Shortwave radio broadcasts between 3 and 30 MHz (3,000 kHz to 30,000 kHz), and signals can be heard across long distances. They were frequently used during World War II, usually transmitting coded messages.

First introduced in the 1920s, shortwave broadcasts revolutionized the world of radio, making international broadcasting and international communication possible. Shortwave broadcasts work in conjuncture with the ionosphere... the frequencies fall into the ionosphere and bounce back, broadcasting across the globe.

Although radios that pick up shortwave broadcasts can still be bought today, vintage shortwave radios are a fun (and useful!) collectible.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Jim's Antique Radio Museum

Jim's Antique Radio Museum

Jim Tripp's showcase of radios from the 1920s to late 1950s, organized by style and theme (wood, console, plastic, … [read review or visit site]

The Radio Attic's Archives

The Radio Attic's Archives

This photo gallery of over 7800 vintage radios, categorized by manufacturer and model number, is a group effort wit… [read review or visit site]

AntiqueRadios.com

AntiqueRadios.com

Alan Voorhees' reference resource for vintage radio collectors includes a photo gallery, article library, PDF archi… [read review or visit site]

Radiomuseum.org

Radiomuseum.org

This vast archive and community of radio collectors features over 120,000 radio model listings and 350,000 photos a… [read review or visit site]

Phil's Old Radios

Phil's Old Radios

This extensive collection of antique radios includes beautiful photos and detailed historical descriptions. The sit… [read review or visit site]

Radiophile.com

Radiophile.com

John Pelham's collection of wood and plastic radios from the 1930's and 40's. What sets this site apart is the deta… [read review or visit site]

Radio-Guy

Radio-Guy

Steve Erenberg's extremely wacky and well-done collection of vintage mad-scientist devices and contraptions. Writte… [read review or visit site]



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Recent News: Shortwave Radios

Source: Google News

Tom Wolf, reluctant heir to family business, carries lessons from Peace Corps ...
The Patriot-News - PennLive.com, October 30th

The only means of communication was a telegraph office where the postmaster would record messages on slips of paper. Short-wave radio could pick up signals from Beijing, Moscow and Sri Lanka. The next closest Peace Corps volunteer was an hour's bus ...Read more

The Department of State on the Eve of World War II
UNC Chapell Hill, October 30th

United States short wave broadcasters for improvement of broadcast to foreign countries, especially the other American republics, to counteract adverse propaganda from foreign sources or ignorance of current events through foreign censorship of...Read more

Spevak: Arturo Sandoval thinks of Gillespie every day
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, October 29th

The problems came via shortwave radio and The Voice of America. Broadcasts that included jazz music. “My, sergeant caught me listening to it and they put me in prison for 3½ months,” Sandoval says. “Because I was listening to the voice of the enemy.”...Read more

There's a giant spot on the sun, and it's acting weird
PBS NewsHour, October 29th

Solar flares pose less danger than CME's, but they can affect short-wave radio communication used by pilots and ships, since the radio waves are bounced off the upper atmosphere. Sunspots, first seen through a telescope by Galileo, are classified by...Read more

DVB to switch from shortwave radio to online broadcast
Democratic Voice of Burma, October 23rd

Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), the country's longest running exile broadcaster, which first aired in 1992, will enter a new phase on 26 October, switching from shortwave to online radio. “Surveys show fewer people listen to shortwave nowadays...Read more

W.Va. museum displays radio, technology history
Washington Times, October 21st

A shortwave radio such as the one pictured above was used by Walter Kendall Myers, 72, and his wife, Gwendolyn, 71, who are accused of spying for Cuba. The Justice Department affidavit said Cuban intelligence appears to have sent the ... more >...Read more

The Secret Machine Behind Soviet Numbers Stations
Radio Survivor, October 20th

For the uninitiated, numbers stations are shortwave broadcasters that transmit nothing but sequences of numbers read in a monotone voice, in any number of languages. It was long thought that the stations were sending coded instructions to spies and...Read more

Coral survival, bite marks tell of ancient reptile fight, shortwave radio ...
Charlotte Observer, October 4th

A shortwave radio presentation Friday, at Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute will feature author Thomas Witherspoon, a graduate of Western Carolina University and publisher of SWLing (Shortwave Listening) Post, a radio communications blog...Read more