Shortwave listening has always been a mainly nocturnal hobby. To get the real DX, one had to wait for favorable ionospheric conditions after sunset and spend hours twisting knobs while straining to pick voices from half a planet away out of the noise. But who has time for that in today’s world? And what of the poor city-dwelling SWL, with antenna limitations and often elevated noise floor in the urban jungle?
[London Shortwave] came up with a solution to both problems – a briefcase SDR capture rig. With a wide-band SDR receiver and an HF up-converter, a Windows tablet, a 12-meter dipole antenna, and a few bits and bobs, [London Shortwave] can now nip to the low-noise environment of the local park and capture large swaths of spectrum to an SD card. The recordings can be played back and analyzed later. [London Sortwave] has been able to dig some interesting signals out of the SDRSharp waterfall display, like Radio New Zealand, a Philippines station, and an early morning transatlantic contact with Radio Aparecida from Brazil. We really like to look and feel of [London Shortwave]’s capture rig too. It bears little resemblance to the Hallicrafters and Drake SW rigs of yore, but it puts a new spin on old hobby and offers possibilities the old timers could only dream of.