Monthly Archives: November 2016

Radios With Rotatable AM Antennas?

The Panasonic RF-2200 sports a rotatable AM/MW antenna

The Panasonic RF-2200 sports a rotatable AM/MW antenna

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mario Filippi (N2HUN), who writes:

With your broad knowledge of radios, wondering if you can add anything to this list of portable radios, past and present, that have 360 degree rotatable directional AM ferrite antennas. Reason is I am looking for an AM portable for the nightstand for nulling out unwanted AM stations while also doing a little DXing.

The list I have from data mining the ‘Net is:

New models with rotatable AM antennas:

  • CountyCom GP5/SSB,
  • Tecsun PL-360,
  • Grundig Satellite 750,

Older (vintage) models:

  • Panasonic RF-2200,
  • Panasonic RF-1150,
  • Panasonic RF-877,
  • Panasonic RF-1180
  • most RDF (Radio Direction Finder) radios that were used on boats

“Boom Box” variety:

  • Radio Shack 12- 795,
  • Emerson MBR-1,
  • Rhapsody RY-610.

[RDF radios] are kind of big, however Raytheon, Ray Jefferson, and Nova-Tech did have smaller model RDFs that could be considered table-tops).

The alternative is to build or buy a passive indoor antenna.

Maybe readers know of other models?

Thank you for your inquiry, Mario! I will do a little research of my own because you listed every model (and more) I could think of off the top of my head.

Post readers: Please comment with any models we could add to this list.

I will take all of the suggestions and make a master list to post here on the SWLing Post so it’ll be easier for others to research in the future. I’m pretty sure this question has come up before.

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DX-Philately: Stamps of Radio Stations by Continents and Countries

1979_stamp_Radio_MoscowMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Lennart Weirell, who writes:

I have not made a scientific research but I dare to say that there are more DX-ers who collect stamps than stamp collectors who are DX-ers. Out of these DX-ers who collect stamps there are several who collect stamps related to DX-ing or radio.

The editor of DX-Filateli in DX-Aktuellt, the Swedish magazine of the Swedish DX Federation, Christer Brunström, made a small catalogue of stamps with radio motive in the beginning of the 80-ies. This catalogue was followed by two supplements a few years later, but after that no update. But he has during the following years presented new radio stamps, first in Eter-Aktuellt and later DX-Aktuellt. You can find various web pages on internet with this subject, but I have not found a complete listing of stamps with DX and radio related motives.

In 2011 I made, based on Christer’s catalogue, articles and with his approval and with the help of various web pages, a list in Word (.doc) named ”DX-Philately – Stamps of Radio Stations by Continents and Countries”. It is one of the most complete listing of radio and DX related stamps available. The size of the file is about 1.1 MB and it lists about 400 radio stamps from 122 countries, and list the stamps per continent and country with date and Michel No. and motive. You can also mark which stamp you have in your collection, unused or used and it is easy to modify with new editions.

Now is the 3rd edition available for those who are interested. Please contact me via e-mail at

lennart@weirell.se.

Lennart Weirell

Many thanks, Lennart, for sharing your list with our readers!

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The brilliant little Tecsun PL-310ET: serious DXing on a budget – part 1

tecsun-pl-310etHi there, a good friend of mine Mr Thomas Brogan mentioned to me recently that his little Tecsun PL-310ET was proving to be an excellent receiver and that it would suit my DXpedition activities. Now, as someone who likes to push the envelope of performance with sophisticated portables, usually coupled to very large antennas, a cheap little Tecsun might not have been an abvious choice for my next purchase. However, Mr Brogan (who has an excellent Youtube channel by the same name – check out his wonderful collection of vintage and modern receivers) previously suggested I buy, for similar reasons, the Sony ICF-SW100. That little masterpiece of electronics turned out to be one of the best receivers I’ve ever owned. I felt compelled to take notice because Tom never gets this stuff wrong! A few days later I found myself in Maplins – again – and there it was on the shelf at just under £40, so I bought one.

I got back into shortwave listening about 18 months ago, after many years of inactivity whilst my poor Sangean ATS-803A rotted away in the garden shed and Sony ICF-7600G long-gone via eBay. To start all over again, I bought a Tecsun PL-360.  What a great little portable that turned out to be – there are over 100 reception videos on my YouTube channel demonstrating how it continually performed above and beyond the very modest price tag. I even managed to hear ABC Northern Territories 4835 kHz on it once –  simply amazing for a receiver under £30. Given my extensive experience with the PL-360 and having learned the PL-310ET shared the same DSP chip, I was expecting the same, or at least very similar performance and the only real benefit to upgrading to the PL-310ET was the direct frequency access.  However, I was wrong about that!

pl-360

The brilliant Tecsun PL-360 got me back into shortwave radio for less than £30

About a week after buying the PL-310ET,  I managed to get out on a DXpedition and with 30 metres of wire attached to it via the external antenna socket, I started tuning around the SW bands. Quite simply, I was amazed at the sensitivity and selectivity of this diminutive little portable. With the proven DSP receiver chip and a number of audio bandwidth filter options  from 1 to 6 kHz, coupled with direct frequency access via the keypad, it was a joy to use and listen to. In just over an hour I had  copied signals from North Korea, including their internal service KCBS Pyongyang, Zanzibar BC, ABC Northern Territories (at the first attempt!), Zambia NBC Radio 1, Radio Oromiya and Radio Amhara from Ethiopia, amongst others. Brilliant stuff and clearly demonstrating that the overall hardware/software package with the PL-310ET is a step up in performance over the PL-360 and capable of proper DX for a very modest outlay. Interestingly, in a conversation with Thomas Witherspoon regarding the PL-310ET, he reminded me that it was one of his go-to radios for travelling and confirmed it’s excellent performance.  I would definitely recommend this radio to novices and experts alike.

Reception videos follow below, with more to come in part 2; I hope you enjoy them. Thanks for watching/listening and I wish you all excellent DX!

 

 

Clint Gouveia is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Clint actively publishes videos of his shortwave radio excursions on his YouTube channel: Oxford Shortwave Log. Clint is based in Oxfordshire, England.

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Holiday Deals: C.Crane Cyber Monday 10% off

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I just received the email above announcing C.Crane’s Cyber Monday Sale which is, essentially, 10% off everything. They’re also offering free shipping on orders over $350. (That would be quite the radio grab to get free shipping!)

If you’ve thought about getting the CC Skywave (which I love) this would be a great time.

Click here to view pricing on C.Crane’s website.

Click here to view other Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales we’ve recently posted.

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TX Factor Episode 13

TXfactorA few weeks ago, TX Factor posted their 13th episode–I’ve been so busy as of late, I forgot to post a notification!

In this episode, they take a look at ham radio digital modes, how weather affects propagation (with a detailed explanation of Sporadic E), and a brilliant Radio Caroline feature where they board the Ross Revenge! Enjoy:

Click here to view on YouTube.

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