Monthly Archives: January 2016

While Not Directly Radio Related . . .

While not directly radio related, this was too amazing not to share (so forgive me in advance! There is an Arduino involved, if that helps?!)

The video above is of a robot which can solve Rubik’s Cube in about 1 second.

I will not embarrass myself in telling how long it takes me to solve it . . . .

It is, however, easy to see how radio hobbyists could find these Arduino boards quite intriguing!

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

Spread the radio love

Dave notes that the Icom IC-7200 is being discontinued

Icom-IC7200Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Dave Zantow, who notes that the Icom IC-7200 general coverage transceiver is being discontinued.

Dave notes the following on his website:

Icom IC-7200 “Last Call” : It appears that the Icom IC-7200 DSP HF Transceiver is discontinued (or near of being discontinued) and dealers are now selling the last production samples. Information as via the Gigaparts (US Icom dealer) web site. If you always wanted a brand new Icom IC-7200 model , better grab it while you still can. Yes…here we go again, but the model is on the way out for sure this time. […]

Continue reading on Dave’s site…

Readers may recall that I listed the IC-7200 as a transceiver with a very good general coverage receiver.  Check out my article, The best general coverage transceivers for shortwave listening.

Icom-IC-7200

Though I don’t own an IC-7200, I’m a little sad to see that it’ll no longer be produced. I’ve used one on the air before and thought it packed a lot of performance for the price. I think it’s an ideal ham radio club transceiver as it’s easy to use and has virtually no learning curve (for those who are familiar with transceivers)–a very good choice as a field day rig.

Universal Radio still has the IC-7200 in stock priced at $890 US. Gigaparts also has the IC-7200 priced at $895. That’s a good deal for a 100 watt, full-featured HF transceiver.

Thanks for the tip, Dave!

Spread the radio love

From the Shortwave Archives: BBC World Service report on the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster

STS-51-L crew: (front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; (back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.

STS-51-L crew: (front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; (back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Tom Laskowski, who submits the following notes with his timely off-air recording of the BBC World Service from January 28, 1986:

Thirty years ago today the US Space program came crashing down with the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

I was a student at Purdue University at the time, living in a dormitory.

I decided to make some recordings knowing this would be a historic event.

This is a recording I made of the BBC on the evening of Jan 28 (0200 UTC on January 29). The frequency was most likely 5975 kHz or 9590 kHz. The dorm environment didn’t make a great place for SWL reception and the recording is noisy but still of decent quality.

Recorded using a Sony ICF-2001 with a wire attached to a window screen for an antenna.

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

Thank you so much for sharing this recording, Tom. What a brilliant way to remember and honor the Challenger crew.

To listen to a wide array of off-air shortwave radio recordings, explore the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive.

Spread the radio love

Blinq Deal: Terk Indoor AM radio Antenna AM-1000 $27.69 shipped

Fullscreen capture 1282016 21413 PM

I just noticed that Blinq.com has a “New – Open BoxTerk  AM-1000 Advantage indoor mediumwave loop antenna, on sale for $27.69. This is a great price for this quality AM loop which typically sells for about $50.

The antenna (much like the Tecsun/Grundig AN-200) inductively couples to your AM radio.  In other words, simply place your radio next to the antenna, tune to your desired frequency, then tune and turn the loop antenna until you maximize your received signal. Very simple to use.

Click here to view on Blinq.com.

Spread the radio love

Paul receives report confirmation from BBC test transmission

SX-99-Dial-Nar

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Paul Walker, who writes:

Remember the “transmission tests” from Babcock and Wooferton last summer? I finally got an email QSL…

My original email is first along with an audio sample of what I heard….

Original message sent on Tuesday, August 11, 2015:

I wanted to send you a reception report after hearing your broadcast.

“This Is A Test Transmission” on 15745khz heard at 1655UTC/11:55am Central today (08/10/2015) in Beaumont, Texas (far southeast corner of the state). This is 4 1/2 minutes, recorded until abrupt sign off in mid song.

I used a Sangean ATS909X with a PK’s Loop 6-18mhz tuneable Shortwave loop. The loop can be tuned to a certain frequency with a dial and can be rotated.

Tuning the loop to your exact frequency and orienting it in your general direction resulted in a pretty decent signal with good audio. The signal was about a 5 out of 10 with some fading, but generally pretty steady.

A link to the 4 1/2 minute audio clip is here:

Do you offer QSL’s? I would very much appreciate a QSL card or letter via regular mail if that is possible.

Warmest Regards,
Paul Walker

Fast forward to yesterday (Wednesday, January 27, 2016):

Thank you for your report and I confirm the details are correct. These transmissions were to fault-find on a 300 kW sender at the UK HF transmitter station at Woofferton.

The engineers needed a long test time as the fault was of an intermittent nature.

Babcock, Woofferton is the only remaining UK HF sender broadcast station and also is the only one with this transmission test audio and email address.

The audio is contained in a file playout system and incorporates non-copyright music and voice announcements from one of the employees at the transmitter site.

Thanks for your interest.

73

Dave G4OYX,

(Retired) Senior Transmitter Engineer Woofferton 1982-2012.

Very cool, Paul! And many thanks to Dave Porter for supplying Paul’s confirmation!

If you haven’t already, I would highly recommend Dave Porter’s video presentation of Woofferton on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/wooffertonuk) and this history of WOF (http://www.bbceng.info/Technical%20Reviews/technical_reviews.htm).

Spread the radio love