Many thanks to the 86 responses we received from the SWLing Post dream radio contest!
Also huge thanks to Universal Radio who sponsored this contest and made it possible!
This morning, I entered the numbered contest entries into a tool on Random.org. The following two winners were selected at random–one from the US, and one from Australia:
Thomas in Florida, USA:
“I’ve been interested in all aspects of radio since I was a small child. My grandfather got me interested in the radio hobby . As a teen I acquired an old Hallicrafters S-40B. I would listen across the SW bands for hours each evening. This was back in the day when the Russians were running various jammers across the SW bands and OTH radar other wise known as the famous Wood Pecker.
I always wanted to upgrade to a more modern receiver that would have special filters to help reduce the interference caused from those types of man made devices. However, as the years went on, and I got married and raised a family my hobby fell to the wayside. It’s taken me almost 30 years, but I recently purchased an Icom R-75 and have gotten back into active SWLing again.
It is an enjoyable hobby and looking to one day spark an interest in radio in my own grandchildren.”
Adam Ellis in Melbourne, Australia:
The Yaesu FRG-7700 (Photo: Universal Radio)
“As a school kid, growing up in the 80’s, I had a friend who’s father owned (a then) brand new Yaesu FRG-7700 with matching FRT-7700 tuner. Every time I visited at my friends house, I would look at the Yaesu in awe and ask to have a listen.
His father was a VERY strict man and forbid any of the children from touching his radio or HiFi equipment. The combination of parentally installed fear and the mystique of such a military looking and expensive piece of kit meant that my curiosity grew and grew. One day, with his father safely away at work, we powered it up and had a tune around. After a few minutes, I was instantly hooked, having now heard SSB properly for the first time. My friend quickly got concerned that his younger siblings would tell their father that we had dared to use the Yaesu so it was quickly turned off.
Well! My friend still got into trouble because we had left it tuned to an obscure frequency, along with several controls in the wrong position and his father realized it had been fiddled with! The feel of the controls and the glow of the dial lighting made that radio seem like the best thing I had ever seen and just had to own one. Of course, as a 12 year old, owning one meant selling many hundreds of newspapers! A feat all but impossible on my limited paper round.
Fast forward 30 years and I came across a used example at a Hamfest, complete with FRT-7700 tuner in near mint condition. I made an offer which was accepted (AUD$150) and it came back to the shack with me, in it’s original box! Upon testing it out, it works flawlessly with no fading of the display or noise from any of the control pots.
My only real disappointment with the radio is the minimum 1Khz tuning steps. It makes SSB a bit painful to tune. You need to save a frequency into to memory to use the memory fine tune control. It sounds very nice on AM and is mostly used for broadcast reception with a Wellbrook ALA1530 loop.
Even today, looking at the Yaesu brings back the fear laden excitement of tuning around as a kid, with a petrified friend begging me to turn it off! I never did find out what his punishment was. The Yaesu FRG-7700 is now a part of a large collection of receivers, but is one I will not part with because it has taken me so long to finally get one! 73’s, Adam.”
Thanks to the generosity of Universal Radio, Thomas will receive a new copy of Shortwave Receivers Past and Present by Fred Osterman. As our international winner, Adam will be given a choice of Joe Carr’s Loop Antenna Book or Buying A Used Shortwave Receiver: A Market Guide To Modern Shortwave Radios.
I’ve truly enjoyed reading each listener’s account about their dream radio–these stories bring back so many memories of my own!
Once I discover a way to display the results here on the SWLing Post, I will publish them. To keep the post from being too long, I’m trying to investigate a way that the results can be embedded, much like an image slideshow. Stay tuned!