Baygen sw radio- which band to get? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The Baygen shortwave radio comes with a choice of coverage: from 3-12MHz (?) or 5-18MHz. Anyone have an opinion on which band would be more helpful if Y2K causes serious problems?


-- Apogee (, March 09, 1999


The 3-12 model gives coverage of the 3MHz area "Tropical bands". These frequencies are used for regional broadcast in Central and South America, Africa and South Asia. If you wish to tune broadcasts from these areas, say family or business interests, this is the radio for you.

The 5-18 model gives coverage of the higher frequencies used by international broadcasters (12-18 MHz). This would give coverage of European broadcasters beaming towards the US. You would also have more coverage of Canadian and US based broadcasters.

Hope this helps.


-- Wildweasel (, March 09, 1999.

WW; You are a very helpful fount of knowledge. Please keep posting.

-- Watchful (, March 09, 1999.

You might want to consider an alternative to the Baygen radio. I bought a Baygen several months ago, but returned it for several reasons.

First, it had a loud rattle inside, as if there were loose or broken parts. The wind-up operation appeared to work properly, but who wants to depend on an emergency radio that sounds like it is falling apart when you first unpack it? I have also read messages from a several others who had early failures with the spring or generator mechanism.

Also the whole shortwave range that the radio covers was compressed into one (or was it two) scale. This makes exact/fine tuning quite difficult since such a large range of frequencies is crammed into a relatively small area.

So, overall, I wasn't too impressed with the Baygen. I didn't get the impression that is was "junk" but it didn't seem to be "high quality" either.

The alternative I decided on was to get a small battery powered shortwave receiver and use rechargable batteries with a small solar panel. I think you could do the whole deal for the same price as the Baygen and end up with a much better receiver. I decided to spend a bit more and get a very good reciever.

Right now (March) Radio Shack has two radios on sale which are much, much better than the Baygen for receiving shortwave broadcasts. I generally don't associate the name Radio Shack with "quality" but they carry several receivers made by Sangean, which is well regarded for making good portable shortwave radios. You can find out quite a bit more about them, and other shortwave topics at:

Radio Shack has their $100 shortwave radio on sale for $70, and their $250 receiver for $200. The $200 R/S model appears to be the same as the Sangean ATS909, and is the one I bought. I'm not certain that the less expensive one is a Sangean -- maybe someone else can jump in and confirm that.

You can see the March R/S flyer at:

Note that it is a PDF file, which requires the (free) Adobe Acrobat reader to view.

In any case, there are a number of decent s/w portables in the $40 to $100 range that would perform much better than the Baygen. Use the savings compared to the Baygen and get one of the little solar powered battery chargers and some rechargable batteries. Or, get one or more larger solar panels and charge a deep cycle battery to run radios, small lights, battery chargers, etc. That's what I'm doing, and you don't have to spend a ton of money to get a small 12V system going.

Hope this helps!

Randy Jones

(presently 1,500 miles from my So. Calif. home in slushy, icy Illinois ;-) )

-- Randy Jones (, March 10, 1999.

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