Tag Archives: ICF-SW11

Rawad takes a peek inside the Sony ICF-SW11

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Rawad Hamwi, who writes:

Recently, I’d acquired a vintage Sony ICF-SW11 from my grandparents and it was in a good shape. After removing its back cover, I did some housekeeping inside and took couple of photos:

I know that this radio is somehow a basic shortwave receiver, lacking some features such as a dedicated external antenna jack.

While waiting this radio to be delivered, I was searching the internet for a hack or trick in which I can utilize my existing long wire antenna and use it on this radio for MW specially. Usually, I depend heavily on my 30 m long wire antenna since the noise level inside my room is somehow high. But I found nothing.

I was amazed when I plugged my 3.5 mm external antenna jack only half way through the Sony’s audio jack. At this moment, the reception was enhanced dramatically on all the bands (FM/LW/MW/SW). I’m not sure how and why but this trick seems to be working! No more noise, the device was pulling signals out of the long wire directly

I found that quite cool. This simple hack had solved my noise problems and I would recommend it to all Sony ICF-SW11 owners. I hope that this wouldn’t affect my device badly on the long run!

One final [note], as far as I know, the telescopic antenna is designed for the FM and SW on this radio. However, whenever I touch that antenna while tuning in to MW, I notice some changes in the signal strengths. Maybe the telescopic antenna works alongside with the ferrite antenna? Or there may be some sort of a short circuit inside?

Thanks for sharing your notes and photos, Rawad. The ICF-SW11 is a great little analog radio–I have one here at SWLing Post HQ and plan to give it to an elderly friend when I next see him. It’s such a simple radio to operate.

In terms of improved performance on MW when you touch the telescoping antenna, I suspect you’re grounding the radio and that’s giving reception a boost. Maybe that’s what’s also happening when you add the longwire to the audio jack?  Comments, anyone?

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Francis loves the Sony ICF-SW11

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Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Francis, who left the following reply on our Battery Endurance Contest Results post:

Dear Thomas,

I have been using a Sony ICF-11 for 5-6 years now, still sold new at 50-70 euro. It’s analog and rather well featured: FM (stereo on earbuds), LW, AM, and 9 SW bands. It runs on 2 cheap AA batteries I get in low-cost supermarket, for sure not the best ones.

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Using it at least one hour a day on the speaker, I have to change the batteries after 9-12 months. I am convinced a set of good Duracell or Energizer batteries would last some more months.

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I am not a radio expert, but I am quite pleased with its audio performances, specially on LW (used most of the time ) and AM, where it is vastly superior to my Tecsun PL-660. SW looks OK for what I can say from listening quite occasionally these bands. I would be curious to see a serious review of this Sony to know how it compares with others, but I didn’t find any on the web so far (hint?). [Yes, Francis, hint taken!]

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I am so pleased with this small radio that I recently bought a second one as a spare.
Thanks for your very interesting blog and reviews.
Francis

Thank you, Francis, for sharing your thoughts on the Sony ICF-SW11 and your photos as well!

It appears Amazon.com (US) has a few options for ordering a Sony ICF-SW11–click here to show search results. Prices vary between $50-$55; Amazon even has replacement telescopic whips available.

Of course, an eBay search will also uncover a number of SW11’s.

I searched the web, but couldn’t find many other retailers selling new ICF-SW11’s. It appears many of the ones on Amazon are imports from Japan.

At $50 shipped, it seems like a bargain to me, so I just pulled the trigger on one.

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