RC Logr 20200320 114100
Friday, 20 Mar, 2020🗓 "Vernal Equinox Day" in Japan
We are not quarantined in Japan (yet), but here is an idea to squelch the boredom: get a radio that can pick up shortwave, and do some BCL or broadcast listening. Last night I heard Beijing news on «Peking Hoso 7220 Khz on 41mb» in Japanese, talking about Coronoavirus and newborn pandas! 🐼
I have a Tecsun S-8800 which is a well-regarded portable radio that will take external antennas if you want them, can receive FM, MW (AM), SW, LW. Tecsun makes the AN-200, an external AM antenna which you can connect with a stereo connector if your radio has an input for that, or (in the case of the S-8000) you just set behind the radio and tune via its knob. It’s pretty amazing and works to improve the sound of AM stations.
Other stuff I learned:
- Some AM stations are also using “wide band” FM to transmit, so you get a much better sound.
- There are tons of SW stations to check out, and shortwave will bounce off the ionosphere so you can hear it from far away (unlike FM or AM which seem to be regional). I heard a wide array of stations while surfing the SW stations, which were transmitting at night from Korea, China, Taiwan. A lot of news-sounding broadcasts, including Chinese lessons for foreigners on 7324 Khz.
- SW’s hard to censor apparently, so a lot of people use it to transmit non-fake news from their countries.
- Japan has news transmitted on SW out of various countries in Asia, in Japanese.
- SW stations don’t transmit 24x7, and the Short-Wave.info site is easy to use to find what’s transmitting right now, and in addition has good basic info about this whole kaboodle.
- If your radio or its remote can accept direct frequency input, you can input the station’s frequency instead of turning a dial again and again. Apparently SW radios have a main tuner knob that gets you to the main frequency area, then you use a fine tuning knob to clean up the signal.