Film, Radio and TV - 19 ~ Additional Information

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Shortwave Bands


Although a dozen or so bands are included in shortwave, in terms of distant reception the following are considered among the best.

16 meter band

17.55 - 17.9 MHz

Generally good year around in the daytime.

19 meter band

15.5 - 15.6 MHz

Good daytime band

25 meter band

11.65 - 12.05 MHz

Best two hours before sunset and at night.

31 meter band

9.5 - 9.9 MHz

Best two hours before sunset and at night.

49 meter band

5.95 - 6.2 MHz

Generally good all night.

Remember, that the best time to receive shortwave broadcasts is from sunset to sunrise. (Often, two hours before sunset works very well.)

A Standard World Time

International shortwave broadcasters have their program listings on their web sites. Program times are given in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), also known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), World Time, and Zulu Time.

UTC is the time in Greenwich England, uncorrected for daylight saving time. It is stated in the 24-hour format.

UTC can be heard each minute on station WWV in Fort Collins, Colorado on 2,0000MHz, 15000Hkz, 50000MHz and 2500Khz. This service, which is accurate to within a small fraction of a second, is used as a world standard for timekeeping. You can almost always get at least one of these frequencies on short wave during the day or night. Some watches and consumer clocks now use these signals as a time references.

UTC can also be heard at night on CHU, a Canadian station at 7335Khz.

UCT times can readily be translated into your local time. For example, if you live on the West Coast of North America, and the UTC or GMT is 20:00 hours, the time will be 12-noon Pacific Standard Time (or 11am during daylight savings time). World maps typically list time zones for various countries or world regions in plus or minus hours from UTC or GMT.

Shortwave Reception Issues

When trying to listen to shortwave remember that the materials used in some larger buildings tend to screen out radio signals—especially if there are floors above you. Putting the radio near a window or using an outside antenna may help.

If this still doesn't do the job, the VOA website has instructions for boosting your radio's reception capabilities with readily-available materials.

© 2009, Ron Whittaker
All Rights Reserved

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