Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mehdi, who writes
Hey Thomas. I have seen some of your posts on identifying radios in movies. I just wanted to tell you that there are at least 2 HF tarnsceivers shown in the trailer of the upcoming film “Love and Monsters” : Kenwood TS-520S, Kenwood TS-130S
Great catches, Mehdi! No doubt, if they’re in the trailer, there may be more in the movies.
I assume people who read this blog have so many things in common, one of them is a love for gadgets, especially radios and SDRs. To others, a radio is a radio, but not to us. We invest so much money and time to obtain and play and experiment with different tools and compare them. I have had so many SDRs and some traditional radios (not as much as Thomas, though) and I really get the best that I can afford for my needs.
But one day walking in a local electronics shop in Berlin/Germany, a small radio caught my eye, not because it was any special or different than other pocket-sized radios, but because of its price tag. It was the first time I had seen a single digit price for a radio!
I bought it without hesitation, for 9,99€ and later I realized it’s even cheaper in Austria: 6€ !
I’m talking about “ok. ORF 110”, an AM/FM radio running on two AAA batteries and using analog knobs and no display. Nothing special can be found on this little device; It has power on/off button, AM/FM band switch, volume knob, analog frequency knob, earphone socket and an internal telescopic antenna with a maximum 18cm length. And it does even come with 2 years of warranty.
The first thing that I did was compare it with my beloved portable radio: the Sony ICF-SW100, and I must say that I’m amazed. This little radio is on-par with Sony on FM; Unfortunately I can’t receive any AM signals from my apartment, so there wasn’t much that I could test there. But overall I’m really satisfied with the reception and audio quality. This can be a good companion for anyone who wants to have a cheap backup radio.
I wonder if you know of anything even cheaper? I would love to see and try what would be the cheapest (I haven’t searched the Chinese websites though. I was looking for something that I can buy here in Europe without spending on shipping or customs).
We had a one-day [amateur radio] program on July 16, 2016.
Our club organized an activity from 5:00 AM local time to 8:30 PM (local time) in Karaj’s heights (50 km of Tehran).
We had a vertical for 15 and 20m, an Inverted-Vee for 15 and 20m and a Magnetic loop (can be tuned from 10 to 22 MHz).
We operated two bands (mainly 20m and some 15m), both SSB and CW.
Propagation was not very good but we managed some good DX contacts (East of USA: Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, etc, Japan, Canada, …).
Antennas were made by us and we used two rigs (Icom 735 for CW and Elecraft K3 for SSB).
It was also an educational program for enthusiasts and beginners.
Thank you so much, Mehdi, for sharing EP2C special event!
I imagine your field station attracted a lot of attention on the DX Clusters and I bet you were on “the other end” of more than one pile-up despite the bad propagation.
Your club also used two great field radios: the benchmark Elecraft K3 and the Icom IC-735. Two radios from two completely different eras! I imagine the age gap between the two was pushing three decades. The IC-735 was my first ham radio transceiver. Though it’s an older rig, it holds its own in the field and has proven itself reliable (the ‘735 also had one of the better general coverage receivers of the era). Of course, the Elecraft K3 has become the DXpeditioner’s choice transceiver due to its performance, versatility and efficiency.
Thanks again for sharing your event with us, Mehdi. I hope to hear EP2C on the air again very soon!
In this post I’m going to tell you how I repaired my Icom IC-R72 receiver. Although it’s about a specific device, the logic and methodology applies to all radios.
I bought an Icom R72 from a friend for about $200. At first, I just checked 7.0MHZ (40 meter band) and 21.0MHZ (15 meter band) and it was OK. After some time, I tried to listen to some ham radio on 20 meters (14.0MHZ) and it was deaf! I checked everything: antenna connectors, balun…everything.
With some trial and error, I found out that it was deaf from 11-15 MHz. With the help of the members of “Icom R72” Yahoo Group, I found one of the usual suspects: bandpass filters’ switching diodes.
I took a look at the service manual and apparently this radio uses multiple bandpass filters for different frequency ranges.
As you see in the above picture (grabbed from service manual), one of the bandpass filters is for 11-15 MHz range–that’s the range where my radio was deaf.
Note that there are multiple ways to test that a radio is deaf at a frequency. One of the simplest ways: connect an antenna or even a long wire to the antenna socket of radio. The noise level should increase; if not, there’s a problem.
After testing diodes with a multimeter, I found out that D31 is faulty. Almost all multimeters have a diode-test functionality.
I replaced it. The original diode was 1SS53, but I used a 1N4148 which is very common and found everywhere. Now I have a working radio! 🙂
If you have a radio that’s deaf at a frequency range, there is probably a problem in bandpass filters.
Here are some internal pictures of my Icom IC-R72:
I should thank my friend and electronics mentor, Saeed (EP2LSH) who always helps me in my electronics adventures.
Mehdi Asgari, the author of this post, is a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Mehdi lives in Tehran and is an active member of the EP2C amateur radio club.
Spread the radio love
Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. Ads are what helps us bring you premium content! Thank you!