“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Monday, February 1, 2016

Things you learn on late night radio.

Give up on American television news. People have been telling me that for years, and with the exception of Fox that's what I have done. The news is controlled and filtered and gives you a false impression of the world. Now even Fox has gone down the toilet.  Europe has a free press still, and I read a lot of European newspapers on line. But American late night radio is still uncontrolled. It's tough to keep up with. The stations are on the air at different times, and on different days. It isn't like television, it's more like BBC broadcasting in WW2 to occupied Europe.



A few nights ago, I heard that Finland was deporting 30,000 immigrants, shipping them off to North Africa.  Then on another station I learned that Sweden is getting rid of as many as 60,000 of the 80,000 that swarmed into their country.  I guess the Swedish Prime Minister has changed her mind since her "come here and enjoy our warm love" speech last April. Germany is about to start shipping them out in military cargo planes.  So I got on the net, and started checking the European papers.

A link to the Guardian, which confirms the radio broadcasts.


People always send me emails saying "linkage" when I quote any numbers, so here's the link but it's easy enough to find stories on the net. The numbers may vary but the intent is obvious. The trouble is, you can't do yourself any good by locking the gate after the horse is out of the barn. Just as we can never get rid of the millions of illegal aliens we have here, they won't be able to either.


A good shortwave receiver can keep you up to speed on events better than any other way I know. You have to verify what you hear through other sources, because some of the programs are broadcast from people's barns and the broadcasters can be a little odd, but all you need is the "tip." Then you can find more facts yourself.


 You can get a C. Crane catalog for free from their website. They have every kind of radio you could imagine, as well as every type of antenna.

Although you can buy shortwave receivers for ten dollars (Bell makes a lot of them) a really good set for listening can be had for just about $100.00.  There are people that know a lot more about radio than I do, like Dr. Jim and Kathy's husband. But even with my technical attention deficit disorder I can rig an antenna, or just use the whip, and get programs from all over.

It's a good investment in this day and age. When everything else is gone, satellite tv and the internet and whatever, over the air radio will still be going as long as anyone has a backup generator or solar power to transmit.





Satellite radio is good.  It can work off batteries or ac power, or  even a converter you plug into your vehicle.  It can  give you access to all the major news sources all over the world and it's crystal clear, doesn't depend on knowing frequency propagation,  You don't have to twirl the dials searching for a news program and it's always on the air.  But it's dependent on the satellites, which is not a good thing.




Well, the weather is still good though it's overcast and supposed to rain tonight. I better get on outside and do what I can before it starts getting colder again.

30 comments:

  1. Harry I don't remember who wrote it but I think the druid dude did that radio may well be the last modern marvel to be lost . Even soldiers in WW 1 built them out of scrap in trenches. you remember crystal radio kits. It allows people to communicate with out censorship. When I worked nites I would listen to the Fringe radio wack jobs. Little did I know I would parrot their views 20 years later.:)

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    1. I have a crystal based scanner which still works. It has slots for twelve crystals. Each corresponds to one frequency. My other scanners are modern and I can toon them to any frequency in the uhf or vhf spectrum. The radios I use to listen to shortwave are all modern tunable sets. I would like to have a tube based set but have never found one that was in good operating condition. I notice in all of my post apocalyptic fiction novels someone always seems to have a tube set. I am not sure why unless they are not effected by EMP.

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    2. Harry tubes are thought to be better able to withstand an EMP . When the Military blew an atomic bomb on an atoll 600 miles from Hawaii in the early 60's transistors were the most affected and circuit boards are weaker than them.

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  2. I did hear that it's better if you can watch or listen to our news from another country. It's not always easy to do though.

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    1. BBC used to "The World Standard" for news, but even they've got quite a liberal shift today.

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    2. It's a two edged sword. The overseas stations in Europe and Japan usually have much better news. Our news here generally consists of a bunch of tubes sitting around a table talking about something that they don't know anything about. The overseas stations do a lot more reporting. Of course most of them are no fans of American culture and you have to filter through their propaganda. I have been doing that with Aljazeera for years. They'll be gone in April and I almost regret it.

      I still listen to the BBC on the satellite, but as Dr.Jim says they are pretty anti American. I don't think they even broadcast to America over rafio anymore. It's all television,satellite radio, or internet for them now.

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  3. We've been watching "One America News" lately. It's a family-owned outfit, and is a pretty conservative company.

    The little "Tecsun" radios, the PL-660 and newer, are quite good, and can be had for about $120 on Amazon, probably less on eBay if you shop carefully.

    I also have a Grundig "Globe Traveler G3" that I really like, but they seem to have shot up in price to around $200 new.

    And if you're "EMP Paranoid", you can find very good tube-type receivers on eBay, eHam, and QRZ.com all day long.

    BUT...keep in mind that the really nice ones go for $300 and up, and STAY AWAY from any seller on eBay that says "I can't test it", or "I don't know anything about these", as it usually means it needs work!

    BTDT, and have piles of dead parts and tubes to prove it!

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    1. I have a big Motorola set that belonged to my dad. Also a nice little Grundig that belonged to him. I've got a Tecsun, and a big Grundig I found on clearance in a Radio Shack about ten years ago. Then I have some little cheap pocket radios like Bell' s. Is that the attraction of tube sets? The EMP issue?

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    2. Yes. Tubes are pretty immune to EMP due to their construction. All of the main receivers on the Iowa have tube "front ends", not only for EMP hardening, but because of all the RF in the area from the TWELVE 1500 Watt transmitters running 24/7. The tube front ends will overload, and cause some distortion, but not until a much higher level than the solid-state front ends on some of the other receivers.

      One thing people tend to forget is that some of the newer tube receivers do have some solid-state devices in them. Usually "small signal" diodes used for noise blankers or AM detectors. The solid-state rectifiers in them are considered "power devices", and aren't nearly as vulnerable to an EMP discharge as a "small signal" device would be.

      If it worries you that a modern solid-state receiver could get fried by an EMP attack, just put the receiver (REMOVE the batteries!) in a steel ammo can, and tape up all the seams with adhesive backed aluminum tape. I mean real metal aluminum tape, and NOT duct tape. The radio will be in a Faraday Cage, and pretty well protected from any EMP.

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    3. I've got a couple of faraday cages made out of small steel trash cans. I set them up based on an article I saw in an old copy of the first American Survival Guide. Can't test them though for obvious reasons. I have a couple of the cheap shortwave radios in there but I use most of my nice ones so I keep them in the house or the shop. That's a policy I may well regret one day.
      The tube based radio must be a writer's device for all apocalyptic fiction because you can almost count on one showing up in someone's garage at some point in the narrative.

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    4. And all the stories have them running on car batteries....

      WELL...one car battery can power the filaments, but for the B+ supply you need about 250~275 Volts, and that's a LOT of car batteries to string in series!

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    5. You know, that's exactly right. I mean about running everything on one battery. Of course, I don't actually know how to run one of my radios off a car battery. But I can only remember once when the story mentioned hooking up car batteries in series to power a radio. I think it was Alas Babylon but it might have been Lights Out or one of Rawles' books. You know I bet if you did a post on how to do that, at a really simple level a lot of people would read it. As it is, when the diesel is gone for my generator and my dry cells are gone, I am in the dark information wise.

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    6. That would be a good post!

      I grabbed one of my manuals and took a look at the schematic. My Heathkit SB-310 receiver needs 6 Volts for the filaments, 185 Volts for the "B+", and -60 Volts for bias (all tubes need a negative bias supply), so it's fewer "12 Volts" batteries than I first thought, owing to the fact that the B+ voltage is lower than my SWAG.

      The -60 Volt supply might seem to be a snag, but it's very low current, and could be handled by a string of 9 Volt transistor radio batteries.

      I'd say the easiest way would be to just use a 12 Volt to 120 Volt inverter, BUT...what if you forgot to keep an inverter all nice and sealed up in your homemade Faraday Cage?

      Id it doable? Sure, but it's cumbersome. If THSHTF, though, it sure would be nice to have a radio to listen to!

      I'll start working up a post today....

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    7. That's a capability I would like to have, but I think after a Black Swan would be a bad time to go looking for the components. I'd rather have them in the shop and have tested the system out when things were sedate. I'm not even that worried about the ferraday cage aspect at this point although I need to give it more thought once I can set up the basic system. I look forward to your post.

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  4. I used to listen to commercial shortwave broadcasts when I was a kid, and even THEY were very informative, as long as you kept each country's agenda in mind.

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    1. That's very true. You have to listen and then try to filter out the slant and just pay attention to the unadorned information.

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  5. I have a very small Marathon brand ETFR radio that I have in my BOB. It's so small I forget I have it. A great little radio that was used by the Canadian forces. Built to withstand very cold temps. Think it cost me $45 a few years ago. Shortwave is decent too. They claim it's the smallest shortwave radio out there but who knows?
    Here's the link:

    http://swling.com/db/2010/12/the-county-comm-marathon-etfr/

    BTW, CountyComm has some neat little mil issue stuff that's fun to browse, if you can find it in stock. --Troy

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    1. Troy, I will take a look and I appreciate the information.I will always buy military surplus rather than commercial gear if I can. Sounds like a good piece of gear.

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  6. BTW Harry, I just have to say this about Fox News-- I get so sick and tired of tuning in only to see the latest finger food, gadget, new car, or Sarah Palin. When will the leg-crossers give me some news?
    --Troy

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    1. They aggravated me by joining the republican campaign against Donald Trump.Fox is as bad as any of them about spending half an hour with a bunch of socialites discussing things none of them understand. I don't need it and I detest that little rat that does the afternoon show. Can't remember his name but he is in desperate need of some time in the streets out away from his cozy office.

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  7. I've a little Grundig on the boat. It's got a generator crank in case the batteries die. While it's not the most powerful radio, it does pull on some great stations.

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    1. That's good equipment. My dad's old Grundig is so old all the lettering has worn off it. Still works like the day it left the factory.

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  8. thanks for info.
    know nothing about tech but want to give my husband a radio receiver.

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    1. There are plenty who know more about radio. I know enough to DX which is really all I do right now.

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  9. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    I'd like to get more into radio's but the expense and time issues make it prohibitive.
    One other factor is I live in hurricane country as well with collecting firearms. I really don't want to leave my most prized possessions for the storm, looters and thieves.
    That's another reason why I decided to forgo collecting guns.
    I gotta carry them all out during a storm along with other valuable items and if I could have all I really wanted, I would need a semi-truck 54 FT. trailer and a Peterbuilt truck to pull it all down the road away from the coast.

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    1. That's why I decided not to live on the beach, as much as I like it. Overall, the mountains were best for me.

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  10. I have a short wave radio on my wish list and plan to get one at some point. I have a particular model in mind... Read a review about it in a book. I get my news from the paper.

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    1. Lisa, most people buy a shortwave so that when, for whatever reason, your normal means of staying on top of events is not available, you can get news on the radio. It's really a must have item in my opinion. Lots of things to consider. Does it have a jack for an external antenna. Does it operate in single side band? Does it have a jack for an external speaker? Does it come set up for rechargeable batteries, or just for dry cells. I'm glad you folks are getting one. Even if it was just a little inexpensive pocket set, it could be worth it's weight in gold to you someday.

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  11. Harry, would you mind doing a piece on the satellite based radio broadcasting. Is there more than one mode or protocol? And is it all $ subscription based? Or is some of it free....what do you use and what does it cost? Thanks

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    1. Sure. I originally decided to spend the money because I really like smooth jazz and could only listen to it for an hour every Sunday on a broadcast out of Chattanooga.

      But the reason I have kept it, in these days of Pandora, is that it's an excellent backup news and information source.

      I'll put together a post on it. Thanks for the idea.

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