Author Topic: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story  (Read 1489 times)

Offline Carl

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  As recently as 25 years ago, shortwave radio was a preferred source of breaking international news in North America.

Most hours of the day, the BBC World Service boomed in, especially at night on 6175 kHz. There was also Radio Moscow — once the mouthpiece of old-style Soviet propaganda — the Voice of America, Radio Netherlands, Deutsche Welle from West Germany and Radio Berlin International from East Germany.

If you wanted to know what was happening in Cuba, Tel Aviv or what was then called Bombay, you could tune to Radio Havana, Kol Yisrael or All India Radio directly.

120 million people

At the time, the BBC estimated global shortwave listenership to be in excess of 120 million people weekly. Granted, most of that audience was outside of North America. But back when there was no awareness of the Internet and no international satellite TV, shortwave was where many news-hungry North Americans went first.

Scan across the shortwave bands and you’ll find that much has changed. In North America and Europe, many of the major broadcasters have disappeared or minimized their presence. In fact, the BBC World Service no longer beams programming via shortwave to the Americas or most of Europe.

“There has been a massive decline in shortwave listenership, especially in Europe and North America,” said Andy Sennitt. ...

http://www.radioworld.com/headlines/0045/whatever-happened-to-shortwave-radio/302129


Edited due to copyright issues -- please see here for Fair Use info.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 11:39:04 AM by Mr. Bill »
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Offline chad

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2017, 10:53:55 AM »
Interesting, all I ever picked up was a Spanish station I'm guessing from Cuba.

Offline Carl

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2017, 11:01:49 AM »
Interesting, all I ever picked up was a Spanish station I'm guessing from Cuba.

Yes,but more is there...Daytime 10 MHZ and UP...night time 10 MHZX and down. This is where the ETM (easy tune option) on some Shortwave radios makes life easier as it will scan and add to a temporary memory any signals captured and allow the user to tune quickly through the captured channels to rapidly find useful signals. Even the handheld PL-360 ($45) will capture 20 to 30 daytime stations and many more in the lower frequencies at night,often from Europe.
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Offline chad

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2017, 11:15:02 AM »
I'll dig my sony 7600 out and give it a go, not sure if it has the scan feature.

Offline Carl

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2017, 12:17:58 PM »
I'll dig my sony 7600 out and give it a go, not sure if it has the scan feature.

It won't scan,but is a good quality receiver.
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Offline chad

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2017, 12:32:09 PM »
It won't scan,but is a good quality receiver.

I think that's why I had little success, manually adjusting it got tiresome.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2017, 01:20:36 PM »
Good article Carl, thanks.  It dovetails with piece about fast-approaching troubles even for local AM & FM broadcasting: http://variety.com/2017/music/news/traditional-radio-faces-a-grim-future-new-study-says-1202542681/  A key quote:
Quote
In the 30-page report, Larry Miller argues that traditional radio has failed to engage with Generation Z — people born after 1995 — and that its influence and relevance will continue to be subsumed by digital services unless it upgrades.

Back to SW radio, there's likely an economically viable model for it out there that just hasn't been implemented yet.  The two markets that I can see (apart from the church-funded religious programming) are to a broadly-distributed non-mainstream audience, and for a general national newscast.  Both accompanied by an online stream, of course.

The first of these is where, of all people, Alex Jones is having some success on WWCR.  Yes, it's whacky and paranoid, but if you're whacky and paranoid it's good to have a SW receiver, right?  Another niche was being filled by Art Bell with his new show on WTWW.  Unfortunately he retired, his replacement is a vocal Wiccan, and that probably didn't fly too well with WTWW's paid religious programming customers.  (Well, it was fun while it lasted.)  But imagine a SW station that broadcasts some of the podcasts many of us listen to... say Dr. Bones & Nurse Amy, Jack, Chris Martenson, etc.  It'd need some fleshing out, but it might work.  Again, who already owns SW receivers?  Steer the programing toward, well, people like us.

On to the general news station idea, anybody remember Global24 from about three years ago?  They started out buying time on WRMI to broadcast news & commentary 24/7.  It was a good idea but the guy spearheading it was a yo-yo who consistently over-promised and under-performed.  But imagine if it was done correctly, then it might stand a chance.  Think of how Elon Musk is taking over from Cold War-era government efforts on space travel, and then think of somebody taking on Cold-War-era mass broadcasting.  Just with less war and propaganda crap this time.

SW is such a great thing, I hate to see it abandoned just because Cold War propaganda machines moved in and screwed it up for a half-centruy.

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Offline SCWolverine

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2017, 03:44:14 PM »
I became a SWL back in the mid/late 1990's.  Man it was FUN back then. Bo Gritz, that guy could put on a show for sure....
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Offline Carl

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2017, 03:59:15 PM »
  There are a few produced shows of interest still ,from time to time on WWCR ,in between the religious programing and such. I am still very happy with talk radio on AM at night as there is much of interest to hear. I often listen to baseball or football games in the manner I was introduced to them on radio and my radio runs all night to occupy my mind and mask out the 'bumps' in the night that cause worry for my dog and me. My AM radio lets me listen in to many interesting shows and provides a good 'storm alert' with the lightening static and the CD warning that alerts one to serious weather is helpful also.

  The internet has mostly replaced shortwave simply because so few are listening in industrialized countries. If you search for english language shortwave broadcasting,you will find a very short list as the shortwave guide used to be the size of a telephone book...times are changing.AM radio,with it's long range night time propagation has become the 'new' shortwave for collection of information though as most talk radio is from the 'right' ,I see it is under attack from the left and soon a confrontation may develop as it is one of the few conservative mediums left for us to use.
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Offline armymars

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2017, 09:38:38 AM »
Remember Radio Cairo?

Offline Skyliner

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2017, 11:08:45 AM »
Shortwave used to be non-stop action during the cold war.
Almost every country was pumping out programming around the clock, so there was never a shortage of things to listen to.

Now days it is mostly religious, Spanish or conspiracy type programming that is easily accessible to listeners in the United States.  For sure there is a lot more out there, but it takes effort and a good antenna to enjoy on a regular basis.  The other negative is the proliferation of noise generated by all of the cheap electronics these days, which makes pulling out the weak stations that much more difficult. 

These days I spend a lot of time restoring old shortwave radios from the 50's thru the 80's, and it is still enjoyable tuning around the bands with those workhorses from the past.




Offline iam4liberty

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2017, 10:06:30 PM »
Holy cow. Turned on the shortwave and WBCQ boomed out with the best signal I have ever heard. Last night i was listening to the Financial Survival show (oddly enough talking about NFL protests).  Now it was rock from different eras.

Any idea if this is equipment changes or changes in shortwave conditions?  Here is a link to their website: http://www.wbcq.com

If this continues i will be lisening to a lot more shortwave.

Offline Carl

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2017, 03:38:00 AM »
Holy cow. Turned on the shortwave and WBCQ boomed out with the best signal I have ever heard. Last night i was listening to the Financial Survival show (oddly enough talking about NFL protests).  Now it was rock from different eras.

Any idea if this is equipment changes or changes in shortwave conditions?  Here is a link to their website: http://www.wbcq.com

If this continues i will be lisening to a lot more shortwave.



 We are in a particularly low propagation period during this part of the 'normal' 11 year cycle of solar activity though normally you can expect frequencies below about 10 MHZ to be heard better at night and the above 10 MHZ heard better during the daylight hours as the layers of the ionosphere change position and reflectivity are effected by solar radiation.This is part of the mystique of shortwave listening and Ham radio.
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Offline chad

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2017, 11:27:36 AM »
Holy cow. Turned on the shortwave and WBCQ boomed out with the best signal I have ever heard. Last night i was listening to the Financial Survival show (oddly enough talking about NFL protests).  Now it was rock from different eras.

Any idea if this is equipment changes or changes in shortwave conditions?  Here is a link to their website: http://www.wbcq.com

If this continues i will be lisening to a lot more shortwave.

Thanks, I'll give it a go tonight.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2017, 12:05:00 PM »
Apparently it was band conditions.  According to some of the propogation condition sites around  7 Mhz was near optimal at that time (vs 20% to 40% lately).  Let's hope it continues. It sounded as good as a local AM station.


Offline Carl

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2017, 12:17:34 PM »
Apparently it was band conditions.  According to some of the propogation condition sites around  7 Mhz was near optimal at that time (vs 20% to 40% lately).  Let's hope it continues. It sounded as good as a local AM station.



We should be improving before long and shortwave,and the Ham bands ,will work much better. I just hate that I missed it.
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Offline chad

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2017, 12:19:31 PM »
Apparently it was band conditions.  According to some of the propogation condition sites around  7 Mhz was near optimal at that time (vs 20% to 40% lately).  Let's hope it continues. It sounded as good as a local AM station.



I can't find a current propagation map for WBCQ, you have any luck finding one?

Offline Carl

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2017, 12:34:21 PM »
  This should do although conditions are rarely accurately predictable.

http://www.wbcq.com/?page_id=17

http://www.wbcq.com/?page_id=12

http://halturnerradioshow.com/index.php/international-shortwave-station-wbcq

I received my backup Kaito KA 390 in today...NEW,not a refurb. and under $20
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Offline chad

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2017, 12:45:38 PM »
  This should do although conditions are rarely accurately predictable.

http://www.wbcq.com/?page_id=17

http://www.wbcq.com/?page_id=12

http://halturnerradioshow.com/index.php/international-shortwave-station-wbcq

I received my backup Kaito KA 390 in today...NEW,not a refurb. and under $20

Thanks Carl but the first 2 links go to Jan 2017 map and the third one I get bounced to advertisements.

Offline Carl

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2017, 12:55:15 PM »
ODD,but 7490 should be strong over it's coverage area by about 8 PM CST. Ham bands give current propagation of Hams on different bands you may find helps show propagation .

http://www.dxmaps.com/spots/mapg.php?Lan=E&Frec=144&ML=M&Map=NA&HF=N&DXC=ING2&GL=N
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Offline chad

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2017, 01:34:23 PM »
ODD,but 7490 should be strong over it's coverage area by about 8 PM CST. Ham bands give current propagation of Hams on different bands you may find helps show propagation .

http://www.dxmaps.com/spots/mapg.php?Lan=E&Frec=144&ML=M&Map=NA&HF=N&DXC=ING2&GL=N

Thanks I'll give it a shot tonight

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2017, 01:59:38 PM »
On related news, BBC is now broadcasting into North Korea in Korean.

https://www.nknews.org/2017/09/bbc-launches-korean-language-service-covering-n-korea/

The British Broadcasting Service (BBC) began its Korean language programming on Monday, an announcement from the UK’s national broadcaster reads, and will transmit news and radio to the entire Korean peninsula.

Its Korean language programming forms part of 11 new foreign language services that the BBC called the biggest expansion of its World Service since the 1940’s, with £289 million (USD$389,514,200) invested in the project.

“BBC Korea will be reporting a fair and impartial news based on the tradition the BBC World Service has established,” Francesca Unsworth, BBC World Service director said in the article announcing the new programming.

Offline Carl

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2017, 02:18:16 PM »
  I wonder how many NK peoples have radios?  I wish the BBC would have kept English to America broadcasts as 3 or 4 of us listened to them.
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Offline DonC

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2017, 03:54:29 AM »
I don't think SW radio is completely gone! I meet listeners in my area from time to time. When I was in Louisiana, I knew a few listeners.

You got me hooked on listening to SW, Carl. The external solar Kaito antenna source opened up my tuning quite a bit. Some of it is re-broadcasts from other countries. Still enjoy VoA!

Great Post +1

Offline Carl

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2017, 05:19:10 AM »
I don't think SW radio is completely gone! I meet listeners in my area from time to time. When I was in Louisiana, I knew a few listeners.

You got me hooked on listening to SW, Carl. The external solar Kaito antenna source opened up my tuning quite a bit. Some of it is re-broadcasts from other countries. Still enjoy VoA!

Great Post +1

  I just talked to DON from Oklahoma (hundreds of miles away!)on our clubs local repeater and EchoLink as DON was using the link and my radio
in the back room Hamshack as the EchoLink station for our area is provided by myself,even while I was in a nursing home recovering from surgery
for 5 months as the system can be that stable.
  He missed me on his first call as I was tuning the shortwave bands and listening while checking in to see if any 'traffic' was held for my area from Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Emergency Net as I have passed along 'health and welfare' phone calls from the islands to US phone numbers as a help to worried families and have done quite a few though none today,so far, and this may mean other communications are improving though it will be years for recovery of that area and normalcy to return.
  I actually did hear a boat in distress call being handled by a coast guard boat and that was cool,they had engine trouble and were to be towed to port somewhere.They were on a maritime HF frequency and being searched for as they fired a flare on request a couple of times before being located and switched to VHF marine channel at direction of the CG vessel so I lost the rest of the story as VHF is more short range communication.
  All this and breakfast before 530 in the morning!
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Offline iam4liberty

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2017, 06:38:11 PM »
Definitely wasnt imagining it!  Check out this video which was in my feed today:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5FVjGMBPJ8Q

It references this video:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qVYN0UrSgjY

At about 3:30 she talks about the improved propogation.

Offline Carl

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Re: What happened to Shortwave broadcasting? March 2010 James Careless story
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2017, 04:50:21 AM »
Definitely wasnt imagining it!  Check out this video which was in my feed today:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5FVjGMBPJ8Q

It references this video:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qVYN0UrSgjY

At about 3:30 she talks about the improved propogation.

She said we are fluxed...snicker snicker...soon the shortwave and Ham bands will come alive again.
Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?