Shortwave (SW) radio operates on the frequencies between the AM and FM bands. Shortwave has the unique characteristic of traveling very long distances making it a powerful medium to reach the masses from even one transmitter.
World-class shortwave stations, such as the Voice of Hope, are able to reach target audiences many thousands of miles from the transmitter site. Christians have been traveling to unreached lands for centuries, but we firmly believe God has given us international shortwave radio as a key tool for accelerating the communication of the Gospel to those who still have not heard.
In the U.S., Canada and Europe, local AM/FM broadcasting and the Internet is freely available, and the general population has no need to use shortwave. However, in many other countries where local broadcasting is more restricted, people depend upon world-class broadcasts for their news and information. Foreign broadcasts provide a vital link for millions of people living in Latin America, Africa and Asia who would otherwise be cut off.
The Amplitude Modulated (AM) band uses frequencies from 540-1700 kHz. AM signals follow the curvature the earth through the ground wave and ideal for reaching a regional audience. The Voice of Hope’s 100 kilowatt AM station in Israel can cover over 200 miles during the day. At night the coverage expands to almost 1500 miles due to a nighttime condition called Skywave.
The Frequency Modulated (FM) band uses frequencies from 88 mHz – 108 mHz. FM signals are line-of-sight and limited local coverage. Most FM radio stations reach a radius of 30 miles to a maximum of 100 miles depending upon its transmitter power and placement of antenna.
Shortwave signals are amazing! From one transmitter a shortwave broadcast can be heard thousands of miles away with great clarity. Shortwave uses very high frequencies from 3mHz – 21mHz.
Shortwave signals are beamed hundreds of miles into the atmosphere until they reach the Ionosphere, which is very much like a mirror that reflects radio waves back to Earth. This reflection is called “sky-waves” and they can travel thousands of miles covering the globe. This is why Voice of Hope can be heard throughout Africa, Middle East, Latin America, USA and Canada from two our three broadcast transmission locations.
Shortwave signals are not restricted by laws in the receiving countries. Shortwave reaches over borders, and across cultural, geographic, political and economic lines. When you broadcast on shortwave, you are reaching masses that have no access to the gospel message.