Tag Archives: DanH

Dan’s respect for Hammarlund and the SP-600 series

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, DanH, who shares the following comment in response to this news article from the Citizen Times featured in Radio Waves yesterday:

Here are my thanks to members of the Amateur Radio community and The News-Record & Sentinel for remembering the legacy of Hammarlund Manufacturing Company Incorporated. It is good to know that this part of our radio history is valued and preserved. I loved the newspaper article!

I have a few vintage Hammarlund radios including two Super-Pro models. The SP-600-JX-21 is one of my daily drivers. This relatively late production SP-600 is in stock condition with the exception of a half dozen electrolytic capacitors that I replaced mostly in the power supply. By the time this SP-600 was built in 1957 Hammarlund had replaced the short-lived black beauty electrolytes with ceramic disc capacitors. Like military and industrial users I upgraded the original nickel plated tube shields with IERC heat dissipating tube shields where possible. I also installed vintage GE No. 1847 long-life incandescent bulbs as direct replacements for the brighter (too bright, for me) No. 47 dial lamps.

Here are my two most recent reception videos of the SP-600. The first features reception of Radio National da Amazonia and the second is a brief operating demo of the SP-600. The loudspeaker used in both videos is a full-range vintage Jensen 10? with matching transformer from the 1950’s instead of a communications range speaker typically used with these radios. This makes a big difference when listening to broadcasts.

This old Hammarlund is still working pretty well.

RN da Amazonia

SP-600 operating demo

Wow! Thank you for sharing this, Dan!

I used to own an SP-600 myself and I do miss it. The only reason I sold it is I was struggling to find a spot in my very compact shack where I could keep it on the air as a daily driver, yet still have enough room to bring new radios and accessories into the shack for evaluation. Moving it around all of the time (especially higher on my radio shelves) was incredibly difficult as she’s a hefty girl indeed! I ended up selling the ‘600 to a good friend for a song. That’s okay because like you, I know he’ll keep her in prime operating condition and I can even pop by to visit when I wish! I do miss having the ‘600 in the shack, though. It was truly a champion MW receiver as well!

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Dan discovers a video and photo montage of VOK listeners

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, DanH, who writes:

The YouTube channel Phuong DPRK Daily recently posted a video titled Listeners to Radio “Voice of Korea” in Pictures. This video offers a look at photos of VOK Voice of Korea (DPRK) shortwave listeners. I recognize the voice of one of the VOK newscasters as the narrator of this video. It is interesting to take note of the shortwave receivers shown in the photos as well. This video was also posted on the Voice of Korea website on September 25, 2020.

I listen to the English Language Service of VOK Voice of Korea from my suburban listening post in Northern California, USA. The VOK English language broadcasts beamed to South America usually provide the best reception for me. Here is my most recent reception video of VOK. It was recorded on November 10, 2020.

There are more reception videos of VOK available at my website Willow Slough DX. These videos include newscasts read by the male announcer heard on the photo album video.

Happy SWLing! The shortwave broadcast bands are beginning to improve after the long nadir of solar minimum!

DanH

Thanks for sharing this, Dan!

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Voice of Korea announces new English language schedule effective March 31, 2019

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, DanH, who writes:

For SWLing Post readers here is a YouTube reception video of VOK announcing a new shortwave schedule for the English Language Service.

Click here to view on YouTube.

The schedule is effective beginning 03:00 UTC, March 31, 2019.

Southeast Asia:

  • 05:00 – 06:00 UTC: 13650 and 15105 kHz
  • 10:00 – 11:00 UTC: 11735 and 13650 kHz

Middle East and Northern Africa:

  • 16:00 – 17:00 UTC: 9890 and 11645 kHz
  • 19:00 – 20:00 UTC: 9875 and 11635 kHz

Southern Africa:

  • 19:00 – 20:00 UTC: 7210, 11910 kHz

Central and South America:

  • 04:00 – 05:00 UTC: 11735, 13760 and 15180 kHz
  • 10:00 – 11:00 UTC: 11710 and 15180 kHz

Good luck if you like chasing VOK!

DanH

Thanks for the tip, DanH!

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Shortwave is an alternative source of news while Internet and phone service to the Kingdom of Tonga are cut

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, DanH, who writes:

Internet and phone service between the Kingdom of Tonga and the outside world was disabled after an undersea cable was cut between Tonga and Fiji.

(Source: Radio New Zealand)

“Tonga’s submarine cable to Fiji was severed on Sunday night, meaning there were no phone or internet services for several days.

Interim satellite links have since been provided but the bandwidth is nowhere near what Tonga needs.

The deputy chief executive of Tonga Communications Corporation, Sione Veikoso, said the company is now providing extra capacity.

[F]ull restoration may be possible within a week but it could take a month.”

Speaking on the Radio New Zealand Pacific program Dateline Pacific (evening edition for 25 January 2019) deputy chief executive of Tonga Communications Corporation, Sione Veikoso said that two cables were cut. Click here to listen to the audio.

I heard the RNZ Dateline Pacific program on RNZI (shortwave), 9700 kHz at 11:13 UTC 1-25-2019.

Thanks for sharing, Dan. Yes, in times like these, shortwave radio makes for an easy, accessible way to get information directly from the source. Radio New Zealand International should be an easy catch in Tonga.

I’m filing this under the tag: Why shortwave radio?

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“The Shape of Water” features a benchmark Cold War receiver

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

The Academy Award for Best Picture of 2018 goes to Guillermo de Toro’s “The Shape of Water.

This celebrated shortwave radio appears several times in the move as a prop for the Cold War-era control room of Richard Strickland (played by Michael Shannon).

Oh what a celebrated shortwave radio indeed! How could it be a Cold War without this benchmark boat anchor?!? Thanks for this fantastic addition to to our growing archive of radios in film, Dan!

Post readers: Anyone recognize or–better yet–own this amazing machine? Please comment!

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Dan spots shortwave radios in the film “Operation Chromite”

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

Operation Chromite (2016) is a South Korean film about the invasion of Inchon by UN forces in September, 1950. This film began streaming on Netflix in the USA on January 15, 2018 and is in the Korean and English languages. The English language subtitles run automatically. This story is inspired by actual events during the Korean War. Under the command of General Douglas MacArthur UN Forces, CIA, the South Korean military and the covert Korean Liaison Office infiltrate Inchon a week before the invasion. Their mission is intel, reconnaissance and disruption. They will operate behind enemy lines in North Korean uniforms.

I gave this movie a try for several reasons. I enjoy Korean movies. The role of General MacArthur is played by Liam Neeson (of all people) and this looked like a good bet for spotting some vintage military radios. I was right about the radios.

Captain Jang Hak-Soo and his seven infiltrators arrive for their first night in Inchon. Remember, they are posing as North Koreans. The radio they have packed along is a Russian RBM. This transceiver has distinctive dual magnifying lenses over the dials.

Click to enlarge.

General MacArthur is in the radio room at his Tokyo headquarters. He issues orders for the KLO to locate any naval mines placed in Inchon harbor. The radio in this scene is a complete AN/GRC-3. I am surprised to see this as it is a 24VDC vehicular radio set (a 115VAC power supply was available). I expected to see some brand spanking-new Collins R-390s or Hammarlund SP-600s for the General. Maybe he has another radio room at HQ. I could be wrong about this.

Click to enlarge.

The final radio is seen behind enemy lines and is the same AN/GRC-3 seen in Tokyo. This time a KLO operative is using it.

Click to enlarge.

Operation Chromite held my attention for the reasons given above. The historical accuracy is more dramatic than documentary but is not too far off the mark.

Being a fan of military receivers, I really appreciate these screen grabs from Operation Chromite, Dan! Thanks for sharing! I’ll add this find to our growing archive of radios in film.

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Review: LE Rechargeable Book Light as a shortwave radio listening accessory

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Daniel Hawkins, who shares the following guest post:


LE Book Light as an SWL Accessory

by DanH

The LE Book Light (Lighting Ever, LTD.) is a handy portable LED lamp that provides light for reading, music stands, or even use with portable radios. I have run into very bad luck in the past with cheap LED reading lights that run directly from USB power. The LEDs always burned out after a couple of days or weeks making me very nervous about putting my computer power supplies at risk by using these things. This LE light is very different. The LE lamp runs from a rechargeable built-in Li-ion battery. This battery may be charged by plugging the included USB cable to USB or the included AC power adapter.

LE makes a few different models of book lights. This model features two lighting pods on sturdy goosenecks. These pods look like classic cobra head street lights to me, which I kind of like. Each pod includes four bright white LEDs and an OFF/LOW/HIGH switch. The lamp will stand unaided on a flat surface and features a clip for temporary mounting. The end of the clip is jointed and padded for improved grip. I purchased a pair of these LE lights early in 2017 and have used them often for eleven months. Each lamp has been charged at least a half dozen times since then. I get about ten hours of light if one pod is lit at low power. Charging time from dead battery (no light) is about two and a half hours. I keep one LE light in use and another charged and ready to go when needed.

My Sangean ATS-909X has a very nice display for use in the dark but the front panel controls are not lit, just like every other multi-band portable I know of. Just try to use keyboard frequency entry or enter a station into memory in the dark! The LE Book Light comes in handy for using portables at home or on field trips in low to no light. Likewise, the meter light on my vintage Hammarlund SP-600 is unlit. I simply clip the LE lamp onto the side panel of the SP-600 for that. There is no way that I’m going to drill into that Marion Electric meter to hack in an indicator light. I can also read the WRTH from the LE Book Light.

This is a nice accessory for portable radio listening at night and many other jobs. I paid $10.88 plus shipping for one of these on eBay in January. I think that was a good deal. Here is $9.99 with free shipping from the Walmart online store. Sold directly by LE from Walmart. The LE Book Light is a very nicely made little light and small enough to make a nice stocking stuffer.

LE Book Light at Walmart

DanH


No doubt a great accessory for the SWL! Thanks for the review, Dan!

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