Radio of The Month: Sony ICF-2010

I’ve always wanted a nice shortwave radio receiver, but they don’t show up in thrift stores very often, so when I saw this one at Deseret for $7 a couple of months ago, I snapped it up without hesitation. However, when I got it home and rigged up a regulated power supply for it, I found it wouldn’t power up. *sigh* – into the “to look at later and maybe fix” pile it went.

IMG 7405 Radio of The Month: Sony ICF 2010
Sony ICF-2010 AIR/FM/LW/MW/SW Radio

“Later” ended up being yesterday, when I dug it out, took a closer look, and went to the Intertubes to find out what might be wrong with it. The answer turned out to be pretty simple: The Sony ICF-2010 has a weird quirk where it will not power up unless the internal tuning computer has battery power, and simply plugging it into a wall socket won’t provide that power. It requires 3 AA batteries to be installed in a small sub-compartment buried deep inside the main battery compartment to work at all. When supplied with these batteries, the internal computer booted up and allowed the rest of the radio to work properly with mains power again.  Confusing, but YAY! This quirk might have been the reason someone tossed it in the first place.

IMG 7407 Radio of The Month: Sony ICF 2010
Really impressive tuning range for a portable.

My research also indicated that I picked a really good starter radio for getting into DXing too. The ICF-2010 is nearly a legendary portable shortwave receiver in enthusiasts’ circles, with an incredibly wide tuning capability (AIR/FM and AM LW/MW/SW from 150kHz to 136MHz), PLL digital tuning and loads of tuning filters for syncing and locking in distant stations.  First introduced by Sony in 1985, it had been in continuous production until 2003, when it was superceded (much to the dismay of afficionados) by models that did not have the same wide tuning range. Used models on eBay today seem to be selling for upwards of $300-$500 in good condition, a pretty telling testimonial of the desirability of this unit among serious listeners.

IMG 7409 Radio of The Month: Sony ICF 2010 IMG 7406 Radio of The Month: Sony ICF 2010As a beginner DX’er, I don’t have the slightest idea where to start with tuning, other than to spin the tuning knob slowly across the unit’s gigantic tuning range, and randomly poking the filter buttons when I find something interesting, but last night I was able to get a lock on the Navajo Nation radio station (broadcasting traditional chants with a DJ speaking Navajo, but playing commercials in English), innumerable religious broadcasts and hyper-conservative John Bircher types, gobs of strange feedbacky tone generating stations (which are fun to scroll through by flipping the tuning knob back and forth to make goofy R2-D2 sounds), and even one very faint “numbers station” that broadcast a stream of numbers in Spanish for about 2 minutes, ending with 3 chimes, then vanished into the ether.

IMG 7411 Radio of The Month: Sony ICF 2010
Buh, wha? It’s gonna take me awhile to figure out how to properly work this beast…

Finding a list of station frequencies seems to be a challenge. Every list I found on the Internet is either outdated or broken, as it seems shortwave broadcasters routinely switch what frequency they broadcast on (and only broadcast at certain times/days) depending on atmospheric conditions. I’m hoping to find a decent list somewhere to follow, but for now I’m just familiarizing myself with the complex interface of the Sony and plugging frequency ranges into the “Scan” function and enjoying the surprises that come up when the radio locks onto a broadcast. :D

IMG 7410 Radio of The Month: Sony ICF 2010Links:

The 5th Phoenix Type-In: Squigglyvision and Anaglyphic 3D, Part 1

In order to see the Anaglyphs properly, you’ll need a pair of red/cyan 3D glasses, which you may have if you’ve stolen them from a 3D movie theatre or happen to have a TV that does 3D videos and games:

3dglasses The 5th Phoenix Type In: Squigglyvision and Anaglyphic 3D, Part 1

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Type Snap in 3D, who generously volunteered to carpool for the trip..
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Magic Margin, greatly enjoying DesertHiker’s Fay-Sholes.

2014 07 26 3a The 5th Phoenix Type In: Squigglyvision and Anaglyphic 3D, Part 1 2014 07 26 5a The 5th Phoenix Type In: Squigglyvision and Anaglyphic 3D, Part 1 2014 07 26 4a The 5th Phoenix Type In: Squigglyvision and Anaglyphic 3D, Part 1

2014 07 26 7a The 5th Phoenix Type In: Squigglyvision and Anaglyphic 3D, Part 1
Bill Wahl, doing a little on-the-spot repair on someone’s Bennett.
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The first frame of the roll somehow double-exposed – partly a photo of one of the employees at First Draft, partly the exposed innards of a Bennett.

And now, for those of you who don’t have 3D glasses, the same pics in eye-busting Squigglyvision!

2014 07 26 2 The 5th Phoenix Type In: Squigglyvision and Anaglyphic 3D, Part 1 2014 07 26 1 The 5th Phoenix Type In: Squigglyvision and Anaglyphic 3D, Part 1 2014 07 26 3 The 5th Phoenix Type In: Squigglyvision and Anaglyphic 3D, Part 1 2014 07 26 4 The 5th Phoenix Type In: Squigglyvision and Anaglyphic 3D, Part 1 2014 07 26 5 The 5th Phoenix Type In: Squigglyvision and Anaglyphic 3D, Part 1 2014 07 26 6 The 5th Phoenix Type In: Squigglyvision and Anaglyphic 3D, Part 1 2014 07 26 7 The 5th Phoenix Type In: Squigglyvision and Anaglyphic 3D, Part 1 2014 07 26 8 The 5th Phoenix Type In: Squigglyvision and Anaglyphic 3D, Part 1Upcoming: Part 2 of the 3D Type-In Experience, as soon as I finish shooting the second roll of film so I can develop it. All photos shot with a Nishika N8000 35mm camera on expired Ilford HP5+ and developed in Caffenol-C.

Grandad’s Little Pony (135)

2014 08 05 a Grandads Little Pony (135)IMG 4410 Grandads Little Pony (135)

1971 Royal Sprite, built by Silver Seiko in Japan.

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Joe Shriener, Ace Transport Pilot
Image1 Grandads Little Pony (135)
Grandpa Joe and Grandma Helen

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Joe in his later civilian years, selling Skampers to Yankees.

fishing4 Grandads Little Pony (135)2014 08 05 e Grandads Little Pony (135) IMG 7388 Grandads Little Pony (135)IMG 7389 Grandads Little Pony (135)

Grandad’s Kodak Pony 135 and a Gossen Pilot light meter (The Pony has *no* light metering)

IMG 7390 Grandads Little Pony (135)
The front lens assembly is “collapsable” so you need to twist and pull the lens out of the body before you can use it.
IMG 7395 Grandads Little Pony (135)
Top knobs, film wind, film rewind, frame counter (you manually set it to “0″ after loading film) and a dial that’s not hooked to anything, but you’re supposed to set it to remind you what film is loaded. All the options listed are long discontinued.

IMG 7397 Grandads Little Pony (135) IMG 73972 Grandads Little Pony (135)The Pony 135 is a simple, all-mechanical “zone focus” camera (the viewfinder has no focusing/rangefinding aids), made mostly of Bakelite and stamped steel. The lens aperture is adjustable from F4.5 to F22 and the shutter is adjustable from “Bulb” to 1/200ths of a second. There is a remote shutter release post, but I don’t recognize the connector needed. It looks cheaply-made but feels quite solid, and this particular example works perfectly despite it’s age and general wear. These Bakelite Kodaks aren’t always so lucky. It takes standard 35mm film, but I haven’t found any way to set the film speed. Probably no point in trying, as it has no light meter, and thus does no calculations that would require knowing the film speed.

A Typecast Blog by The Right Reverend Theodore Munk