Tag Archives: shortwave

KIMF broadcast schedule via the HFCC

KIMF transmitter site (Source: James Planck via Facebook)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ethan Best (KC9YDN), who notes:

KIMF’s schedule has been posted on the HFCC’s website:

http://hfcc.org/data/schedbybrc.php?seas=A17&broadc=IMF

Thank you for sharing this, Ethan!

KIMF has actually been in the HFCC listings since at least 2014, even though they only recently received FCC approval to operate.

Check out these posts for more KIMF info and photos.

Schematic for the PLL EDUTEC 4-Band Digital Radio Weltempfänger?

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Cezar Vener, who writes with the following inquiry:

I would like to ask you if you can help me with a schematic diagram for an EDUTEC 4-Band digital radio (PLL EDUTEC 4-Band Digital Radio Weltempfänger). It is not broken, but I would like to modify it. Of course, I could spend some time and manually extract the schematic, but I would lose too much time.

While I know that “EDUTEC” is a registred trade mark for technical (“non-food”) products that was sold by “Eduscho Handelsgesellschaft” in Bremen and also I found that it is now owned by Tchibo, well – I would like to kindly ask you for help in this matter? (course, if you can).

It is an old product, probably made in the 90’s and until now, I didn’t find anything on the net about it. I opened it and I found that its core is TA8132AN, and the FM section is made around TA7358AP. The audio stage is built with C1212C, and there is one more integrated circuit there, TA8148S (no datasheet on the net, but I found that is a DC-DC converter for electric tuning – built-in stabilized supply output for biasing VHF tuner variable capacitor / sine wave oscillation).

BTW, I found it also in SONY CFS-W504L 🙂

The PLL chip is soldered with the unmarked side, so I don’t know what type it is.

[See photo at top of post.]

Here is a photo of the rear back stand:

Unfortunately, there is no other model or name written on the radio.

I see there “CENTRON LABORATORIES LTD”, that points to the company with the same name from Gujarat, India. Very interesting :))

In the hope of an answer from you, please allow me to thank you and to congratulate you for the very nice site that you maintain there!

Many thanks, Cezar! It’s readers like you who make this site such a great one!

Post Readers: I hope someone may be able to help Cezar. This radio looks familiar–perhaps I’ve seen it badged with a different company name?  Please comment if you can help Cezar locate a schematic.

The Tecsun PL-880: triple conversion architecture

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Larry Thompson, who writes:

There’s been some confusion on my part whether the Tecsun PL-880 is a dual conversion or triple conversion receiver. Amazon and eBay list the receiver as double conversion, whereas Universal Radio doesn’t mention either.

After scouring the Instruction Manual, I was pleased to learn that the PL-880 uses the Silicon Labs si4735 DSP microchip and has 4 Intermediate Frequencies.

1st IF: 55.845 MHz
2nd IF: 10.7 MHz
3rd IF: 45 kHz
4th IF: 128 kHz (exclusively for FM)

To me, that looks like a triple conversion architecture. The combination of the DSP microchip, and the triple conversion would explain why my Tecsun PL-880 is so much more sensitive and selective than my Sony ICF-SW8600GR.

My CountyCom GP-5/SSB emergency portable also has the same Silicon Labs DSP chip and it is almost as sensitive as the Tecsun PL-880, far more sensitive than the Sony. I’ve owned a Japan Radio JRC-525 and a Yaesu FT-900AT transceiver for many years, and the PL-880 digs out weak signals better than both those tabletop receivers, both dual conversion.

To quell the speculation, yesterday I contacted Anna at Anon-Co, the worldwide distributor for Tecsun radios. Her quick reply confirms my suspicions that the Tecsun PL-880 is indeed a triple conversion receiver. That would explain why it blows my Sony ICF-SW7600GR out of the water in senitivity and its ability to pull out weak stations.

Among all the other great attributes, this is an welcome discovery and one never mentioned in the specs by the various retailers of this receiver!

Thank you Larry, for shedding light on this–Anna would certainly know.

Your note makes me realize that I really should order a second, current production model PL-880. My PL-880 is from one of the first batches produced. I imagine I could benefit from some of the firmware tweaks that have been made to this receiver over time.  Perhaps it would even be a good time to compare the 1st generation with the current generation?

I just checked and Anon-Co is selling the PL-880 on eBay for $153.99 US shipped.

Have any SWing Post readers compared early and late model PL-880 units? Please comment.

Shortwave List: Cap’s shortwave schedule Android app now open to Beta testing

A few months ago, long-time SWLing Post contributor, Cap Tux, designed a simple shortwave schedule application for his Android phone. Though he never intended to make the app public, he shared it with me to test on my Moto G5 Plus.

Cap has recently decided that if others in the SWLing Post community would like to Beta test his app, they’re welcome to do so. He notes:

The app was created initially to meet my own requirements as at the time I was travelling a lot for my job and other apps I tried didn’t meet the requirements e.g. Broadcast stations only, filter by Station, Freq, Time, Language and more recently ‘Target Area’ which was added to the app very recently as I was initially using the AOKI list but found that EIBI was updated more frequently and tended to be more accurate.

I do miss some of the features and simplicity of the AOKI list as programming some of the code to respond to the amount of info in the EIBI list was challenging and there is still more that can be done. There is a bug on Android v4.4 (not my bug but the frameworks bug) which I have fixed in v1.1.10 which I can send through later.

I wrote this app as I needed a phone app for my portable radios (PL-660/PL-365) so I could search for shortwave stations using any combination of Station, Frequency, Language, Time (Specific, Real-time incl. day or Any!) or Target Area. The search can even take account of the day of broadcast so if it’s a Friday and the broadcast is only a Saturday, then it won’t show it.

Shortwave List Features:

  • Search the list using any combination of Station, Frequency, Time, Language, Time or Target Area
  • Only broadcast stations are included in the list
  • Scrollable list of stations based on search criteria
  • Get Station, Frequency, Times, Language, Target, Days on-air, Transmitter location and the Broadcasters country of origin of the selected broadcast by a tap on a station
  • Powerful search features with a simple interface
  • Search for specific broadcast times with any combination of Station, Frequency or Language, Target area with future or past times being searchable, although this lists all stations irrespective of the day (as you may want to know a time for a broadcast tomorrow, or yesterday)
  • Search for stations in real-time with any combination of Station, Frequency, Language or Target Area, so the app only lists broadcast stations on-air now (also takes the day into account, so, for example, a station listed as only on-air on a Friday will not show if today is a Saturday)
  • Search for stations transmitting at any time with any combination of Station, Frequency Language or Target Area

Future features in active development:

  • Update shortwave list from the internet

A few examples of use:

  • You hear a station in an unknown language, Select ‘ON AIR’ and enter the ‘Freq’, ‘SEARCH’ and the app will list the possible stations
  • You hear a station in English, select ‘ON AIR’ the ‘Language ‘ set to ‘English’ and enter the ‘Freq’, ‘SEARCH’ and the app will list the possible stations on that frequency right now
  • Want to know when a station is transmitting at a specific time? select the specific time by selecting the UTC time, set the Hour/Minute and enter the station name in the ‘Station’ box and ‘SEARCH’
  • You are listening to a SDR recording from last week and trying to identify a station, enter the ‘Freq’ and the specific UTC time (or ‘Language’ if known), ‘SEARCH’ and the app will list the possible stations
  • Want to tune into broadcasts right now in your language? no problem, just select ‘ON-AIR’ and select your ‘Language’ and ‘SEARCH’
  • List all broadcasts from a specific station, just enter the ‘Station’ name and click ‘SEARCH’
  • List all broadcasts on right now by selecting ‘ON-AIR’ and ‘SEARCH’

Phones that have been tested and will work (You will need Android v5.0.1 or above):

  • Samsung Galaxy S4/S7 (I think all the S series from S4 above should be fine as all have a good screen resolution)
  • Samsung Galaxy J3
  • Google Nexus 4
  • Moto G5 Plus

It should be noted that due to the number of low resolution display phones out there some will not be able to operate the app correctly at present due to the current layout of the components and recommend you use a phone with a decent screen resolution around 1080×1920. I plan to address the screen res issue soon.

What I need from Beta-testers who want to file bug reports:
Phone Make/Model:
Android version:
Shortwave List version in use:
Ease of use:
Speed/Performance:
What would you change/remove/add:
Any screen issues, layout problems or difficulty using a feature:

Please submit your feedback on my Twitter account: @swbcdx

Thank you, Cap!

Readers, please keep in mind that this application is not in the Google Play store because it’s in Beta. You’ll need to download the application to your phone, temporarily allow “Unknown Sources” (here’s a short tutorial), then install the app. It’s very important to only temporarily allow “Unknown Sources”–once this app is installed, please reinstate this security measure.

Please note: If you’re not comfortable downloading and installing an app that is not in the Google Play store, please simply wait for this app to hit the Google Play market possibly at some point in the future.

Click the following link to download the application file to install:

http://www.filedropper.com/shortwavelist-v119-no-permissions

This app requires no permissions. The trade-off is that updates to the schedules cannot be initiated without re-installing an updated app with new schedules embedded.

For what it’s worth, I really like this app! Very simple, effective and works offline.

Here are a few screenshots–I love how he’s kept the interface clean and simple:

Thanks again, Cap, for opening Beta testing to our community.

Please submit your feedback on Cap’s Twitter account: @swbcdx

Court of Dreams: How shortwave radio lead to a lifelong obsession with tennis

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who shares the following video from CBS Sunday Morning and notes:

For those who may have missed this recent CBS Sunday Morning piece, which tells the story of a guy who, inspired by BBC broadcasts of Wimbledon, built his own top-level court in Iowa. It’s not often that shortwave gets such national exposure:

(Via CBS Sunday Morning on YouTube)

“If you build it, they will come.” In the case of one tennis-obsessed fan who built a replica of Wimbledon’s center court on his Iowa farm, people have come from around the world to his All-Iowa Lawn Tennis Club, to play on his court of dreams. Steve Hartman reports.

Click here to view on YouTube.

This absolutely made my day, Dan!  Thank you for sharing.