Where to buy shortwave radios in New Zealand?

ElisabethAndPerI received a message this morning from a Norwegian couple, Per and Elisabeth, who are circumnavigating the globe in a sailboat.

They’re currently in Opua, New Zealand, and are looking for a shortwave receiver with SSB mode.

They depart New Zealand on May 6, 2014 so are very much in a hurry to find one.  They plan to use this radio to receive weather fax while on the open sea. Personally, I would hope they could find a good tabletop receiver for the job, but they would be happy with a capable portable radio.

On a side note, I’m well aware that the Digitech Audio AR1945 is readily available in New Zealand, but based on comments from a previous article, I also know that it performs miserably on SSB.

If you can help Per and Elisabeth find a shortwave radio with SSB in New Zealand, before they depart on May 6, please comment!

You can follow Per and Elisabeth’s sailing adventure on their website and blog.

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18 thoughts on “Where to buy shortwave radios in New Zealand?

  1. James Patterson

    Mayo are NewZealand importers of the Sangean brand SW/SSB portable receivers.They are based on the “North Shore ” of Auckland NZ. Tecsun Radios are bought on line in NZ from the Tecsun Company in Australia.

  2. James Patterson

    About the Digitech AR 1945.If someone is looking for a long distance portable receiver,I would recomend this one.It has three choices of power.Size “D” or “AA” batteries or mains power via the wall adapter.It is acturly well made and is a very crafty radio,if one doesnt mind the quite heavy weight of it.It has all features,bells and whistles.Gain control knob,two antenna switches,very good trebble and bass,large good quality speaker,UHF Air Band,it will scan all bands includeing FM and Air.There is no search scan,just frequency scan,and memory scan.One not so good feature though is the HF antenna input socket at the rear.It is the “Free veiw TV” type .So with mine I easily made a hole in the back plastic cover and fitted a “Ham radio” large size coaxal female socket,soldered via coaxal cable to the circuit board.I now connect it to my 200 ft long line antenna and with useing the two antenna switches on the side of the radio,and RF gain control knob,I get no over loading.The outside antenna also works for FM and UHF Air band on this radio as well.So the HF antenna socket at the rear serves all bands.As far as the SSB goes,and Im a keen SSB DXer,but the radio will pick up any electrical interferance and amplifiy it through SSB.So I find,adjusting the RF gain control knob,and antenna switches solves this greatly.Also useing the tuning steps provided,and acturly zero beating the station listened to.Once you are tuned in ,it will most likely zero beat most other SSB stations in that you wont need to retune them as long as you are on either USB or LSB.So that radio from JayCar Ausi and NZ can be a very good radio if you are familier with useing radios with all bells and whistles and a lot of paitence.You will get alot of enjoyment from it as I do.

  3. James Patterson

    The Tecsun 660 is an excellent portable gen coverage receiver if you can get a good one! I tried three different PL 660s through the NZ TradeMe seller befor I acturly found one that was okay.They all must have come off the assembly line without checking for very loud internal birdies on all HF bands.Maybe they just happened to be a bad batch.The loud harmonics/birdies would acturly climb up or down what ever frequency I was tuned to and were so loud it would drown out any receiption,more so with SSB.But yes finaly I found one that didnt have any of this and to date,as I use it every day,is an excellent receiver on all bands includeing the Air Band.It does not scan the Air band though,like the cheaper quality Digitech AR 1945 from Jay Car does.The AR 1945 is acturly a very good radio if you are not interested in the SSB side of it.I own one and it pulls in all freqencies on a par with my Tecsun PL 660.Unfortunitly for when you were at Opua,Bay of islands,there are no radio shops in that part of the country,and certainly the Jay Car AR 1945 would not have been the radio of choice hence the very poor SSB section of it.But with alot of patence,you can tune SSB and I found there is no drift,There are two antenna switches,the RF gain control knob.Each of these used properly and chooseing the right length of antenna wire according to the frequency listened to you will get very good SSB receiption with no drift.When turning off the radio,you will find that the last frequency you listened to,and SSB setting steps will be stored,untill turning back on again,even with out useing the memory.Its a very crafty and well designed radio except for the very low powered BFO SSB circuit.

  4. Per and Elisabeth

    Need no more help – radio are bougt (Thank you for the help!!!!) and will be here on wedneswday. Only need tip about how to make a good ssb-antenna. Is it ment for rechargeable batteries – and are the charger a part of the radio?? Look forward to hold it in my hand 🙂

    1. Thomas Post author

      Which radio did you get? Both the PL-600 and PL-660 have built-in charging circuits.

      Regarding an antenna–In item #3 in this article, I mention how to make a small wire antenna: http://wp.me/pn3uc-2sJ

      On the Tecsuns though, be very careful. In my experience (I have both of these radios) a very long wire can overload the receiver. If static electricity travels down the antenna from a long wire, it could also zap the radio.

      Try using this without an external antenna at first, and if you need it, simply add 5-6 meters of wire and try again. A tabletop or marine SSB receiver would require an external antenna, but is better protected for the environment on the boat.

      Good luck and let us know how it works. I hope everything arrives in time!


  5. Per and Elisabeth

    What we will use it for is take down weatherfax with a single in / outlinecable from the speaker to our computer with the faxprogram jvcomm32
    We jnow we need an Icom M802, but it is to expensive for us – and take a lot longer time to install. This is only ment for backup for our satphone and a little fun checking out how it works. Guess we go for Tecsun PL-880 or Degen DE 1103. Very thankful you try to help, but I think we’ll have to pick it up in Australia befor we enter the Indian ocean. But still possible to get it to Opua if it is in New Zealand

      1. Per and Elisabeth

        I may be need help. I have today made my own trademe account and found the radio as you linked to. I want to buy this if it can be sent express to
        SV ODA, Per Mandt c/ Opua marina
        28a Baffin Street
        Bay of Island 0200
        New Zealand

        phone number: 0220847796
        I have sent the seller a question if he can send it tomorrow, but got no answer yet. If this is a fysical shop i Auckland and somone know the number I can call him. The radio must be in stock – I leave on saturday.
        I can pay on PayPal – or Visa.
        Don’t understand the TradeMwe account – thois is not for buying goods on trademe???

    1. Thomas Post author

      Thanks for the comment, Conner. Unfortunately, the Digitech AR1945 is the receiver which has such poor SSB performance. The AR1945 manufacturer commented on a previous post stating that they planned to fix this SSB issue, but no one has confirmed this yet. Still only reports of poor SSB performance.

      Jaycar, though is the retailer I was thinking of. Again, thanks!

        1. Thomas Post author

          Hey, no worries! Funny thing is that radio does look like it means business. Shame that it can’t perform on SSB, at least.


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