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  1. #1
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    shortwave radios

    hhi all ,this may sound daft,but dose anybody travel ,with a shortwave radio on board i know it might be a weight issue,but hey. if so can anybody reccomend one . anybody done any good tours recently .thanks and keep safe

  2. #2
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Companies like Sony, Grundig, and Sangean all make small shortwave radios. It's been a while since I was in the market, but any made by these companies should be a quality product.

    As you might expect, performance generally goes down with size.

  3. #3
    Dirty old man in training
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    The book "Passport to World Band Radio" has reviews of shortwave radios http://www.passband.com/

    Do a google for "shortwave radio reviews", there are a number of sites with information on SW receivers.

  4. #4
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    This is the smallest and lightest shortwave radio I have found: http://www.countycomm.com/gp4light.htm I have a couple at home for emergency use.
    Regards, MillCreek
    Snohomish County, Washington USA

  5. #5
    NYC Maggie Backstedt fan
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    Don't know the brand, but the Museum of Modern Art gift shop sells an Am/FM/shortwave in a rubber case that sounds great and is shock-resistant. I think it is water resistant too. On the pricy and large side for self-supported touring, though.

    With small radios, I have always been disappointed by frequency drift, so I would get anything that has a frequency lock circuit.
    "I can't believe we still have to protest this crap." - courtesy, Johnny Monkey

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  6. #6
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    I have often carried a small shortwave radio with me. I had a small Sony shortwave for many years until it was stolen from my panniers in Spain a couple of years ago (petty crime is rampant in much of Spain). I did some checking when I returned home and ended up buying a Kaito WRX911 shortwave radio. See the following link: http://www.radiointel.com/review-kaitowrx911.htm
    I have been very pleased with it. The reception is quite good, it's very small and light, and uses just 2 AA batteries which seem to last a very long time. The price is as cheap; as low as $25 online.

    Many years ago I played a trick on 2 German cyclists I was biking with in New Zealand. We were wild camping and after setting up my tent, I quietly tuned my shortwave inside my tent to the Deutsche Welle, the German shortwave service. Then I turned off my radio and exited my tent and sat down outside with my two companions to eat dinner. After a couple of minutes, I casually turned on the radio. They were pretty surprised to hear German coming out of my little radio.

  7. #7
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    thanks folks great info,im traveling to italy in september , from rome to brindisi,better known as the appian way ,just 500 miles any of you guys do this trip.thanks again .by the way,check this out .www.madgettscycles.co.uk and click on news came across it yesterday gave me a laugh.

  8. #8
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I had a small Grundig that I carried for years. I originally bought it back in the late 70's early 80's. It was used back packing along the Appalachians and made a coast to coast trek in my handlebar bag. Unfortunately someone liberated it from me back in the mid 90's. It was still going strong before it disappeared. Some of the newer ones have the NOAA weather radio on them. This might prove handy on a tour in the US.

    Aaron
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  9. #9
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    I got one with me at all times. I buy this one in Sharpimage a small one and it works good!! I just have to lisen "Radio Marti" and Radio Nacional of Spain.

  10. #10
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lancerob
    As a completely inexperienced shortwave observer I find myself asking this question...

    Are these miniature short wave radios you people are discussing strictly receivers? Or can you transmit on them as well?
    Receivers only...

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  11. #11
    Senior Member Miguelangel's Avatar
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    If you want to improve reception on these radios sometimes they will bring an extra connection for an antenna. You can create a very efficient long line antenna with copper or stainless wire and some weight at the end (like a nut).... If you are close to a tree you can loop the wire around a branch and it will increase the reception... The wire is very light to carry and it does not occupy lots space .... I done it many times and usually it improves recetion greatly....

  12. #12
    Praise the Lord OldGeezer's Avatar
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    I have carried the Grundig 100PE for several years. I'm on my second one even though the first one still works just fine. When Radio Shack closed them out I decided I needed a back-up. Mine weighs 6.6 ounces with battery and earbud headphones. I believe the 100PE was replaced by the 300PE but you can still find them on eBay. The Grundig 100PE is not a high-end receiver by any stretch of the imagination but you can hear a gazillion stations from around the world as you snuggle down into your sleeping bag after a great day on the road.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    As you might expect, performance generally goes down with size.
    Hmmm? This has been an age old argument. Is this the place to bring it up again? Some say that size doesn't really matter... whatever.

  14. #14
    VWVagabonds.com Losligato's Avatar
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    I did a whole lot of research on radios before leaving on this trip and found that a lot of reviewers gushed over this little marvel from China.

    Why I like it:
    - It is tiny.
    - It has a built in AA battery charger (I use AAs for my bike lights, and perhaps soon a GPS)
    - It has great reception and comes with a long-wire-antenna
    - It has a billion presets
    - It scans digitally
    - It tunes at 1 digit incriments (my old one did 5 digit jumps, too far to tune in a faint signal)
    - Price. Under $50 from the guy on eBay from Hong Kong.
    - Has an external speaker plug

    Downside:
    -The volumn setting is a bit wacky
    -Amanda broke the telescopic antenna... she always breaks the antennas on my radios.


    Last edited by Losligato; 03-07-07 at 08:53 PM.
    www.VWVagabonds.com
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  15. #15
    crusty jbrians's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trace22clawson
    Hmmm? This has been an age old argument. Is this the place to bring it up again? Some say that size doesn't really matter... whatever.
    Post of the day!
    thanks for the laugh.
    Around and around we go!

  16. #16
    cyclotourist
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    Losligato

    You are going to have to tell us what brand of radio it is, as your link does not work.

  17. #17
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    Grundig is a great brand....but costs more money.

    Lots of the cheaper radios are made in China...and sold under more than one brand name. I had a neat little Radio Shack digital SW that I paid $120 7-8 years ago. The same radio can now be found on ebay for less than half that...but under a couple of different names.

    If you want a radio like Losligato has, open a new window and use Froogle to search for a SW radio between $40-70 (what small digital SW sets cost) You could match the radio by the picture

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by skookum
    Losligato
    You are going to have to tell us what brand of radio it is, as your link does not work.
    In one of the photos, the brand name can be seen as Degen. A quick googling came up with the model likely being Degen 1103. One website I saw said that Degen and Kaito are the same. I don't know. My Kaito WRX911 is significantly smaller (size: 117 mm X 75 mm X 25mm), and no doubt lighter and much cheaper. The Degen 1103 has numerous features my little Kaito lacks, however. Obviously there are tradeoffs that each person must consider when selecting a model to buy.

  19. #19
    Mettle to the Pedals Dewbert's Avatar
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    Somewhat off topic:
    Not a short-wave, but I just picked up one of these crank radio/flashlight combos for an upcoming tour. I hope it comes in handy.

    http://safetycross.lifegearcompany.com/6n1.htm
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  20. #20
    VWVagabonds.com Losligato's Avatar
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    Oops... sorry about the bad link. I have since repaired it. Yes, the radio in the photos is the degen de 1103 which is the same as the kaito ka-1103.

    http://www.vwvagabonds.com/Bike/BikeShortwave.html
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  21. #21
    Old Crank
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    LLBean has a small SW radio. I have one and it works great for the size. About the size of a cigarette pack. 300PE I think is the name of it.

  22. #22
    cyclotourist
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    Thanks losligato

    I've been looking for something like that.

    Will check it out.

  23. #23
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    well done folks great to read all the replys,i can buy the sony no problem this side of the pond,im in ireland, by the way,i would have to hunt far and wide for the rest,so what kind of touring bikes ,are you guys on .im still looking, nomad top of my list,.love to tour some part of america ,any tips ok thanks all just going to have alook at,vw vagabonds.com site looks fantastic keep safe

  24. #24
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    Hi, haven't seen anyone mention the Roberts line of SW radios yet. We have had ours since the start of our trip and love it. Very long battery life and we have always picked up BBC world service so far, no problems.

    We reviewed it in the last podcast we did on Morocco:

    http://travellingtwo.com/198

    Bought it on eBay in the UK, so you should be able to get it in Ireland
    We blog about bike touring, with reviews, tips and cycle touring podcasts at Travelling Two

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