I have been playing around with my Shortwave receiver the past couple of days, and have been having fun finding and listening to stations. However, I haven't been able to get any real strong signals in, except for gospel broadcasts from the U.S. So today, I built a simple antenna consisting of about 25 Feet of single stand wire soldered to an alligator clip. I laid the wired out my window, across my deck, and up the hill, and then clipped it to the whip antenna of my receiver. Wow! I was blown away with how much such a simple antenna improved my reception. I am getting a lot more stations tonight, at much stronger signals (I have been listening to Radio Netherlands all night, and it sounds like a local AM station).
Anyways, this falls under the "Duh" category, but wanted to post it in case anyone else was having similar problems, and was unsure about getting results from such a simple solution.
Ill try and post some pictures later.