[first posted here January 17, 2005 at 1:53 am]
I’ve been surfing to long without waves. Long Medium and Shortwaves. I stopped logging SW (incl. all bands 0-30Mhz 30Mhz – 1300Mhz) in about 1994, the year I bought my first house. I got active in politics I got active in work and the internet zapped all of my time. I also got married and have 3 daughters 1,5 & 8 year olds.
So I gave no time to DXing until 2002 when I got into DXing satellites, scanning Clarke’s belt is like trying to get a Taxi after deregulation, there are plenty of them but not a lot in them. TV or video never really sparkles for me. I’m more a audio / text (teletext not SMS) kind of person, and the whole spectrum on offer on FTA DVB radio and TV is very sterile and safe.
My gateway drug for a return to SWL was a €14 JWin SW radio from power city, it covers the main broadcast bands and is a fairly poor receiver, but very portable. When I turned off SW 10 years ago the prophets of doom were claiming SW was dead, internet and digital would see it replaced. They got it wrong again.
By the way the WiFi card in the laptop is burning my legs…. killer radiation.
SW is alive and well, some great shows have passed away like Sweden calling DXers, but it lives on in ezine format which has graced my in box now for 10 years (Thanks, George Wood). The bands are alive with the sounds of the World, there is as much Eastern Europeans as there were before the wall fell and the voices are telling stories of the 10 years of capitalist chaos after Socialism, there are also advertising East Europe as a good destination for the race to the bottom, and falling over themselves to embrace American foreign policy. I wont single out any country its rampant.
The out of band areas are buzzing and crackling with life too, Air traffic Morse amateurs even number stations continue to send code. Pirates from central Europe and Ireland still QSO and QSL and their playlists are mainly unchanged.
But its the alternative world views that pour in that keeps SWl’ing interesting. Every country (except Ireland) has a world service (even Wales) their national spin on world happenings makes for good listening. Radio unlike TV has time to explore a good story. My new Log started two days before the Asian Tsunami, if you want alternative views of what is happening out there I would rather hear it from Thailand Radio than from a Sky reporter on the shoreline of disaster. Once you apply your own filter and understand that the text of a SW radio report from foreign world service radio stations is slanted to the country of origin then your set up for hours and hours of free feeds and facts and sounds from countries I will never visit.
I hope to publish my Log in near real time online, after I have digitized it off the envelopes and scraps of paper I scribbled it on, by real candle light that flickers above my Phillips D2999 monitoring station.
Surfing suspended, gone to check out the waves.