Re: Howdy - it’s been awhile

Gary DeBock

Hi Gregory,

Your question is very similar to one by J.P. Tuttle on July 29th, concerning the currently approved Ultralight Radio models. Of course there have been many new pocket radios introduced since 2009, some of which were reviewed in the detailed 2015 Ultralight Radio Shootout posted at
All of those models are "officially" approved Ultralight radios. As for the current state of the Ultralight Radio Classification Committee and Ultralight Radio group administration in general, I'll re-post the comments I made to J.P. Tuttle back in July.

During the worldwide Ultralight Radio Boom in early 2008 we had a very dedicated group of volunteers to handle administration, a classification and awards program, numerous Ultralight technical modifications (loopstick transplants and upgrade IF filters) and breakthrough Ultralight-related DXing antenna experimentation.

Unfortunately we have lost a lot of our volunteers since then. John Bryant provided most of our administration, but he was lost in a tragic accident in February of 2010. Kevin Schanilec also assisted in the early Ultralight Group administration, but he has been inactive in the hobby since 2015. Most of the original "super DXers" who contributed to the Ultralight Radio Boom (Rob Ross, Allen Willie and Richard Allen) are still with us, although they may currently enjoy DXing outside the Ultralight Radio niche group (which is fine with me, of course). We will always hold their accomplishments in the highest honour, regardless of how they are currently enjoying the hobby.

So, to summarize, even though the Ultralight Radio attraction is still booming throughout the world after twelve years, we suffer from the same limitation that almost every radio hobby group struggles with-- a severe shortage of volunteers. I am the only original survivor of the Ultralight Radio administrative group in early 2008, but my personal focus has always been on transoceanic DXing and antenna experimentation, not on administration. The fascinating new challenges of ocean cliff transoceanic propagation, FSL antenna development and "Frequent Flyer" Ultralight Radio DXpeditions are thrilling to the extreme-- and more than enough to keep this fanatic fully occupied.

Concerning the original Ultralight Radio Classification rules posted by J.P., they are still currently valid, although multiple DSP filters and SSB capability are now acceptable (primarily due to a decision concerning the new C.Crane Skywave model). The 20 cubic inch size limit is a guideline which is unlikely to be ever changed, however. In the absence of any currently functional Ultralight Awards program this limitation may seem irrelevant, but there have already been many top-performing Ultralight Radio models fully approved in years past, several of which have been used to receive over 1,000 stations in stock form. My strong advice to anyone who really wishes to experience a new thrill in the hobby is to focus on the challenge of receiving rare DX with minimal equipment, rather than on attempting to change the equipment to make the challenge easier.

73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)
Ultralight Radio Group Co-Founder

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