Category Archives: Accessories

Mario recommends LED strip light headlamps for nighttime SWLing

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

I recently purchased a pair of LED strip light headbands from Amazon for use while doing jobs around the house in areas where the lighting is poor.

These might be helpful also for SWLs and hams, especially for listening at night when in the field. They boast a 220 degree arc of light, high/low/flasher settings, rear red flasher, USB rechargeable, weigh about 5 ounces and are more comfortable than the older bulky headlamps.

There are many different versions of these strip LED lights available so you can shop around for the one that best fits your needs.

Click here to view on Amazon.com (affiliate link).

This is excellent, Mario. Thank you for sharing. I’m a huge fan of headlamps, but I’ve never seen an LED strip headlamp–I see where that wide arc of light would be useful.

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Paul wants to know: How do you store your radios?

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul, who writes:

This may be a good discussion question on your great blog.

Basically, I am curious to learn where and how do people store their various radios – I think it’s safe to say that many of us have more than 5 or 10. Do you use bookshelves? TV stands? Those storage cube organizers? Custom shelving on the walls? It will be interesting to know …

All the best
Paul

I think this is a great question, Paul.

Personally, I have a lot of portables, so storage is definitely an issue. Since I do radio reviews, many models aren’t ones I use daily but I keep them for comparison reviews and for using in rotation.

The first thing I do when I store a radio is remove its batteries if it takes traditional cells (like AA, AAA, C, or D batteries). I remove them to prevent them from leaking and corroding the battery terminals. Even though I’ve migrated the Eneloop batteries (for AA and AAA), I still remove them for storage.

I built custom shelves into my office to accommodate large standard size clear storage containers; I believe the ones I have originally came from IKEA. I store all of my portables in those containers with a little padding or their original box to keep them from getting scratched up.

This system has worked for me very well over the years, but I’ll admit that I wish my small office had more shelf area for radios on display!

Readers: How do you store your radios when not in use? Please comment!

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Greg’s Uniden stand works perfectly with the Belka-DX

Belka-DX StandMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Greg Hathaway, who writes:

Hi there –

I bought a Belka-DX recently and am really enjoying it! The stand from my Uniden Home Patrol 1 scanner works great with it. The stand is sold separately by Uniden for those who may be interested.

Best,
Greg Hathaway

Thank you for sharing this, Greg. You’re right: that little Uniden stand fits the Belka perfectly!

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The Radioddity Raddy WF-100C wireless weather station

There are a few hobbies and activities that always seem to tie radio enthusiasts together: topics like aviation, astronomy, trains, languages/travel, and the weather.

The weather is a big one for amateur radio operators because it’s often one of the ice-breakers used while connecting with a fellow operator over the air. I suppose it’s for this reason, I can’t remember a single Hamvention that didn’t include at least one vendor exclusively selling personal weather stations.

A few weeks ago, SWLing Post sponsor Radioddity reached out and asked if I would be interested in reviewing and evaluating a new weather station they’ve started selling.

My how times have changed…

I’ve always wanted a proper personal weather station with built-in automatic rain gauge and an anemometer to measure wind speed in real-time. Many years ago, we purchased a commercial-grade Davis weather station for my brother-in-law who is a complete meteorology/weather geek. If memory serves, the entire system cost well over $500, but the Davis is a station that’s robust enough that scientists purchase these for remote monitoring, and research.

My brother-in-law used this station for many years until he moved to a ground floor apartment where he simply had no way to install it. He gave it to me, but I never installed it at our house because doing so with wires would have been challenging and, frankly, not terribly neat–black wires would have been running along our our exterior walls.

I considered purchasing a wireless station, but many were either too expensive or I didn’t know the company well so questioned the quality.

Enter the Raddy WF-100C

I get a lot [understatement alert!] of requests to review products from various companies and decline almost all of them. The reason is, I’m not persuaded by free products and my time to actually do reviews is very limited and precious to me. I stick with reviews directly related to the radio world and products I feel might be useful to our community.

Continue reading

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Wanted: Quality 18650 3.7V rechargeable cells

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike Hansgen, who recently mentioned that he’s on the hunt for quality 18650 Li-Ion cells.

Like Mike, I’ve a number of shortwave portables that use 18650 cells, so I understand where he’s coming from: he’d like 18650 cells that are both safe and have a long life. Even though most radios that use 18650 cells have internal chargers, I also assume he’d welcome quality external charger recommendations.

Mike said he’s willing to pay a premium for quality cells but frankly, I’m not sure what to suggest because it seems most of the ones I find are the average eBay and Amazon variety (ie. pretty darn cheap).

I know there are some here in the SWLing Post community who are flashlight enthusiasts and others who are well-versed in the world of rechargeable batteries.

If you have any suggestions, please share them in a comment! Thank you in advance as I’m also keen to hear your comments!

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A simple guide to portable radio power

Over on QRPer.com, I just published a post on portable power that was The Spectrum Monitor magazine’s April 2021 cover article.

This article is essentially an overview of a few different types of rechargeable batteries including pros and cons of each chemistry.

While this article focuses on use in ham radio field applications, it also applies to anyone powering receivers–especially those without an internal power supply–in the field.

Click here to read at QRPer.com.

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Markku recommends the GP-5 Desk Pod (Gen 3) for the PL-368

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Markku (VA3MK), who writes:

I just received this stand today, works and fits well with my orange Tecsun PL-368.

Click here to view at CountyComm.

What a nice and simple little stand! Thanks for sharing this, Markku. This would work (I assume) with any of the CountyComm and Tecsun Portables with a similar form factor.

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