Category Archives: Mediumwave

Creating a global network of inexpensive remote SDRs

U_Twente_SDR

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark Fahey, who replies to Ivan’s preliminary review of the V3 RTL-SDR dongle:

With Shortwave SDRs (the receiver dongle) now costing less than $20, the time has come for us to set up a global group of receivers that we can all log into at will!

RTL-SDR-RTL2832U-e1471375714199Have a look at SDR.hu – here you can put your SDR dongle on line and share it with anyone and they have full control of the receiver just as if it was in their own shack.

Imagine receivers scatted around the world – South America, Tropical Asia, Africa! The cost is now virtually nothing, all that is needed is the dongle, antenna (doesn’t have to be anything special – even a long wire or whip) and a small low cost CPU (Raspberry Pi for example).

Anyone else interested in this dream? Lets get together, get some receivers setup and then talk about our experience in a kick-ass presentation at the 2017 SWL WinterFest in PA!

Also… I am very soon to receive my KiwiSDR matched to a BeagleBone CPU. It will be online at SDR.hu and four remote listeners will be able to tune the full shortwave bands independently, its like my own Twente setup! Heaps of others are getting receivers online in the next few months with KiwiSDRs, this is going to be totally amazing!

I agree, Mark! While there is already quite a network of remote SDRs and receivers in the world, the barrier of entry keeps getting lower and lower. It’s hard to imagine that $25 can buy an SDR that natively covers the shortwave and mediumwave bands!

There’s only one other requirement for an online SDR that Mark didn’t mention: a decent Internet connection. Sadly, this is the only thing keeping me from hosting a remote SDR here at my home. I considered purchasing a KiwiSDR like Mark, but my upload speed (0.2-0.3 mbps) is so terrible and so unreliable that I could only host one listener at a time at best. You can bet that as soon as my ISP upgrades our service, I’ll launch a web SDR as well.

Of course, I’m willing to bet that most SWLing Post readers have more than enough bandwidth to host a $25 remote receiver! Let’s make Mark’s vision a reality!

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.

Hello all,

A few nights ago during great propagation in the Medium Wave band I had the opertunity to DX Radio Capital from Lima, Peru all the way to Northern Ireland. I was planning to sleep early but favourable conditions on MW prompted me to have a late night to chase DX. I have had this confirmed to me by a few very well known MW DX’ers.

Swlingperumw

The equipment I had used to get this catch were as follows ;

• Lack of sleep & plenty of caffeine

• SDR Play RSP with ferrite chokes

• Wellbrook ALA1530LN Active Loop Antenna with coax running out of the electric field of my house and ferrite chokes attaches at parts


Jordan Heyburn (MI6JVC) is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Jordan is an avid shortwave listener, ham radio operator and shortwave presenter/owner of Radio Northern Ireland. Jordan is based in Northern Ireland.

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

Sangean_DT-160CL_21

It’s been thirty seven hours since I started the Sangean DT-160CL versus Sony SRF-39FP endurance test and both radio are still going strong.

Sangean-DT-160CL_and_Sony-SRF-39FP

So far, the DT-160CL’s battery indicator still shows full voltage. The SRF-39FP has no battery indicator, but through experience I know it’s nowhere close to quitting.

I’ve spent some time tuning both radios and comparing them on mediumwave/AM and FM.

The DT-160CL does an amazing job on the FM band and has a definite edge on the SRF-39FP.

On AM, however, the SRF-39FP seems to wipe the floor with the DT-160CL.

In truth, though, it’s tough to evaluate performance and audio while the endurance test is ongoing, so I should reserve judgement. During the battery endurance test, I’m using the supplied earbuds from both radios. The Sangean’s earbuds a fairly large and uncomfortable in the ear–they make the audio sound hollow and too focused on mid-range tones. In truth it’s pretty much the same thing for the 39FP’s buds.

I can’t wait to use some of my proper in-ear buds on the DT-160CL and evaluate its audio characteristics on AM and FM.

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

Medium Wave DX: CBC Radio 1 Gander, 1400 kHz, remarkably clear signal in Oxford UK

CBC Radio 1, Gander, heard in Oxford UK

A really great signal from CBC Radio 1 Gander – the best I’ve ever heard on this or any other medium wave frequency, complete with a clear station ID and very much out of season so-to-speak. I can’t remember recording any Medium Wave transatlantic signal with an audio bandwidth filter of 7 kHz, which says everything about the relative strength of this signal; 2.5 to perhaps 4 kHz would be more typical. As the subscribers to my youtube channel Oxford Shortwave log will know, I dabble in Medium Wave DXing, however, it requires a lot of patience because conditions of good propagation can occur quite infrequently. This is where the band recording features incorporated into the Elad FDM-SW2 software (and similar software for other SDR receivers) come into their own, allowing you to record the entire medium wave band, for example, for later analysis. As for the Wellbrook ALA1530 active loop antenna, I can’t praise it highly enough, both in terms of combating QRM and overall performance as a function of compactness.

Recorded in Oxford UK using an Elad FDM DUO and Wellbrook ALA1530 active loop antenna (indoors) on 29/06/16 at 03:00 hrs UTC.

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.