Here we play radio: shortwave, mediumwave, longwave, amateur/ham radio, pirate radio, utilities, digital modes, scanning and more. We share radio reviews, broadcasting news and anything we radio geeks enjoy. Welcome to the SWLing Post community!
Many thanks to an SWLing Post reader who recently asked the following question:
I rely on my SONY Shortwave in case of emergency, but it’s occurred to me that relying on the alkaline batteries inside to be fully charged and not corrode wouldn’t make sense.
I am thinking it would be great to be able to power the radio’s 6V 700ma off of the multiple USB rechargeable power sticks I have around the house.
What I need is a cable from the USB stick to the radio.
As a hobbyist project, any ideas for an existing cable or how to make such a cable with the appropriate power circuit?
I know a power cord can be created as long as polarity and the coaxial plug match what the Sony requires. I’ve never used the Sony on a 5 VDC source–I assume it’s within tolerance and RX sensitivity wouldn’t be affected?
Post readers: If you’ve ever created or purchased a USB power cable for the Sony ICF-SW7600GR, please comment!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Steven Crawford, who writes:
As the 7600GR supplies 6v DC to the external antenna jack to power their active loop antennas there seems to be a great deal of confusion on the web about whether one can or cannot use an external antenna such as a random length of wire attached to the center tip of a barrel connector.
I have been unable to locate the blog entry but I seem to remember you discussing this in one of your posts. In it you mentioned you had built a widget that killed the voltage and allowed you to use the external antenna of your choice. I would appreciate your thoughts on a random wire to center tip antenna and details of the widget you built when you have time.
Thank you for your question, Steven. I hope a reader can help point to the post you’ve mentioned. I believe I recall reading this in a guest post–I know I’ve never used a device to kill the 6V phantom load in the antenna out jack.
I suppose I’ve (incorrectly?) assumed the Sony would only push voltage out if connected to the Sony AN-LP1 (see right).
SWLing Post readers know that I’m a big fan of the, now discontinued, Sony ICF-SW7600GR shortwave portable. I try to post ‘7600GR deals when I find them and they’re beginning to become more scarce as retailer inventory depletes.
This weekend, I found another deal via Blinq/Amazon.
They have a number of new ICF-SW7600GRs for $138.39 and about 3 (at time of posting) listed as “Open Box” for $108.39.
I’ve bought a number of items via Blinq (directly and through Amazon) in the past and found that the retailer is not only reliable but has a very generous return policy if you’re not satisfied. You can buy from them directly or through Amazon with confidence.
I’m grateful to SWLing Post contributor, Ron, who has persistently reminded me that these are some of the last days to catch France Inter as LW DX here in North America. Indeed, he shared a bit of interesting and encouraging news a couple weeks ago:
On the Radiodiscussions DX forum, Jim Farmer over in San Antonio got and recorded France Inter on 162 khz using a PK loop and Sony 7600GR.
While I’d love to try to grab France Inter with my Sony, my schedule makes it very difficult to arrange. Fortunately, I have SDRs which allow me to record spectrum throughout the night, then review the recordings in the morning.
Throughout the month of December, I’ve been recording a small chunk of longwave spectrum–with my WinRadio Excalibur–during the night and reviewing it in the morning in hopes that I could grab an opening from France Inter.
I was rewarded on December 19, 2016 around 0300 UTC. Though there was atmospheric noise that night in the form of static crashes, I snagged France Inter on 162 kHz.
My spectrum display from the Excalibur.
The 162 kHz carrier was barely above the noise floor (see above), so it was certainly weak signal DX. Here’s an audio sample:
Actually, the power of France Inter and Medi1 is 2000 kW and 1600 kW respectively. So the power of most SW broadcasters should be called a “flea power” in comparison to what is used on longwave. The smallest output on LW band in Europe is 50 kW, it’s used by Denmark and Czech Rep. The 162 kHz transmitter is closing on Dec 26th, according to the latest news.
Again, if you’d like to grab longwave stations before they disappear, now is the time! Our LW broadcasters are disappearing rapidly. Fortunately, winter (here in the northern hemisphere) is the best time to chase LW DX.
Thanks, again, Ron for your encouragement! I’ll keep listening and recording!