Saturday, November 28, 2009


This morning I put up a Sony AN-1 Wide Range Active Antenna on my roof for shortwave listening. Saturdays are great for antenna work since I have a 5 day work week. The antenna is a wide range active antenna with a frequency coverage of 0.15 ~ 30MHz and has a controller box in the shack side which powers a preamplifier for the antenna, there is a switch which can deactivate the amplifier on the controller (-20dB when switched off). The preamplifier in housed in the antenna module and is a FET. I decided to install it in a horizontal position facing due North to gain coverage of Eu and Stateside.
The AN-1 is no longer made by Sony, it was replaced with the AN-12 which is basically the same antenna which I believe is also no longer available also, but may be available as NOS from some places. These antennas fetch between US$138 to $170 (Postage not included).
The roof side antenna houses the amplifier and a telescopic whip which is just 1.5 M long when fully extracted. It is powered by a 9V adapter or the equivalent in pen light cells. It is very easy to install and I had the antenna installed and up and running inside of 15 minutes.
Today, daylight DX was not particularly good as DX stations were few and suspect that propagation is not too good, so I was not able to do much of an acid test and compare it with my full sized passive vertical, but from the few stations that were present ,it do quite a good and decent job at pulling the stations in although there was obviously a bit more noise and fading when compared to the vertical. This was connected up yo my Lowe HF-150.

The true acid test will come this evening when I will listen to the night time DX and compare the differences with full sized antennas. Will report more.

However the AN-1 is a nice handy antenna to have around. If you can find an AN-1 or AN12, it may be worth considering to get one as a back up antenna for your listening system. There was also an AN-102 indoor active antenna made bu Sony.

There is also a whip antenna coupler for use with the AN-1, this slips over the whip antenna of the portable radio and connects via a cable to the antenna controller, so this is indeed a very versatile antenna.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Portable Cans: Sound MAGIC P20.

The Sound MAGIC P20 portable headphones are the latest entry from Sound MAGIC, but these are different from their normal products. They are not ear buds but collapsible portable cans that fit over your ear and are the first of their kind from Sound MAGIC.


Driver: dynamic (30mm neodymium magnet)
Frequency range: 15~22000 Hz
Impedance of 1kHz / 0.18v: 35±15%Ω
DC Resistance: 32±10% Ω
Sensitivity: 100±2 dB at 1KHz/mW
Cable length: 1.2 m
Connection: 3.5 mm
Net Weight: 61 g

Extension Cable
Warranty Card
EVA hardcase


More later after auditioning and burn in.

Digital Technology Professional 3.5" Color LCD Monitor and Digital Satellite Finder

Detailed Product Description

3.5 inch TFT LCD Satellite Finder - Model: CY70350

The Digital Technology 3.5" Color LCD Monitor and Digital Satellite Finder is a professional grade piece of equipment. The installation of satellite TV receiver systems by professionals requires a tailored and dedicated apparatus, it is based on the actual installation works for each satellite's needs tot set up satellite television receivers properly, LCD image display, and high-brightness LED digital control signal quality parameters and high-performance integrated lithium polymer battery are all integral. User-friendly and designed for outdoor carrying and use for satellite TV receiver systems engineering and technical personnel requiring to install special equipment will find this piece of equipment indispensable. As with instrument grade equipment the housing is aluminium and tilt bails are provided for easy viewing.

Just connect up an appropriate parabolic dish antenna and LNB. This is one of my favorite pieces of equipment. There is also a selector for video output or video input and it doubles up as a minature color monitor. Very useful.


Main parameters: TFT 3.5 "(73*51mm)
Battery pack: DC 7.4V 4000mAh (built-in)
A/V output: Video RCA/S-Video;Audio RCA left/right/stero channel
Input voltagen: DC8.5V
Input impedance: 75 Ω(Type F)
Input frequency: 950-2150 MHZ
Input level: -65 ~-25dBm
Threshold: 4.1 dB
Demodulation: QPSK
Video decode: ISO/IEC 13818-ZMP @ML NTSC/PAL
Audio decode: ISO/IEC 13818-3Layerl & 2
Size: 165 * 125 * 80 mm
Weight: 810 g (including battery pack)

3.5-inch TFT LCD
Has English menu
Built-in lithium polymer batteries, for an external power source, can work for longer than three hours
AV output function, signal quality by the Dual Screen, LCD and digital display
Aluminum case for sturdiness
Small size. light weight. easy to carry

Package Contains
1 x 3.5" Digital Satellite Finder (Include Rechargeable Battery)
1 x Wireless Remote Control
1 x Adaptor
1 x User Manual

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Falling For You by Colbie Caillat.

External Speaker for HF-150: Altec Lansing BXR1220.

Up till now I have been unable to find the matching SP-150 speaker unit for the Lowe HF-150, so I added the passive radiator of the Altec Lansing BXR1220 as an external speaker to the receiver. I choose it because of it's reasonable response for speech as well as fairly decent reproduction for music.
Frequency Response: 180Hz to 20KHz
Maximum Sound Pressure Level (SPL) : 80dB
Crossover : None
Shielded : Magnetically Shielded

High Frequency Driver :
Diameter 2" (5.1cm)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lowe 150 System.

The following photo is an update of my Lowe 150 system which shows the HF-150, PR-150 and remote control system all housed in a small rack for the whole system:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

TTI TSC3000R Wide Band Handheld Receiver.

A relatively new product is the Korean made TTI Wide band handheld receiver model TSC3000R:

Click on the photos of the catalog below to enlarge the specifications, an interesting piece of equipment.


The radio is a nice palm size package and well built, it is RoHS compliant. It comes packed with a nice desktop charger stand (instead of the usual wall wart adapter, nice touch!) with wall wart transformer, SMA antenna, lanyard, earphone, Li-ON rechargeable battery. It does look quite attractive in it's charger stand on the desk and so much more professional.

The box as can be seen is quite minimalist, a plain brown box with very simple printing. Expense has been spared which is actually good since most of us do not care about the boxes after unpacking. Nevertheless the internal packing is very expertly thought out with individual small boxes for each component adding protection and overall strength to the overall package.


1300 Memories

44 Banks (Variable Memory)

Maunal Memory (1000)

Auto Memory (200)

Programmed Scan Memory (50)

Dual Watch Memory (50)

Scan/ Search

Squelch Adjustment

Numeric Keyboard

Mode Change (AM/ NFM/ WFM)

Tone Refection
Reset (Fall/ Partial)
Replaceable Antenna

Electrical Specification

General Specification

Frequency Range : 150KHz ~ 1309.995 MHz

Variable Step(5,6.25,8.33*,9**,10,12.5,15,20,25,30,50,100,500KHZ)

Size (H x W x D) : 98 mm x 62.5 mm x 32.6 mm (w/o Antenna)

Power Supply


Charging of the initial battery took about 3 hours for full charge., the LED runs red color when charging and will switch to green color when fully charged. Functions of the buttons are fairly user friendly and I was able to navigate around without first having to refer to the users manual. The manual was adequate in instruction but a bit awkward in reading.

As to be expected reception and operation for frequencies about 50MHz was adequate with the supplied SMA rubber duckie antenna. For reception of MW to HF this is not adequate unless you are in wide open spaces or on top of a hill. A separate telescopic whip would be necessary to improve upon HF reception.

I have not yet tried it with a large external antenna and suspect it may overload the front end, but to be fair that remains to be seen. I need to get a SMA to BNC or SMA to PL259 adapter in order to test it with external antennas. It would be worthwhile if the manufacturer included such adapters as part of the standard package. Selectivity and sensitivity from 30MHz > is very good and I was able to pick up signals very easily. More Later!

Portable Antenna Choice:

I will be using a Diamond SRH-789 shortly with this receiver to see what improvements can be further made to the overall reception.