There is still magic in the air. One must be a receiver to pick up on it. Right?
The magic of shortwave radio is that its broadcasts carry a long, long way. I’m able to hear broadcasts that happen in certain spots in this hemisphere. IN. THIS. HEMISPHERE. MAGICAL. So, yeah, I’ve always wanted a world radio, and now I have one. Okeechobee, FL, I got ya. Nashville, TN? Listening. North Carolina? Sure, talk to me about your god. Argentina? Yo no comprendo, pero yo escucho.
What’s interesting to note is that commercial shortwave radio in the USA is kinda boring. It’s mostly beacons and religious programming. How unfortunate! But hey, at least I can listen to WWV and get the exact time in places where my devices can’t pick up NTP (in this era of widespread cellular coverage, is that really a concern?).
Be that as it may, even if it’s boring here, I can take this radio into most countries and pick up something. Heck, the other night I picked up Radio NHK Japan, which was being simulcast from France. That’s a helluva DX, right? France!
If anything, I think buying this shortwave radio has ignited my latent desire to get a ham license. Who knows what the future holds? It’s not like I need a new hobby, but novelty is sorely missing from my life sometimes, right? Maybe I’ll find a new passion in the 2meter band.
Protip: WWV broadcasts on 2.5Mhz, 5MHz, 10MHz, 15MHz, 20MHz, and sometimes on 25MHz. I’ve successfully picked up 2.5, 5, 10, and 15 on Mount Bonnell in Austin. 20 is always fuzzy, if even detectable, and 25 is completely out on this radio set. It’s just not sensitive enough on the shorter wavelength bands.
Protip: Mount Bonnell isn’t the greatest vantage point for picking up SW broadcasts. Sure, it’s one of the highest elevations in Austin, but it’s in direct line of sight of the nearby radio tower range in Westlake where the local AM channels broadcast, so their signals interfere and bleed into SW broadcasts. Ah well.