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When is The Best Time To Listen To Worldband Shortwave Radio?
Contrary to popular belief......You can "DX" (listen to Distant Shortwave Transmissions) 24 hours a day!
The hours of darkness still offer the best time for shortwave DXing. This is because of improved propagation conditions on the lower frequencies or bands, reduced static noise created by storms, and because shortwave broadcasters like to aim for the local evening hours for their primary audience since most of them will now be at home listening to their World Band (Shortwave) radio receivers. In short, when you're at home, they are at work.
In general, the bands with frequencies below 13000 KHz (13mhz) are better at night and the bands with frequencies above 13000 KHz (13mhz) are best during the day.
Around sunrise and sunset, both the daytime and nighttime band reception can be good, sometimes so remarkably good you'll think their coming from the next town but they are coming from around the world!
In the summer time, the day bands often are good into the early evening but sometimes are hampered by summer static as are the nighttime bands. In general, the lower frequency bands, 120 meters thru 40 meters are very prone to thunderstorm static, especially durning the summer months. Thunderstorm static can be heard from hundreds of miles away on a good receiver. If the thunderstorm static gets so loud that reception is impossible, then there's most likely a severe storm close to you and it's advisable to check the local weather.
TABLE OF SHORTWAVE BANDS
|75||3900-4000||Winter nights (Also Amateur Radio)|
|60||4750-5060||Tropical stations, winter nights|
|49||5900-6200||Best at night|
|41||7100-7350||Best at night (Also Amateur Radio)|
|31||9400-10000||Best at night, some day|
|25||11600-12160||Best at night, some day|
|22||13570-13870||Best day, some night|
|19||15100-15800||Best day, some night|
|16||17500-17900||Best day, some night|
Shortwave listening is generally at the worst during the daylight hours of about two hours after sunrise until about two hours before sunset. The major reason for this is that the broadcasters are not transmitting to North America at this time, assuming that we are all either away from home and are not listening during the day.
Typically, daytime shortwave bands "receive" better in Eastern North America than in Western North America. So if you live from about the middle of the U.S eastward to the Atlantic Ocean, then your reception will be better than if you live out west.
13meters Results vary. You can have extremely good reception around sunrise and sunset!
16meters Similar to 19meters below.
19meters 19 meters is considered the best overall daytime band. May also be good at night in the summer months although expect summer static from time to time. Sometimes extremely good around sunrise and sunset. Sometimes good at night in the summer.
22meters Similar to 19m.
This is the best time to listen, because the broadcasters are deliberately beaming to North America. These bands may be extremely good around sunset and sunrise too.
25meters Similar to 31m.
31meters Good all night, everywhere. Often extremely good at sunrise and sunset. Good results often start about an hour before sunset.
41meters Similar to 49m. Good all night in Eastern North America; varies in Western North America.
49meters The best overall nighttime band. (This band is near the 40 meter Ham radio band. Hams experience lots of interference from shortwave broadcasters during the early and nighttime hours.)
Shortwave signals vary greatly in strength depending upon the time of day, the sun, the ionosphere and interaction with the earth itself. Some bands are best listened to during the day, while others come in best at night. In general, the best time to use your shortwave radio is around sunrise and sunset. Experiment to find what works best for your location and your radio and remember that:
49meters The best overall nighttime band.
19meters 19 meters is considered the best overall daytime band.
These guidelines can be used worldwide and are not dependent on location.
Thes guidelines are subject to change by Mother Nature!
A fantastic yearly publication called Passport To World Band Radio will give you lots of information about the world of shortwave radio. It is highly recommended and reviews all the latest radios, gives broadcast schedules, and gives program information for all the major broadcasters.
Buying this publication is a great starting point and highly recommended. Go ahead. Get started! Check it out below!
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