Category Archives: New Products

WRTH 2019 available for order

(Source: Nicholas Hardyman WRTH)

World Radio TV Handbook 2019

Published 7 December 2018 – Order your copy today!

We are delighted to announce the publication of the 73rd edition of WRTH.

For full details of WRTH 2019 and to order a copy please visit our website at www.wrth.com where you can also order the B18 WRTH Bargraph Frequency Guide on CD and Download.

WRTH 2019 is also available for pre-order, for readers in the USA, from Amazon.com or Universal Radio in Ohio.

I hope you enjoy using this new edition of WRTH and the new CD.

Best regards,

Nicholas Hardyman

Publisher

Click here to visit WRTH online.

WRTH Retailers:

Spread the radio love

Updated Raspberry Pi image for SDRplay software defined radios

(Source: SDRplay via Jon Hudson)

SDRplay is pleased to announce the availability of an updated Raspberry Pi3 image: This release (V0.4) is a complete image for the Raspberry Pi 3 with a range of pre-built applications for SDRplay devices.

Please note the following:

1. This software is made available purely for the convenience of users to save them from having to build the software themselves from source code.
2. All software apart from ADS-B is provided by third party developers and SDRplay can take no responsibility for any faults or bugs and is unable to provide support. For any support for these applications, we recommend that users contact the original authors.
3. Where the RSPduo is supported by applications, it can only be used in single tuner mode.
4. Whilst this should work with all RPi3s, we have only tested with RPi3 B+ and that will provide the best performance.

List of known issues:

SoapyRemote

Will only work over LAN connections and locally. It will not work over Wide Area Networks

CubicSDR
Will only support the RSPduo in single tuner mode

Gnu Radio
No known issues

GQRX
Some limitations with tuner hardware control
Audio only via USB and HDMI audio
CPU load is quite high and may cause audio stuttering

ADS-B
RSPduo not currently supported
Port B is the default port for the RSP2

Qt-DAB
Will only support the RSPduo in single tuner mode

TCP Server – This is a fork of the RTL-SDR (TCP) server developed by F4HH. This software should work with any client that supports the RTL-SDR (TCP) server software with some limitations. This software should be viewed as being for experimental purposes.
RSP2 works only on port A
RSPduo not supported
Maximum sample rate limited to 3.2 MHz
Some limitations with RSP1A RF gain control

Download links:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/kvaatu0ndet5pns/SDRplay_RPi3_V0.4.img.xz?dl=0

or

https://www.sdrplay.com/software/SDRplay_RPi3_V0.4.img.xz

Size: 2249196664 bytes (2145 MiB)

Checksums:
CRC32: 204AE0BE
CRC64: 76FAA00F83A96F1D
SHA256: 2BDB44BFCA95241AA9FE26F02EFB78FD0370869AC2775F76832AC68F7E9DA153

Spread the radio love

Alexa can now look up broadcast schedules with the Shortwave Signals skill!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark Hirst, who writes:

I’m pleased to announce that my Alexa skill has been approved by Amazon and is now available in the following countries:

Australia, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Because single word skills are reserved for organisations and brand names, the skill name had to change and is now called ‘Shortwave Signals‘.

I’ve uploaded a video this morning with the finished skill in action:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Amazing, Mark! Thank you for developing this Alexa skill!

I’ve been beta testing Mark’s Alexa skill and have been very happy with the results. It makes for a nice hands-free way of checking broadcast schedules while in the shack. And it seems like only yesterday when Mark was tinkering around with the idea to create this skill.

Bravo for making Shortwave Signals a reality, Mark!

If you own an Echo or Alexa-enabled device, simply open the Alexa App and search for the Shortwave Signals skill to activate it.

We only have one Amazon Echo device in our house–the one I evaluated for my WiFi radio primer a couple years ago. As Black Friday approaches, I’m going to keep my eye on the Amazon Echo Dot for my radio room–the 2nd generation units are quite inexpensive (as low as $29.99 for a certified refurbished unit).

Click here to search Amazon for an Echo device (affiliate link).

Spread the radio love

DXtreme Station Log 14

Many thanks to SWLing Post sponsor, Bob Raymond with DXtreme Software, for sharing the following press release:


Product Announcement DXtreme Station Log 14

DXtreme SoftwareTM has released a new version of its popular logging program for Amateur Radio operators: DXtreme Station Log 14TM.

New Features in DXtreme Station Log 14

  •  DX Spot Checker Now Has Two Presentation Modes — Users can switch between Rich Site Feed and Grid Feed by clicking a tab on the window. The Rich Site Feed displays the actual, continuous feed from the Telnet server, and lets users interact with the server to set options like server-side filters and to perform queries. The new Grid Feed displays 10 to 50 rows (user’s choice) of DX spots in a structured, resizable, alternating-color grid. Grid-Feed spots can be displayed on a rotating basis (erase then continue) or by overwriting spots already displayed, as selected on the DX Spot Checker toolbar. Users can set fonts and colors for both feeds.
  •  Suppress Verified Spots by Mode Per Band — When activated in DX Spot Checker Options, this client-side filter lets users suppress the display of spots for modes already verified within band plans defined on the Modes-Per-Band Plans tab.
  •  JT Log Entry Processing — Users can have DXtreme Station Log 14 manage the pre- and post-log-entry population of the WSJT-X and JTDX log files, letting users perform all logging operations on the Station Log 14 window while keeping their eyes glued to the WSJT-X or JTDX interfaces for worked-before status indications. This feature is important when using quick modes like FT8.
  •  Digital Application Assignment — When users add a JT log entry via JT Log Entry Processing, the Digital Application Used field is populated automatically with either WSJT-X or JTDX as appropriate. When using other applications, users can edit this field manually. And they can assign digital applications to pre-existing log entries by mode globally, filtered or unfiltered by date and band.
  •  Club Log Record Creation — Users can create Club Log records in a special workfile automatically when adding or modifying log entries. The workfile can be viewed and edited, if needed, and uploaded via the Club Log web site. A Batch Upload to
    Club Log function is available when Club Log does not contain all log entries.

Standard Features in DXtreme Station Log 14

DXtreme Station Log 14 lets hams log their contacts and import ADIF files from other programs. It supports major call sign subscription services, and offers the following multimedia and advanced functions:

  •  DX Spot CheckerTM — Receives DX spots from Telnet-based servers and determines whether QSOs are needed for new or verified DXCC® entities, band-entities, mode- entities, or VUCC grids. Information displays on Rich Site Feed and Grid Feed tabs.
  •  Automatic LoTW Upload — Users can set Station Log 14 so it uploads each log entry to LoTW automatically when added, capturing and saving QSO Record Status from the LoTW server as part of the process. Modified log entries can be uploaded as well. If desired, users can disable automatic uploading and can upload log entries to LoTW semiautomatically and manually in batches whenever they want to.
  •  LoTW Reporting — Users can perform searches and run reports filtered by LoTW QSO Record Status, which indicates whether log entries are On, or Not On, the LoTW server following upload or QSL-updating. Users can also perform searches and run reports filtered by LoTW QSL Record Status, which indicates the date of each LoTW QSL record processed by DXtreme’s LoTW QSL Update Utility.
  •  DX Atlas Integration — Performs Afreet DX Atlas azimuth plots from the user’s location to that of a spotted or logged station. Also creates maps for reports.
  •  Rig Control — Tunes/retrieves frequencies and modes from supported rigs through integration with Afreet Omni-Rig.
  •  QSL Processing — Creates QSL and address labels for physical QSLs, and supports the ARRL’s LoTW facility, including capturing LoTW QSL records as digital images.
  •  QSL ImagingTM — Lets users scan and capture QSL cards and electronic QSLs into their log entries for browsing and viewing any time they want to.
  •  Improv ImagingTM — Lets users associate adhoc images with their log entries separate from our popular QSL ImagingTM facility. Users can capture, scan, or paste any image and save it as a single-page .jpg, or single- or multi-page .tif. Improv images popular with users include signals on a spectrum analyzer or waterfall, QSOs conducted on ATV and data applications, and equipment used during contacts.
  •  Audio Facility — Records and plays QSOs.
  •  Reports — Provides a wide range of performance and station reports to let users see how well they’re doing. Reports can be filtered and sorted. Includes DXCC® and WAS AnalyticsTM tools for analyzing and enhancing DXCC and WAS standing.Operating System and Requirements, Pricing and Support

DXtreme Station Log 14 runs in 32- and 64-bit versions of Microsoft® Windows® 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista®, and Windows XP. It retails for $89.99 USD worldwide for Internet distribution. Reduced pricing is available for upgrading users. All prices include product support by Internet e-mail.

About DXtreme Software

Based in Nashua, NH, DXtreme Software produces powerful and easy-to-use logging applications for all kinds of radio enthusiasts — from short-wave and medium-wave listeners and DXers to Amateur Radio operators. For more information about DXtreme Station Log 14, visit www.dxtreme.com or contact bobraymond@dxtreme.com.

Spread the radio love

Review Update: CCRadio-EP Pro’s major improvements!

In April, I posted a review of C. Crane’s latest iteration of the much-loved EP series: the C. Crane CCRadio-EP Pro.

Although the new Pro model had the makings of a great, simple DXer-grade receiver, the first production run was plagued with issues that, in the end, prevented me from recommending it to radio enthusiasts and DXers. Frankly speaking, I was quite disappointed.

I evaluated the original CCRadio-EP Pro over the course of several weeks, documenting my findings in detail and sharing them with C. Crane both during the evaluation period and in my full review.

But to C. Crane’s credit––being a company of integrity––they responded to each point of criticism, promising to address the issues in the receiver’s second production run.

Enter the second production run…

About six weeks ago, I took delivery of a second-production-run CCRadio-EP Pro.

The second-run units have actually been shipping for a few months now, but due to nearly two months of travel and a hectic schedule following, my evaluation took longer than I had hoped. And if you’ve been following the SWLing Post for long, you’ll have noticed that I never rush a radio evaluation…and for good reason. Post readers are placing their trust in my review, so I must feel confident it’s as accurate––and as transparent––as I can make it.

Speaking of transparency, by the way, please note that C. Crane provided the initial and second production evaluation units at no cost to me.

What follows is a review of the second-run CCRadio-EP Pro. I would encourage you to read my original review before proceeding, because I am (only) addressing all of the negatives I listed from the previous review.  However, for your convenience, I’ve included quotes from the original here.

In a nutshell?  C. Crane listened to my list of concerns, and I’m very pleased!

Muting between frequencies?

 

From my first production run review:

[M]echanically-tuned DSP radios, like the new CCRadio-EP Pro, may look like analog sets, but inside, they’re entirely digital. And one drawback to all of the mechanically-tuned DSP radios I’ve tested so far is a tendency to mute between frequencies. With each 10 kHz frequency step, you’ll hear a short audio mute. If you tune across the dial quickly, audio mutes until you land on a frequency.

I’m pleased to report that C. Crane has significantly decreased the amount of muting between frequencies. Indeed, even on the AM band (which was most affected in the first production run), muting no longer distracts me from the experience of band scanning.

Unlike an analog receiver, if you tune quickly across the band, the EP Pro essentially mutes audio completely.  This is common with analog-tuned DSP receivers. This is still the case with the second production run unit, but this does not concern me, as I rarely move quickly across the bands while hunting weak signals.

Imaging?

From my first production run review:

Crane actually includes a note about weak images which you might find below and/or above your target signal. Weak images are an unfortunate reality of the CCRadio-EP Pro; they’re prevalent on both AM and FM.

On the initial production receiver, here’s how you might experience the images by way of example: let’s say you’re tuning to a strong local AM station on 630 kHz, noting that the EP Pro has 10 kHz tuning increments. As you tune to 630 kHz, you’ll hear the station on 620 kHz, though it won’t be as strong as it is on 630 kHz. Then if you tune to 640 kHz, you’ll likely hear a weaker image of the station there, as well. In my experience, images are present on both sides of the target station if the station is strong. If it’s a weak station, you might only hear it, say, 10 kHz lower but not above (or vise versa).

As you might imagine, this poses a problem for the weak signal AM broadcast band DXer.

I’m pleased to report that C. Crane has eliminated the false peaks around signals. This was a major negative from the original review. Now, as you tune across the bands, it feels more fluid, and when you hear a station you can be confident you’re actually on frequency as it seamlessly “locks” into place.

Well done, C. Crane!

Inaccurate dial?

At the top end of the band, the EP Pro tuned to 1600 kHz

From the first production run review:

I’ve also discovered that, on my unit, the top half of the AM dial is inaccurate. I estimate that the slide rule dial is off by about 40-50 kHz at the top end of the band. It’s much more accurate below 1,200 kHz, however.

I’m pleased to report that the dial on this second production run unit is now as accurate as any analog radio. I tested frequency accuracy across the entire AM/FM bands, and can reliably find stations. Another major negative C. Crane fixed!

Audio “pop” with power on?

From the first production run review:

[A]ny time you turn on the CCRadio-EP Pro, you’ll hear an audio “pop.” This is happening when power is applied to the audio amplifier. The pop is not soft, but fairly audible, and is present even if you turn the volume down all the way. The audio pop is prevalent via both the internal speaker and when using headphones. Fortunately, it’s much less pronounced via headphones.  While not a major negative, I find it a bit annoying, and don’t doubt that other listeners will, too.

C. Crane has managed to minimize–not eliminate–the audio pop. It’s much improved over the first production run unit. I think I would still make note of it in the “cons” section if this were my first review of the radio, but it’s truly a very minor complaint at this point.

AM frequency steps limited to 10 kHz?

Note the new 9/10 kHz switch below the AM Antenna switch

From the first production run review:

My initial production run EP Pro is limited to 10 kHz frequency steps. This radio is primarily marketed to North America where 10 kHz increments are standard. Of course, if you’re trying to use the EP Pro to snag Transatlantic or Transpacific DX, you’ll miss the ability to tune between those broad 10 kHz steps. But, again, due to the imaging mention above, I think the CCRadio-EP Pro is simply not suited for DXing.

I’m pleased to report that C. Crane has added a switch that allows the listener to toggle between 9 and 10 kHz AM steps! This was an essential upgrade for those of us planning to use the CCRadio-EP Pro outside North America, or for those of us attempting to chase signals from across the ocean. Very nice, C. Crane!

Conclusion

To their credit, C. Crane has addressed all of the major negatives I listed in my review of the first production run units.

And as a result, I can now recommend the CCRadio-EP Pro with confidence.

I should add that during the course of this evaluation, I spent some valuable time on the mediumwave/AM broadcast band and have been very impressed with the EP Pro’s sensitivity and selectivity. The AGC can cope with weak signals quite well; I noted none of the soft muting which plagues a number of other DSP receivers. And the Twin Coil Ferrite tuning can substantially improve reception of weak signals––don’t ignore that control on the right side of the radio! Very useful.

With renewed confidence in the EP Pro, when I have time this fall or winter, I plan to take it to the field and pit it against my beloved (and recently re-capped!) Panasonic RF-2200. I’m beginning to think it might be a real competitor. We will see.

I would encourage you to also check out Guy Atkins’ recent evaluation of the EP Pro. I’m in agreement with his assessment, which leads me to believe quality control is also consistent in the production run. Good news all around. I’m very happy that C. Crane fixed early production run issues with both the CCRadio-EP Pro and the CC Skywave SSB. Well done!  I’m so glad C. Crane paid attention.

You can purchase the CCRadio-EP Pro from the following retailers:

How to identify a second (or later) production run unit

I know I’m going to receive emails and comments about how to tell if one has a first or second production EP Pro. The answer is very simple…

If your unit has a 9/10 kHz step switch on the back (see photo directly above) then you have a second production run unit or later.  

While the first production run EP Pro will please most average radio listeners, I couldn’t recommend it for the level of radio enthusiast and DXer who spends time reading reviews on the SWLing Post.

If you plan to purchase the CCRadio-EP Pro this year, I would encourage you to check with the retailer to make sure you’re getting a unit from the second production run or later.


Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

Spread the radio love