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01-02/2015 —

TELE-audiovision International —


the sick and injured, respond-

ing to accidents and traffic

troubles along with an array

of other catastrophes that

plague neighborhoods when

disasters strike. A wideband

receiver such as a DVB-T don-

gle will allow one to monitor a

very wide swath of frequen-

cies used by first responders

and will keep you informed

with what is happening long

before discovery by the news


If your thirst for adventure

needs to be assuaged then

adding a converter in tandem

such as the Ham It Up RF up-



will expand the frequency

range of the dongle down to

the LF (Low Frequency), MF

(Medium Frequency), and HF

(High Frequency) areas of the

radio spectrum thus allow-

ing you to listen to shortwave

broadcasts, shortwave util-

ity stations, the AM broad-

cast band, and the Longwave

band. As a avid shortwave

listener since the 1960’s I

purchased the Ham It Up up-

converter from

with undue haste after my

dongle arrived since my in-

terests included reception of

shortwave radio broadcasts,

time signal stations such as

WWV and CHU, RTTY (Radio-

TeleType), WEFAX (Weather

Facsimile), DGPS (Differential

Global Position System), NAV-

TEX (Navigational Telex), CW

(Morse Code), ALE (Automatic

Link Establishment), Sitor B

(Simplex Teletype Over Ra-

dio Mode B), and many other

non-voice digital modes that

abound on shortwave.

Several versions of upcon-

verters are on the market that

will pair with the SDR dongle

ranging in cost from $40.00

USD and up. Some, like the

Ham It Up require a sepa-

rate five volt power source,

additional connectors, and of

course another antenna de-

signed for shortwave recep-

tion. The Ham It Up upcon-

verter uses a 125 MHz crystal

oscillator to shift the dongle’s

LO (Local Oscillator) up by 125

MHz. It is a very well-made,

well-documented, and excel-

lent product that comes at a

very low price, $44.95 USD.

Once you have your upcon-

verter you’ll have to erect an

antenna such as simple out-

door 30 to 50 foot wire strung

as high as possible. This an-

tenna will suffice initially but

again, there’s a limitless sup-

ply of commercially available

shortwave antennas on the

market and many antenna

designs available Do-It-Your-

selfers on the Internet. For

apartment dwellers and those

with antenna restrictions all is

not lost, as there are several

manufacturers of indoor “ac-

tive antennas.” By “active” is

meant that the antenna has

built in circuitry to amplify re-

ceived signals and attenuate

unwanted signals. One such

supplier if MFJ Enterprises




com), a long-time reputable

manufacturer of an array of

amateur radio and shortwave

products. You can also check

Universal Radio Inc., (www. for their

selection of active indoor an-

tennas. And happily, SDR#

and HDSDR will work per-

fectly when using the dongle/

converter combination.

Let’s discuss a bit more

about what’s to be heard on

shortwave using your dongle

with an upconverter. The high

frequency (HF) band by con-

vention spans the range of 2

– 30 MHz and in this 28 MHz

of spectrum you’ll find for-

eign broadcast stations such

as Radio Habana Cuba, BBC,

WBCQ, VOA (Voice of Amer-

ica), Voice of Vietnam, Radio

Japan, and Radio Romania to

name a few. Stations broad-

casting on HF use AM mode

and are found in distinct,

designated regions of the HF

spectrum. These distinct re-

gions are called “shortwave

bands” and are classified ac-

cording to wavelength such

as the 60m (60 meter), 41m,

31m, 25m bands etc. In all,

there are approximately a

11. AM broadcast band, 540 –

1710 MHz, through the eyes of

the dongle radio.

12. 31m shortwave band (9.4

– 9.9 MHz) is home to several

shortwave broadcasters

including Radio Romania

International, Radio New

Zealand International, Radio

Habana Cuba, and Radio Japan.