Tag Archives: Scott Gamble (W5BSG)

The Tecsun S-9900: A new high-performance shortwave portable?

[Update: Please check out this post about the Tecsun S-9900.]

[Update: Also see this post that includes an image of a Tecsun PL-990. I will try to confirm if one or both of these radios may indeed be produced this year.]

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor and producer, Scott Gamble, who notes the following tweet from @katsu3_uc on Twitter:

Shortly after publishing this photo, Katsu added the following message (this translation via Google Translate):

“I apologize apparently I have put a photo of the prototype stage. However, it seems that there will be no doubt that a new model will be released from TECSUN at the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, so we will tweet from time to time if there is final information.”

This radio prototype looks a lot like the classic Grundig Satellit 700:

I’ve known for some time that Tecsun has been working on a “high-performance” shortwave receiver and that it would be released by end of year. If this is it, they’re ahead of schedule!

Rest assured, I’ll be checking out this receiver as soon as it’s available! Check out @katsu3_uc on Twitter and, of course, we’ll post updates here on the SWLing Post. Simply follow/bookmark the tag: Tecsun S-9900


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Scott stumbles upon Radio Veronica at the NDSM Wharf

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Scott Gamble, who writes:

[I was in Amsterdam recently] and was in a meeting over at the NDSM Wharf, and I happened to stumble upon Radio Veronica next to the office where I was meeting.

Never though I’d be so close to it. Such a cool piece of history.

Wow! What a fantastic opportunity to catch a glimpse of the legendary Radio Veronica! Thank you for sharing your photos, Scott.

Check out more info about Radio Veronica on Wikipedia:

Radio Veronica was an offshore radio station that began broadcasting in 1960, and broadcast from offshore for over fourteen years. It was set up by independent radio, TV and household electrical retailers in the Netherlands to stimulate the sales of radio receivers by providing an alternative to the Netherlands state-licensed stations in Hilversum.

Broadcasts began on 21 April 1960. The station announced itself as VRON (Vrije Radio Omroep Nederland; Free Radio Station [of the] Netherlands) but changed to Radio Veronica, after the poem “Het Zwarte Schaap Veronica” — The Black Sheep Veronica — by the children’s poet Annie M. G. Schmidt.

After the station’s closure, some of its staff applied for a broadcasting licence and continued as a legal organisation with the same name.

The original Radio Veronica became the most popular station in the Netherlands. It broadcast from a former lightship Borkum Riff anchored off the Dutch coastline. The ship was fitted with a horizontal antenna between the fore and aft masts, fed by a one-kilowatt transmitter. Most of its programmes were recorded in a studio on the Zeedijk in Hilversum. At the end of the 1960s the studios and offices moved to bigger premises on the Utrechtseweg in Hilversum. Initially advertisers were reluctant to buy airtime, but those that did reported increases in sales and gradually the station’s revenue improved.

For a short time the station also ran an English language service under the call letters CNBC (Commercial Neutral Broadcasting Company). Although short-lived, CNBC was presented by professional broadcasters who were able to give invaluable technical advice to Veronica’s Dutch staff.

Click here to read the full Radio Veronica entry.

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Joseph Hovsepian: Montreal’s “Radio Doctor”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Scott Gamble and Bill Mead who both share the following story via the CBC News:

Joseph Hovsepian says he is part of the last generation that knows how to repair electronics

Joseph Hovsepian has been repairing? radios for so long that he claims that he can sometimes smell the problem.

“When I pick up a radio, I turn it on or I plug it in and the way it smells, the way it sounds or doesn’t sound, the way it crackles and fades away, all these things are recorded in my brain and I know exactly how to start and how to fix it,” he said.

Since 1960, Hovsepian has been fixing radios, turntables and other electronic gadgets from his Parc Ave. repair shop.

The 79-year-old sees himself as part of the last generation of people trained in the art of repair.

“We have lost the ability to touch things, fix things, repair them and feel good for doing it,” he said.

For almost his entire life, Hovsepian has been tinkering with radios. He built a crystal radio when he was 12, and his first tube radio at 15.

[…]He believes that today’s electronics lack the warmth that the old radios offered. Hovsepian said smartphones look dead to him compared to old technology.

“Even the sound of the old radios, a little scratch here, a little scratch there…This is radio.”[…]

Click here to read the full article at CBC News.

This is a charming story and I think Post readers can certainly understand why radio seems to be in a class of its own. I feel very fortunate that I’m friends with two people who repair radios for others, my buddy Charlie (W4MEC) and Vlado (N3CZ). Both are kind enough to show me the ropes as they troubleshoot problem sets.

Post readers: Do you live somewhere with a radio repair shop? Have any readers ever visited Mr. Hovsepian’s shop in Mile End? Please comment!

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JRC announces end of factory repairs for NRD-545 series

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Scott Gamble (W5BSG), who writes:

Hi Thomas,

I read this on one of the Japanese blogs I follow. It is a company release from JRC announcing the end of factory repairs for the NRD-545 series receivers on December 15, 2017. The announcement is in Japanese, so you need to use your favorite translation engine to read it, but apparently this was originally announced April 9, 2012! That’s quite a notice period.

Here is a link to the announcement. If anyone wants to take advantage of factory repairs the window is closing soon, especially considering shipment to Japan.

http://www.jrc.co.jp/jp/about/news/2017/1106-1.html

Cheers!

Thanks, Scott! There are a lot of NRD-545 owners out there. The good news is that there are many other repair services that can still work on the 545 (and other JRC models). Indeed, I’m sure my buddy, Vlado, has worked on the 545. Of course, the problem with radios like the 545, which are no longer in production, is that some parts are no longer produced and have no replacements on the market. As long as your repair doesn’t require a discontinued part, you’ll be in good shape!

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Radio Deal: Grundig Executive Traveler at Woot and Amazon

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Scott Gamble, who writes:

I noticed a special today on the Eton Grundig Executive Traveler – it is on sale (only) via the Woot.com app (not online) for $44.99 [plus shipping]. A quick search of the site shows this is one of the lowest prices I have seen for the radio. It has previously been around $47, or two for $94 at Woot.

Here’s the product link.

Thanks for the tip, Scott! Woot is a great place for one day deals–I’ve purchased from them many times in the past few years.

I also noted that the price has dropped on Amazon down to $47.97 shipped. As with any price on Amazon, it’s subject to change without notice!

Click here to view on Amazon.com (affiliate link).

 

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