Europe & Middle East
& Mailing Lists
Portable Shortwave Radios
Review. The ultimate, ultra-light shortwave radio,
introduced in 1999. Shortwave station frequencies for the major
services -- BBC, VOA & DW -- as well as 5 other services of the
user's choice (such as RCI and Radio Australia) are stored in a
ROM chip that is easily accessible under a tab on the back. To
tune in the BBC, for example, you simply push the BBC button,
starting a scan through BBC frequencies stored in ROM. Updated
ROM chips are available annually for $19.95 from the
F Corporation. Much easier to use than any other shortwave
portable radio. Synchronous detection works quite well -- much
better than on the 7600GR. It comes with the compact AN-LP2
active loop antenna, which automatically tunes the frequency
selected on the SW07. [Sony have been withdrawing their superbly
engineered, Japanese-made shortwave radios from the market as
supplies run out. In the future, the Sony brand may be slapped
on inferior Chinese-made radios.]
Owners manual (pdf). Dimensions: 135 x 91 x 33 mm. Weight:
ICF-SW7600GR. The latest model in
Sony's 7600 series is a good choice for domestic travel and
long-term overseas stays in one place. Lacks a signal strength
meter, and synchronous detection is poorly implemented. However,
overall performance is excellent for a radio of its size and
price. Dimensions: 191 x 118 x 32 mm. Weight: 615g (including 4
AA cells). Not sold with an AC power supply, but the Sony
AC-E455A (120v) works very well and is frequently available on
eBay for $5-10.
ICF-SW22. The most recent version of Sony's small,
inexpensive world band radio is no longer marketed in the U.S.
or Europe but may still be available in Asia and South America.
I have an early version from the 1980s, the nearly identical
ICF-4910, and took it on numerous foreign trips before I bought
an SW07. Sensitivity and audio quality are mediocre in
comparison with the SW100 and SW07 but excellent for a radio of
its size and price. Dimensions: 116.5 x 72.5 x 28 mm. Weight:
200g (including 2 AA cells).
Review. Sony's smallest serious shortwave radio is marketed
in the U.S. as the SW100S, including the AN-LP1 active loop
antenna, and in Europe as the SW100E without the AN-LP1. Early
examples should be avoided, as they had an inferior quality
cable connection between the two parts that was prone to
failure. Introduced in 1993. Dimensions: 111 x 73 x 24 mm.
Weight: 220g (including 2 AA cells).
ICF-2010 / ICF-2001D. The top, truly portable shortwave
radio, with excellent sensitivity and the best synchronous
detection I have used. Too heavy for most birding travel,
although I took mine along to Australia. Sadly, discontinued in
2003 but readily available on eBay. Highly recommended, although
it lacks some modern features such as non-volatile memory.
Details. Dimensions: 290 x 160 x 55 mm. Weight: 2300g
(including 3 D cells & 2 AA cells).
R30. This luggable, US-made radio can operate on 10 AA
cells. While not as convenient to use as a Sony 2010, it clearly
outperforms the 2010 on MW and in many situations on SW,
although it lacks synchronous detection. Note the analogue
signal strength meter, a rarity on portables. Introduced in
1999. Dimensions: 203 x 64 x 229 mm. 3,175g.
|Etón E1XM. New Chinese-made luggable
radio that succeeds the Grundig Satellit 800 and Drake SW-8.
Includes XM satellite service. 1700 presets. Can run on 4 D
Details. 13⅛ x 7 x 2½ inches. 4.2 pounds.
Portable Shortwave Radio Groups