Chapter 1
By Michael Stevenson
Here is a multi-part series about the receivers I have used in 35 years of listening to shortwave radio and my opinion of them. First, a short history of how I stumbled upon shortwave listening.

Back in 1966 I purchased my very first own radio, it was a Philips MT-6 portable mantle style radio which could receive medium wave only, I loved listening to this radio and was always keen on tuning the dial to hear how many distant stations I could receive, I never listened to local radio, only stations in the next towns or as far away as possible, I found this Philips was rather insensitive though and if I put my hand on top of this radio the more distant signals would improve, so, I thought to myself that it was time to open it up and try to put a better antenna onto it which I did with a length of wire hanging outside my bedroom window, it improved weak signals greatly, I also found that by twiddling the capacitor and coil screws on the circuit board, it would also improve reception.

One afternoon at around 0625 UTC (GMT in those days) I was tuning the dial and tuned into a rather strange musical station that was repeating the music, at 0630 the station said "Radio Nederland, Wereldomroep, Hilversum" then carried on in a foreign language (which was actually Dutch).

Later that evening at 0800 UTC, the same station came on in English, this was the very first shortwave station heard, Radio Netherlands in Holland broadcasting via Bonaire in the Netherlands Antilles. I had somehow detuned my Medium Wave only radio to receive shortwave (with the help of an external antenna and a very strong signal from Bonaire).

I was truly excited to receive such a distant station and I guess this is when the radio bug well and truly bit (I still have a scar!) My grandfather took interest in my receiving this overseas station and he then gave me an old portable valve (or tube) Astor brand of radio which had a shortwave band and run on batteries, he had no further use for it.

So, this was the very first shortwave radio I had, it was really great fun receiving all these different overseas stations (mostly in foreign languages with a few in English).

Unfortunately, this old valve portable was very heavy on batteries and it soon went dead, I renewed the batteries once but they were hard to get, had to come from New Zealand and were very expensive, so, I started to save up my money for a better shortwave radio that ran off the mains, this was a Sony TR-1300 portable multiband radio which I will tell you about in part two of my receiver story.

Chapter 1| Chapter 2| Chapter 3| Chapter 4| Chapter 5|Chapter 6| Chapter 7| Chapter 8| Chapter 9A| Chapter 9B| Chapter 10| Chapter 11|

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