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January 1992 

When is shortwave actually FM? Always, as a technical matter, since FM frequencies are in fact very short wavelengths. But in the early days, the high end of the SW spectrum as we normally define it--up to 30 MHz.--was actually home to a group of the earliest FM broadcasters.

In the late 30's and early 40's these stations operated on an experimental basis in the 26-60 MHz. area. They eventually consolidated into the 40-50 MHz. range (e.g. the veri from W45BR, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 44.5 MHz.), but for a time some of them were heard around 26 MHz., with many others operating just above 30 MHz.

W9XTC used to broadcast on 26050 kHz., W9XJL on 26100. And the stations got out. From the All Wave Radio "Ultra High" column of March 1938: "The power [of W9XJL] is only 80 [later 250] watts, but don't let that worry you--reports have been received from 11 countries. At this writing, 20% of the received mail has come from England!" And that's "Shortwave" in the corner of the WMC letterhead.

By the way, the editor of the "Ultra High" column was someone who would become a friend to many of us: the late Perry Ferrell, founder of Gilfer Shortwave.