Tag Archives: Sony

The Sony ICF-7600A at my “happy place”

Yesterday afternoon, the family and I spent some time at my happy place: Mount Mitchell State Park. This might be our last visit there until spring of 2020 since the Blue Ridge Parkway is often closed during the winter.

Yesterday was unseasonably warm at 48F (9C)–a shot of warm weather before an Arctic front moves in tonight dropping temps to about 10F (-12C) and, likely, dropping 1-3″ of snow as well.

The afternoon at Mount Mitchell gave me a little time to play radio, of course, and put my recently acquired Sony ICF-7600A on the air.

How did I acquire the Sony ICF-7600A? Via the generosity of SWLing Post reader, Ed Earps.

Ed reached out to me after I made the following comment in a recent post:

“The ICF-7600A is a cool analog portable and one I’ve thought about acquiring at some point.”

Ed contacted me immediately:

“Thomas, if you would still like to acquire a ICF-7600A, I have one I would give you. This would be in appreciation of all the work you do in writing the SWLing Post blog.”

A few days later, the ICF-7600A with original box and accessories arrived. Wow!

Thank you so much, Ed! Over the years, members of the SWLing Post community have been so kind and so generous, it makes a guy feel humbled and appreciated. Thank you!

The ICF-7600A fits perfectly in my Red Oxx Hound pack.

I’m loving the ICF-7600A.

There’s something so authentic about tuning a good analog portable. It’s hard for me to describe, but I can certainly say it always takes me back to my radio roots.

The ICF-7600A has a low noise floor and seems to be incredibly sensitive. I easily snagged several stations on 31 meters, but ended up enjoying music via All India Radio while brewing a little coffee with my alcohol stove (handmade by my buddy, Greg–thanks, Greg!).

Hey, when you’re a coffee snob, you brew where you are!

But I digress…

I’m especially impressed with the ICF-7600A’s mediumwave performance. I logged a number of benchmark daytime and greyline stations yesterday. I haven’t opened the ‘7600A, but I imagine it has a decent ferrite bar inside based on its overall performance on the AM broadcast band and its nulling capabilities.

Next time, I’ll bring the AN200 mag loop and couple it with the ‘7600A. I’m pretty sure that’ll make for a winning combo.

All-in-all, I couldn’t have asked for a better day: the weather was wonderful, the coffee freshly-brewed, and the gifted ICF-7600A was the perfect radio companion as our family soaked in the scenery after a hike to the summit.

I couldn’t ask for a better happy place!


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eBay: Julian spots an excellent condition Sony ICF-7600A complete with box

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Julian Stargardt, who writes:

I was just browsing through eBay when I stumbled on this listing that may interest some SWLing readers: An excellent condition SONY ICF-7600A.

The listing is for a Sony ICF 7600 [with box and accessories] – the original ICF 7600, a very different beast from the still in production ICF 7600GR.

Must be over 40 years old and looks like it’s just left the shop.

Click here to view on eBay (partner link supports the SWLing Post).

Thanks for the tip, Julian. For someone seeking a complete ICF-7600A in great shape, this would be a good choice. The price is a bit steep compared to other 7600A’s on the market, but few come with a box, earpiece, and packing. I notice that the seller is accepting offers (that’s the route I’d go!). The ICF-7600A is a cool analog portable and one I’ve thought about acquiring at some point.

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An external battery pack for the Sony ICF-SW35?

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Adam, who writes:

Hi Thomas I enjoy reading your blog and often when I put a question in Google yours is the first on the list so I wonder if you’d mind if I ask you a question about the Sony SW35.

I’m interested to try powering it from a power bank but I have no idea what DC plug to buy for it as I bought it second-hand without an adaptor.

I thought about taking a couple of wires out of the battery compartment but it wouldn’t look as nice so any help you could give me would be much appreciated.

Great question, Adam!

You can certainly find a DC plug that will work with the ICF-SW35. I believe this same plug was used with a number of Sony Walkman type players back in the day. You might be able to find one at the local charity/thrift shop in their power cord jumble.

DC plug coaxial portI do know that the coaxial type plug needs to have positive tip polarity (click here to read about this in the owner’s manual) and the radio requires 4.5 VDC . The OEM power adapter (Model AC-E45HG) provided 700 mAh, but I don’t know what the ‘SW35 actually requires (other than something equal to or less than 700 mAh).

One option would be to find a 12VDC to 4.5 VDC converter like the Sony DCC-E345 and plug it into a 12VDC source (there are a number of high capacity 12V battery packs on the market).

Of course, you could also build your own external source by purchasing an appropriately sized external battery holder. I would use a D cell holder (I assume one to hold 3 cells at 1.5VDC x 3 = 4.5 VDC) which would provide much better capacity than a AA cell holder. (Something like this.)

I haven’t been able to determine the +/- voltage tolerance of the ICF-SW35, so I would keep the supply voltage figure at or below 4.5 volts.

One crucial number I’m missing is the coaxial plug size. I can’t seem to find a spec for OEM Sony AC-E45HG. I hope a reader might be able to help us here.

Post readers: Can anyone confirm the DC plug size for the Sony ICF-SW35?  If you have any other advice or tips for Adam, please comment!

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Credit card radios: Paul seeks info about the “SW One-Station Radio Clip T2”

The Sony SRF-201

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul, who writes:

On a recent visit to London’s Design Museum, I was thrilled to see a number of very interesting radio designs and models, some of which were familiar, and others I had never seen before.

Two which caught my eye were tiny Sony models from the mid 1980s.

The Sony FM RADIO SRF-201

One – the Sony SRF 201 -seems to be a little more well-known, and I’ve found plenty of information about it online, including some for sale, although it seems that the internal battery in most models is shot.

The SW One-Station Radio Clip T2

The other, which I’ve not found much about yet, and am hoping you or your readers might help with, seems to be known as ‘SW One-Station Radio Clip T2‘. It looks as though it might be a branded/promotional model for Radio Tampa, and seems to be pre-set to, or allows tuning on, shortwave between 3.945/6.115/9.760 MHz. Possibly this one is more recent than the 1980s, looking at the earphones.

I’m having trouble finding much online about the second radio, and wondered if you could help shed some light on it? I can’t even find a ‘Radio Tampa’!

Unfortunately, while the museum has great iPads at each section with some more information, the unit at the Sony section was not functioning!

Post readers: If you can shed some more light on the SW One-Station Radio Clip T2, please comment!

Thanks for sharing this, Paul. I have a soft spot for credit card radios since I used to sneak one into my 5th grade class and listen to FM stations. Somehow, I never got caught!

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Olivier is pleased with the Sony SRF-M95, shares internal photo

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Olivier Tkaczuk (F4BXV), who writes:

Hello, my name is Olivier TKACZUK 36 years F4BXV and I live in the north of France.

Just to present my last Sony SRF-M95 AM/MW bought on eBay for 13 euros.

[I regularly receive] Absolute Radio in England…and also Radio Nacional de España.

[H]ere is an internal photo:

Thank you for your website it gives me taste on the radio.73’s Olivier F4BXV

Many thanks, Olivier! I’ve always loved this über-compact AM/FM radios. They remind me of the small radios I used to sneak into school when I was a kid! Sounds like the SRF-M95 is a capable little receiver as well–thanks for sharing the photos.

Glad you’re enjoying the SWLing Post!

Click here to search eBay for the Sony SRF-M95.

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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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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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