Shortwave is dead. Yeah right.

Nah, shortwave isn’t dead yet. Nothing beats the magic of radio waves. True, Internet radio (which by definition isn’t radio at all) took over in many occasions. Better sound quality (but not always), no hassling with receivers and antennas, no worries about band conditions, and no worries about a coughing sun causing HF blackouts.


WRTH cover 2013

WRTH, the SWL Bible
Yet there are numerous places on Earth where they might never have heard of Internet. Even if they did, they probably wouldn’t be able to afford even the slowest dial-up account. Then there are shortwave listeners, who think picking up the tiniest signals makes a great hobby. Many of them have an even better understanding of antennas than the average ham. If you want to know more, DXZone has put together a nice list of SWL-related websites.

SWL is an art. Some say it’s a religion. If this would be true, they sure have their own Bible: WRTH (World Radio TV Handbook). The very first edition was published in 1947, years before I was born. The first copy I bought dates back to the early seventies. The price for the 2013 edition is £24.95 (about $40, or €31). This is includes shipping anywhere in the world.

WRTH is divided into the following sections:

Features – This section is in full color and contains reviews of receivers and ancillary equipment, articles on topical issues such as digital radio, interviews with broadcasters, reception conditions, color maps showing the location of SW transmitters, and other topics of interest to Listeners and DXers.

National Radio – This section covers the world’s domestic radio services. The listings are by country and include all stations broadcasting on LW, MW and SW, and most stations broadcasting on FM, together with contact details.

International Radio – Full details of all broadcasters transmitting internationally are given in this section and are listed by country. The schedules shown are the ‘B’ or ‘winter’ SW frequencies as supplied by the broadcasters and confirmed by monitoring, together with any LW or MW frequencies used. It also contains a sub-section showing Clandestine and Other Target Broadcasters arranged by target country.

The ‘A’ or ‘summer’ schedules, along with updates to broadcaster details, are available as a pdf download from the WRTH website in May each year. Please note – International broadcast SW frequencies change twice a year. The ‘B’ season comes into effect at the end of October each year and the ‘A’ season at the end of March. It typically takes 4-6 weeks after the start of the season for the broadcasters to settle on the final frequencies they will use, although changes do continue to be made. We monitor all the frequencies and changes before releasing our information.

Frequency Lists – This section contains MW frequency lists grouped by frequency within regions, lists of all international and domestic SW broadcasts in frequency order, and international SW broadcasts in English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and DRM transmissions shown by UTC.

Television – The TV section has details of the main terrestrial national broadcasters, large regional networks, and some local stations, arranged alphabetically by country.

Reference – This section has tables and listings of: International and Domestic Transmitter sites, Standard Time and Frequency Transmissions, DX Club information, International Organizations, and other essential information.