Deadline approaching: Your chance to win a shortwave radio in our Virtual Radio Challenge III

AT_-_Franconia_RidgeWe’ve already received some excellent, creative entries in the Virtual Radio Challenge III: your opportunity to piece together the best radio for thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail.

The CountyComm GP5/SSB

The Prize: A CountyComm GP5/SSB

Rememer: this year, if your entry is picked by our judge (Dennis Blanchard, K1YPP), you will win a new CountyComm GP5/SSB portable radio courtesy of Universal Radio!

To participate in this challenge, simply submit your response in the form on our original post with your suggested set-up, any links, and a brief explanation for your choices.

You’re also welcome to email me directly with your response on or before Saturday, August 8, 2015.

Click here to read the full challenge.

Posted in News, Reader Challenges | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guy discovers the $13.99 Babson DS-858 shortwave radio

Babson-ShortwaveSWLing Post contributor, Guy Atkins, writes:

I spotted this new listing on Ebay today, and was wondering if it’s a new model, or perhaps a repackaged Tecsun PL-606? It’s lacking the rotary tuning knob and has a smaller display than the 606 however. It also has two rows of main buttons rather than three:

http://ebay.to/1KGjfrN

Curiously, the seller doesn’t even list the brand name in their auction title; it’s only noted in the pictures. However, “Basbon” isn’t exactly a brand of communications receivers with a long, proud tradition :^)

For $13.99 including shipping the the USA it’s hard to go wrong, so I’ve ordered one.

[…]Three features that caught my eye with the little Basbon radio are that it’s DSP based, it has LCD backlighting, and shortwave frequency coverage down to 3200 kHz. There are 20 memories and a sturdy-looking whip antenna that rotates 360 degrees, too.

I can’t wait to get ahold of this and open it up! I wonder which SiLabs chip it uses?

Thanks for the tip, Guy! I’m also very curious about this little portable–indeed, curious enough, I purchased one, too. Guy and I will compare notes and I’ll post an update after I receive the radio. It’s being shipped via ePacket from China, so transit time will be roughly two weeks if not held up in customs.

Frankly, my expectations are very low, but like Guy, it’s a little too tempting at $13.99 shipped!

Click here for a direct link to the Babson DS-858 on eBayclick here to search for the DS-858 should the current item number expire or sell out.

Posted in News, Portable Radio, Radios, Shortwave Radio | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Dr. Phil’s radio articles: portable SDR and pocket DX

RTL-SDR-001SWLing Post reader, Dr. Phil, recently contacted me regarding a collection of articles he’s written about DXing and radio modifications.

His site actually has a number of useful articles that I’ll plan to convert to future posts, with his permission.

Sony ICF-S10MKIII asked Dr. Phil for links to two of his most popular publications. He replied:

My two big recent articles are shown below. One is about “Pocket Radio DX”: using under-$20 radios to DX (started in 2003). Click here to download as a PDF.

The other is about using an $18 NooElec TV-tuner as a MW and shortwave receiver. Click here to download as a PDF.

Brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing these, Dr. Phil!

I actually have a  Sony ICF-S10MK2, which I consider to be a capable and useful little AM/FM receiver for the sub $20 price. I’ve also been very tempted to purchase an RTL-SDR dongle, so I may go ahead and bite the bullet on one of the NooElec SDR dongles.

Posted in Articles, News, Radio Modifications, Radios, Shortwave Radio, Software Defined Radio, Ultralight DX | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shortwave Radio Recordings: Radio St. Helena

radiosthelenaMany thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Brian Smith, who shares the following recording of Radio St. Helena Day 2006 and notes:

“Beginning in 1990, Radio St. Helena was known for transmitting an international shortwave radio broadcast only once a year — and sometimes not even that — on a frequency of 11092.5 kHz USB. I managed to hear its 2006 broadcast to North America for about an hour on Nov. 4 and 5 UTC (straddling the 0000 hour).

Because of its relatively low power, it was never an easy catch in the American Midwest. That’s why this recording, which lasts just over an hour — I spliced together both sides of a cassette — captures a signal quality that is merely fair at best. But that was typical of Radio St. Helena, whose 1 kw signal in 2006 (it was 1.5 kw in the 1990s) seldom packed much of a punch.

I was listening on the borrowed rig of a now-deceased friend, Mike Koss, W9SU, and have long since forgotten the type of radio (probably a ham rig) he let me use. However, if memory serves, it was attached to a Beverage antenna that stretched across his 10-acre property in the heart of Indianapolis.

Mike deserves the lion’s share of the credit for the creation of this recording.”

In all of the years I tried to hear Radio St. Helena’s annual broadcast, timing never worked on my end; either I was travelling, the station had transmitter problems, or conditions were simply too poor. Many thanks for sharing this recording with us, Brian!

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Posted in News, Recordings, Shortwave Radio | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Degen refreshes shortwave product line

Degen-DE221-001

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Paul, who commented with a link to the new Degen DE221 “ultralight” radio: http://ebay.to/1fKWZ2m

Paul’s link lead to the discovery of several new Degen models, in fact. Many of the new models have the same form factor–and a slightly different model number–from their predecessors.

Degen DE221 (updated from Degen 321)

Degen-DE221-001

Degen DE22

Degen-DE22

Degen DE23

Degen-DE23

Degen DE26

Degen-DE26

Degen DE27

Degen-DE27

Degen DE36 (updated from Degen DE32)

Degen-DE36

There may be even more 2015 Degen models than those I listed here and, in fact, they could’ve been on the market for a while.

I’ve already purchased the Degen DE221 for review since its predecessor, the DE321, was an acceptable radio for the $20 price tag. The DE321’s analog dial made for very vague tuning, however, so I’m curious if the DE221’s new digital display will be a worthy improvement. At this point, I don’t plan to review any of the other models above.

Posted in New Products, News, Portable Radio, Shortwave Radio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Online petition to keep Radio France on longwave

Maison_de_la_Radio_ParisMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Clive Bilton, who comments:

An online petition has been started in an effort to keep Radio France on 162 kHz longwave, you can sign here: http://162khz.wesign.it/fr

Sample entry. Click to enlarge.

Sample entry.

Note that the petition is in French. It’s quite simple to sign, though, as you simply enter your details in this order:

  1. email address
  2. name
  3. country
  4. and postal/zip code

You will need to know the name of your country in French (the USA, for example, is États-Unis). Select it from the drop-down box.

You must check the terms and conditions (first check box).

I opted to un-check the last check box which asks if you wish to receive future updates about the petition and from the website WeSignIt.

Then simply click “Je Signe.”

Posted in International Broadcasting, Longwave, News | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

LondonShortwave: “Scanning the skies”

Fullscreen capture 7302015 124403 PMMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, LondonShortwave, who shared (via Twitter) this video with recordings made with his portable SDR in a London park:

Brilliant recordings, LS, and amazingly QRM-free!

You can follow LondonShortwave on his blog and via Twitter.

Posted in News, Portable Radio, Recordings, Shortwave Radio, Software Defined Radio, Videos | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments