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short wave (SW)

The shortwave (SW) frequency range is between 3 MHz and 30 MHz, and its wavelengths between 10 m and 100 m are subdivided into various shortwave bands. These shortwave bands are designated as meter bands and are assigned to the corresponding frequency bands.

Shortwave is also a broadcasting technical term for broadcasting in the frequency range between 2.3 MHz and 26.1 MHz. For reasons of frequency economy, shortwave broadcasting uses extremely narrowband voice transmission with single-sideband modulation. The typical modulation code is H3F.

Frequency ranges for HF frequencies

Frequency ranges for HF frequencies

Since the transmission bandwidths in shortwave transmission have been increasingly restricted and are as low as 5 kHz, the transmission quality can be described as poor. Shortwave is therefore mainly characterized by amateur radio operators.

Shortwave bands with the corresponding frequency ranges

Shortwave bands with the corresponding frequency ranges

In terms of propagation, shortwaves are space waves that are between 10 m and 100 m long and are radiated linearly from the antenna into space. Short waves are reflected at the ionosphere and can even be earth-orbiting.

Since the transmission quality of shortwave is extremely poor, a digital alternative has been developed in the form of DRM radio, with which transmission rates of up to 24 kbit/s can be realised in the available channel widths and which is characterised by high transmission quality.

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Englisch: short wave - SW
Updated at: 05.01.2008
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Translations: DE