Monthly Archives: May 2021

SDRplay’s article regarding counterfeit products and how to avoid them

A fake SDRplay RSP1A on

SDRplay recently posted this article which focuses on counterfeit products. It’s a worthy read.

They’ve seen an uptick of people contacting them believing they’ve purchased a genuine SDRplay SDR only to discover it’s a counterfeit and will not work with new SDR Uno releases.

As I’ve mentioned before: I’m not a fan of counterfeits and will not knowingly link to them on this site.

The problem with fake products is that they’re not supported by the original manufacturer and often don’t perform up to the same specifications. The price difference is negligible–sometimes fakes are even higher than the genuine article (see the ad at the top of the page as a case in point). I feel like any money saved is a moot point when counterfeit product can’t take advantage of firmware upgrades and RF performance isn’t tested and verified.

It’s best to purchase either directly from the manufacturer or their authorized dealers.

Also, when you purchase the genuine item, you’re supporting the innovators in our radio world. Companies like SDRplay, AirSpy, and ELAD–original SDR manufacturers–are always seeking a means to get the best performance and functionality out of their products. They do meaningful research and development and implement customer feedback in each product iteration.  Fake products do not: they merely copy and sell. They have no R&D department. Their quality control is all over the place.

When purchasing a new SDR–or any product for that matter–I encourage you to buy the real deal, Not only will you have product support in the long run, but you’ll also be investing in the innovators of our radio world.

Click here to read SDRplay’s article on the topic.

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KDUB on WRMI: Sunday, May 30, 2021

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Pete Madtone, who shares the following:
Just a quick one to report that the KDUB broadcast from earlier this year will be repeated on WRMI this Sunday May 30th at 2300 UTC or Midnight UK time on 9395 kHz on the shortwaves. There’s a mix from One Deck Pete called “In Dub for KDUB” at 3.09 minutes in.

All the shows from the KMTS (or is it KTMS?) back catalogue are available on Mixcloud here if you’ve missed any of them. Tune in and dub out!

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Caveat Emptor: A quick note about buying vintage solid state radios

Even rare NIB (New In Box) finds can have age issues internally

After posting links to a few used radios online yesterday, SWLing Post contributor, Jim Teddford, commented:

The thing to remember when buying solid state mulitiband radios online is that you’re buying “a pig in a poke.” Meaning you are buying a radio at your own risk. Radios from the 70s/80s/90s-(Panasonic Command Series and the Sony classics: ICF-6800, ICF-2021, etc.) are now to the point where components like capacitors, displays, knob/switches etc.are failing due to age. Unless you can repair or restore the radio, don’t buy it. Just admire the photo online.

Jim has a valid point here and it’s one I echo a lot when readers contact me asking if they should, for example, be looking for a used Sony ICF-2010 instead of a new radio like the Tecsun H-501x.

Although I bet 1970s-1990s era solid-state radios have much better longevity than our newer DSP receivers, at this point you must assume components will need to be replaced.

I’ve purchased two Panasonic RF-2200s in the past decade and both needed to have capacitors replaced, an internal cleaning, and DeOxit applied to the switches and pots. I assumed this much when I made the purchases. Mechanically, the radio worked well, but…what…four decades(!?!) of age will take a toll on the internals.

I’m not an expert on re-capping and restoring vintage radios, for that I rely on folks like Vlado and Chuck. Mentally, I set aside a budget to have work done on the radio and I add that to the purchase price.

Most of the time, components like capacitors, resistors, inductors, etc. can be replaced with no issues.

Keep in mind, though, that some items particular to any one model–like digital displays and integrated circuits–may already be obsolete. I’ll be the first to admit that if a digital display doesn’t work on a used solid state radio, I skip it for this very reason.

So when a newcomer to the radio world asks me they should purchase a used Sony ICF-2010 or a modern portable that’s still in production, my tendency is to dissuade them from the vintage set unless they have the skill or funds to give it a little TLC if needed.

With those disclaimers out of the way, I must say that I’ve yet to meet a modern DSP radio that has the audio fidelity of a 1970/80s era solid state radio like the GE Superadio or Panasonic RF-2200. And the Sony ICF-2010 or the Panasonic RF-B65? Both are still benchmark receivers and can wipe the floor with many of our late model radios.

In a nutshell: if you’re willing to put a little time and money into re-capping, repairing and restoring a reputable solid state radio, go for it! Otherwise, stick with a late model receiver that may even be backed by a manufacturer’s warranty.

Me? I’m willing to take the risk and invest to give these vintage portables a new lease on life!

SWLing Post readers: What do you think? Have you ever purchased a solid state radio that failed shortly after purchase? Have you ever restored a solid state radio? Did I miss any important points? Please comment!

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FTIOM & UBMP, May 30-June 5

From the Isle of Music, May 30-June 5:
This week, our guest is Ernesto Vega, whose album Tradition and Beyond won the Jazz category in Cubadisco 2020-2021. This will be one of our rare conversations in English with sublime jazz.
The broadcasts take place:
1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in most of the Eastern Hemisphere (including parts of East Asia and Oceania) with 100Kw, Sunday 1500-1600 UTC on SpaceLine, 9400 KHz, from Sofia, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)
2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0000-0100 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 kHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EDT in the US).
3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 kHz from Rohrbach, Germany.
Our Facebook page is
Our V-Kontakte page is
Our Patreon page is

Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, May 30-June 5:
In episode 219, we feature an hour of songs, many of them funny, about cars and auto racing.
The transmissions take place:
1.Sunday 2200-2300 (6:00PM -7:00PM EDT) on WBCQ The Planet 7490 kHz from the US to the Americas and parts of Europe
2. Tuesday 2000-2100 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 kHz from Rohrbach, Germany for Europe.
3. Saturday 0800-0900 UTC on Channel 292, 9670 kHz from Rohrbach, Germany for Europe with a directional booster aimed eastward.
Our Facebook page is
Our V-Kontakte page is
Our Patreon page is

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A few used radios worth consideration

Yesterday, I got two tips from readers regarding deals on some used radios.

First off, Richard Stahl, noted this Panasonic RF-2600 being sold on for $110.00.  The photo is a little blurry, but the seller notes:

A nice condition looking and playing radio that has no damage or smoke smell etc. The only item not working is the dial lamp went south, an easy replacement. Battery box is clean and runs off ac power as well.(cord included) I am asking $110.00 and will help some on the shipping costs, Pay Pal is ok I will eat the fee. Tnx & 73

That is not a bad deal for a working RF-2600. Of course, you’d need to assume if the capacitors have never been replaced, that might need to be done in the near future. Recapped? This would be a superb receiver. I know Vlado has re-capped and restored these before.

Speaking of Vlado, the second tip is that he is selling a number of used radios from his own collection. All are in good working condition–he would provide photos with cosmetic condition. He claims on the site that they’re for local pickup only, but I’m betting he would quote a shipping price if you ask nicely.

Here’s the list at time of posting:

  1. ICOM IC-746PRO in a box, with microphone.
  2. Kenwood R-1000 Shortwave receiver with power cord.
  3. Kenwood TS-50 HF transceiver with DC power cord and mic.
  4. ICOM IC-271H with built in power supply, microphone included.
  5. Kenwood TS-870S with microphone and DC power cord.
  6. Kenwood HF Transceiver TS-850S with 2 CW filters (455KHz/8.8MHz IF filters), desk microphone MC-50, DC power cord, voice recording unit, remote memory control unit RM-1. Great condition. Note: My DX companion since the days of ZS6MG.
  7. ICOM IC-7000 with microphone and DC power cord (Note: Minor issue with the Band Down button cover missing, otherwise great condition).
  8. Sony ICF 2010 AM/FM/SSB Medium wave, SW, FM and Airband receiver with AC/DC adapter. Few available.
  9. Sony ICF SW-100, Shortwave and FM pocket receiver, AM, FM, SSB. Few available.
  10. Kenwood TS-2000X transceiver, HF/VHF/UHF and 1.2GHz, DRU-3 digital voice recording unit, VS-3 voice synthesizer unit, microphone and DC power cord.
  11.  ICOM IC-745 with FM unit, fully loaded with filters, keyer board, microphone and DC power cord.

He hasn’t listed prices on these, but if you’re interested, just inquire. His email is vlado -at- Click here to view his rigs for sale. If you buy from Vlado, you’ll know that the radio will work as it should.

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Stephan’s replacement Sangean ATS-909X2 has a few issues

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Stephan, who shares a follow-up report after receiving a replacement Sangean AT-909X2 from Sangean Europe. Click here to read Stephan’s initial report along with Sangean America’s comments.

Stephan shares the following update:

Below are some of my observations on my recently arrived ATS-909×2. I spent two week-ends to carefully test this radio. Unfortunately, the radio that I received is not much improved, and it’s even worse in some aspects. This device has the latest firmware, VER. 073.

The bug related to sensitivity loss after switching bands is fixed, but the receiving performance is too bad to keep this radio in my collection.

This unit has better sensitivity on medium wave and long wave, but also it has lots of birdies on these bands. On long wave there are 14 strong birdies and dead carriers, on medium wave there are over 20 tones. The meowing sound while tuning is also still present. If somebody is interested, I can record audio demonstrations.

For these unpardonable issues, I consider this device a very expensive toy, but not a radio, at least not for listening to medium wave stations. It’s unbelievable that my 5 times cheaper Tecsun PL-398 is so much better on medium wave than this expensive receiver.

Another interesting issue which I discovered is a loud popping sound that occurs if I turn the tuning wheel a bit faster than usual. That pop gives you the impression that you just passed over a strong signal.

Sometimes, pushing the bandwith button puts the radio in SSB mode. It happened at least 5 times. I know that I am blind, but the keys are easily discernable.

Very low volume on SSB mode, but this is a known issue.

That’s all for now. This device goes back to Sangean Europe and I’ll not try again soon.

I really hope that only my particular unit is affected by these issues, but this is the second problematic device here. Might be I should buy from Sangean America… I simply can’t understand why a radio is not verified before shipping. I prefer to get a tested device with the original box opened, instead of exchanging multiple products. Such an expensive radio should be tested before shipping, because sometimes there are significant unit to unit variations. Or, even better, devices should be checked at the factory location with professional tools. Testing is needed, because there are many situations when a birdie is audible only if it’s mixed with another signal.

Thanks for reading!

Thank you for sharing this, Stephan. It sounds like the unit you received does have some quality control issues. Other than the low SSB volume level, my ATS-909X2 unit (from Sangean America) hasn’t had these issues.

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Indy 500 Week Marks the Second W9IMS Special Event of 2021

Indy 500 Week Marks the Second W9IMS Special Event of 2021

By Brian D. Smith, W9IND

If you’re looking to add a 2021 Indy 500 QSL card to your collection, and perhaps a certificate as well, your odds of success just accelerated. From now through the end of Sunday, May 30 (Race Day), the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Amateur Radio Club will take to the airwaves with special event station W9IMS.

The station’s SSB signals will appear daily on 20 and 40 meters – usually on or around 7.245 and 14.245 MHz – and possibly on 80 meters (near 3.840 MHz) later in the evening.

The Indy 500 special event is the second of three W9IMS operations commemorating the major races at the Speedway – and comes only 9 days after the first, which honored the IndyCar Grand Prix. The third and final special event of 2021, which runs from Aug. 9-15, celebrates the NASCAR 400 at the Brickyard.

Both hams and SWLs are eligible for the newly designed 2021 W9IMS QSL cards and Checkered Flag Award. To earn the certificate, however, you must work (or tune in) W9IMS during all three of this year’s special events – and the first race has already come and gone. But even if you miss the clean sweep, you can still claim individual QSL cards from the last two races.

Tips on finding W9IMS:

  1. Check DX Summit ( for spots listing the current frequency or frequencies of W9IMS, if any. By typing “W9IMS” in the search box at upper right, you can customize it to show reports for only that station.
  2. Go to the W9IMS web page ( and look for the heading, “2021 Operating Schedule.” Click on the Indianapolis 500 link, which opens into a weeklong schedule listing individual operators and their reserved timeslots. Your odds of catching W9IMS on the air are enhanced during hours with an operator’s name attached.
  3. Prime time on weeknights is 6 to 10 p.m. Indy time (2200-0200 UTC). However, W9IMS can pop up anytime, even on two bands at once, between now and 11:59 p.m. Sunday, May 30 (0359 UTC Monday, May 31).
  4. Remember that the published schedule can be curtailed by adverse circumstances, such as noisy bands, local thunderstorms or a lack of calling stations.
  5. On the positive side, operators frequently fire up the station at unscheduled times. That’s why DX Summit is the best starting point for locating W9IMS’s current frequencies.
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