Tag Archives: Sony ICF-SW7600GR

Sony could halt production of shortwave radios in February

Several SWLing Post readers have sent me a link to this item on BCL News (originally posted by Takahito Akabayashi via WOR) stating that Sony will cease production of all shortwave radios this month:

SONY Japan declared in January that they ended the production of ICF-SW35 shortwave receiver. They also declared in February that they end the sales of another shortwave receiver ICF-7600GR at their on-line store. Probably they will declare the end of its production soon.

ICF-SW35 has been on sale since 2000, ICF-7600GR since 2001. This means SONY will completely withdraw from the shortwave receiver market.

I have not been able to locate a statement from Sony regarding this, but I’m not at all surprised if it is true. Shortwave radios represent such a small niche market for Sony, I’m surprised they’ve continued producing them up to 2018. Indeed, to my knowledge, they haven’t updated their benchmark portable (the Sony ICF-SW7600GR) since they released it in 2001. That’s an incredibly long market life!

The ‘7600GR is still one of my favorite portables even though it lacks an encoder/tuning knob and isn’t as sensitive as the Tecsun PL-680, for example. I do love its sync detector and rock-solid AGC. Additionally, it’s one of the few portables on the market that has a proper line-out audio jack for recording and a variable attenuator.

Production of the ‘7600GR has been sporadic–a number of times, Sony gave retailers the impression the product line was dead only to release small batches of new units from time to time. Likely, they’ve been clearing out the final production run.

I predict the price of the ICF-SW7600GR will climb as they become a little more scarce.

Looking back, I wrote a post in September 2016 describing where to find new or open box units online. If you’re interested in the ‘7600GR, check out that post in our archives.

If anyone finds a release from Sony regarding this news, please comment with a link!

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A Case Logic case for the Sony ICF-SW7600GR

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

When I bought my Sony ICF-SW7600GR back in 2014, I was happy with the included case that came with it. However, signs of wear and tear started to be visible. This inner fabric lining was peeling off, since it was rubbing against the antenna both plastic bumps located at the back of the radio

So I decided to look for another way of protection, and I found what I was looking for on Amazon. The Case Logic PDVS-4 5-7-Inch In-CarDVD Player Case.

That case was large enough to fit my radio and it had a second pocket which I used to store the original case.

I am totally satisfied with that purchase and I highly recommend this item for every Sony ICF-SW7600GR owner. Unzip the case, connect your external antenna (if you want), turn on the radio, and you are ready to! And when you’re done, just vice versa the above steps!

Check out the Case Logic PDVS-4 on Amazon (affiliate link).

Thank you, Rawad.  In my experience, Case Logic products are very durable.  Thanks for sharing your tip!

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Looking under the hood: Sony ICF-SW7600GR internal shots

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

Hi Thomas

Recently I was looking over the internet for some high resolution images for an opened Sony ICF-SW7600GR, but could not find much.

So…I took the “risk” and I opened mine! The main purpose was to clean it from dust, since I am living in a quite dusty environment

I was amazed how easy the process was. It was like eating a piece of cake! Remove the 5 screws and viola! that’s it! You can definitely see the Japanese quality inside.

So, I would like to share with you some high resolution images and somebody may use them for reference too!

Click here to download a compressed file with all of the photos in high resolution (24 MB).

Thank you so much for sharing these, Rawad!  Excellent photos that will, no doubt, prove useful to those wishing to repair or modify the Sony ICF-SW7600GR.

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Anil’s hack: Using a smart phone battery bank to power portable receivers

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Anil Raj, who writes:

I wanted to share a small but useful hack with your readers.

I use a common garden variety smartphone “Powerbank” 10,000 mAH Li Ion pack to power my Sony 7600GR which is perfectly happy with the 5V which the pack supplies. [See photo above.] I see no reason why this won’t work with other radios which require a 6V supply.

As you can imagine, the setup typically lasts for many weeks of extended daily listening and recharges in a jiffy. However, one needs to sacrifice a USB cable by soldering a DC plug at the other end. Haven’t bought AA batteries in a long time…

Thank you, Anil! What a simple but useful hack. The best part is, battery packs/banks are  very inexpensive these days and, I for one, have a number of USB cables I could sacrifice for the job!

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Video: Shortwave shootout with the Tecsun S-8800

After enjoying an afternoon testing the Tecsun S-8800 on the Blue Ridge Parkway this past weekend, I decided to return to the parkway yesterday and test the S-8800’s shortwave performance.

I carved out about two hours of my afternoon and spent the entire time comparing the S-8800 to the Tecsun PL-880 and the Sony ICF-SW7600GR. I tested the radios on several shortwave bands and in both AM and SSB modes.

On Sunday, we discovered that mediumwave performance is lacking on the S-8800. Not so on shortwave! Check out this short video:

Click here to view on YouTube.

In my comparisons, the Tecsun S-8800 has consistently outperformed the PL-880 and Sony ICF-SW7600GR on the shortwave bands. The AGC is pretty stable and sounds much like that of the PL-880 when QSB (fading) is present. Sensitivity is better than the PL-880, though, so the S-8800 can dig those signals out of the noise a little better.

Note, too, I had to pick up both the PL-880 and ‘7600GR  in my hand to obtain the best performance–that additional grounding gave each a slight boost. Quite common for portables. The S-8800 didn’t require this.

After I returned home yesterday, it struck me that perhaps a longer telescopic whip gave the S-8800 an advantage. Turns out, it’s only three inches longer than the PL-880’s whip.

Next, I need to spend a little time with the S-8800 mapping out any birdies on HF–a tedious process. I hope to start on that today.

To follow updates on this yet-to-be-released receiver, follow the tag: Tecsun S-8800.

UPDATE: Click here to read our full Tecsun S-8800 review.

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