Ken’s E. H. Scott Philharmonic Beam of Light console radio

E. H. Scott Philharmonic Beam of Light Open 2

In response to an inquiry in our post about the Crosley WLW Model Super-Power Radio Receiver, SWLing Post contributor, Ken Carr, writes:

I’m not sure if my radio is a ‘benchmark’ but it sure is close to it.
It is the E. H. Scott Philharmonic Beam of Light console radio.

E. H. Scott Philharmonic Beam of Light Outside Closed

Mine appears to have been built in 1939 or early 1940. It has 30 tubes, most of which are covered by chrome-plated shields. The power supply/amplifier (4 6L6’s in the output stage), receiver, 15″ speaker and cabinet easily weigh over 150 pounds.

E. H. Scott Philharmonic Beam of Light inside

It took me two years of occasional work (I am retired so I don’t rush) to get it going and working reasonably well. I had to replace over 100 capacitors and correct some B+ voltage problems left by a previous repair person. 

None of the knobs are correct (mine came without them … 9 required) and replacements are difficult to come by (and quite expensive when they do appear).

When receiving a strong station the volume is such that it would easily drown out anything within 100 yards (and with no distortion).

E. H. Scott Philharmonic Beam of LightDial

Some day I will post some details and photos on my WordPress site (idlenot.com). I’ll be sure to let you know, Thomas. [Note: Yes, Ken, please do!]

Oh, the first time I powered it up and received a station they were playing Light My Fire (The Doors, I think). Appropriate. I put a video of it on YouTube. The radio is all apart as I was still working on it at the time.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Now that is serendipity, Ken–I mean, the first music you hear after restoring this beauty is Light My Fire? Brilliant!

The E. H. Scott Philharmonic Beam of Light is a benchmark console by any standard. I first learned about this radio through a local classified ad–the owner was selling the internal components (and original knobs) but had no cabinet. I believe he was asking $1200. The chrome plating is such eye candy, I can see why some owner in the past removed it from the cabinet to save space. Still, it was a shame the cabinet had been discarded–as one can see from your photos, the craftsmanship is simply stunning.

Ken, thank you for taking the time to share the Beam of Light console with us!

Post readers: you should check out Ken’s blog, Idlenot.com, where you’ll find more vintage radio and classic cars!

Aluminum foil: Larry’s simple AN200 antenna modification

TecsunAN200

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Larry Caracciolo, who comments:

I bought the AN-200 in the spring of 2015 off of eBay. I was favorably impressed with the product. Comparing it to my old 9′ diameter tuned/shielded loop from 1992, there are some similarities and differences.

The Hallicrafters SX-96 (Image: Universal Radio)

The Hallicrafters SX-96 (Image: Universal Radio)

I live in an apartment complex so plenty of radiated electromagnetic noise is present. I use a modified [Hallicrafters] SX-96 (AVC ckt was modified for improved modulation acceptance). The AN-200 does null out local static sources, somewhat, but not well enough to dig out weak stations. The tuning range for the loop is just at the bottom of the AM band (about 535 khz) to just over 1700 kcs.

On a whim, I wrapped aluminum foil around the loop and grounded it to the SX-96 chassis – in wistful hope of achieving some shielding from the RF has. As soon as I connected the aluminum foil ground clip to the rx chassis, all RF noise ceased and signals appeared from the mud. However, the tuning range is attenuated above 1200 kcs.

My favorite frequency on the AM band is 590 kcs. During the night, as many as seven different stations rose from the noise and provided station IDs at just the right moment. My best catch here in Everett, WA is KCSJ, a 1KW station in Colorado Springs.

From time to time, stations on the low portion of the AM band are accompanied with echoes – what I took for two stations and a small time delay between the same broadcast was actually multi-path to the degree that nearly 1/2 second separated the arriving signals. Short-delayed echoes, anyone? I’ve not observed this on frequencies above 1000 kcs.

Other sources of RF noise can come from the laptop, the cable modem, and even CFBs in other rooms. For truly noise-free listening environment, I place the laptop in sleep mode and unplug the cable modem. I’m quite happy with the AN-200 loop. Affordable, easy to use, easy to tune.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience with the AN200 loop antenna, Larry!

As anyone who grew up in the era of TV rabbit ears knows, aluminum foil can simply work magic in a pinch! There is no easier material to work with either!

As I pointed out in previous posts, the AN200 loop antenna is quite affordable.  I just did a quick price search:

Jay Allen reviews the AN200 loop antenna

TecsunAN200Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ron, who shares a link to this review of the AN-200 mediumwave loop antenna by Jay Allen:

Tecsun/Grundig/Kaito AN-100/AN-200 Loop Antenna

I’ve had the Grundig (version) AN-200 for many years and can certainly endorse it as a cost-effective antenna for the casual mediumwave DXer.

Thanks for the tip, Ron!

iHeartMedia may collapse under debt

iHeartMedia(Source: MediaFire)

At first glance, iHeartMedia looks like the model 21st century media conglomerate, truly a colossus with interests across media: owner of 858 radio stations; Clear Channel Outdoor, one of the world’s largest outdoor companies; Premier Networks, the top U.S. radio network; and iHeartRadio, among the nation’s top digital music services.

The radio giant has a dynamic leader, Bob Pittman, the man who created MTV and widely regarded as one of the most charismatic men in media.

And it has glam, lots of glam. Look no further than the iHeartRadio Music Festival and other live events that draw thousands upon thousands of celebrants and endless media excitement.

But for all that glam, iHeart is a deeply troubled company. In fact, iHeartMedia is teetering on collapse. It’s not a question of whether it collapses but when, and it’s likely to come sooner rather than later. It could be within months.

What’s going to sink iHeart is its huge debt, some $21 billion. That’s more than the entire radio industry generates in ad dollars in a given year, and it’s a debt iHeart appears to have zero prospects of paying off.[…]

iHeart’s ills could not come at a worse time for radio.

Cumulus, the No. 2 radio company, is struggling to work through its own debt problems and could itself slide into bankruptcy. And CBS Radio was just put on the block in what’s seen as a major vote of no confidence in radio’s future by CBS Chairman Les Moonves.

One could well imagine a scenario in which all three companies are broken up and their stations all put on the market at one time, in what would prove a major disruption for the industry.[…]

Continue reading…

Wally Crouter, Canada’s longest serving radio man, dies at 92

Wally Crouter (August 5, 1923 – March 28, 2016)

Wally Crouter (August 5, 1923 – March 28, 2016) Image: News Talk 1010

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors, Richard Langley and Bill Patalon, who note the passing of legendary Canadian radio man, Wally Crouter.

Richard Langley comments:

I fondly remember listening to him over the years, particularly when I was working (during a couple of my undergraduate degree co-op program work terms) for Philips Electronics in Toronto as a QC inspector at the end of an assembly line for car radios. Yes, these used to be made in North America in the good old days. 😉 Of course, he was on shortwave, too, via CFRX.

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/wally-crouter-canadas-longest-serving-radio-man-dies-143336247.html

http://www.newstalk1010.com/news/2016/03/28/in-memoriam-wally-crouter

Like Bill and Richard, I’ve certainly head Wally Crouter on CFRX in the past–I’m sure many Post readers/SWLs have as well.

Radio Belarus to shut down shortwave, mediumwave and longwave?

SX-99-Dial-Nar

Many thanks to several SWLing Post readers who have shared this news from the Radio Belarus website.

Since I rely on a machine translation of the news page via Google Translate, I’m not totally clear about the details, but it appears Radio Belarus is shutting down their longwave, mediumwave and shortwave broadcasts on April 1, 2016.

Any SWLing Post readers out there who can read and translate the details on this page? If so, please comment and I’ll post the translation here!  Thanks!

UPDATE: SWLing Post contributor, Igor, comments with the following translation which was also confirmed by Ed:

Due to the fact that National Government Broadcasting Company of Belarus Republic refused services of the Belarus Radio and TV Transmitting Center, since April, 01 transmission of radio programs of “1 National Channel of Belarus Radio” and “Radiostation Belarus” on LW, MW and SW bands will stop:

– by transmitting center in Kolodishci:
– “1 National Channel of Belarus Radio” on 7255 KHz, 250 KW
– “Radiostation Belarus” on 11930 KHz, 250 KW
– “Radiostation Belarus” on 11730 KHz, 150 KW
– “1 National Channel of Belarus Radio” on 6080 KHz, 150 KW
– by Osipovich transmitting center in Sosnovy:
– “1 National Channel of Belarus Radio” on 279 KHz, 500 KW
– “Radiostation Belarus” on 1170 KHz, 800 KW

Blinq Deal: Used Sony SRF-M37W AM/FM/WX digital walkman $18.19 shipped

Blinq-Sony-SRF-M37

I just noticed that Blinq.com has a “Used – Very Good” Sony SRF-M37W AM/FM/WX digital walkman with headphones for $18.19 shipped.

While I don’t think the SRF-M37W will win any DXing awards, it is a very practical and lightweight portable for outdoor/active use (hiking, walking, running, biking, etc). I was mighty tempted to purchase this one and mount it on my mountain bike, but I have other portables that could do the job.

Features:

  • Digital AM/FM/Weather stereo tuner
  • Direct weather and preset access buttons
  • 20-station preset memory
  • Digital LCD digital with clock and battery indicators
  • Headphones and belt clip included

The SRF-M37W runs on one AAA battery.

Click here to view on Blinq.com.

If you miss this deal on Blinq, no worries. Amazon’s price for a new unit is only $29.91 shipped–Amazon has a number of used units around $22 shipped.