Intercontinental radio

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Feb 4, 2012
Hi guys.

My name is John and I'm from London. I really enjoy listening to American radio stations and would like to ask for a recomendation.

I have a Degen DE 1103 (Kaito KA 1103), I like it but as I said I would like to listen some radio stations from the US and due to the distance the reception of my radio is not so good.

I'm going to the US in the next weeks and would like to know what shortwave radio up to $300 you recommend , I don't care about the size, it can be portable or desktop (in fact I preffer a desktop) but I'm new with these devices so I would like to have a radio that is simple to operate and if possible with a short antenna (the only thing I dislike in my Degen is the external antenna that is too long).

Another thing that I'd like to ask is if you know how can I make another external antenna for my degen, I want something shorter.



Dec 4, 2006
I'm afraid that your expectations aren't going to be easily met. Particularly about the antenna, which is the key to what you want to be able to do. Antennas are frequency related, the lower in frequency the longer/larger the antenna. Most modern receivers are more 'sensitive' than they really have to be, so shorter antennas would probably 'work'. But when you start 'shortening' an antenna it's performance also get's 'shortened'. The limit on that 'shortening' is also distance related, the shorter the antenna the less it's 'range'.
Just for 'grins', try using a long antenna on your present receiver, see if it makes some differences (it will). And then, antenna height will also play a part in it, the higher the better.
I'm not trying to discourage you, but there are only so many compromises that are going to be workable.
Good luck!
- 'Doc


Nov 15, 2005
Your DE1103 already is a very good receiver that is widely used by "DXers" (people who want to listen to radio stations far away).

Any portable that receives shortwave will have a long whip antenna. You'll have to just accept that fact.

The Sony ICF-2010, which is no longer made, makes for a very nice desktop radio (but is also portable) and is perhaps one of the best performing shortwave and mediumwave receivers of all time. You can find them used on eBay in the United States for less than $300 so I suspect you can find them in the UK as well. The ICF-SW77 is a "modernized" ICF-2010 that supposedly offered the same level of performance, but are less common due to being very expensive when new. I see there are two of these on at the moment. I wouldn't hesitate to try one of these, if you can't locate an ICF-2010.

When you get beyond portables to dedicated desktop receivers, you start to need more elaborate antennas, possibly a power supply, and other accessories. You need to factor that into your budget.
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