Date   

Recommendations for FM DX-worthy Portable Radio

Stephen H. Ponder <stephen_ponder@...>
 

Each of our local TV news stations here in Houston have been trying to outdo the others with reports about a new mosquito-borne virus outbreak. They say it's not fatal, but it is pretty nasty. One even reported that the infection made the person walk bent-over like he or she were still sitting down. Ugh!

From reading the FM DX reports in our hobby journals and e-mails, I think the TV folks "missed the boat" on the REAL epidemic! There's FM TROPO and E-SKIP everywhere! The only cure is to have a radio worthy of intercepting all those radio waves!!

So, my friends, what PORTABLE radios would you recommend that would have the (1) sensitivity, (2) selectivity, and (3) ergonomics to be FM DX-worthy??

Oh - another qualifier would be that this portable radio would need to be USD $100 or less.

Thanks for your help. I'm beginning to feel another spell of that "boogie-woogie" fever coming on. I gotta find an FM radio that can pick up Pensacola Beach ... or maybe Chattanooga ... or maybe ...

73 & Good DX,

Steve Ponder, N5WBI
Houston, TX

"The trouble with trouble is that it usually starts out like fun!" - Anonymous
_____________________
Sent from my Kindle Fire HD 8.9


New Tom Stiles YouTube upload, TRRS #0333

josephrot
 

FYI, Tom Stiles, aka hamrad88, has uploaded a new YouTube episode in his fine series, TRRS #0333 - HD Radio versus RDS Radio

Might well be of interest to see, and hear his take on the topic.

TRRS #0333 - HD Radio versus RDS Radio


or

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa01o8E76DQ&feature

Suggest viewing it in 720 HD, good information is there.

Joe Rotello / Knoxville, TN / USA


FM Logs, June 29-30

Stephen Ponder <stephen_ponder@...>
 

Heard these stations during intermittent sleep periods over the past two days. The more I use the CCPocket Radio with the CCBuds earbuds, the more I enjoy the combo.

All times are CDT.

89.9 KQVI TX Cedar Lake - 06/29, 1600 PM CDT with ID "KNLY 91.1 New Waverly y KQVI 89.9 Cedar Lake" then back to Spanish religious programming using the "Radio Vida Visión" tag. Not a new station, but one of my semi-locals. I'm surprised that I've never heard this one before.

99.7 KBCY TX Tye - 06/29, 0520 AM CDT with interview between female announcer and Abilene Fire Department spokesperson about Blood Drive on July 2, then ID "99.7 FM KBCY." I was super excited to catch this one!!

103.5 KBPA TX San Marcos - 06/29, 0454 AM CDT with ID "103.5 Bob FM" and spots for local businesses - "CenTex Foundation" and "Charles Maund Volkswagen."

105.3 KRLD-FM TX Dallas - 06/30, 0342 AM CDT with ID "105.3 The Fan" at end of a CBS Sports segment that listed the phone number "855-212-4CBS." At 0344 AM CDT, another ID "CBS Sports Radio on 105.3 The Fan."

105.3 KSMG TX Seguín - 06/30, 0356 AM CDT with One Direction's "The Story of My Life," then at 0359 AM CDT ID - "This is what today's best music sounds like on Magic 105-3" and mention of iHeart Radio, followed by "Be Safe, Be Smart" PSA. Spot for the San Antonio Zoo at 0400 AM CDT.

106.1 KIOC-FM TX Orange - 06/30, 0244 AM CDT with ID "Big Dog 106." This is one of my semi-regulars, so I started to tune away, but I heard another station mixing with it, so I moved the cord to my earbuds to a different angle and … sweetness!! It was 106.1 KISS FM from Dallas!!

106.1 KHKS-FM TX Denton - 06/30, mixing with the Golden Triangle's Big Dog 106, almost missed it! Popped up at 0245 AM CDT with ID "106.1 Kiss FM" then disappeared.

 

73 & Good DX,

Steve Ponder, N5WBI
Houston, TX

"The trouble with trouble is that it usually starts out like fun." - Anonymous


Newfoundland Ultralight Radio Log June 29

Allen Willie
 

Hello To All, 



Another new catch on Ultralight early this morning around sunrise time. 


1330 - WSPQ - Springville, New York 7:27 UTC 6/29/14 w/ promo for Ned Jarrett Racing show, local ads, promos , ment. of Tri- Counties , ID - " 13 - 30 WSPQ " then into Supremes song " Reflections " signal peaking over WRCA in Massachusetts at times ) 


Ultralight Station # 1260  


Receiver: Sony SRF - M37W barefoot 


Good DX


Allen Willie  VOPC1AA

Carbonear, Newfoundland 



Newfoundland Ultralight Radio Logs June 27

Allen Willie
 

Hello To All, 


  Early morning rises lately before and around sunrise are definitely helping to add new ones to the Ultralight DX logbook here. Two more additions, one more Trans-Atlantic last night and another US domestic heard at sunrise this morning.



1359 - ENGLAND - Smooth Radio Essex, Chelmsford   00:48 UTC  6/27/14  w/ " Overnights Program" playing smooth hits including Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye and others . " More of Your Relaxing Music Mix , Smooth Radio " ID's by woman and a man . 


 Ultralight Station  # 1258     Trans - Atlantic station # 504 




1330 - WTRX - Flint, Michigan   7:25  UTC  6/27/14  w/ sports talk, " ESPN  Fox Sports Extra " ID's , promos and ads, ment. of Michigan and Flint at times on breaks  ( signal heard poking through and peaking over the usual WRCA in Massachusetts on the frequency at times )  


Ultralight Station # 1259  




Receiver:    Sony SRF - M37W  barefoot 



Good DX



Allen Willie

Carbonear, Newfoundland 




Re: New FM Log - 99.9 WACO-FM

Phillip Fimiani
 

Nice find on the WACO station.. ya neva know what will pop thru the air during the wee morning or evening hours...
 
 
Best Regards
Phil
Lat: 40.8367633  Long: -74.1768412
 


From: "Stephen Ponder stephen_ponder@... [ultralightdx]"
To: ABDX ; UltralightDX Yahoo Group
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2014 5:18 AM
Subject: [ultralightdx] New FM Log - 99.9 WACO-FM

 
I know this is not DX, but it was an interesting reception of an FM station with unusual call letters that I wanted to share with the group.

In the wee hours of Tuesday, June 24, 2014, I heard WACO-FM, 99.9 MHz, in Waco, TX, with the syndicated "After Midnite with Cody Alan" show, topping the channel over KSHN in Liberty, TX, at 0201 AM CDT. WACO stayed on top for about four minutes, then took a nose-dive and KSHN was there with monster signals.

The receiver used was my CCrane Pocket Radio in 2.5 kHz bandwidth mode using CCBuds as combo earbuds and antenna.

DISCLAIMER
The following is an unsolicited testimony about the CCBuds earbuds from CCrane. I do not work for CCrane, nor do I receive any compensation for reviewing their products.
***************

The CCBuds from CCrane, IMHO, are worth the extra expenditure. I have significant hearing loss in both ears and the treble emphasis of the CCBuds make it so much easier to DX! Their catalog states that the CCBuds are "designed for talk radio." Other earbuds (like the ones from JLabs or Skull Candy) have way too much bass response for me.

73 and Good DX,

Steve Ponder, N5WBI
Houston, TX
----------------------
Sent from Yahoo! Mail for Windows 8



Newfoundland Ultralight Radio Log

Allen Willie
 


Hello To All,


Hello To All,



Another " new " one for the AM DX Logbook. Heard during pre-sunrise this morning.


1340 - WIRY - Plattsburgh, New York 6:58 UTC 6/26/14 w/ some oldies played including Jerry Lee Lewis and " Whole Lot of Shakin " , promos, ads ment. Plattsburgh, jingle ID " 13-40 Plattsburgh"


 Ultralight Station # 1257 




Sony SRF - M37W barefoot 



Good DX


Allen Willie   VOPC1AA 

Carbonear, Newfoundland



New FM Log - 99.9 WACO-FM

Stephen Ponder <stephen_ponder@...>
 

I know this is not DX, but it was an interesting reception of an FM station with unusual call letters that I wanted to share with the group.

In the wee hours of Tuesday, June 24, 2014, I heard WACO-FM, 99.9 MHz, in Waco, TX, with the syndicated "After Midnite with Cody Alan" show, topping the channel over KSHN in Liberty, TX, at 0201 AM CDT. WACO stayed on top for about four minutes, then took a nose-dive and KSHN was there with monster signals.

The receiver used was my CCrane Pocket Radio in 2.5 kHz bandwidth mode using CCBuds as combo earbuds and antenna.

DISCLAIMER
The following is an unsolicited testimony about the CCBuds earbuds from CCrane. I do not work for CCrane, nor do I receive any compensation for reviewing their products.
***************

The CCBuds from CCrane, IMHO, are worth the extra expenditure. I have significant hearing loss in both ears and the treble emphasis of the CCBuds make it so much easier to DX! Their catalog states that the CCBuds are "designed for talk radio." Other earbuds (like the ones from JLabs or Skull Candy) have way too much bass response for me.

73 and Good DX,

Steve Ponder, N5WBI
Houston, TX
----------------------
Sent from Yahoo! Mail for Windows 8


Newfoundland Ultralight Radio Logs June 24

Allen Willie
 

Hello To All,


A nice surprise late last evening as well as early this morning around sunrise time locally. Two new additions to the Ultralight log as follows:



1510 - KCKK - Littleton, Colorado 3:20 UTC 6/24/14 w/ classic hits and oldies by Barbara Lewis, Matthew Wilder, Captain and Tenille, Leo Sayer, Gloria Gaynor and others , " A Wider Variety of Music 93.7" ID of the FM feed on 1510 " The Rock " mentions ( signal in for 1/2 hour or so over WUFC Boston at times ) also matched webstream feed


Ultralight Station # 1255  





1560 - KGOW - Bellaire, Texas 7:40 UTC 6/24/14 w/ baseball talk about All - Star game and Derek Jeter , call in phone numbers given, Yahoo Sports Radio ID's , ads , also matched webstream feed ( Signal came over top of WQEW Radio Disney NY at times )



Ultralight Station # 1256 



Receiver:  Sony SRF - M37W  barefoot  



Good DX  


Allen Willie

Carbonear, Newfoundland 



Newfoundland Ultralight Radio Log June 23

Allen Willie
 

Hello To All, 


Yet another new addition to the Ultralight logbook early this morning pre-sunrise 


1130 - KTLK - Minneapolis, Minnesota 7:00 UTC 6/23/14 w/ news, " ment. of Twin Cities Newstalk. com , then into Coast to Coast AM program ( mixing with and peaking occasionally through WBBR - New York )



Ultralight Station # 1253    



Receiver:  SRF - M37W  barefoot 



Good DX


Allen Willie

Carbonear, Newfoundland 



Re: Newfoundland Ultralight Radio Log June 22

Gary DeBock
 

Hello Allen,
 
Great job in continuing to track down the new ones!
 
In about 3 weeks another Oregon "Cliffhanger" DXpedition should be starting high above the Pacific Ocean at "Rockwork 4"... so for a brief time our group may have two fanatical DXers chasing transoceanic signals for all they are worth.
 
73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)
 
 
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: vo1_001_swl@... [ultralightdx]
To: ultralightdx
Sent: Sun, Jun 22, 2014 7:54 am
Subject: [ultralightdx] Newfoundland Ultralight Radio Log June 22

 
Hello To All,

Another new catch early this morning just prior to official sunrise time locally. 

1340 - WMON - Montgomery, West Virginia 7:20 UTC June 22 w/ " NBC Sports Talk Radio , The Jock " ID's , sports talk, ads, promos ( This station and it's sister station WJYP St. Alban's simulcast programming ) 

Ultralight Station #  1252  


Receiver:  SRF - M37W  barefoot  


Good DX

Allen Willie   VOPC1AA
Carbonear, Newfoundland  


Newfoundland Ultralight Radio Log June 22

Allen Willie
 

Hello To All,


Another new catch early this morning just prior to official sunrise time locally. 


1340 - WMON - Montgomery, West Virginia 7:20 UTC June 22 w/ " NBC Sports Talk Radio , The Jock " ID's , sports talk, ads, promos ( This station and it's sister station WJYP St. Alban's simulcast programming ) 


Ultralight Station #  1252  



Receiver:  SRF - M37W  barefoot  



Good DX


Allen Willie   VOPC1AA

Carbonear, Newfoundland  



Re: A little question...

Michael <michael.setaazul@...>
 

----- Original Message ----- From: n3ikq

Thanks for the "back story" Michael. Sounds like your iron spends plenty of time in the "on"
position"! It appears that the front end of the SI series chips has varicaps built in which means
simply adding an external ferrite forms the resonate tank. Other radio chips aren't designed that
way so you have to feed them with your own highly pre - selected signal. Am I on the right track?
Just trying to keep up and understand!


Yes, the "clever chips" autotune the external L (a bit like the principle of AFC in FM radios, but
with much wider range, of course). The L has to match fairly well so as to stay in range of the
internal varicap. If the internal ferrite L is replaced with a bigger external one a little
experimenting may be required. The SONY SRF-59 is a good radio to start tinkering with as it is
more basic - and cheap to replace if the soldering iron slips :-)

Michael


Re: A little question...

Richard Jones
 

Thanks for the "back story" Michael. Sounds like your iron spends plenty of time in the "on" position"! It appears that the front end of the SI series chips has varicaps built in which means simply adding an external ferrite forms the resonate tank. Other radio chips aren't designed that way so you have to feed them with your own highly pre - selected signal. Am I on the right track? Just trying to keep up and understand!


Newfoundland Ultralight Radio Log June 21

Allen Willie
 

Hello To All,


Another new catch on Ultralight last night , my first new Trans-Atlantic catch since March as follows: 



1170 - IRAN - IRIB Radio Iran Semnan 00:33 UTC June 21 w/ Koranic chants, Farsi talk ( peaking and mixing with Slovenia ) signal in and out for half hour 


 Ultralight Station # 1251   Trans - Atlantic Station # 503 



Receiver:   Sony SRF - 39FP  barefoot 



Good DX 


Allen Willie   VOPC1AA

Carbonear, Newfoundland 



Re: A little question...

Michael <michael.setaazul@...>
 

The selectivity would be primarily that of the DSP chip. My intial hookup suggests
that an added frontend with MOSFET + NPN follower can tune sharply enough
to selectively enhance either the upper or lower sideband. This also applies to a passive,
inductively-coupled external tuned ferrite or loop - most impressively with an FSL.
I have yet to try a Q-multiplier or RF-regen stage. That might generate stability problems,
but proven designs have been published, so in principle it should work.

Famous last words???

Michael

----- Original Message -----

Although it's "possible" to inductively tune a RF front end for an Si 484x radio-on-a-chip,
the selectivity is NOT good.

One of the only other options one might think of would be to remake / breadboard
the front-end of the GE SuperRadio and go from there ??

Joe Rotello


Re: A little question...

josephrot
 

Although it's "possible" to inductively tune a RF front end for an Si 484x radio-on-a-chip, the selectivity is NOT good.
 
One of the only other options one might think of would be to remake / breadboard the front-end of the GE SuperRadio and go from there ??
 
Joe Rotello / Knoxville, TN / USA


Re: A little question...

Michael <michael.setaazul@...>
 

Standard-issue mortals just go into a store making huge profits and buy something
with a fancy label and glitzy front panel rom a suave salesperson. Been there, done it
- not infrequently with later regret. We few with Planet-Zog DNA like things to be
more challenging, unpredictable and failure-prone. Errare humanum est ...

TA7642, ZN414, MK484 or similar lend themselves to low-component constructs
which can deliver impressive results with a good ferrite or longwire aerial. The audio
quality of AM can be a revelation! These circuits are great fun to experiment with,
but have evident limitations.

Cheats - like me - cannibalise a cheapo superhet and add a FET frontend
with tuned RF amp and possibly with regeneration (aka Q-multiplier). The
cheapo can suddenly outclass itself. Selectivity will remain muddy, but audio
quality can outclass such piffling shortcomings - especially on local stations.
Standard-issue mortals can only live with a single tuning knob or button-press.
Non-standard-issue mortals have a perverse penchant for adjustable-knob multiplicity.

Ergo my interest in a low-noise tuned RF-amp feeding a proven receiver,
such as the SONY SRF-59. If I had a multi-acre aerial array, I just might
settle for that, however... Is Area 51 for sale, perhance?

Michael

----- Original Message ----- From: n3ikq

"Why hasn't anyone done even a breadboard for a simple inductively tuned AM radio?
Not a bit of digital hash, no PLL issues, etc."

There's something about the words "simple","breadboard", "ultralight" and "AM Radio" that are
challenging to put together. The natural evolution of radio has been from simple but low performance
to complicated but high performance. Superhet designs are the cream of the analog crop but are
pretty challenging to breadboard due to their parts count and complexity. Trying to breadboard one
that qualifies as an ultralight? Good luck! Crystal radios, trf radios, regen radios and
superheterodyne circuits are all over the internet. Home built SDRs are coming on strong. I've built
a Softrock Ensemble II SDR the size of a cigarette pack that will put any good receiver to the test
(but is very tied to a PC of some sort). Heat up the old iron and let us know how things are going.
If nothing else you will have a mad appreciation for the brilliant minds that came up with the "clas
sic" designs!

These are interesting links:

http://www.elliottelectronicsupply.com/kits/am-radio-on-a-chip.html

http://theradioboard.com/rb/viewtopic.php?t=3946


Re: A little question...

Richard Jones
 

"Why hasn't anyone done even a breadboard for a simple inductively tuned AM radio?
Not a bit of digital hash, no PLL issues, etc."

 There's something about the words "simple","breadboard", "ultralight" and "AM Radio" that are challenging to put together. The natural evolution of radio has been from simple but low performance to complicated but high performance. Superhet designs are the cream of the analog crop but are pretty challenging to breadboard due to their parts count and complexity. Trying to breadboard one that qualifies as an ultralight? Good luck! Crystal radios, trf radios, regen radios and superheterodyne circuits are all over the internet. Home built SDRs are coming on strong. I've built a Softrock Ensemble II SDR the size of a cigarette pack that will put any good receiver to the test (but is very tied to a PC of some sort). Heat up the old iron and let us know how things are going. If nothing else you will have a mad appreciation for the brilliant minds that came up with the "classic" designs!


These are interesting links:


http://www.elliottelectronicsupply.com/kits/am-radio-on-a-chip.html


http://theradioboard.com/rb/viewtopic.php?t=3946


Newfoundland Ultralight Log June 20

Allen Willie
 

Hello to All, 


A new catch during pre-sunrise  this morning


1340 - WIZE - Springfield, Ohio 7:25 UTC June 20 w/ Classic Country songs by Carlene Carter and others, ID's, " 13-40 Country" Jingles, ads


Ultralight Station # 1250 



Receiver:  SRF-M37W  barefoot 



Good DX


Allen Willie

Carbonear, Newfoundland 


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