Category Archives: Shortwave Radio

Review of the Gospell GR-216 portable DRM multi-band radio

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

Here’s a review on a Swedish Hobby Radio website of the GOSPELL GR-216 MULTI-BAND AM / FM /Shortwave / DRM receiver, which you reported about on 9/6/2016 and is now is reportedly about to go into production:

http://www.hobbyradio.se/en/drm/gospell_en.html

The latest Mediumwave / Shortwave / VHF-FM receiver GR-216 from Gospell can receive both digital and analogue mediumwave and shortwave signals as well as VHF FM broadcasts. The software-defined receiver is based on a NXP chipset. The firmware may easily be updated over the USB connector on the front.

The size of the radio is 240 mm (w) x 120 mm (h) x 150 mm (d) (without the knobs). It is supplied with a 230 VAC power cord, a 230 VAC / 9 VDC power supply and a user’s manual. Its retail price is about xx USD.

The radio has a pleasant design like your favorite kitchen radio but it is also fit for any livingroom. Unlike other products the GR-216 has a soft and clean design and all buttons and controls are easy to operate. It weighs about 2 kg and sits firmly on a table or a shelf. Much of the weight comes from its large loudspeaker (77 mm diameter) and the mains transformer. The two strips on the bottom of the cabinet prevents the GR-216 from slipping around when tuning or pressing the pushbuttons. The AF output power amplifier is 4 W.

There is also a 12 or 24 hour clock and a dual alarm clock (radio or buzzer) and a sleep timer. In addition to the built-in AC/DC power supply there is a DC jack on the rear panel for an external 9 Volt DC power supply if so required.

Continue reading…

Thanks for the tip, Ed! Reading this, it’s most encouraging to see that Gospell reached out to radio enthusiasts and used their input for firmware and hardware upgrades prior to production.

This may be the most encouraging portable DRM receiver yet. Indeed, Paul Walker, has been enjoying his Gospell GR-216 tremendously and–using an external antenna–has captured a number of DRM broadcasts from Pennsylvania. He might produce a review of his own to post here soon.

If anyone else has notes about the Gospell GR-216’s performance, please comment! Could this finally be a DRM portable for the DXer?

ABC scolded for cutting shortwave service

(Source: news.com.au via Trevor R)

The ABC has been slammed by all sides of politics over its “foolish” decision to cut the transmission of shortwave radio to remote Australia and the Pacific Islands.

The Senate debated a private bill on Thursday by crossbench senator Nick Xenophon to force the ABC to restore transmission after it was cut earlier this year.

“It seems a terrible decision that’s been made by the ABC board,” Senator Xenophon told parliament, accusing the public broadcaster of ignoring the bush and Australia’s neighbours.
The ABC insists listeners can still tune in via FM and AM frequencies, the viewer access satellite television (VAST) service and online.

But senators say the ABC fails to understand those alternative methods are not available to everyone in the bush and the information people are missing out on can be life threatening, such as weather warnings.

Senator Xenophon said the ABC had miscalculated how many people relied on the service.
“There are some question marks over the methodology used by the ABC in relation to this.”

Continue reading the full article at news.com.au…

48 Hour Sale: CountyComm GP5-SSB (Gen 3)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, who notes that CountyComm has announced a 48 hour sale on the GP5-SSB (read our review here).

The price is currently $71.99 US plus shipping.

Click here to view the deal at CountyComm.

The Zastone ZT-D9000 dual band mobile includes HF and LW coverage

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Cap Tux, who writes:

The Zastone ZT-D9000 radio has actually been out for a while and is a Dual Band Mobile (Triband with option), nothing fancy there and bears a striking resemblance to the Icom IC-2820H (clone?). Options include GPS, Bluetooth, 220Mhz and LW (The latter is really weird!).

What caught my eye is the 2.3-30 MHz Shortwave coverage, a quick search on YouTube turns up a video showing Shortwave working!

Yes, probably as wide as a barn door with no filtering except the 12kHz default but an extremely useful feature if you did need a dual band mobile in your jeep/car.

Two other noteworthy features are a dedicated RX BNC antenna socket and a built in FM Transmitter so you can listen to it on the FM Radio in your car/jeep, very cool. A bit like a pimped IC-2820H. Also has all the bells and whistles a Dual Bander should have,

This is the OEM site:
http://zastonetech.com/2-7-mobile-transceiver/291931

This site has the spec:
http://radioaficion.com/cms/zastone-d9000/

YouTube video showing Shortwave in use:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here for eBay UK.

Click here for eBay US.

Some Specs:

A/B Band RX:
136-174MHz
200-260MHz (OPTION)
400-470MHz
470-520MHz

B Band RX:
153-279kHz (AM) (OPTION)
0.5MHz-1.8MHz (AM)
2.3-30MHz (AM)
64-108MHz (WFM)
113-137MHz (Airband – AM)

TX:
136MHz-174MHz
222-225MHz (Type USA 200-260MHz) (OPTION)
400-520MHz

Channel Steps: 1.5, 6, 6.25, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 25, 50, 100kHz
Frequency Stability: +-2.5ppm
Repeater Shift: +-600kHz(144MHz), +-5MHz (430MHz)
Emission Type: F1D, F2D, F3E
Antenna Impedance: 50 ohms
Supply Voltage: Nominal: 13.8VDC, Neg Gnd, Operating: 12-24V Neg Gnd
Operating Temp: -40F to +-1400F(-20C to +-60C)
RF power Output: UHF: 40W/25W/5W VHF:50W/25W/5W
Case Size: (WxHxD) 6″ x 2.3″ x 1.3″ (Panel w/o knobs and connectors)
6″x6″x 1.8″ (Rear chassis w/o connectors)
Weight: 3.7 lbs

Transmitter:
RF Power Output: UHF: 40W/25W/5W, VHF: 50W/25W/5W
Modulation Type: Variable Reactance F1 D, F2D, F3E
Maximum Deviation: +- 5KHz
Spurious Emission: at least 60 dB below
Microphone Impedance: 2 k ohms

Receiver:
Sensitivity Radio Band:
B Band:
5uV TYP for 10db SN (153-279 KHz, AM)
5UV TYP for 10 db SN (0.5-1.7 MHz, AM)
2uV TYP for 10db SN (203-30 MHz, AM)
2Uv TYP for 12db SINAD (64-108 MHz, WFM)
0.8 uV TYP for 10 db SN 9113-134 MHz, AM)

A&B Band:
0.2 uV for 12db SINAD (136-174 MHz, FM)
0.2 uV TYP for 12db SINAD (200-260 MHz, FM)
0.2 uV for 12 db SINAD (400-470 MHz, FM)
0.2 uV TYP for 12 db SINAD (470-520 MHz, FM)
Squelch Sensitivity: 0.16 uV (144/430 MHz Band)
Selectivity: NFM, AM 12 KHz/30KHz(-6dB/-60dB)

AF Output:
6W@4 ohm for 10% THD (@13.8V) EXP SP
3W@ 8 ohm for 10% THD (@13.8V) Normal EXP SP/CH
AF Output Impedance: 4-16 ohm
3 Speakers

Included in Purchase:
– Radio
– Microphone
– Power Cables
– Remote Install Kit
– Software CD
– Programming Cable
– All Mounting Hardware
– 1 Year Warranty

Options:
– Bluetooth
– GPS
– Barometric altimeter and thermometer
– 220MHz
– LW Band

Very interesting, Cap! Thank you for sharing.  Honestly, I have a very difficult time keeping up with the radio equipment being produced and sold out of China.

And you’re right: what a surprise to find HF coverage on a dual-band mobile radio and especially longwave coverage! Like you, I wouldn’t anticipate stellar performance. The price is certainly “bargain basement” at $210 US shipped.

SWLing Post readers: Has anyone purchased and tested the ZT-D9000?  Please comment!

Digitech AR-1780: unboxing, photos and initial impressions

Yesterday, prior to heading out the door for two days of travel, I received the Digitech AR-1780 I ordered ten days ago from an Australian eBay vendor. I’m very pleased with how quickly the order was processed and delivered via the post. The radio arrived in a rugged mail pouch and was double boxed inside.
I’ve had no time to evaluate the radio’s performance yet, but I thought I’d post a few photos I took while unboxing the AR-1780.

There’s not much in the box: just the radio and an owner’s manual. There are no batteries, no charger, and no case or carry bag. That’s okay though as the AR-1780 takes standard AA cells and I have an assortment of bags that can protect it in my suitcase.

The buttons all have a responsive, tactile feel. The hard plastic chassis feels durable.

I really like the dedicated fine tune control on the right side of the radio.  Nice touch! But 7 VDC in? That’s an odd voltage for a power supply. That’s okay by me as I never use wall wart type power supplies due to inherent noise–rechargeable Enloop AA batteries are how I power all of my portables. Bonus! There’s also a dedicated external antenna jack! One odd thing, though, is the AR-1780 breaks the convention of having the volume control on the right side of the radio–it’s on the left instead. Last night, I tuned around the 31 meter band and the AM broadcast band.  I listened to the French language service of Radio Romania International from inside a noisy house–armchair copy.

The AR-1780 has an impressive 7 AM bandwidth settings: 6, 4, 3, 2.5, 2, 1.8 and 1 kHz. My radio defaulted to 2.5 kHz, so you’ll want to widen that to 4 or 6 kHz before listening to most broadcasts.

I really like the display–it’s compact, yet contains quite a lot of info and even has a dedicated line for FM RDS content.

This morning, I took a couple shots of the AR-1780 next to the venerable CC Skywave. The Skywave is slightly smaller in every dimension.

Stay tuned! Though this is a very busy week for me–with travels and total solar eclipse preparations–I plan to put the Digitech AR-1780 through the paces. I’ll try to post updates as I have time.  Follow the tag: Digitech AR-1780