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 Post subject: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 1:16 am 
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Greetings,

I was wondering if there is any practical use for the LW band selector on European radios.

I grew up in Europe and we used a tube radio and I do seem to remember listening to LW. I know that LW was not used the same way in the US but I also know LW travels very far. So, I guess that means that a radio on NYC should be able to pick up LW broadcast from Europe. But how many stations broadcast on the LW band these days?

I guess I'm wondering if the LW band on those radios is something that's now obsolete for those who just wish to listen to entertainment channels.

Thanks...


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 Post subject: Re: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 1:45 am 
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Location: Toronto ON
According to Wikipedia, there are about 20 broadcasters currently.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longwave


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 Post subject: Re: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 1:59 am 
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Oh, I see. Thanks.

So, to receive those signals across the Atlantic, what kind of antenna do I need? I found some information that says that ideally one would need a dipole antenna that is 1/2 of the wavelength from the ground, which would be about 60 ft high, but that 20 ft heights also work.

Since I was a kid back then I have no idea how people hooked up LW antennas to their radios, but I don't remember seeing any wires stretched between houses and trees.

I'm assuming that the LW antenna is supposed to be hooked up to the rear of those radios, where is say antenna/ground (although it does not specifically say it's for LW).


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 Post subject: Re: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 2:37 am 
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Joined: Nov Tue 14, 2017 5:09 am
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Location: Austin, Texas
You can get some longwave information at this site: https://www.dxing.com/lw.htm
or just do a Google search for longwave dx.

I can receive some navigation beacon signals in my area but not much else.


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 Post subject: Re: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 2:50 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3879
Location: Cortez, Colorado
I know most of mine have LW, and on my Loewe Opta Hellas 2841, when you press the LW button it doesn't connect any of the contacts. And there are 2 coils on the ferrite bar. The schematic says 'Kontakte in Stellung LW', which I think says 'Switches are shown in LW position'. So you can see the input of the ECH81 goes through U1 pins 9 and 10, K pins 10 and 12, and M pins 11 and 14 to an adjustable inductor (most probably on the ferrite rod) to ground and a capacitor to ground. The long wire antenna connection in the back is mostly for KW but also for MW.


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Loewe Opta 2841.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 3:33 am 
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To be honest, I was actually doing a lot of Googling before posting here and I ended up just getting confused with information that is presented in such way that one already needs to have a much better understanding of the subject, than I currently do. A lot of information I found was, I think, for radio amateurs and not for those seeking to tune in to LW entertainment stations.

What's confusing to me now is this little coil that is supposedly a LW antenna. So, if that's a LW antenna I don't understand how it is able to pick up signals the same way as the long antennas that I found through internet searches for LW.


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 Post subject: Re: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 5:12 am 
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If you were using the radio in its 'home' environment, the little ferrite rod antenna would be perfectly suitable for receiving long wave transmissions right across Europe from one side to the other. Look at the power some of these huge stations are pushing out. BUT if you are looking to receive these stations from outside what you might call the normal intended coverage area, then you are going to need some assistance. Yes, from your long wire from the BC antenna terminal down to the bottom of the garden and as high as you can get it. Also remember that some manufacturers even reduce the sensitivity of their radio in the MW and LW bands to remove some cross-modulation and other defects from nearby high powered stations when you want to receive a weak one. There is often a modification to remove this reduction in sensitivity.

Quote:
Since I was a kid back then I have no idea how people hooked up LW antennas to their radios, but I don't remember seeing any wires stretched between houses and trees.


When you were a kid and when I was a kid must be a few years apart, 'cos I remember nearly everybodies house having a bit of wire dangling somewhere!

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 Post subject: Re: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 6:41 am 
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I see...

I'll have a closer look at my radios tomorrow. But I did take a photo, recently, of a part I was going it inquire about. I wonder if this is a small antenna, but it's under the keyboard, inside the chassis.

Attachment:
IMG_0429.jpg
IMG_0429.jpg [ 89.76 KiB | Viewed 1623 times ]


I can't find it anywhere on the schematic.

When I was a kid (late 70's to early 80's) I clearly remember all those TV aerials and the power lines hooked up to all the houses. But I never noticed any houses with long wires hooked up to nearby trees. But perhaps I just never noticed.


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 Post subject: Re: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 7:55 am 
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Location: 253 Blanche St. Plymouth, MI USA
Adinol said "... but I also know LW travels very far".

I always thought its propagation was unreliable. It was never used in the USA. Not sure why it was used in Europe, maybe someone can fill in that blank.
Mark Oppat


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 Post subject: Re: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 9:43 am 
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Location: Near Brandon, Iowa
Shortwave frequencies rely mostly on "skywave" propagation which is notoriously affected by the environment (sunspots, season, time of day) due to the composition, contraction and expansion of the ionosphere in reaction to these influences. Standard broadcast and longwave signals propagate via EM "groundwave" which is more stable but, since the earth isn't a superconductor, attenuation with distance exists, even over the oceans (seawater is an excellent medium for ground wave propagation). So while intracontinental coverage can be possible with longwave, intercontinental signal transmission is for the most part unlikely.

The US submarine fleet uses Extremely Low Frequency (and incredibly high power) EM waves to communicate worldwide with its command base, because ELF waves penetrate the surface of the ocean to some extent (normal groundwave propagation over the ocean mostly takes place at the surface of the water, even for LW signals). Unfortunately, the ELF system also is very limited in the rate at which it can convey data.


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 Post subject: Re: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 9:55 am 
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Location: Nr London, England, SS1 3PT
This thread should be just what you want. Scroll down to the input from "dtvmcdonald" who is in Illinois.

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/sho ... p?t=144391

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 10:57 am 
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Adinol wrote:
But I did take a photo, recently, of a part I was going it inquire about. I wonder if this is a small antenna, but it's under the keyboard, inside the chassis.

That looks like a "gimmick capacitor" to me. It's a way of creating a very tiny amount of capacitance by wrapping one wire around another. Notice that both wires have one end disconnected.

-Rodney


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 Post subject: Re: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 1:19 pm 
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Location: Cleona, PA
For a lot of fun, to see what's on the air on all frequencies, without having an antenna or radio, try this virtual receiver located in The Netherlands. You can hear long, medium, and short wave broadcasts of all sorts with a neat visual radio spectrum show besides. This "radio" covers all of this and everything down to practically Direct Current! Look around a while and you'll get the hang of navigating it.

http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/

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 Post subject: Re: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 2:53 pm 
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Location: Cortez, Colorado
Adinol What is the model number of your radio. Here is a picture of a ferrite bar antenna with LW.


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 Post subject: Re: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 3:29 pm 
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Thank you all for your comments.

oldradioparts wrote:
...It was never used in the USA. Not sure why it was used in Europe...

I'm just speculating. Could it be that in the early days of radio, different people believed in different trends and people with different beliefs promoted their ideas in different directions? Sort of like Edison pushing the world towards DC, while Tesla was promoting AC. Then the test of time showed us what works best. Also, could be that radio manufacturers used these trends to build what was then considered to be state of the art technology, "We offer a radio with three bands, LW, KW and UKW..." That would have sounded better to a customer who didn't want to miss out on what technology had to offer. Perhaps in 50 years from now people will be asking, "Why did they ever listen to music in the mp3 format? Sounds terrible."

I remember, when I was a boy, how grown men were explaining to me the differences between the bands. It is sort of nostalgia for me, so I wouldn't mind getting that LW working, even if I end up only receiving one station. That way I can also show to my kid (now 7 y/old) what older men had shown to me.

lorenz200w wrote:
...longwave signals propagate via EM "groundwave" which is more stable...

That's another thing that I wish to understand better and have already started Googling. The problem is finding sites that explain from the beginning.

I'm assuming that this is what the "ground" connection is for on the back of the radios. Internally that's connected straight to the chassis and those radios have transformers, so not hot chassis. In a different thread I was asking if I could simply retrofit such radios with a 3-rong plug power cord and connect that "radio ground" to "earth ground" of the AC line. People answered that they wouldn't do that. Is that because the ground wire coming through the wall receptacle is running alongside AC power lines, so there's interference? How did the folks connect that "ground" in the 50's? Did they just connect it to a plumbing line?

Radio Fixer wrote:
This thread should be just what you want... https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/sho ... p?t=144391

Thanks, I'll read through after I finish this post.

palegreenthumb wrote:
That looks like a "gimmick capacitor" to me...

I think you solved this mystery to me. Thanks.

wrnewton wrote:
http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/

This link doesn't work. Perhaps you did a mistake in copy/paste...

Tin Omen wrote:
What is the model number of your radio...

I am actually working on 3 different models. I'll post some more info about them as this thread makes progress. But, there is a Loewe Opta, and two different Tefifon radios with different chassis. Tefifon did not make their own chassis, they just used a stock chassis to fit into their cabinets because they were basically just selling their music playback Tefi format, which was also sold under the name Westrex, in the US (for a very brief period before the company went under).

I'll post more specific info later down the thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 5:57 pm 
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I have Grundig yacht boy 230 i can find 2 Indian stations only on LW wave!


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 Post subject: Re: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 6:39 pm 
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Joined: May Sat 12, 2012 1:33 pm
Posts: 1584
Location: Rochester, NY.
http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901

This link works for me and I have this website bookmarked. Is the browser blocking it somehow? What message are you getting?

LW was used for maritime communications back in the day. I have some older receivers with a 455 kc wavetrap meant to block interference from coastal ship/shore transmitters interfering with broadcast reception on or around this frequency.
Discussed here:
viewtopic.php?t=36431
Many airport and navigation beacons are sending slow Morse code to identify themselves and offer Radiolocation on LW. I can pick up a few of them around the Great Lakes.
My hometown sends ROC in slow code on 400 kc for Rochester, NY.


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 Post subject: Re: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 6:48 pm 
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Posts: 2861
Location: Nr London, England, SS1 3PT
LW was considered essential in the early days, 30s and even to now for the shipping forecast on Radio 4 (R4). The greater propagation reaches fishing trawlers way out to sea in the wilds of the Atlantic ocean. They really needed it and may still do now: DAB aint going to get there :). Believe it was widely used in WW2 again for its great coverage into Europe.

As a station it is superb, with no Ads, very little music and a great mix of programs. News, Topical stuff, Plays, Stories and much more. Listen to every day on my Zenith 7A28A at the moment. Really do hope they don't close it down.

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Sun 04, 2018 8:09 pm 
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Location: Powell River BC Canada
Long wave is used for carrier current intercoms, such as models sold by Shack.

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 Post subject: Re: Longwave Band Selector on European Radios
PostPosted: Mar Mon 05, 2018 3:27 am 
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i had a monster beverage with buried ground counterpoise the length of the wire.

I could regularly hear all the Algerienne Radio channels, RTE Erienne, Rikisutvarpid Iceland, BBC 4, RadioTelevision Morocco, France Inter, Polskie Radio, and other stations from Czechoslovakia, Germany (Euro 1, I think), Luxembourg, and many more North African, and Eastern/Western Europe stations.

signal strength was usually an armchair cS9 to S30 dB copy on all of them, especially from Oct-April.

the key to excellent long wave reception is to have an enormous ground system. when I disconnected my buried ground system that webbed out all over the property under the long wires, the LW reception decreased by 50-75 percent.

medium wave / broadcast band / AM was also over the top as I regularly heard European and North African trans-atlantic DX.

again, the grounding system was the key to receiving with the overhead long wires.


steve

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