This is cool - a web server based SDR (software defined radio) where you can make all the tunings:

Much better reception than the cheap thirty or so EUR one I got few years back for a project (probably the antenna was worse). I wonder how many users can tune in concurrently with their own settings.

Even lets you record in the browser and save the resulting sound file.

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There are a lot of these listening nowadays. You can have a look here:

And that's only a small fraction. The problem with your sdr was - as you suspected - the antenna, not the receiver. Even the cheap ones work remarkably well for receive only. If you are in a densely populated area or worse, in a big city, it's hard to have good reception on short wave today.

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