A Transistor Radio Curveball

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by VK6FLAB, Sep 29, 2017.

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  1. VK6FLAB

    VK6FLAB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Foundations of Amateur Radio - Episode 121

    Today I have a confession to make. Looking back it's clear that once your brain goes down a certain path, it's easier to follow the path than to find an alternative one. When I was growing up, above my bed, bolted to the wall were two brackets. On top of those brackets, secured with double-sided tape was a radio-cassette player. If you're unfamiliar with what an audio cassette is, don't worry, this is about the radio side of things and is from the days when Digital Music was not in wide use like it is today.

    This week I have an a-ha! moment when I discover something that's so obvious that I missed it.

    Foundations of Amateur Radio is a weekly podcast about the 1000 different hobbies - including being a short-wave listener - that make up this wonderful community. You can listen on-air, on-line and on-demand. Download your personal copy from the website at http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/, or subscribe using your favourite podcasting tool.

    Onno VK6FLAB
    VK4HAT likes this.
  2. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here we go again.

    "Amateur radio news" with no amateur radio news.
    NU4R, K4AGO, AK5B and 3 others like this.
  3. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    To be fair, I think the "news" part was, "hey look, another podcast..."
    NU4R, KB8OTK, VK4HAT and 1 other person like this.
  4. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    A desperate SPITBALL wild pitch to the back stop ...

    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
    KD0WQP likes this.
  5. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Whatya think John...is that there one of those FRACTAL ANTENNAS on that squawk box in the picture? Infringement;-)?
    W0PV likes this.
  6. VK6APZ

    VK6APZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I did not have a squawk box when i was young, i purchased this second hand when i was 15 years old.
    The old HMV in a suitcase radio gram that had valves, great sound and still have today and working.

    Attached Files:

  7. OH2FFY

    OH2FFY Ham Member QRZ Page

    For a few various reasons many Ham Radios are poor General Coverage receivers even if they cover the frequency of interest.
    Some work OK , some really SUCK , and none beat a receiver designed specifically for General Coverage.

    Ultimately a Ham Radio is designed for best performance in the Ham bands for Ham Radio communications.
    Their MW - SW - VHF or UHF coverage is just a extra , but less important bonus.

    That being the case , the manufacturers didn't and don't optimize the design for that purpose.

    The expensive Ham Radio may even work worse than a 10 dollar K-Mart radio when used for General Coverage duties.

    gregW:) OH2FFY
    K2NCC likes this.
  8. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page


    The tradeoffs in design and performance between general coverage and communications receivers are common knowledge for most technically oriented and/or veteran amateurs.

    For a long time there has been a substantial group of so called "Ultralight" radio listening enthusiasts. No doubt strongly connected with the QRP movement in HR.

    Explanation from Scandinavia,


    My favorite Ultralight AM BCB rig is the Sony SRF-59 with its unique architecture and proprietary IC. I have several. It has a cult following, many have modified it, including for SWL. Read about its Theory of Operation in the first link below,



    John, WØPV
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  9. N0AZZ

    N0AZZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I was a child of about 5 yrs. of age 1953 my parents had an old floor model radio that covered the shortwave bands as well as std. AM radio stations. We lived on a farm near a very a small town with about pop.about 100 people counting cats and dogs lol.

    But I do remember the hours that I spent listening to foreign stations on that radio, my father even put up a world map in my bedroom where I placed pins for countries that could hear at night. Then jump to the early 70's when I found CB radios and at the time would "shoot skip" as it was referred to at the time, not legal but still did it. In 1975 I bought a Sony CRF-320 receiver which I promptly installed a multi-band SW antenna about 150' long, was living in the Denver foothills then so had good listening area.

    Those were the foundations that brought me finally to ham radio later in life, wish it had been sooner instead of later for me, as no one can do everything in the hobby in a single lifetime!


    W4ABC and VA7LDT like this.
  10. OH2FFY

    OH2FFY Ham Member QRZ Page



    Today's education system.

    gregW:) OH2FFY
    AK5B likes this.

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