Friday 1 September 2023

ShortWave Listening

UK  ShortWave Listening

My interest in radio started as a child. I was off school due to illness and my Mum brought an old AM transistor radio into my bedroom to ward off the boredom. She had it tuned to a pop-music station and that was fine, but it wasn't long before I started to spin the tuning dial in search of something else. 

During that time stuck in bed, I discovered many new sounds and languages. People talking from foreign lands, strange musical instruments fading in and out of the radio. Nigh-time brought in stations that hadn't been present during the day. I was fascinated by it all and although I didn't know it at the time, this would become a life-long hobby.

So for the next 50-odd years I have enjoyed a bit of occasional SWL and continue to do so. In 2019 I decided to get my ham license to expand my radio activities and now regularly come into contact with people from the hobby. 

It seems to me that there's a lot of people out there who have an interest in SWL but they're not quite sure what's available to listen to. Sure, the passing years have seen a considerable fall in the amount of radio broadcast stations, but there's still lots available and these can be supplemented with other listening activities, such as NDB's (Non Directional Beacons), AirBand, Marine, Military, Amateur, etc.

Let's look at 11 of the Bands where you can tune around and expect to find activity. Please bear in mind that these bands aren't "open" all the time and may be unpredictable. If you tune around a band one day (or night) and hear nothing, try again on a different day (or night). 'Band conditions' change all the time, so be aware of that and look out for those occasions when signals are BOOMING in from far off lands. There are lots of free indicators on the internet, like the one shown below....

The bands which most people tune around for broadcast stations are the ones listed below..... 


90 metres 3.200 – 3.400 mHz
75 metres 3.950 – 4.000 mHz
60 metres 4.750 – 5.060 mHz
49 metres 5.850 – 6.200 mHz
41 metres 7.200 – 7.450 mHz
31 metres 9.400 – 9.900 mHz
25 metres 11.600 – 12.050 mHz
21 metres 13.570 – 13.870 mHz
19 metres 15.100 – 15.800 mHz
16 metres 17.480 – 17.900 mHz
13 metres 21.450 – 21.850 mHz

Don't forget though, that unless you're sat on top of a hill, you're not going to hear very distant stations clearly unless you use a decent antenna. You don't have to go crazy and buy a multi-element Yagi, but a long wire outside from your house to a tree or other support will transform your listening.

If you're serious about SWL, then you'd be well advised to buy a copy of the WORLD RADIO & TV HANDBOOK from online. Don't worry about getting one a couple of years old - it's no big deal. This publication will not only help to identify incoming signals, but will also help you to go in search of them.

You might also want to get familiar with a website called Short-Wave.Info which will tell you what's playing right now! This is useful if you've tuned into a station which you can't readily identify. Simply type the frequency in the "Find stations broadcasting on" box and it will show you all the Radio Station names which are broadcasting at that moment. Some will be highlighted in red and you will have to decide which one is the one you're listening to. Maybe there's 3 listed and one's in German, one's in English and the other's in Chinese. You should hopefully be able to tell the difference between those languages LOL.

On top of the Short-Wave.Info site, you may also want to look at the EiBi website. This lists a comprehensive ShortWave Broadcasting Schedule which is changed twice a year (Summer & Winter). You can download this list and some SDR software will allow you to import the database so as to provide you with "Spots" onscreen. 

Another great addition to your SWL arsenal is a Matching Unit or ATU. Too many people think that "tuners" are strictly for use with Transceivers, but that's not the case. Your receiver will almost invariably have a 50ohm antenna socket and the antenna wire that you connect to it may well present a 300ohm (or much, much more) load. If you can cancel out this mis-match, you'll find that your background noise goes quieter and the desired signal goes louder!

Something like the AT-1000 Coupler above can make all the difference to the readability of the incoming signals. They can quite often be found on eBay for very little money.

As for antennas, the simplest solution is a long wire as mentioned previously. You can make this yourself from whatever you have around the house such as speaker wire - basically the longer the better, but a 66ft length is a great start. Or you can buy a commercial wire to suit the space available in your garden or loft, such as an EF-SWL. 

If you don't have space for a long wire, you could consider using a high quality Discone antenna. These are surprisingly good despite their early reputation. I have one made by DIAMOND and it regularly surprises me! They're not fantastic below 25MHz though.

Another option would be a HF Vertical. There are lots on the market with really wide coverage such as the cheap GPA-80 which covers 80M to 6M. Now bear in mind that reviews of antennas like these are always based on their transmission capabilities and not their ability to receive stations. You can get some surprisingly good DX using one of these - especially with a good ground.

If you live in an electrically noisy area and if space is at a real premium, you might wish to consider a Magnetic Loop. These are amazing at dealing with local noise from LED's, solar panels, etc, but they're not usually cheap and they have an extremely narrow bandwidth, so you need to keep tuning them as you change frequency. Loops can be used very succesfully indoors and are quick to pack away when not being used.

For those looking for a “single antenna solution”, I guess my all-time favourite 'fixed' SWL antenna is the AOR SA-7000 because it is incredibly compact, covers a massive range of frequencies and can easily be mounted. Perfect for scanner users. With the advent of wideband SDR receivers, this antenna really comes into its own, covering 30kHz - 2000MHz.  It's not cheap of course, but you get what you pay for. Needless to say, you should spend most of your SWL budget on your antenna(s). Depending on your listening habits, you may well need multiple antennas.

Speaking of SDR receivers, it seems almost silly to use anything but one! I still use my old AOR AR-3000A and my ALINCO DJ-X2000, but the fact is, modern SDRs like the SDRPLAY RSP1A and RSPdx are just incredibly good and offer far more functions and features as long as you have a decent computer/laptop.

Personally, I get great pleasure warming up the old AR3000A, pressing those wobbly buttons and spinning the tuning dial, but I fully appreciate (and enjoy) the technical marvel that is the RSPdx. Once you've experienced colours screens with large scopes and waterfalls, it's hard to go back to the old tech, apart from a bit of reminiscing.

There's a bunch of free software out there for SDR Dongles and it's great fun to download them and experiment. My own personal favourite has to be SDR UNO from SDRPLAY. This is very fully featured software and can be a tad intimidating when you first try it, but you soon get used to it, especially as there are lots of video tutorials for it.

Other software includes HD-SDR, SDR CONSOLE and more depending on your chosen hardware...

What about receivers?

Well personally, if I was just setting out I would start cheap and buy an SDRPLAY RSP1A. You can sort of "dip your toes in the water" without getting burned. They cost under £100 and offer  outstanding  performance! If you enjoy it and want to go further then you could easily sell the RSP1A and upgrade to the amazing RSPdx which has the best receiver of all the SDRPLAY models. A further upgrade would be to add an external Tuning Dial like the ELAD TMATE2 show next to the laptop in the image above. These make an incredible difference to the enjoyment of an SDR dongle.

There's lots of SDR Dongles on the market and I recommend that you search out reviews of them all before buying, but I personally don't think you can beat the SDRPLAY products - not just in terms of performance, but also in terms of Support from both the manufacturer and the community.

If you don't want to be tied to a computer, you will probably be looking for a more traditional receiver. Again, there's loads on the market and you can pay £100 to £5000. Some of them act as standalone radios and some offer standalone AND computer connectivity.  Don't be afraid to buy second-hand radios! I've had some amazing bargains by monitoring selling sites such as Ebay and MarketPlace and dropped in some really cheeky offers for gear and 90% of the time I've been told to go away in no uncertain terms. But every now and then, someone will accept my cheeky offer and I end up with a bargain buy like this fantastic DJ-X2000.

One of my favourite HF receivers is the truly outstanding BELKA DX. This is a really compact high-performer that will bring a smile to your face every time you switch it on. Sadly, it doesn't doesn't go below 1.5MHz, so you miss out on Long Wave. 
In addition to being a great receiver, it also has an IQ-OUT socket!

The little Belka comes from Belarus, so right now they're almost impossible to order new due to Putin's disgusting acts of terror. If you want one of these little gems, you're probably going to have to save a search on eBay.

If you're looking for something that will serve you as a SWL Receiver and double up as a family radio, then you really do have a massive choice! There are scores of great portable radios out there and my own choice up to now has been the TECSUN PL-680 and its big brother the S2000.

The PL-680 includes AirBand and that's why I chose it above many of its competitors. It's very annoying when you look at some manufacturers flagship radios, only to find they don't include this popular band.

The big S2000 is quite a lump and you're not going to be slipping that into your pocket any time soon! It is though, a great performer and includes two built-in antennas and ports for external antennas. The sound on this bad boy is rich and entertaining. Neither of the Tecsuns are shining examples of receiver technology, but they're both very capable and remember that they both double up as family radios around the house and garden.

If you don't want to spend too much on a portable radio, then I'd strongly recommend the cheap but sensitive XHDATA D-808. It's at the lower end of the price range but it's pretty big on performance for the money and it covers LW, MW, HF and AIRBAND. 

There's little point in me discussing truly higher-end receivers because they're not for beginners. They cost a lot of money and your first concern should be that SWL is for you, before spending the family pension fund. Try one of the radios mentioned above and if you find yourself eager to go further, then you can start researching high-end equipment from the likes of Elad and Icom, etc.

So which frequencies are regularly used? Well as I said previously, you'd do well to buy the WRTH book but to start off right here in the UK, see how many of these stations you can pick up...


558: Spectrum Radio (AM)
585: BBC Radio Scotland (Dumfries)
603: Gold (East Kent)
603: BBC Radio 4 (LW) (Newcastle)
630: BBC Three Counties (Hertfordshire & Buckinghamshire)
630: BBC Radio Cornwall (West Cornwall)
657: BBC Radio Cornwall (East Cornwall)
657: BBC Radio Wales (North East Wales)
666: BBC Radio York (York & Surrounding Areas)
693: BBC Radio 5 live
720: BBC Radio 4 (LW) (London)
720: BBC Radio 4 (LW) (Lisnagarvey)
720: BBC Radio 4 (LW) (Londonderry)
729: BBC Essex (Colchester)
738: BBC Hereford and Worcester (Worcester)
756: Radio Hafren
756: BBC Radio Cumbria (Carlisle)
756: BBC Radio 4 (LW) (West Cornwall)
765: BBC Essex (Chelmsford)
774: Gold (Gloucester)
774: BBC Radio Kent (East)
774: BBC Radio Leeds
774: BBC Radio 4 (LW) (Enniskillen)
774: BBC Radio 4 (LW) (Plymouth)
792: Gold (Bedford)
792: BBC Radio Foyle
801: BBC Radio Devon (Barnstaple & North Devon)
810: BBC Radio Scotland (Central and Southern Scotland)
810: BBC Radio Scotland (Aberdeen)
810: BBC Radio Scotland (Northern Scotland)
828: Gold (Bournemouth, Luton)
828: BBC Asian Network (Wolverhampton)
828: Magic 828
837: BBC Radio Cumbria (Barrow-in-Furness)
837: BBC Asian Network (Leicester, Nottingham & Derby)
846: Seaside Hospital Radio (Southlands Hospital)
855: Sunshine 855
855: BBC Radio Norfolk
855: BBC Radio Lancashire (Central & South)
855: BBC Radio Devon (Plymouth)
873: BBC Radio Norfolk (King’s Lynn)
873: BBC Radio Ulster
882: BBC Radio Wales (North West Wales/Anglesey)
882: BBC Radio Wales (South Wales)
909: BBC Radio 5 live
936: Gold (West Wiltshire)
936: Fresh Radio (Hawes)
945: Gold (Eastbourne, Derby)
945: Radio Nightingale (Rotherham General Hospital)
945: Canterbury Hospital Radio
945: Hospital Radio Reading (Battle Hospital)
945: Hospital Radio Basingstoke
945: Rookwood Hospital (Rookwood Hospital)
945: Portsmouth Hospital (Queen Alexandra Hospital)
945: Radio Northwick Park
963: Asian Sound Radio (Blackburn)
963: Buzz Asia (London)
972: Buzz Asia (West London)
990: Gold (Midlands) (Wolverhampton)
990: Magic AM (South Yorkshire) (Doncaster)
990: BBC Radio Devon (Exeter & East Devon)
990: BBC Radio 5 live (Tywyn)
990: BBC Radio Scotland (Aberdeen)
990: BBC Radio nan Gaidheal
999: Magic 999
999: Gold (Nottingham)
999: BBC Radio Solent
999: B1000
999: Whitechapel AM
999: Radio Brockley
999: Radio Heatherwood
999: Radio King’s
1017: Gold (Midlands) (Shrewsbury & Telford)
1026: Downtown Radio (Greater Belfast)
1026: BBC Radio Cambridgeshire (Cambridge)
1026: BBC Jersey
1035: Northsound 2
1035: West Sound 1035
1035: BBC Radio Sheffield
1035: Kismat Radio
1053: Talk Sport
1071: Talk Sport (Nottingham)
1071: Talk Sport (Newcastle)
1089: Talk Sport
1089: Talk Sport (Dartford Tunnel – Relay)
1107: Talk Sport (Merseyside)
1107: Talk Sport (West Sussex)
1107: Talk Sport (South Kent)
1107: Talk Sport (Torbay)
1107: Talk Sport (The Wash)
1107: Talk Sport (Hampshire)
1107: MFR Two
1116: BBC Radio Derby
1116: BBC Guernsey
1125: BBC Radio Wales (Mid Wales)
1134: IC Radio (Wye campus)
1134: BFBS Gurkha Radio (Sandhurst Barracks)
1134: BFBS Gurkha Radio (Gamecock Barracks)
1134: L&D Hospital Radio
1152: Gold (Norfolk, Plymouth)
1152: Gold (Midlands) (Birmingham)
1152: Clyde 2
1152: LBC News 1152
1152: Magic 1152 (Tyne and Wear)
1152: Magic 1152 (Manchester)
1161: Gold (Swindon)
1161: Tay AM (Dundee)
1161: BBC Three Counties (Bedfordshire)
1161: BBC Sussex (East Sussex)
1161: Magic 1161
1170: Gold (Portsmouth, Ipswich)
1170: Signal 2
1170: Swansea Sound
1170: Magic 1170
1197: Absolute Radio (Torbay)
1197: Absolute Radio (Merseyside)
1197: Absolute Radio (Nottingham & Derby)
1197: Absolute Radio (Brighton)
1197: Absolute Radio (Bournemouth)
1197: Absolute Radio (Oxford)
1197: Absolute Radio (Cambridge)
1197: Absolute Radio (North Kent & Thames Estuary)
1215: Absolute Radio
1215: Absolute Radio (Dartford Tunnel (Relay))
1233: Absolute Radio (Sheffield & Rotherham)
1233: Absolute Radio (Northampton & Corby)
1233: Absolute Radio (Colchester & Ipswich)
1233: Absolute Radio (Swindon)
1233: Absolute Radio (Reading)
1242: Gold (West Kent) 1242: Absolute Radio (Teesside)
1242: Absolute Radio (Stoke-on-Trent & Stafford)
1242: Absolute Radio (Dundee)
1242: Absolute Radio (The Wash)
1251: Gold (Bury St. Edmunds)
1251: RaW 1251AM
1251: The CAT 1251
1260: Gold (Bristol, Bath)
1260: Gold (Wales) (Wrexham and Chester)
1260: Absolute Radio (South Kent)
1260: Absolute Radio (Eastbourne & Hastings)
1260: Absolute Radio (Surrey)
1260: Sabras Radio
1260: BBC Radio York (Scarborough & Surrounding Areas)
1278: Pulse 2 (Bradford)
1278: Trust AM (Bassetlaw Hospital)
1278: Crush Radio 1278am
1278: Palace Radio
1278: BFBS Gurkha Radio (Shorncliffe Barracks)
1278: Radio Royal (Forth Valley) (Falkirk Royal Infirmary)
1287: 107 Garrison FM (Bassingbourn)
1287: 106.8 Garrison FM
1287: Insanity
1287: Surge
1287: Radio Redhill
1287: BFBS Gurkha Radio (Invicta Park Barracks)
1287: BHR 1287
1287: NH Sound
1287: VRN 1287
1287: Hospital Radio Gwendolen
1296: Radio XL 1296 AM
1305: Gold (Wales) (Newport)
1305: Magic AM (South Yorkshire) (Barnsley)
1305: Premier Christian Radio (London) (North London)
1305: Premier Christian Radio (London) (South London)
1323: Smooth Radio (Brighton)
1332: Gold (Peterborough)
1332: Premier Christian Radio (London) (Central London)
1332: BBC Wiltshire
1341: BBC Radio Ulster (Lisnagarvey)
1350: RamAir 1350am
1350: URY 1350AM
1350: URN (University Park Campus)
1350: Air3 Radio
1350: LCR
1350: UKCR 1350AM
1350: Radio Nightingale (Rotherham General Hospital)
1350: GU2 Radio
1350: Livewire 1350AM
1350: Kingstown Radio
1350: Frequency
1350: Hospital Radio Pulse
1350: Hemel Hospital Radio (Hemel General Hospital)
1350: Mid-Downs Hospital Radio (The Princess Royal Hospital)
1350: Radio Cavell
1350: Range Radio 1350am
1350: Hospital Radio Yare
1359: Gold (Chelmsford)
1359: Gold (Midlands) (Coventry and Warwickshire)
1359: Gold (Wales) (Cardiff)
1359: BBC Radio Solent (Dorset)
1368: Manx Radio
1368: BBC Surrey (East Surrey/North Sussex)
1368: BBC Radio Lincolnshire
1368: BBC Wiltshire (Swindon)
1377: Asian Sound Radio (Manchester)
1386: Blast 1386
1386: Anker Radio
1386: Carillon Radio (Loughborough Hospital)
1386: Carillon Radio (Coalville Hospital)
1386: 1386AM HCR
1386: VI Radio
1404: RED Radio
1404: Radio Rovers
1413: Fresh Radio (Skipton)
1413: Premier Christian Radio (London) (West London)
1413: Premier Christian Radio (London) (East London)
1413: BBC Radio Gloucestershire (South)
1413: BBC Radio Gloucestershire (North)
1413: Manchester United Radio
1431: University Radio Falmer
1431: Gold (Southend, Reading)
1431: Fresh Radio (Settle)
1431: Xtreme Radio 1431AM
1431: Chichester Hospital Radio
1431: Apple AM
1431: Radio Sonar
1449: BBC Asian Network (Peterborough & Cambridge)
1449: BBC Radio 4 (LW) (Aberdeen)
1449: 1449AM URB
1449: Hub Radio
1458: Gold (Manchester)
1458: Sunrise Radio (London)
1458: BBC Newcastle
1458: BBC Radio Cumbria (Whitehaven)
1458: BBC Radio Devon (Torbay & South Devon)
1458: BBC Asian Network (Birmingham)
1485: Gold (Newbury)
1485: BBC Sussex (Brighton)
1485: BBC Radio Humberside
1485: BBC Radio Merseyside
1485: BBC Radio 4 (LW) (Carlisle)
1503: BBC Radio Stoke
1503: 1503 AM Radio Diamonds
1503: Betar Bangla
1530: Pulse 2 (Halifax & Huddersfield)
1530: BBC Essex (Southend-on-Sea)
1548: Magic 1548
1548: Gold (London)
1548: 1548 Forth 2
1548: Magic AM (South Yorkshire) (Sheffield & Rotherham)
1548: BBC Radio Bristol
1557: Gold (Northampton, Southampton)
1557: BBC Radio Lancashire (North)
1566: County Sound Radio 1566 MW
1566: BBC Somerset
1575: JamRadio
1575: Stoke Mandeville Hospital Radio
1575: Radio Tyneside
1584: London Turkish Radio
1584: Tay AM (Perth)
1584: BBC Hereford and Worcester (Tenbury Wells)
1584: BBC Radio Nottingham
1602: BBC Radio Kent (West)
1602: Desi Radio

Depending on conditions, you'll be surprised at how many you can hear from the other end of the country. Bear in mind this will alter virtually every day though. 

Here's some LW stations...

153 Alger Chaine 1Bechar2000
153 Romania ActualitataBrasov Bod1200
153 DeutschlandfunkDonebach500
153 R YunostTaldom300
153 NRK EuropakanalenIngoy100
162 France InterAllouis2000
162 TRT-4Agri1000
162 GRTK Taymyr / R RossiiNorilsk150
162 Uzbek Radio 1Tashkent150
164 Mongolyn RadioKhonkhor500
171 R Mediterranee Int'lNador2000
171 R Chechnya  Tbilisskaya1200
171 R RossiiBolshakovo600
171 GRTK Tomsk / R RossiiOyash250
171 NVK Sakha / R RossiiYakutsk150
177 Deutschlandradio KulturZehlendorf500
180 TRT-4Polatli1200
180 Chitinskaya GRTK / R MayakChita150
180 GTRK  R RossiiPetropavlovsk150
183 Europe 1   Felsberg2000
189 GRTK Amur / R RossiiBelogorsk1200
189 RikisutvarpidGufuskalar300
189 R RossiiBlagoveshchensk150
189 Gruzinsloye RTbilisi100
189 Sveriges RMotala20
198 Alger Chaine 1Ouargla2000
198 BBC Radio 4Droitwich500
198 R MayakAngarsk250
198 Polskie R 1Raszyn200
198 R MayakKurovskaya150
198 R MayakOlgino75000
198 BBC Radio 4Droitwich 400
198  BBC Radio4 Westerglen50
198 BBC Radio 4Burghead50
207 D eutschlandfunkAholming500
207 RTM AAzilal400
207 R MayakTynda150
207 Ukrainske Radio 1Kyiv125
207 Iceland RikisutvarpidEidar100
209 Mongolyn RadioDalanzadgad75
209 Mongolyn RadioChoibalsan75
209 Mongolyn RadioUlgii30
216 R Monte CarloRoumoules2,000
216 Azerbaijani Radio 1Gyandza500
216 R RossiiBirobidzhan150
216 Tsentr Rossii / GRTK  Krasnoyarsk150
225 Polskie Radio P1Solec Kujawski1200
225 Khanty GRTK YugoriyaSurgut1000
225 TRT-GAP / TRT-4Van600
227 Mongolyn RadioAltai75
234 RTLBeidweiler2000
234 GRTK Magadan / R RossiiArman1000
234 Radio 1Gavar500
234 Irkutskaya GRTK / R RossiiAngarsk250
243 Primorskoe R / R RossiiRazdolnoe500
243 TRT Erzurum R / TRT-4Erzurum200
243 DR  danmarks Radio   Kalundborg  50
252 Alger Chaine 1 & 3Tipaza1500
252 RTE Radio 1Clarkstown100
252 R RossiiKazan150
252 Algeria (2 trasnmitters)    1,500
252 Tajik RadioDushanbe150
261 R RossiiTaldom2500
261 R Rossii / Chitinskaya GRTKChi   150
261 R HorizontVakarel60
270 Cesky rozhlas 1Topolna650
270 R Slovo / GRTKNovosibirsk150
279 GRTK Sakhalin / R Rossii1000
279 Belaruskaye Radio 1Sasnovy500
279 GRTK / R RossiiUlan-Ude150
279 GRTK / R RossiiYekaterinburg150
279 Turkmen Radio 1Asgabat150
279 GRTK Altay / R RossiiGorno-Altaysk50 

SPECIAL : March 2022 : The BBC said that the two new shortwave radio frequencies – 15735 kHz and 5875 kHz – will broadcast WORLD SERVICE news in English for four hours a day. These frequencies can be received clearly in Kyiv and parts of Russia, but you might not hear the broadcasts from the UK (but you might if conditions are right).

📻 BBC WS : 15735 kHz 16:00 – 18:00 GMT +2 📻 BBC WS : 5875 kHz 22:00 – 00:00 GMT +2

You will (hopefully) notice that there are a number of stations listed for the same frequency. Obviously they will be many miles from each other and wouldn't normally interfere with one another but it's easy to find yourself with a stronger signal from the furthest away transmitter than the closest one due to propagation variances. On 252 for example, you'll hear an Irish accent one night and an Algerian the other  night 😵


If you want to explore the HF Aeronautical Frequencies, try these. If your radio has memories, it might be an idea to input some of these into search bands and just start a scan until you hear something.

Aeronautical HF Bands...

10005 - 10100kHz

11175 - 11400kHz

13200 - 13360kHz

15010 - 15100kHz

17900 - 18030kHz

21870 - 22000kHz

23200 - 23350kHz

2850 - 3155kHz

3400 - 3500kHz

4650 - 4750kHz

5480 - 5730kHz

6525 - 6765kHz

8815 - 9040kHz



Automated weather service for aircraft and if nothing else, you can use it to gauge local conditions. If you listen to it regularly, you get an idea of how it sounds at its best and how much it varies according to conditions. Make a note of S-Readings, best and worst.

5450 kHz RAF Volmet

5505 kHz Shannon Volmet 

5598 kHz Shannon ATC. Secondary calling on 8906 

5616 kHz Shannon ATC. Secondary calling on 8864 

5649 kHz Shannon ATC. Secondary calling on 8879 

5658 kHz Shannon ATC 

5680 kHz Kinloss Rescue 

6622 kHz Shannon Volmet and Gander


1644 Malin Head Coast Guard Radio. Listening on 2069. 

1743 Stornoway Coastguard. Listening on 1743. 

1746 Valentia Coast Guard Radio. Listening on 2090. 

1752 Milford Haven Coastguard. Listening on 2096. 

1770 Shetland Coastguard. Listening on 1770. 

1880 Falmouth Coastguard. Listening on 1880. 

1883 Belfast Coastguard. Listening on 1883. 

1925 Humber Coastguard. Listening on 1925.

2182 International Marine Calling

2226  Aberdeen Coastguard and Hebrides Range Control.

2670 Falmouth Coastguard. Listening on 2670.

3023 Search & Rescue Night

4023 Search & Rescue Night

4125 International Marine Distress

4146 Primary Ship-Ship Channel-A

4149 Primary Ship-Ship Channel-B

4718 UK Rescue Night

5680 UK Rescue

5699 UK Rescue Secondary

8291 Marine Distress International

11253 RAF Volmet

12290 Marine Distress International

16420 Marine Distress International


Listening to ham radio operators can be great fun too. People from all walks of life, with different outlooks, kings to gardeners, estate agents to astronauts!!

Amateur band – 160M Top Band. 1.8-2.0 MHz.
Closest broadcast band – Medium wave

Day or Night (best at night)

Amateur band – 80M 3.5-3.8 MHz.
Closest broadcast band – 90 metres and 75 metres

Best at night

Amateur band – 40M 7.0-7.1 MHz.
Closest broadcast band – 60 metres 49 metres 41 metres

Day or Night (good at night)

Amateur band – 30M 10.100-10.150 MHz.
Closest broadcast band – 31 metres 25 metres

Day or Night (good at night)

Amateur band – 20M 14.000-14.350 MHz.
Closest broadcast band – 21 metres 19 metres

Day or Night (variable)

Amateur band – 17M 18.068-18.168 MHz.
Closest broadcast band – 16 metres

Day or Night (variable)

Amateur band – 15M 21.000-21.450 MHz.
Closest broadcast band – 13 metres

Day or Night (very variable)

Amateur band – 12M 24.890-24.990 MHz.

Day or Night (very variable)

Amateur band – 10M 28.000-29.7000 MHz.

Day or Night (very variable)

Well, hopefully that's enough to get you started! There's much more to do in the hobby of SWL and then maybe you'll want to move into ham radio if you're not already licensed.

I found another useful webpage from RF MAN describing in great detail the UK Spectrum. Well worth a visit. Click Here.

If you've anything to contribute to this topic, please leave a comment.

Thanks for visiting the blog.

73, Tom, M7MCQ.


Bas PE4BAS said...

Wow Tom, this is a very detailed promotion for SWL. I think making such a post did take hours, days maybe. It has lots of information a SWL new or experienced can use. It is certainly one of the most interesting posts I have read this year. The Alinco DJ-X2000 looks very much like my first VHF/UHF transceiver which is the Alinco DJ-G5, I still have it. 73, Bas

MadDogMcQ said...

That's very kind of you Bas. Hopefully it will help someone thinking of joining the radio hobby and perhaps they'll move onto bigger things and get their ham license.

Hope you're well.

73, Tom, M7MCQ.