Guest Post: Old Fashioned Band-Scan after the Solar Storms

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, TomL, who shares the following guest post:

Old Fashioned Band-Scan after the Solar Storms

by TomL

This is just an old fashioned band scan to randomly see what I could hear after last week’s solar perturbations when the Solar Flux Index went well over 200.  I considered what I could hear on the shortwave broadcast bands, even though the SFI had quieted down to around 135.  Would the ionosphere still be holding on to the charge built up during the solar storms?  The date and time was January 30, 2023 around 1400 through 1600 UTC.  By the way, as of today (February 2), the bands are dead and cannot hear any of these even though the Solar Flux is about the same!

I will not have time to describe my antenna setup now at my noisy Condominium in detail.  I have been experimenting with a DX Engineering NCC2 antenna phasing device for the past year with somewhat good results.  I had to place dedicated receive antennas in many different ways in order to find an arrangement that works in conjunction with the two Ham Radio antenna wires out on the porch.  Sometimes it helps by lowering the noise, sometimes the native antenna by itself, or peaking the signal,  has better reception even though it might be slightly more noisy.  By matching one of two receive-only antennas (the left Heathkit switch) with one of the Ham Radio antennas (the right Daiwa switch), I can usually eke out some extra decibels of signal-to-noise improvement. Continue reading

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Sony portable spotted in “The Gods Must Be Crazy”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ben-Zion, who writes:

I love your website and wanted to contribute a radio in cinema sighting from the 1980 South African film The Gods Must Be Crazy.

I look forward to your readers feedback regarding this SONY unit.

Kind Regards.


Thanks for the tip! Oh I do love that particular Sony model! Can anyone ID it? 

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Pavel’s Belka photos and poster

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Pavel, who shares the following message and images. Note that this message was originally sent to me prior to Christmas, but never arrived in my inbox. Thank you, Pavel, for the follow-up:

Hi Thomas,

First of all, I wish you and your entire family and all blog readers a wonderful rest of the Christmas holidays, all the best for the new year 2023, lots of health and well-being and many beautiful moments listening to the radio.

Some time ago I became the owner of the last type of Belky. I’m excited about her. So I immediately made an advertising poster with my wife and Belka :-).

I made a small docking station for the Belka – it has a built-in stereo amplifier, speakers and a battery with a charging circuit and a Dc-Dc converter for emergency charging of the Belka in the field. The status of the battery is indicated by LEDs. The Belka holder itself is made on a 3D printer.

Maybe it can serve as inspiration for blog readers.


Pavel Kraus

Thank you for sharing this, Pavel. We all love both your creativity not only in your photos, but the amazing radios you produce. We love how you use your wife as your model in your work!

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More adventures in the shortwave library

Fastradioburst23 here to let you know of the return of the Shortwave Music Library this Sunday 5th February 2023 via WRMI at 2300 hrs UTC on 9395 kHz. This week we delve into the library shelves for some pop music remixes and a few instrumental jazz pieces – perfect for a relaxed evening. Tune in!

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Radio Tamazul and Radio Dabanga broadcast coordination?

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jeff (KJ7LTU), who writes:


I was wondering if you, or your readers, know if Radio Tamazuj and Radio Dabanga are coordinating their broadcasting efforts? This last Sunday I picked up their transmission on 15550 kHz. Radio Tamazul signs off at 15:57 UTC and Radio Dabanga signs on at 15:59 UTC.

Some quick research indicates that this is the intended broadcast schedule. The times, and shared frequencies, seem to allude to a joint effort. Other than these are both Sudanese broadcasters, I can’t seem to find any additional evidence to support this. Wondering if you might be willing to put this out there to see if anyone has any information to satisfy my curiosity.

Here’s a link to the transmission for reference: Radio Tamazuj & Radio Dabanga

Again, appreciate your many contributions to our listening community!

Best Regards,

Jeff Cooper

Thank you, Jeff!

Readers: Please feel free to comment with any insight!

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Frans add a Decca manual antenna tuner to his urban listening post

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Frans Goddijn, who writes:

Hi Thomas:

I bought a vintage antenna tuner, one that does not need a power source, very basic just a box with some beautiful coils and nice big variable capacitors and it works for the big magnetic loop antenna here.

I have four GRAHN loop antennas which each have their box with dials to fine tune the signal but the big loop didn’t have that yet.

The tuner works well, filters out some noise but I must say the iCOM radio also managed to select good signal from the loop with its own tuner system and the DSP noise filter at the speaker end of the system further clears up the voice sounds.


Best regards,


The internals of manual antenna tuners are simply hypnotizing, aren’t they? You’ve a beautifully-built tuner there that is functional and will outlive us all!

Thank you for sharing!

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