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

Anthony M. Castelletti: Rediscovering the joy of a forgotten hobby
Buffalo News, December 20th

On my very next birthday after the dead battery incident, I received my first shortwave radio. Although portable, it was soon set up on the desk in my bedroom, accompanied by a nearby map of the world, hung on the wall and precisely marked with each...Read more

Film programmer Nancy Campbell's top docs
Boston Globe, December 20th

In an ideal world, here is how multiculturalism should work: Paul Peña, a blind blues musician in Chicago, picks up broadcasts on his shortwave from Radio Moscow. He hears the uncanny, multi-toned throat singing called khoomei performed by a group from ...Read more

Obama's Cuba Switch Forces Exile Groups To Adapt
CBS Local, December 19th

He runs the Cuban Democratic Directorate, which supports Cuban dissidents and runs a Miami-based shortwave radio program Cubans can call into from the island. Gutierrez was leading a coalition of about 40 small groups planning to protest Obama ...Read more

Exchange Of Spies Was Critical To US-Cuba Deal
KQED, December 19th

She actually got her instructions from Havana through encrypted messages on a shortwave radio. And then she wrote down these messages on special water-soluble paper that dissolved so it could be quickly destroyed. And she was accused, among other ...Read more

Spy helped unmask 3 Cuban spy networks, US officials say
Washington Post, December 18th

From his perch as a cryptographer in Cuba's Directorate of Intelligence, Sarraff was able to provide information that repeatedly helped the U.S. intelligence community crack encoded messages the Communist government was sending via shortwave radio...Read more

Optimism and Anger Follow Obama's Cuba Announcement
Newsweek, December 18th

Calzon's organization helped secure the delivery of 50,000 shortwave radios into Cuba to foster greater communication. Though he noted the White House's promise to build up telecommunication infrastructure in Cuba, Calzon is unsure, noting that Castro ...Read more

Will the Search for Amelia Earhart Ever End?
Smithsonian, December 17th

(Under certain conditions, shortwave radio waves, reflected by the ionosphere, can “skip” for thousands of miles.) Obviously, if genuine, these would disprove the crashed-and-sank theory. Some clearly were hoaxes, but others are harder to dismiss...Read more

Twin Cities developer creates 'shortwave radio' app for world news
TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press, December 12th

Smartphone users have no shortage of radio-style apps that will stream news-and-information programming to them over the Internet. But app developers are always in search of niches within well-populated app categories, and Twin Cities resident Steven ...Read more