> The other day I decided to use my GE.World Monitor (1968 radio) and
> listen to SW. (by the way its a great radio! very sensitive)
> I know it was during the day, but I used to be able to pick stuff up
> even before sundown.
> When I try at night, there seems to nothing but more interfence and
> hardly any programming other than religous programing and China. Whats
> happend to Radio Moscow? the BBC? radio Nederlands? Albania?
> Is Shortwave going away too? When the powers out ain't nothing gonna
> beat a radio.
Shortwave of course was traditionally national broadcasters (with a bit of
religious and a slight bit of commercial). Forty years ago there was talk
of it being the end of shortwave, but that didn't happen, it certainly got
better from the standpoint of the receiver as Sony and other Japanese
companies came in with "modern" receivers, so much easier to tune, and to
figure out the frequency than those that came before (except if you paid a
lot of money).
But over the past decade or so, a lot of national broadcasters have
abandoned shortwave. They don't see the listenership there, they realize
that for many, they can reach them with other means (I gather many NPR
stations in the US carry BBC programming overnight, something that wasn't
available in the past, and of course there's the internet). They look at
the cost of keeping the transmitters going, and decide there is better
ways to spend the money.
So a lot of the countries that used to be on are no longer there.
It's a compliated thing, since there were the hobbyists who were maybe
most interested in hearing distant stations (so some of the prime
programming was the programs about shortwave listening), while a whole
other branch wasn't interested in the hobby, they either wanted news from
"the old country", or they had an interest in world news or some specific
country, or perhaps they were interested in the cultural aspects.
The news is available elsewhere. Shortwave suffers badly from fading,
which really puts a damper on listenig to music (so once the cultural
types could get it elsewhere, "world music" CDs or the internet, there
went another chunk of people). The hobbyists were never quite the market
for the shortwave stations, though I suppose when propaganda was an
important concept, getting any listeners helped in that way.
So the same people who bought into shortwave when Sony and the rest
started making nice portable receivers have mostly gone elsewhere. That's
surely why I keep finding interesting transistor shortwave receivers at
garage sales for a few dollars.
The Source here in Canada (what had previously been Radio Shack in Canada)
has virtually nothing in the way of shortwave receivers now. Even a few
years ago they carried about six models, now they have one of those 30.00
analog radios that happen to have a frequency counter for a dial,
maybe a windup radio that incidentally carries shortwave (I"m not sure if
any of the windups do cover sw now, and it always seemed more like a
marketing thing for those radios, "get shortwave for emergencies" since
they really weren't great radios at the price level), the Grundig/Eton G8
that seems to get good reviews as an FM receiver but the sw specs seem not
so great and a recent Grundig/Eton that seems more interesting because it
is also an MP3 player than because it covers shortwave. None of the
current shortwave radios have BFOs. Even about five years ago, the chain
still had the Grundig Satellite 800 and then the 750, better than portable
So it's now back to the specialty stores to buy shortwave radios in