Shortwave Radio

Shortwave radio is a means of broadcasting over great distances, one that has been used for decades for international propaganda. Since the late 1990s, depending on the service, shortwave has been increasingly superseded by satellite-distributed broadcasts and audio streaming on the Internet.


Experiments with shortwave radio transmission date to the early 1920s, with much of the important work being done by amateur or “ham” operators. Guglielmo Marconi and other radio innovators also played a part in the technology’s development. Pioneer American AM station KDKA in Pittsburgh established an experimental shortwave transmitter in Nebraska in the early 1920s to try retransmitting its signal to the west coast—and farther. A few other stations did likewise, but the limited number of shortwave receivers held back development. Amateur operators sent ...

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