Monthly Archives: May 2016

Tecsun PL-365 – Initial impressions

I received a Tecsun Pl-365 as a birthday present today from my family. Sitting out in the garden, I used the ETM function, and once all stations were loaded, I logged the following in just under an hour. This listening session was not about listening but just ‘seeing what was there’. I also missed out the CRI big gun stations. All using just the built-in whip on the 365, i.e. ‘barefoot’.
Between 15-58 and 16-50 UTC I logged the following stations:
15715 KSDA Agnan Point 33333
15610 WEWN USA 33333
15595 Vatican R. Vatican City 54444
15580 VOA Botswana 43333
15550 R Dabanga Vatican City 43333
15435 BKSA Saudi Arabia 54444
15245 V.o.K N.K. 43333
15150 R Dabanga Sri Lanka 43333
9310 VOA Deewa Sri Lanka 33333
11610 RFA Tinian 43333
11655 IBRA Dhabbaya 43333
11735 ZBC Zanzibar 33333
11800 RRI Romania 43333
11890 BBCWS Singapore 54344
11910 RFE Sri Lanka 43333
12005 R Farda Sri Lanka 43333
12015 V.o.K NK 33333
12045 BBCWS Thailand 33333
15140 R Sultanate Oman Oman 33333

All-in-all I am very impressed with this little radio. It is a very capable portable and seems to be very sensitive. Selectivity is not selectable, but it seems to do a fair job of separate stations.
I haven’t tried the SSB capability, which I suspect, as with most Tecsun portables, will not be that good.

I will do a more in-depth review of this little receiver when I have used it for a longer period. I would like to check out some of the other functions, such as SSB reception, and I haven’t tried it on MW and FM.

The march of technical innovation

I recently bid on and won on Ebay, a Grundig 3010 receiver. From a bit of research, this radio was produced between 1952 and 1953. According to the Radio Museum website, the original price was 345 Deutsch Marks. In 1952, there were about 11 DM to the £, which would make it £31. That’s supposing there was no import and purchase tax. The average weekly wage in 1952 in the UK was £9, so this radio represented a significant investment for an average working family, nearly a month’s wages!

Compare that to say, a Tecsun pl-600 receiver. These retail for around £60 in the UK (less of course if ordered from HK or China). The current average weekly wage in the UK is £499. So the PL-600 represents only 12% of the current weekly wage, and yet the leap in technology is astounding.

Of course, the Tecsun does not have the rich tone which the Grundig has, by virtue of its valve (tube) stages, 2 speakers, and wooden cabinet. Some things can’t be improved!

Happy Listening!

60 years of technical innovation.


Some Friday night DXing – 20-05-2016

I managed to get a fair bit of time in listening this last Friday (20/06/2016) and was pleased to note that some of the stations that are only audible during the summer months are starting to come through. Notable stations were R Argentina Exterior,  R.Inconfidencia, Caribbean Beacon, and R.Nac.Argentina. An odd one amongst the mix was Bangladesh Betar on 4750. I first logged this as RRI Makassar from Indonesia. The signal strength was extremely poor so, as you do, I guessed. But, discussing it with one of the listening groups on Facebook, it had already been ID’d as Bangladesh Betar. Apparently, there was a special celebration in Bangladesh that day and the station, usually off-air at 17:00 UTC, was carrying on well into the evening! Two things came out of this: never guess or assume what the station is just because the listings say so. And the experience and knowledge of fellow SWL travellers is invaluable. I have mentioned before the great groups that are available on Facebook. Now I’m not a great FB user for personal stuff, never did understand posting pictures of what your’re having for tea, but I am a member of several Short Wave/Amateur Radio FB groups. These are Shortwave Listeners Global, Radio! Radio!, Shortwave Radio Station Listening and Extreme Shortwave Listening. All have a mix of members from complete noobs, to people who have been dxing for 50+ years. So there is always a good spread of knowledge and enthusiasm. And however long you’ve been listening, there are always those occasions that will surprise you or catch you out (see above!).

A new one for me after Friday’s listening session was  R.Inconfidencia. This is a very low power (5 KW) regional station in Brazil. And yes the signal was very poor, but definitely there and enough to identify talking and music.

Although not a low power station, R Sana from Saudi was also a new one.

So there are always new stations and new surprises. Happy listening!

15400 Khz Ascension Island BBCWS 17:33 UTC English. ‘Focus on Africa’ program. SINPO: 44444 2016-05-20

15345 Khz Argentina R Argentina Exterior 20:38 UTC French. Discussion program. SINPO: 43333 2016-05-20

15140 Khz Oman R Sultanate Oman 20:43 UTC Arabic. Sounds like a play. SINPO: 32233 2016-05-20

15190 Khz Brazil R.Inconfidencia 20:45 UTC Portugese. Just managing to hear voices and some music. SINPO: 21122 2016-05-20

15245 Khz North Korea V Korea 20:52 UTC French. YL announcer SINPO: 43333 2016-05-20

15370 Khz Cuba R Habana 20:57 UTC Arabic. OM announcer followed by ID in Spanish at 20:58 SINPO: 33333 2016-05-20

11615 Khz Madagascar Madagaskar World Voice 21:06 UTC Mandarin. OM announcer SINPO: 43333 2016-05-20

11775 Khz Anguila Caribbean Beacon 21:13 UTC English. YL with religious broadcast SINPO: 33333 2016-05-20

11780 Khz Brazil R.Nacional Amazonia 21:18 UTC Portugese. Discussion program SINPO: 32222 2016-05-20

11860 Khz Saudi Arabia R Sana 21:22 UTC Arabic music SINPO: 43333 2016-05-20

4750 Khz Bangladesh Bangladesh Betar 21:50 UTC Very extended program celebrating a public holiday SINPO: 33333 2016-05-20

5905 Khz Thailand BBCWS 22:07 UTC English. World News including news of the downed Egypt airliner. SINPO: 33333 2016-05-20

5970 Khz Thailand VOA 22:11 UTC Chinese. OM and YL announcers SINPO: 33333 2016-05-20

6060 Khz Argentina R.Nac.Argentina 22:14 UTC Spanish. ID at 22:15. Mixture of music. SINPO: 43333 2016-05-20

6090 Khz Nigeria R Nigeria Kaduna 22:20 UTC Hausa. OM announcer SINPO: 22222 2016-05-20



Logs for April 2016

I haven’t managed a lot of listening this month, and judging by the propagation reports on QRZ.COM, conditions have been rather variable. I have begun to hear stations again that I usually hear in the summer months, such as Bangladesh Betar and Super R.Deus e Amor from Brazil. A number of new ones have been logged this month, these being V.Tigray Revolution from Ethiopia, R Nacional Angola, World Christian Broadcasting from Madagascar and North Korea Reform Radio from Uzbekistan. World Christian Broadcasting is a new station on the scene, having only started in March. In early April, they had transmitter problems and were off air for a while, but are now back on again. It just goes to show though that even though many of the ‘big gun’ stations are either leaving shortwave altogether, or are cutting their output, there is always something new to log. My main personal target is to be able to log more of the low power South American stations. Unfortunately, having QTH in a suburb, means a lot of RF noise which tends to drown there low power stations. I will be getting a better antenna up when the weather improves, and I am hoping this will improve my luck in capturing these elusive stations. A loop is planned, fed with ladder line, and thence to a home brew ATU. In terms of receiver sensitivity and selectivity, the Yaesy FT-450D scores highly on both accounts, so it just needs feeding with a better signal!

Logs for April

4840 Khz USA WWCR 04:55 UTC English. Alex Jones SINPO: 33333 2016-04-02

4960 Khz Sao Tome VOA 04:58 UTC English. Jazz music. Then switch to Hausa at 05:00 SINPO: 33333 2016-04-02

5025 Khz Cuba R Rebelde 05:04 UTC Latin music SINPO: 43333 2016-04-02

5040 Khz Cuba R Habana 05:10 UTC English. World News. SINPO: 33333 2016-04-02

6000 Khz Cuba R Habana 05:28 UTC Music. Followed by News at 05:30 SINPO: 43333 2016-04-02

6030 Khz USA R Marti 05:33 UTC Spanish and English. News SINPO: 43333 2016-04-02

6155 Khz Austria R Austria 05:52 UTC German. Classical music program. SINPO: 44444 2016-04-02

6195 Khz Oman BBCWS 18:22 UTC English. Program about ‘states away from states’ by having island communities. SINPO: 44444 2016-04-02

4835 Khz Australia ABC 18:37 UTC English. News and weather followed by ‘If I could turn back time’ SINPO: 32222 2016-04-02

5875 Khz Thailand BBCWS 18:52 UTC Dari. News. SINPO: 33333 2016-04-02

6090 Khz Nigeria R Nigeria 18:59 UTC Hausa. Male announcer. Drowned out by CRI at 19:00 SINPO: 22222 2016-04-02

6262 Khz Pirate R Caroline 19:30 UTC English. Request show SINPO: 43333 2016-04-02

9390 Khz Thailand R Thailand 19:30 UTC English. ‘Morning News Hour’ program. SINPO: 54444 2016-04-08

9430 Khz UAE V O Vietnam 20:15 UTC German. Male and female announcers SINPO: 43333 2016-04-08

9645 Khz Japan R Japan 20:33 UTC Japanese. Female announcer. SINPO: 32233 2016-04-08

9730 Khz Vietnam V O Vietnam 20:40 UTC English. Current affairs program. Female announcer. SINPO: 54444 2016-04-08

9835 Khz Malaysia RTM Sarawak FM 21:10 UTC Malay. Local music followed by chant. SINPO: 33333 2016-04-08

11765 Khz Brazil Super R.Deus e Amor 21:22 UTC Portugese. Religious broadcast. SINPO: 22222 2016-04-08

6060 Khz China PBS Sichuan 2 21:56 UTC Chinese. Female announcer SINPO: 21122 2016-04-08

6115 Khz Phillipines R Veritas Asia. 22:04 UTC Mandarin. Male announcer. SINPO: 32233 2016-04-08

9525 Khz Java V O Indonesia 20:47 UTC French. Music and chat. Some ACI from CRI on the same frequency. SINPO: 43333 2016-04-13

9310 Khz Thailand VOA Deewa Radio 16:41 UTC Pashto. Discussion program SINPO: 33333 2016-04-15

9390 Khz Thailand RFE 16:53 UTC Uzbeck. Discussion. SINPO: 43333 2016-04-15

9410 Khz Oman BBCWS 16:56 UTC English. Discussion about Uber. Part of the ‘World have your Say’ program. SINPO: 43344 2016-04-15

9425 Khz North Korea V Korea 17:40 UTC Russian. Female announcer. SINPO: 43333 2016-04-15

9515 Khz South Korea KBS World Radio 17:44 UTC Korean. Music and chat. SINPO: 43333 2016-04-15

9525 Khz Java V O Indonesia 17:49 UTC Music followed by commentary in Spanish SINPO: 33333 2016-04-15

15190 Khz Phillipines R.Pilipinas 18:13 UTC English. Discussion about employment conditions SINPO: 33333 2016-04-16

15400 Khz Ascension Island BBCWS 18:20 UTC English. Discussion about some of the issues being presented and discussed by Hilary Clinton. ID and news at 18:30 SINPO: 43333 2016-04-16

5950 Khz Ethiopia V.Tigray Revolution 19:22 UTC Tigrinya. Music and chat SINPO: 22222 2016-04-16

6030 Khz UNID UNID 19:35 UTC Non-stop African-style music SINPO: 22222 2016-04-16

3985 Khz Germany V Mongolia 19:47 UTC English. Program about the wild Mongolian horses. SINPO: 43333 2016-04-20

4905 Khz Tibet PBS Xizang 21:10 UTC Tibetan. Music and chat SINPO: 32223 2016-04-20

4950 Khz Angola R Nacional Angola 21:20 UTC Faint voice now and again but definitely carrier present SINPO: 21111 2016-04-20

6115 Khz Phillipines R Veritas Asia 21:55 UTC Chinese. Music and chat SINPO: 32233 2016-04-20

7490 Khz USA WBCQ 22:13 UTC English. Religious broadcast SINPO: 33333 2016-04-20

9600 Khz Phillipines Vatican Radio 22:23 UTC Chinese. female announcer. SINPO: 33333 2016-04-20

11635 Khz North Korea V O Korea 19:11 UTC French. Live concert sounds like opera SINPO: 32233 2016-04-21

11945 Khz Madagascar World Christian Broadcasting 19:17 UTC Arabic service. Female announcer discussing a topic with male guest. SINPO: 43344 2016-04-21

11965 Khz Japan R Japan 19:21 UTC Japanese. Discussion. SINPO: 32233 2016-04-21

13730 Khz Madagascar R Japan 17:40 UTC Swahili. Music and chat SINPO: 33333 2016-04-22

13580 Khz Bangladesh Bandladesh Betar 18:55 UTC English. Pop music. Sign-off and ID at 19:00 SINPO: 43333 2016-04-22

6110 Khz Ethiopia R Fana 20:34 UTC Amharic. Music and discussion with male announcer SINPO: 22222 2016-04-25

6195 Khz Botswana VOA 20:46 UTC English. ‘African Beat’ Music and chat SINPO: 33333 2016-04-25

7595 Khz Uzbekistan North Korea Reform Radio 21:04 UTC Korean. female announcer SINPO: 22222 2016-04-25

6050 Khz Tibet PBS Xizang 21:15 UTC Tibetan. Mostly music. SINPO: 43333 2016-04-25

11635 Khz North Korea V Korea 20:45 UTC English. Anti-American rhetoric SINPO: 32233 2016-04-30