World Band Shortwave Radio Products

How hard is it to tune in programs on shortwave radios like the SW8, R8A, and SW1?

Shortwave listening is more like fishing than tuning for entertainment broadcasts. With the exception of the BBC, DW, Radio Netherlands, etc, most signals may take some searching.

I can’t enter a frequency with the keypad on my R8B. Several front panel buttons don’t seem to work and the “F” is always displayed in the upper left corner of the display.

The R8B is in the “Function Line Invert” mode. To return to normal operation, press and hold the “F” button until a beep is heard. See page 26 of the R8B owner’s manual.

I have an early model SW8. Can it be upgraded to include the Selectable Sideband Synchronous Detector?

Cost prohibits modification of an early model SW8 synchronous detector. The Selectable Sideband Synchronous Detector is included in SW8 units built after January 1996, with serial numbers higher than 6A12950000.

I have an SW8, can I get it upgraded?

It depends on the vintage of the SW8. If the serial number is below, 5B12950000, we can modify the whip input circuit for a better impedance match. There are no current modifications or upgrades for units with serial numbers above 5B12950000.

I have the original R-8 receiver and need a new tuning encoder. Can you supply one?

We no longer stock the tuning encoder for the R-8 receiver. The encoder can be purchased through e-sonic, and digi-key, The part number is ENA1J-B28-L00128.

My SW-8 has a few missing segments in the display, do I need a new display or factory service?

The failure of some segments in the SW-8 display is most likely due to poor contact between the printed circuit board and the display. The solution is to clean the printed circuit board contact points with wood alcohol or a similar solvent. We suggest reading the following procedure before attempting to clean the display to become familiar with the steps.

To clean the SW-8 display PC board proceed as follows:

  1. Disconnect the AC power adapter.
  2. Remove the wrap-a-round top cover.
  3. Remove the battery compartment cover.
  4. Remove bottom cover.
  5. Disconnect the five cables connecting the front panel to the main PC board. (top of unit)
  6. Disconnect the cable connecting the front panel assembly to the synthesizer PC board. (bottom of unit).
  7. Remove the two screws on each end of the front panel assembly. Remove the front panel assembly from the main chassis and set the main chassis aside.
  8. Remove the three screws from the display PC board, remove the display PC board from the front panel assembly. NOTE: When re-assembling the display PC board to the front panel assembly, please take care NOT to over torque these screws. The plastic is very easy to strip out.
  9. Be careful not to scratch the front of the plastic lens.
  10. Remove the plastic lens assembly from the front panel PC board by spreading the plastic clips.
  11. Clean the contacts on the front panel PC board with wood alcohol or similar solvent. NOTE: The “zebra” strip should be fully seated against the right side of the plastic display. The “zebra” strip should also be flat against the front panel PC board and the LCD display.
  12. Re-assemble in reverse order.

What is synchronous detection?

Synchronous detection is a very powerful tool in reducing the severe audio distortion that can occur during the time period when the carrier of the received AM signal is canceled or reduced by propagation effects.

When is the best time to listen to my shortwave radio?

In general it is best to listen during the late afternoon and early evening. However, most listeners follow the 9 MHz rule. That is: search above 9 MHz in the morning and early daytime hours, and search below 9 MHz in the late afternoon and evening hours.

Where can I learn to locate world band broadcasts?

Shortwave magazines like Passport to Worldband Radio, Monitoring Times and Popular Communications often publish program guides with broadcast frequencies and times for best reception. Popular shortwave broadcasters also offer program guides.