Tag Archives: shortwave

Urban DXing: testing the Bonito Boni whip against a 30 metre longwire & the Wellbrook ALA15030

Hi there, if like me, you live in an urban environment, chances are QRM is having a negative impact on the quality of the signals you’re receiving at home. The presence of electrical noise makes antenna choice very important, particuarly if you’re planning to spend more than a few £££s on something more sophisticated than a length of wire. Recently I was considering the the purchase of a second compact antenna, for use at home in my shack and out and about on DXpeditions. I already had the excellent Wellbrook ALA1530 H field antenna, but at more than £250, it’s very costly and thus it seemed rather extravagent to buy a second one, if I could find something with similar performance for less expense. Space is at a premium at home and of course I take much of my equipment out on DXpeditions, so the Bonito Boni whip active antenna appeared to be an ideal choice. A wideband active antenna (from 20 kHz to 300 MHz) operating from 12 to 15V DC, with a very compact form-factor definitely ticked all the boxes. Furthermore, with reasonable second and third order intercept points of +55 and +32.5 dBm respectively, the Boni whip, on paper at least, looked like a pretty good buy at around £100.

 

Now, clearly, an E field antenna such as the Boni whip is not going to match the SNR provided by the H field Wellbrook ALA1530 in a noisy, urban environment. I have uploaded a few reception videos to my YouTube channel to demonstrate this, making a direct comparison of the two. However, what about the performance of the whip versus a simple longwire in an urban environment? Is there a delta in performance? The value proposition of the whip is primarliy in it’s performance, coupled with portability I suppose, but that must be considered a secondary requirement. The whip might be 10 or 15 times more expensive than a reel of cheap equipment wire, but will the reception justify the cost delta?!

Text links follow directly below, with embedded videos thereafter; you will find 3 reception videos comparing the whip and a 30 metre longwire, on shortwave and one each for LW and MW. At the end of each video there’s a section with the Wellbrook loop, just to calibrate where the longwire and whip are in terms of a much more effective H field antenna. The result? Well, there’s not much to separate the longwire and Boni whip, except on LW, where the whip prevails. A friend told me recently, if reception is rubbish at home under a blanket of QRM, don’t blame the antenna, the noise is the real problem. He was right. So, the next tests are to be undertaken out in the field, where the whip has a real chance to shine. I’m rooting for it because to have an antenna that performs as well as, or close to my loop out in the woods, yet can be packed away into a small case would be brilliant. Thanks for reading/watching/listening.



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.

Shortwave Relays This Weekend

(Source: Tom Taylor)

Relays this Weekend

Hamurger Lokal Radio via Shortwave Station Göhren, Germany with 1KW to Western Europe:
6190 KHz Every Saturday 07.00 to 11.00 UTC
7265 KHz Every Saturday 11.00 to 16.00 UTC
9485 KHz Every Sunday 10.00 to 13.00 UTC
Contact email: redaktion@hamburger-lokalradio.de

NEXT WEEK Radio City via:
IRRS to Europe on 7290 KHz (every 3rd Friday) between 19.00 to 20.00 UTC
IRRS to Europe on 9510 KHz (every Saturday) between 09.00 to 10.00 UTC
Challenger Radio to Northern Italy on 1368 KHz every Saturdays from 20.00 UTC onwards
Radio Merkurs on 1485 KHz Every Saturday between 20.00 onwards
Contact email: citymorecars@yahoo.ca
A comment: IRRS has been noted on a Sunday on 9880 kHz instead of 9510 kHz, in order to avaoid co-channel
interference from a domestic Chinese station. This may perhaps also apply to Saturday transmissions.

European Music Radio Transmissions via;
WBCQ to Central & North America on 7490 KHz on 14th January between 22.00 to 23.00 UTC
KBC to Western Europe on 6045 KHz on 15th January between 09.00 to 10.00 UTC
Shortwave Station Göhren on 9485 KHz on 15th January between 09.00 to 10.00 UTC
Channel 292 on 6070 KHz on 15th January between 14.00 to 15.00 UTC
Contact email: emrshortwave@gmail.com

EMR Internet Repeats on 15th January 2017:
EMR will repeat this months Transmissions via two streams running at the following Times:16.00, 18.00, 20.00 UTC
http://nednl.net:8000/emr.m3u will be on 96 kbps /44 KHz stereo for normal listening
http://nednl.net:8000/emr24.m3u will be 24 kbps / 22 KHz mono will be especially for low bandwidth like mobile phones.
( at 17.00, 19.00 & 21.00 UTC are recordings from the 15th of January 1978 with AJ’s DX & Roger Tate’s mail box )

KBC via:
Media Broadcast to America on 6145 KHz Every Sunday between 00.00 to 01.00
Contact email: themightykbc@gmail.com

Hobart Radio via:
Channel 292 to Western Europe on 6070 KHz Sundays between 21.00 to 21.30 UTC
WRMI to Americas, Asia/Pacific on 9955 KHz Sunday between 03.30 to 04.00 UTC
WRMI to Americas, Asia/Pacific on 9955 KHz Tuesday between 22.30 to 23.00 UTC
WBCQ to North America on 5130 KHz Mondays 03.30 to 04.00 UTC
Contact email: hriradio@gmail.com


For outside the listening area please try the Twente/Netherlands Web RX at http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/

You can also hear many European free and alternative stations via the Internet at: http://laut.fm/jukebox

Radio Channel 292 Transmission schedules on 6070 KHz (on the air every day):
http://www.channel292.de/schedule-for-bookings/

Radio Mi Amigo Transmission schedules:
www.radiomiamigo.es/shortwave

Good Listening!
73s

The SWLing Post: 3,000 posts and counting!

SWLingPost-DXFiend-Vintage-FrontA couple of weeks ago, I noticed that we had crossed a small milestone here on the SWLing Post: as of this post, there are now 3,067 (!!!) published posts in our archives.

I simply can’t believe we’ve surpassed 3,000 posts–especially knowing we only passed 2,000 posts September of 2015.

People can say what they will about our shortwave hobby’s future, but I’m here to tell you that  interest in is far from dead. Indeed, it is dynamic, alive and well!

This morning, I took a look at our web statistics via Google Analytics for the month of December 2016 (not including today).

It’s hard for me to believe we’re averaging about 6,790 daily pageviews!

And the secret sauce in surpassing 3,000 posts and healthy numbers? Our amazing contributors!

Thank you so very much!

As I’ve mentioned before, I had no aspirations for the SWLing Post to become a popular destination for shortwave and amateur radio enthusiasts; it was mainly a site where I could jot down things I found of interest to me and keep tabs on the radio and international broadcasting industry. I was simply making my bookmarks and thoughts public, perhaps a little in advance of the social media outlets that now exist for shortwave radio and related topics.

As we move into 2017, I’d like to thank you all for reading and contributing to the SWLing Post community!

Happy New Year, radio friends!

Radio Free Europe and Christmas

1951 RFE Christmas card

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Cummings, who shares the 1951 Radio Free Europe Christmas card above.

Richard also notes that he recently published a two-part series on RFE and Christmas on his blog, Cold War Radio Vignettes.

Both excellent reads! Thanks, Richard!

Reviews of the Elpa ER-C57WR shortwave portable?

I recently received an email from SWLing Post reader, Ibrahima Ditinn Diallo, regarding a receiver I had never heard of–the Elpa ER-C57WR. Ibrahima has been searching for a new receiver and is considering the Elpa.

I did a quick search and discovered that the Elpa ER-C57WR is available from a number of sellers on eBay–as both new and used for around $63 US shipped from China.

The form factor is very similar to the C.Crane CC Skywave, but it apparently lacks some of the Skywave’s functionality like weather radio and (perhaps?) multiple AM bandwidths. Here’s the ER-C57WR spec sheet:

Remembering a post from a couple years ago, I quickly realized the ER-C57WR is almost an identical match to the DigiTech AR-1733 available via Jaycar in Australia.

If the ER-C57WR is simply the same receiver as the AR-1733, I would be hesitant to recommend it. Many AR-1733 owners complained of lousy AGC performance.

Of course, it’s been a couple of years since the introduction of the AR-1733–perhaps this Elpa-badged version has been updgraded?

I’m curious if any SWLing Post readers have purchased the Elpa ER-C57WR and could comment about the receiver’s performance.

Click here to search eBay for the Elpa ER-C57WR.