How to Monitor a Short Wave Radio From a Computer


Shortwave radios allow for long-range communications. If atmospheric conditions are right, it is not unheard of for someone in the northern hemisphere to broadcast to someone in the southern hemisphere via shortwave radio transmissions. If you wish to listen in and monitor one with a computer, there are methods. Special USB connected receivers are designed to connect to the PC, where monitoring the shortwave airways is possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet connection
  • Computer speakers
  • Shortwave receiver with USB connection cable
  • Connect the specialized shortwave receiver with a USB connection to the computer via a USB hub. Install the dedicated software for the receiver into the computer. Systems are available for Windows and Mac OS. Open the software once installed and follow the prompts to register and begin.

  • Sync the computer software to the receiver. Make sure the receiver is on and receiving signals by looking at the needle gauge on the device.

  • Adjust the frequency being monitored via the software controls. Move the dials slowly and watch the signal-quality indicators until a strong signal is received. Slowly turn the speaker volume up. Go slow as if the broadcast is not on a precise setting --- it might be shrill and unpleasant. Once confirmed that it is a viable connection and communications are heard, turn the volume up to your desired setting.

  • Adjust the settings on the software to go to scan mode or to remember favorite stations and broadcasts.

  • Close the software to stop monitoring the transmissions via the computer. Turn off the receiver.

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  • Photo Credit radio image by Claudio Calcagno from
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