Sending a report to a shortwave station
is similar to reporting a medium wave station. So if you haven't read
the section on Sending Reception Reports to
medium wave stations it would be worth a quick read. Reporting to
shortwave stations is not much different but with shortwave you can look
forward to collecting QSL cards and letters from all over the world.
Some stations send program guides, newsletters, booklets, and even
When you listen to a shortwave broadcast
you need to record the frequency, date and time in UTC when the station
was heard. As for medium wave stations you need to jot down some details
of the program. Look for some of the following items when listening to
- When and how the station identifies
- The name of the program.
- Content of the news or other program
- Names of the announcer(s).
- Items unique to the locality of the
much detail you can record often depends on reception conditions and the
nature of the program. But the more detail the better. Also include an
indication of how well the signal was received. Shortwave reports use
the SINPO code which is described as follows.
- Signal. Refers to the strength of the
- Interference. Indicates whether other
stations were interfering with the signal.
- Noise. Identifies the presence of
atmospheric or other noise on the frequency.
- Propagation. Refers to the fading
characteristics of the signal.
- Overall. Tells the station how well
you received their signal.
For each code use the digits 5 to 1
meaning 5 - excellent, 4 - good, 3 - fair, 2 - poor, 1 - poor. So if you
heard Radio Australia with an excellent signal, but had some fairly
strong interference from Russia, no atmospheric noise, and slight
propagation you might use the code 53544 to record the quality of your
To find the address of the station you
will need one of the references given in the Shortwave Resources
section. The following form shows a sample reception report prepared for
a program heard from Radio New Zealand International which resulted in
the author receiving a QSL card from RNZI.
Be prompt in sending your report to the
shortwave station. International broadcast stations use reception
reports, among other means, to judge the quality of their signal. The
sooner they receive it the more value it is to them. So waiting weeks or
months after the program can be counter productive for you both.
If you send an accurate and complete
report then within a few weeks or months, you can expect to receive a
QSL card from the station. Although shortwave stations can be much
farther away than domestic medium wave stations they tend to reply
Finally, for successful shortwave
listening and reporting you will want to have at your disposal some
additional guides and information. So link to the section Shortwave
Resources section for additional sources of information to enhance
your shortwave listening.