Amateur radio, Batteries, Radios, Shortwave, Utility Radio

An Eclectic Christmas Morning


As I sit here listening to radio broadcasts from around the world on Free-to-Air Satellite I am reminded again of the great gift that is Radio. If you will forgive a little bit of personal nostalgia, radio has been for me a true gift, ever since I was a boy. I will not go into my past too much (we all have our stories), but when I was 8 years old I got my first radio on Christmas. It was a General Electric clock radio with a big AM dial, circa. the late 1960s. I spent many, many hours seeking out those weak distant AM stations at night, always wanting to see how far I could receive signals from other parts of the country. I was fascinated by it from the start.

I had that radio for years until I went off to college, when I gave it to my step sister for her listening pleasure. I am sure it is long gone by now, but I ran across the same model on eBay some years ago and purchased one in relatively good condition. It needs some work to get it working properly again, and I hope this year to finally get around to doing just that. It was the start of my love of all things radio.

Because of my childhood situation radio was my trusted companion. It was always there, reminding me of a world which existed outside of my circumstances, with an implied promise of one day being able to experience that world. Radio was safe, and it allowed me hours and hours of peace.

Unlike most children I was allowed to watch very little  TV when I was young, and by the time of high school when my life changed for the better, I was not used to spending hours in front of the “boob” tube, as we used to call it, so there was no real temptation to do so. Radio, whether DXing for broadcast stations, shortwave, or police/fire scanning was far more interesting to me. It still is.

This morning I have been listening to radio broadcasts from around the world in multiple languages, most of which I know little or nothing of, but enjoying truly wonderful music. I never cease to be amazed at the beauty of life expressed in music regardless of the culture from which it comes. No matter what their day-to-day existence, even music from the most oppressed or depressed corners of the world has in it hope for a better world, an expression of the better angels of our nature.

What a magnificent gift these radio waves are which can bounce along the atmosphere to travel around the world with a power so weak we cannot even feel them as they pass through us. How truly incredible! And my sincerest thanks go back through the centuries to those incredible pioneers of radio who realized just what was possible in the creation of a world governed by the laws of physics!  73, Robert


  • Reply Mario Filippi 12/25/2015 at 10:41 am

    Very nice commentary on the effect that radio has had on your life. Pretty much sums it up for me too. Have had more radios in life than shoes. Was never content with strong signal stations, like you, the weak ones were the quarry I sought out, always trying to improve the antenna or circuit or listen at different times to see if it came in any better.

    First radio was a rocket-shaped crystal radio bought by mom for me to play with in the late 50’s. Tried hooking it up to all sorts of wires, house gutters, telephone finger stops, house water meters, metal window frames, fences, wires strung across the clothes line, anything that would bring in more stations. Finally hooked it up to the next door neighbors’ garden wire and it worked the best, but had to climb to garage roof to get there. Fond memories of laying on my back atop that roof, looking up at the sky, and listening to Gary US Bonds over a local rock and roll station.

    I hope there’s radio in the afterlife!

  • Reply Robert 12/25/2015 at 11:10 am

    Great story, Mario! And I had never thought about it, but I bet I have had more radios than shoes too! Ha!
    Like you, I too hope there is radio in the afterlife. If it is indeed a new creation, maybe we will not have so much interference to our signals!!
    Merry Christmas!

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