Date   

Emergency radio receivers

Rik
 

This started in another thread here. Below is my reply on this topic-

During 'the great north east black out' in the 1960's I was able to hear MW stations at great distances on a cheap pocket portable. Of course the 'best' radio you can operate on batteries would be better still.

I have a long held interest in those radios, and a large collection of AM and SW portables. SONY made portables usually eliminate noise and provide clearer cleaner audio. That is very important when you MUST understand what is said.  Some DX well, and others seem designed more for pleasant audio from stations which are not DX.

Analog tuned sets in general have longer battery life, and are less likely to fail. One sub category in my collection is radios which operate on 2 D cells for hundreds of hours.

I do prefer radios which can be heard across a room, because in difficult times there is lots to do, and if several people are present, they will all want to hear the latest news.

Of course a back packer will want the smallest lightest set, some one who evacuates in a vehicle can carry more, and the person staying home can use external antennas, large solar panels etc.

-FARMERIK

My most recent purchase of an emergency radio is the Kaito KA500L Voyager. I don't expect the very long life of a SONY radio, but it does a lot of things pretty well.

One thing I disliked about my older wind up 'emergency'  radios is a tiny battery separate from the main battery. It does make sense because no one will crank a radio for many hours at a time. However a regular NiMH battery does not hold a charge for months, and in a tiny size I can't find low self discharge type NiMH. This radio uses one Li 18650 cell which holds a charge longer than a regular NiMH but not nearly as long as the low self discharge NiMH cells now available in common cell sizes. Cell phone chargers are common for use in a car, and can recharge this radio, or the battery in it can recharge a cell phone. 

The radio includes a solar panel for recharging in the sun on a hinged panel so it can be angled as needed. It also has a single LED 'flashlight'/dial light and a separate panel of LEDs to serve as a reading or area light. The analog tuned radio is AM FM and SW 3.2-10 and 10-22 MHz, and also has a 7 position switch for the weather channels.

Certainly there are better DXers for the money which only tune AM FM and sometimes SW.

For use here at home I like the 2 D cell radios mentioned above since battery life should be far longer than any temporary emergency. Storing a package Alkaline D cells and LED lights avoids the need for recharging for months, hopefully long after an emergency is over.

I hope others will suggest other radios they have to report on or ask questions- FARMERIK


Re: Group Survey

Phillip Fimiani
 

During Florence (Im in NC) we were without power for more than a week. Cell phones were sparse... no internet to speak of. AM radio was where to listen. No noise at all... It was great. The local stations switched over to call in and stories and critical info....  food water etc. Then as the stations were going off to lack of diesel fuel to run generators, the station went down one by one. In the end there were two stations still on the air. Then we got fuel in....Things got better.
 
AM radio was it....

Best Regards
Phil
KD2HTN / WA2069SWL
Long: 34.210293 Lat:-78.057048
FM04xf 30dl
______________________________




From: blumu via Groups.Io <blumu@...>
To: main@UltralightDX.groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 10:45 AM
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] Group Survey

Jacques,
In a disaster scenario the US would have much better information
coverage on AM than Europe, where most AM stations with news
broadcasts have closed down. That said, a uldx rx with a
maxi-FSL in the UK might get some info from stateside :-)

On Dienstag.12.02.19 15:15, Jacques wrote:
> Done
>
> I'm interested in How-to's on communications, when you happen to be
> isolated by a disaster. When all you have is a simple receiver, no phone
> and all digital communication devices are shutdown.
>
> -- Jacques






--
73
Phil
KD2HTN / WA2069SWL
Long: 34.210293 Lat:-78.057048
FM04xf 30dl


Re: Group Survey

Rik
 

During 'the great north east black out' in the 1960's I was able to hear MW stations at great distances on a cheap pocket portable. Of course the best radio you can operate on batteries would be better still.

I have a long held interest in those radios, and a large collection of AM and SW portables. SONY made portables usually eliminate noise and provide clearer cleaner audio. That is very important when you MUST understand what is said.  Some DX well, and others seem designed more for pleasant audio from stations which are not DX.

Analog tuned sets in general have longer battery life, and are less likely to fail. One sub category in my collection is radios which operate on 2 D cells for hundreds of hours.

I do prefer radios which can be heard across a room, because in difficult times there is lots to do, and if several people are present, they will all want to hear the latest news.

Of course a back packer will want the smallest lightest set, some one who evacuates in a vehicle can carry more, and the person staying home can use external antennas, solar panels etc.

-FARMERIK


Re: Gary's Ultralight DX shootout

Rik
 

It is certainly obvious Gary has dedicated thousands of hours and dollars  to ULR efforts. Jay Allen also has thorough reviews of some radios which should qualify as ULR's. If some one else came up with a list of more recent radios which may qualify, then members here could comment on the ones they own. Not a serious time consuming formal review, but something ordinary members could look at, and it might narrow down the review list for the expert reviewers, at least for barefoot performance.

I have seen Ebay/Amazon  listings for many new radios apparently from China with unique brand names, not Tecsun. Degen, Redsun or Kaito. Many are very cheap. There could be an unusually capable model in there some where, but I don't plan to blindly buy a bunch of them to play with. - FARMERIK


Re: Group Survey

Michael.2E0IHW
 

Jacques,
In a disaster scenario the US would have much better information
coverage on AM than Europe, where most AM stations with news
broadcasts have closed down. That said, a uldx rx with a
maxi-FSL in the UK might get some info from stateside :-)

On Dienstag.12.02.19 15:15, Jacques wrote:
Done
I'm interested in How-to's on communications, when you happen to be isolated by a disaster. When all you have is a simple receiver, no phone and all digital communication devices are shutdown.
-- Jacques


Re: Group Survey

Jacques
 

Done

I'm interested in How-to's on communications, when you happen to be isolated by a disaster. When all you have is a simple receiver, no phone and all digital communication devices are shutdown.

-- Jacques


Re: Sony SRF-59

Dan Merta
 

I have 2 of these. One has a defective variable capacitor, so I brought another about 10-15 years ago. 
Iv'e mainly used it at night to tune random stations in bed to see what I could hear, particularly at different locations. It's a good tool to DX at night without disturbing others. 


Re: Group Survey

Dan Merta
 

On Mon, Feb 11, 2019 at 09:44 PM, Paul Blundell wrote:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PJLGDN7
Done. 


Re: Sony SRF-59

bobmendria
 

I have three of the SRF 59s.  Two of them bought in thrift stores for $1.00 each.    One of them was very difficult to tune and the only thing I came up with was to remove the cogged strip with the pointer needle on it.

Tuning is much easier on this little marvel and the absence of a needle on the dial adds a little challenge.  Push the thumb wheel up to go down the band and down to go up the band.   

Bob


Group Survey

Paul Blundell
 

I have created a quick survey on our group to help improve what we do / what we offer and direct where the group goes in to the future. The link is below:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PJLGDN7
--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: Sony SRF-59

Guy Atkins
 

John also highly modified a SRF-59 to include a digital frequency readout, using a module by the Seattle area AADE vendor (no longer in business). The vendor was able to figure out the correct connections for John, and after that he was up and running--modifying the SRF-59 in his usual very thorough fashion. The SRF-59 "mashup" included a small audio amplifier and speaker. The radio tuned and displayed to 0.1 kHz on the readout.

Among other items given to me by John's widow, Linda, I took possession of this unique SRF-59. A few years ago it failed to operate, and I never could track down the problem (an oscillation issue if I recall). I still have components of this special SRF-59 around somewhere.

I think there's an article which John wrote about the modification, possibly languishing in the archives of DXer.ca.

73,

Guy Atkins
Puyallup, WA


Re: Gary's Ultralight DX shootout

Gary DeBock
 

Hi Russ,

<<<    Two months sounds like an understatement....   >>>

Well, Ultralight file review is a little different from SDR file review. In the Ultralight version some frequencies with exotic station possibilities are recorded during peak propagation for periods of 5, 10 or 15 minutes, in the hope that something exotic will show up later on during file review. Many of the really exotic DXpedition venues (Cook Islands, Hawaii, etc.) have wind or surf noise, which limits your ability to dig out weak stations during live DXing.

9 times out of 10 this strategy works like gangbusters. In the Cook islands I didn't know that I had received 657-AIR, 918-Cambodia or 1000-Brazil until I had returned home for file review. The same thing happened after November's Kauai DXpedition-- file review (and mostly the assistance of the Finnish language experts) uncovered receptions of 702-VOV, 729-VOV, 909-Xinjiang, 918-Egypt, 927-AIR, 954-AIR and the 1575-Iran Jammer.

Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)


 


Re: Gary's Ultralight DX shootout

Paul Blundell
 

I also have your shootout linked on my blog which would add a few pages views to that.

I guess the question is "Has enough changed / new radios released" to make it worthwhile?

On Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 1:10 PM Gary DeBock via Groups.Io <D1028Gary=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
<<<   I think there was a 2009 and 2015. Has Gary had a newer updated one?   >>>

The current answer is-- not yet. There have been some interesting new Ultralights introduced since 2015, but the question is whether there is the time (and $1K+) to write up another major article like in 2015.

In the 2015 Shootout article five new and existing Ultralights were introduced, and thoroughly evaluated for both performance and technical innovations. That involved the purchase of multiple test units for quality control checks, as well as complete disassembly for technical inspections That article has been downloaded  9,245 times from MediaFire, and countless more times from SWLing.com. For those interested, it is posted at http://www.mediafire.com/file/2f7c04v3jgw9yb6/2015_Ultralight_Radio_Shootout_Review-4.doc/file

In the current schedule there is a trip scheduled to Hong Kong in April, the usual Rockwork Cliff (a.k.a. "Kiwi Cliff') trip to Oregon scheduled for August, and a return trip to Kauai, Hawaii scheduled for November. After each of these "Frequent Flyer" DXpeditions there is typically file review of radio recordings, which can continue up to two months. In the meantime, I'll try to keep options open by purchasing a few of the more innovative, exciting new Ultralight models.

Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)


 



--
Paul


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: Gary's Ultralight DX shootout

Russ Edmunds
 

Two months sounds like an understatement....



Russ Edmunds

WB2BJH

Blue Bell, PA

Grid FN20id


From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> on behalf of Gary DeBock via Groups.Io <D1028Gary@...>
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2019 9:10:06 PM
To: main@UltralightDX.groups.io
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] Gary's Ultralight DX shootout
 
<<<   I think there was a 2009 and 2015. Has Gary had a newer updated one?   >>>

The current answer is-- not yet. There have been some interesting new Ultralights introduced since 2015, but the question is whether there is the time (and $1K+) to write up another major article like in 2015.

In the 2015 Shootout article five new and existing Ultralights were introduced, and thoroughly evaluated for both performance and technical innovations. That involved the purchase of multiple test units for quality control checks, as well as complete disassembly for technical inspections That article has been downloaded  9,245 times from MediaFire, and countless more times from SWLing.com. For those interested, it is posted at http://www.mediafire.com/file/2f7c04v3jgw9yb6/2015_Ultralight_Radio_Shootout_Review-4.doc/file

In the current schedule there is a trip scheduled to Hong Kong in April, the usual Rockwork Cliff (a.k.a. "Kiwi Cliff') trip to Oregon scheduled for August, and a return trip to Kauai, Hawaii scheduled for November. After each of these "Frequent Flyer" DXpeditions there is typically file review of radio recordings, which can continue up to two months. In the meantime, I'll try to keep options open by purchasing a few of the more innovative, exciting new Ultralight models.

Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)


 


Re: Gary's Ultralight DX shootout

Gary DeBock
 

<<<   I think there was a 2009 and 2015. Has Gary had a newer updated one?   >>>

The current answer is-- not yet. There have been some interesting new Ultralights introduced since 2015, but the question is whether there is the time (and $1K+) to write up another major article like in 2015.

In the 2015 Shootout article five new and existing Ultralights were introduced, and thoroughly evaluated for both performance and technical innovations. That involved the purchase of multiple test units for quality control checks, as well as complete disassembly for technical inspections That article has been downloaded  9,245 times from MediaFire, and countless more times from SWLing.com. For those interested, it is posted at http://www.mediafire.com/file/2f7c04v3jgw9yb6/2015_Ultralight_Radio_Shootout_Review-4.doc/file

In the current schedule there is a trip scheduled to Hong Kong in April, the usual Rockwork Cliff (a.k.a. "Kiwi Cliff') trip to Oregon scheduled for August, and a return trip to Kauai, Hawaii scheduled for November. After each of these "Frequent Flyer" DXpeditions there is typically file review of radio recordings, which can continue up to two months. In the meantime, I'll try to keep options open by purchasing a few of the more innovative, exciting new Ultralight models.

Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)


 


Gary's Ultralight DX shootout

Vincenzo Sallustio
 

I think there was a 2009 and 2015. Has Gary had a newer updated one?


Re: Possible Locations

Paul Blundell
 

Thanks for the excellent reply.

I will add those ideas in to my list.

On Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 11:03 AM Rik <farmerik@...> wrote:
Here in the USA we have Geodesic maps created by the Government which show elevations, water and every building. I look for a high spot over looking water toward the likely DX stations, with few industrial buildings to create RFI, and not too many homes either. In my area smaller farms are more likely to use electric fences for grazing live stock than larger farms. I look for public access, perhaps a picnic table or a 'scenic' pull off [place to park] along a rural road. You might find those with a search engine, if you know what phrase would describe them in your part of the world. Here they are often mentioned as free things to see and do for tourists, travellers and vacationers. Resources for hikers and bikers may list scenic places.  Fire Watch towers are good if not too many transmit antennas. Often Online I can find photos of high locations and look for transmit antennas, Ham, commercial or Broadcasting. Perhaps you have groups of Hams supporting a VHF repeater location which could be public or accessed with permission as long as your radio rejects VHF and UHF reasonably well. This sort of 'leg work' on a computer will take some time, but those are the things I do here to find good spots for midday DXing, and fortunately for me,  many exist within a 1 to 2 hour ride of where I live. - FARMERIK



--
Paul


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: Possible Locations

Rik
 

Here in the USA we have Geodesic maps created by the Government which show elevations, water and every building. I look for a high spot over looking water toward the likely DX stations, with few industrial buildings to create RFI, and not too many homes either. In my area smaller farms are more likely to use electric fences for grazing live stock than larger farms. I look for public access, perhaps a picnic table or a 'scenic' pull off [place to park] along a rural road. You might find those with a search engine, if you know what phrase would describe them in your part of the world. Here they are often mentioned as free things to see and do for tourists, travellers and vacationers. Resources for hikers and bikers may list scenic places.  Fire Watch towers are good if not too many transmit antennas. Often Online I can find photos of high locations and look for transmit antennas, Ham, commercial or Broadcasting. Perhaps you have groups of Hams supporting a VHF repeater location which could be public or accessed with permission as long as your radio rejects VHF and UHF reasonably well. This sort of 'leg work' on a computer will take some time, but those are the things I do here to find good spots for midday DXing, and fortunately for me,  many exist within a 1 to 2 hour ride of where I live. - FARMERIK


Re: Sony SRF-59

Richard Allen <dx747j@...>
 

WOW!  I paid about $15 at K-Mart back in 2008.

Richard Allen

._,_._,_


Possible Locations

Paul Blundell
 

 

tanger32au <tanger32au@...>

9:56 AM (7 minutes ago)
 
 
to ultralightdx
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hi all.
 
I am going to have to stay home for a while which means no portable sessions, due to this I am going to spend some time researching some possible locations.
 
Generally speaking, what types of locations provide the best results? Anything to try and avoid?
 
Once the budget is better I will be able to get back out.
 
Paul

--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX

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