Grundig M400 AM FM SW Digital Receiver

The Grundig M400 was waiting for me today when I returned from work.  I ordered the M400 a couple of days ago from Amazon.com.  I wanted one of these little radios for a while now.  The Grundig M400 is a super compact AM FM Shortwave digital receiver.  It will easily fit in your shirt pocket.  It has analog tuning with a digital display and digital clock with alarm.  The Grundig M400 has an internal ferrite bar for AM broadcast reception and a small 14″ telescopic whip for FM and shortwave.  It weighs 3.2 ounces without batteries.

The radio in the color red costs $18.55 from amazon.com now.  I have an amazon prime account so I received free 2 day shipping and no sales tax to my state.  What a Deal!  The radio came in a clam shell plastic package and included a set of stereo ear buds, a carrying case, operating manual and a warranty card.  It uses 2 AAA batteries (not provided) and has a jack marked 5 volts on the side if you want to use rechargeable  AAA batteries and recharge them in the radio, you must provide the charger.

I put in a couple of alkaline AAA batteries and turned it on.  The controls are  very simple to understand.  I set the clock and then tuned around the AM and FM bands a little before sunset.  The M400 received well on FM and AM.  The nearest AM station is at about 40 miles and I was able to receive stations on AM out to about 120 miles sitting in the living room recliner.   After sunset I tuned around the shortwave bands and was pleasantly surprised.  It receives well with the little 14″ telescopic antenna.  The M400 receives the stronger shortwave stations with ease and the built-in speaker sounds fantastic.   Below are some pics and a video tuning around the 49 meter shortwave band using the built-in whip antenna.

I am happy for $18.55!

Grundig M400 Front

Grundig M400 Back

Grundig M400 Case

 

WSPR on 160 meters 1 watt

Let the rig run overnight running WSPR on 160 meters last night.  Was transmitting here with 1 watt and using a full size 160/80 dipole that i made a couple of weeks ago.  The antenna feed point is at 56 feet.  Not much activity here in the states on 160 meter WSPR.   My 1 watt signal was received by 14 stations stateside and I heard 13 stations overnight.  Did receive WSPR signals from 2 stations in the UK.  See the pics below.

WSPR on 160 meters

Here is a screenshot from about 9:30 pm last night.

 

 

 

 

wspr 2
List of unique stations that received my 1 watt WSPR transmission.

 

 

wspr 1

List of unique stations that I received last night.

 

 

 

wspr map 2Map of stations sent or received at K5MQ last night

 

 

wspr map 3

Map of all active stations stateside last night.

 

TECSUN PL-880 ARRL CW DX on 40m

I have had the Tecsun PL-880 for a few months.  The PL-880 is a very nice portable shortwave receiver.  It receives 100khz to 30mhz plus the FM broadcast band.  I use it mostly to listen to AM shortwave broadcast stations a some CW on the ham bands.  The PL-880 receives well with the attached whip antenna.  It also has a variable filter setting that you can see me adjusting in the video below. In SSB/CW the receive width is adjustable to 500hz, 1200hz, 2300hz, 3000hz or 4000hz.  In AM mode receive width is adjustable to 2300hz, 3500hz, 5000hz or 9000hz.  The receive bandwidth filter is not great compared to a full size receiver but it is pretty good for such a small radio, better that no filter at all.

Pulled out the Tecsun to see how  it performs on 40 meters with the crowded band conditions this evening during the ARRL DX CW contest.  Was able to receive some stations from Europe, Central America and the USA in a few minutes.  The whip antenna does a fine job.

The Tecsun PL-880 uses one 3.7v Li-Ion 2000ma rechargable battery.  Battery life is very good.   The radio I purchased came with 2 batteries and a charger, a set of stereo earphones, a 15ft wire antenna with connector, plus a faux leather case.  They are now selling on EBAY and AMAZON for about $159.

I also own a Tecsun PL-600 portable shortwave receiver that I purchased a couple of years ago.  I love these radios!

160-80 Meter Dipole Common Feedline

I have added a new antenna here.  A full size 160-80 meter dipole.

160-80 Meter Dipole2 full size wire elements fed with one 50 ohm piece of coax.  The feed point it at 56 feet and the ends of the antenna are at 30-40 feet.  The ends of the antenna are separated 10-30 feet.  SWR is 1.4-1 near the bottom of 160 meters and 1.1-1 at 3.6 mhz.  The element lengths were just about spot on using the formula 468/Freq in Mhz.  So maybe there is not much interaction between the elements. Used an antenna analyzer on 160-80 meter dipole antenna and there is also a dip in SWR to about 2.5-1 in the 17 and 12 meter bands.  The antenna seems to receive better on 17 and 12 meters than my 115 end fed wire that uses a 9:1 unun.  The elements run approximately north and south.  Hope to try it out tonight on 160 and 80 JT65 with my usual 5 watts QRP.

Flex 1500 K1N 80m CW Skimmer

Listening tonight to K1N on 80 meters with the Flex 1500 and the 115ft end fed wire and watching the massive pileup on the panadapter.  The pileups on K1N Navassa Island are huge.  We are in the 3rd day of the dxpedition. I am also watching the pileup with CW Skimmer and it looks pretty amazing to see the amount of stations calling on CW.

Below is a video made a few minutes ago showing the pileup on 80 meters for K1N.  I created the video on a remote computer controlling the Flex 1500. There is no audio for the last 15-20 seconds when the CW Skimmer is running, I would have had to reconfigure some audio settings to hear the audio remotely.  The CW Skimmer visual without sound is still amazing.  The wall of callers on the skimmer is solid near the end of the video.

I managed to complete a contact with K1N Navassa Island on 20 meter CW yesterday evening.  Used the Icom 756 Pro II and 100 watts to my 26ft vertical wire with the 9:1 unun.  The 26ft vertical was about 1-2 s units  better for K1N on 20 meters than my 115 end fed at 60ft.  The longer antenna is better for most stations and bands except 30 meters.  It is nice to have more than one antenna to choose from.