SONY ICF-S22 and ICF-390 'cheap' radios& ICF-B08 -FARMERIK


Rik
 

With so many posts re: the smaller shirt pocket SONY, I thought I'd mention a few others. From the UK on Ebay, I purchased both these inexpensively  with shipping to the USA.

The ICF-S22 is a shirt pocket portable I got approved as an official ULR and it DXed quite well barefoot from my location. About $25.The thumb wheel tuning is unusually large, and easy to fine tune.

The ICF-390 can be found under $20 and is too large to be a ULR. The ferrite inside is pretty large for an inexpensive radio, about 4.5 inches long. With its larger speaker whoose opening in the grill is about 2.5 inches audio is good for that size and it drives a 1950's designed  efficient Hi-Fi speaker quite well.

Both above radios have excellant LED tuning indicators which get brighter and brighter as you tune in precisely bare foot or with an external AM loop including my new favorite the PK diameter  14 inch model.

The crank up/ LED lights/ Emergency ICF-B08 seems really expensive priced over $100 with shipping normally. It is MUCH smaller than I expected, with the speaker grill openings only about 1.3 inches in diameter. The sound is MUCH better than I would think. Both the flashlight beam LED and the soft area LED light are good for close to the radio, and construction quality is far better than any of the much less expensive crank up radios designed in China. It can certainly casually DX AM as well, hearing distant moderate power stations easily. It took me a long time to find a version with USA AM and FM band coverage. [5.3-1700KHz &88-108MHz]

None of these three radios are FM DXers, but hear local FM stations quite well with pleasant audio.


Stephen H. Ponder <stephen_ponder@...>
 

Thanks for the info on the new radios! They look like they might be future items on my wish list!

Question about the ease of tuning ... I have the SRF-59 and the SRF-49 radios. I don't use them as much as I'd like to because the tuning is so stiff. The tiny tuning wheel makes my fingers hurt after just a few minutes.

From the pictures I've seen, both the S22 and the 390 use side-mounted tuning wheels too. Are they as stiff to tune as the SRF-59 and SRF-49?

Thanks for your help!

73 & Good DX,

Steve Ponder, N5WBI
Houston, TX
_____________________
Sent from my Kindle Fire HD


Rik
 

On the ICF-S22, the exposed part of the thumb wheel tuning is just under a full inch, and it takes three full passes to get across the tuning bands. So three inches of thumb wheel travel gets you across the tuning range which has a display less than 1.5 inches across. Tuning is slightly stiff, but there is plenty of 'traction' on the big thumb wheel which has grooves across it. There is NO play or back lash in the tuning at all.

On the ICF-390 only 3/4 inch of the thumbwheel is exposed and it takes almost 8 times to get all the way across the bands.The indicator needle travels almost 2 inches. Tuning is less stiff, and there is no play or backlash at all.

-FARMERIK


Rik
 

OOPS, sorry, YES both these radios are far easier than the Walkmans you mention. On those I used my thumbnail to turn the tuning wheel. No need for that on these portables. - FARMERIK


Stephen H. Ponder <stephen_ponder@...>
 

Thanks for the two speedy responses! The 390 has, IMHO, the better form factor (length > height, good for longer MW ferrite rod) but the S22 sounds like it may be easier to tune.

73 & Good DX,

Steve Ponder, N5WBI
Houston, TX
_____________________
Sent from my Kindle Fire HD


R. Mark Barnett
 

Please don't throw things at me for asking a dumb question, but are either of those radios based on the CXA1129 chip like the SRF-59??
 
Mark B. N8PGV 
 
"Democracy is two wolves and one lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Freedom is a well armed lamb contesting the vote." - Benjamin Franklin


From: "'Stephen H. Ponder' stephen_ponder@... [ultralightdx]"
To: "ultralightdx@yahoogroups com"
Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 12:14 AM
Subject: [ultralightdx] Re: SONY ICF-S22 and ICF-390 'cheap' radios& ICF-B08 -FARMERIK

 
Thanks for the two speedy responses! The 390 has, IMHO, the better form factor (length > height, good for longer MW ferrite rod) but the S22 sounds like it may be easier to tune.

73 & Good DX,

Steve Ponder, N5WBI
Houston, TX
_____________________
Sent from my Kindle Fire HD



Rik
 

Both are easy to tune, and the '390 may be the winner of that contest,but it is too large to be an ULR. It does drive a corner Klipsch designed folded EV horn speaker very well, and with a mid size 14 inch PK passive tuned loop, it gets toms of AM stations with good sound. Even barefoot it DXes well, especially for a $20 radio, and so does the $25 ICF-S22 ULR. - FARMERIK


Rik
 

I started looking into which SONY chip different radios have, but I found SONY made/makes a huge number of chips used in radios and even small radios may have several. They also renamed chips as improvements are added so it gets complicated real quick. I would love to see any info from some one with a sharp eye and a steady hand who does not mind taking the radios apart, or can read the schematics which I can almost always find on line for free for all my huge collection of SONY everyday portables now or recently in production for some market in the world. I would love to see the results of that quest! - FARMERIK


JC Jmz
 

I have the same question as Mark.  Which chip does the ICF-s22 have? is it the CXA1129?


Rik
 

I don't take my radios apart to see, and do not know of a free source for SERVICE manuals. The recent and currant OPERATORS manuals are generally free down loads from the SONY distributor in different markets around the world.

Some time back, although not mentioned in this thread, I started looking to compile a list of chips used in SONY radios. What I learned is SONY continues to manufacture chips which can often be used to replace older chips, but each revision gets a new part number. So there may have been several changes in the chip number SONY would supply for the very same radio. I thought this made tracking pretty difficult. A SONY repair shop would probably have the needed access, but I don't.

I have at least 3 more SONY portables which appear to me to qualify as ULR's, but I have not been able to find a working email address to submit them for consideration. It would take a volunteer who has the time to make such a finding.

A couple of those seem like they tune as  if they may have DSP inside. The ICF-M780SL has the superb FM performance, better than the Sangean ATS-405, so I think it is DSP. I don't know if SONY now makes DSP chips or if it is a chip they bought. Another radio too large to be an ULR is the Toshiba TY-HRU30  which tunes like a DSP, but unlike the DE 321, it is easy to find stations on all bands, AM FM & 6SW.

If anyone compiles or finds a SONY chip list, I'd want to see it. - FARMERIK