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- IC-7300 N9EWO Review Version 10.1 now available. Includes hands on user comments with the Windows IC-7300 Memory Manager Program (Free Lite Version) with test sample 2 (using Windows 7) and works great. It’s simple and super easy to use. It does require that Microsoft NET Framework 4.7.2. be installed before you install the program (but that and the security program update are easy to download).
We have added a link to this program near the bottom of our IC-7300 review along with new text over the entire review and a IC-7300 vs. IC-R8600 SWL comparison list also located near the bottom. Also added a "TIP" in regards to it's well known tight microphone connector and the tested SM-6  desk microphone. (Updated : Oct 14)

 ICOM IC-7300 is the FIRST "stand alone" HF Amateur Radio Transceiver
 that uses true "direct sampling" SDR technology.
(N9EWO Photo)

- REVIEW : Kenwood R-5000 HF Receiver Our KENWOOD R-5000 HF Communications Receiver review now available. (Sep 01)

- Added Selected Sherwood Engineering lab numbers and reports (PDF files). Plan to add more of these down the road. Posted with
permission by Rob Sherwood (NC0B) (UPDATED Sep 18, additional files added)

- REVIEW : LOWE HF-250 HF Receiver (updated) Added REQUIRED electrolytic capacitor replacement section (in yellow block at the bottom of the review page). Both test samples suffered from these capacitor failures. Can lead to strange wooshy-rumbling sounds in the audio to receiver dropouts (including being totally DEAD) and weird Sync operation. With the later sample the 8 volt regulator capacitor vented with some electrolyte oozed out (thank goodness no damage). Lowe used 10 volt capacitors here (replace with 16 volt rating) This is a known very common failure with the Lowe HF-125, HF-225, HF-235 and HF-250 models (part ID's may be different). If you own one of these receivers, just change them out NOW (as long as you are electronic savvy that is, and WARNING do NOT use too large of a soldering iron tip and or excessive heat !) ! We have also developed a PDF document on this (click here). Lowe receiver guru Pete Gianakopoulos KE9OA (sadly now a S.K.) constantly bugged me to get those 2 capacitors changed out and he was 100 % correct ! (UPDATED Sep 20)

The discontinued and rare "Lowe HF-250 HF Communications Receiver"
from the mid-late 1990's. Added REQUIRED capacitor replacement notes to review .
Right photo shows the reason why ALL owners of the LOWE HF-125, HF-225, HF-235 and HF-250 should replace C156 and C157 electrolytic capacitors (or ones following the 5 and 8 volt regulators) NOW. Vented and swelled BAD HF-250 C156 capacitor as now covered in the review text. Being this venting happened from the bottom one would not have noticed it until removed (it's also located in a fairly tight spot). (N9EWO Photos)

- "Radio's That Never Were" - (updated)
  Added new entry and photos : JRC NRD-371 (A). May have been a few manufactured ? If so was very few, so we include it here. Photo's as recovered out of our archive files. (UPDATED Aug 10)

- REVIEW : JRC NRD-630 HF Receiver (updated) Updated the JRC NRD-630 review text in regards to it's general construction (from old notes I recently discovered in my file mess). Also typos and other minor corrections were made. Uploaded better quality main and internal PC Board photos. Added Sherwood Enginerring NRD-630 lab numbers (PDF). While it might be a extremely well made premium HF receiver, the overall performance and audio quality were a fast downhill silde in our testing! Looking at Sherwood Engineering NRD-630 lab numbers (click here), it's IP3 Dynamic Range at 2 Khz spacing comes in at only 70db. That is a very sad showing for a excessively pricey modern premium receiver if you ask me ! (UPDATED Aug 10)

- REVIEWS "Task Chairs" (Mid Back) (updated) : "BodyBilt" J752 ESD / Global #T9F695506 / Eurotech 4x4LE-LM59802A / Lemberi-Bossin AB-EOC01 / OFM 119-VAM-AA / Cramer Triton R+. Yes this is a bit OT (off topic) for this web page. But we all need a nice radio room chair right ? Sadly is a real struggle to find anything DECENT for a reasonable price (MOST are Chinese junk). Updated pricing / availability and text. We did endless HOURS of research on this last fall and came up with nearly nada that was to our desires and requirements.

The untested OFM 119-VAM-AA (with arms) still APPEARS to look like a winner ? Now only availbile in Black and Charcoal in the desired vinyl covering (no other colors are offered anymore). We have not tested this model but may in the future ? Also the 24 Hour Global #T9F695506 was decent however our test sample arrived defective and did not get a replacemnent (but we should retest as it was overall good for the price). No high back type chairs were tested. Be sure and see the dead bottom of the chair review page for a very interesting higher priced model made by Cramer in the USA we discovered recently. (UPDATED Aug 01)

   The untested OFM 119-VAM-AA (with arms) still APPEARS to look like winner for the money ?
 Now only availbile in Black and Charcoal in the desired vinyl covering (no other colors are offered anymore).

- REVIEW : Kenwood R-1000 (updated) Restored and updated (version 2) the PDF version of our Kenwood R-1000 “39.545 MHz” Display Repair doucment. New main photo added as well. In our view is Kenwood's best sounding comminication receiver they ever made. For the most part  samples have held up well in it's old age. But as it can be with a vintage set, service / TLC are usually required sooner or later. (UPDATED Sep 01)

Kenwood R-1000 Communications Receiver .(N9EWO Photo)

- REVIEW : TECSUN PL-660 (updated)
  We have added new text and photo to the PL-660 review from information via Paul G and his new 2020 sample purchased from ANON in Jul 2021. Lets hope that current production has improved the generally lousy TECSUN quality control with the PL-660 ? Also added a few new You Tube links. (Jul 14)

- ICOM released 1.35 firmware for the IC-R8600 receiver on January 29, 2021. Only was marked for reducing audio distortion with the Speech function (which it did do). However as most already know Icom does not necessarily list all  bug fixes done with any given firmware update. One undocumented SLIGHT improvement WE discovered (to our ears anyway) is the audio quality with SYNC D mode. Covered in our extensive "Ver 14.5" IC-R8600 review CLICK HERE (see light blue block down the page).

UPDATED SERVICE MANUAL : Also added to the review are my comments with the March 2021 service manual addendum (changes and 2nd production run for the USA 02 cell blocked version ?). Look for the green text near the top of the IC-R8600 review page. Another review addition was front end band pass filter information.
(UPDATED Jul 07)

The excellent ICOM IC-R8600 "Wide Band" SDR communications receiver. (N9EWO Photo)

- REVIEW : JRC NRD-545 DSP HF Communications Receiver (updated)  We have restored the BURP and TICK MP3 audio files to the review. These are two gremlins that will appear with any stronger received signals which overloads the DSP. These are common traits for the NRD-545 and is most annoying. (Jun 28)

  The discontinued JRC NRD-545 DSP receiver. Restored DSP BURP and TICK MP3 audio files.(N9EWO Photo)

- REVIEW : Malahit Malachite DSP1 Original Russian Standalone SDR (updates)
. IMPORTANT UPDATE : 1.10c "Rev2" firmware comments. "Good News ", with the new 1.10c "Rev2" (my marking) firmware the "Sync Detector" now works properly, in fact it's excellent ! Please see the news section below for additional details and change log.

We have now clarified LCD backlight noise issues with our DSP1 test sample in the review text. We do not have the optional add on PC Board installed, so proper testing with any whip antenna's on MW and SW was not available. However we could indeed detect excessive RF noise comming from the LCD backlight without the option board anyway with a short attached whip (verified by switching the backlight off). Our test report was done using external antenna's far away from the receivers cabinet and using shielded coax cable (no excessive LCD back light noises were ever detected).
(UPDATED Jul 29)

WARNING : Owners need to keep in mind that you should NEVER touch the LCD hard ! Only a very light LONGER touch is required. Excessively HARD presses on the LCD will lead to premature failure for sure in time !

Review : Malahit Malachite - DSP1 Original Russian Standalone DSP - SDR.
Fixed typos / updated Sync Detector operation text.
Added improved internal photo.
DSP2 version now available (not tested,
see news section below for internal clock failure / battery issues
 reports happening with early DSP2 samples).
(N9EWO Photo)


  Additional text and photo in the CRF-1 review section. (N9EWO Photo)

- REVIEW : Sangean ATS-909X2 LW / MW / SW / FM / AIR Portable N9EWO full review on the Sangean's ATS-909X2.

- Fixed typos and added a "firmware change log" PDF file (many thanks to Jimmy at Sangean America).
- 1 kHz tuning bug with SSB 10 hz tuning step while cleared up for the most part with 073 firmware, still twitches back very INTERMITTENTLY (see review text) !
- Added new information in regards to general design (IF and the ceramic filters being used ..yes I did say ceramic filters !). This was gathered after viewing the X2's service manual. It's general architecture and dismal SW audio quality is not much different over the old X model.
- Added variable quality control Information / warning.
- Updated
Comparison Chart (located on bottom of it's review page).

Sangean's ATS-909X2 LW / MW / SW / FM / AIR portable. (N9EWO Photo)
N9EWO "ATS-909X2" review available here.

- REVIEW : Philmore / LKG - MW122A Regulated Power Supply Modified Regulated LINEAR Power Supply for use with the Grundig Satellit 800, Eton e1, Drake SW-8, Sangean ATS-909X2. New updated text and photo / links.

- REVIEW : ICOM IC-R9500 (added PRO and CON list plus updated text)

ICOM's IC-R9500 Wide Band DSP Receiver.(N9EWO Photo)

- REVIEW : FLEX-6400M Tabletop SDR HF / 50 MHz Transceiver (Guest Review)
Dean Bianco's excellent review updated with important information (see yellow block on the bottom of the review page)

- REVIEW : Tecsun PL-600 (early production sample).
- Tecsun PL-600 Audio Distortion Modification links and information.
- Sangean ATS-803 / ATS-803A - Realistic DX-440 "Anti-Chuff" Modification
- REVIEW : Sangean HDR-16 AM/FM HD Portable (Guest Review)
- REVIEW : Grundig Satellit 750 / Tecsun S-2000 / Eton Elite 750 Receiver

- JRC NRD-525 Important Serial Number Information
- REVIEW : Ameco TPA / MFJ-1020B Tunable Preamp - Active Antennas
- REVIEW : WJ-8711A "Condor" SP-1348 Electrolytic Capacitor Chart
- REVIEW : Sangean ATS-909X - "Downright Poor Audio Quality on MW/SW"
- REVIEW : ICOM IC-7300 "When the Rose is Not a Rose" (Sour Audio Quality for Broadcast Listening)

- REVIEW : AOR AR-DV1 - Massive USB Port Failures (with later production)
(IMPORTANT UPDATE, see Yellow Block in USB Failure section near bottom of page: Oct 07, 2021)
- REVIEW : C.CRANE Skywave AM/FM/SW/AIR/WX Portable Pocket Radio

The C.Crane "Skywave" AM/FM/SW/AIR/WX pocket portable receiver (see review here) (N9EWO Photo).

- REVIEW : AOR AR7030 - Added Old Age Check List / Audio Distortion Comparison
Chart / New links (on page bottom) (Updated : Oct 08, 2021)
- REVIEW : SDRplay RSP-1 / RSP-1A SDR Receiver

The UK made "SDRplay RSP1A" SDR .N9EWO review click here. (manufacture photo)

*****  NEWS ITEMS and LINKS   *****

- Pete Gianakopoulos KE9OA R.I.P. (S.K.) :  Receiver guru and RF engineer Pete Gianakopoulos (amateur radio call sign KE9OA) sadly passed away on August 12th, 2021 at age 70. He had developed and built a number of his own HF receiver designs over the years and at one time had a web page that posted the schematics and other information. We had the pleasure to see and play with these receivers at the yearly local Madison / Milwaukee Wisconsin USA Radio gatherings over the years (see Tim Noonan's webpage here for additional details / contact on the GTG). Pete also designed the LA30 Loop antenna for Palstar. He was a fantastic mentor over the years for me and will be greatly missed. R.I.P. my friend. Our thanks to Dan Cotsirilos K9DTC for passing along this information. (Oct 17)   

This information is direct from ICOM America so is not just a rumor ! So if you ever wanted a "Brand New" IC-R30 you will need to make that purchase very soon (including any accessories / extra battery etc.) ! We are not aware of a replacement model at this time. My extensive IC-R30 review is still available here. (Updated : Oct 15)

  "LAST CALL" - The ICOM IC-R30 wideband hand held receiver has been discontinued.
 Get them while you can (remaining dealer stocks). My full review can be seen here.

- IC-7300 / IC-9700 :  Bad LCD displays with some current production samples ?

This was covered on one of the Icom IC-7300 Facebook User Groups and equally important these QRZ forum postings (also see eham reviews). It appears that Icom has received at number of BAD batches of RayStar LCD screens affecting some currently sold IC-7300 and IC-9700 samples ? Actually this bug started to appear more a little under a year ago with one batch and now a new round with LCD displays with white lines. From viewing all of these user report failures this is NOT happening with just one or 2 samples (it’s MANY more than that).
A nasty white thin line on the LCD is being reported with a number of very CURRENT production samples out of the box brand new. Some only being days old, while others take a month or 2 (or even longer) to appear.

But as I read there are much older samples that have also suffered from this "White Line" issue(s) as well. I So I have to wonder IF abusing (say touching the LCD too hard) or using those stylus pens (or even worse) could be a factor in this LCD bug occurring ? (Updated : Oct 14)

- Palstar R30A DISCONTINUED - R30B COMING SOON...? Would be fantastic to see a HF only tabletop receiver back in the market place. Crossing our fingers that this new proposed R30B comes  to market ? Release date and other information is unknown (stay tuned right here). (UPDATED Sep 12)

Teaser news direct from Paul Hrivnak at Palstar on the new proposed R30B tabletop HF receiver :

- TFT touch screen display
- 100 Khz to 30 Mhz coverage
- AM  Synchronous Detector
- Internal Lithium Ion battery power supply
- 6 Pole Lattice crystal filtering at 6 MHz

- Original Russian Malahit / Malachite DSP2 / New second version of the DSP1's 1.10c Firmware.
The DSP2 (version two) of the the MALAHIT MALACHITE is available. It is basically the same original version with an added huge sheild and some other upgrades. Includes the normally optional front end board circuits as stock (but is now all on one PC Board). It's still in a all metal case but is is slightly larger.

Appears the original DSP1 (version 1) is also still available. Provided you don't mind it's finicky operation, in our view these marvels puts to SHAME ANY Tecsun or Sangean portable currently sold for performance (with external outdoor antennas as we have not tested the add on front end board with a whip antenna) ! Good news is the DSP1's Syncronous Detector now works as it should (excellent) with the 1.10c (what we call Rev2) firmware. See change log below.

An actual web site where you can pre-order these much more easily along with more detailed information is entirely (and only) in Russian, Microsoft's NEW  "The Edge" browser does a decent translation (reported that English will be added soon ?). THE MALAHIT TEAM - Official Web Page

UPDATES (Please note that we have NOT tested a DSP2 version !) :
(UPDATED Sep 17)

- You Tube Video (in Russian, switch on English subtitles)  : "Malachite DPS 2 comparison with the first version by the RF generator".

- Firmware for the original DSP1 and the new DSP2 version are NOT interchangeable ! DSP2 firmware now appears on Google Drive (available here) , (as does the DSP1 firmware files here). These Google files / links also include change logs.

- Three DSP2 (Version 2) Issues reported.

1. - Dead or Unstable Operation of Internal Clock : Via the Malachite/Malahit Facebook user group : Report of a NEW Russian DSP2 version sample not being able to set the clock nor the LCD backlight timer operating at all. Fix was to remove 2 surface mounted capacitors (C29 and C30) on X2 crystal. Another report direct to me by a DSP2 owner, in this case the internal clock counts and the LCD LED backlight timers function as normal, however the clock looses settings while being powered on after being OFF about 12~24 hours (of course with a good battery connected). UPDATE : Reported now fixed with new production (capacitors removed).

2. - Inaccurate Battery Readings : Also reported direct to me. Strange battery voltage readings (with it's built in voltmeter), they show very inaccurate "high". Could this effect proper charging of the attached Lithium Ion battery ? Very dangerous it might be ? UPDATE : Reported now fixed with firmware updates.

3. - Female internal SMA / U.FL-IPX connector - jumper cable issues : I cover this topic in my DSP1 review as it is a issue here as well. All of sudden one looses receive (goes DEAD). Caused by a too stiff and too short internal antenna jumper cable that places heavy stress on the U'FL / IPX female connector. With the DSP2 version appears to be worse with it's even sharper bend of that STIFF coax cable in a very tight spot (internal photo here). Please see my DSP1 review (near bottom of page) for additional information. UPDATE : This issue has been reported to have been fixed in current production (a longer and thinner cable now used as we recommended in our DSP1 review)


Contact with early DSP2 owners exhibited the issues as listed above.

Good news is now after hearing from other (later) owners the bugs have apparently been cleared up ?

Updated  firmware has cleared up the inaccurate battery readings / charging. Production samples are NOW shipping with those 2 capacitors removed to clear up clock bugs. Also reduced display noise.

Also the antenna jumper cable is now longer and thinner to keep the stress of the fragile male U.FL / IPX PC board connector (just as WE recommended in our DSP1 review).

See Manuel's web page here for the latest firmware news and instructions / other information). Was being reported that the DSP2's are not always taking firmware updates on the first try. Usually the second attempt did the trick.

Firmware version currently installed is now displayed in the HARD MENU (starting with Test Firmware 2.10 Aug 16, 2021). It was absent for awhile. With the current DSP1 version firmware it is still not shown.

Again, please keep in mind we have NOT tested a DSP2 version so WE have NOT verified this information. Only limited reported information is provided here.

(UPDATED : Aug 28)

DSP2 Internal photo (click on photo for larger view)
 (Fred Jones photo via Facebook, N9EWO Photo Edit)

- Looking for the REQUIRED FLAT top 18650 (unprotected) Battery for your Malahit Receiver ? : Seem to be in short supply these days ? If you live in the USA we see a couple of LG made ones listed on the ONlY BATTERIES web site that APPEAR to be in stock (as I type this) ? PLEASE NOTE : We are not recommeding these per say, this is just for the information only and nothing more ! (Jul 19)

- Malahit DSP1 Firmware 1.10c (Released July 26, 2021 download link here) :
1.10c (what we call Revision 2)
- improved graphical display of the spectrum
- improved optimization of algorithms, increased display speed, especially in WFM mode
- added the ability to determine the type of inclusion - one or three clicks. If PD15 (pin 7 of the RESERVED field) is open, then turn on by one press;
if this pin is shorted to a common wire, then turn on by three clicks
- the HARD menu has been improved
- changed battery indication - voltage is indicated over the picture
- added the ability to control user equipment using a discrete signal - PD14 (pin 8 of the RESERVED field)
- added a button for switching audio output in the HARD menu. It duplicates the audio output switch. Made by user request.
- added modes SAM-U and SAM-L
- added engineering settings to the HARD menu
- added automatic Notch filter in AM mode
- added saving of retro scale type
- changed the management of high-frequency filters at the input of the receiver
- fixed error during frequency tuning
- fixed bugs in automatic station search in FM mode
- added Pseudo Stereo function
- added "CCIR / JAPAN" Retroscale band selector to AUDIO menu
- respectively, added Retroscale for the Japanese VHF FM band 76.1 MHz - 94.9 MHz and 6 presets for different regions of Japan, agreed with Japanese users.
- Fixed a bug when canceling the autosearch mode for stations and when exiting the autosearch without saving the found one (refusing to save the found). In previous versions, in these cases, all stations that were on the scale before the start of the autosearch were erased and the scale became empty. Now, in these cases, the original scale is restored.
- the design of the regular end of autosearch has been changed, a table-grid of frequencies for found stations has been added, messages about the absence or the number of stations found have been added.
- autosearch is no longer dependent on the inclusion of the stereo mode and the state of the activated outputs to the speaker and headphones, it works in any combination of states, after the end of the search, the original state of the stereo mode is restored.
- in some places of the editing menu, the retroscales of the CANCEL key names are changed to EXIT, as they are closer in the meaning of the action being performed.
- Added a limitation on the number of stations on Retroskale - 69 for the CCIR band and 63 for JAPAN - as the maximum number with an interval between neighboring stations from 300 kHz and above.
- fixed minor bugs of previous versions related to preserving the color of the scales and saving the step type (50 kHz / NEXT) for each scale.
- reduced the speed of switching stations in the NEXT step mode.
- Update from 07/26/2021 - the operation of the synchronous AM detector has been fixed
(our thanks to Mark KD9NXV and Philip G7JUR for the heads up with news of the "second" 1.10c firmware update, what we call Rev2)

We have installed 1.10c (Rev2) in our DSP1 test sample and the review includes updated testing notes. (UPDATED Jul 29)

- "You Tube" video from the Russian Developers on the proposed exciting and more powerful "self contained" DDC Version. Improved dynamic range / front end filtering and spectrum scope span of 1.9 MHz (is 160 kHz in original version). Pre-assembled only (no kit version will be available). Contains a 14 bit Analog Devices AD9649 ADC (Analog to Digital converter). It is unknown when this DDC version will become available and for what price it will be at ? (UPDATED Jul 11)

(selected model list)
(UPDATED Jul 09)

Information on the Chinese Malachite / Malahit SDR's - "Caveat Emptor"
 See Russian Malahit / Malachite - review page here

NOTE : Original posted information page is still available via
"The Way Back Machine - Internet Archives" ....CLICK HERE

- "[email protected]" forum (user group). Started on Dec 31, 2020. Public archives.
- ICOM IC-R8600 - LCD Display Failure Issues have been reported (see bottom of N9EWO's IC-R8600 review page)
- ICOM IC-7300 and IC-9700 - LCD Display Failure Issues, (also please see this Facebook forum)
- JRC Receiver Display Failures

- "Knock off the knockoffs": A plea to cassette deck manufacturers (FAKE Chinese "JUNK" manufacturing)

- HF RFI Generator - "Electronic Defrost Timer"
- What happens when an Uniden SDS100 battery fails
- Uniden SDS200 - LCD Failures (again)

- Uniden SDS100 - J401 Bad Connection To PC Board


 (for USA 117 VAC input voltage)

Have covered this topic in the past with other radios that use a USB socket for power. What to do about the excessive RF noise that ALL switching AC adapters emit for use with a HF receiver ?  CCrane in California USA still has available an excellent , RARE and fairly inexpensive ANALOG / LINEAR / REGULATED 5 V 900ma USB power supply that provides enough “cool” and TOTALLY CLEAN current for operation with receivers that use a 5 pin MINI USB socket (example : Tecsun PL-880). CCrane Item # CWTPLP, Model: SR0509U. Yes it has a good old power transformer and linear type regulator. If one is handy enough, can add four .01 disc ceramic capacitors across its internal 4 power rectifier diodes to make it even cleaner (kills off diode hum for close indoor antennas, see photo). We just soldered them across the top of each of the diodes. But this is not a requirement of course AND DONE AT YOUR OWN RISK !!

Super RF quiet LINEAR 5 V AC Adapter with MINI USB connector (left). Sold by CCrane in the USA.
Hefty 900ma Output. CCrane Item # CWTPLP, Model: SR-0509U (subject to availability).
Right photo shows 4 - 0.01 disc-ceramic capacitors added to
 reduce rectifier hum with indoor antennas on MW and HF.

The downside is that the CCrane power supply has a MINI USB output cable and you need a MICRO USB for the Russian Malachite SDR (Chinese ones use a USB Type C) so of course it will not work out of the box. Not to worry as there are simple adapters available on ebay and elsewhere. Example adapter here but a warning here that it will be a bit stressful on the receivers USB socket (so be very careful). If one is electronic handy could just change out the DC output cable for the proper one with a USB "Micro" plug (just dealing with the red and black wires of course). The CCrane adapter above is screwed together for easy access.

IMPORTANT - WARNING ! : With the Russian Malahit / Malachite SDR operational current consumption approx. 300ma (as indicated in the manual), normal operation with this CCrane AC adapter is no problem at all. However when charging the internal lithium ion battery, current jumps to around 850 ma PEAK (NOTE : RECEIVER OFF) and makes this supply operate HOT and near it's maximum rating ! It would be a good idea to use a 2 AMP USB switching type adapter when charging the internal battery to rule out any possible heat failure problems down the road of the linear power supplies regulator.

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