Tag Archives: Belka-DX DSP

Bluetooth adapter that also serves as a Belka stand

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Joe Patti (KD2QBK), who writes:

Not sure anyone would be interested, but in using a Bluetooth adapter with my Belka I inadvertently came up with a little stand for it.

I attached the adapter to the back of the radio with a piece of plastic 3M Command picture hanger strip. It props up the little radio at exactly the right angle.

Love the blog!

Thank you, Joe! Looks like this is the Bluetooth adapter you’re using. What a clever way to have your Bluetooth adapter do double duty! Also, I’m so glad you enjoy the Post!  Thanks for sharing your tip!

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Dockside DXing with the super-portable Belka-DX receiver

I’ve been on the coast of South Carolina enjoying a little R&R with my wonderful family.

We rented a vacation home on a tidal river just south of Charleston, SC and it was just what the doctor ordered. The location was gorgeous, the weather was amazing, and there was very little RF interference outside our home.

The best part? We had full access to a private dock.

I took a few portable radios on vacation (ahem…obviously!) but I so thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Belka-DX.

If you haven’t gathered already, I really appreciate simple radios for field operation and it doesn’t get much more simple than the Belka-DX or Belka-DSP.

The radio is so incredibly compact, durable, and a pleasure to operate–especially if cruising the broadcast bands.

On the dock, I didn’t have a place to easily hang a wire antenna, so I used the supplied telescoping whip antenna. It served me well on a number of listening sessions.

As 13dka pointed out in his brilliant review of the Belka-DSP, the Belka radios are so compact, yet pack so much performance, they smack of a little spy radio! On top of that, the chassis is incredibly durable. I can’t tell you how much I love this. My Belka receiver has been living in my EDC bag in a small zippered pouch.

I barely notice it in my bag–it take up almost no space and weighs so little–but in the back of my mind I know I have a portable DXing machine everywhere I go.

I have no fear of being damaged in my bag, either–the chassis protects it so well.

Since London Shortwave has sorted out how to make spectrum recordings using the Belka-DX I/Q out, you’d better believe I’ll be sampling spectrum as I travel the globe post-pandemic!

I didn’t have time to gather what I needed for making Belka-DX spectrum recordings on this trip, but you can be certain I will when I return!

I should add that one of the little joys about my dockside DXing spot this past week was watching dolphins swim by as I tuned to some of my favorite broadcasters. Bliss.

Post readers: Have you taken your radios on vacation recently? Please comment! Better yet, consider submitting a guest post with photos!

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The new Belka-DX speaker option

Belka-DX Speaker

Many thanks to  Alex (EU1ME)–developer and manufacturer of the Belka DX  and Belka DSP shortwave receivers–who shares information about a new version of the Belka-DX:

[Based on customer feedback, we’ve] added a built-in speaker to the Belka DX version. It’s an option that I believe also can be useful when listening this radio (broadcasts for example).

The dimensions of the receiver remain the same. See photos attached.

Belka-DX Speaker

Battery capacity is reduced from 2200 to 1250 mAh. Still, the built-in LI-Ion battery [will power] it for about 12 hours.

As far as battery and speaker are connected to the device with sockets, it is quite easy to change batteries and back covers with or without speaker depending on situation.

When back cover with speaker is installed one may still listen to the device with headphones (speaker will be muted).

Many thanks, Alex, for sharing this announcement. While I do most of my DXing with headphones, I love the idea of a speaker option for the Belka-DX especially for casual broadcast listening. The speaker appears to be an option you can purchase separately, or you can purchase the Belka-DX with the speaker option installed. I look forward to checking this out!

Click here to check out the speaker option for the Belka-DX on Alex’s website.. 

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Spectrum recordings with the new Belka-DX and a Zoom H1 digital recorder

I’m so pleased to see a fascinating new post from our friend London Shortwave this morning.

In his latest article, London Shortwave demonstrates how he has been making super simple spectrum recordings by pairing the new Belka-DX receiver (which has an I/Q out port) with a Zoom H1 handheld digital recorder. The recorded I/Q files are then imported into SDR# for tuning and listening.

The process is quite easy to follow and he includes a number of examples–a highly-recommended read!

Click here to read his full article.

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Steve builds a simple SWL antenna tuner that pairs brilliantly with the Belka-DX

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Steve Allen (KZ4TN), who shares the following guest post:


A Simple Antenna Tuner for SWL Radios

by Steve Allen, KZ4TN

After reading 13DKA’s excellent review of the Belka-DSP on SWLing.com a few weeks ago I knew I had to have one! The size, features, and performance of the Belka-DX (latest version of the Belka-DSP) is phenomenal. I won’t go into reviewing the radio as I couldn’t come close to 13DKA extensive review. If you are considering this SWL receiver his review is a must read.

I love bedtime SWLing and have been putting off setting up an outside antenna specifically to feed into the bedroom for too long. Given that the resonant frequency of the antenna would not be broad enough for the tuning range of the Belka-DX I decided to build a small antenna tuner just for SWLing.

After a couple of hours searching the internet for a simple tuner I found just what I was looking for on http://www.hard-core-dx.com/nordicdx/antenna/lab/tuner.html. It’s a simple L match using a single variable capacitor and coil.

For the coil I wound ~100 turns of 26 Ga wire on a one inch diameter wooden dowel. The wire size can be whatever you have on hand. I twisted a tap every 10 turns. I drilled a hole in each end and glued in a machine screw to mount the coil to the bottom of the enclosure. I’ve had this enclosure in my junk box for a long time and have been waiting for just the right project. The variable capacitor I used was one I found on EBay a few years ago that had two sections, 330 pF and 120 pF. I tied them together for 450 pF. For the rotary switch I had to scratch around on eBay for a while until I found a 12 position single pole.

The plans for the tuner suggested adding a fixed value capacitor with a toggle switch to increase the lower end of the tuning range. I found a 510 pF silver mica and wired it into the circuit.

The antenna I put up is a sloper about 30 feet long.The high end is up about 40 feet and the low end is at about 12 feet. I put the antenna and tuner to the test last evening and the reception on the Belka-DX was superb. With the tuner the strength of the signal would peak about 2-3 units when I found the sweet spot.

The tuner also does double duty as an attenuator for very strong signals.

One mod I made to the Belka-DX was the addition of some grip tape to the tuning knob. It makes fine tuning much easier.

I believe we will continue to see a number of innovative receivers coming to market in the near term utilizing SDR technology. The ratio of performance to size of the Belka-DX is truly amazing in my opinion.


Thank you, Steve, for sharing this brilliant weekend project! As always, brilliant craftsmanship!

Click here to read Steve’s other posts and projects.

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The new Belka-DX: Georges’ short review and tests

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Georges Ringotte (F6DFZ), who writes:

I received the Belka-DX a few days ago, and it appears to be an outstanding receiver considering its price, its size, and quality of construction.

AGC and audio reproduction are way better than any Chinese SW receiver giving some superb receptions in CW, SSB and AM.

I shall not repeat that other have said, but I must add that the AM2 pseudo synchronous reception seems good to my ears and a bonus with weak signals.

I made some measures :

  • MDS is about -127 dBm in SSB mode, slightly better in CW mode
  • Sensitivity is constant from 1.5 to 30 MHz
  • Image rejection is over 70 dB, better than a KX3 that I tested a few years ago
  • I couldn’t measure selectivity because my HP generator is somewhat noisy, but the Belka-DX is very good, and also way better than Chinese receivers
  • “S meter” is calibrated as follows: -107 dBm = 10 and -37 dBm = 80, and on this range a 10 change equal a 10 dB change, very accurately. Over -37 dBm, S meter doesn’t move any more.
  • Even on my 2x18m center fed or my Hexbeam, I didn’t notice any signs of overload, but as you know the propagation is not outstanding, and BCL stations are not as bothersome as 40 years ago!
  • there are a few birdies, but if you move your frequency 100 Hz away, they disappear

In my opinion, considering the superb quality of reception, this receiver is outstanding.

Best regards.

Georges

Thank you for sharing this, Georges! Sounds like the Belka-DX is a performer!

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The new Belka-DX DSP now available via Mobimax

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, JMMHam, who comments:

The new DX version of BELKA -DSP is now available in the Mobimax Store. The new Belka-DX receiver is about 5 euros more expensive but great. I bought it here: https://www.mobimax.bg/en/BELKA-DX-shortwave-receiver

Very fast delivery !!!

Thank you for the tip! I’ve only had my Belka-DSP for a few weeks, and absolutely love it. 13dka’s review of it was spot-on.

It appears the main additions are:

We’ll have to see how it stacks up against the original Belka DSP which I consider to be one of the best portable HF receivers out there at the moment.

I purchased my Belka-DSP from Mobimax.

Click here to check out the Belka-DX DSP at Mobimax. 

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