Category Archives: New Products

Paul is impressed with the HanRongDa HRD-747

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

Hello Thomas,

I have just received the HRD-747 I ordered a fortnight ago.

Of course, I quickly made some tests and I’d like to share two of them with you and the regulars of the SWLing Post:

1 – This is a recording made yesterday (23 March 2022) on 12125 kHz; RFA in Tibetan from Tinian Island; the signal is very stable, very clear.

The HRD-747 is sitting in the grass at the foot of a tree in a park! Nearby a pond. Only 6 of the 7 segments of the telescopic antenna are deployed.

My Locator: JN19cc – Locator Tinian Island: QK25TB – 13225 km

Recording:

2 – My second recording is of Radio Tamazuj in Juba Arabic on 15150 kHz 15h45 from Talata Volonondry. This recording was made in the same conditions as the previous one. Again, only 6 of the 7 segments of the telescopic antenna are deployed. The reception is still quite good, isn’t it?

My Locator: JN19cc – Locator Talata-Volonondry: LH31TF – 8526 km

My first SSB tests also allowed me to listen to Russian or Ukrainian radio amateurs in the 20m band. This little device seems to me really very promising.

3- I also made this recording made ton March 27, 2022 in a small park in my city (L’Isle-Adam – Locator: JN19CC) NW of Paris.

It is a ham radio picked up on 14328.80 kHz at 15h30 UTC. No other antenna; only the telescopic antenna of the receiver! 

The HRD-747 has 100 memories per band; this proved insufficient to store all the stations detected during the scan of the entire spectrum from 3.2 to 30 MHz … The scan stopped in the 19 m band!

First impressions? I am impressed by this tiny receiver (only 108 grams with its battery and strap).

I would like to point out that the first version of the manual which was proposed on the site is particularly useful to me. Indeed, most of the keys are multifunction. It’s a habit to get used to, even if everything seems to have been thought out in a very judicious way.

With my best regards. 73’s

Paul JAMET
Radio Club du Perche

Thank you so much for sharing this, Paul. Those results are promising, indeed! The audio sounds quite good in your recordings–especially for such a compact radio.

Spread the radio love

Eton announces the new Elite Satellit

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Troy Riedel, who notes that Eton has now placed a splash page image of the new Elite Satellit (above) on their home page.

There is no further information yet and the splash page simply links to their current production shortwave models. It does, however, show that Eton is committed to produce the Elite Satellit this year.

Of course, we’ll post any Elite Satellit updates as they become available! Stay tuned!

Spread the radio love

The new Xiegu X6100: Is it a good SW/MW broadcast band receiver?

Late last year, Xiegu started shipping their latest portable rig: the Xiegu X6100.

The X6100 is an all-in-one QRP SDR field transceiver. It sports an internal antenna tuner, internal Li-Ion rechargeable battery pack, and even an internal mic for hams who don’t want to carry the supplied mic to the field. For field operators, it’s in the very desirable “shack in a box” category. Just hook up an antenna and you’re on the air.

The X6100 got a lot of attention in the ham radio market because in many ways it resembles the Icom IC-705.

The X6100 sports top-mounted controls, a beautiful high resolution color display, and front-facing speaker. At $630 US, it’s less than half the cost of a new IC-705.

As with pretty much all modern SDR transceivers, the X6100 has variable filters and a general coverage receiver. The X6100’s receiver has gapless coverage from 0.5 MHz to 30MHz and 50MHz to 54MHz, thus covering the mediumwave and shortwave broadcast bands.

Radioddity sent me a loaner X6100 that I took delivery of on December 23, 2021.

Literally, the first thing I did was tune it to the 31 meter broadcast band.

While I’ve spent the bulk of my time with the X6100 in the field testing it as a QRP transceiver, in the shack I’ve done a fair amount of SWLing both in AM mode and (pirate radio stations) in SSB mode.

My assessment

I’ve received a number of inquiries from SWLing Post readers about the X6100 asking how it stacks up to the IC-705 from an SWL’s perspective, so I thought I’d share my impressions so far to help guide any potential purchase decisions. I’ll provide much more detail in my upcoming review in The Spectrum Monitor magazine (likely in March or April 2022).

In short: I would not buy the Xiegu X6100 specifically for shortwave broadcast listening.

While the frequency coverage is ideal, the variable filters are useful, and the color spectrum display and waterfall (in terms of the interface) are benchmark, the radio has a few cons from an SWL perspective:

  1. I have noticed imaging on the spectrum display as I tune through the broadcast bands (shortwave and mediumwave). I seriously doubt this is something that can be addressed in firmware.
  2. The X6100 does not have a robust front-end. A number of my readers on QRPer.com who live near strong broadcast stations have noted that it’s almost unusable from home.
  3. The audio is typical of Xiegu radios, meaning it’s unrefined and a bit harsh. I find it a bit fatiguing over extended listening sessions both using the internal speaker and headphones.

In fairness, the X6100 wasn’t designed with the SWL in mind.

With the negatives out of the way, the X6100 is very much a usable radio for casual broadcast listening. You might even be able to push it into a little DX action as well. If you plan to purchase the X6100 for ham radio activities anyway, consider broadcast listening as a bit of “icing on the cake.”

X6100 vs. IC-705 from an SWL’s perspective

I’ve been asked specifically about how the X6100 compares with the IC-705 in terms of shortwave and mediumwave listening.

There’s really no competition: the IC-705 is better than the X6100 by orders of magnitude in this regard.

The IC-705 is a high-performance radio with receiver qualities that would please most serious DXers. (Check out some of 13DKA’s reports!). That level of RX performance and filtering comes with a $1,300 US price tag.

The X6100 was designed to be price-competitive and to have ample performance and a tool set to please the low-power ham radio field operator. I feel like it’s a success in this regard. When I’m in the field performing a park or summit activation, I’m typically far removed from urban RFI and blowtorch broadcasters. The field operations I’ve performed so far with the X6100 (mostly in CW/Morse Code) have been quite successful and enjoyable.

I hopes this helps! Again, I’ll have more detail about the Xiegu X6100 in my upcoming detailed review in The Spectrum Monitor magazine. If you’re interested in how the X6100 performs as a QRP transceiver in the field, check out my reports on QRPer.com.

Thank you!

Spread the radio love

A look inside: The Worldwide Listening Guide’s Tenth Edition

As I’ve mentioned many times here on the SWLing Post, I’m something of a “content DXer.”

Clearly, I enjoy chasing obscure programming––news, documentaries, music, variety shows, anything the broadcasting world has to offer.   Even though my favorite medium for doing this has been shortwave radio, these days, I often turn to Wi-Fi or over-the-internet radio.  Wi-Fi radio offers the discerning listener the ability to track down fascinating regional content from every corner of the globe––content never actually intended for an international audience.

If you, too, like the chase, The Worldwide Listening Guide (WWLG) will be your go-to, and this recent edition––the tenth!––is the latest in a long line of handy volumes that help the listener catch what’s out there, noting that with each passing year there’s more content to catch.

Cornucopia of content

The variety of content from online broadcasters today is surely orders of magnitude more than any one individual has ever had via over-the-air (OTA) radio sources.

Though my WiFi radio offers an easy and reliable way to “tune” to online content––both real-time station streams and on-demand podcasts––the content discovery part is actually quite difficult. I liken it to browsing a large public library looking for a new and interesting book to read, but without the guidance of a librarian. The options are so plentiful that even with superb indexing and organization, one simply doesn’t know where to begin.

On the other hand––and I’m speaking from very recent experience here––if you find a good local independent bookstore, you might actually discover more meaningful titles because the bookstore selections are curated by both the proprietor and the local community.

With this analogy in mind, The Worldwide Listening Guide is essentially my local bookstore for online content and programming.

I recently received a review copy of the new 10th Edition of the Worldwide Listening Guide  by John Figliozzi and, as always, I enjoyed reading it from cover to cover.

The WWLG speaks to the types of programming I enjoy as an SWL because the author, John Figliozzi, is a devoted shortwave radio and international broadcasting enthusiast.

And while the bulk of the WWLG is a detailed and beautifully organized programming guide, it’s also so much more…

“The Many Platforms of radio”

As I’ve so often said, the WWLG is a unique guide; there’s nothing quite like it on the market because it truly takes a deep dive into the world of broadcasting and content delivery both from a technology and programming point of view.

Each media delivery platform, whether on AM, Shortwave, FM, Satellite Radio, Internet (WiFi Radio), and Podcasting, has a dedicated section in the book where Figliozzi explores each in detail. He also speaks to the state of each platform both from the broadcaster’s and the listener’s perspective.

Indeed, each chapter dedicated to these topics very much reminds me of the old Passport to Worldband Radio that I first picked up in the 1990s. The WWLG serves as a primer, but also speaks to the health and potential longevity of each platform.

I appreciate the fact that Figliozzi also addresses the nuts-and-bolts side of both over-the-air and online broadcasting.  For while I’d like to think that I’m reasonably knowledgeable about the world of radio, I find I always discover something new in each edition.

There’s a surprising amount of information packed into this slim, spiral-bound volume. The Worldwide Listening Guide is enough to keep even a seasoned content DXer happy for years…or at least, until the latest edition comes out!

In short? The WWLG is a bargain for all it offers, and I highly recommend it.

The 10th edition of The Worldwide Listening Guide can be purchased here:

Note that at time of posting copies of the WWLG can be pre-ordered at Universal Radio. Amazon.com will soon have links to purchase the 10th edition when they’re in inventory. I assume the W5YI group will also have the 10th edition available for purchase soon!  

Spread the radio love

New Reuter Elektronik RDR52 QRP general coverage transceiver

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Zantow, who notes that Reuter Elektronik recently introduced their latest radio: the RDR52 QRP Transceiver.

Here’s the announcement from the Reuter Elektronik website:

RDR52 in standard “black” and special “metal”

The RDR52 can basically be seen as a desktop version of the popular Reuter Pocket mobile device. Astonishingly, the Pocket is often used as a full-fledged desktop receiver. Many operators report that they have sold their “large” devices and now only use the Pocket because it pairs good reception properties with simple operation and offers a very effective spectrum display while keeping the power consumption to a minimum.

However, the battery-powered Pocket was never designed for that purpose. First, it needs a stand-up aid to be easy to operate on your desktop (display almost vertical). Second, the playback volume of the loudspeakers is low and turning the scroll wheel feels finicky. Third, operation on a constant charging current supply is suboptimal for the built-in batteries: Constant full charging shortens their service life.

The RDR52 avoids these disadvantages. It essentially contains the circuit and thus the display and reception properties as well as the operating options of the Pocket. Due to the larger housing (heat dissipation) and a slightly higher possible current consumption (no batteries as power supply), improvements in the IM behavior (more powerful preamplifiers and AD converters) could be achieved. Other differences to the Pocket include:

    • Aluminum profile housing 190 x 90 x 100 mm³ with 5 mm thick front and 2 mm thick rear panel, powder-coated / anodized.
    • BNC sockets for antenna connection, separate for 0 – 71 MHz, FM / 2m / DAB and exciter / QRP transmitter.
    • Large rotary knob with solid optical rotary encoder.
    • Additional rotary knob for volume adjustment of headphones and loudspeakers.
    • Two 32 mm loudspeakers with good bass reproduction.
    • External power supply DC voltage 9 – 15 V (common hollow pin socket with 2.5 mm pin).

All the Pocket’s enhancements are also available for the RDR52 (broadband spectrum with up to 52.6 MHz display width, 8 different FM filters for extreme DX to high-end stereo, up to 16 GBit flash memory for audio or I/Q recordings, screen dump of the display to the recorder, WiFi, Bluetooth, power supply and control of the RLA4 / RFA1 directly from the antenna input, …). Two basic hardware versions will be available: Standard black with simple loudspeakers and plastic knobs, or a special version with metal knobs and aluminum loudspeaker membranes.

The equipment of different transmitter modules and frequency ranges has been a bit expanded in contrast to the Pocket. Two modules can be installed in the RDR52 at the same time (Pocket: only 1 module). This means, for example, that the FM module and the SW QRP transmitter can be installed at the same time, or the broadband exciter can be installed without the need for an FM module. However, equipping both transmitter modules (exciter and QRP transmitter at the same time) is not possible.

The RDR52 is in production and is expected to be available from the end of December 2021. Prices according to the current price list.

Based on the price list, it appears the RDR52 will start at € 999 with a number of optional upgrades/configurations.

Click here for more information.

Thank you for the tip, Dave!

Spread the radio love

17th Edition of the Global Radio Guide (Winter 2021-22) Now Available

(Source: Teak Publishing Press Release)

17th Edition of the Global Radio Guide (Winter 2021-22) Now Available

On any given day, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) fueled by a meteoric rise in the country’s economics, politics, the covid pandemic, cyber security and human rights issues, Beijing Winter 2022 Olympics, and a strident expansion of the country’s military forces dominates global news headlines and news cycles. These headlines include China’s recent tensions with Taiwan, which are said to be the worst in forty years, and its other neighbors in the South China Sea region.

As China’s influence continues to expand worldwide, so have the country’s huge radio broadcast services. Local, regional, and international mediumwave and shortwave networks carry news and programming to audiences around the world. Since these services are government-sponsored you are hearing China’s Communist Party’s (CCP) perspective of worldwide events as they unfold. Topping the list of the country’s media outlets is China Radio International (CRI) the largest and most widely heard station in China.

For those who want to follow all the ongoing storylines originating from the PRC, Gayle Van Horn’s 17th Edition of her Amazon bestselling Global Radio Guide (Winter 2021-22) has all the details you need to monitor all the radio services from the Land of the Red Dragon.

Her feature is one of the most comprehensive articles ever written on the Chinese radio broadcast system. Complete schedules for all China radio services, a section of how to ID national stations broadcasting in Chinese, and links to videos with CRI IDs in 45 languages on the author’s YouTube channel that are just some of the materials you will find in this all-important cover story in the GRG. This is an indispensable guide to for the radio listener to hear China as tensions in the region continue to heat up.

China’s broadcasters are not the only focus of this completely updated edition of the GRG, though. Worldwide, tensions are continuing to escalate, and – in another case of what is old becoming new – people around the world are once again turning to shortwave radio to place themselves on the front lines.

With the help of the GRG, you can tune in to shortwave broadcast stations from other hotspots such as Cuba, India, Iran, North/South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and many other counties. If you have a shortwave radio receiver, SDR or Internet connection, pair it with this unique radio resource to know when and where to listen to the world.

This newest edition of the GRG carries on the tradition of those before it with an in-depth, 24-hour station/frequency guide with schedules for selected AM band, longwave, and shortwave radio stations. This unique resource is the only radio publication that lists by-hour schedules that include all language services, frequencies, and world target areas for over 500 stations worldwide. The schedules included in this edition of the GRG are valid from 31 October 2021 until 26 March 2022, the B21 broadcast schedule period.

The GRG includes listings of DX radio programs and Internet website addresses for many of the stations in the book. There are also entries for time and frequency stations as well as some of the more “intriguing” transmissions one can find on the shortwave radio bands.

Gayle has also updated her now-famous SDR Buyer’s Guide, a must-have compendium that helps you navigate through the revolutionary world of software-defined radios (SDRs), the new digital frontier of the radio hobby.

Also new in this 17th edition, James Careless, in an article that originally appeared in Radio World, looks at the current state of shortwave receiver technology. Dr. Adrian Peterson of AWR looks back at the early days of Philippine broadcasting. David Harris has written a review of the bhi NES10-2MK4 Noise Cancelling Speaker. Spectrum Monitor columnist Fred Waterer will take you on a guided tour of shortwave music programs from around the world.

There are updated columns including the latest radio news in Bits & Bytes, current radio QSL information and addresses, the Best of the Best DX shortwave program listings, and a listing of radio station Internet websites.

This edition also has introductory articles for beginners on Traveling the World via Shortwave Radio Broadcasts, Monitoring the Shortwave Action Bands, and Teak’s latest greatly expanded frequency list of HF non-broadcast radio stations worldwide.

Global Radio listeners are routinely entertained with unique perspectives to events, music, culture, history, and news from other countries that you will not see or hear on your local or national broadcast channels. Global Radio broadcasts are not restricted by country borders or oceans and can travel thousands of miles, reaching millions of listeners worldwide, now in over 300 different languages and dialects.

Whether you monitor shortwave radio broadcasts, amateur radio operators, or aeronautical, maritime, government, or military communications in the HF radio spectrum, this book has the frequencies to help you to hear it all. Teak Publishing’s Global Radio Guide “brings the world to you.”

You can find this edition of the Global Radio Guide, along with all of Teak Publishing e-book titles currently available for purchase, on the Teak Publishing Web site at www.teakpublishing.com. This includes all previous editions of the Global Radio Guide available at reduced sale prices.

The 17th edition of the Global Radio Guide e-Book (electronic book only, “no print edition available”) is available worldwide from Amazon and their various international websites at

https://amzn.to/3py5JPd (SWLing Post affiliate link)

The price for this latest edition is US$8.99 for over 1000 pages of radio hobby content and frequencies. Since this book is being released internationally, Amazon customers in the United Kingdom, Germany, France Spain, Italy, Japan, India, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, and Australia can order this e-Book from Amazon websites directly servicing these countries. Customers in all other countries can use the regular Amazon.com website to purchase this e-Book.

You can read any Kindle e-Book with Amazon’s ‘free’ reading apps on literally any electronic media platform. You do not have to own a Kindle reader from Amazon to read this e-book. There are Kindle apps available for iOS, Android, Mac, and PC platforms. You can find additional details on these apps by checking out this link to the Amazon website at www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771.

Spread the radio love

The new Winradio WR-G69DDCe ‘Artemis’ wide bandwidth SDR

Image: WinRadio

WinRadio has just added a new SDR to their line-up: the Winradio WR-G69DDCe ‘Artemis’.

In the spirit of WinRadio’s approach to iterative design, the Artemis appears to be their new flagship SDR. The specs and features (see below) are impressive.

The WR-G69DDCe has two (selectable, I assume) frequency ranges. In “Range 1” it operates as a direct sampling SDR from 8 kHz to 80 MHz. In “Range 2” it operates as a superheterodyne receiver from 43 MHz to 8 GHz.

It appears the WR-G69DDCe’s recording and processing bandwidth is an impressive 32 MHz. I imagine it would take some proper CPU horsepower and a large, speedy SSD to make those 32 MHz recordings!

At time of posting, I haven’t seen details about pricing and availability, but I’m 99% certain this will not be a budget model. WinRadio’s higher performance SDR models have historically retailed in excess of $2,000 US.

The following details were taken directly from the Winradio WR-G69DDCe product page:


Overview

The WiNRADiO WR-G69DDC ‘Artemis’ is a top performance, software-defined, wide-band, ultra-fast search speed 3 GHz/s, HF/VHF/UHF/SHF receiver. Two independent and mutually exclusive inputs are provided, one for each range: 8 kHz to 80 MHz and 43 MHz to 8 GHz. A real-time 80/34 MHz-wide spectrum analyzer is included with a 32 MHz wide instantaneous bandwidth available for recording, demodulation and further digital processing over the whole frequency range.

The receiver’s superior performance results from its innovative, combination of direct-sampling and superheterodyne, digital down-conversion architecture along with the use of leading-edge components and design concepts. These all result in excellent sensitivity, phase noise and dynamic range, highly accurate and stable tuning, high scanning speed and perfect demodulation. These key features create a receiver in a class of its own, making it capable of filling not only the role of a monitoring receiver but also that of a fast search receiver and measuring receiver, with many operational and instrumentation features not usually found on receivers of any price category.

The entire 32 MHz DDC (digitally down-converted) bandwidth is available for recording and demodulation, and ideal for hopping frequencies analysis. Three demodulators allow the simultaneous reception and decoding of radio signals within the entire band.

The WR-G69DDCe also features optional external reference frequency inputs and outputs as well as 1PPS pulse input. In addition, stereo analog output is also possible, as well as wide audio (10 Hz-150 kHz). The special data port offers numerous possibilities which include GPIO (general purpose I/O), HSP (high speed data output), or traditional RS232 interface.

Features

    • 8 kHz to 8 GHz frequency range
    • Direct sampling & superheterodyne
    • Digital down-conversion
    • 16-bit 200 MSPS A/D converter
    • 80/34 MHz-wide, real-time spectrum analyzer
    • 32 MHz recording and processing bandwidth
    • Continuously adjustable filter bandwidth down to 1 Hz
    • Waterfall display functions and audio spectrum analyzer
    • Audio and IF recording and playback
    • Recording with pre-buffering
    • Ultra-fast search speed 3 GHz/s
    • High sensitivity
    • Excellent dynamic range
    • Excellent frequency stability (0.1 ppm)
    • Test and measurement functions
    • Networking version of application software available
    • USB 3.0 and 1 Gb Ethernet (with PoE) data interfaces
    • Numerous data and signal hw options
    • Self-diagnostics with BIT and thermal management
    • The receiver interfaces to a Windows-compatible PC via USB 3.0, or 1 Gb Ethernet LAN port with PoE (Power over Ethernet functionality according to the IEEE 802.3at standard).

For the highest bandwidth use, connection is best via USB3 for short distances (up to 3m). As the G69DDCe is equipped with an Ethernet socket, semi-remote connection to a computer is possible via a long Ethernet cable (up to 100m in length). For longer distances or when located in a busy or remote network, the Networking CSO option is recommended.

The receiver is very well shielded against interference, making it possible to operate in a noisy computer environment. Its modest power requirements are less than 20 watts. While connected via a LAN interface, thanks to PoE built-in functionality, the receiver can be operated and powered via a long Ethernet cable connection.


I’ll post information about pricing and availability once it’s available. Stay tuned!

Spread the radio love