Shortwave radio is not only fun to listen to but comes in very handy during emergencies.

Good shortwave band conditions depend on the peculiarities of the ionosphere at the instant in time and the band you are listening to.
We also suggest some highly popular shortwave receivers that will make shortwave listing a fun past time!

The International Shortwave Bands and Frequencies:

11 meters 25.67-26.10 MHz -Very little broadcasting activity in this band. Day reception tends to be poor, night reception nonexistent. This band could be used for daytime ‘single hop’ regional coverage, but very few broadcast transmitters and antennas function in this band. Not to be confused with the Citizen’s Band 11-meter allocation, which in most countries runs from 26.965 MHz to 27.405 MHz. The 11 meter CB band as it is called, is used by unlicensed radio operators and the FCC has a difficult if not impossible time of “policing” the band, so you are warned that very foul language can and will be heard…..you could consider the CB band as the R and X rated radio band at times…!!!!!!

13 meters -21.45-21.50 MHz -Somewhat shaky day reception, very little night. Similar case to 11 metres, but long distance daytime broadcasting keeps this band humming in the Asia-Pacific region.

15 meters -18.90-19.02 MHz – Seldom used.

16 meters -17.48-17.90 MHz -Day reception good, night reception varies seasonally, with summer being the best.

19 meters -15.00-15.825 MHz -Day reception good, night reception variable, best during summer. Time stations such as WWV are clustered around 15 MHz. Listen on 15.000mhz.

22 meters -13.57-13.87 MHz – Similar to 19 meters; best in summer.

25 meters -11.50-12.05 MHz – Generally best during summer; said to be ideal during the period before and after sunset.

31 meters – 9250-9995 kHz – Good year-round night band; seasonal during the day, with best reception in winter. Time stations are clustered around 10 MHz. WWV can usually be heard well on 10.000Mhz. Set your clock accurately using WWV time signals! Just tune them in using the AM mode and listen.

41 meters – 7100-7350 kHz – Reception varies by region – reasonably good night and day reception, but few international broadcast transmitters in this band are targeted to North America. You’ll also hear lots of U.S. Amateur Radio Operators, mostly LSB mode.

49 meters – 5900-6300 kHz – Good year-round night band; daytime reception is lacking.

60 meters – 4750-5100 kHz – Mostly used locally in tropical regions, though usable at night. Time stations are clustered around 5000 kHz.

75 meters – 3900-4050 kHz – Mostly used in Eastern Hemisphere, not widely received in the Americas except for the Amateur radio portion of the band. (3900 to 4000kHz). U.S Amateur Radio Frequencies, usually LSB single sideband mode, can be heard from 3.500Mhz thru 4.000Mhz. This is considered the 75/80 meter band. See the chart below.

90 meters -3200-3400 kHz -Mostly used locally in tropical regions, with limited long-distance reception at night.

120 meters – 2300-2495 kHz – Mostly used locally in tropical regions, with time stations clustered around 2500 kHz. Not technically a shortwave band; resides in the upper reaches of the medium wave band.

Tuning in between these bands above can be an adventure, with many government stations, pirate broadcasts, long range military aircraft, and commercial planes, ships and shore stations.

The Ham (Amateur Radio) bands.
Mixed between the shortwave bands above are many hf ham radio bands where you can hear ham radio operators from all over the world conversing back and forth. You can sometimes hear emergency communications going on from all parts of the world. During major disasters, ham radio operators are some of the first to get the needed communications out to the world when local power goes down.

The ham radio bands can be a very interesting source of shortwave listening at other times also.

Source – Ham Universe


Another quick-reference list of frequencies from each country which carry some English and which may be heard in North America. Many are easily heard; some are difficult and rarely audible.

Shortwave Listening Tips:

Listen to Asia and Australia in the morning and listen to Europe at night.
No SW frequency operates 24 hours. You may not hear anything unless you are listening at the right time, or you may hear another language, or you may hear some other country sharing the frequency.
Many countries are better heard in non-English broadcasts. Explore the dial and you will hear many fascinating things, including exotic music.
Some stations only air a few minutes of English; or only in ID announcements (Mexico); or only language lessons (Ecuador).
Country of origin is shown. Many of the frequencies are relayed from elsewhere. In the case of China, all of them shown below are relays. Don’t assume any particular frequency is actually coming directly from the originating country.
Some major countries no longer broadcast to North America intentionally, such as Australia, Germany, South Africa or the UK. Longer frequency lists for these give you more chances to hear something directed elsewhere.
More than one station may be involved under some countries, or even outside broadcasts to that country (Liberia, Nigeria, Sudan).
Many of the strongest signals from strictly religious broadcasters in the US and elsewhere are not shown.

Country: Frequencies:
ALASKA
(Not a country, but has
specific frequencies)
6150, 6950, 7355, 9920LSB = lower sideband
ALBANIA 6115, 7425, 7450, 7465USB = upper sideband
ARGENTINA 9690, 11710, 15345v = frequency varies
or is not exact
AUSTRALIA 2310, 2325, 2485, 4835, 4910, 5025, 5995, 6020, 6080, 7240, 9475, 9560, 9580, 9590, 9660, 9710, 11650, 11880, 12080, 13630, 13670, 15160, 15230, 15240, 15515, 17715, 17750, 17775, 17785, 17795, 21725
AUSTRIA 5945, 6155, 7325, 9870, 13675, 13730
BAHRAIN 6010
BANGLADESH 7185
BELARUS 7360, 7390, 7420
BULGARIA 7400, 9400, 9500, 9700, 11700, 11900, 15700
CANADA RCI 9610, 9755, 9770, 13650, 15365, 17740
CANADA CBC 6160, 9625
CHINA 5960, 5990, 6005, 6020, 6040, 6080, 6115, 6190, 7285, 9570, 9580, 9690, 9730, 9785, 9790, 9870, 11885, 11900, 11970, 13675, 13740, 15230, 15240
CROATIA 7285, 9470, 11690
CUBA 6000, 6060, 6180, 6300, 9505, 9550, 11760
CZECH REP 5930, 6200, 7345, 7385, 9400, 9430, 9435, 9890, 9955, 11600, 13580, 15710
ECUADOR 6050, 7385, 9745, 11700
EGYPT 4680, 7270, 9990, 11885, 15375, 17835
ETHIOPIA 7165, 9560v
FRANCE 5920, 7315, 9720, 9765, 9805, 9865, 11615, 11725, 13680, 11995, 15160, 15275, 15605, 21620
GERMANY 5905, 6140, 6180, 7225, 7240, 7280, 7285, 9565, 9735, 9755, 11690, 12045, 15275
GHANA 4915
GREECE 7475, 9420, 9935, 12105, 15630, 17525
GUYANA 3291, 5950
HUNGARY 5980, 6025, 6035, 9525
INDIA 7410, 9425, 9445, 9690, 9705, 9910, 9950, 11620, 11645, 11715, 11935, 13605, 13710, 15020, 15075, 15155, 15235, 17510, 17670, 17800, 17895
INDONESIA 9525v, 11785, 15150v
IRAN 6010, 6120, 6250, 7160, 7320, 7330, 9855, 11695, 15460, 17660
ISRAEL 6280, 6985, 7545, 9345, 15640, 15760, 17535, 17600
ITALY 5965, 6010, 6035, 6090, 6120, 7170, 9760, 11800
JAPAN 5975, 6110, 6120, 6145, 7230, 9505, 9535, 9875, 11690, 11695, 11715, 11730, 11740, 11935, 11970, 13650, 15195, 15355, 17685, 17810, 17825, 17845, 17870, 21610, 21670
JORDAN 11690
KOREA, N 3560, 4405, 6185, 6285, 7570, 9325, 9335, 9345, 9730, 9850, 9975, 9990, 11535, 11545, 11710, 11735, 12015, 13650, 13760, 15100, 15180
KOREA, S 7275, 9560, 9570, 9640, 9650, 9770, 15575
LAOS 7145
LIBERIA 4760, 5470, 9525
LIBYA 7320, 17725, 21695
LITHUANIA 7325, 9710, 9875
MALAYSIA 7295, 9750, 15295
MEXICO 6185
MOLDOVA 6235
MONGOLIA 12085
MYANMAR 5986
NEPAL 5005
NETHERLANDS 6020, 6040, 6165, 7120, 9345, 9795, 9895, 11655, 11675, 12065, 12080, 15315, 15525, 15595, 17725, 17810
NEW ZEALAND 3935, 5950, 9765, 9870, 11725, 13840, 15720, 17675
NIGERIA 7255, 7275, 7380, 15120
OMAN 15140
PAKISTAN 6215, 7530, 11570, 15100, 17835
PAPUA NEW GUINEA 3385, 4960, 7120
PHILIPPINES 11720, 11885, 15190, 15270, 17665, 17720
POLAND 7130, 9525
ROMANIA 6055, 6115, 6150, 7105, 7145, 7180, 9515, 9610, 9640, 9690, 9755, 11895, 15105, 15135, 17745
RUSSIA 6240, 7150, 7250, 7350, 9840, 12010, 12030, 13665, 15425
SENEGAL 12000
SERBIA 6100
SINGAPORE 6080, 6150
SLOVAKIA 7230, 9440
SOLOMON IS. 5020v, 9545
S AFRICA 3345, 7240, 7390, 9685, 15235, 15255, 17770
SPAIN 6055, 6125, 9680, 11625, 11680
SRI LANKA 6005, 9770, 11905, 15745v
SUDAN 4750, 7280, 9525, 9660, 9840, 13720
SURINAME 4990
SWEDEN 6010, 7420, 11550, 15240
SYRIA 9330, 12085, 13610
TAIWAN 5950, 7130, 7445, 9355, 9680, 9785, 11550, 11850, 1995, 15215, 15465
TAJIKISTAN 7245
THAILAND 5890, 9535, 9680, 9725, 9805, 9810, 13770
TIBET 4820, 4905, 5935, 6050, 7170, 7240, 9490
TURKEY 5960, 6020, 6055, 7240, 9525, 11735, 12035
TURKMENISTAN 4930, 5015
UGANDA 4976, 5026
UKRAINE 5820, 5830, 9925
U K 5875, 5975, 6005, 6040, 6130, 6195, 7130, 7160, 7320, 9410, 9480, 9660, 9740, 9750, 11675, 11750, 11765, 11920, 12095, 15105, 15285, 15360, 15400, 15575, 17640, 17830, 17885, 21470
UNITED NATIONS 9565, 17810
USA AFRTS 4319-USB, 5446.5-USB, 5765-USB, 6350-USB, 7811.5-USB, 10320-USB, 12133.5-USB, 12759-USB, 13362-USB
USA VOA 4930, 4960, 5960, 6080, 6105, 6110, 7125, 7175, 7205, 7405, 9645, 9760, 9785, 9885, 11655, 11885, 11890, 11975, 12015, 12150, 13600, 13640, 13710, 13735, 13755, 15150, 15185, 15205, 15290, 15445, 15580, 17640, 17715, 17730, 17895
USA KAIJ 5755, 9480
USA WBCQ 5110-LSB, 7415, 9330-LSB, 18910-LSB
USA WEWN 5810, 5850, 7560, 7570, 9450, 9955, 9975, 15785, 17595
USA WRMI 7385, 9955
USA WWCR 3215, 5070, 7465, 9985, 12160, 15825
VANUATU 3945v, 7260v
VATICAN 4005, 5885, 6185, 7250, 7305, 7360, 7365, 9310, 9610, 9635, 9645, 9660, 9755, 11625, 11740, 11850, 13765, 15595
VIETNAM 6175, 7285, 9840, 12020
YEMEN 9780v
ZAMBIA 4910, 5915, 6165
ZANZIBAR 11735

Source – C.Crane