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Surfin’: Ultralight -- An Appetizing Radio Diet

12/09/2011

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ discovers ultralight radios, which are most definitely not your fathers’ transistor radio.

Ultralight radios are state-of-the-art receivers that do not weigh a lot, but do a lot and better still, do not cost much -- typically well under $100.

Often these radios cover a good portion of the inhabited radio spectrum. With the implementation of DSP technology, the receivers have excellent sensitivity and selectivity. As a result, a new generation of radio hobbyists is having a blast chasing DX with ultralights.

There are websites and online user groups working with ultralights. For example, DXer.CA, “the official website for the Ultra-Light Radio enthusiast,” has a load of information on ultralights (which some folks spell “ultra-light). So if you perform an Internet search, try both spellings (with and without the hyphen). The Dxer.CA fare includes comprehensive reviews of various ultralight models, as well as user tips and modifications.

Yahoo Groups boasts a couple of groups that are worth checking out: ultralightdx and ultralight-dx. The former “support the growth of Ultralight MW Radio DXing,” while the latter is for “for those interested in long-distance AM, LW and FM reception.” There is also a Yahoo group for a popular ultralight model, the Tecsun PL-606.

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, sees an ultralight in his future. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.



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