again turned to shortwave radios only to discover their new hobby.
We believe that shortwave radios are really awesome and that the way they work is truly magical. If you have any interest, or if you are not quite sure whether or not you should purchase one of these- we say go for it, you might as well learn something new or gain a new hobby.
You might never know when one of these radios might come in handy to you in life, so why not learn how to use them and how they work.
Thank you for joining us today in our shortwave radio explanation article, stay tuned for more similar articles coming your way!
FAQs Shortwave radio
- Are shortwave radios the same thing as HAM radios?
No, definitely not, these two might be similar but are not in any way the same. Namely, the Ham radios have the ability to listen to only specific frequencies. While, on the other hand, shortwave radios have the ability to listen to all of the HAM radio frequencies and to tune into all of the frequencies which are in between those.
- Are shortwave radios able to catch both AM and FM frequencies?
Yes, shortwave radios have the ability to catch both of these bands. But, you should know that you might run into some shortwave radios which only have a certain ability to catch only AM signals and not the FM ones, and in reverse.