Category Archives: Radios

eBay: Jeff spots a vintage Panasonic RF-088

The Panasonic RF-088

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Jeff McMahon who writes:

“This vintage Panasonic RF-088 8-Channel Preset radio selling on eBay [see above] seems rather rare. In fact, I’ve never seen one.”

Click here to view on eBay.

I haven’t seen one either, Jeff. Appears to be pretty compact. At first, I was curious how an analog radio could have so many presets until I took a peek at the top of the radio.

Each preset is individually tuned. Hard to believe such a compact radio has a total of eight tuning mechanisms! Two presets are designated for FM, two for AM and four presets can be either. Pretty clever! Since it’s a Panasonic, I bet it’s a sensitive little portable.

At $59.80 US shipped, I’m sure someone will snag it.

Gospell GR-216 DRM receiver price and availability

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Sandipan Basu Mallick, who writes:

In reference to the post about the review of Gospell GR-216 DRM Receiver, [I enquired] about availability and price.

Received response within few hours.

Yes, Gospell is now shipping the GR-216 DRM Receiver.

They are selling it directly. Not available via online shopping portals.

Most importantly Price $200 + Intl. Shipping (FedEx/DHL) $100 = $300

Payment via PayPal.

Anyone interested can contact Mr Jerry Luoy

GOSPELL Digital Technology Co., Ltd.
Mob/Whatsapp: +86-136 7909 3866
Skype: luo-jerry;
Wechat: luo-yunjun
Email: luoyj@gospell.com
http://www.gospell.com

Attaching product brochure, mail and product snaps as received from Gospell.

[Click here to download product brochure (PDF).]

Appreciate if the information can shared over your blog for the benefit of the radio enthusiast.

Warm Regards,
Sandipan Basu Mallick.
DXer, Radio Enthusiast from India.

Many thanks, Sandipan, for sharing this info!

The Zastone ZT-D9000 dual band mobile includes HF and LW coverage

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Cap Tux, who writes:

The Zastone ZT-D9000 radio has actually been out for a while and is a Dual Band Mobile (Triband with option), nothing fancy there and bears a striking resemblance to the Icom IC-2820H (clone?). Options include GPS, Bluetooth, 220Mhz and LW (The latter is really weird!).

What caught my eye is the 2.3-30 MHz Shortwave coverage, a quick search on YouTube turns up a video showing Shortwave working!

Yes, probably as wide as a barn door with no filtering except the 12kHz default but an extremely useful feature if you did need a dual band mobile in your jeep/car.

Two other noteworthy features are a dedicated RX BNC antenna socket and a built in FM Transmitter so you can listen to it on the FM Radio in your car/jeep, very cool. A bit like a pimped IC-2820H. Also has all the bells and whistles a Dual Bander should have,

This is the OEM site:
http://zastonetech.com/2-7-mobile-transceiver/291931

This site has the spec:
http://radioaficion.com/cms/zastone-d9000/

YouTube video showing Shortwave in use:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here for eBay UK.

Click here for eBay US.

Some Specs:

A/B Band RX:
136-174MHz
200-260MHz (OPTION)
400-470MHz
470-520MHz

B Band RX:
153-279kHz (AM) (OPTION)
0.5MHz-1.8MHz (AM)
2.3-30MHz (AM)
64-108MHz (WFM)
113-137MHz (Airband – AM)

TX:
136MHz-174MHz
222-225MHz (Type USA 200-260MHz) (OPTION)
400-520MHz

Channel Steps: 1.5, 6, 6.25, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 25, 50, 100kHz
Frequency Stability: +-2.5ppm
Repeater Shift: +-600kHz(144MHz), +-5MHz (430MHz)
Emission Type: F1D, F2D, F3E
Antenna Impedance: 50 ohms
Supply Voltage: Nominal: 13.8VDC, Neg Gnd, Operating: 12-24V Neg Gnd
Operating Temp: -40F to +-1400F(-20C to +-60C)
RF power Output: UHF: 40W/25W/5W VHF:50W/25W/5W
Case Size: (WxHxD) 6″ x 2.3″ x 1.3″ (Panel w/o knobs and connectors)
6″x6″x 1.8″ (Rear chassis w/o connectors)
Weight: 3.7 lbs

Transmitter:
RF Power Output: UHF: 40W/25W/5W, VHF: 50W/25W/5W
Modulation Type: Variable Reactance F1 D, F2D, F3E
Maximum Deviation: +- 5KHz
Spurious Emission: at least 60 dB below
Microphone Impedance: 2 k ohms

Receiver:
Sensitivity Radio Band:
B Band:
5uV TYP for 10db SN (153-279 KHz, AM)
5UV TYP for 10 db SN (0.5-1.7 MHz, AM)
2uV TYP for 10db SN (203-30 MHz, AM)
2Uv TYP for 12db SINAD (64-108 MHz, WFM)
0.8 uV TYP for 10 db SN 9113-134 MHz, AM)

A&B Band:
0.2 uV for 12db SINAD (136-174 MHz, FM)
0.2 uV TYP for 12db SINAD (200-260 MHz, FM)
0.2 uV for 12 db SINAD (400-470 MHz, FM)
0.2 uV TYP for 12 db SINAD (470-520 MHz, FM)
Squelch Sensitivity: 0.16 uV (144/430 MHz Band)
Selectivity: NFM, AM 12 KHz/30KHz(-6dB/-60dB)

AF Output:
6W@4 ohm for 10% THD (@13.8V) EXP SP
3W@ 8 ohm for 10% THD (@13.8V) Normal EXP SP/CH
AF Output Impedance: 4-16 ohm
3 Speakers

Included in Purchase:
– Radio
– Microphone
– Power Cables
– Remote Install Kit
– Software CD
– Programming Cable
– All Mounting Hardware
– 1 Year Warranty

Options:
– Bluetooth
– GPS
– Barometric altimeter and thermometer
– 220MHz
– LW Band

Very interesting, Cap! Thank you for sharing.  Honestly, I have a very difficult time keeping up with the radio equipment being produced and sold out of China.

And you’re right: what a surprise to find HF coverage on a dual-band mobile radio and especially longwave coverage! Like you, I wouldn’t anticipate stellar performance. The price is certainly “bargain basement” at $210 US shipped.

SWLing Post readers: Has anyone purchased and tested the ZT-D9000?  Please comment!

Dan demonstrates the Cubic R-2411 receiver

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who shares the following video where he demonstrate a recently-acquired Cubic R-2411V3/U commercial rack-mounted receiver:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Wow–and you found this beauty at a hamfest, Dan? What an incredible catch! Thanks for sharing.

Escaping the noise while traveling

A Sony SW100, a PK Loop, and a pint of L’Écurieux brown ale. Lovely trio!

If you’re a regular Post reader, you’re probably aware that I enjoy a relatively RFI-free environment at my rural mountain home. RFI-free living is something of a luxury, even though our rural location also equates to appallingly slow Internet service.

But unfortunately, when I travel, I usually find that I’ve traded my RFI-free atmosphere for the chaos of noise-ridden bands. If you’ve ever stayed at a modern hotel and tried to tune to anything on mediumwave or shortwave, you’ll know just what I mean.

We’ve spent this summer, like last, near Québec City, Canada.  Near this fairly large city, I’ve been greeted by more than enough RFI to make up for the lack of RFI most of the year.

I attribute the atrocious RFI to the number of light dimmers the developers put in this condo complex and the proximity to a field of noisy electrical poles. Of course, all of the unregulated power supplies in the area don’t help, either. It’s a jungle of noise.

The PK Loop

Last year, I purchased a PK Loop portable HF loop antenna (about $150 on eBay)–specifically with hotels and this very condo in mind. I must say, it has been a welcome travel companion on this trip.

The Elecraft KX2 and PK Loop

While the PK Loop seems to pair well with my Sony SW100, I also love using it with my Elecraft KX2 for SWLing.

Sadly, the PK Loop doesn’t provide the noise mitigation of a large wideband mag loop antenna–like a Wellbrook or Pixel Loop–but it does lend itself to excellent portability and takes the edge off the noise.

While it’s easy to do my radio listening in the condo from a comfy chair, in reality, it limits what I can receive in a serious way. The 31 meter band, for example, is so heavily submerged in RFI that only the strongest stations can punch through (for example, Voice of Greece, Radio Romania International, WRMI, WBCQ, Radio Havana Cuba, China Radio International).

So, what can I do?

Hit the field, of course!

That’s right. Taking a page from the books of SWLing Post contributors London Shortwave and Clint Gouveia, I realize I can simply leave the RFI behind and seek a sound, radio quiet spot for SWLing/DXing!

My listening post last year–during the BBC Midwinter broadcast–in the parking lot of St-Anne-de-Beaupré basilica.

Over the past two months, I’ve taken time to escape the RFI and do a few live listening sessions and spectrum recordings in the field. I’ve always got my SDRplay RSP, Elecraft KX2, and Sony ICG-SW100 at the ready. In terms of wire antennas, I’ve deployed my NASA PA30 and even my QRP Trail-Friendly EFT, with good results.

Listening to the 2017 BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast from the back of my vehicle in Saint-Anne-de-Beaupré, Québec, Canada.

I’ve also been experimenting with the homebrew Miniwhip antenna that SWLing Post contributor, Steve Yothment, provided earlier this year, based on the design used by the U Twente WebSDR. As Guy Atkins recently demonstrated, miniwhip designs do require some distance from sources of RFI, however.

The field is your friend…

Just a friendly reminder that if you live in an RFI-dense environment, you can certainly design a system to help mitigate RFI at home. After all, home is where you likely spend the bulk of your free time.

View of the Saint Lawrence River from my back-of-the-minivan listening post.

But, again, the easiest way to substantially increase your chances of snagging DX stations is to simply hit the field.

Join me in giving it a try. Find an RFI-free location with access to a couple of trees to hang a simple wire antenna–say, in a park, at the side of a rural road, on a friend’s farm…and if you find the listening good, make it your radio get-away. You’ll likely find that your portable shortwave radio can outperform your at-home tabletop receiver simply by removing yourself and your radio from the noisy environ of indoors.

When you first start doing radio in the field, it might feel a bit awkward–especially if you’re taking more than a portable shortwave along for the ride–but you’ll soon enjoy the fresh air ambiance and maybe even prefer it to indoors.  Even if you’re in a public setting where curious passers-by may want to know what you’re doing, as they undoubtedly will…When questions arise, take a (brief!) moment to educate your questioner(s) about the fascinating and nearly-forgotten world of shortwave radio––maybe you’ll inspire others to listen in, too.

And trust me: once you’ve been to the field a few times, you’ll start to look forward to playing radio in the great–and noise-free–outdoors!