Useful Services for Shortwave DX’ers

I’m always tinkering, experimenting…trying different antennas and set ups and what not. But, the downside is, I don’t have the patience or a lot of technical skills to hand build stuff, so I have to buy it pre-made.

Like most, I don’t like throwing my money at a crap product. I have found two different folks who make some quality stuff that I wanted to share with the rest of you. I make ABSOLUTELY ZERO $$ from referring anyone to these two folks, but since quality products, good customer service and sometimes, customization are hard to come by, I wanted to share these.

lowbander-antenna

User “lowbander” on eBay makes longwires and dipoles. They come in stock 80 feet lengths with a 9:1 balun and a way to shunt common mode noise to ground. And unlike many longwires/dipoles, lowbanders products come with quality belden coax as well. So you order from him. you’re all set to plug and play

His dipoles and longwires range from $49 to $59, I do believe. Do you need a custom length? Want something shorter or longer then 80 feet? Send him an Ebay message and he’ll take care of you.

Do you need something other then the stock PL259 connector on your cable HE an likely help with that, let him know!

http://ebay.to/28KVp1g

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My next find is Craig at K1CRA.COM. It’s mainly a store geared towards ham operators, but he also has a service useful to DX’ers.

He sells RG58 cable for 25 cents a foot, that’s right. 25 cents a foot. It’s the cheapest I’ve found anywhere. For those of us needing cable for our antennas going to our radios, this is a good option. For $8, he can put pl259 connectors on each end. Need something other then PL259’s? Put an order through and add comments on what connections you need and he can do that…I’ve had him do PL259s, 1/8th” (3.5mm) headphone jack types and BNC male connectors on cable for me

https://www.k1cra.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=DAVISRG58C-U

Select how many feet you want by changing the quantity.. say you want 25 feet? Make the quantity 25. The option to add the connectors is a bit down the page, with a checkbox.

Both lowbander on eBay and Craig at K1CRA ship via USPS priority mail. I had lowbander send me a package from Kansas City on a Friday and I had it here in Alaska on a Tuesday!

I have probably close to $500 worth of Lowbanders antennas and Around $150 worth of product from K1CRA.com stuff

I live in an area far from most of anything now, so finding good quality products at an affordable price from people you can trust is hard, and I just wanted to share these two.

Paul Walker is located in Galena, Alaska and is a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Be sure to check out Paul’s YouTube channel and SoundCloud channel where everything he logs is recorded and posted. Click here to read his other contributions on the SWLing Post.

VORW Radio International broadcast this week

SX-99-Dial

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, John, who hosts TheReportOfTheWeek channel on YouTube and writes:

Hello Thomas,

This is John from VORW Radio International and I wanted to let you know that I will be having a special shortwave broadcast on June 21st and 22nd. The broadcast will consist of talk and music and I hope to provide listeners in Europe, Asia and North America with a good time over the airwaves, with some good music!

The schedule for the transmission is as follows:

Tuesday June 21st

WBCQ – 7490 kHz – 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM Eastern 0000 – 0100 UTC – North America

Wednesday June 22nd

Shortwave Service (Via Armenia 100 kW) — 15780 kHz — 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM Eastern 1100 – 1200 UTC – Asia

Channel 292– 6070 kHz – 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Eastern 1500 – 1600 UTC – Western, Central and Southern Europe.

Shortwave Service — 6005 kHz — 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Eastern 1800 – 1900 UTC – Central Europe

Any reception reports will be met with an E-QSL card and can be sent to vorwinfo@gmail.com

Thanks for letting us know about your broadcasts, John!

Video: Yaesu FT-1000MP Repair

Yesu-FT1000MP-Reapir

Remember Mr. Carlson’s excellent video of the Sony CRF-320 restoration? Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ken McKenzie, who shares a link to the latest Mr. Carlson video–a Yaesu FT-1000MP repair:

Antenna advice needed for field station

Paul Walker's listening post in Galena, Alaska.

Paul Walker’s listening post in Galena, Alaska.

I know you can’t cheat physics or RF and that magic pixie dust won’t work, but I’m hoping those with a little more technical expertise can help me solve an antenna dilemma.

I’m in the central interior region of Alaska and want to pick up Radio Vanuatu 7260 kHz a bit better. I also get a somewhat poor signal from them (they may not be running the full 10,000 watts) and I just want something a little better. My problem is that my set up can’t be permanent as I don’t technically have rights to the land I’m on; it’s somewhat public.

Paul-Wlaker-Listening-Post-2

I’ve looked at HF beam antennas and some of them can be huge, so that’s likely out of the question. I don’t think a 1/4 wave or 1/2 wave wire dipole would provide drastically better results then a longwire with a tuner, so I don’t want to waste the time and the effort.

Wellbrook-Paul-Walker-Galena-AK

I do have a Wellbrook ALA1530LNP and that’s somewhat directional. I also have a 225 foot long wire with an Emtech ZM2 tuner. The Wellbrook and ZM2 do OK.

I do have a Tripod and telescoping mast, so I can handle a beam antenna, it just cant be 30-40 feet! I have no problem carrying a beam antenna and tripod back across the street to my house at the end of a DX session.

Something directional would probably be what’s on order to make this work.  I am not going to cheap out on this, but I am certainly not spending $1000 on an antenna….. something in the $200 to $400 range would be fantastic. Returning stuff would be a hassle for me, so I can’t do that.. so I need to buy something that stands a good chance of working.

Am I stuck with my current set up and have no real better options based upon my limitations, is there someway I can make my set up better or is there some kind of antenna that’s directional which I can point right towards Vanuatu which will work that isn’t as big as a house and that doesn’t cost an arm, leg, kidney and foot?

Paul Walker is located in Galena, Alaska and is a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Be sure to check out Paul’s YouTube channel and SoundCloud channel where everything he logs is recorded and posted. Click here to read his other contributions on the SWLing Post.

Ivan notes a used JRC NRD-525

The Japan Radio Company NRD 525 receiver. Photo: Universal Radio

The Japan Radio Company NRD 525 receiver. Photo: Universal Radio

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Ivan, who writes:

[U]niversal radio has a used NRD 525 for $699.

If I had the time to use it I would have picked it up already. These are so hard to come by and represent the best of the shortwave listening era.

I’ve never owned a JRC NRD-525, but I’ve heard good comments about the radio and its performance. The NRD-525 can be found in Universal Radio’s Used Radio List. No photo of the actual unit has been provided, but the condition is listed as “good.” Universal Radio is a trustworthy retailer, so used equipment can be purchase with confidence. Indeed, all of their used equipment (save items marked “as-is”) come with a 60 day limited warranty.