Equipment for EWTN Catholic short wave

It looks like the North American English EWTN service has been taken off the air. From the EWTN web site I get the impression that they figure you can listen on the Internet, Sirus Satellite Radio, or one of 120 AM and FM radio stations. So the value of this old web page is much reduced. I will have to figure out what if any of this is still valuable. I will keep it for now, EWTN is still using shortwave for much of the world.

Old Radios May Not Bring In EWTN

At least some EWTN broadcasts are on a relatively new part of the short-wave spectrum and therefore many older short-wave radios can not tune EWTN in. So do not give up until you have tried a new radio.

To find the EWTN frequencies you can use the EWTN frequency guide. The frequencies change, six months ago some of the frequencies were different than the current ones.

In addition to the frequencies mentioned on the EWTN site I have also found EWTN on band 1 at the top of the 4.90 marked on my dial. I do not know what the exact frequency is but this should get you into the ball park.

You may have some difficulty with interference. I have found that television and computer screens and floresent lights cause interference that effect the short-wave signal. These same things influence AM radio, also called middle wave radio. I find the effect on short-wave seems to be worse than on AM radio. The AM signal is often no effected beyond a couple of feet. Short wave and middle wave or AM radio are on the same region of the spectrum. So apparently the things that cause interference for AM also cause it for short wave. You can read more about interference and AM radio on my AM radio pages

The average American spends 1,000 hours a year listening to radio. If you listened to that much EWTN for a year the cost of 200 dollar radio would only be 20 cents an hour, even if the radio broke after exactly one year of use. That is cheaper per hour than pay TV, basic cable, and the newspaper. But a high quality radio like this is likely to last many years. If you use it, a great short-wave radio like the Sangean ATS 818 is very cheap per hour of use.

$85 Sangean AST-404 brings in EWTN from Ohio

A reader of this page from Ohio said that he was pulling in EWTN with a Sangean AST-404. As Ohio is relatively close to Alabama that is not too impressive. The ATS-404 sells for 85 dollars on the special Sangean web page for EWTN listeners. It also comes with batteries, an A/C adapter, and a roll up antenna. The Ohio correspondent feels that this might be a fairly good radio at a cheap price.

I would like to thank my vistor from Ohio, this is just the type of feed back I dream of getting.

$30 Sangean SG-622 brings in EWTN on West Coast

A local friend of mine bought a Sangean SG-622 which sells for a little less than $30 on Amazon.com. No roll up antenna was included, I do not think an adapter or batteries was included either. I do not believe he was able to get anything on it, but I had little trouble bringing in EWTN in the Sacramento California area. What this may tell us is that knowing the tricks and how to play with a radio is very important. Giving you those tricks is what these web pages are about.

I found EWTN at all the listed frequencies when I checked in the Winter, and I have got a good signal, but not every time I listened. I am still trying to hear the five frequencies EWTN has now. I could not get 9.975 which is the frequency from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., but I will keep trying.

The day time frequencies came in very easily and strong outside, I have to work a little harder inside, you may have to put the radio fairly close to a window. Reception seems to be better on the second floor than the first.

Reception was stronger at night. I could listen to EWTN with no trouble in a room without outside windows in a large building, but another time I had difficulty from the second floor in a room with a window. This may be related to the weather. That difficulty was in the rainy season here in California and that maybe interfering with the reception.

Betweem 5 p.m. and 3 a.m. on the West Coast EWTN broadcasts on 5.825. This is a night time frequency that does not work too well before the sun goes down. In mid-summer the sun might not go down until about eight o'clock. This limits listening.

I have bought a portable roll up antenna for a little more than 10 dollars from Radio Shack. I had to order it, as the local store did not have it in stock, but according to the Internet many Radio Shack stores do have it.

The antenna can dramatically improve reception but some times I have not noticed much of an improvement. The antenna combined with the Sangean SG-622 has not made listening trouble free. But remember the Sangean SG-622 is the cheap, bottom of the line radio for Sangean. A better radio might solve the problems.

The antenna includes a clip that you slip on to the radio's antenna. Alternatively you can insert the plug half way into the socket for the head phones. You have to avoid inserting the plug too far or it will cut off the sound.

The wires on your head phones can act as an antenna for the Sangean SG-622. I have a cheap set of headphones with thin wires that are straight. The head phones greatly improve reception particularly when a length of the wire is reasonably straight.

If I just want to listen to the speaker without the headphones, as suggested above for the antenna, I plug the headphones in part way, so they do not cut off the speaker, this greatly improves reception.

Reception seems to be best when I let the head phones sit on the floor with the wires hanging straight down from the radio and the whip antenna pointing straight up. It seems that the whip antenna and the the wires from the headphones work together to form one long antenna.

The wires on the headphones appear to be similar to those on a portable antenna. A portable roll-up antenna will help you more because it is much longer and because it specifically designed to do this. I suggest using the headphones because it is free.

I have tried touching the antenna to various metal objects, hoping they would act as an antenna with no luck. The only thing that seems to work other than the headphones is my body. When I touch the top of the whip antenna that is on top of the radio it also improves reception.

The reason I encouraged my friend to buy the Sangean SG-622 was a report on Amazon.com that says the Sangean SG-622 can get EWTN on the West Coast. The reviewer, who lives on the farm in Washington State, is the one who talks about EWTN. If you search for EWTN on the page I have linked to you will find the review. He thought he was doing so well because he was on a farm, but I live in a small city near Sacramento, California. This radio should be able to bring in EWTN from anywhere in the 48 states.

A real EWTN fan probably should buy a better radio, but the Sangean SG-622 might be a way to try out EWTN and shortwave at relatively low cost.

Furthermore as it is fairly cheap you might feel comfortable about lending it out to your friends so they can decide if they want to buy a shortwave radio to bring in EWTN. Finally if the Sangean SG-622, which is the bottom of the Sangean line, works fairly well then perhaps with a better radio you could get a better signal anywhere in the lower 48 states or southern Canada.

My friend was interested in short-wave as a way to evangelize one of his relatives. He felt it simply does not work well enough for that purpose. While a dedicated person might be willing to go through the difficulties of using a shortwave to listen to talk programs on EWTN, a marginal Catholic would not. He feels that satellite radio is better. EWTN is now avaliable on Sirius Satellite Radio, along with another channel that Sirius created. Both are in English and avaliable on the cheapest level of radio service. Nothing is available in Spanish.

$100 short-wave radio brings in EWTN on West Coast

One EWTN fan near San Francisco said she got EWTN with a digitally tuned short-wave that costs about $100. Her radio was probably not as good as the Sangean ATS 818 which cost considerably more, but is likely to be better than the Sangean SG-622.

If you are searching for more information you might find it useful to know that short wave is also known as international band radio. It is also abbreviated sw.

If you know more, please put the information in guest book. No one, but me, will be able to read it.

If you have a short-wave radio please try to tune in the EWTN channels and report on the results in my guestbook. What is your radio and how good is the reception at various times. I can add your information to the page. EWTN is also collecting this information on its web site.

Links, My Qualifications, and Contact Information

I have a masters degree in Economics and have passed the orals for a Ph.D. I taught economics full time at a large University for several years. I currently do a little freelance writing and have published in Catholic Digest, the New Oxford Review, and the Sacramento Bee among other places.

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  • Immaculate Heart Radio, Catholic radio for Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno, Bakersfield, and Reno.
  • Sacred Heart Radio, AM-1050, KBLE, Catholic Radio for the Seattle and Puget Sound area

    These six stations are close to one third of all the AM stations that carry EWTN and have web sites. In the future I hope that other AM radio stations or networks will link to this site. Why not provide your listeners with the best information on how to bring your station in?

    Queen of Peace Radio provides a list of the Catholic radio stations in the USA.
    St Joseph Radio also provides a list of Catholic radio stations which may have some useful information.

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    Page last updated June 16, 2004

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