The Sony ICF-SW55 and the Voice of Greece: a wonderful travel combo

I’m currently in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, Québec (Canada) and having a brilliant time. I’ve been sans Internet for the better part of a week (save a little online time at local cafés) which is why I’m quite far behind on correspondence.

The lack of Internet, though, has a positive side: it has given me uninterrupted time to surf the shortwaves!

The only bad news is that I’m staying in a condo and the radio interference is…well…a little high.

Still, I’m fortunate to have a balcony where I can relax and listen to my Sony ICF-SW55 outdoors. In truth, I’m truly amazed with the reception I’ve had each evening this week from the Voice of Greece. Though, VOG’s broadcasts have been somewhat unpredictable after their official return to the airwaves, I’m appreciative every time they fire up their Avlis transmitter and pump out music on 9,420 kHz.

I should mention that Radio Romania International is also a very easy catch and, like VOG, punches through the RFI with colors flying.

This is one of the great things about shortwave radio–even when you’re far away from home, you can still hear a familiar voice on the air.

Spread the radio love

16 thoughts on “The Sony ICF-SW55 and the Voice of Greece: a wonderful travel combo

  1. Antony Schofield

    VOG is very political, the fact that they are still on the air is testimony to this – the govt. tried to shut them down when the EU (read German banks) was raking in the cash for the bad loans the Greek govt. had been encouraged to take out.

    VOG stood their ground, the staff locking themselves in the station and continuing to broadcast with the bailiffs outside. The bailiffs eventually went away when they saw the popular supoort VOG had.

  2. Alex

    Hands off from voice of Greece! 🙂
    I’m happy that your guys listening to voice of Greece.
    ???????????? ??? ????????!!

  3. Thomas Post author

    Honestly, when I listen to the VOG, I don’t think about the political reasons they’re on the air–perhaps this is because I no longer live in an EU state. The radio listener in me just enjoys the fact that VOG still puts a signal out there.

    As pointed out, I’m sure it’s not the best use of Greek resources. The radio anthropologist in me, though, finds the fact that they’re still on the air quite intriguing–I mean, this is a broadcaster that essentially was dissolved, yet continued to broadcast for months on end. One might argue that they were broadcasting as one of the world’s most powerful pirate stations for some of that time. Only in 2015 did they officially come back as the Voice of Greece. No doubt complacency, tenacity, and/or political motives are fueling the broadcasts now.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve a hunch VOG won’t be on the air much longer, so I’m just enjoying their signal while I can. Whatever the future holds for VOG, I’ll be listening in the meantime.


  4. TomL

    Sounds VERY similar to bankrupt Illinois…. the Unions own all the politicians and want jobs and free pensions forever. Hard to pay for radio and it will eventually go away. We should enjoy it while we can!!

  5. DL4NO

    Technical enthusiasts quite often ignore much more pressing facts: Romania and Greece are extremely poor countries but spend quite some money on non-essential activies like the transmissions discussed here.

    Greece is an especially bad example: They have no money to feed their poor or even pay back their debts but they produce a mostly entertainment program on SW. If they wanted to inform their expatriates about their view of affairs, they could rent a few transmitter hours per day from Radio Romania.

    And what happened to Deutsche Welle? They were heavily cut back due to financial restrictions. The same happened to our Medium Wave transmitters. You can hardly hear any German on the airwaves outside the German-speaking countries anymore.

    The German finance minister will massively oppose the Greek refinancing until after our German federal elections in 2017. Otherwise Angela Merkel would not survive these elections and we might get a very right-wing government – search for “Alternative für Deutschland (AfD)”. If that should happen an even bigger refugee crisis would result.

    See Austria, they are at the brink of a large slip to the right (see “Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPÖ)” and have cut off the “Balkan route” in an effort to avoid the slip. See France and their “Front National”. I could continue all across Europe.

    The Greek government obviously has not realized the severity of the situation in Europe.

    1. Kire

      I side with the Greeks on this one. I love Voice of Greece. Music and culture are essential. Politics is so boring to listen to. Give me some Grappa and some good music.
      If Germany really wants to help Greece, just write off the debt, Drop a couple of zeros, but do not call my voice of greece non-essential!

      1. DL4NO

        > If Germany really wants to help Greece, just write off the debt,
        > Drop a couple of zeros, but do not call my voice of greece non-essential!

        Your “couple of zeros” accumulate to many EUR.

        Why should I, like quite some other Germans, work several years extra (well beyond the Greek retirement age) so the Greek can continue to live off other’s costs as they have done for decades? Where are the 30.000 Greek youths that could come over every year and learn a well-respected profession in our apprentice system? They would even earn their living during these typically three years. They could have learned German for years. There are enough Greek people over here they could have asked.

        The only way to help the Greek is pressure and much more pressure. Otherwise they will continue to evade any urgently needed changes as they have for years – e.g. close down half of their bloated public services (including radio). They sold their sovereignty to the devil (AKA the banks) and lived good from it.

    1. Thomas Post author

      I totally agree, Dan. This is my first trip with the SW55 and I’ve been very pleased. Normally, I travel with smaller portables, but I specifically brought the ’55 to get a little dedicated time with it. With the exception of synchronous detection, I feel like it has the qualities I love about my SW7600GR, but with *much* better ergonomics! Such a fun rig.

      1. Dan Robinson

        55s are usually pretty much on frequency unless one gets a bad one….the warbling
        on SSB is typical, but I love all of the tuning and memory and clock functions in this


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