Tag Archives: belka

Greg’s Uniden stand works perfectly with the Belka-DX

Belka-DX StandMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Greg Hathaway, who writes:

Hi there –

I bought a Belka-DX recently and am really enjoying it! The stand from my Uniden Home Patrol 1 scanner works great with it. The stand is sold separately by Uniden for those who may be interested.

Best,
Greg Hathaway

Thank you for sharing this, Greg. You’re right: that little Uniden stand fits the Belka perfectly!

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Belka-DX: Installing the new speaker and battery pack from Mobimax

Last month, Mobimax announced a new speaker option for the Belka-DX DSP receiver. This speaker is slightly different from the original Belka-DX speaker in that it has a full-size battery pack and fold-out legs to prop up this pocket-sized receiver.

Mobimax sent one of these speakers to me to install and evaluate at no cost to me–I received it last week and installed it yesterday.

Installation

The installation couldn’t have been more simple: the only tool needed is a small Phillips-Head screwdriver. Note that my Belka-DX already had the original speaker option installed.

All I needed to do was remove the lower two screws on both sides of the Belka chassis.

After doing this, the bottom section of the chassis simply pulls out (do this slowly since there are both battery and speaker jumpers).

Next, I unplugged the speaker and battery jumpers from the original speaker option.

Installing the new speaker section was simply a matter of plugging in the speaker and battery jumpers (each plug is a different size so they can’t be confused), then attaching the new pack to the back of the Belka-DX using the same four screws that had been removed.

The whole process might have taken four or five minutes (mainly because I took photos!).

How does it play?

Since I can’t really do a side-by-side comparison with the original speaker and this one, I simply listened to the original speaker tuned to WWV, WRMI, and the Voice of Greece for a while before installing the new speaker.

Both speakers are obviously very small as the Belka-DX is the most compact shortwave portable I’ve ever laid hands on.

Audio quality

I believe the original speaker has better audio fidelity, likely due to the fact it uses the body of the Belka-DX as an enclosure or resonance chamber. The new speaker has a dedicated enclosure, but it’s maybe 40% the size of the Belka-DX body.

In the end, though? Neither speaker will give you the audio fidelity of a traditional portable. The original speaker is just slightly better than the new one. With the Belka-DX, I see the speaker as a wonderful convenience, but frankly, I reach for earphones or headphones if I want to do DXing or proper broadcast listening.

Battery

The new speaker option allows for a full size battery pack in the Belka-DX. This is probably the biggest selling point of the new speaker. The original speaker option fits both the speaker and a smaller LiIon battery pack on the bottom plate of the radio.

The original speaker and smaller battery pack (top section of this photo)

Since the new speaker option adds a dedicated speaker section, it opens up the full real estate of the bottom plate for a full size battery again.

 

I should also add that the new speaker section matches the original Belka-DX enclosure and speaker in that it’s incredibly durable. Frankly, it feels military-grade and over-engineered. I love it.

Fold-out legs

I really like the fold-out legs on the new speaker. They actually have two indented sections that click into place as you fold them out. This allows for two different stable viewing angles. I prefer having them folded out all the way.

Size

The new speaker option adds a bit of weight and bulk to the Belka-DX.

Again: we’re talking about a wee little radio here, so I can’t imagine someone complaining about the size or weight. The new speaker makes the radio slightly deeper or thicker if you look at it from the side or profile. Frankly, it’s a negligible amount, but worth noting.

Should you buy it?

In my opinion, the main reasons to buy the new speaker option are to take advantage of the longer play time from the full size internal battery and to gain the two fold-out feet.  The Belka-DX is so efficient that even the smaller battery pack in the original speaker option will power this radio for many hours without recharge.

Still, if these two factors are important to you, this is a no-brainer.

I would simply pick the speaker option that best suits your needs.

I must say again that it’s a real pleasure evaluating products that are engineered to the degree of the Belka-DX (and Belka-DSP) and both speaker options. These feel like they’re built to last a lifetime and could really take a beating in my various radio packs and kits.

Many thanks again to Mobimax for dispatching one of these for my evaluation.

Click here to check out the new speaker option from Mobimax.

Click here to read about the original speaker option and its installation.

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Fenu’s assessment of the Belka-DX

I recently noticed that Fenu (at Fenu-Radio.ch) has added a review of the Belka-DX on his excellent website.

He agrees that the Belka-DX is a brilliant little portable that delivers a lot of performance and features for the modest price.

As with my Belka-DX, Fenu’s unit includes the built-in speaker option.

In a video he posted on YouTube, Fenu demonstrates reception, speaker quality (including a small issue with button vibration at high volume), and how you can connect IQ out to an SDR application like SDR#:

Click here to check out Fenu’s full review.

More on the Belka-DX and Belka-DSP:

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A new Belka-DX DSP Speaker from Mobimax

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Markku (VA3MK), who shares a link to this new Belka-DX speaker option from Mobimax:

This speaker option is similar to the one we featured a few months ago, but keeps the larger 2200 mAh battery pack and has fold-out legs. The compromise is the case will be a bit thicker/deeper than the speaker option without the larger battery and fold-out feet.

We’re talking about a pretty small radio, though, so I think this will be another great option for the excellent little Belka-DX.

I will plan to check out one of these in the near future.

Thank you for the tip, Markku!

Click here to check out this product at Mobimax.

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Installing the Belka-DX DSP speaker option

This month, I received my Belka DX speaker option in the post and recently did this very simple install. All it really requires is a small Phillips-Head screwdriver and maybe 10 minutes of time.

You start by removing the four screws holding on the left side panel. The side panel easily slides off over the BNC connector.

You then remove the bottom two screws of the right side panel. There’s no need to remove the top two screws as you will not remove this panel or the encoder knob. After removing the bottom two screws, carefully pull the bottom panel off.

The battery is connected to the Belka-DX DSP board with an end that’s easy to unplug.

Simply unplug the battery, and plug in the new (smaller) battery of the speaker panel in the same position.

The speaker on the new panel needs to be connected, of course. In the photo above, you can see where it attaches to the Belka DX board (next to the headphone port).

Once you’ve plugged in the new battery and speaker, attach the new bottom panel to the radio, making sure the speaker and battery wires fold in properly. After you’ve put the two right panel screws in, reattached the left panel with four screws and the installation is complete!

The speaker is quite small, of course, but very functional. I love the fact that I no longer need a set of earphones or external amplified speaker to listen to the Belka DX.

I was concerned that the speaker would be too small to be functional and that the smaller battery in combination would dramatically decrease listening time per charge.

Not the case.

Although I haven’t done a continuos battery longevity test with the volume at a constant moderate level, it will power the radio for extended listening sessions. Of course this teeny internal speaker isn’t going to deliver room-filling audio, but has exceeded my expectations and certainly does the trick!

If you own a  Belka-DX DSP receiver, this is a worthy, affordable upgrade. The great thing is, you can always swap out the covers easily if you need the larger battery capacity during travels or DXpeditions.

Click here to purchase the Belka DX speaker option on Alex’s site. 

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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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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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