Category Archives: AM

200m longwire update: rarely heard Radio Tawantinsuyo 6173.9 kHz, Peru, recorded in Oxford, UK

cusco

Hi there, I thought I would share my first reception of Radio Tawantinsuyo, from Cusco, Peru, recorded during the inaugural test of my 200 metre longwire antenna. Of course this  particular reception could be coincidence, but a very welcome catch in any case. Once again, the Sony ICF-2001D performs very well with this large antenna, but as on previous occasions, the rule is always to ‘choose your battles well’ targeting weak DX signals in uncrowded areas of the Tropical Band and elsewhere on shortwave. More details on the longwire antenna to follow in another post. Recorded at the ‘DX woods’ in Oxfordshire, UK on 31/07/16 at 00:27 hrs UTC. Thanks for watching.

Direct link to Oxford Shortwave Log reception video of Radio Tawantinsuyo

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.

 

The Sony ICF-5500W: My morning companion

Sony-ICF-550W-RadCom

I spent this morning doing a lot of work around our property. When it was time for a break, I turned on my trust Sony ICF-5500W and tuned to WTZQ: one of my favorite regional AM braodcasters. Though WTZQ is over 30 miles from my home, any good AM radio, like the ICF-5500W, can receive their 1,000 watt signal with ease.

As luck would have it, when I turned on my 5500W, WTZQ started playing Love Me Do by The Beatles. It sounded absolutely amazing via the 5500W’s internal speaker: full-on, rich AM audio fidelity! Absolutely brilliant!

I cranked up the volume so our local black bears could enjoy.

I relaxed a good half hour, and caught up on reading the latest two issues of RadCom with my ICF-5500W playing WTZQ in the background.

Sometimes it’s the simple stuff that starts one’s morning off the right way.

That and plenty of good coffee.

Warsan Radio 7750 kHz Baydhabo Somalia; on the Sony ICF-2001D telescopic antenna

Somalia

Hi there, great to hear this new station broadcasting from Somalia, during an early evening DX’pedition at my usual spot – a local Oxfordshire wood! Even better to hear it with just the telescopic antenna!

The ICF-2001D is renown for being extremely well ‘tuned’ to it’s own telescopic and this has been demonstrated many times over the past year or so that I’ve been using it.  This signal from Somalia was recorded on 08/08/16 at 19:15 hrs UTC using just the ‘whip’. Please click on the image below to access the reception video.

Warsan

Alternatively click here to watch the reception video on Oxford Shortwave Log

I have another video of the same signal which I will upload soon, demonstrating  reception with a 50 metre longwre and the ICF2001D. Until then, I wish you all excellent DX!

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.

Update 4: Sangean DT-160CL v Sony SRF-39FP

IMG_9137

If you’ve been following the Sangean DT-160CL versus Sony SRF-39FP battery endurance test, I have some news to report: one of our competitors has finally thrown in the towel…!

Yesterday, while I was on the road for about 1.5 hours, the Sangean DT-160CL at last gave up the contest.

Since I was traveling at the time, I can’t say with absolute certainty what o’clock the DT-160 cried uncle––but roughly, we’re looking at 116 hours, 30 minutes of run time, give or take 30 minutes.

Sangean claims the DT-160 series will operate for 100 hours with two AA batteries. That claim is obviously pretty conservative.

Sangean_DT-160CL_14

Though I used CVS Max Alkaline batteries (a generic version of Duracell’s Quantum batteries)–an improvement on the standard alkaline battery–I set the volume higher than I believe Sangean or Sony would have set it for testing purposes. This should have drained the batteries faster. The radios were also tuned to a variety of stations: weak AM, strong AM, weak FM and strong FM.

In short: I’m very impressed with the DT-160.

A 116 hour play time from two AA cells on a digitally-tuned receiver is, well, pretty incredible.

Now that the endurance test is over for the DT-160CL, I’ll replace the batteries with a fresh set of CVS Max Alkaline cells and start testing the AM/FM receiver performance.

…And how about the Sony SRF-39FP?

Sony-SRF-39FP

My iPhone's stopwatch has been tracking progress since last Wednesday.

My iPhone’s stopwatch has been tracking progress since last Wednesday.

Even more amazingly, the Sony SRF-39FP is still going strong––!

I actually fell asleep last night listening to the SRF-39FP and woke up this morning with music still in my ears. What a champ!

So, how long has the Sony SRF-39FP now been operating on one AA battery?

At time of posting, this little Sony’s clocked one hundred thirty nine hours.

Though I’ve always known that the  SRF-39FP was a true battery miser–one of the reasons it’s been a choice radio in the prison system–I had no idea it could operate this long on one battery.

Of course, I’ll continue tracking the Sony SRF-39FP.

How much longer will the SRF-39FP last? Stay tuned to find out!

Follow this review thread by bookmarking the following tag: Sangean DT-160CL v Sony SRF-39FP.

Update 3: Sangean DT-160CL v Sony SRF-39FP

Sangean-DT-160CL-Sony-SRF-39FP

My iPhone's stopwatch has been tracking the endurance test.

My iPhone’s stopwatch has been tracking the endurance test.

It’s been one hundred nine hours since I started the Sangean DT-160CL versus Sony SRF-39FP battery endurance test and both radio are still hanging in there!

Not knowing which radio will check out first, I’ve been taking them with me everywhere and have been careful to keep their settings identical the whole time.

Last night, I even prepared my Zoom H2N digital recorder to monitor both radios simultaneously. Having passed 100 hours of operating on the same set of batteries, I was certain one would call it quits last night.

Not so.

There was one noticeable change this morning: the Sangean DT-160CL’s battery indicator now shows a depleted cell.

IMG_20160808_073431228

It’s still operating, though–no noticeable difference in volume and reception.

The end must certainly be near! Indeed, it’s hard to believe I started this endurance test last Wednesday!

I’m very interested to see which pocket radio will go first.

Field time

Sangean-DT-160CL and Sony SRF-39FP Mount Mitchell

Yesterday, I spent the better part of the afternoon at Mt. Mitchell State Park. Of course, I brought the DT-160CL and SRF-39FP along.

Mt. Mitchell is the highest point east of the Mississippi river. It’s a great place to play radio.

At one point, I tuned both radios to WAIZ 630 kHz: a 1,000 watt AM station about 95 miles east of the park. It’s one of my benchmark daytime stations from Mt. Mitchell.

Though most DT-160 reviewers have given the receiver low marks for AM performance, I found that the DT-160CL did a better job locking onto WAIZ than the venerable SRF-39FP.

Perhaps this is due to the fact that both radios, at that point, were operating on low voltage? Or perhaps the CL version of the DT-160 series has better AGC characteristics and sensitivity?

I doubt the latter assumption, but once the endurance test is complete, I’ll put the 160CL through the paces.

Follow this review thread by bookmarking the following tag: Sangean DT-160CL v Sony SRF-39FP.