Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dean Bianco, who has written a review of the FLEX-6400M SDR transceiver from the point of view of an SWL DXer.
Dean’s review has been posted on Dave Zantow’s radio website. Click here to view!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dean Bianco, who kindly allowed me to share his note which accompanies the photo above:
Me and my then brand-new JRC-NRD-515 in 1985.
Thirty-five years later in 2020, it is still with me. It works today as it did when it was first taken out of its box! This fact is a testament to the 515’s precision engineering, high-quality components, and tank tough build! The only trouble in these 35 years was the gummy 2.4 kHz mechanical filter issue that all 515’s eventually suffer. However, that was an easy fix and other than de-oxit every five years in the controls, and dusting the interconnect circuit wire RCA plugs, it performs flawlessly. It was used two hours ago.
I have an advanced SDR stand-alone, the astounding Icom R-8600 that has better sound, better specs, and more facilities to peak and tweak a flea-powered signal out of a huge pile of powerhouse flamethrowers than does the old 515. But, when I want to experience the old-school large knobs, the large tuning wheel and the sheer enjoyment that only an old heavy metal radio can provide, I turn to the classic NRD-515!
I don’t blame you, Dean. I have never owned an NRD-515, but I have always admired its design and layout. It has such an all-business, military/rugged look. One thing I really love about the NRD-515 is how the RF and AF gain pots flank either side of the main encoder. The controls spacing is also ideal, in my book. Check out the following photo I took of Dan Robinson’s NRD-515:
Thanks so much, Dean!
Any other NRD-515 owners or lovers out there? Please comment!
In response to our latest mystery utility signal challenge, SWLing Post contributor, Dean Bianco replies:
This is the musical marker for CPRM Lisboa, a radiotelephone terminal that provided overseas telephone and telegraph communications in the days prior to satellites.
I remembered the non-broadcast HF frequencies being loaded to bursting with many of these radio services. When not scrambled for privacy, one could hear a telephone call in progress. Instead of a musical IS such as this one, most were loop tape voice ID’s in several languages (almost always including English). So naturally these musical loops made it quite difficult to know what exactly one was hearing, to say the least!
To verify check out the following embedded audio file made by Willi Passmann (via the excellent UtilityRadio.com website):
Once again, thanks to Dean Bianco for solving yet another mystery! Obviously, Dean is a Black Belt SWL and DXer!
FYI: I’ve received a number of emails from readers who really enjoy these mystery signals. Since we all seem to have more time at home these days, I’ll plan to keep them coming!
Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!
In response to our second mystery interval signal challenge, SWLing Post contributor, Dean Bianco replies:
This is the “interval signal” (more accurately, a placeholder with a musical station identifier) for the Compañía Telefónica Nacional de España (CTNW) from Madrid, Spain.
They were a point-to-point HF radiotelephone terminal that provided overseas telephone and telegraph services in the days before satellites became common.
As a young SWL, I would receive all manner of strange musical identifiers for these utility stations. Most of these HF telecommunication services had gone to satellite by the early 1980’s. The HF bands were chock-a-block with signals, whether they be broadcast or utility services.
Glad to help!
To verify his claim, Dean shares the following embedded audio file made by Willi Passmann in the mid 1970s (via the excellent UtilityRadio.com website):
Well done, Dean! Thank you once again for coming to the rescue!
In case you didn’t know, dear readers, Dean Bianco is a force to be reckoned with in the shortwave radio world. 🙂 This year, he won the 3rd Annual Fest Trivia Quiz at the 2020 Winter SWL Fest! An impressive accomplishment, indeed. Not only that, but Dean’s an incredibly nice guy, great friend, and always willing to help out those new to the hobby!
Thank you, Dean!