Reception Index
By Richard Bruce BA, MA, and PhC in Economics
Former Instructor St. John's University, New York City

Equipment for EWTN Catholic short wave

EWTN uses short-wave radio to reach much of the world. This does not include much of North America. They assume that we have other means for accessing EWTN: the Internet, 210 radio stations, etc. For the much of the rest of world the short-wave service is still available. Here is the EWTN short-wave schedule. Note these frequencies change so you may need to check back to the schedule periodically.

Some Short-Wave Tips

Many years ago the short-wave spectrum was expanded, so some very old short-wave radios may not reach the EWTN station you are after. You might want to avoid giving up until you have tried a newer radio.

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 not affected 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 is very cheap per hour of use.

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.

The antenna can dramatically improve reception but some times I have not noticed much of an improvement.

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.

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.

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.

Here is my contact information.

Reception Index

Page last updated August 24, 2018

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Reception Index

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