When you hear an odd-sounding duck-like voice, use the main tuning dial to tune the signal until it sounds as good as possible, then press the FINE button and tune the main dial in the fine-tuning mode until the voice sounds normal. Well, that what it says to do in the manual, anyway. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten much out of the shortwave band on this radio, duck-like or not.
I had a fairly nice multiband radio that I bought at Radio Shack on New Year’s Day 1993, and was getting pretty good at finding stations with it, with the help of the World Radio & TV Handbook and a whole lot more patience than I seem to have now. Unfortunately, said radio bit the dust later in the decade (apparently the radio didn’t take well to being packed in a suitcase and riding in the bellies of airplanes), and I sort of abandoned world radio listening after that. A couple of years ago, I learned about CCrane, manufacturers of quality radio equipment, and they had a radio that sparked my interest. Unlike my radio from 1993, this one had the ability to tune in single-sideband broadcasts (SSB), which was pretty helpful, not only in picking up stations that broadcast in SSB mode, but in picking up stations with weak signals.
A lot has changed in the world since I first got into world radio, most notably the Internet, and many of the more popular shortwave stations (BBC, Deutsche Welle, the CBC, to name but a few) have abandoned broadcasting over the air and have moved their operations to the World Wide Web. Which is probably just as well, since I haven’t been able to receive anything resembling a radio broadcast, in either AM or SSB mode, on the shortwave band. Even stations like WWV, a time station operated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) which broadcasts out of Fort Collins, Colorado, have eluded me.
Still, it’s a nice radio, and I can pick up regular broadcast AM and FM signals with no trouble whatsoever. It’s kind of nostalgic to be listening to a ballgame on the radio with it, that is when there’s a ballgame to listen to. Maybe one night I’ll do some broadcast DX-ing with it and see how far I can pull in stations from. Summer is fast approaching, the prime season for that hobby…
Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word about Lego System building blocks, now made in America by Samsonite for longer-lasting fun!