I was browsing through the http://www.dxer.ca/ website yesterday afternoon and came across rave reviews of the Sony SRF-59 Walkman Radio, so I checked on the Internet and discovered that they were freely available here in the UK. I set off to the local Comet store and found one at £20. Got back home about 16:00 and decamped to the patio with a fresh cup of tea and with a sharp knife in hand attempted to carve open the plastic package with the aforementioned SRF-59 mutely staring me in the face like a cheap kid's toy. Could something that looked like a tacky 1970's fashion design reject really perform as well as they all said on the more knowledgeable websites?
OK, after a heart stopping moment or two when I almost lost a digit or two trying in vain to open the package with the knife, I fitted an AA cell and using the supplied earphones powered it up on FM. I was pleasantly surprised by the sound quality and sensitivity. Maybe a little too much high frequency, but that's no bad thing (if you've got it, you can always reduce it with a different pair of headphones, but if it's not there in the first place, then it's rather more difficult to put it there).
So then I tried the AM BCB and I have to say, I was mildly unimpressed. OK it wasn't bad, but equally, it wasn't as astounding as I had been lead to believe. It was a nice warm, sunny Friday afternoon and there was a lot of hash about and the noise floor was quite high, so I packed up and came indoors to watch the Snooker.
Fast forward three hours…It's 20:00 and following a late Sunday lunch with all the trimmings, glass of beer in hand, I set off outside to try the SRF-59 just before the sun goes down. This can often be a good time of day to pick up distant signals.
I started to tune through the AM BCB from top to bottom and wow! What a difference three hours makes. They all came tumbling in. France, Germany, Italy, Russia, The Middle East and so on. Now this is more like it. I was truly impressed with this little radio. It seemed as though it was as sensitive and selective as my faithful G5.
So finally I get to my question for the North Americans. I got to around 900 KHz and suddenly I heard someone called Ed Schultz who seemed to be coming from Wisconsin. It was called `The Ed Schultz Show' unsurprisingly. It appeared to be a satirical political show by the sound of it and there was lots of applause and laughter from an audience. Had I heard my first TA on this little radio? Do any of the North Americans among the membership know which frequency I heard this on and which radio station was hosting this show? I have searched the listings on the internet, but there are just so many broadcasters out there it was like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. It may be affiliated to MSNBC.
Anyway, I've waffled plenty long enough. Suffice to say, if anybody is thinking of buying one of these little radios, I can heartily recommend it. I mean come on… for a measly £20, you can't go wrong. I am now trying to work out a way to increase the reception on AM with a long wire or something, but I don't know if the headphone socket is connected to the ferrite bar or whether the headphone socket aerial connection is solely for FM use.
73's to all…