World Radio TV Handbook 2012 Paperback – Dec 15 2011
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"WRT Handbook consistently sets the radio hobby standards. It remains the best, most authoritative and comprehensive radio reference book in the world" (Gayle Van Horn, Monitoring Times)"
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I began listening to shortwave in 1964 and had no idea of how to find the BBC or any other international broadcaster. I had some hints from a friend's dad who was a HAM or amateur radio operator. A small paperback AARL introduction to ham radio had more information on how to make a radio and aerial and pass an exam or code and theory than information on SWL.
Eventually I was lucky enough to pick up programs from Radio Nederland and HCJB just about how to listen to SWL and tips for DX or distance listening. I heard also about WRTH. It was 1974 when I found and bought my first copy of WRTH. It opened me to so much information. For a listener, here is how I use WRTH.
First section is articles about all aspects of radio from broadcasting to receiver reviews to maps, where to listen bands, and which bands are better to listen to at a particular time of day.
The 2nd section is an alpha list of domestic governmental and commercial broadcasters by country. This is where I find US and Canada AM stations.
A 3rd section is specific to international broadcasting--those broadcasts specific to an foreign audience. For example, RCI, Radio Canada International has e-mail, web address, fax & phone, leading personnel, and what kind of QSL (like a broadcasting post-card with your name and details confirmed of your report). (Yes some people do collect these. My first QSL was from Radio Nederland Happy Station).
A 4th section is TV which I just scan over. Here though you can find addresses of leading broadcasters.
Finally there is a frequency and references tables. As I'm constantly in and out of these pages with color pencil to underline and circle stations I've heard, I use flags to easily move from section to section. My flags are Canada domestic, International, SW Frequencies, English programs, and international transmission locations. (BBCWS broadcasts in English to the East Asia from 2300 on 15360 kHz from Thailand).
Now you might say, why buy a book when most of the information is already on the web and changes in the Spring (there are 2 broadcasting seasons each year--A10 is current from 31 March 2010). I don't know about you but I don't print everything I find nor want to store pages and pages of copy paper. A book once a year (and yes [...] will provide you with updated information) keeps everything together. BTW, the book does not interfere with radio signals the way PCs and other electricals do. Do I buy it every year: I would wait for the first copies to hit the old Portland Radio Supply around the first of the year while now it might be two.
The point is that if you are really interested in SWL, DX, and listening directly to the world AND not have all your clicks of the mouse leaving tracks, radio is still a fine alternative for acquiring information. Finally, for accuracy, DSWCI's (Danish Shortwave Club International) survey found that the information in WRTH was more than 98% accurate, an accuracy missing from many web sites. Buy a copy: it's WRTH your while.
73s, good listening!
Anyway, I went looking for a new source of information on what's on on shortwave radio. Discovered the WRTH. While I don't like the organization quite as much as I like that of Passport's blue pages, it's nonetheless proven quite reliable and I really don't know what I'd do without it as far as shortwave listening goes. Definitely something any radio enthusiast needs to own, and definitely something that's going to become a yearly purchase for me.
The WRTH is the only reference listing every shortwave station and most AM stations in the entire world. The demise of Larry Magne's 'Passport to World Band Radio" has left the WRTH alone in the field.
I am not sure how much longer shortwave radio will exist as a medium, but as long as it does, the WRTH is your 'TV Guide'. They also produce quarterly updates to station schedules and frequency changes which can be downloaded from the internet.