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

Western Media Must Get Creative in Infowar
The Moscow Times (registration), August 4th

During the Cold War, those living under Communist regimes who wished to hear news from abroad could do so with a shortwave radio. In the period of relative media freedom in Russia that followed, several foreign broadcasters dropped these services and ...Read more

Win a portable shortwave radio in the Virtual Radio Challenge III
Southgate Amateur Radio Club, August 2nd

This year, the SWLing Post is hosting the Virtual Radio Challenge III: your opportunity to piece together the best radio receiver set up for thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. If your entry is picked by our judge (Dennis Blanchard, K1YPP), you will win...Read more

VOA Somali and Hausa Major Contributors in Polio Eradication Success
Inside VOA (VOA Public Relations) (press release) (blog), July 31st

VOA reaches Somalia and neighboring countries on AM, FM, shortwave radio, the Internet, and through mobile devices. A team of Somali broadcasters based in Washington, D.C., along with freelance reporters in Somalia and elsewhere in Africa and the ...Read more

A Voice From China's Uighur Homeland, Reporting From the US
New York Times, July 31st

Mr. Hoshur continues to report on Xinjiang from afar for Radio Free Asia, the news service funded by the United States government that broadcasts in Uighur on shortwave radio and publishes stories written in the language's Arabic script on its website...Read more

What happened to Capitol Hill 'conspirators' in the FBI's 2010 Russian spy case
CHS Capitol Hill Seattle, July 31st

In one apparently secret search of the conspirator's Seattle apartment in 2006, FBI agents found shortwave radio equipment and spiral notebooks filled with seemingly random numbers. Agents concluded they were codes to decipher radiograms...Read more

How a Voice of America DJ Helped the U.S. Win the Cold War
Reason (blog), July 30th

VOAVoice of America DJ Willis Conover is up for a postage stamp to honor his work in exporting jazz, especially to short-wave radio listeners in the old Soviet Bloc, as Doug Ramsey at The Wall Street Journal notes. A stamp would be a minimal tribute...Read more

La Verne ham radio operators honored as 'unsung heroes'
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, July 22nd

The LASERS were established in 1996 to provide communication services via shortwave radio during emergencies and natural disasters. Since its inception, the group limited to a maximum of 10 members has trained, planned and coordinated shortwave ...Read more

As governments shut down radio, the BBC world service is a lifeline
New Statesman, July 9th

The most striking thing in the report, which tracked listening habits and how they had changed over the past year, was how short-wave radio – in rural and poorer areas where there is no FM, no cable and no electricity, it's still the only way of tuning...Read more