Category Archives: Shortwave Radio

“QSL: How I Traveled the World and Never Left Home” by Ronald W. Kenyon

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by author Ronald W. Kenyon who has written non-fiction books covering a variety of subjects, but primarily collections of essays and albums of photography.

He was very proud to announce that his latest book, QSL: How I Traveled the World and Never Left Home, focuses on his pursuit of DX during his youth.

Kenyon is a radio archivist at heart.  He has carefully preserved QSL cards that he received between 1956 and 1961–a time period many of us consider the zenith of international broadcasting and DXing.

From Ronald W. Kenyon’s collection

Kenyon’s book presents color reproductions of over 100 vintage QSL cards—most displaying both front and back—issued by 89 shortwave stations in 75 countries. For the uninitiated, he includes an introduction that acquaints with shortwave radio listening, submitting listener reports, and obtaining QSL cards. Radio enthusiasts will be familiar with these topics, but this addition is an important one since we often forget that we’ve a niche pursuit and for many of his readers, this will be their first introduction.

From Ronald W. Kenyon’s collection

Kenyon sent me a pre-sales sample of his book. It’s what I’d call a “coffee table” paperback. The format is 8.5 x 8.5 inches which gives each QSL image proper page space to be presented. The color reproduction and print in this publication is excellent.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed taking in Kenyon’s book at a very leisurely pace. It’s divided into three main sections:

  • Section One of his book is a gallery of 107 vintage QSL cards from radio stations in 78 countries.
  • Section Two features SWL and ham radio cards.
  • Section Three features seasonal greeting cards sent to listeners by radio broadcasters from nine countries.

There’s even an appendix featuring, “A Letter from Antarctica,” which recounts how Kenyon was linked to a British meteorologist at a base in Antarctica via a radio station in Montevideo, Uruguay of all places. A fabulous example of how radio–especially in the late 50s and early 60s–was a fabulous medium for connecting listeners across vast distances.

I’m a nostalgic fellow–especially during the Thanksgiving and Holiday season. I’ll admit: this wonderful, simple bit of radio nostalgia is just what the doctor ordered as we celebrate the season. We all can relate to and enjoy Kenyon’s gallery of radio nostalgia and history. Indeed, my hope is that his book will encourage others to document their radio journey as well.

Being a limited print, full-color, 150 page book, the price will be $35 US. However, the author has offered 10% off his book if ordered before December 31, 2020. That will lower the price to $31.50 US via Amazon.com or £23.95 via Amazon.co.uk.

If you enjoy browsing QSL cards like I do, you’ll love QSL: How I Traveled the World and Never Left Home. Certainly, a fabulous gift idea for the radio enthusiast in your world.

Amazon purchase links

(Please note that some of these are affiliate links that also support the SWLing Post)

Note that this book will appear on other regional Amazon sites over time. Simply search Amazon for “QSL: How I Traveled the World and Never Left Home” or the author, Ronald W. Kenyon.

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Guest Post: Zenith Trans Oceanics Still Command Big Prices

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, for the following guest post:


Zenith Trans Oceanics Still Command Big Prices

by Dan Robinson

For many radio collectors and users, the Zenith Trans Oceanic R7000-2 is a must-have item in the collection. This was the final version of the Zenith Trans Oceanic line that stretched back for decades — production was shifted to Taiwan and tuning in this radio is accomplished with internal gears, with concentric knobs for main and fine tuning.

The R7000-2 has Longwave, AM, FM and importantly for fans of aircraft listening, the radio
has excellent VHF reception. The huge Zenith TO telescopic aerial is a real eye turner — it is
super tall and compares only to the SONY CRF-1 in length.

Some years ago, the used market saw a few NIB or LNIB Zenith R7000-2 every year or so.
That hasn’t been the case — at least it was not until just recently when a LNIB TO appeared from a California seller.

NIB or LNIB R7000-2 radios could often bring more than $1,000 and sometimes much higher —
even as high as $1500!

That did not stop bidding on this-2 R7000-2 from topping the $700 mark and reaching nearly
$800 in this auction.

This does not mean, however, that every R7000-2 will be out of reach but other R7000-2 radios on eBay at this time suffer from cosmetic issues of one kind or another (see photos) such as detached side vinyl and missing antennas.

Amazingly, as this is being written there is yet another R7000-2 on eBay, complete with original
box and papers, and the original purchase receipt. This one could well hit the $1,000 mark.

If you’re hunting for an excellent late production Zenith TO, this may very well be the time
to pull the trigger — but for one in 9.9 to 10.0 NIB condition you will pay a price!

Click here to check this Trans Oceanic R-7000-2 out on eBay.

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A True Treasure Trove: International Radio Club of America Free Reprints

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Nick Hall-Patch, who writes:

Since 1964, the International Radio Club of America has been documenting medium wave DXing and DXers’ efforts to improve their understanding of radio reception and to develop better listening techniques.  During that time, over 900 articles have been written, that have furthered the art of DXing.  Many of these continue to be relevant to the more general radio hobbyist, including articles about antennas, radio propagation, receivers and accessories, plus general technical information.

Previously, those articles were available only to club members, but they are now available to all.  Go to www.ircaonline.org, and click on the “Free IRCA Reprints” button to download your own copies.

Oh wow! What an amazing and deep treasure trove of articles! Thank you so much for the tip, Nick!

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Video demonstrating 3D propagation simulation

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Gregory Ivanov, who writes:

Hi, found this video–I think it’s pretty cool. Shows some impressive 3D propagation simulation, I haven’t seen before:

Wow! That is fascinating. Thank you for sharing this, Gregory. 3D tools like this could be invaluable for predicting propagation even for hams and SWLs.

Of course, all of this is based on the amazing VOACAP application.

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Dan discovers a video and photo montage of VOK listeners

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

The YouTube channel Phuong DPRK Daily recently posted a video titled Listeners to Radio “Voice of Korea” in Pictures. This video offers a look at photos of VOK Voice of Korea (DPRK) shortwave listeners. I recognize the voice of one of the VOK newscasters as the narrator of this video. It is interesting to take note of the shortwave receivers shown in the photos as well. This video was also posted on the Voice of Korea website on September 25, 2020.

I listen to the English Language Service of VOK Voice of Korea from my suburban listening post in Northern California, USA. The VOK English language broadcasts beamed to South America usually provide the best reception for me. Here is my most recent reception video of VOK. It was recorded on November 10, 2020.

There are more reception videos of VOK available at my website Willow Slough DX. These videos include newscasts read by the male announcer heard on the photo album video.

Happy SWLing! The shortwave broadcast bands are beginning to improve after the long nadir of solar minimum!

DanH

Thanks for sharing this, Dan!

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1979 ANARC Convention live recording featuring keynote by Rudy Espinal of Radio Clarin

Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Tom Gavaras, shares some of the most amazing off-air, studio, and personal recordings our archive.

Recently, he submitted a very unique recording. Tom notes:

Rudy Espinal of Radio Clarin (Dominican Republic) keynote speech at 1979 Association of North American Radio Clubs (ANARC) convention held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Convention took place in June 1979.

In this recording, you’ll hear a number of familiar names (including an early shout-out to our friend Kim Elliott).

I was in elementary school at the time of this convention, so it’s amazing bit of audio time travel for me.

Do you recognize any names in this recording? Do you remember Radio Clarin? Did you attend the 1979 ANARC Convention?  Inquiring minds want to know! Please comment!

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Radio Deals: Airspy Black Friday Sale 2020!

If you’ve been thinking about pulling the trigger on an Airspy product, now’s the time!

Airspy is once again offering huge discounts during their 2020 Black Friday promotion.

For example, their Airspy HF+ Discovery SDR–which I consider to be one of the best HF SDRs on the market–is 30% off ($119 US). This is a phenomenal deal on an amazing SDR!

The YouLoop antenna is only $20.97 US. Click here to read my review of the YouLoop.

That’s such a good deal, I’m contemplating the purchase of a second one.

Both the HF+ Discovery SDR and YouLoop are the major components of my portable SDR DXing kit. During the Black Friday sale, you can purchase both for $141 US! That’s much less than the normal price of the HF+ Discovery alone.

It seems all Airspy distributors are participating in the sale, so click here to find the distributor that ships to your part of the world.

[Just found out the Frugal Radio channel also discovered this sale!]

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