June 14, 2018

SONY discontinued to SW radios

I`ve heard SONY already declared in this year that they ended the production of all SW radios like ICF-SW7600GR, ICF-SW35, ICF-EX5mk2 except ICF-M780N.

I guess ICF-EX5 (previous and mk2) had been on sale from 1985, ICF-SW35 from 2000, and ICF-SW7600GR from 2001.

This means SONY will completely withdraw from the SW receiver market.


It`s really trend of the times, also means SW broadcasts are already nothing but useless.

I had an ICF-2001, an ICF-EX5mk2 and an ICF-SW7600GR, but already relinquished them.

My interest is already switched from traditional obsolete radio listening to traveling and listening local radios.

I don't own any SDR (Software Defined Receiver) nor communication receiver nor heavy external antenna.

In my opinion, they rapidly become rarities!

Why don't we savor 'simple listening' on the sidelines of travel? 


My past radios (in 2013)



My current main receiver (a XDR-P1DBP)




May 03, 2018

Ordered a HDR-14 (SANGEAN)

I really like digital radios!


Sangean is now known for digital radio manufacturer, of course my favorite, as I’d used a superb model named ATS-909X for four years, also an ATS-405 for two years and a HDR-16 for a half year.

I`ve been looking for a small HD radio system equipped receiver for a long time, because a HDR-16 is comparatively big and hard to bring by my small suitcase.

(The HDR-16 joins my team)



With over four decades of Sangean heritage and quality engineering, the Sangean HD Series is getting better and better.

As I ordered today, the latest arrival, Sangean's HDR-14, is no exception.

This latest innovation delivers the best performance in radio reception and audio quality in a compact design that has the looks and style to match.

It’s an AM/FM HD pocket type, it allows us to receive local stations with additional content, including sports, news and music.

Access the latest digital entertainment and technology, HD-covered areas in the US.




My receivers in 2017 (Now, only the XDR-P1DBP)



June 18, 2017

The HDR-16 joins 'my team'

SANGEAN is one of my favorite manufacturers, as I’d used a superb model named ATS-909X for four years, also an ATS-405 for two years.


(The post titled ‘Replacing my ATS-909X's parts’ on my blog)



( ‘Ordered an ATS-909X’)


(‘The ATS-405 joins!’)



my HDR-16



However I cashed out of them, instead, bought a brand new model named ‘HDR-16’ in the beginning of this month.

Because I’ve some plans to travel to the US and can even use in Japan, I mean it’s available for 9kHz separation of MW and Japanese FM band.


When I saw that Sangean was about to release their new HD radio, I signed up!

But as you know, it took quite some time before it was actually released, about 6 months later.


I’ve used it for just a few times, I think the good features are as follows;

1) Sound: The audio produced from 2-1/2” dia speakers (w/ foam SURROUNDS) is excellent.

With the TREBLE and BASS equalizer adjustments, the sound is amazingly good.

The volume level outside w/o significant distortion is also quite good.

The sound quality, the range of equalizer adjustment and the volume level are three huge features of this radio.

2) The REC OUT jack is also a great feature.

3) C-Cell Batteries: good choice since many of the newer HD radios use AA cells. The small current capability requires that they be replaced regularly.

Nothing smaller than a C cell should be used. Personally, a D cell battery could have been used with a small case size enlargement.


My current receivers (a PL-380, a XDR-P1DBP and a HDR-16)

I mean having receivers, available for RDS, DAB/DAB+ and HD Radio, are essential for local radio listners heard worldwide.



January 30, 2017

The XDR-P1DBP (Sony-EU) joins. 【viva Digital Radio】

The XDR-P1DBP (by Sony-EU) has just arrived, used it nearly a half an hour.

This model is only available for FM(RDS), DAB and DAB+, and too small, no MW, SW and FM (Japanese traditional FM).

Accordingly, it’s an ideal receiver of ‘local radio listener heard worldwide’ like me.

In fact, no DAB and DAB+ services in Japan and it’s only sold in EU, but I expect several opportunities to use it in available countries in this year.




with a PL-380 by TECSUN and an ER-C57WR by ELPA (i.e. C-Crane CC Skywave) 



I assume that Sony-EU has crammed in more useful controls and a better display than most radios four times the size.

It’s outstandingly nice to use, beautifully made, and sounds good for its size.

It even has a set of truly clear instructions, what’s not to like? I guess only the price, but the more you use it, the more acceptable the price seems.


I really like the three instant-access favorite-station buttons on the top panel.

Setting them is virtually instant too, though I wish the smooth buttons were easier to distinguish by touch.

Setting presets with the silver ‘jog’ lever is easy and a pleasure. Tuning FM stations and setting them as presets is almost easy.

The big display shows several lines at once so you can navigate the list of stations better. It has space to show lots of info simultaneously, like the time, the station and program descriptions.

It's a clear display, though the orange backlight tends to cut out before the program info has finished scrolling, and with the backlight off, it's harder to see, though if you press the ‘Back’ button, the display lights up without changing any settings.


The delicate seven-segment aerial extends so high that you'll be glad of the neat fold-out stabilizing ‘foot’.

For most stations (except DAB/DAB+ stations) one segment seems to be enough though, and it even works fine with it folded flat sometimes.

When you use the radio with headphones (or connect it to an external speaker with a cable), the Sony uses the headphone cable as the aerial instead of the extending aerial, so reception may be compromised.


The sound is very good for the size of speaker but better for speech than music.

The human voice sounds remarkably realistic, simpler music sounds quite nice too.

But heavy rock or classical symphonies reveal the limitations of a tiny speaker, and the more you increase the volume beyond just over half way, the harsher and harder it sounds.

If I listened to music mostly and didn't want such a small radio, I'd probably go for one with a bigger speaker.


Great!  Too small and only available for FM(RDS), DAB and DAB+! 


January 15, 2017

ordered a XDR-P1DBP! 【Viva digital radio】

I’ve kept looking for a suitable DAB/DAB+ receiver in recent days.

As a matter of fact, digital radio systems are growing popular worldwide, so that it’s an essential gear of ‘local radio listener heard worldwide’ like me.

As a result, I've just placed an order (a XDR-P1DBP by Sony-EU) with Amazon UK.


As you may know, Norway is now the first country in the world to initiate the digital switchover from FM radio broadcasting to DAB+.

National FM networks will be phased out gradually throughout 2017, region by region, starting with Nordland and ending with the Troms and Finnmark regions, which will complete the process in December. 

It's really trend of the times, and widely being reported in Japan.


DAB (DAB+) is being operated in several regions worldwide, either in the form of full commercial services, or as feasibility studies.

There is a growing user base in countries as Denmark, Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland. Also available in APAC countries.


(Countries using DAB/DAB+/DMB)



I'm not interested in SW broadcasts and overseas MW-DX (I think it might be obsolete), so don't own any SDR (Software Defined Receiver) nor communication receiver nor heavy external antenna!

They're also might be out of style.


Why don't we savor 'simple listening' on the sidelines of travel?

My motto is 'Let's enjoy travel and listening with small-sized receivers only, without any external antenna!'.


a XDR-P1DBP (from Souy EU)


November 27, 2016

The SRF-V1BT joins!

I've just used it for a short hour.


I think there're a few minor annoyances and omissions, however is a good model.

This is a fairly unique and attractive looking figure, a bit larger in size than I'd expected.

The display can be set to four brightness levels, including off, might be a very helpful for anyone wanting to use it as a bedside device.

The extendable antenna folds down behind.

The controls are on the top (shame there is no remote, but I suppose the logic is that since it's portable you can take it somewhere where it is always in reach), including a selection wheel for changing stations.


I find it slightly annoying that you have to rotate it a couple of clicks before you see the menu appear.

I think this is to stop accidental channel changing with accidental brushing, but it's still a bit annoying.

After plugging in and turning on, the auto tuning into MW/FM stations happened very quickly.

The ad seems a bit contradictory about how long the charge lasts-25 hours in mentioned on Amazon's product page, but the enclosed instructions (a great big foldout map style document, which seems to be Sony's way of doing it these days) speak of 17 hours.


the box



the display



compared with my Eton Satellit (Grundig Edition) and PL-680



the controls



the boxes of 'my team'


November 26, 2016

ordered a SRF-V1BT (by Sony)

I've just ordered a SRF-V1BT (by Sony).

It's a latest model of portable Bluetooth speaker with MW/FM radio, connect and stream easily with Bluetooth and NFC.

You can listen longer with up to 32 hours of battery life enjoy the full range sound of stereo speakers.

It also can be used as an alarm clock with built-in wake and sleep timers, tell time easily with the large LCD display.


It seems that available for following three types;

1) For Japanese market - SRF-V1BT (for Japan), MW/FM

2) For Asia and the US markets - SRF-V1BT, MW/FM

3) For EU market - XDR-V1BTD, no MW but DAB/DAB+/FM


Of course, I ordered a model for Japan.

I look forward to using it!


(The introduction of it in English / Sony HK’s site)



October 02, 2016

The new PL-680 has just joined 'my team'

As I wrote, purchased a PL-680 by Tecsun in last April.




Because of its high performance, I'm really pleased with it and decided to replace a PL-660 with the other PL-680.

The model which I purchased is for EU-bound shipments, therefore all accompanying items are written in English.

The online shop named ‘World Musen’ (‘Musen’ means ‘Radio’ in Japanese), headquartered in HK, informed me that Tescun recently commenced its Mainland China-bound shipments. Accordingly, I placed an order for it in last month.


I assume that it's very sensitive–able to receive all of my local and regional FM stations.

I would certainly welcome FM enthusiast to comment with their own evaluations of the PL-680.


the comparisons








September 30, 2016

The impression of my Eton Satellit (Grundig Edition)

Not only does an Eton Satellit (Grundig Edition) have a good sensitivity, but it also offers its users quite a few rich functions.


I felt the FM band is subpar level for sensitivity and under-preforming unless antenna fully extended.

It seems that it's synchronous detector, works as it should, and very well indeed on SW broadcasts.

And have multiple band widths work well on SW, and MW speaker aside.

The sleep timer is embedded in the on/off switch, it should be a separate button, as you have to turn the radio off, then on again to utilize it, if the radio is on.

The sleep timer, and gain controls are minor, compared to the speaker.


The radio uses four AA cells, and comes with an AC adaptor, which you can use to charge rechargeable batteries, or to listen to the radio.

I bought Panasonic Eneloops AA batteries for it (Actually, I seldom use an AC adopter) and it takes about 23 hours to charge them in the radio, a minor draw-back, is that you have to set the charge time each time you go to charge the Eneloops.

The radio might have worked about a week on these cells, in normal use.


Aside from the speaker, this radio is well designed, and works very well.

It does come with a detailed manual, and a nice, nylon carry case.

I should say… am not a professional reviewer.

I paid only for my personal use.






September 29, 2016

an ATS-405's 'Soft Mute' and 'Tuning Mute'


I found this model has a few unique on/off selections named Soft Mute and Tuning Mute.

According to the manual in English, Soft Mute is to reduce background noise during weak signal, however it will also reduce radio reception.

The initial setting for Soft Mute is OFF.

Soft Mute can be set either radio is ON or OFF.

Press and hold Menu button until a beep sounds and display Menu icon appears.

(see the above photo)

Pressing Soft Mute button, display will appear OFF.

Using the tuning UP/Down button to select Soft Tuning ON or OFF, then press ENTER button to complete the setting.

It’s supposed to decrease the noise between signals, or when signals fade, but it has plenty of deleterious side effects, such as muting then surging of the audio as a signal falls below a certain threshold, then fades back in again.


Tuning Mute is muting the scan noise.

The initial Tuning Mute is ON for all bands, however for listeners who prefer not to miss any weak transmissions during the tuning, better to disable this function.

Tuning Mute can be set either radio is ON or OFF.

Press and hold Menu button until a beep sounds and display Menu icon appears.

Press Tuning Mute button 2, display will first shows ON. Using the tuning UP/Down button to select Tuning Mute ON or OFF, then press ENTER button to complete the setting.


I think, many digitally-tuned radios, even before DSP, are hampered by muting while tuning, which makes band scanning difficult compared with past radios.



DX International

  • DX International
    By Chrissy Brand, based in the UK. Contains a selection of Chrissy's articles mostly published in Radio User (the UK based monthly magazine)

British DX Club

  • BDXC official web site
    Since 1974 (as the Twickenham DX Club) The more appropriate current title was adopted in 1979. We now a large UK-based membership as well as a substantial number of overseas members.

Australian Radio DX Club

World Radio Map

Seoul Radio Listening Guide

  • The Seoul AM Radio Listening Guide
    This is a three-hour documentary broadcast narrated by Chris Kadlec (based in MI, the US) that looks at the AM band as heard in Seoul, Korea after dark.