Best Region for SWL Hobby

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mckayprod
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2022 10:42 pm

Best Region for SWL Hobby

Post by mckayprod »

So, I have to admit being a little underwhelmed at the number of SW broadcasts I can copy at my location on the California coast. Are any areas of the globe considered better than most? I would assume Europe was good during the cold war heyday of SW, and now I guess Africa is heavily targeted by the big stations. I used to think that my home in the Northwest US (north Idaho) was bad, but honestly, I'm not getting any better DX 70 miles from the Pacific. I would expect a ton of Asian signals, but my experience is, not so much. Thoughts?
13dka
Posts: 98
Joined: Sat May 28, 2022 4:27 am
Location: On or near a dike

Re: Best Region for SWL Hobby

Post by 13dka »

An ocean helps with reception only up to 10 wavelengths away from the coast, that would be 1,000' on 10 MHz. Your place on the globe plays a role mostly in what paths signals take and when. It would help everyone helping you if you'd describe your setup and what you expect to receive.
mckayprod
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2022 10:42 pm

Re: Best Region for SWL Hobby

Post by mckayprod »

I guess what I'm getting at is, the US west coast is a long way from most SW signals, compared to Europe, the mideast, or north Africa. Do most avid SW listeners live elsewhere? I'd love to take a trip to a "better" SW DX location.
13dka
Posts: 98
Joined: Sat May 28, 2022 4:27 am
Location: On or near a dike

Re: Best Region for SWL Hobby

Post by 13dka »

I'm not aware of any privileged DX country on the globe. The very point of shortwave and its skywave propagation is that "distance" plays a different role. You can receive stations from the other side of the globe on any continent -- well it's actually a very complex matter, there can be local differences and geographical hardships, and simply local noise covering weak stations and depending on solar activity and the frequency propagation can be bad. Whether or not a place is good or bad for DX depends mostly on e.g. ground conductivity (which can be addressed by choosing the right antenna) and your position changes the time frame when DX from a certain area can be heard. It's usually the local (manmade) noise and the performance of your antenna limiting reception, plus knowing when to tune in what frequency. Any ocean beach on the globe can be considered a privileged location, due to the conductivity of salt water and the lack of obstructions and noise sources (you still need to avoid "civilization" tho, go out of town).

Edit: Forgot to mention that if you tried that in the past few months, we had a long chain of moderate radio blackouts generally deteriorating reception below 10-15MHz (and potentially enhancing reception on higher frequencies). Also, European stations are not DX for European DXers, they rather aim for stations outside Europe. :)
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