Autumn

Autumn

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Radio's for Survivors

When the weather turns cold and clear I get an itch to listen to my short wave. It's addictive. I have this thing for radios, short wave sets really turn me on. I can sit for hours and listen to the chatter of the world.

I own a new (to me) rebuilt Grundig Satellite 800 from which I can finesse signals from around the earth when the atmospheric conditions allow. If help is needed I'll attach one of my 'slinky' antennas.


If I feel nostalgic I carefully carry my old Zenith over to the table and extend its antenna. She's a beautiful Trans-Oceanic M500, carefully restored by an old friend. She has tubes (remember them) which glow a sleepy orange and carry voices of Europe and Asia to my little part of the world, news from their point of view without the slant of our current media's biased lies.

I also keep around a few portables, some rest in my travel trailer, others in our get home bags. Mostly little Grundigs. They come in awful handy for camping trips. If and when that 'day' ever arrives you should have one or two. A hand crank model too for when the batteries run dry.

News, information, is important when your life is on the line. If you don't believe me just ask the poor Jews of the Warsaw ghettos.

I understand Grundig, a German company, was recently purchased by a firm out of Japan...can't for the life of me remember it's name. Doesn't matter, the quality should be as good, though I doubt better. Seek out an older model, they're out there.


Above, a file photo of a Zenith Trans-Oceanic model 500. Notice the lid houses its removable antenna. You take clips and attach to the rear of the radio and extend the antenna or by using suction cups provided, stick the little sucker to a window in your plush rail car and listen to the world.



Just for slaps and tickles run over to Ebay and do a simple search for Grundig (or other brand name) radios. Many are listed in new and rebuilt condition. I feel everyone should own at least one...in my humble opinion.

Do yourself a favor and turn off the television and broaden your horizons. Who knows, you might enjoy it.

Stephen

18 comments:

  1. I like the idea of the old radios. I'm thinking I read somewhere that they aren't as affected by an EMP wave, at least not to the extent of the modern electronics.

    Great idea, Stephen.

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  2. Yes, tubes are almost immune to the effects of an EMP.
    I have several tube radios that I've restored, including a Zenith T-O in the brown leather case.
    I also keep a small HF ("shortwave") Amateur Radio transceiver stored in a large steel ammo can. The steel box would protect it from an EMP, leaving me with a working solid-state radio for emergency communications.
    Of course if we have a large EMP "event", there probably won't be much left!

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  3. Short wave radios were used heavily during WW 2. That's how messages got sent out in code. Like using a poem to mean something or certain words.
    Every seen the movie the "Longest Day" It starts a few hours before the lunch of D-Day. Very good movie. Filmed in B&W. Around 3 hrs long.They show messages being sent out.

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  4. Matt, thanks, grab one while the dollar stills hold a little value..and thanks.

    drjim, correct, tube sets are immune to most EMP, not all...I too keep a couple of small sets in ammo cans. Guess I've been playing with short wave and transmitters for the better part of fifty years. I still love it. Thanks.

    Rob, Thanks, I need to find a copy of the Longest Day, it's been a while since I've seen it. Thanks.

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  5. Wouldn't the ammo box need to be run to earth ground to insure no penetration into the box from the EMP?

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  6. No, it's in a "Faraday Cage".
    It might arc-over around the gaps, or to other things in the vicinity, but the induced fields would all be on the outside of the container.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage

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  7. Matt, what drjim said. You may also use such items as 'cake tins' as a make shift Faraday cage. For instance during the holiday season many of us receive fruitcakes in those sturdy 'tin' cans. They work. I keep one of my small radios snuggled inside one. If you'd like to test the effectiveness of the containers place your cellphone inside and have someone dial your number.Thanks.

    drjim, thanks for the comment. Nice to have you around...

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  8. That grounding issue was where I was hung up on. That makes sense, now, as I wondered what the "hardened" military airplanes did for a ground. I knew something wasn't adding up in my thinking, but thanks to you guys I understand now.

    My idea was to get one of those big popcorn tins that you also get around Christmas to store my items in.

    I'm also an (inactive)Ham, Tech class, with a AA degree in electronics, so these discussions are sort of fun, even if I'm rusty.

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  9. Put a bid on a tube radio because I was so inspired by this post. Here's to hoping I win.

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  10. Matt, thanks and understand. I'm certainly not an engineer but I've been playing and using radios most of my life. It's fun.

    mmasse, my friend please be careful and make sure the radio you placed bid for has been restored carefully by an expert...ask, send an email, contact the seller and make sure it works properly. I'm sure you understand, but I want to make sure you are aware, there are radios and then there are good short wave sets. The later will enable you to reach out and gather in the world. If you have any doubts on your bid, withdraw it. Zenith is hard to beat. The series models 500 and 600 are hard to beat.

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  11. Tired here, please excuse my ramblings above...I need a good nights sleep.

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  12. Heathkit also had a few general coverage receivers that were good. The SB-310 is a general coverage version of the Amateur Radio SB-300 series.
    A Hallicrafters SX-122 is an excellent radio, and fairly easy to repair. The SX-42 is truly a classic, but God help you if it needs service! Some of the parts are extremely difficult to get at, and if some of the capacitors short (and they will) before they're replaced, they'll take out the bandswitch, which is unobtanium!

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  13. Interesting, this makes me wonder if my father still has the handheld shortwave he used to.

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  14. drjim, sound advice...thank you.

    Odysseus, I'd sure make the effort to find it..thanks.

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  15. Its a Zenith and it is listed as working flawlessly in the description. Should it not work it has ebay buyer protection behind it. Plus I will pay with a CC so I can have them intervene if necessary. But the words of caution are well heeded. For the rest of you stop looking for it. I mean it! :P

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  16. Which model Zenith? Some of them use a 1L6 tube, which is hard to find, and expensive.

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  17. It has the all American 5. No 1L6 tube.

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  18. I watched my Dad, years ago, when I was a kid. He built a Heathkit CB radio. And used it a lot. He placed it in a ammo can years ago. He still has it. As a kid, I had a Archer Space Patrol base station that I just about wore out. I did as my Dad had done. I snitched one of his ammo cans, but I forgot to remove the batteries. I found the ammo can in some of my "stuff" about 10 years ago. Nothing left of my radio.

    It's a good idea, I will be looking for a radio of my own. Thanks

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