Trying to get the best out of your shortwave receiver when on the move can be a challenge, the built in antenna can only do so much because to get those weaker signals flowing into the radio properly needs at least a basic long wire antenna.
For ease of setup there are some cheap wire antennas that come with a spool that will keep the long wire contained in a small handy package until you need it.
Just hook the container on a tree or another vehicle and pull out the wire, its best to have the wire extended to its maximum length to get the full benefit from these types of antennas.
A certain amount of height does come into play as well so try and get the container up as high as possible before extending the wire. When setting up the wire antenna try to take out some of the slack to make the wire straighter, do not pull the wire too tight as this may damage it (its OK to have a little bit of bowing in it). To secure the radio end of the antenna you can carefully tie it off before it plugs into your receiver.
These long wires have multiple connectors to use on different radios so they can easily be fitted to most portable shortwave receivers and are ideal for camping and back packing trips where you want to have the radio set up in a few minutes.
Sangean ANT-60 Short Wave Antenna
This antenna can be connected to your shortwave receiver by either using a standard 3.5mm jack plug or if you set doesn’t have the socket for this plug you can simply slot the second connector over the telescopic aerial, this long wire can be used inside or out but for best performance this product will work best when setup outdoors.
Kaito Radio antenna
This product is pretty much the same as the Sangean product with the same 23 foot length wire and connection options and at the time of writing both these products retail for almost the same price.
So there you have two quick and easy options for improving radio reception on your portable shortwave receiver which wont break the bank.
Quick Shortwave Antenna Solution
Although these portable antenna types will not give the same overall performance as a carefully constructed permanent fixture they’ll do a decent enough job if your traveling or having a quick field day outing.
Modern portable SW radios now have a sensitivity we could only dream about 10 years ago with the increased use and low cost of DSP technology but giving them the best chance on the receive side always adds that little extra to its performance.