Category Archives: Radios

Intek PL-660 on sale at Maplin

Intek-PL-660

If you live in the UK, you might take note that the retailer, Maplin, has the Intek PL-660 on sale for 59.99 GBP. Though I’ve never held an Intek PL-660 in my hands, I’m pretty certain it’s simply a rebadged Tecsun PL-660. (Readers, please correct me if I’m wrong.)

Click here to view the Intek PL-660 at Maplin.

SDRuno: SDRplay introduces a free native app for the RSP

(Source: SDRplay Press Release)

SDRplay-Logo

SDRplay is pleased to announce the official release of SDRuno for the RSP. SDRuno is the new name for the RSP compatible version of Studio1, the rights to which we obtained and announced on 28th April. SDRuno contains native support for the SDRplay RSP and no extra plugins are required. Third party hardware can also be supported via the ExtIO interface, but with reduced functionality.

SDRuno provides a rugged and flexible, high performance SDR receiver capability and boasts some excellent features:

  • Multiple ‘Virtual Receivers’ which allow for simultaneous reception and demodulation of different types of signals within the same receiver bandwidth.
  • A selectivity filter with an ultimate rejection greater than 140 dB.
  • A unique distortion-free double stage AGC with fully adjustable parameters.
  • Multiple notch filters with BW adjustable down to 1 Hz, Notch Lock feature.
  • A unique synchronous AM mode with selectable/adjustable sidebands, dedicated PLL input filter, and selectable PLL time constants.
  • SNR (stereo noise reduction), featuring a proprietary noise reduction algorithm for stereo broadcast.
  • AFC for FM signals.
  • Calibration for receiver frequency errors.

Over time, we plan to add many more features to SDRuno to enhance the user’s experience of this very powerful piece of software. This software runs on Windows and we don’t yet know how easy it will be to migrate it to other platforms but this is something we will be investigating.

SDRuno will be made freely available to all current and future users of the RSP – to download a copy – simply go to http://www.sdrplay.com/windows.html

Our support for SDRuno in no way lessens our commitment to support HDSDR, SDR Console, Cubic SDR or ANY other software solution where the authors are willing to work with us. We fully recognise that many people have strong preferences for particular pieces of software and we do not want to do anything to undermine the options that people have to use their favoured software packages. Indeed, our view is quite the opposite. Our objective remains aim to have our hardware platforms support any and every SDR package out there. This of course may not be possible, but it is our philosophy and part of the ethos of our company.

About Studio 1:

Studio1 was developed in Italy by SDR Applications S.a.s. and has hundreds of happy customers around the world. Studio 1 is known for its user friendly stylish GUI, CPU efficiency and advanced DSP capabilities, including features not available on other SDR software packages.

www.sdrapplications.it

About SDRplay:

SDRplay limited is a UK company and consists of a small group of engineers with strong connections to the UK Wireless semiconductor industry. SDRplay announced its first product, the RSP1 in August 2014

www.sdrplay.com
Email: admin@sdrplay.com

eBay find: The Mark 328 British Spy Radio

SpyRadio

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader Cap, who writes:

This little gem just popped up on eBay UK, it’s working and looks to be in very good condition and is also open to offers:

Click here to view on eBay.

[More info about the Mark 328 (a.k.a. MK.328) can be found here.]

This follows on from the FS5000 spy radio you posted about in April.

If I had a respectable amount to offer this Seller, I think I would.

True–by today’s standards–the Mk.328 isn’t a high-performance receiver. It’s single conversion and probably not über-sensitive.

Spy-Radio

Still, it’s a working piece of Cold War history and, back in the early 70s, probably packed the biggest punch for the size. I bet it’s over-engineered and will probably outlive most of us.

Mighty tempted to make an offer. I should probably distract myself about now.  Thanks, Cap! 🙂

The Como Audio Solo and Duetto radios on Kickstarter

ComoAudio-Solo

The Como Audio Solo

Alas, I find that I’m frequently blamed by SWLing Post readers who cite this blog as the reason they spend so much money on radios.

But for the record, I’d like you to know that such spending is actually a two-way street!  A couple of days ago, Post contributor Robert Gulley sent me a link to a cool Kickstarter campaign for two new multi-format digital radios: the Solo and the Duet by Como Audio.

Having just completed an in-depth review of several WiFi radios for The Spectrum Monitor magazine, the good-looking Solo in its wood casing really caught my attention! (the Duet, meanwhile, is a two-speaker version of the same rig).  At first glance, the Solo appears to be  compatible with a much wider range of digital formats than many of its competitors, so naturally I’m eager to determine if this is so. Here’s a list:

  • Internet radio accessing 20,000+ stations
  • Spotify
  • Bluetooth with aptX
  • NFC Android Bluetooth connection
  • DLNA WIFI
  • Music player allowing easy navigation and playback through a USB or network-shared library of music files, including AAC+, MP3, WMA, WAV, and FLAC
  • 4 High-Res inputs: 2 analog, 1 Optical, and 1 USB.
  • Google Cast-ready
  • Amazon Dot-ready

It even has a “high-performance” FM tuner and is DAB+ compatible, especially great if you live in Europe.

It also sounds like they’ve spent time designing a proper acoustic chamber/chassis and are fueling a 3″ woofer and 3/4″ dome tweeter with a 2 X 30 watt RMS amplifier. This radio should pack some audio punch.

The Como Audio Duetto

The Como Audio Duetto

The only obvious thing I see missing on the Como Audio WiFi radios is an internal battery.

Still, after watching the video and reviewing the specs, I backed the campaign to receive a walnut Kickstarter Edition Solo. If all goes well––and I never actually expect a campaign to produce and ship a product in the amount of time they expect––they may be shipping the radios as early as October.

The campaign has already met it’s goal of $50,000 and is now stretching for $100,000 with more incentives.

So, I didn’t really need another WiFi radio, but thanks to Robert’s email––yep, I bought one! Now the only question remains:  can you actually make impulse purchases on Kickstarter? I think I just proved that you can.

The Sony ICF-SW55 and the Voice of Greece: a wonderful travel combo

Sony-ICF-SW55-2
I’m currently in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, Québec (Canada) and having a brilliant time. I’ve been sans Internet for the better part of a week (save a little online time at local cafés) which is why I’m quite far behind on correspondence.

The lack of Internet, though, has a positive side: it has given me uninterrupted time to surf the shortwaves!

The only bad news is that I’m staying in a condo and the radio interference is…well…a little high.

Still, I’m fortunate to have a balcony where I can relax and listen to my Sony ICF-SW55 outdoors. In truth, I’m truly amazed with the reception I’ve had each evening this week from the Voice of Greece. Though, VOG’s broadcasts have been somewhat unpredictable after their official return to the airwaves, I’m appreciative every time they fire up their Avlis transmitter and pump out music on 9,420 kHz.
Sony-ICF-SW55

I should mention that Radio Romania International is also a very easy catch and, like VOG, punches through the RFI with colors flying.

This is one of the great things about shortwave radio–even when you’re far away from home, you can still hear a familiar voice on the air.