Category Archives: Updates

DXpedition at a radio astronomy observatory: Want to join me?

PARI-WestYesterday evening, prior to my presentation at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI), I took the opportunity to do a little portable shortwave listening on the PARI campus.


One of the great things about listening to shortwave, mediumwave or longwave at a radio astronomy site is the blissful absence of any radio noise. Radio astronomy requires seriously RF-quiet conditions, and all the better for SWLing, too. My little Tecsun PL-380 receiver easily detected most everything on the 31 meter band; All India Radio (and the Voice of Korea on the same frequency), for example, was as strong as a local station.

DX among the radio telescopes:  Sound fun–?

Next year, in October 2015, I might just organize a radio listening DXpedition at PARI. It would be a wonderful opportunity to DX in an RFI-free environment in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina, on the 200+ acre campus of an active radio astronomy observatory and former NASA tracking station. (Really, how cool is that?!?)

PARI has agreed to handle all of the arrangements, and even provide some dorm rooms and camping space to the first registrants. There will be a fee for the event (to pay for the facilities and PARI staff time) but any profit would benefit PARI’s science education mission. The fee would be based on the number of attendees and how many nights we operate–I’d aim for two nights, on a Friday and Saturday (October 9 & 10, 2015).

If you would be interested in a shortwave listening DXpedition at PARI in Rosman, North Carolina, USA, please contact me or comment below.  Click here to track the distance to PARI.

Note: the autumn foliage, for which the NC mountain region is famed, will be at or near its peak during the time of the DXpedition.

PS–Bonus: A dish in motion

As I departed the PARI site late Friday, an astronomer programmed the rotation of the East radio telescope, an awe-inspiring 26-meter parabolic antenna.  I snapped a couple of shots with my iPhone.  It was truly impressive, this massive radio telescope slowly turning to some distant star or galaxy to acquire new data.  See for yourself (for a sense of scale, see the fence at the base):



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The SWLing Post Podcast

podcasticonThanks to SWLing Post reader, Michael, I have set up our RSS feed for podcasts.

This means that if you enjoy listening to our shortwave radio recordings, you can now easily subscribe and download all of our audio automatically. This is not edited material–no introductions, nor host–simple shortwave radio recordings.

If you would like to subscribe to the SWLing Post Podcast, point your favorite podcasting application to our RSS feed:

In iTunes, for example, go to the “File” menu and select “Subscribe to podcast”–then, simply paste our RSS feed address in the url field.  Other podcast applications will have a similar approach.

Thanks, Michael!

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Cricket – Muve ZTE Score: Our pick for a portable wi-fi radio, on sale at BestBuy

The Goal Zero Rock Out Portable Speaker and Cricket Muve ZTE Score

In our two-part series on Internet radio–Rethinking Internet Radio Part 1 and Part 2–we pointed out a very affordable and effective option for listening to internet radio: the Cricket Muve ZTE Score no-contract Android phone combined with the TuneIn radio app. Immediately after posting the article, the price of the Cricket phone increased to $79.99. For those of you who have been waiting for the price to drop again, you’re in luck. They are available at many BestBuy locations for $39.99–an excellent price.

It appears this promotion is good through May 5th. Click here for details.

Read our review of the Cricket Muve ZTE Score as a wi-fi radio here.


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List price of Bonito 1102S RadioJet for US

Universal Radio has published the “List Price” of the Bonito 1102S RadioJet at  $784.00 US.

This could make the RadioJet a very strong competitor to other SDRs on the market in North America. The list price (not necessarily the final price Universal will announce–which could be lower) is  $216 less than that of the Microtelecom Perseus ($999.95 US) and the $116 less than the WinRadio Excalibur ($899.95 US).

After reading Fernando’s review of the RadioJet–where he compared it to the Perseus–this may be one of the best SDR performers for the price. We will be reviewing the Bonito 1102S RadioJet in the near future as well.

To follow all updates of the Bonito 1102S RadioJet, please follow our tag: RadioJet

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SWLing Post Update: Good news–comments are now open without registration

...well, at least your comments...

After being approached by a few readers, we have decided to lift the requirement to become a registered user on the SWLing Post in order to post comments. Now you can post comments without the added hassle. If you’re interested,  the reason we implemented this requirement in the early days of the blog had to do with the enormous amount of SPAM comments we received daily–literally 40+ per day! It was simply taking too much time to filter and SPAM plug-ins were (at that time) not up to the task.

So, feel free to comment!  We’d love to hear from you.

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Shortwave Radio Index now has tags for country of origin

Ten-Tec receivers are Made in the USA

Several readers have written to ask where various shortwave radios are manufactured, and if there are models that are manufactured outside of China.

By and large–with the exception of one Sony model–shortwave portables are manufactured in China, with a few possibly originating in nearby Taiwan and Malaysia.  Chinese facilities certainly produce exceptional value for performance…but sometimes you want to buy something built in your own country, or just a little closer to home.

Many models of SDRs, tabletop, and professional receivers are made in Europe, Japan, Australia, and the USA.

As a result of these inquiries, we have now curated the Shortwave Radio Index, our comprehensive list of shortwave radios currently on the market, tagging each entry with its “Made In” country. If not tagged, assume the unit is made in China.

Our compliments and thanks to those who’ve written us.  We have to agree: country of origin is worth keeping in mind, when you’re shopping for a receiver.

Click below for receivers:

Note: Please email us if you note any errors or omissions. This is a work in progress. Whenever possible, we’ve actually confirmed the country of origin with the manufacturer.

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