From the Isle of Music for August 1/2


Our August 2 (August 1 in the Americas on WBCQ) program includes more of María Felicia Pérez, director of Coro Exaudi, winner of the Choral Music category in Cubadisco 2016, and we will have a special extended segment with César López, whose Habana Ensemble is one of the most important and exciting Jazz combos in Cuba today. His album Sonajero won Cubadiscos in both Instrumental Music and Recording this year. He granted us a wonderful interview, and we will have a lot of exciting music.

Two options for listening on shortwave:
WBCQ, 7490 KHz, Tuesdays 0000-0100 UTC
(8pm-9pm EDT Mondays in the Americas)
Channel 292, 6070 KHz, Tuesdays 1900-2000 UTC
(2100-2200 CEST)
See the NOTES section of our Facebook page for more information

HARA Arena to close, Dayton Hamvention to use new venue

Hara Arena (Source: Aesopposea via WikiMedia Commons)

Hara Arena (Source: Aesopposea via WikiMedia Commons)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Eric (WD8RIF) for passing along the following news via WDTN and DARA (the Dayton Amateur Radio Association).

(Source: WDTN)

TROTWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – The iconic venue brought sports, concerts, entertainment and special interest shows to the Miami Valley for 60 years is closing their doors due to not being able to overcome an internal legal battle that has spanned the last two decades.

“We are painfully aware of the loss this announcement will generate, which is why we have fought so long and hard to prevent it,” says Karen Wampler, Hara’s marketing director.
The loss will come in the form of $36 million in annual economic impact; youth, men’s and professional hockey programs; and the hundreds of events that called Hara home this past year.

“We had hoped to announce a new era at Hara, but are announcing the end of one, instead.” says Wampler. [Continue reading…]

(Source: Hamvention Press Release)

The Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) regrets to inform our many vendors, visitors and stakeholders that, unfortunately, HARA has announced the closing of their facility. We have begun execution of our contingency plan to move Hamvention® 2017 to a new home.

DARA and Hamvention® have enjoyed many successful years working together with HARA Arena and we wish the Wampler family the best.

DARA and Hamvention® have been working on a contingency plan in the event HARA would become unavailable. We have spent many hours over the last few years evaluating possible locations and have found one in the area we believe will be a great new home! Due to logistics and timing issues, we will make a formal announcement introducing our new partner. This information will be coming soon. We all believe this new venue will be a spectacular place to hold our beloved event. Please rest assured we will have the event on the same weekend and, since it will be in the region, the current accommodations and outside events already planned for Hamvention® 2017 should not be affected.

We look forward to your continued support as we move to a new future with The Dayton Hamvention®.
Ron Cramer
General Chairman
Dayton Hamvention 2017

Challenges for a new venue

Two years ago, I spoke with a DARA representative who told me about some of the contingency sites they had in mind should HARA Arena close its doors. Many of us attending the Hamvention had a strong feeling 2016 would be the last year at HARA Arena.

Though HARA was (and has been) in a poor state, the site is very large and has one very unique feature: it’s all on one level.

The outdoor exhibits (flea market) portion of the Hamvention is very popular and should hopefully be hosted on site.

The outdoor exhibits (flea market) portion of the Hamvention is very popular.

Most of the Dayton area contingency sites were on at least two levels with limited elevator facilities (a potential problem for the hundreds of attendees who use motorized carts).

I also learned that most of the Dayton area contingency sites had another problem: not enough space to have both the inside exhibits and the flea market hosted at the same venue. One contingency plan assumed the flea market might be relocated somewhere else nearby.

I hope the Site B will have the space for both the indoor and outdoor exhibits. Frankly, if these two portions of the Hamvention are separated, I suspect it will have a very negative impact on attendance numbers. Let’s hope this won’t be the case.

In terms of facilities, almost anything else will feel more modern and cleaner than HARA Arena. I just hope it can accommodate 20,000+ attendees as well.

When DARA announces the new site, I will post the information here.  Simply follow the tag: Hamvention.

Sangean DT-160CL: The correctional version of the DT-160


After publishing a post referencing the new Sangean DT-160 AM/FM radio, a number of readers noticed that Sangean has also produced a clear-cased version of the DT-160: model number DT-160CL.

This version, no doubt, was designed for sale in prison commissaries and is probably seen as a replacement for the venerable Sony SRF-39FP (which has been discontinued). The SRF-39FP is widely regarded as a superb mediumwave (AM) DXing ultralight.

In reference to the Sangean DT-160CL, SWLing Post contributor, Dan Hawkins recently commented:

Which begs the question: is this prison-quality radio really that good? I ask the question only because a good AM-FM prison radio must perform exceptionally well behind formidable prison walls. After all, nearly one percent of the US population is currently behind bars (down slightly from 2008) which is a substantial pocket radio market. Prison radios are typical sold in prison commissaries and prisons are big business nowadays. How does this radio compare to the famous Sony SRF-39FP? Inquiring minds want to know. Sangean is legendary for build quality. Does it beat the Sony?

After reading Dan’s comment, I couldn’t help but order the DT-160CL from Amazon.

The Sony SRF-39FP

The Sony SRF-39FP

I, too, am very curious how it will compare with the SRF-39FP in terms of battery longevity, audio fidelity, and overall performance.

I suspect the SRF-39FP will remain dominant on the AM broadcast band and possibly have better battery life (keep in mind, the SRF-39FP only uses one AA battery–the DT-160CL requires two).

As soon as I receive the DT-160CL (Amazon notes delivery will be Wednesday, August 3), I’ll pop fresh batteries in the DT-160CL and the Sony SRF-39FP, set them to the same volume level and frequency, then allow them to run continuously until the batteries are depleted. Of course, I’ll use the opportunity to compare performance on both AM and FM.

I’ll post comparison updates with the tag: Sangean DT-160CL v Sony SRF-39FP.

Ron’s mini review of the Sangean DT-160 AM/FM radio

Sangean-DT-160Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ron, who shares his impressions of the new Sangean DT-160:

The DT-160 just came in and here are a few impressions:

1.) The heft and feel of this set is superb…it has that solid feel the earlier DT-200X doesn’t. It is markedly smaller,too and the buttons have a firm solid feel the earlier models lack (finally!).

2.) Jay’s review is spot-on as usual…but the AM section is not what you find in a Sony SRF-59 or SRF-37W digital. Expect to get locals and semi-locals fine but it’s not going to be a DX machine on AM as the Sony’s are.

This is doubtless due to the need for a smaller ferrite bar; a Q-Stick or loop will fix that.

3.) On the other hand as Jay said it leaves the Sonys in the dust on FM, which is superb.

4.) Audio is very good as is ease of operation.

5.) The closest comparison is probably the CC Pocket; they doubtless use the same/similar Silicon Labs IC.

But unlike the CC no birdies were heard on AM. [Update: Ron has since discovered a few birdies on AM, like the CC Pocket.]

Is it worthwhile?

Yes, if only for the promised 100 hour battery life. No other similar receiver will run nearly as long.

[Thomas,] you may wish to order two; one for Dad,and one for you.

I will definitely buy the DT-160 for my father. I wonder if it’s packaged in a way that I could take it out, play with it, then re-package it as a gift? 🙂 Would that be wrong? Of course not! 🙂

I noticed that Universal Radio now also stocks the DT-160 and retails for $49.95 plus shipping.

Amazon’s price (today–they do fluctuate) is $39.99 with free shipping.

Jay reviews the new Sangean DT-160 AM/FM portable radio

Sangean-DT-160Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ron, who shares a link to Jay Allen’s review of the new Sangean DT-160 and notes:

100 hours on two AA’s.
Selling like hotcakes on Amazon:

With Sony no longer making Walkmen,this is worth a look.
Sangean has finally “perfected” their mini portable.

Thanks, Ron! This is a most welcome portable–especially for those who want a simple AM/FM radio that delivers a lot o performance from two AA batteries. I may grab a DT-160 for my father who likes to listen to radio on his daily walks. His current portable burns through batteries.

$40 US is a fair price for what looks like a quality receiver.