Short wave radio
Can anyone recommend a reliable and effecive short wave radio ? Will be doing an overland trip from Tunisia down to SA and would like to get daily radio updates from either CNN or the BBC.
Heard the Sony SW7600 isn't a bad bet.
I've used the Sony radio as well as the branded equivalent commissioned by Dixons in the UK (30 quid or so). In Africa the World service comes out clear as a bell on both and is especially clear in the Sahara. Reception in Africa is much much clearer than in Europe. Some countries transmit the world service on FM as well.
Sony shortwaves are very reliable - a relatively cheap and good one is the ICF-SW11. I also use the ICF-7600G which is excellent. The Grundig "Yacht Boy" range is also supposed to be good.
An excellent alternative that is now reasonably priced is the "WorldSpace" range of digital recievers. We have a Sony DSB-WS1000 which is the size of a large portable cassette tape player. It will run off 4.5V DC or batteries and gives crystal clear stereo sound. It will pick up the BBC World Service, CNN, other news channels and a number of music channels which are all free to air. There will also be a number of subscription services offered, I think that some are currently available in Kenya.
You can use it right through Africa, Asia and most of South and Central America and the USA. The rest of the world is not yet covered by the WorldSpace satellites.
There area couple of advantages to having a shortwave. The Worldspace receiver can only get one "channel". So for example if you have a short wave radio, you can listen to BBC world service broadcasting to Africa, South Asia etc., Wolrdspace will only give you the Africa broadcast. Also, the shortwave will give you access to other English language broadcasts eg. from Germany and the Netherlands, which will give you a different angle on the same news event.
[This message has been edited by Andyk (edited 01 June 2001).]
And 7 years on, any recommendations
I am looking for a small (smaller than a LonelyPlanet), cheap (less than $50 or far less), reliable (aka robust), AA or AAA battery powered, SW & FM (i.e. to listen to BBC World Service anywhere) radio with built in speaker (i.e. not just ear buds).
A quick review of Amazon brings these 4 as potential anyone had any real world experience of them (or anyothers to consider)
Kaito Pocket-Size PLL Synthesized AM/FM Shortwave Radio, KA11 $40 4.3 x 0.9 x 2.8 inches ; 8 ounces ----- seems neat
Kaito KA1107 Dual Conversion Shortwave Radio with FREE T1 Shortwave Antenna $40 6.5 x 1 x 3.9 inches ; 9.9 ounces
Kaito WRX911 - Worldband radio. $25 4.8 x 3 x 1 inches ; 8 ounces
Sony ICF-SW11 12-band World Band Radio $43 1 pounds ----- cheapest Sony but heavy
Grundig Eton G1100 Digital World Receiver Radio $50 1pound US only
Sangean SG-622 AM/FM 10 Band Shortwave World Band Radio $42 6.2 x 1.2 x 3.5 inches ; 12 ounces US only
Poor amazon reviews:
Kaito KA105 $44 4.2 x 2.8 x 0.8 inches ; 5.9 ounces not recommended for short wave
Grundig M300BL Mini300PE Handheld Shortwave Radio (Metallic Blue) $30 2.5 x 1 x 6.7 inches 4.5 ounces Cumbersome "stub" antenna
Etón E100 AM/FM Shortwave Radio $69.99
Etón E1XM AM/FM Shortwave XM-Ready Radio $499
Eton E5 AM/FM Shortwave Radio $150
Eton S350 Deluxe DLB AM/FM Shortwave Radio (Black) $99
Eton S350DL AM/FM Shortwave Deluxe Radio Receiver (Black) $90
Grundig G5 AM/FM/Shortwave Portable Radio $124
Grundig Refurbished G4000A AM/FM Shortwave Radio $90
Grundig S350 AM/FM Shortwave Radio $75
Kaito KA1101 - Worldband radio $60
Kaito KA1102 - Worldband radio. $70
Kaito Worldband Radio KA1103 $90.00
Kaito PLL Synthesized Dual Conversion AM/FM Shortwave Radio, KA2100 $120
Kaito PLL Synthesized Dual Conversion SSB Shortwave Radio with Recordable 256MB MP3 Player, KA1121 $130
Sangean ATS-404 AM/FM Digital Shortwave World Band Receiver $78
Sangean ATS-505P FM Stereo/MW/LW/SW PLL Synthesized World Receiver $118
Sangean ATS-909 All Band Digital Shortwave World Band Receiver $244
Sangean PT-50 AM/FM Stereo SW Shortwave World Band Digital Travel Radio with World Time $60
Sony ICF-SW40 Shortwave World Band Receiver Radio $149
Sony ICF-M410 Digital 3 Band Portable Radio (ICF-M410) $120
Sony ICF-SW12S Compact Travel World Band Receiver (ICF-SW12S) $120
The Roberts Radios are fantastic - I carry this one
Roberts Radio : R9962
which came with a decent carry case and a BBC World Service frequency guide (incidentally if you want one of these drop me a PM).
and as you can see from this page
Roberts Radio : World Radio
they've got a wide range of options of World Radios - they cover the whole SW frequency range as well as LW, MW and FM. Clear beautiful sound and one set of batteries did me an hour every morning and two each evening for three weeks and it's still happy as larry.
Yes a shortwave radio is great! Its like a book which never ends.....I never travel without one...
I should also have pointed you in the direction of this too
BBC World Service - Radio Schedules & Frequencies
I've got one of these:
A Freeplay Summit. Possibly a bit expensive, but you'll never have to buy batteries again, a minute's winding really does give you an hour of listening. FM/AM/SW/LW, digital tuning which seems to work fine, 30 presets which is useful if you have Matt's guide, and of course it's oh so green, greener than Leonardo de Caprio in a Prius in fact.
I also use a wind -up ... no leaking batteries / flat batteries and free power :-) ...
It is a great bit of kit like you say, and if you're an avid devourer of radio both home and abroad I'd thoroughly recommend it. Sure at home you could use the mains to power a radio, but there's nothing I like better than being sat in the garden, one quick wind and it's ready.
I reckon it's paid for itself already in my house.
Wow Roberts have quite a selection don't they will have to look harder.
My last radio (FM/AM only) was a wind up but given I am carry a charger anyway for camera, head torch etc it made no difference and annoyed me that it would only last 10mins - guess it was a cheap version!
ps. Just enjoying the show, Alexlebrit :-)
another vote for Roberts, ive been using this digital R876 for a few years - nice and compact, excellent speaker and lots of great features, also comes with a mains adaptor - so its handy in the kitchen at home in between trips....
Roberts Radio : R876
its a bit pricey compared to the sonys - but i managed to find a nearly new one on Eblag for £50
Is this a windup?
Being a radio ham I have a little bit of experience in radio related topics. I own one of these little things and can vouch for it's reliability and excellent coverage -
Amazon.co.uk: Sony ICF-SW100E Super Compact World Band Receiver: Electronics & Photo
The Sony ICF SW100E has been around a while and has many fans throughout the world. It's not much larger than a packet of cigarettes.
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