Category Archives: Funny

Dan’s Fridge Counterpoise and Butter Cookie Signal Booster

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Van Hoy, who writes:

Here’s something you and the SWLing Post bunch might enjoy. My latest innovation in signal enhancement. Listening to KNLS from Anchor Point, Alaska on the 30m band. Not sure how much signal gain is achieved with the butter cookie tin, but it looks intriguing! And the 40 KV electrolyte just happened to be in the area. I’m sure it adds at least another 3dB to the received signal strength. ??

Continuing the relentless pursuit for better radio!

Ha ha! I had no idea that Danish Butter Cookies could help with DX! So much better than setting the Skywave SSB on an Altoids tin! Thanks for the chuckle, Dan!

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When Dagwood decided to become a radio repair technician

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Zantow, who shares a link to this 1947 “Blondie & Dagwood” episode #21. Dave notes that the part of the episode with a radio slant starts at approx. 24:22:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Thanks, Dave! I’m not sure I’ve ever watched an episode of Blondie and Dagwood, although I’ve certainly read hundreds of the comic strips and listened to many episodes of the OTR shows.

In fact, if you’d like to listen to some of the Blondie and Dagwood radio shows, the Internet Archive has a collection of 42 episodes that you can stream or download.

I’ve embedded the Internet Archive Playlist below for your convenience:

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You’ve Been Warned: Emilio just brought a Grundig Frankenradio to life–!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor (and certified mad scientist), Emilio Ruiz, who writes:

Recently I was given a broken Grundig G8 Traveler II.  This radio had an accident–the case, speaker, tuning knob, and volume controls were all broken or damaged.

I discovered that the tuning and volume controls are not potentiometers, they are a rotary encoders, so I substituted the tiny and broken original controls with rotary encoders (typically used for Arduino projects), but I needed to remove the 10 kiloohms resistor to work properly (only used the CLK, DT, and GND pins).

All materials were reused from other things, the result is like a “Frankenstein radio”.

The “telescopic” antenna is a tape measure/flexometer which was broken too. I replaced the original speaker (which I think was another impedance) with a proper 8 ohms speaker which produced low volume, so i decide add a Pam8403 amplifier module for best performance. The total current drain is 0.10 amp for a regular “loud” audio level.

So the Grundig Frankie is alive!!… It’s alive!!

Click here to view video in new window.

This is brilliant, Emilio! Although this radio is quite scary–and, let’s face it, “post-apocalyptic”–I think it’s absolutely amazing! I love the handle and the tape measure antenna. You, sir, are a mad scientist and I look forward to your next creation! (I’ll just take shelter first!) 🙂

Anyone else ever created a Frankenradio? Please comment!

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Steve’s crusade to obtain KGAF license plate


Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Van Hoy, who shares the following item from WFAA:

GAINESVILLE, Texas — A North Texas radio station that the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles determined had call letters that were too “vulgar” to put on a personalized license plate finally has those formerly vulgar letters proudly affixed to its one station vehicle.

It’s a victory thanks to a Gainesville-area lawmaker who decided a bit of common sense was in order.

Late last year KGAF station manager Steve Eberhart started the process, applying to have KGAF on a personalized license plate for their company van. The station has been a fixture in Gainesville since 1947. But in a modern world that sometimes communicates in OMGs, LOLs, IDKs and IMHOs, the state told him that KGAF might mean something, too.

“Well, I’ve been told that it’s an acronym or a slang for social media for ‘can’t give a (expletive),” Eberhart said. “But certainly we never intended that,” he told me several weeks ago. “I can assure you the people in 1947 did not intend for it to mean that!”[…]

Click here for the full story at WFAA.

That is a riot, Dan!  Thank you for sharing. I’m glad someone finally came to their senses and gave Steve his plate!

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Just for fun: cat approves of Radio Taiwan’s English Service

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Marcus Keulertz, who writes:

I would like to [share a] picture of our other female family member. I’m not quite sure if she loves the shortwave chirping signal which was emitted from Radio Taiwan’s English Service.

What I observed is that she stayed calm while listening to their evening broadcast.

In other words, RTI can entertain even a furry feline friend––right, Markus? She certainly seems to have her ears in the listening position. Thanks for sharing!

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triple j uncovers Australia’s filthiest radios!

Photos submitted by triple j listeners.

(Source: RadioInfo via William Lee)

The topic of dirty radios cropped up on triple j yesterday, following a conversation between presenter Alex Dyson and listener Ryan from Wollongong.

[…]By the time Dyson and Ryn finished their chat, the triple j textline was bursting with pictures of filthy radios. And since most were from work sites, Joe from Whittlesea helpully pointed out that they’re actually TradieOs™: radios belonging to tradies.

Read more at: https://www.radioinfo.com.au/news/australias-filthiest-radio

I had a radio that, I believe, might have won this competition! It was a Grundig S350 that I used on site as I built my house. One of my sub contractors borrowed it to listen to music in the attic space as he worked up there. The following day, a crew arrived to install spray foam insulation between our rafters. The crew never noticed the radio until it was too late and the entire thing was covered in foam spray. I wish I would have snapped a photo of it. I scraped off all of the spray foam, but the radio was forever ugly–still worked great, though! I believe I eventually gave it to one of my subs.

Post readers: Care to share photos of your dirtiest radios? Please comment or contact me with photos. If I receive enough, I’ll make a separate feature post!

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From the Archives: Yes, there is a shortwave…!

Note: Jeff Murray and I posted at Christmas in 2014–I thought it would be fun to dig it out of the archives once again.  Enjoy!


Virginia letter Dash

Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no shortwave. Uncle DX Dash! says, “If you see it on the SWLing Post, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a shortwave?

Virginia E. Layer
330 Independence Ave., S.W.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a digital age. They do not believe what can’t be heard or seen on their smart phone. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by Google. They seek credit cards, not QSL cards.

Yes, Virginia, there is a shortwave. It exists as certainly as sound and circuits and tubes exist, and you know that these abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no shortwave! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no heterodynes, no band openings, no propagation to make tolerable this existence. It would be a world without London Calling.

Not believe in shortwave! You might as well not believe in the ionosphere. You might get your papa to hire men to listen to all of the wi-fi radios of the world, but even if you did not hear shortwave, what would that prove? The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see ground waves dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can casually conceive or imagine all the wonders there are heard and unheard in the listening world. For that, you must wear headphones.

No shortwave! Thank goodness! It lives, and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, shortwave will continue to make glad the hearts of listeners.


Happy Holidays from your friends at Dashtoons and the SWLing Post!

With apologies to The New York Sun.  Our tongue-in-cheek editorial borrows from the timeless classic, “Is There a Santa Claus?” printed in the September 21, 1897, issue of The New York SunClick here to read the original

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