Tag Archives: Dean Bianco

Replacement power supplies for WJ-8711A/HF-1000A series receivers

Photo by Paolo Viappiani

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dean Bianco, who writes:

Inspired by Chuck Yarbrough ‘s YouTube video, I ordered one of the newly-manufactured replacement power supplies for the WJ-8711A/HF-1000A series from WJ Systems, a new company run by noted WJ master technician Stephen Pappin. For those of us who own one (or more) of the dozen or so variants of these now-classic early DSP receivers, these new PS’s can provide an extension of their useful lifespans. These units are direct substitutions for the flawed Condor switching supplies, the Achilles heel of an otherwise fine general coverage radio. Nearly all of the original Condors have lived past their useful, in-spec lifespans and have become (or soon to become) malfunctioning ticking time bombs that will summarily go off the rails (pun intended) and spike all kinds of nasty voltages that will destroy your pricey beauty forever. While admittedly there are other inevitable EOL issues endemic to the 87xx series, e.g., expired time-keeping battery RAM and aging encoders making it harder to find spare parts, a well-cared for receiver can enjoy a much-welcomed rejuvenation and keep the grim reaper of radios at bay for a while!

The official website for WJ Systems is: www.wj-systems.com

Chuck Yarbrough’s YouTube videos demonstrating the installation and testing of the new power supply:

Part 1 of 2:

Part 2 of 2



Thank you for sharing this, Dean!  This is a brilliant upgrade for an iconic receiver!

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Dean recommends KM4MPF Sales

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dean Bianco, who writes:

I have purchased another C Crane SSB Skywave brand-new from an on-line retailer called KM4MPF Sales On-Line Store out of Chattanooga, Tennessee. [I paid a] discounted price of $149.99 vs the $169.99 price charged by C Crane direct. […] I feel not enough listeners would be aware of the significant discount of this fine, but normally pricey receiver. C Crane still earns money in the process, so it is a guilt-free decision to buy from the Tennessee company I would think.

Click here to check out KM4MPF’s selection of radios.

Thank you for sharing this, Dean! I know I have seen KM4MPF at local hamfests in the past. He has a great inventory of radios. Thanks for the tip!

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Dean’s love of the JRC NRD-515 spans 35 years…

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!

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CPRM Lisboa: Another mystery signal solved

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!

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Dean solves second interval signal mystery

(Image source: Madrid.org)

In response to our second mystery interval signal challenge, SWLing Post contributor, Dean Bianco replies:

Mystery solved!

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!

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