Friday, December 21, 2018

#FT8 SWL with Sony worldreceiver

Cleaning up a cabinet I found my old Sony ICF-2001 worldreceiver again. I remember I wanted to repair the thing but things went wrong, no display showed, buttons didn't work anymore. I decided to take another look. The battery compartment for the processor memory and display looked fine at first sight but I decided to clean it anyway. Measuring the voltage after cleaning it was fine and indeed the diplay came up again. The radio went on and at least the 1,4 and 9, execute buttons as well as the up/down buttons were working. From the 2010 blogpost I dsee I had the problem before. I decided to dismantle the radio and tried to clean the button contacts with electronic cleaner spray. The contacts are made from copperfoil and you can't open it so this was the only way to do something hoping some of the fluid would be getting inside the contacts. Assembled the radio again and now a few more buttons were functioning to the point that I could easily change frequency and at least could program 3 memory buttons. I first wanted to test the radio with WSPR. But since the tuning only ends at 1 KHz that is difficult, it is possible but I have to calibrate transmitting a signal and then tune the radio with the SSB/CW compensation (clarifier). FT8 signals could be readily heard so I decided to play SWL on FT8 just with the telescopic whip on the radio inside the house. The results are really great considering this is an old radio, not state of the art, no realy good sensitivity, no filtering or whatever. Yellow is 20m, Blue is 40m other colors are 30m.

This is so easy for others to replicate if you have SSB receive on a old worldreceiver. Just plug a cable into the earphone connector of your receiver and plug it in the mic connector on your computer. Download WSJT-X and choose the right input. Important is to be on the right time, you use NTP or nettime. But most W10 computers are synced these days. A fun experiment even for those that are interested and short wave listeners but not yet licensed HAM operators.


  1. Hello Bas,
    Good idea for monitoring.
    I once used a Sony SW-100 receiver as a QRSS receiver. worked nicely after some initial drift. It still had some temperatur drift, but it was workable.
    I still have that one, and a couple of SSB capable Sangean receivers, I should probably use them for more monitoring, when I get more RX antennas up and running.
    73 de Jan, OZ9QV

  2. Brilliant! That gives me some ideas for low power /P WSPR reception....

  3. Hoi Bas, leuk experiment. Ach, die transistorradio's waren nog niet zo slecht hoor. Als tijdsynchronisatie kun je ook Dimension4 gebruiken. Persoonlijk vind ik die betrouwbaarder dan de klok van de pc. Fijne Kerstdagen. 73 Hans, PE1BVQ

  4. Hallo Bas, Wat leuk idee. En wat een gein. Ik sta verbaasd van de enorme hoeveelheid station, die je hebt ontvangen. Fantastisch. 73, Bert


Thanks for your comment. Bedankt voor je reactie. 73, Bas