Tag Archives: Dan Robinson

Dan’s thoughts on a Panasonic RF-9000 up for auction

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who writes:

Appearing on the Japanese Buyee website is this RF-9000, which was the “King of Radios” of the heavy multiband “portable” era.

In recent years, RF-9000s in excellent to LNIB condition have sold for $10,000 or more.

A tour d’force of technology in its day, the 9000 featured room-filling main speakers and PLL technology that was advanced for its time.

The shortwave receiver section of the 9000 was plagued by PLL artifacts which prevented the radio from achieving what it could have had this problem not been solved in advance by Panasonic engineers.

A LNIB RF-9000 that I purchased for near $5,000 sold to a Hong Kong collector for $10,000 a few years ago. While I do miss its amazing FM quality and looks, the receiver ultimately lagged behind others, such as the SONY CRF-330K and 320 in performance.

The asking price for this 9000, which appears to have cosmetic issues, is in my view high.

Click here to view the RF-9000 auction.

Thank you for your insights, Dan!

Spread the radio love

Radio Waves: Hammarlund Legacy, FM Radio Using Arduino, VOA Report on Bias, ARISS SSTV Event, and Geminids

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Trevor, Dan Robinson, and the Southgate ARC for the following tips:


Ham radio operators honor legacy of Mars Hill company (Citizen Times)

During the 1950’s and ’60’s, when the Hammarlund Manufacturing Company had a factory just west of Mars Hill College, the town could have been considered a world center of advanced electronic technology. With a company motto of “Quality Without Compromise,” almost 90% of American WWII wartime military electronic equipment employed Hammarlund capacitors. They also built U.S. Navy search radar installed on aircraft carriers, battleships and cruisers.

Hammarlund was one of the three leading brands of radio communications equipment at the time, along with Hallicrafters and Collins Radio. These three companies dominated in providing state of the art electronics equipment to the U.S. military, large and small corporations, and to private individuals who had the means and taste to own the very best.

Hammarlund Radio initially operated out of New York City starting in 1910, in the early days of radio. They began consolidating all of their operations in Mars Hill in 1951, in a newly constructed facility that spread out to over 100,000 square foot on Hammarlund Drive — now named Hickory Drive. The site employed hundreds from around the area and their work lives on today. []

FM Radio From Scratch Using An Arduino (Hackaday)

Building radio receivers from scratch is still a popular project since it can be done largely with off-the-shelf discrete components and a wire long enough for the bands that the radio will receive. That’s good enough for AM radio, anyway, but you’ll need to try this DIY FM receiver if you want to listen to something more culturally relevant.

Receiving frequency-modulated radio waves is typically more difficult than their amplitude-modulated cousins because the circuitry necessary to demodulate an FM signal needs a frequency-to-voltage conversion that isn’t necessary with AM. For this build, [hesam.moshiri] uses a TEA5767 FM chip because of its ability to communicate over I2C. He also integrated a 3W amplifier into this build, and everything is controlled by an Arduino including a small LCD screen which displays the current tuned frequency. With the addition of a small 5V power supply, it’s a tidy and compact build as well.[]

2016 Report Confirmed Problem of Political Bias At Voice of America (USAGM Watch)

by Dan Robinson

Trump USAGM CEO Michael Pack Was Attacked For Attempts to Focus on Problem

It was May of 2016 and Amanda Bennett was only a few weeks into what would become a nearly four year stint as director of the Voice of America, among the “plum” jobs in Washington, D.C.

Bennett was just getting her feet wet, and at the time was dependent on a group of longtime embedded VOA managers that she would at one point describe as a “fantastic leadership team.”

She had received fair warning, from former VOA employees and extensive reporting by the independent watchdog website BBG and USAGM Watch, of disturbing issues at VOA, located in what has long been one of the most dysfunctional of federal agencies.

Some VOA journalists were using their taxpayer-funded positions to engage in self-promotion and campaign for political causes, a fact little known to most Americans. VOA’s website and digital operations were plagued by failures in breaking news coverage, and inaccuracies in content.

Both VOA and what was then called the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) were increasingly seen by U.S. lawmakers as moribund. A Republican-led and eventually bipartisan effort in Congress proposed major restructuring – there was little patience left on Capitol Hill where the agency was increasingly considered to be “broken,” “rudderless,” and “worthless.” President Obama signed the reform legislation in December 2016 to create a powerful agency CEO position and to make the BBG Board purely advisory.[]

ARISS Slow Scan TV event (Southgate ARC)

An ARISS Slow Scan TV (SSTV) event is scheduled from the International Space Station (ISS) for late December. This will be a special SSTV event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ARISS.

The event is scheduled to begin on December 24 and continue through December 31.

Dates are subject to change due to ISS operational adjustments.

Dave, AA4KN
ARISS PR

The Geminids – a reminder (Southgate ARC)

The Geminids are a prolific meteor shower caused by the object 3200 Phaethon, which is thought to be a Palladian asteroid with a “rock comet” orbit. This would make the Geminids, together with the Quadrantids, the only major meteor showers not originating from a comet.

They are the biggest meteor shower of the year, and normally occur between 4 December – 17 December.

The peak is expected on 14 December.

Expect FM “pings” and hopefully interesting dx opportunities.

Mike


Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

Spread the radio love

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.

Spread the radio love

Radio Waves: Potential for Change at USAGM, Judge Rules Pack Unconstitutionally Interfered With VOA, Solar Cycle 25 Could be Strong, and DEF CON Ham Radio Videos

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Dan Robinson and Eric McFadden for the following tips:


The Biden Choice on USAGM: Business as usual, or major change (USC Center on Public Diplomancy)

Several years ago, I wrote about ongoing problems at Voice of America and its parent agency, which re-branded in 2018 as the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), and how Donald Trump would deal with them.

I suggested that the Voice of America could be shut down with little impact on the global media scene. This sparked outrage in some quarters, especially from those invested in perpetuating the yearly $600 million to $800 million taxpayer-funded media structure aimed at foreign audiences.

Space limitations prohibit a thorough review of events since Donald Trump’s nominee to head USAGM, Michael Pack, finally achieved Senate confirmation and took up his post after being blocked for two years by Democrats and some anti-Trump Republicans.

Pack faced a wave of hit pieces by major anti-Trump media as he moved to gain control of the bloated and entrenched USAGM bureaucracy, confront security issues at USAGM, and tackle political bias at VOA. His removal of key officials in charge of USAGM networks is still being fought out in the courts.[]

Trump Appointee Unconstitutionally Interfered With VOA, Judge Rules (NPR)

The chief executive over the Voice of America and its sister networks has acted unconstitutionally in investigating what he claimed was a deep-seated bias against President Trump by his own journalists, a federal judge has ruled.

Citing the journalists’ First Amendment protections, U.S. Judge Beryl Howell on Friday evening ordered U.S. Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack to stop interfering in the news service’s news coverage and editorial personnel matters. She struck a deep blow at Pack’s authority to continue to force the news agency to cover the president more sympathetically.

Actions by Pack and his aides have likely “violated and continue to violate [journalists’] First Amendment rights because, among other unconstitutional effects, they result in self-censorship and the chilling of First Amendment expression,” Howell wrote in her opinion. “These current and unanticipated harms are sufficient to demonstrate irreparable harm.”[]

Sunspot Cycle 25 could be among the strongest ever (Southgate ARC)

The ARRL reports a research paper has concluded that Solar Cycle 25 will stronger than the just-ended Solar Cycle 24 and likely stronger than Solar Cycle 23

The League says:

A research paper, “Overlapping Magnetic Activity Cycles and the Sunspot Number: Forecasting Sunspot Cycle 25 Amplitude,” by Scott W. McIntosh, Deputy Director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, et al., has concluded that Solar Cycle 25 could be among the strongest sunspot cycles ever observed, and will almost certainly be stronger than the just-ended Solar Cycle 24 (sunspot number of 116). The scientists say it will also most likely be stronger than Solar Cycle 23 (sunspot number of 180). As the abstract explains:

“The sun exhibits a well-observed modulation in the number of spots on its disk over a period of about 11 years. From the dawn of modern observational astronomy, sunspots have presented a challenge to understanding — their quasi-periodic variation in number, first noted 175 years ago, stimulates community-wide interest to this day. A large number of techniques are able to explain the temporal landmarks, (geometric) shape, and amplitude of sunspot ‘cycles;’ however, forecasting these features accurately in advance remains elusive.

“Recent observationally motivated studies have illustrated a relationship between the sun’s 22-year magnetic cycle and the production of the sunspot cycle landmarks and patterns, but not the amplitude of the sunspot cycle. Using (discrete) Hilbert transforms on more than 270 years of (monthly) sunspot numbers, we robustly identify the so-called ‘termination’ events that mark the end of the previous 11-year sunspot cycle, the enhancement/acceleration of the present cycle, and the end of 22-year magnetic activity cycles. Using these, we extract a relationship between the temporal spacing of terminators and the magnitude of sunspot cycles.

“Given this relationship and our prediction of a terminator event in 2020, we deduce that Sunspot Cycle 25 could have a magnitude that rivals the top few since records began. This outcome would be in stark contrast to the community consensus estimate of Sunspot Cycle 25 magnitude.”

McIntosh’s recorded presentation of the paper is available at this link
Use passcode z7qCn@3G

The research paper is at
https://arxiv.org/pdf/2006.15263.pdf

Source ARRL Letter November 19, 2020
http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter

DEF CON ham radio talks on YouTube (Southgate ARC)

Talks from the DEF CON event are available on YouTube, they include a number of amateur radio talks from the conference’s Ham Radio Village

Among the amateur radio talks are:
• Talking to Satellites by Eric Escobar KJ6OHH
• The K0BAK News Van by Pete Kobak K0BAK
• Single Board Computers (Raspberry Pi) In Amateur Radio by Typer Gardner KI7ODK
• Ham Radio Snail Mail NTS and the Radiogram Format by Aaron Hulett K8AMH
• Hunting tape measure yagis and offset attenuators by Mark Smith KR6ZY
• APRS Demo by Bryan Lamoreaux KG7OOW

Ham Radio Village Playlist
Click here

Other DEF CON videos are at
https://www.youtube.com/user/DEFCONConference/videosoo


Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

Spread the radio love

Radio Waves: 100 Years of Radio, Maritime Radio Communications, AU2JCB Special Event Station, and 20th Anniversary of Ham Radio on the ISS

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Dennis Dura, Dan Robinson, Datta Deogaonkar, and the Southgate ARC for the following tips:


Commercial Radio Is 100 Years Old. Can It Survive? (Inside Hook)

Four industry veterans weigh in on how they’d “fix” a medium that remains popular but lacks innovation

The first broadcast from a commercial radio station took place on November 2nd, 1920. Here’s how I imagine listeners responded to the debut of KDKA-AM in Pittsburgh:

Nov. 2: This is amazing! I can hear someone from hundreds of miles away talking through this device! The world will never be the same!

Nov. 3: They’re playing “Wang Wang Blues” again already?

The joke here is twofold: First, there’s a popular song called “Wang Wang Blues” from 1920. And second, by day two, KDKA had already developed the repetitive play-the-hits format that would become one of its hallmarks for the following century.

The first commercial broadcast actually related to the election — it was the idea of a radio manufacturer, Westinghouse, to offer up programming to go along with their newfangled tech (a century later, Apple and Sonos thought exactly the same thing). The first commercial broadcast featured updated results of the Harding-Cox presidential race “before [people] read about it in the newspaper,” as this PBS retrospective notes.

One hundred years later, commercial radio still holds a place in American daily life. The average American still listens to about 106 minutes of radio per day (with the coronavirus and its attendant lockdowns projected to increase that number), and there are more than 15,000 stations in this country alone.

We’re certainly listening to radio differently: according to Statista, 57% of Americans do so online, whether by streaming, downloads, satellite or digital radio. If you asked me how I listen to radio, I’d offer up services like Apple Music 1, Sonos Radio and Dash Radio; podcast downloads from ESPN Radio; online streaming of overseas entities like BBC 1 and Triple J or any occasional college station like WSOU; NPR stations for news and commentary (and music if it’s KCRW); and for new music, a DJ-free experience via Spotify’s New Release Radar playlist. In other words, while audio-only, passive-listening medium has survived and thrived for a century, which is astounding and worthy of celebration, the need for traditional, turn-the-dial “commercial” radio is decidedly on the wane.[]

Radio Officers: our past is our future, our way is to be Radiomen

Many thanks to Dan Robinson who shares this excellent site devoted to maritime communication officers: https://trafficlist.altervista.org/

Special event station commemorating Aacharya Jagadish Chandra Bose

Sir, I want to mention with great pride that I am (VU2DSI) celebrating the birthdate 30 November of Aacharya Jagadish Chandra Bose- every year with a special callsign- AU2JCB for the last 15 years. He is well known as the “Father of Wireless Communication” in the world of science.

AU2JCB will operate from 20 Nov 2020 to 15 DEC 2020.

The Details of operation

Period: 20 NOV 2020 to 15 DEC 2020

Frequencies: 10 M– 28545, 28510,28490. 21 M—21235, 21310, 21350. 20M—14210, 14250, 14310. 40 M—7040, 7150. 80 M — 3710. IN FM MODE—– 6M –50800, 51500. 10 M—29700.

QSL— Direct to VU2DSI, “SURABHI” MEHERABAD. AHMEDNAGAR.414006. INDIA.

This year VU2EVU & VU2XPN will operate with AU3JCB & VU5JCB call-signs respectively.

From Kolkatta, VU3ZHA & VU3MZE will operate with AT2JCB & AU8JCB call-signs respectively. Ten more stations will operate from Kolkatta with JCB in the prefix.

Aacharya J.C.BOSE:

https://www.cv.nrao.edu/~demerson/bose/bose.htm

http://www.qsl.net/vu2msy/JCBOSE.htm

http://au9jcb.angelfire.com for info about Aacharya J.C.BOSE & his work.

https://ethw.org/Jagadish_Chandra_Bose

Regards, HAPPY DEEPAWALI to & all.

DATTA

VU2DSI (AU2JCB).

20th anniversary of first ham radio operation from ISS (Southgate ARC)

On November 13, 2000, the ISS Expedition-1 crew turned on the ARISS Ericsson radio for the first time and completed several contacts with ARISS ground stations around the world to validate the radio communications system

These inaugural contacts launched an incredible two-decade operations journey on ISS, enabling ARISS to inspire, engage and educate our next generation of explorers and provide the ham radio community a platform for lifelong learning and experimentation.

In celebration of the ISS 20th anniversary, ARISS was part of an ISS Research and Development Conference Panel session entitled “20 years of STEM Experiments on the ISS.”  The video below, developed for this panel session, describes our program, celebrates our 20th anniversary, conveys some key lessons learned over the past 20 years and describes the ARISS team’s vision for the future.  Enjoy watching!

20 years of continuous operations is a phenomenal accomplishment.  But what makes it even more extraordinary is that ARISS has achieved this through hundreds of volunteers that are passionate in “paying it forward” to our youth and ham radio community.  On behalf of the ARISS International team, I would like to express our heartfelt thanks to every volunteer that has made ARISS such an amazing success over the past 20 years. Your passion, drive, creativity and spirit made it happen!!

Congratulations ARISS team!!!

Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO
ARISS International Chair

Watch ARISS 20th Anniversary


Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

Spread the radio love

Radio Waves: RFI rebroadcasts halted in Taiwan, City Radio, Plans to Recover Titanic Radio On Hold, and Martin visits Radio Globo and Radio CBN Radio studios

Replica of the Titanic’s radio room at the Antique Wireless Museum (Source: Tripadvisor)

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors David Iurescia, Dan Robinson, Scott Gamble, and Martin Butera,  for the following tips:


Rebroadcasts of RFI programs halt over alleged “pro-China” stance (RTI)

Taiwan’s National Education Radio has decided to stop domestic rebroadcasts of Radio France Internationale’s programs. That’s after receiving listener complaints that the station’s news programs repeated Chinese talking points that praised Beijing, belittled Taiwan, and criticized the US.

National Education Radio had rebroadcast Radio France Internationale’s French and Chinese programs for Taiwanese audiences during two daily time slots under an agreement arranged by RTI.

During a meeting of the Legislature’s culture and education committee Wednesday, KMT lawmakers said that the education ministry should investigate whether the listener complaints were justified or not. They also expressed concern about what pulling the plug of the rebroadcasts might mean for freedom of speech and the press in Taiwan.

During the meeting, Education Minister Pan Wen-chung said that the rebroadcasting agreement had been intended to foster exchanges with France. Pan said the programs originally rebroadcast were mainly focused on educational and cultural topics. However, Pan said that RTI and National Education Radio have decided to temporarily stop the rebroadcasts, since the content of the re-broadcasted programs had begun to deviate from these non-political topics.

Pan said that he had not personally listened to the rebroadcast programs. He also said that the education ministry had not been informed about the decision to halt rebroadcasts until RTI and National Education Radio had already decided to do so among themselves. However, he said that the education ministry supports the decision.[]

Listen to radio stations from around the world with the push of a bright red button (Huckberry.com)

There’s one type of travel that’s always ready at the drop of a hat: mental vacations, or, travels of the mind. If that sounds pretty namby-pamby, wait until you see what we mean. Inside this handheld radio are 18 windows into the cityscapes of 18 international locations. Streaming live radio from whichever far-off locale you prefer, The CityRadio is a living, immediate connection to the authentic sounds, music, language, and culture of vibrant cities across the globe. Turn it on, tune in, and let your mind wander while your passport stays stowed in a drawer.

U.S. government tries to block Titanic expedition as archeologists say human remains could exist (Yahoo News)

A plan to retrieve the ocean liner’s radio received pushback as archaeologists say human remains could still be there.[]

 

Martin visits Radio Globo and Radio CBN Radio studios

I’m sending you a PDF about my visit to the Radio Globo and Radio CBN Radio studios, all with photos, video links, lots of texts, all very complete.

It also contains an interesting interview with a quite famous journalist, here in Brazil, creator of podcast content, who worked for 2 years in international Chinese radio and currently works in CBN Radio.

Click here to download (PDF 2.5MB).


Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

Spread the radio love

New Tecsun PL-368 prototype on display at 2020 Shanghai International High-End Hi-Fi Expo

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who shares the following photos and short videos of a prototype Tecsun PL-368 at the 2020 Shanghai International High-End Hi-Fi Expo.

The PL-368 appears to be the updated and upgraded model of the Tecsun PL-360/PL-365 series.

Something I note immediately is the most welcome addition of a numeric keypad for direct frequency entry:

In addition, there’s a “Sync” button indicating the PL-368 will sport synchronous detection, hopefully, with USB/LSB selectable sideband.

Photos

Note, all of the following photos and video were shared by Benny in the Tecsun PL-880 group:

Videos

Dan also shared the following short videos (click links to view):

Many thanks to Benny for sharing these photos and videos from the Expo and thanks to Dan Robinson for sending them to us.

When we learn more about the PL-368, we’ll post details on the SWLing Post. Just follow the tag: PL-368

Spread the radio love