Tag Archives: Sony

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

sw100s

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.

Finding a Sony ICF-SW7600GR online

Sony-ICF-SW7600GR

Though I have a lot of shortwave portables, the Sony ICF-SW7600GR is still one of my favorites. Why? Despite its ergonomic shortcomings, it’s a solid performer with a robust sync detector and stable AGC. Check out how it compared with other benchmark portables in our Mega Review.

I understand that Sony no longer manufactures the ‘7600GR–perhaps this is why the price of new units has increased in recent months. Still, I occasionally stumble upon reasonable deals online. Once new stock is depleted, though, I forecast prices will increase accordingly.

Here’s where I’ve found reasonable deals on new units:

eBay

sony-icf-sw7600gr-on-ebay

Though eBay claims the trending price is close to $180, there are a few sellers who have new units with a BuyItNow price of $140-145, shipping included.

Click here to search eBay.

I would even feel pretty confident purchasing a used ‘7600GR from an eBay seller with good ratings. Be careful, though: some used units might have problems with the telescopic whip antenna or corrosion in the battery compartment (for example). Make sure you read the item description carefully prior to bidding/purchasing.

Blinq.com

sony-icf-sw7600gr-on-blinq

Though less frequently than in the past, Bling.com occasionally acquires new, used and open box ‘7600GRs.

Indeed, at time of posting, they actually have one in stock (!!!)--the first I’ve seen in a few months.

I buy from Blinq with confidence because their return policy is so flexible. Blinq pays return shipping and takes the product back with no questions asked, should you find a problem or if it’s not as described.

Helpful hint: If you’ve never visited Blinq.com, or if you open their website in a private/incognito window, Blinq will typically pop up a window offering 10% off for new shoppers as long as you subscribe to their newsletter. You then receive a coupon code via email you can use with the first order.

Click here to search Blinq.com for the Sony ICF-SW7600GR.

Amazon.com

sony-icf-sw7600gr-on-amazon

At time of posting, Amazon does have a few sellers offering new and used ‘7600GRs.

Click here to search Amazon.

Keep in mind, though, that these are being sold by third parties, not directly by Amazon. Sometimes additional shipping charges apply and sometimes the return policy may not be as forgiving as Amazon’s own. Still: there are a number of new units available.

Universal Radio

universal-radio

While Universal Radio no longer stocks new Sony ICF-SW7600GRs, they do occasionally receive used ones on trade. This is how I purchased my ‘7600GR many years ago: from Universal’s used stock. You can buy from them with confidence because Universal even gives a warranty on most of their used items.

Click here to check Universal Radio’s used radio index.

Know of any other reliable online sources for the ICF-SW7600GR?  Please comment!

South American shortwave catches, rarely heard in Europe

RCRI

r9djHi there, I thought I would share some DX catches, all of which are rarely reported in Europe and yet I was fortunate enough to catch in Oxford UK, using a couple of different set-ups. The first is Radio Chaski Red Integridad from Urubamba Cusco, Peru, heard using an Elad FDM DUO and Wellbrook ALA1530 active loop antenna (indoors). The two subsequent receptions originate from Brazil; Radio 9 de Julho, Sao Paulo and Radio Transmundial,Santa-maria rtmCamobi, both of which were caught using the venerable Sony ICF-2001D portable receiver and my 200 metre longwire antenna. In all three cases, persistence was necessary whilst optimum conditions of propagation aligned with my listening schedule at home and my less frequent, but regular DX’peditions.

I am soon to deploy a 200 metre Beverage with adjustable termination resistance for nulling ‘rearward’ signals and matching transformers suitable for 75 and 50 Ohm receiver antenna inputs. I hope this will further improve my reception capability on both the MW and SW bands.  Another post specific to that project is in the pipeline, but in the meantime, thanks for reading/ watching and I wish you all very good DX.

 


 

Direct link to Oxford Shortwave Log for Radio Chaski Red Integridad reception video

 

Direct link to Oxford Shortwave Log for Radio 9 de Julho reception video

 

Direct link to Oxford Shortwave Log for Radio Transmundial reception video


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.

eBay find: a “LNIB” Sony ICF-6800W

sony_icf-6800w

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who points out this “Like New In Box” (LNIB) Sony ICF-6800W on eBay.

Even the box appears to be in good shape:

sony_icf-6800w-box

Dan has been watching this auction and forecasts that it’ll fetch a healthy sum in the end.  I’m pretty sure he’s correct.

Click here to view on eBay.

Dave repairs a Sony ICF-6500W

IMG_20160903_093608493

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Zantow, who noticed my comments about the Sony ICF-6500W in the Shelby Hamfest photos and replies:

Speaking of the Sony ICF-6500W, I just brought one back from the dead. Have a few comments I just added to the bottom of my Sony page.

http://webpages.charter.net/n9ewo2/sony.html

The good old long band selector switches were extremely dirty in my case (it has 2). Not sure if the 6500W has the nasty “well known” bug that plagues ALL similar designed Panasonic sets from that era (RF- 2600 / 2800 / 2900 / 4800 / 4900 etc..) , where those switches TOTALLY fail in time. In the case of this Sony it was just the extremely dirty switches (at least for now).

Very cool, Dave. Honestly, I don’t think I had ever seen the ICF-6500W in person until Saturday. The seller had noted that the pots were “scratchy.” I suspect it needed some healthy, strategic doses of DeOxit!

Thanks for sharing your experience!