Monthly Archives: May 2018

The Mission RGO ONE: A new 50 watt all mode HF transceiver

Shortly after posting a set of photos I took at the 2018 Hamvention, I received a number of reader inquiries regarding one particular radio: The Mission RGO ONE.

I found this cool tabletop transceiver in the flea market area of the Hamvention early Saturday morning and included it with my inside exhibits photos. I wasn’t able to gather a lot of information from the representative at the time because the Hamvention staff opened the gates to general admission a full 30 minutes early, so I had to make a sprint to my table at the other side of the fairgrounds.

The following specifications/features were listed on the RGO ONE product sheet:

  • QRP/QRO output 5 – 50W
  • All mode shortwave operation – coverage of the 9 HAM HF bands (160m optional)
  • High dynamic range receiver design including high IP3 monolithic IC in the front end and H-mode first mixer
  • Low phase noise first LO – SI570 chip
  • Full/semi QSK on CW; VOX operation on SSB.
  • Down conversion superhet topology with 9MHz IF
  • Custom made crystal filters for SSB and CW and variable crystal 4 pole filter – Johnson type
  • Stylish and professional look
  • Compact and lightweight body
  • Multicolor FSTN LCD
  • Silent operation with no clicking relays inside
  • Modular construction – Mother board serves as a “chassis” also fits all the external connectors, daughter boards, inter-connections and acts as a cable harness.
  • Optional modules – NB, AF, ATU, XVRTER
  • PC control via CAT protocol; USB FTDI chip
  • Memory morse code keyer (Curtis A, CMOS B)
  • Contest and DXpedition conveniences

For even more detail, I recently contacted the rig’s developer, Boris Sapundzhiev (LZ2JR), who kindly answered all of my questions.

Boris replied:

Hello Thomas,

Thanks a lot for your message and interest about our new homebrew project that we called RGO ONE. Here you can find more about the radio:

QRP HF Transceiver

There are clickable highlights on the text which lead to a schematic diagram for each module so you can have a look if you like. Final documents and last revision of schematics will be available soon.

The idea of this project was inspired of an old TEN-TEC radios with 9MHz IF – their perfect analogue design and crystal crisp audio both CW and sideband. Mine have two very old TEN-TEC ARGOSY 525D and several moreTEN-TEC equipments. So with the help of the new electronic components available on the market we realize this old concept…

We’ve been working hard for almost three years to see what you saw at Dayton flea market table. A real performing HF 50W CW/SSB transceiver. We are 4 people in the team.. Other team mates are very good in industrial electronics manufacturing and helping very much with electronic PCB design, parts delivery, microprocessors and other things.

The idea of the front panel and other constructions design is mine .. I literally drew it in a couple of hours then our CAD designer put it in AUTOCAD/INVENTOR 3D design software.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

LCD we made in China and already stocked plenty of LCD and backlight units. Front panel is made by means of plastic mold method:

Here it is:

FACE PANEL MOLD PLASTICS OR ALUMINUM MACHINED

So far we got two samples that we tested already in real conditions and made several contest (LZ2RS helped with this task).

You can seek for video clips on YouTube (my channel) to see how it works.

Click here to view on YouTube.

I am back in Bulgaria now and today we had a team meeting so it is decided to start first lot 10pcs which will be completely ready to run. The time range of this is somewhere next two months. Then next lot will be 100 units probably some of them or most of them will be in a kit form with ready populated SMD small foot print components.

At the show in Dayton we revealed our target price for the base version – $450-$550. Hope to keep it as promised but final price will be available when first units come to alive.
First units will ship from Bulgaria, then we will try to stock more units in US.

This is briefly about our intentions of the project. A lot of interest, expectations and positive “WOW” feedbacks received so this urge me to go fast forward.

73, GL

Boris LZ2JR/AC9IJ

Thank you for the detailed reply, Boris! I will certainly follow this project with interest and post updates (readers: bookmark the tag RGO ONE).

I love the size of the RGO ONE and the fact it’s capable of a full 50 watts out in such a portable form factor. The front panel is very attractive, ergonomic and the backlit LCD screen is quite easy to read at any angle.

Boris, if you manage to hit your target price of $550 or less, you’ll no doubt sell these by the hundreds! I’ll be watching this project with interest.

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Donald’s video review of the Sangean WR-7

Regarding our recent review of the Sangean WR-7, SWLing Post reader, Donald Brown, writes:

Hi, my name is Donald Brown, and I did a video review of the Sangean WR-7 and I thought that you might want to have a look at it and even place it onto your site as well. The YouTube address is here below:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Also, just to let you know, I own a country Internet radio station called Pure Country 100 which can be found here below. I have provided you with the site as well as the direct streaming link.

Site: http://www.purecountry-100.com

Direct Stream: http://wasitviewed.com/index.php?email=dbrwn@aol.com&id=10823

Be sure to spread the word about the station to as many people as you possibly can. Also, send me a reply to let me know what you think of the video as well as the station.

Thanks for sharing, Donald–I’m quite happy to spread the word!

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RIP Dr. Byron St. Clair: Father of low-power FM

(Source: TV Technology via Bill Patalon)

Dr. Byron St. Clair, president emeritus of the National Translator Association, died May 20 in Denver of brain cancer. He was 93.

St. Clair, who served as president of the National Translator Association for 19 years, is known as the “father of translators, LPTV and low-power FM,” the association said.

He worked to serve those living in the mountainous rural western United States with broadcast service and in so doing created a new class of over-the-air broadcasting, which has grown to more than 4,000 stations that serve millions of people.

“Byron was a friend and mentor to all, a man of immense intellect, wisdom, ethics, kindness and vision,” said NTA President John Terrill.[…]

Continue reading at TV Technology online.

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Balazs spots radios in several movies and Netflix series

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Balazs, who has spotted a number of radios recently on Netflix. Balazs notes:

The Snow Walker (2003): Barry Pepper tries to fix a radio:

Maze Runner – The Death Cure (2018): as scanners:

The Rain – new Danish post-apocalyptic series from the Netflix: field comm found:

Many thanks for sharing these, Balazs!

Post readers: Do you recognize these radios? One looks a lot like an Icom marine radio. Please comment!

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I’ve hit the road running…

A highlight from last week was attending a WWII encampment at the Museum of the US Air Force.

SWLing Post readers: If you’ve tried to contact me in the past week, I’m sorry if I haven’t replied yet.

I spent a week on the road attending the 2018 Hamvention and as soon as I arrived back home on Tuesday, I started more family travel. I’m trying to catch up on on email and posts this weekend. I have a number of small announcements, so stay tuned and thanks for understanding!

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A bookish radio: The Listener by E.R. Fone

A radio disguised as book – ‘The Listener’ by E. R. Fone. c.1920s.

I discovered a photo of the The Listener by E.R. Fone via Dan Wilson’s Twitter feed. What a fascinating piece of vintage gear!

Post readers: Any other radios in disguise that you’ve discovered?  Please share links, photos and/or details in the comments section!

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95th anniversary of Czech radio’s first broadcasts

Czech Radio’s main headquarters in Vinohradská street in the centre of Prague, photo: Lenka Žižková

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who shares the following news items from Radio Prague regarding the 95th anniversary of Czech Radio’s first broadcasts:

Listening Sessions at a Prague Cinema: Czech Radio’s First Broadcasts Recalled, 95 Years Later

A historic moment occurred at 20:15 on Saturday May 18, 1923 when the first ever broadcast by Czechoslovak Radio was made from a tent at a military air base in Prague’s Kbely district.

After the United Kingdom, Czechoslovakia was the second country in Europe to launch regular radio broadcasting.

Zuzana Foglarová is communications manager at today’s Czech Radio. Speaking at a new exhibition of radio technology at the station, she describes the scene in May 1923.

“Above all it was very simple. There was one tent, which had been borrowed from the scouts. On the floor in the tent was a piano and stool. There was also a table for the presenter, technicians and so on. There was only one microphone, and the story goes that if somebody was playing the piano and somebody else was singing, the latter had to sit under the piano so the microphone could pick up all the sounds.”

Many of the first listeners 95 years ago were waiting to hear the signal come through at a cinema just off Prague’s Wenceslas Square.[…]

Click here to download recording.

Click here to read the full article at Radio Prague.

The spectacular Rudgers?v Palace built in the Neo-Classicist style is home to Czech Radio’s Ostrava studios, photo: Daniel Martínek, Czech Radio (Source: Radio Praha)

Past and Present: A Gallery of Czech´s Radio Buildings

Czech Radio is celebrating its 95th anniversary this year. The Czech national radio broadcaster has come a long way since its pioneering days. Today it is the biggest radio broadcaster in the country with 9 channels, manned not only by its Prague staff but 14 regional branches providing news and reports from around the country. The station’s buildings are also an important part of its history. On the occasion of Czech Radio’s 95th anniversary we have prepared a photo gallery of its buildings, some of them valuable architectural landmarks.

Click here to view the photo gallery at Radio Prague.

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