Monthly Archives: May 2014

Video: Review of the DX Patrol SDR dongle


Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, John, for sharing this video review of the DX Patrol SDR receiver.

The reviewer gives the DX Patrol high marks on shortwave performance, but admits that there is a significant learning curve in terms of software installation and tweaking settings for performance.

At 79 € ($110 US) the DX Patrol is certainly an inexpensive wide band SDR. Unlike the $20 RTL-SDR dongles, the DX PAtrol requires no external up-convertor.  

Click here to purchase the DX Patrol online, but keep in mind that the reviewer above noted a 6 week turn-around time for shipment. 

If you have experience with the DX Patrol SDR, please comment!

Spread the radio love

Shortwave Radio Recordings: Radio Station of Macedonia (Voice of Greece)

A view of the Mount Olympus

For your listening pleasure: three hours, seven minutes of the Radio Station of Macedonia (a.k.a. Voice of Greece/ERT Macedonia 3) recorded on May 23, 2014 starting around 19:00 UTC on 9,420 kHz.

This recording was made using my WinRadio Excalibur receiver and a large horizontal delta loop antenna.

Click here to download as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Spread the radio love

Remembering BBC Ottringham on Memorial Day

The BBC Ottringham complex (Source: BBC Humberside History)

The BBC Ottringham complex (Source: BBC Humberside History)

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Jonathan Marks, who shares this amazing story of the BBC Ottringham (a.k.a. OSE5) broadcast site.

Since Ottringham was an active transmitting site during in World War II, it makes for a fitting tribute here on Memorial Day.

On his blog, Critical Distance, Jonathan writes:

“Few people know that Ottringham, a village near Hull in the UK was the home of many of the BBC’s broadcasts during the Second World War, and that its transmissions were received well into the heart of occupied Europe. The site was intended to broadcast both medium and long wave services to counteract propaganda coming from Nazi occupied Europe. Today the site of the old transmitter site is an engineering works and the fields where the antennas stood reveal little of their radio past.”

I have embedded the BBC documentary of Ottringham below, but ask that you visit Critical Distance for two others Jonathan has posted (including one from his days at Radio Netherlands). Thanks again, Jonathan!

Spread the radio love

Thailand Coup: BBC World Service increases shortwave broadcasts

Original Image by Zuanzuanfuwa via WikiMedia Commons

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Richard Cuff, for forwarding this press release from the BBC World Service Group Communications:

 BBC World Service increases broadcasts to Thailand


26 May 2014. As authorities in Thailand take key national and international channels off air in the country, BBC World Service has increased its shortwave English-language radio broadcasts to Thailand, to continue the delivery of its independent news and analysis to audiences there.

From 01:00 GMT on Monday 26 May, BBC World Service expanded its availability via shortwave to Thailand by adding [ten] hours of broadcasts to its daily shortwave schedule (all times GMT):

  • 01:00-03:00 on 11,600 kHz
  • 03:00-05:00 on 7,370 kHz
  • 05:00-11:00 on 11,700 kHz

Acting Director, BBC World Service Group, Liliane Landor says: “In times of national crisis, there is an acute need for accurate, trusted and impartial news. This is why, with our international TV news channel off the air in Thailand, we have increased BBC World Service radio broadcasts in the country.”

The above transmissions add to BBC World Service’s six hours of shortwave broadcasts at peak times for Thailand.


For more information about the military coup in Thailand, and how it affects international broadcasting, please follow our tag: Thailand Coup

[Update 27 May 2014: Number of broadcast hours corrected. HT to Dan Ferguson and Richard Cuff]

Spread the radio love

The Tecsun PL-660 and PL-880 groups have disappeared?

This is the message you will find if you attempt to visit either Tecsun Yahoo group.

This is the message you will find if you attempt to visit either Tecsun Yahoo group.

I’ve gotten messages from several readers over the past two days noting that the Tecsun PL-880 and PL-660 Yahoo groups have vanished. It’s a shame as these sites have a treasure trove of information in their archives.

When I look through my Tecsun PL-880 archived emails, I see that the last message from the group was dated May 24th, 2014: two days ago.

The last thread contained some heated discussions that got quite personal between group members.

It can be a tough call for group moderators to step in and ask for a discussion to end or to ban a member from the group. You’ll notice (or perhaps not) that I rarely moderate comments on the SWLing Post.

Aside from blatant SPAM, there have only been perhaps two or three comments I’ve moderated in the many years this site has been online. In those cases, commenters were posting personal attacks. I wrote to the commenters and explained why I removed their comments; only one persisted, so I banned his IP address from posting future comments.

With that said, I’m so proud of the community of readers and SWLs here at the SWLing Post! I’ve made some great friends through this site and have learned so much from our many readers.

How many readers? The SWLing Post averages about 2,500 daily readers and 120,000 monthly page views. In 2008, I could have never imagined…

Thank you!

Spread the radio love

An inexpensive battery charger for the Tecsun PL-880

UltrafireFlashlight-and-BatteryChargerMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Steven, for sharing this very affordable battery charger for the Tecsun PL-880 batteries. Steven writes:

“I never purchased a stand-alone 18650 battery charger for my Tecsun PL880 radio because I felt the in-radio on wasn’t good enough. With several batteries it became a bit more of a problem keeping track and setting time aside to use the radio as a charger. Anyway, I came across amazing deal from Amazon that I just purchased.

For $9.68 out of pocket including slow shipping you get a super bright flashlight claimed to be 1000 lumens, which is probably a bit overrated. It also includes a double cell 18650 charger and one 3000ma 18650 battery – probably overrated too but all for under $10. I couldn’t pass it up.”

Click here to purchase from Amazon

I will pick up one of these chargers, too. Like you, I find that sometimes I would like to be listening to the radio instead of using it as a charger. I especially love the size of this charger–might just fit in my radio go bag.

Thanks again, Steven!

Spread the radio love