A case for the Belka-DX and cautionary tale!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Steve Allen (KZ4TN), who shares the following guest post:


My Belka-DX: A Cautionary Tale

One of the most amazing SW radios I have ever owned and listened to is the Belka-DX. Its size to performance ratio is without equal, IMHO.

Late last year I dropped it on the floor and was emotionally traumatized when I picked it up and found the LCD to be broken (see photo above). It still received but most of the display was damaged and not readable. I tried to open it up with the intent of replacing the LCD myself (if I could source one) but I could not figure out how to remove the circuit board.

I contacted Boris at MobiMax in Bulgaria from whom I purchased the little squirrel. It took a few weeks of back and forth as he worked to get pricing for the replacement LCD. Eventually he had a very reasonable quote put together and I mailed the Belka-DX off to Bulgaria. Now the wait began. It took almost four weeks for it to finally arrive at MobiMax. Boris had the repair turned around in about a week and I made payment via PayPal. Just like before it took about four weeks transit time and I worried that it would disappear somewhere on the way.

It arrived safe and sound and I am very glad to have it back. I’ve been missing my bedtime SWLing.

So…moving forward I will now always store the radio in a hard case. After digging around in my box of assorted cases I found nothing that was the right size.

After twenty minutes on Amazon I found a hard case that was originally for a small point and shoot digital camera. It was a bit larger than the Belka-DX and it also had room for earbuds, the charging cable and power adaptor, and a small wire antenna.

I glued some foam in the case to hold the radio in place and it’s now nice and snug.

Click here to check out the case on Amazonm.com (affiliate link).

Now I can safely carry it in my daypack or other travel luggage without fear of damage.

Spread the radio love

18 thoughts on “A case for the Belka-DX and cautionary tale!

  1. Peter Gibson

    After reading this I had a search around and found a soft but firm hard drive case – for laptop size. The Belka fits lovely and with the essentials. It was a good time to read this, as I am off overseas shortly, 3 different flights, so lots of bumping.

    Reply
  2. Egil Ingebrigtsen

    The Belka has not only the best Its size to performance ratio I have seen, but also the best prize to performance as well. I’m very satisfied with the unit I bought, and have been looking for a sjuitable case for it. So thanks for the tip Steveallen! I have just ordered one frrom Amazon.

    73 de Egil – LA2PJ

    Reply
  3. Darren

    Just bought myself the case after reading the article. Love the Belka and would hate to see it get damaged. Thanks for the heads up.

    Reply
  4. Sandip S Nambiar

    I have been thinking of such a case that can be used for my daily drivers – Belka DX and Skywave SSB. Does the case mentioned in the article above for a Skywave SSB? 73, Sandip EI7IJB

    Reply
    1. Steve Allen

      Sandip:

      You will have to measure the radio and compare to the internal dimensions of the case. I measure it as; 4.25×3.125×1.5 inches or 108x80x40 mm. It’s a clam shell so the top and bottom have the same volume, with the bottom and top being .75″ deep (20mm) each for a total of 1.5 inches. These are the internal dimensions.

      Reply
    2. Dave

      Case for C Crane Skywave: if you look on the very big river site for GPS cases (e.g. “Navitech Black Hard Carry Case Compatible with The Garmin DriveSmart 65”) you should find an EVA clamshell style hard case that will fit the Skywave nicely in one side along with the wind-up antenna and earphones in the other side. I have one that works well (brand is “DURAGADGET” but I don’t that exact item listed anymore, there seem to many identical ones under different names.
      Dave.

      Reply
    1. Dave

      It was made in Belarus, currently shows out of stock at the Bulgarian online store and given the status of Belarus in the current war I think this particular squirrel may be extinct. That would be a shame because I think it was a really great design – but of course a trivial loss compared to what else has been lost recently.
      Dave.

      Reply
      1. Dave

        I have to correct my comment on Belka availablity, just joined the Belka FB group and there is a post indicating they are still shipping the product. I still would probably move promptly if you want one of these though, things may change…
        (recommend the FB group if you have a Belka, I would have joined before if I’d known about it)
        Dave.

        Reply
          1. Jonathon Pearce

            Everyone to their own but the average Russian and Belarusian is just like us and not wanting war. I have a Russian friend in St Petersburg and his life has become hell. He’s a really good guy.
            And then consider shortwave… It’s one of the few mediums that can’t be blocked and allows the truth and need to be promulgated. So maybe Belka is making a difference to some?
            Just a different point of view and I’m glad I have both.

  5. Jonathon Pearce

    I have the Belka DX (and a DSP) so thanks for the tip.
    What aerial do you use our did you make one up?

    I’m going to try and pair mine with an irig pro i/O to iphone and see if it can interface with the isdr app. If it works I’ll post some thing here

    Reply
    1. Steve Allen

      Jonathon:

      For the portable antenna I’m using a piece of 2 conductor ribbon cable that I had in my wire box. Length is around 20 feet. I have an adapter that is a BNC male to a terminal post that I can attach the stripped ends of the antenna to. At home I use a 40+ foot end fed wire up in a tree. I match the radio to the antenna with a homebrew antenna tuner.

      https://swling.com/blog/2020/11/steve-builds-a-simple-swl-antenna-tuner-that-pairs-brilliantly-with-the-belka-dx/

      If your iPhone/Belka-DX project works out I’ll be looking for the article.

      Regards, Steve

      Reply
      1. Jonathon Pearce

        Hi Steve
        All appears good with irig and iphone. Need to get my zoom to record but will post photos very soon.

        Reply

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