Tag Archives: SWLing

The Bonito Boni Whip goes from strength-to-strength: hardcore DXing in compact package

Hi there, subscribers to the Oxford Shortwave Log YouTube channel and regular readers of this excellent website will be aware that I have been using a Bonito Boni whip E-field wideband antenna for a couple of months now. You may have seen my previous post here, detailing some excellent initial DX results achieved with the Boni Whip. What makes this antenna so compelling for a DXer such as myself is simply that it’s so light and compact; I can literally take it anywhere. Currently it lives in a small flight case (see above & below) on the back seat of my car, with either my Sony ICF-SW55 or Eton Satellit, a home-brew battery pack (that literally cost pence) and some peripheral bits and pieces; spare batteries, cables etc. I think it’s probably already clear that if you consider the Boni Whip’s performance as a function of portability and price, it’s out there on its own – I’m not aware of another antenna that can match it. Of course, there are H-field antennas, such as the excellent Wellbrook active loops that will effectively reject QRM, if that’s an issue for the user, but at a significant cost delta.

 

Since my last posting, I have continued to use the Boni Whip regularly on my DXpeditions and upload the reception videos to my YouTube channel. I have been nothing but totally impressed with this antenna, to the point that I’ve actually been surprised by the signals I’ve caught and recorded with it. Recent catches include a number of low-power stations from Brazil, including Radio Bandeirantes – Sao Paolo, Radio Voz Missionaria – Camboriu (on the 49 and 31 metre broadcast bands) and Radio Aparecida. Some of these signals are incredibly difficult to hear in Europe at all, let alone well and yet the ultra-compact Boni-Whip running off AA batteries, coupled to the (equally brilliant) Eton Satellit managed it with aplomb. Other catches include Zambia NBC Radio 1 – Lusaka and a signal from Bangladesh Betar that sounded as if the transmitter was 5 miles down the road!

All-in-all, I’m extremely satisfied with the performance of the Bonito Boni Whip and highly recommend it to those DXers requiring a high-performance, compact antenna, for use at home in electrically quiet environments or on any DXpedition. You certainly won’t be disappointed.

Please find embedded reception videos below and text links that will take you to the Oxford Shortwave Log YouTube channel. Thanks for reading/watching/listening and I wish you all great DX.


Click here to watch on YouTube

Click here to watch on YouTube

Click here to watch on YouTube

Click here to watch on YouTube

Click here to watch on YouTube

Click here to watch on YouTube

 

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.

Paul’s SWLing videos

Digital-Frequency-Dial

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Paul Walker, who writes:

I think you and your readers might enjoy these videos.

I’ve upgraded from a Tecsun PL880 and Sangean ATS909X to a JRC NRD535D. I live in Camden, Arkansas which is in southern Arkansas, 75 minutes east of Texas and 75 minutes north of Shreveport, Louisiana

When DX’ing on shortwave, I often record a short video with my iPhone 6plus held up close to the radio so you can see the frequency and signal level meter.

I record videos anywhere between 20 seconds and 5 minutes depending on what I feel like at he moment and what I will be using the video for. Sometimes I record a shorter video to post on Facebook then record longer audio via an MP3 recorder in my phone to use in a reception report.

Sometimes I record long 3-5 minute videos and send those to the station instead.

I don’t record everything I hear but what I feel is a worthwhile catch or is interesting. My videos can be seen here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/OnAirDJPaulWalker

Thanks for sharing a link to your videos, Paul! You’ve got some good catches in your library. That JRC NRD535D is a great receiver, too–noise floor seems quite low!

The bands are open! Make time to listen.

Sony-ICF-SW100-Outside-Fall

Though I’ve spent the entire day sawing and splitting firewood, I’ve been actively recording spectrum on the 31, 25, 19 and 16 meter bands with the WinRadio Excalibur, Elad FDM-S2 and the SDRplay RSP. Why? Propagation–especially on the higher bands–has been the best it’s been in several weeks.

As I discovered at the recent SWLing Post DXpedition, my shack PC can handle making multiple spectrum recordings simultaneously as long as I limit each recording to the width of a broadcast band. (I’ve never tried pushing the limit very hard.) Someday in the future–perhaps when we’re having terrible propagation–I’ll play those spectrum recordings back and tune through them as if they were live.

Radio time travel at its best.

Sony-ICF-SW100-Outside-2

When I decided to throw in the towel with all of the firewood processing, I fired up the Sony ICF-SW100 (above) and tuned in a game on 17,855 kHz: Radio Exterior de España.

The REE signal was simply booming into eastern North America!

Hard to break away from the radio on days like this.

My advice? Take advantage of these conditions and make time to listen!

For me, SWLing a great excuse to relax and let me back heal after a long day of splitting wood. For some, perhaps it’s a good excuse to take the radio outdoors and away from urban interference. Whatever the excuse, don’t hesitate to fire up your radio!

There are some interesting stations on the bands this evening. Feel free to comment with some you’ve logged.

Alan logs shortwave stations while camping

ka1103_at_night

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

I really appreciate your site. It has been my favorite since I got back into shortwave listening and DXing…great enough that I actually subscribe to posts via e-mail so I don’t miss anything.

In case you are interested, I did a post about what I was able to hear using my Kaito KA1103 and a Sangean antenna while camped in a tent in the back yard. Nothing amazing by many people’s standards…but I enjoyed it enough to stay up too late!

http://strasburg.rocks/2015/10/late-night-dxingswling/

Either way, thanks again for SWLing.com.

Alan, there are few pleasures in life better than SWLing while camping–even if it’s in your own back yard! Thanks for sharing your experience and thanks for the kind comments. This weekend I hope to log a few stations from my tent at the SWLing Post DXpedition.

Review of the 2012 Pirate Radio Annual

Pirate radio is perhaps one of the most dynamic aspects of the diverse landscape of SWLing. In direct contrast with major broadcasters, many of whom are now thinning out their offerings, pirate radio just seems to adapt and grow.

I started listening to shortwave pirates in earnest only a few years ago. I had listened to pirates in the past, but had never followed the pirate scene, nor understood how to reliably find pirates on the shortwave radio dial. I now know, by the number of emails I receive from SWLing Post readers, that there are many others who feel as I did then.

Pirate radio broadcasters do not follow a regular broadcasting schedule, often operate at very low power, and are not necessarily always on the same frequency or even mode.  It’s no wonder they’re hard to find.

I wish, in those early days of exploring the pirate bands, I had known about the Pirate Radio Annual, produced by pirate radio guru Andrew Yoder.

Not only is this book, which explores the pirate radio scene in North America, well written and insightful, it is chock-full of information. It’s a bit like the programming section of the former Passport to Worldband Radio, only focused on pirates. The book also comes with an accompanying audio CD.  Yoder, by the way, has been covering the pirate scene for decades; he’s also the former publisher of hobbyist magazine Hobby Broadcasting.

The 2012 Pirate Radio Annual is divided into several sections:

  • An intro to the guide which–among many other things–explains important terminology, such as the difference between a pirate and a jammer
  • How to QSL pirates
  • Pirate station classification
  • A feature article comparing three different AM shortwave pirate transmitters
  • Other articles with interviews and events/media that have had an impact on the pirate scene (including the controversial “Pirate War” of 2012)
  • Profiles of pirate radio stations heard in 2011, with an additional section on international pirates heard in North America
  • An index for the included audio CD

I especially like the extensive station profiles of pirates who were active in 2011. Not only can I get more info about the more elusive stations that don’t offer many clues to their raison d’etre–such as Radio Strange Outpost–but it also makes for a handy resource to glean QSL contact info. In fact, I learned a lot about the personalities, broadcast histories and habits of many pirates we’ve featured here (like Undercover Radio, Captain Morgan Shortwave, Wolverine Radio, and North Woods Radio, to name a few). Yoder is able to provide details about these station that your average listener just wouldn’t know, including the types of transmitters used, output power, and historical perspectives.

The accompanying audio CD features clips from 78 stations, and includes audio from the transmitter comparison in the book.

For about $20.00 US (with shipping), the 2012 Pirate Radio Annual is unquestionably a great buy for those interested in pirate radio.

You can purchase the 2012 Pirate Radio Annual from: