Ultralight shortwave radios now tagged in the Shortwave Radio Index (SWRI)

The Tecsun PL-380 is an "ultralight" that has exceptional shortwave sensitivity and selectivity.

I have gone through the SWRI and tagged all portable shortwave radios that are considered “ultralights” by the ultralight “Definitions Committee.” Note that “ultralight dxing” is primarily a Mediumwave hobby, but you will find that many of the best performing ultralights are also capable, if not best-in-class shortwave receivers.

What are the attributes/guidelines for a radio to be considered an “ultralight”? Per the definitions committee:

  1. It is a simple shirt pocket-sized radio of not more than approximately 20 cubic inches.
  2. It is an entertainment-grade radio, as opposed to enthusiast’s radio. As such, it will usually not have AM synchronous detection, SSB clarification or other specialized features.
  3. It is readily available to the hobby in new or used markets at the time of its approval.
  4. It costs no more than $100 retail at the time of approval.
  5. It is primarily a radio. While it may have other features as well (MP3 recorder, etc.), the design and function should have radio reception as its focus.
  6. It is not a “novelty radio” such as Coca Cola Can radio, Mr. Potato Head, etc.
Each radio is individually approved before it is considered an ultralight.

The Tecsun PL-310, PL-380 and C.Crane CCRadio-SWP are three shortwave ultralights that I regularly use and are considered fine examples of ultralights.

Want to know more about ultralight dxing? Check out these resources:

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