The thrill of the hunt even knowing there is no “perfect” radio

Though I own a number of portables that have better performance specs and ergonomics, I still gravitate to my ICF-SW7600GR.

Most recently, I received correspondence from Golan Klinger who has been bitten by the radio bug (he calls it “radioitis”). He has been acquiring portables and comparing them, seeking his favorite overall.

Golan had an epiphany he recently shared with me:

Thomas, in your “Mega Review” [summarizing your radio preferences] you wrote:

But this is my personal choice; you might have a completely different answer. I guess that’s the point I made earlier–it all depends on the listener.”

Of all the valuable advice I’ve gleaned from your website, that might be the most important.

Every radio seems to have its own personality and one can read and watch all the reviews in the world but there’s no substitute for sitting down and actually listening to a radio.

I just had an epiphany — there can be no perfect radio and even if there were, finding it wouldn’t be half as much fun as the search for it.

That’s why everyone has multiple radios and when asked which is their favourite they lean back and say, “Well…”

What a wonderful hobby this is turning out to be!

You nailed it, Golan.

Indeed, with most every review I post I receive both praise and criticism later from readers. To some, sensitivity is everything–to others, it’s audio fidelity. Some listeners seek optimal reception on particular bands: longwave, mediumwave, the 31 meter band, FM, etc. There are even some who place a great deal of importance on the design and aesthetics of the radio. When I write a review, I do my best to walk in the shoes of all of these folks. It’s not an easy task.

When I’m not writing a review and am only concerned with what I value in a radio, it’s a balance of performance, flexibility and ergonomics I seek.

But as you say, there is no “perfect radio” out there that could satisfy everyone. I doubt there ever will be.  Each listener has their own set of preferences–the checklist that matters to them most.

I’ll admit that part of what drives me to do radio reviews is my curiosity and the hope that each upcoming model might be a step closer to the elusive “Holy Grail” radio; for me and for you. It’s all about the thrill of the hunt!

Thanks for sharing, Golan!

Dan spots a mint Panasonic RF-B65 on eBay

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who shares the following:

This does not appear to have the AC adaptor — not all kits included that, but they are findable on Ebay] OK, folks here’s your chance — a Panasonic RF-B65, one of the best portables of all time in terms of overall sensitivity and audio (in this size category) in what appears to be Like New condition. Price is about right for one of these complete with box, manuals, etc I usually jump on these but I already have two in this condition….

Click here to view on eBay.

The RF-B65 is certainly a highly regarded portable and Dan knows I’m on the hunt for one. Frankly, I’ll probably wait until next year to search for a deal. This model is not the cheapest, but looks incredibly clean and is being sold by a seasoned seller with 100% positive feedback. If you’ve been considering an RF-65B, this is a good one.  Thanks for the tip, Dan!

The 1770 solar storm that turned the skies red for a week

(Source: Wired UK via Mark Hirst)

Records kept by people living in Korea, China and Japan in 1770 have revealed evidence for the longest geomagnetic storm in recorded history

Almost 250 years ago, for over two weeks, the skies above parts of Asia lit up in what looked like a burst of fiery red. Those who saw the strange phenomenon kept notes of the event, and now it has been identified as potentially the longest geomagnetic storm ever recorded.

A dim red sky reported to have been observed between the September 16 to 18, 1770 in East Asia was considered one of history’s greatest geomagnetic storms. But now, new materials have come to light suggesting the storm lasted much longer, for nine nights, and covered an area twice as large as originally thought.

A group of Japanese scientists led by Hisashi Hayakawa from Osaka University studied hundreds of historical records dating between September and October 1770, including government records and people’s personal diaries. Using these records, they were able to piece together what happened during the event, and link this to sunspot drawings from the time.[…]

Continue reading at the Wired UK website.

Thanks for the tip, Mark–fascinating!

Of course, I’ve read in-depth information about the Carrington Event, but was completely unaware of the 1770 event.  I’ve always said the biggest EMP threat will come from our local star. Frankly, it’s just a matter of time.  I hope we’re ready!

Ron discovers a military version of the Hallicrafters S-39 on eBay

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ron, who writes:

Thought I had seen them all, but here is the military version of the S-38:

Click here to view on eBay.

Also an earlier version of the Echophone:

Click here to view on eBay.

I’m a huge fan of Hallicrafters radios–especially from this era.  I’ve a friend that has this version of the S-39, but it hasn’t been restored yet. When he does restore it, I’ll try to steal it for a few weeks and head to the field pretending I’m listening to instructions from HQ from behind enemy lines!

Thanks for the tip, Ron!

Update: Ron also points out this excellent gallery of Hallicrafter radios.

Heil Sound and Last Man Standing

last-man-standing-charity

The following was posted through an email from Heil Sound:

When the producers of the popular TV show, “Last Man Standing,” needed an authentic ham radio set-up to use in the show, they turned to Heil Sound’s Amateur Radio Division, helmed by Bob Heil. Now, thanks to the generosity of the show’s star, Tim Allen, props from the show – including some autographed by Mr. Allen – are being offered for sale with all proceeds going to the Red Cross.

The full article may be found here:

Last Man Standing Charity Items

Robert Gulley, AK3Q, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Robert also blogs at All Things Radio.