Tag Archives: Shortwave Radio

Guest Post: Troy takes us on a tour of his listening post

DoxyTronics 8020CA Antenna

DoxyTronics 8020CA Antenna

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Troy Riedel, who writes:

I don’t have a “shack”, but I wanted to take the time to share with you my “listening post”. But first, let me start from the beginning.  

I’d call myself an amateur astronomer first – and a Shortwave Listener (SWL’er) second (I have never been a Ham Operator).  

I started my astronomy hobby as a young kid who was enthralled by the Apollo Missions.  I was also fascinated by weather & I learned how to make short-term 12-36 hour forecasts by making cloud observations, following the barometric pressure trend & noting changes in wind direction.  I am still an amateur astronomer (a very expensive endeavor).  I was able to pursue my childhood interest in weather and I became an Aviation Weather Forecaster in the military (I also instructed synoptic meteorology in the military at the schoolhouse).  I promoted myself out of meteorological jobs in my Service but I was able to transition to a deployable job that allowed me to visit 50 countries.  I retired with slightly over 30-years served.

When I was a kid, a buddy had a shortwave radio but we could never hear anything (we had no clue).  I had an Electro-Brand EB2100 5-band radio that had AM/FM, Police, Fire, Aviation & NOAA (if I recall).  We heard transmissions on that EB2100!  I didn’t truly discover shortwave until the early 1990s.  My first shortwave radio was a Panda 2006 (I challenge readers to look-up that model in the 1994 Passport to World Band Radio).  I liked shortwave so much, I sold the Panda to help finance my next radio.  I pre-ordered & subsequently received one of the first Gru?ndig Yacht Boy 400s released in the U.S. (I still have the radio & the receipt).

I think, for a SWL’er, I have a decent collection of shortwave radios & antennae:

  • Grundig Yacht Boy 400
  • Grundig  G6 Aviator Buzz Aldrin Ed.
  • Grundig G3 Globe Traveler
  • Tecsun PL-390
  • Sony ICF-7600GR
  • Tecsun PL-365
  • Grundig Satellit 750
  • Grundig G2000A Porsche
  • RadioShack 140-214 Digital Recorder
  • AMECO TPA Active Antenna
  • Crane Twin-Coil Ferrite Antenna
  • DoxyTronics 8020A Passive Antenna
  • Kaito KA35 Active Loop Proximate Antenna
  • NASA PA30 Wideband Passive Antenna
  • A Helical/Slinky Antenna
  • RadioShack 20-280 Active Antenna
  • Sony AN-LP1 Active Magnetic Loop Antenna
  • Tecsun AN-200 AM Passive Antenna
  • Terk Advantage AM-1000 Passive Antenna
  • TG34 Active Magnetic LoopAntenna
  • Yo-Yo Antennas & various Longwires
  • Extended AM Ferrite Rod for PL-365/360
Slinky, ST3 Scanner Antenna (EB2100 on top of the wall unit library)

Slinky, ST3 Scanner Antenna (EB2100 on top of the wall unit library)

Okay, so what is my “listening post”?  It’s a sitting room attached to my master bedroom.  I have a roll-top desk.  A slinky antenna stretched across one side of the room above the window.  And an ST3 “Sputnik” Scanner Antenna hung in front of the window (for my RadioShack Pro-651).  I use an old-school iPad 1st Gen next to my radios because I found that it emits virtually no RF compared to my iMac, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pros.  Besides using the iPad Gen 1 as an Internet reference, it’s also loaded with every one of my radio & antennae manuals, nearly every copy of Passport to World Band Radio, and many Spectrum Monitor issues.  If I cannot find a pdf version of a manual, I use my document scanner to create my own pdf’s.

Typical set-up (the metal basket bin is completely filled with radios, antennae, adapters, etc., all in their own cases)

Typical set-up (the metal basket bin is completely filled with radios, antennae, adapters, etc., all in their own cases)

Having my listening post essentially in the master bedroom causes conflict because my wife must get up early & drive 60-miles to work thus I am kicked-out and banished downstairs fairly early each night … while carrying a radio or two with me if I wish to continue listening.  Nearly all of my shortwave listening occurs before 8:30 P.M.


I have all of my radios and antennae neatly organized in padded bags & cases within an arms reach of my roll-top.  Since everything is organized in its own case, I can easily grab whatever combination I want if I were to travel (or go outside, or go downstairs when my wife kicks-me-out of my listening post).

My radios in their padded cases (remember my GPS & Tablet case recommendations many months ago?)

My radios in their padded cases (remember my GPS & Tablet case recommendations many months ago?)

What are my favorites?  I typically use the Grundig Satellit 750 the most – mainly because of its size & large intuitive buttons.  The direct BNC connections make it quick & easy to transition from one antenna to another.  My favorite SW radio feature is Tecsun’s ETM (I wish every radio had it) thus I find myself using the PL-390 & PL-365 especially when out of my listening post.  My favorite antenna is the TG34.  I find that it greatly enhances the signal with a minimal increase in noise.  The Slinky is great in that I can add it to another antenna that I’m using to make a more effective combination (e.g., AMECO TPA with the Slinky & the NASA PA30 with the Slinky on the radio whip work well for me).

The bins and black cases with my gear (those are two Plano Gun Cases … a 2-gun case and a 4-gun case; I have 8 more filled with my astronomy gear but that’s another story).

The bins and black cases with my gear (those are two Plano Gun Cases … a 2-gun case and a 4-gun case; I have 8 more filled with my astronomy gear but that’s another story).

I think shortwave listening is a great hobby that compliments my amateur astronomy.  Why?  No matter the clouds, extreme temperatures, etc., I always have something interesting to do.  But I do miss the days when the wave bands were crowded with international broadcasters.  At least I know that Jupiter, Saturn & the thousands of deep sky objects within grasp of my many telescopes & binoculars will NOT be leaving the sky until long after I leave this planet!

You’ve set up an excellent listening post, Troy! As you well know, I’m a bit of a pack junkie, so I love the fact you have so many padded cases and protective gear for your equipment–no doubt, this is championed by your amateur astronomer half!

SWLing Post readers might recall that, last year, Troy actually put together a shortwave broadcast dedicated to amateur astronomy. We published a full recording of the show on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive.

Thanks, again, for sharing a tour of your listening post, Troy!

Oxford Shortwave Log: 200 metre Beverage antenna – initial reception tests


Hi there, I have finally deployed the Medium Wave Circle-design 200 metre Beverage antenna (schematic diagram above) at the woods I use in Oxford, UK. It was terminated at the ‘front end’ with a 650 Ohm resistor into a 1 metre-long, permanent copper earthing rod that I had previously driven into the ground, away from the route taken by the general public. The actual wire was orientated in a generally westerly direction, and thus nulling signals propagating from the east. At the receiver end, I utillised my self-built transformer, wound for a 50 Ohm input impedance (14 turns on the primary), thus making the entire set-up suitable for the Elad FDM DUO. It was quite a pain to set up, taking over an hour to deploy the wire and connect both earthing rods and the transformer! However, intial results are very promising and here I am very pleased to share 3 reception videos with you:

The reception from Colombia and Ecuador was unprecidented and both of these tropical stations sound like local AM signals, aided of course by the Bose SoundLink Mini 2 (the Elad’s stand-alone audio is puny to say the least). The signal from Peru is weak, as would be expected, however, the low-gain/ high SNR performance of this antenna results in audio clarity that is better than I have ever heard previously from this rather exotic station. Further to these recordings, I managed to make two recordings of the entire MW band using the FDM DUO via the FDM-SW2 software and I’m hoping an analysis of the data will uncover some nice MW DX. Thus, all-in-all, a very good result with the 200 metre Beverage – more reception videos using this antenna to follow soon on my youtube channel Oxford Shortwave Log. Thanks for watching/ listening and I wish you all good DX.

Embedded reception videos with text links follow below:




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.

Datawake: Steven’s new “floating lab”


Photo: Steven K. Roberts

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Steven Roberts, who shares the following update:

Hi, Thomas!! Thought I’d send an update… I did in fact find a buyer for Nomadness, and have since gone to the Dark Side… for 8 months, I have been living aboard my Delta 50 named Datawake. The sale of Nomadness was via the geek grapevine… last Spring I built a power cart named Shacktopus, and West Mountain Radio used my story about it as their quarterly newsletter. A fellow on the East Coast read that, followed the links, recognized my bike, saw the Amazon 44, and bought it… and he is now preparing to head down the Pacific Coast.

Photo: Steven K. Roberts

Photo: Steven K. Roberts

Here’s the new ship, and the console now includes four HF rigs, D-Star, a few SDR devices, crosspoint audio routing with web interface, electronics lab, and networking goodies. Nice to be back on the air after a year without a proper skyhook!


Amazing, Steven! You have a super power in your ability to turn boats, bikes and pretty much anything into mobile techno-wonders! What craftsmanship!

I love Datawake and appreciate the tour with photos and details you’ve posted. I noticed the Icom IC-7300–perhaps we can have a QSO someday on the air? I’ll look forward to any report you may have about the IC-7300 as a maritime mobile station.

We look forward to future updates!

Recent Shortwave Logs From Alaska


It’s been quite a while since I posted any logs. I picked out my best ones from the last 2 months.

Equipment: Tecsun PL-880, 225 foot long wires oriented for different directions, EmTech ZM2 Antenna tuner, DX Engineering RPA-1PLUS HF PreAmp and EmTech ZM2 antenna tuner.

5040 kHz, All India Radio Jaypore from 1641UTC to 1645UTC on September 22nd in the Oriya language with some singing and/or chanting. I would give this broadcast a SINPO Rating of 33343. The signal was overall on the higher side of fair but there ewas some static and noise with a light to moderate amount of fading and some digital data/pulsing kind of noise. Audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvtOZFbYMxo (Walker-AK)

7295 kHz & 7345 kHz, Radio Sahka via Yauktsk 1020UTC to 1030UTC on September 11 in Russian. What sounds like contemporary russian music is being played. 7295 is a bit louder and stronger for me, sometimes by a fairly noticeable margin most days but this time, the difference is hugely noticeable between the two signals. I would give these broadcasts a SINPO rating of 45455 I am rating this good as there was almost no atmospheric noise and very little fading! 7295 kHz audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g24DkJgv0qc 7345 kHz audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ia4N62KB2gM (Walker-AK

7315 kHz, The Voice of Vietnam via Cypress Creek, South Carolina from 0100 to 0115UTC on September 22. The program begins with the incredibly recognizable and lovely VOV interval tune/intro signal. A female announcer gives a quick preview of the show and headlines then a news report begins.with a male. I would give this broadcast a SINPO of 34233. The signal was pretty fair, listenable but with lots of atmospheric noise/fading/static, but thankfully no interference. Audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_PH8MraW7A.

VOV also heard at 1624UTC on 7220 kHz via Hanoi with a traditional Vietnamese song and a SINPO rating of 33232. The signal itself was ok but there was a lot of noise, fading and at times, interference which resulted in my overall poor rating.  The signal itself was ok but there was alot of noise, fading and at times, interference which resulted in my overall poor rating. Audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9Kf2AYVeDA .

1209 kHz via Hanoi at 1130UTC is heard at fair to good levels from with a little fading and noise but not bad overall. Audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIFVztEl1yM .

12005 kHz VOV heard via Woofferton on August 29 at 0230UTC with good signal. Audio here of 15520 kHz: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6F0ktPTDuc

I have not heard the claimed VOV broadcasts in English on 5955 via Moosbrun or the 9550 broadcasts, wherever that comes from! (Walker-AK)

9445 kHz, All India Radio General Overseas Service from 1826 to 1830UTC on August 27th in English. Indian music followed by a sports program, co produced by AIR, BBC and Radio Australia.I would give this broadcast a SINPO rating of 45454. THe signal was pretty darn good and audio was good too. Only a slight bit of fading and ever so slight noise. Audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ka9mc7c_F8 (Walker-AK)

9650 kHz, Radio Guinea via Conarky from 2357UTC to 0035UTC in French. Lively Afro-pop type music and announcers talking in french. I would give this a SINPO Rating of 35333. The broadcast was moderately fair, the unique music made this broadcast a bit easier to pick out of the noise but it was moderately listenable. Audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lmG9ms3ucU (Walker-AK)

9870 kHz, All India Radio Vividh Bharati Service from 1728UTC to 1741UTC on August 27th. Stellarly awesome signal with some lovely indian music and female announcer. I would give this a SINPO Rating of 5555! Audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyJAJmwoE8I (Walker-AK)

9895 kHz, Radio Rossi via (???) from 0951UTC to 1002UTC on September 11. Enjoying some Russian music on Shortwave!  I would give this a SINPO rating of 44344. I rate this overall as good because of the strong signal and overall high listenability signal/audio quality wise. If it weren’t for the slight fading and noise, this would be nearly a 55555. Audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XcsJEAgDuc

5900 kHz heard a day earlier with what sounds like a news or feature interview segment with more then one man talking in Russian at 1000UTC. Audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWEgjpT1vwU (Walker-AK)

I would give this a SINPO rating of 44343. This signal was on the lower side of good but the overall quality was the higher side of fair due to the fading, noise and slightly low modulation.

11735 kHz, Zanzibar Broadcasting Corporation via Dole, Zanzibar from 2049UTC to 2059UTC on September 5th. Some music playing, maybe middle eastern-like? somewhat lively tunes. A male announcer speaking, possibly in Swahili This is far from the best I log ZBC with, but also far from the worst I give this broadcast a SINPO rating of 44434. It was a fair to good signal with a bit of fading and choppy propagation but not bad. Audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn7o4G2iHSU (Walker-AK)

11750 kHz, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation via Trincomalee, Sri Lanka from 1721UTC to 1725UTC on September 24th in the Sinhalese language. Unfortunately, I do understand what is being said other then it appears this is an interview or discussion program hosted by a woman with a male guest on the phone.. A friend who listened to the recording says she gives a station ID at some point. I would give this broadcast a SINPO rating of 34444. The signal was fair and there was no interference but fading was moderate and propagation was somewhat choppy. If the signal had been a bit stronger with a little less fading and better propagation, this would’ve been a very enjoyable signal to listen to. Audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfqEK4caKKo (Walker-AK)

12035 kHz, Voice of Mongolia via Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia from 0859 to 0908UTC on September 25 in English. My recording starts out with the carrier but no program audio yet. The interval tune begins, a male announces the name of the radio station. A female announcer comes on, welcoming people to the radio station. Frequency and broadcast schedule information is given out along with your website information. Another female announcer comes on and welcomes people to a New Edition of The Sunday Music Program. That female announcer reads a few news stories before a Mongolian song plays. I would give this broadcast a SINPO rating of 44344. Overall this broadcast was good because the signal was strong and with no noise or interference, just moderate fading and slightly choppy propagation. Audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpfoLtxkr70 (Walker-AK)

15275 kHz, Deutsche Welle via Issoudun from 1835 to 1838UTC on September 24 in French. It sounds like a news discussion/interview program with one man doing the large part of the talking. I would give this broadcast a SINPO rating of 45444. It was a pretty good signal with no noise or interference and only a slight bit more fading then my 1530 kHz reception of RFI on the same date and nearly same time from the same site with nearly the same target area. Audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTUzBk3FjeY (Walker-AK)

15300 kHz, Radio France International via Issoudun  from 1837UTC to 1841UTC on September 24 in French. What sounds like a woman possibly interviewing a man. I would give this broadsast a SINPO Rating of 45444. The signal was very good, there was no interference and very little noise. Just a bit of fading and ever so slightly choppy propagation. Audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1sJs9P0Qrw (Walker-AK)

15320 kHz, Radio Taiwan International via Paochung, Taiwan from 0356UTC to 0359TC on September 8th. There is ALOT of static/atmospheric noise on the channel and the signal is very weak. I recorded 5 minutes worth and took the 3 best segments of the reception and put them together. If I didn’t know what to look for, this would be impossible to have nailed down In the first part of this one clip which is 11 seconds, a male gives out a frequency and time schedule. In the second part of this clip which is 9 seconds, the same man gives out what I assume is the PO Box mailing address for RTI. In the 3rd and final part of this clip, that same man says simply “Radio Taiwan International” I would give it a SINPO rating of 12112. Audio here: https://app.box.com/s/kkcoe959r5iphbjvvnjoz2n0qxslhevz. I have also heard RTI’s 9465 kHz and  11685 kHz english broadcasts in the 1500 to 1600UTC time frame usually at barely fair levels, but occasionally at fair to good levels. (Walker-AK)

15520 kHz, Voice Of Turkey via Emirler, Turkey from 1628UTC to 1650UTC on September 24th in English. The lovely Voice of Turkey interval tune played for about 2 minutes before time pips played followed by a male announcing the start of the english service and the frequencies and times to listen. A Female announcer then came on and read news stories for about 10 minutes before the letter box program came on with a male announcer reading listener letters and reception report. I give this broadcast SINPO rating of 44333. This broadcast was teetering between fair and good. If it wasn’t for the choppy propagation, this signal would’ve been alot more listenable. Audio here of 15520 kHz: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6F0ktPTDuc   I caught 9830 the next day and they played their interval tune for about 9 minutes before signing off about 10 minutes early!! 9830 kHz audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3o7_LINGYMA .  I’ve heard the 9515 kHz Turkey broadcast in English in early September as well at fair signal levels with somewhat choppy propagation. Audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anc_8jznz_k  (Walker-AK)

15590 kHz, Radio Thailand via Udon Thani from 02359 to 0015UTC on August 19. Superb signal with interval tune, station introduction and a news segment of national headlines.An ad or two was heard for local/regional businesses along with promotional announcement inviting advertising inquires and giving an email address. I would give this a SINPO rating of 55455. This broadcast is near perfect! Audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPQaA_RM74I. 9390 kHz heard in English on September 24th at 1937UTC with business and financial report information in english. SINPO of 54444 Almost as good as 15590 kHz and it should be noted that 9390 isn’t usually this good. Audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQnEexGUBoE (Walker-AK)

Paul Walker is the Program Director at Community Radio For Alaska: KIYU 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.

The Sony ICF-SW100: a miniture DX marvel, never likely to be repeated


Hi there, I’ve owned my Sony ICF-SW100S for about a year now and in that time it has demonstrated a level of performance way beyond my expectations. Notwithstanding it’s incredibly small size (about the same as a packet of cigarettes, give-or-take), the DX results I have obtained with it are simply incredible. A fully featured ultra-portable receiver, complete with synchronous detection, selectable side bands, SSB, CW and coupled with sensitivity that has my (wonderful) Sony ICF-SW55 beat – and knocks on the door of the legendary ICF2001D. I simply can’t recommend it highly enough. Plug in some headphones or connect an external speaker such as the Bose SoundLink Mini 2 and you effectively have table-top receiver performance and audio in a very compact package.

Originally introduced into the market in 1993 and discontinued in 2005, this little radio covers the broadcast FM band from 76 to 108 MHz and AM from 150 to 29999 kHz, continuously. There are numerous other features that I won’t list here as they’re available on the web, but suffice to say, this (now vintage) ultra-portable DXer’s box of tricks is likely never to be repeated. They are available on eBay and prices remain robust for a radio that will be one to two decades old. Of course there’s also the issue on the first generation models with the ribbon cable connecting the lid of the set with the LCD display etc. to the base, which would fracture after some time, but this was rectified in later models with a notch cut out of the hinge to reduce the stress on the cable – see photo. They are also repairable and in fact I believe Thomas has a posting on here detailing how the ribbon cable on his example was replaced. In my opinion, it’s worth this receiver is worth the hassle of a repair, because it’s quite simply unique.

Below are selected reception videos from my youtube channel Oxford Shortwave Log using the Sony ICF-SW100, which I believe epitomise the performance of this great little portable. Thanks for watching/ listening.

Direct link to reception video on Oxford Shortwave Log YouTube channel

Direct link to reception video on Oxford Shortwave Log youTube channel

Direct link to reception video on Oxford Shortwave Log Youtube channel

Direct link to reception video on Oxford Shortwave Log YouTube channel

Direct link to reception video on Oxford Shortwave Log YouTube channel

Direct Link to reception video on Oxford Shortwave Log reception video

Direct link to reception video on Oxford Shortwave Log YouTube channel

Direct link to reception video on Oxford Shortwave Log YouTube channel

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.