Category Archives: Shortwave Radio

Colin’s Hammarlund HQ-120X restoration

Hammarlund-HQ120X

Many thanks to Colin Snow for sharing the following photos and commenting on his Hammarlund HQ-120X restoration. I originally noticed his photos in the Extreme Shortwave Listening group on Facebook and he kindly wrote up descriptions for each image to be published here on the SWLing Post:


Hammarlund HQ-120X restoration

by Colin Snow

Hammarlund HQ-120X

Purchased on eBay March, 2016. Hammarlund HQ-120X (1939 restored) and PSC/10 speaker (1939 original). The radio was frist restored by KE7RD, the collector who owned this unit for years. This was a late production version. It has 6K7’s instead of 6S7’s (good). The O/P TRANS has been replaced and an SO-239 added. It was recapped and aligned both IF + RF and works well on all bands.”

Hammarlund-HQ120X-2

I had the cabinet repainted locally at NRI Sandblasting and Coating with a black semi-gloss crinkle powder coat paint. I cleaned the chrome part of the handles with Quick Glo and stripped and painted the two shoulders with black gloss enamel.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-3

I had the speaker enclosure stripped and painted at the same time as the cabinet with the same black semi-gloss crinkle powder coat.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-5

The original 1939 speaker was a 10″ Jensen. It worked, but I wanted the best possible sound. This current production model Jensen fit exactly.

HAmmarlund-HQ120X 6

White lines for the knobs were done using white out. The lines are grooved so I just gobbed it on and wiped off the excess.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-Faceplate

I had the faceplate rescreened by Adam’s Precision Screen Printing, Inc. San Leandro, CA. They created a film positive first, then a negative screen.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-9

It was a perfect job. The color and sheen matched original. This should last longer because it is an epoxy ink that has been baked to harden.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-knobs

The lettering came out clean. Even though they made a 1.5X negative they still had to create artwork for the fonts. The original letters were just etched into to aluminum. It looked like it was done by hand.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-8

Funny how words change. We now say “megahertz”, not “megacycles.”

Hammarlund-HQ-120X-DialLight

I refurbished the dial windows myself. They were easy to strip and I used a flat black enamel spray. The S-meter glass was dirty so I disassembled it and cleaned with Quick Glo.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-10

Still works after all that!

Hammarlund-HQ120X-12

Its final resting place is my office and looks pretty good next to an original Tiffany’s lamp. I have a second listening post.


Colin, I can see that you spared no expense to restore this Hammarlund HQ-120X and it has paid off–an absolutely gorgeous job! I love how its “final resting place” is in a part of your office that gives it an appropriate amount of space–a place to be admired and, more importantly, enjoyed.  I bet the 120 sounds simply amazing!

Thanks again for sharing these photos and your commentary, Colin!

TDF Group to use DRM 30 as shortwave communications system

Click to enlarge. Source: TDF Group

Click to enlarge. Source: TDF Group

(Source: Radio Mag Online)

PARIS — The use of the medium and short wave bands can provide extensive coverage at low cost in inaccessible locations or for those at a disadvantage due to lack of infrastructure.

[…]France’s TDF Group has started a project they call SmartCast that aims to study and build a long range broadcast system, with potential interactivity where appropriate — by way of a low-speed wireless return path. Data including audio will be broadcast in a shared stream based on standard DRM 30 from Digital Radio Mondiale.

Work underway by TDF includes development of services and equipment focused on two markets:

  • Maritime Navigation, with a set of services designated as “NavCAST”.
  • International Broadcasting, with a set of services designated as “WideCAST.”[…]

Read the full article at RadioMagOnline.com

RNZI to run single shortwave transmitter for analog and DRM

New-ZealandMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Rafman, who writes:

Heard sad news this morning while listening to [RNZI’s] 9700 broadcast. It makes their future dimmer [IMHO].

RNZI will be running on a single transmitter for both analog & DRM. So now you won’t be able to try DRM on 9890 while 9700 is on air.

Thanks for sharing the news, Rafman. Here’s the accompanying RNZ press release with details from Radio New Zealand:

Information for individual analogue short-wave listeners in the Pacific region.

RNZ International (RNZI) is retiring its 27-year-old analogue-only short-wave transmitter and moving to a one-transmitter operation.

From 1 July 2016 we will be using our newer digital/analogue transmitter and swapping between its digital short-wave and analogue short-wave modes throughout each day.

The digital short-wave mode delivers a signal to relaying Pacific stations, and the analogue short-wave mode reaches individual short-wave listeners.

RNZI has made the decision not to replace the old short-wave transmitter, but to instead maximize the flexibility of our newer short-wave transmitter by using either its analogue or digital mode to deliver to different audiences at different times of the day.

We are also focusing on broadening the options for delivering our signal to relaying radio stations. These stations broadcast our daily news and current affairs content over their own local stations – and allow us to reach a large local Pacific audience.

By working with partners like the BBC World Service (Pacific stream) and Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited (PCBL) (which includes the former TVNZ satellite service) we’ve been extending our content delivery via satellite. We’ll be continuing to focus on this as a complimentary delivery to the DRM digital short-wave service.

RNZI’s online content and delivery, partnerships and use of our specialist content by individuals, media and organisations in the Pacific and worldwide, is also growing.

The move to a one-transmitter operation will result in a reduced service to current individual short-wave listeners in the region. RNZI will still broadcast in analogue short-wave for extensive periods of each day, but there won’t be a 24 hour service as there has been. This is likely to be most felt during breakfast hours when we will need to broadcast a digital signal for relaying stations, rather than an analogue one.

However, RNZI remains committed towards providing an analogue short-wave service for individual listeners across the Pacific. Our role in warning about, and covering, cyclones remains especially important. During cyclone season, RNZI has the flexibility to choose to broadcast entirely in analogue if we need to temporarily provide a fulltime service to individual listeners.

Over time we hope more individuals will be able to access our content online access the region. Online use of RNZI is growing quickly with Pacific visitors and others now increasingly accessing content on the RNZI site.

And in future years, as stations adopt other ways of receiving our signal, we may be able to devote more of our short-wave transmission capacity back into broadcasting in analogue.

With a mix of analogue short-wave, digital DRM short-wave, satellite, partnerships and online content delivery, we remain in a solid position to deliver our unique Pacific content to audiences in the region and beyond.

Our analogue and digital frequency schedule is available at www.rnzi.com along with with updated broadcast times.

Linden Clark
RNZI Manager
Radio New Zealand
Linden.clark@radionz.co.nz
info@rnzi.com

Click here to read the full story at Radio New Zealand.

It’s Field Day weekend 2016: find a local event, have fun

2016 Field Day Logo

If you live in North America and have an interest in becoming a ham radio operator, this is the weekend to check out what amateur radio is all about, and meet local radio enthusiasts.  

It’s Field Day!

What is Field Day?  I’ll quote from the ARRL, who sponsors the event:

“ARRL Field Day is the single most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada. On the fourth weekend of June of each year, more than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to operate from remote locations.

Field Day is a picnic, a camp out, practice for emergencies, an informal contest and, most of all, FUN!

It is a time where many aspects of Amateur Radio come together to highlight our many roles. While some will treat it as a contest, other groups use the opportunity to practice their emergency response capabilities. It is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Amateur Radio to the organizations that Amateur Radio might serve in an emergency, as well as the general public. For many clubs, ARRL Field Day is one of the highlights of their annual calendar.

The contest part is simply to contact as many other stations as possible and to learn to operate our radio gear in abnormal situations and less than optimal conditions.”

GOTAMany Field Day sites have a GOTA (Get On The Air) station where non-licensed individuals are welcome to play radio. It’s a fantastic way to try your hand at transmitting with a little guidance and encouragement from the more experienced. Indeed, even if there is no GOTA station, you will often be invited to try out the mic.

You’ll find that ham radio operators are very welcoming on Field Day–after all, spreading the word about the fun of amateur radio is what it’s all about. Indeed, I’ve shown up unannounced to a number of Field Days over the years; once I even got some serious radio time with the Charlotteville Amateur Radio Club while on vacation in Prince Edward Island, Canada.

This year, I’m joining the Québec Amateur Radio Club (Club Radio Amateur de Québec) and I’m looking forward to it very much!

Keep in mind that there are many shortwave listeners among the amateur radio community; indeed, many hams became interested in the hobby through SWLing.

The ARRL has made it quite easy to find registered Field Day locations in your region. Click here to find a local Field Day event near you–and have a great Field Day!

Alex’s BBC World Service frequency chart

BBC-WorldService-Frequencies

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Alex, who has just informed me that he’s created a printer-friendly A4 sheet guide to BBC World Service frequencies for the 2016 summer season.

You can download his BBC World Service chart by clicking here (PDF) or by visiting his website Shortwavetimes.com where he has a number of charts.

Many thanks, Alex!