Sony ICF-SW100: difference between MKI and MKII


In response to our post about the Sony ICF-SW100, Michael comments:

“I’ve found that, with some patience and a willingness to search outside of eBay, that the ICF-SW100 can be found for under $250. It’s more than a fair bit of money for a shortwave receiver. If I had to take a guess at why it has held its value so well it would most likely be down to the amount of performance and features that still exist in a radio so small.

It is rather sensitive but even more so with an active external antenna or just a long wire attached to either the external antenna jack or the whip itself. It seems that the size of the whip itself (due to space constraints) limits the sensitivity of the radio. I use mine with a PA0RDT mini whip that I have constructed and the two work well very together. If you add a small outboard filter such as a NEScaf you have an entire station in miniature.

The fault with the hinges was only found on the MKI models. The MKII model was released by Sony primarily as a revision to solve the ribbon cable issue. You can tell a MKII from a MKI by looking at the lower right hand corner of the display part of the clamshell. If you see a rectangular shaped notch then it is a MKII. That notch is there for preventing the ribbon cable from being pinched between the two halves when the case is shut.

If you’re looking for a radio that is feature laden as well as exceptionally small then the ICF-SW100 is still an excellent choice.”

Many thanks for your comment, Mike!

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