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Shortwave Radios

Those who wish to communicate over distances which are longer than the ones covered by CB radios, should look into shortwave radios as a viable alternative. Shortwave radios do not require a licence to operate and are very useful in emergency situations. A signal from one of these devices can travel far, making them excellent for calling for help and communicating back and forth about an unfolding situation. An extensive community of radio enthusiasts chat over the channels. Selecting the right shortwave radio involves carefully considering intended use, frequencies available and supporting equipment.

Pick a Frequency

Frequency is an expression of wavelength, so when choosing shortwave radios, look for a transceiver operating in the frequency range between 1.6 and 30 MHz. The most used band or segment is between 9.4 and 9.9 MHz, though radios operate across the whole frequency range. Amateur enthusiasts might be more interested in frequencies ranging between 7.2 and 7.6 MHz or between 3.9 and 4 MHz, as that is where the majority of amateurs broadcast. Adjustable radios which can tune in to any shortwave frequency offer a wider range of uses, but they also require advanced skills as well. For beginners, models with pre-programmed frequencies will offer the best user experience.

Headsets for Comfort

Recreational use of any shortwave radio is more comfortable with a headset. Most modern shortwave radios can easily be equipped with a headset that connects on a standard 2.5 mm jack. Individual microphones and extra speakers are also compatible with some models, but always consider the power outputs to avoid damaging the equipment.

Antenna Boosts

The antenna represents an easy way to boost the range of any shortwave radio. Different radio antennas are compatible with different wavelengths, so make sure that your radio and antenna match. Match single band radios with a single band antenna and multi-band radios with appropriate multi-band antenna models. However, a multi-band radio may function well with a single band antenna, if you want to use just one frequency range.

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