martes, marzo 04, 2008

World Band Radio

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Because world band is full of surprises from one listening session to the next, experienced listeners like to stroll through the airwaves. Daytime, you’ll fi nd most stations above 11500 kHz; at night, below 10.000 kHz, but there are interesting exceptions.
If a station can’t be found or fades out, there is probably nothing wrong with your radio or the schedule. World band stations are located on terra firma, but because of the earth’s curvature their signals eventually run into the sky-high ionosphere. When the ionosphere is suitably energized, it defl ects these signals back down, after which they bounce off oceans or soil and sail back up to the ionosphere.
This bouncing up and down like a basketball continues until the signal arrives at
your radio. However, if the ionosphere at any one “bounce point” isn’t in a bouncing
mood—it varies daily and seasonally, like the weather—the signal passes through
the ionosphere and disappears into space.
That’s great for intergalactic travelers, but for the rest of us it’s the main reason a
scheduled signal might be audible one hour, gone the next.
No Censorship—Even During War World band stations cope with the ionosphere’s
changeability by operating within different frequency ranges, depending on
the season and time of day—even the 11- year sunspot cycle. This changeability is part of the fun and lets you eavesdrop on juicy signals not intended for your part of the world.
The ionosphere is also why world band radio is free from regulation and snooping.
Unlike on the Internet, nobody can know what you’re hearing—world band signals
don’t rely on cables or satellites, just layers of heavenly gases. This makes world band
the ultimate for not leaving tracks that could come back to haunt during states
of national emergency, security-clearance investigations or employment checks.
The ionosphere also helps analog world band transmissions to be heard even when
there’s skywave jamming, the only type feasible outside urban areas.
Daily jamming is currently limited to authoritarian regimes—Cuba, Iran and China, for example.
Yet, even some democratic governments have infrastructures in place to disrupt communications during emergencies. As world band radio is largely beyond their control, it can inform even during the gravest of crises.
Bottom line for tuning in: World band is almost always there, no matter what.