Monthly Archives: April 2017

The Bonito Boni Whip goes from strength-to-strength: hardcore DXing in compact package

Hi there, subscribers to the Oxford Shortwave Log YouTube channel and regular readers of this excellent website will be aware that I have been using a Bonito Boni whip E-field wideband antenna for a couple of months now. You may have seen my previous post here, detailing some excellent initial DX results achieved with the Boni Whip. What makes this antenna so compelling for a DXer such as myself is simply that it’s so light and compact; I can literally take it anywhere. Currently it lives in a small flight case (see above & below) on the back seat of my car, with either my Sony ICF-SW55 or Eton Satellit, a home-brew battery pack (that literally cost pence) and some peripheral bits and pieces; spare batteries, cables etc. I think it’s probably already clear that if you consider the Boni Whip’s performance as a function of portability and price, it’s out there on its own – I’m not aware of another antenna that can match it. Of course, there are H-field antennas, such as the excellent Wellbrook active loops that will effectively reject QRM, if that’s an issue for the user, but at a significant cost delta.

 

Since my last posting, I have continued to use the Boni Whip regularly on my DXpeditions and upload the reception videos to my YouTube channel. I have been nothing but totally impressed with this antenna, to the point that I’ve actually been surprised by the signals I’ve caught and recorded with it. Recent catches include a number of low-power stations from Brazil, including Radio Bandeirantes – Sao Paolo, Radio Voz Missionaria – Camboriu (on the 49 and 31 metre broadcast bands) and Radio Aparecida. Some of these signals are incredibly difficult to hear in Europe at all, let alone well and yet the ultra-compact Boni-Whip running off AA batteries, coupled to the (equally brilliant) Eton Satellit managed it with aplomb. Other catches include Zambia NBC Radio 1 – Lusaka and a signal from Bangladesh Betar that sounded as if the transmitter was 5 miles down the road!

All-in-all, I’m extremely satisfied with the performance of the Bonito Boni Whip and highly recommend it to those DXers requiring a high-performance, compact antenna, for use at home in electrically quiet environments or on any DXpedition. You certainly won’t be disappointed.

Please find embedded reception videos below and text links that will take you to the Oxford Shortwave Log YouTube channel. Thanks for reading/watching/listening and I wish you all great DX.


Click here to watch on YouTube

Click here to watch on YouTube

Click here to watch on YouTube

Click here to watch on YouTube

Click here to watch on YouTube

Click here to watch on YouTube

 

Clint Gouveia is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Clint actively publishes videos of his shortwave radio excursions on his YouTube channel: Oxford Shortwave Log. Clint is based in Oxfordshire, England.

RAE Argentina to the World to begin shortwave relay via WRMI

Many thanks to Adrian Korol, at RAE Argentina to the World, for sharing the following update:

During the time that requires the repair of our shortwave transmitter, we are going to maintain our HF presence both in English and Spanish, via WRMI relay station

It is fundamental for those who love the short wave sharing of this information, as well as the active participation of listeners and DXers through emails and post letters.

Your sound files in mp3 with audio captures or videos on YouTube listening RAE will be welcome at conexionrae@radionacional.gov.ar

During the time of these experimental transmissions we will answer every reception report we receive from anywhere in the world through a special and numbered QSL card.

From the 2nd of May RAE Argentina to the World returns to the dial.

Remember: Every Friday the DX program, “Actualidad DX .com . AR” is issued

Our programs are available on the web www.rae.com.ar 24 hours a day in all 8 languages, and many of them also in podcast (see iTunes)

We also work with the AudioNow platform in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil.

SCHEDULE ( UTC TIME)

RAE Argentina to the World
Broadcasts on the short waves

SPANISH Monday through Friday 22:00 to 23:00 hs UTC on 5950 Khz , on the 49 m band * Latin American Area
ENGLISH Tuesday through Saturday 01:00 a 02:00 UTC on 9395 Khz, on the 31 m band * USA & CANADA Area

*Via WRMI

ATTENTION
The reception reports of your hearings sent to us by ordinary mail will be confirmed by a SPECIAL and NUMBERED QSL.

RAE Argentina to the World
P.O Box 555
1000 CABA
Buenos Aires
ARGENTINA

Facebook : conexionrae
Twitter: @conexionrae

Post readers: Let’s show RAE we’re listening–! Please send a listener report and/or a recording to the contacts above. I would certainly like one of their special numbered QSL cards!

I’m very happy to hear RAE will have a presence on shortwave via WRMI while they repair their transmitter in Argentina. Kudos to WRMI for partnering with RAE to make this happen!

Video: The ABC Central West radio transmitter

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Porter (G4OYX), who shares a link to this excellent video tour of the ABC Central West radio transmitter in Cumnock, NSW, Australia.

Click here to view at ABC.

From the Isle of Music & Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, April 30-May 6 2017

From The Isle of Music, April 30-May 6

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and April 30 is International Jazz Day. In honor of this, we dedicate this week to the new generation of Jazz musicians in Cuba and to a wonderful series of recordings in Cuba, the Jazz Young Spirit. Our special guest is Gloria Ochoa, one of the most important figures in Cuba’s music and recording industry today and, among many other things, the Producer of many of the albums in that series.
Four possibilities to listen via shortwave:
1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in all directions with 100Kw, Sunday 1500-1600 UTC on SpaceLine, 9400 KHz, from Kostinbrod, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)
2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0000-0100 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EDT in the US)
3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany.

Episode 10 of Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, a clandestine musical variety program that features everything from everywhere EXCEPT music that you are probably familiar with, ,will air on WBCQ the Planet, 7490 KHz, Thursday, May 4 from 2300-2330 UTC (7:00pm-7:30pm EDT in the Americas). Brought to you by Tilford Productions, which also brings you From the Isle of Music.

The Cricket: The Four State QRP Group’s latest transceiver kit

Here’s a hot tip for those of you who enjoy building transceiver kits:

The Four State QRP group has just released The Cricket: a simple 80 CW transceiver kit. The Cricket was designed by David Cripe (NM0S) who is behind a number of successful kits (including the Ozark Patrol and the Bayou Jumper).

The amazing part about this kit is that it’s super simple, has no toroids to wind and doesn’t even need to be aligned. It even includes a Morse key.

All this shipped for $32.68 in the US, $39.50 in Canada and $43.50 for international orders. A serious bargain, in my book.

Typically, Dave’s kits sell out the same day they are posted for sale. If you’re interested in The Cricket, don’t hesitate to order! (I just bought three, for example.)

Click here to order The Cricket.

Here’s The Cricket kit description via the Four State QRP Group website:

Kitted and Offered For Sale By The Four State QRP Group

The Cricket is a low cost entry level minimalist CW transceiver for the 80 meter band. Chosen as the build session kit for OzarkCon 2017, it bears a family resemblance to the well known but much lower performing Pixie. However it is very different and vastly improved over the Pixie. This is NOT a Pixie, it is far superior! It features low parts count, better components including MOSFETs for better sensitivity and switching, and a modern NJM2113D audio amp.

A TX/RX offset is also incuded so that you can work other stations that have zero beat you, or are using a crystal on the same frequncy. Full QSK and a sidetone complete the essential operating features. Dave’s famous etched spiral coils are included on the pc board, so there are NO TOROIDS to wind. Additionally a straight key is included on the pc board, just snap it off, mount it on the board, and the whole rig is then self contained. Also included is an electronic keyer adapter – you can use your favorite keyer with the Cricket! These are many features for such a low parts count and inexpensive transceiver.

ALL THROUGH HOLE parts make this kit very easy to assemble. It will make a fine, fully functional, and educational first rig for a new builder, the new ham, or seasoned veterans wishing to just have fun with a new rig at minimal expense and effort. Note that Novices and Technicians have 80M CW privileges from 3.525 to 3.600, same as everyone else – so they also can build and use the Cricket.

This simple rig is fun and functional, and made many contacts at OzarkCon after the build session. A proven design and a great choice for your next rig, it is perfect for a group build with nets and contacts after the build. This is an excellent club project.