Tag Archives: Dan Robinson

Dan notes a beautifully restored vintage Zenith in “Hunters”

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

Following up on the item about the Grundig SAT 700 in a scene of Last of Us, the series “Hunters“, with Al Pacino, about Nazi hunters, featured a beautifully restored Zenith wood cabinet radio in the second to last of 8 episodes.

The Zenith is seen sitting between an elderly German couple who were helping to hide a Jewish family from the Nazis.

Hunters is an excellent, if sometimes hard to watch, series which brought Pacino back to TV. The scenes with the Zenith radio were almost as long as the one in Last of Us containing the Grundig 700.

What a gorgeous Zenith, Dan. Thank you for sharing this and your notes about Hunters.

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Dan notes an interesting development at the Japanese Buyee auction site

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who shares the following post:

Japan Buyee Site Halts Shipment of Amateur Equipment

by Dan Robinson

As readers of SWLing.com know, the Buyee website has provided a way for those who view it to see and purchase a range of equipment including premium receivers and items previously unseen on the global used market.

I discovered Buyee a few years ago and have used it to acquire some truly exotic communications receivers, along with rarely-seen shortwave antennas, spare parts for some of the most sought after JRC and other receivers, and other things.

Using the Buyee site required nothing more than establishing an account linked to a funding source. The site has a translation function that translates Japanese descriptions to English and other languages.

So, I was puzzled a few weeks ago when I noticed that many if not all items under my one of my primary search parameters (RECEIVERS, under AMATEUR RADIOS) began showing the following notice: “You cannot bid on because it contains a prohibited item.”

An example from the Receiver sub-category of Amateur Radio

This notice appears now on every single item on this search, ranging from classic older receivers such as a Yaesu FRG-7700, to an ICOM IC-R8600 or rare old JRC or Anritsu receivers. A JRC NRD-515 receiver listed as of the time of this writing is also on the banned list.

I sent a note into the Buyee system inquiring why this sudden block on bidding was imposed. The response I got was polite, asking me to “provide us with the item link and screenshot of the error you have encountered so that we can check and assist you accordingly and avoid misinformation and mistakes.”

Buyee responded to another followup, after I provided them with a screenshot of the banning statement, as follows:

“We understand the importance of this matter to you. In response to your concern about not being able to bid on the item . . .we apologize because amateur radios and other related items are prohibited from being shipped internationally. Please refer to the below link(s) https://www.meti.go.jp/policy/anpo/englishpage.html and https://buyee.jp/help/yahoo/guide/prohibited. Thank you for your understanding.”

When I inquired yet another time, Buyee responded: “Regarding your concern, please be informed that we cannot ship transceiver-related items internationally anymore in the future in accordance with Japanese laws and regulations for exporting this kind of item. You are able to provide the link below to the user and ask them to confirm more details” and provided the same URL.

Following the first URL takes one to a Japan Export Control web page which states:

“The Security Export Control in Japan is implemented for the purpose of enabling proper development of foreign trade, and maintaining peace and safety in Japan as well as in the international community by exercising the minimum necessary control based on the FEFTA (Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act) under international export control regimes.”

And a pdf on that page takes one to a document containing a long list of prohibited end users with a fairly recent review date listed of November 2022. The list contains no fewer than 670 prohibited end users, located in Afghanistan, the UAE, the Republic of Yemen, Israel, Iran, India, Egypt, North Korea, Syria, China, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Lebanon, and the Russian Federation.

Wow. Why a blanket ban would be placed on export of amateur radio equipment from Japan and/or Japan sellers is puzzling. Items I have purchased included TEN-TEC receivers, a Drake SPR-4, two Anritsu receivers, several rare Japan Radio Company items, and some spare parts for Harris RF-590 receivers, along with other items.

Based on my reading of descriptions, items were sold by Japanese amateur operators, or longtime shortwave enthusiasts in Japan, or by shops specializing in used equipment in various locations in Japan.

Caught up in this blanket ban are such things as VHF/UHF Talkies, Tecsun receivers, an XHDATA D-808, R-390/A receivers, a Collins 75-A4, and a AOR 3030 and various SONY shortwave antennas such as AN-1 and other models, along with Kenwood RZ-1s and a Yaesu FRG-965.
This is indeed a strange development, and I have sent an additional inquiry to the Buyee site, the outcome of which I will update readers on. If this truly marks the end of the ability of overseas buyers to access the Japan used market, it will be a sad day.

Update–The following is the latest message received by Buyee Customer Service:

Dear Customer,

This is the Buyee Customer Support.
Please kindly understand that there is a part of items which have been restricted by Japanese laws and regulations (export trade management ordinances) (originally cannot be exported without the permission of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), are unable to export out from Japan.

We are afraid amateur radio-related items are restricted by export and trade management, and if shipping these items out to Japan may cause our service been restricted and ban by the law, we are afraid we are unable to take such risk thus we have stop our proxy purchase service for these items.
(*What are the items that are restricted by export and trade management?
Weapons related, items and technologies which may possible use for military purpose, which may threaten the safety of Japan and other countries, these kinds of item will be restricted by the law.)

Please kindly confirm the following link from Japan – Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry website regarding the restricted item for more information:

We apologize for the inconvenience caused and appreciate your understanding.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions or concerns.

Buyee Customer Support

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Video: Dan Unboxes a New-In-Box Watkins Johnson WJ 8711A

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who shares the following video:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Dan, I’m not sure how you find these things, but wow! I know you had a lot of fun unboxing this NIB WJ 8711A! How amazing it is to turn on a radio like this that’s been in the original box for two decades!  I hope you have a lot of fun with it on the air. Thank you for sharing!

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Dan spots an ultra-rare National HRO-600 on Buyee

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

Wow. Appearing on the Japan Buyer site is one of the top rarities, the National HRO-600

As veteran SWLs may recall, the HRO-600 was pictured in the old Communications Handbook receiver sections.

The radio sold for the then astronomical price of $5600 US. Produced just as National was declaring bankruptcy, the 600 was the final radio from the company.

The last time one of these appeared on the used market was in 2015 and the best writeup on the receiver can be found here.

The condition if this HRO-600 is poor so it may not be salvageable, but it’s nice to see another one show up on the used market since supposedly only 200 or so were made.

Thank you for the tip, Dan! I hope someone grabs this HRO-600 and does a proper restoration job!

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Dan spots a rare Squires Sanders SS-1R on eBay

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor (and rare radio aficionado), Dan Robinson, who shares a link to this eBay listing.

Dan notes:

“The SS-1R is almost as rare as the SS-IBS which was the SWBC version of the receiver.”

Click here to view on eBay.

Thanks for sharing this, Dan. Seems the seller is also accepting offers (asking price is $999.99 US). Any serious buyers should read the seller notes. The unit looks incredibly clean cosmetically, but would likely need a good electrical going-over and possible alignment.

Even if, like me, it’s not in your budget to purchase a rare radio, I think we can all appreciate the photos:

Thanks again for sharing, Dan!

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Dan reviews the new Chameleon CHA RXL Pro Wideband Magnetic Loop Antenna

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, for the following guest post and review:

Photo by Chameleon

The Chameleon CHA-RXL Pro:  Improved Amp Board Raises the Game

by Dan Robinson

Back in 2021 I reviewed the CHA-RXL loop by Chameleon.  This loop antenna is sold by major retailers such as DX Engineering, Gigaparts and Chameleon itself – the company is a well-known name in antennas and other equipment for the amateur radio world.

I compared the CHA-RXL to Wellbrook 1530 and W6LVP loops feeding into a four-position Delta antenna switcher, and then to a Raven 16 port multicoupler which maintains good steady gain.

My Wellbrook is mounted on a telescopic mast about 15 feet above ground level, with a rotor.  The W6LVP (using LMR400 coax) is tripod-mounted with an overall height from ground of about 12 feet. It has special filters to prevent strong medium wave signals from bleeding into HF.

I have since added a UK-made loop (essentially a copy of a Wellbrook loop but smaller diameter and made of metal) combined with a W6LVP amp.  This W6 amp does not have filtering to block strong mediumwave signals.  In all, I have four loops into my Delta switcher, which feeds about two dozen receivers.

There is by the way quite robust discussion at https://groups.io/g/loopantennas about various loops, including the Chameleon.  And this past July, Steve Ratzlaff posted news about the upgraded loop amp board which will ship with what is now the CHA RXL Pro, saying:

“Chameleon has completely redone their CHA RXL loop amp board from the previous poor-performing loop amp that I tested some time back, and sent me one of the new production boards to test. I’m happy to say it tests very well especially for LF sensitivity, and I can now give it my “seal of approval”.  The new board is a version of the LZ1AQ loop amp.”

Photo by Chameleon

It turns out, according to an email from Don Sherman of Chameleon, that Steve is one of the engineers who helped design the new amp board for the CHA RXL Pro, and on the Loop Antenna group he provides a folder in which he placed previous test results with “new files of the new board (sweep of the new RXL Pro loop amp, and a picture of the new amp PCB).”

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Guest Post: Dan’s letter concerning the new Elite Satellit

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who publishes the following guest post:

Letter to Eton:  Cutting Corners on Elite Satellit Won’t Succeed

by Dan Robinson

As SWLing.com readers will recall, weeks before Eton shipped the first group of Elite Satellit receivers I published a commentary that asked a key question:  would Eton be able to meet the higher standards of the listening community in 2022 when it comes to new advanced portables?

Unfortunately, we all see what the answer to that question was.  Eton was forced to recall Elite Satellit radios that had been shipped to major resellers such as Universal Radio, Ham Radio Outlet, and others as defects became all too apparent.

A radio that had been on its way to me for review was among those recalled.  But I recently was able to examine a unit that a friend in the Washington, DC area purchased.  What I found I am putting in this commentary as a letter to Eton.

If the company takes these points seriously, I think there is still hope that the Elite Satellit can join the ranks of respectable multi-band portables – after Eton has gone back to the drawing board so to speak.  However, if Eton continues to cut corners with this receiver, its future is not bright:

Letter to Eton on the Elite Satellit

Dear Eton,


As many who purchased or tested the Elite Satellit have remarked, the fact that you decided to release a radio with this issue is beyond comprehension.  Tuning on the Elite Satellit is, tragically, an uncomfortable and frustrating experience.  This needs to be corrected/fixed – you only need to take a look at Tecsun receivers such as the H-501 or PL-990x to know what needs to be done.


Perhaps even more puzzling than muting, the Elite Satellit I tested had an even more mind-boggling issue.  Passband tuning should function to adjust the signal pitch without changing the audio frequency.  On the radio I tested, PBT was actually TUNING and changing the frequency.  Using PBT on this radio was virtually no different from tuning in SSB, with injected tones heard, until a zero beat was achieved.  All you had to do was take a look at a E1 receiver, or any other receiver with well-implemented PBT to understand how real PBT is supposed to function.

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