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short wave radio-improving reception


Bembaman

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Someone once told me the length of arial is critical to SW, is that true and are there any DIY ways of extending it?

The short answer is yes and yes. But...

Depends on what type of radio you have. If it's half decent and has an extending whip type antenna/aerial putting this as near to the outside world as possible can make a difference. Some of the Sony models have an input for an external antenna which can make a vast improvement and connecting 50 feet of wire to this, if strung out in the open, would be more than enough for half decent BBC and VOA reception. Even 20 feet would be good.

The biggest obstacle in Bangkok is the noise, radio noise that is, which can mask even strong signals, a better antenna means lots more signal but can also mean a lot more interference pickup.

If you don't have an external input then just fit a crocodile/alligator clip to one end of the wire and clip it onto the whip antenna.

There is a whole lot more to this than I have stated here. If anybody needs specific help with getting good reception in LOS just let me know. Don't even ask if you stay in a basement on Sukhumvit next door to a welding shop though.

M.

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It's been many years since I listened to SW but I seem to remember that the antenna has to be pointing in the direction you are trying to receive for best reception. Old listening staions would usually have 3 or more wires strung up between the towers in a triangle pattern so as to be within 30 degrees direction of the transmitting station. If you string up an antenna make sure you are pointing in the correct (great circle) direction.

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Agree with everything said except that the Antenna (aerial) must be at right angles to the transmitter.

There is an "ideal" length of wire for any frequency and this can be calculated using the formula 75/frequency (the frequency must be in Megahertz and the answer is in metres)

If this is too long make a X about 3 - 4 feet across and wrap the wire round the X connect the end of the wire to the external rod aerial of the radio. Again the X should be at right angles to the transmitter and as high as possible. If you are near big electronic advertising then this may not work as it will pick up all the electronic noise from the flashing lights.

I have used this method before I bought my latest Sony SW100. It has its own external antenna and Sony have some very good antennas for sale.

Hope this helps

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