Tag Archives: Sony

Frank seeks guidance to repair his Sony AN-100E antenna

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Frank Sturzaker, who writes:

I am a new SW listener in the UK and am using an elderly Sony ICF SW100E picked up from selling website here in the UK fairly cheaply as a starter. It gets excellent reviews and seems to do what is required very well. A couple of weeks ago I also picked up a non-working Sony AN-100A external antenna at a charity / thrift store here in the UK. Cheap because not working.

The antenna section simply pulled out of the plastic case so I opened it up to have a poke about inside to try to solve the problem.

The antenna has been “ripped” from however it was mounted and has taken the thin metallic shaped piece / strip that somehow connects it to the circuit board and twisted it. I would guess that this has happened when trying to rotate the extended antenna when the extending sections had become too stiff to rotate – the pieces visible from outside the unit would not rotate inside the fixed section that sits in the unit.

Photos

1 – This is what I bought (although the antenna itself was in the correct place in the case):

2 – This is a close up of the base of the antenna when first bought:

3 – The two halves of the case with the antenna in place but about 0.5″ short of where it should be:

4 – A close up of the ‘loose pieces’ from inside the case and the bottom of the antenna – on the right are the pieces that were left on the antenna and on the left is the this metal piece that makes contact with the circuit board from the antenna

5 – Photo of antenna screw hole in rear of case from inside – the broken plastic is obvious round the screw hole:

6 – Photo of underside of circuit board showing the flat metallic area where the metallic strip from the antenna makes contact:

My questions about how it all fits together (as a starter) are:

    • Is it ONLY the screw from the outside holds the whole antenna assembly in place or is it fixed with glue etc. when originally shipped? It looks to have been ONLY the screw because there are no traces of any adhesive etc.
    • Should the antenna be able to rotate at its lowest section – like on the SW100E?
    • Is the thin metal strip fixed to the circuit board by anything (solder??) or does it just ‘brush against’ the metallic surface?
    • If I simply fix the antenna in place with epoxy or similar and run a connector between the bottom of the antenna and the circuit board will this work or are there other things that should be done or done in a specific way?

If someone can help then great. I repeat, I am not an electronics wizard – a master with a soldering wand I am not!!!

I could go at this like a bull at a gate but advice would be appreciated if there is any out there.

Post readers: if you can offer Frank some advice, please comment. Also, if you own an AN-100E and could share some internal photos, that might help him sort out how it was originally attached inside.

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Zack’s Sony ICF-S5W

In reply to our Caveat Emptor post, many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Zack (N8FNR), who writes:

Attached is a copy of the Sony brochure for the ICF-S5W, a photo of the front and also the inside. This is a fairly old rare radio and some of your readers might enjoy the following.

I just wrote to Dr. Vlado asking if he can restore my fairly rare Sony ICF-S5W. Luckily I have three of them, two of which are dead so I could send all three and he could possibly cannibalize them to make one good working rig. I also have an original copy of the manual.

Few people have heard of the ICF-S5W as it was only made from 1980-81. One of the interesting features of the radio is that the Sony engineers put the 16cm ferrite antenna at an angle as they claimed it improved incoming signals.

Many reviewers at the time claimed that it was better than the GE Superradio of that vintage.

If you would like to know more about this radio below are a few reviews.

Thank you for sharing this, Zack. I was not familiar with the Sony ICF-S5W. I love the simplicity of this radio–and that nearly diagonal ferrite bar? I can’t think of any other radio I’ve seen with that!

And having spare “parts” radios is a solid plan if you have a particular radio you love and want to keep it in working order over the long term.

Any other ICF-S5W owners out there? Please comment!

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Would a Sony ICF-SW07 outperform a modern DSP radio?

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, William, who asks:

Hello,

Firstly thank you for the blog – I have been reading occasionally for several years – it’s really interesting.

I live in the UK. I own (was given as a gift many years ago) a Sony ICF-SW07 and have been playing with it for the first time in the while.

I’m wondering if you remember it or ever used it, and if you can give me a rough idea if a new radio, such as the latest Tecsun, have considerably better sensitivity – for SW and MW – or not?

Many thanks.
William

Thank you for your question, William!

To my knowledge, I’ve only used a Sony ICF-SW07 once and it was from a hotel room at a radio convention, so not ideal for really gauging anything other than economics and superficial qualities. I do know that my friend held it in high regard.  My inclination would be to say that the ICF-SW07 should hold its own and potentially even outperform many modern (late-model) portable receivers.

I do know this, William: in good condition, that ‘SW07 will fetch top dollar. I’m not sure I’d ever let go of it!

Sony ICF-SW07 owner comments and feedback?

SWLing Post readers: If you own the ‘SW07 and would like to share your thoughts with William, please comment!

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The Sony FX-300 Jackal: A Holy Grail technological marvel of the late 70s

I’m a child of the 1970s and I’m glad I never knew about the Sony FX-300 “Jackal 300.” It would have been the ultimate unobtainable machine of my dreams…this, even despite the lack of shortwave.

I was browsing eBay yesterday when I saw one of these pop up in the search results.

Somehow, this radio made it past my RADAR. How? I’m guessing it’s because this model was primarily sold in Japan–?

The FX-300 sports:

  • A mini CRT television screen (to watch Voyagers!, Space 1999, G-Force, and Ultraman)
  • Precision analog tuning
  • Top-Mounted cassette player/recorder
  • AM/FM reception
  • Built-in speaker
  • Earphone/Mic external ports
  • And let’s face it: a killer design that smacks of the Apollo era 

Other than the Panny RF-2200, I’m not sure if a radio could possibly satisfy more of my design cravings.  Here are a few images I’ve unashamedly swiped from eBay:

What a Holy Grail machine, indeed! I love the tactile mechanical switches, analog dials, speaker grills, selection switches, and even (especially) the metal stand off bar at the top to protect those brilliant cassette controls.

I’m very curious if any SWLing Post readers have ever owned (or still own) a Sony FX-300. (Kei Niigata, I’ll be terribly disappointed if I learn you’ve never owned one!)

Please comment!

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Reunited with an old friend…

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Marwan Baayoun, who writes in response to our recent post about radio regrets:

For me, my biggest regret was when in November 2018 I sold my well-protected Sony ICF-SW77.

I bought it brand new over the phone from Universal Radio. My ICF-SW77 was my side kick and went with me everywhere. I remember working the second shift at a publishing company, I would always eat my lunch outside while listening to any international broadcasters I could catch like the BBC, Radio Havana Cuba, Deutsche Welle, or the VOA.

I remember how my co-workers reworded the saying “Life Without A Wife, Is Like A Kitchen Without A Knife” to “Life Without A Wife, Is Like Marwan Without His Shortwave Radio.”

When I got married, my best friend invited us to visit with his wife and children at their house in Upstate New York. He even bought one of the tickets as his way in helping me paying for the fares. I remember the night we arrived at his house me pulling my ICF-SW77 and tuning it to the BBC World Service because we all wanted to get the latest on a sad piece of news that was just breaking that made us, and almost everyone in North America and around the world, stare at TV sets hoping for the best. Then Tom Brokaw came on to announced something that we, and others who were listening to the BBC World Service, had already knew 15 minutes earlier: the sad news the Lady Dianna did not survive the car crash.

My friend was impressed with what shortwave radios could bring to the table.

In the last month I went on a binge and bought a used Realistic DX-440 (love this radio BTW, very nice), and all new XHDATA D-808, Tecsun PL-880, and Tecsun PL-680. I also bought but then returned a Sangean ATS-909X.

To close on a happy note, today I received an almost brand new Sony ICF-SW77 that I bought from a very kind gentleman on eBay–he was willing to accept my fifty dollars less than his asking price offer.

My happiness is beyond expression. I would have never thought I would be able to re-unite again with one of these radios in a condition that is identical to the one I sold. He kept it very well. I tried to find a scratch or a piece of dust on this radio but couldn’t. Not only that, it also came with it the original box, very well kept manual and “Catch the Waves” booklet, (I gave mine to the gentleman who bought my radio, so it was sweet that they were replaced with this purchase). My new ICF-SW77 seller just did not have the power adapter that came with this radio, which is fine with me. I can always find a third party power adapter to buy.

I feel so lucky I am once again an owner of one of these awesome radios.

What an amazing story, Marwan, and I’m so glad you’ve been reunited with an IC-SW77!

Radio love is a funny thing and hard to compare with any fondness one might have of other consumer electronics. For example, I’ve never lamented over the loss of a laptop, iPhone, or iPod–but, like you, I have indeed regretted parting with radios. I know many of you feel the same way.

To me, radios feel much more like companions who share the world with you–through travels and over the air.

I’m happy to hear you’ve got your companion back, Marwan!

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The Sony ICF-7600A continues to impress

I mentioned in a previous post that SWLing Post contributor, Ed Earps, recently gifted me his Sony ICF-7600A.

I’ve been having a field day with this radio!

Well, many field days, in fact. Early on, I packed the ‘7600A in my Red Oxx Hound EDC pack–it fits in the Hound’s interior pocket perfectly and is well-protected on all sides. The radio has pretty much lived in my car and truck since then, thus has gotten a lot of air time when I take short breaks throughout the day.

In November, I took the ‘7600A to Mount Mitchell (6,684 feet/2,037 meters above sea level) and to coastal South Carolina (sea level). It’s been a great radio companion and has given me an excuse to go “old school” and do a little analog band-scanning.

The ICF-7600A certainly has some strengths.

For one thing, although I’ve let this radio on for extended listening sessions, I’ve yet to deplete the eneloop rechargeable batteries (Amazon affiliate link) I originally installed in October. Obviously, this radio will run for days on batteries–a serious plus if DXing off-grid.

The ‘7600A is a fantastic portable for mediumwave DXing. Although it’s also a very sensitive and selective shortwave receiver–especially in this class and era of analog portable–I think mediumwave may be its strong suit.

On the negative side, some of the shortwave band selections are truncated and for some reason, it doesn’t have a back stand (quite an odd omission). Still, these are pretty minor cons.

Obviously, the pros outweigh the cons on this brilliant vintage portable that seems to have held up very well over the years.

To ensure its longevity–and as a precaution–I do think I’ll take it to Dr. Vlado to have all of the caps replaced soon.

My thoughts? If you ever stumble across an ICF-7600A at a hamfest or on eBay, I say grab it!

Post readers: Anyone else love the ICF-7600A? Did I miss any major pros or cons? Please comment!


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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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