Category Archives: AM

New Mediumwave Facility for Fiji

There’s an interesting YouTube documentary released by the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation on the refurbishment of both transmitters and antennas for the mediumwave outlets of 558 and 990 kHz. This was completed with the financial and technical assistance of the Japanese government. It will be very interesting for MW DXers to see how well the new facility will be heard beyond the Fijian borders.

 

There is also a somewhat less interesting YouTube video of the Fijian dictator Prime Minister Bainimarama at the official launch of the revitalized service, which can be found at https://youtu.be/kOza_Ov7f48

It was fascinating to hear Prime Minister Bainimarama talking about democratic freedoms in the broadcasting media….This from a man who for many years has done his level best to suppress and control the Fijian media on countless occasions!
(My thanks to Mauno Ritola and Bruce Portzer for alerting me to the above links)

73, Rob Wagner VK3BVW

Rob Wagner, VK3BVW, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. He also blogs at the Mount Evelyn DX Report.

Digitech AR-1780: unboxing, photos and initial impressions

Yesterday, prior to heading out the door for two days of travel, I received the Digitech AR-1780 I ordered ten days ago from an Australian eBay vendor. I’m very pleased with how quickly the order was processed and delivered via the post. The radio arrived in a rugged mail pouch and was double boxed inside.
I’ve had no time to evaluate the radio’s performance yet, but I thought I’d post a few photos I took while unboxing the AR-1780.

There’s not much in the box: just the radio and an owner’s manual. There are no batteries, no charger, and no case or carry bag. That’s okay though as the AR-1780 takes standard AA cells and I have an assortment of bags that can protect it in my suitcase.

The buttons all have a responsive, tactile feel. The hard plastic chassis feels durable.

I really like the dedicated fine tune control on the right side of the radio.  Nice touch! But 7 VDC in? That’s an odd voltage for a power supply. That’s okay by me as I never use wall wart type power supplies due to inherent noise–rechargeable Enloop AA batteries are how I power all of my portables. Bonus! There’s also a dedicated external antenna jack! One odd thing, though, is the AR-1780 breaks the convention of having the volume control on the right side of the radio–it’s on the left instead. Last night, I tuned around the 31 meter band and the AM broadcast band.  I listened to the French language service of Radio Romania International from inside a noisy house–armchair copy.

The AR-1780 has an impressive 7 AM bandwidth settings: 6, 4, 3, 2.5, 2, 1.8 and 1 kHz. My radio defaulted to 2.5 kHz, so you’ll want to widen that to 4 or 6 kHz before listening to most broadcasts.

I really like the display–it’s compact, yet contains quite a lot of info and even has a dedicated line for FM RDS content.

This morning, I took a couple shots of the AR-1780 next to the venerable CC Skywave. The Skywave is slightly smaller in every dimension.

Stay tuned! Though this is a very busy week for me–with travels and total solar eclipse preparations–I plan to put the Digitech AR-1780 through the paces. I’ll try to post updates as I have time.  Follow the tag: Digitech AR-1780

BBC to shut down 13 medium wave transmitters

(Source: Radio Today UK)

Ten BBC local radio stations will lose at least one AM transmitter in January 2018 as part of the BBC’s Delivering Quality First plan.

BBC Radio Sussex, Surrey, Humberside, Wiltshire, Nottingham, Kent, and Lincolnshire will no longer be accessible on medium wave, whilst BBC Radio Devon, Radio Lancashire and BBC Essex will reduce their frequencies.

The BBC says it knows the changes will have an impact on some listeners but encourages them to listen on FM, DAB, Freeview or online instead.

Continue reading at Radio Today UK online…

Sangean TR-108 iTalker: Ante seeks more information

Sangean TR-108 iTalker

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ante Milisa, who writes:

I came across a new product from well known radio producer Sangean: the Sangean TR-108.

I believe this is a successor to Sangean’s well-known Sangean PR-D8, which I had and which was great.

The Sangean PR-D8

It seems like this one is currently only produced for the Asian market though. It would be great if they would produce a version for Europe/America as well.

I am sure it would sell well.

Anybody heard anything about this product?

From what I can see, it has FM/AM, radio recording with preset recording, and SD card capability. Everything I need. 🙂

Click here to view details on the Sangean website.

Thanks for your message Ante, especially since I was unfamiliar with either model.

The Sangean PR-D8 had a very unique design with split recording and radio functions on the front panel. Indeed, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it. C.Crane sold them, but they now appear to be discontinued. There aren’t any currently on eBay, either (though one did recently sell for $100 shipped).

I read a Google Translate version of the Sangean TR-108 spec sheet. Sadly, I think the TR-108 lacks the AM (mediumwave) band–FM only–so it might not be a direct replacement for the PR-D8. Plus, the TR-108 recording function doesn’t appear to be as full-featured as that of the PR-D8.

Still, I like how the TR-108 buttons appear to have raised, tactile dots for those who are visually-impaired. Looks to be pretty compact as well!

Post readers: please comment if you have more information to share about the Sangean TR-108 iTalker.

Ed’s Homebrew Fruitcake Tin Radio

Fruit Cake Tin Radio

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ed Ganshirt, who writes:

I had an old car radio from the 1940’s I salvaged the parts from, and a rudimentary schematic to build by. I decided to re-assemble in the container I stowed away the parts in. Nothing special just another AM broadcast radio in an unusual cabinet (fruitcake tin.)

I love it, Ed! It’s like a broadcast band version of Rex’s Tuna Tin QRP radios!

It must have been a challenge to mount all of the components on that tin.  So how does she play?

Post readers: please comment and consider sharing your homebrew project!