Thursday, September 15, 2011

Calling All in Transit....


Remember R.E.M's song "Radio Free Europe"?  Yeah, I just looked up the lyrics and I realize I never knew the right words.  Oh, the things we can still learn in our old(er) age!  This song reminded me of  the latest hubs purchase.  (Primarily for the kids of course....sure, sure.)  A shortwave radio.  Exactly!  That's what I said!  What the heck is that?
I now present to you the Wikipedia description, which still doesn't clarify for me what this is.  All I know is that hubs and the kids have spent every night "squelching" out in an attempt to find radio stations around the world.  Lauren was initially freaked out my the sound this puppy makes and Evan calls it a "monster."  It makes that creepy squelch sound that they use in all the good technology based horror movies.  So I get their initial 
Shortwave radio refers to the upper MF (medium frequency) and all of the HF (high frequency) portion of the radio spectrum, between 1,800–30,000 kHz.[1]Shortwave radio received its name because the wavelengths in this band are shorter than 200 m (i.e frequencies greater than 1500 kHz) which marked the original upper limit of the medium and low frequency bands first used for radio communications. These days, the broadcast medium wave band reaches well above that 200 m/1500 kHz limit, and the amateur radio 1.8 MHz – 2.0 MHz band (known as top band) is the lowest-frequency band considered to be 'shortwave'.
Initially thought to be useless, shortwave radio now has many applications where the behaviour of radio waves in the Earth's atmosphere make long-range communication possible. Shortwave radio is used for broadcasting of voice and music, and long-distance communication to ships and aircraft, or to remote areas out of reach of wired communication or other radio services. Amateur radio on these frequencies can provide hobby, educational and emergency communication.

Remember when I told you that my new camera was smarter than me?  I just found this description on the "ABC's of Shortwave Radio" website and it makes more sense.
A shortwave radio is a specially designed receiver that  receives stations from places far away from where you live and are "hidden" in between the standard AM and FM band on frequencies from about 3 Mhz to 30 Mhz.
What can you hear?  You can listen to news from around the world, propaganda, music, religious broadcasts, sporting events, etc. In short just about anything. Radio Cuba, for example, has probably the best jazz program on anywhere, on any type of broadcast medium, including television. Shortwave radio broadcasts have always been a big part in bringing the truth to oppressed people everywhere........and the not so truthful...... propaganda.

There's so much more on shortwave, including Transatlantic commercial and military aircraft, ships at sea, news wire services, coastal and marine weather broadcasts, research vessels and "pirate stations", (stations transmitting illegally), along with Amateur Radio stations from around the world plus lots more! You may even hear transmissions from the South Pole research stations!
A
ll in real time as it happens!

So after the kids and hubs find a radio station in another country they promptly go over to the globe and find it on the map.  This is a Dad-kid project.  Lauren came running into the kitchen last night to tell me they found Canada and Poland stations.  And she found them on the map.  As if it wasn't clear to you before, we Anderson's are a bunch of geeks.  I am a geek with good shoes.

And there you have, in a nutshell, everything you (n)ever wanted to know about a short wave radio!  Thank you for your time.  Goodbye forever.


1 comment:

  1. "As if it wasn't clear to you before, we Anderson's are a bunch of geeks. I am a geek with good shoes."

    I didn't need to find a reason to love you even more, but I just found it!

    I'm so glad you are writing more often again!!! :)

    ReplyDelete