Tokyo Ham Fair 2016!

During August 20-21, 2016 at Tokyo Big Sight, I came back to this bigget hamfest in Japan after my 25-year interval.   The total attendees were reported as 37000.  Here are some snaps.



The logo is pronounced “Ham Fair.”






Japan Short Wave Club Booth in preparation.



Kenwood gives a presentation on their new hand-held TH-D74.



Yaesu presentation on their new microphone M-1.




Icom’s new receivers:  IC-R8600 and IC-R30




They also revealed a new model IC-7610.  It says ” To DXers in the World.  This is the Icom’s Next Answer.”






Old-Kenwood Fan Club.



Good old days…..



Do you know “Hentenna,” develeloped by a Japanese ham long time ago?  It is very polular in Japan.  “Hen” means “Funny” in Japanese.



Live FM broadcasting.



136kHz/475kHz gears



Pronounced “ARDF Now!”



Guess who’s booth this is?   This is the booth of Japanese Government, promoting E-Filing of ham radio registrations



Singer Kaori Mita (JI1BTL) talks about her experience in a local FM radio station in a disaster area recently hit by earthquake.


She also sings the “Song of E-Filing” (!!)



DU1IVT (PARA COO) gives a presentation on disaster communication in the Phillippines.



Booth of a QSL-printing company (perhaps the best quality in the world).



Singer-songwriter Masaco (JH1CBX) promotes her song CDs with her autograph and photographing.  One of her songs is of course about ham radio!  Her own site is here (in Japanese).



At a night party with D-Star gangs in Japan.



The Japan Short Wave Club at Tokyo Ham Fair 2016! 


(Photo by K. Iwasa, courtesy of JSWC)

Car Shortwave Radio (2)

I was routinely listening to Radio Australia and other stations using BST-1 Car Shortwave Radio with my PBA-MLA4 Mini-Whip antenna in the morning time during my commute.  In my commute route there are a few particular points where I am suffering from MW station interference.

I have just obtained another whip antenna that was developed by the same manufacturer of BST-1.  It is a 2-feet mobile whip antenna that looks quite normal.


Then I tried it today.  The performance was actually much better than the Mini-Whip.   There was no interference from MW stations.    It was also interesting that when I tried these two antennas for Perseus SDR, the Mini-Whip peformed significantly better than this 2-feet whip.  It seems that the design of BST-1 is optimized for this whip antenna.


WWCR  12160kHz  (The video is just a demonstration and not a comparison of the antenna)

PBA-MLA4 Mini-Whip Antenna

Happy New Year!

I am currently at my home country during the new-year holiday, and had a chance to test “PBA-MLA4 (rev. 2.0) Mini-Whip” antenna, developed by Hokushin Electronic Service in Japan (their Blog site to show this antenna is here, but only in Japanese).

This looks a modified version of the famous PA0RDT Mini-Whip antenna.  It uses an op-amp IC chip instead of transistors.  The gain can be controlled by pot.  The kit came with a PCB and the IC chip.  Other parts were obtained by myself.


In the above photo, the lower one is another Mini-Whip based on the original PA0RDT’s design (also available in Japan as a kit), to use for comparison.

The following videos are all Perseus spectra when compared between 1) PBA-MLA4 Mini-Whip,  2) PA0RDT Mini-Whip,  3) LZ1AQ’s AAA-1 Active Loop, and 4) back to PBA-MLA4 Mini-Whip, switching in this order about every 15 seconds.  In most cases, PBA-MLA4 gave stronger signals than the original PA0RDT type.


ABC Northern Territory  4835 kHz


Zanzibar Broadcasting Corporation (Swahili) 11735 kHz


Vatican Radio (French) 9660 kHz


Radio Australia 15415 kHz


HF Span


In the above videos, the Loop antenna actually performed the best.  However, I typically use the Mini-Whip in mobile operation (please see “my antenna” page) and this is the best antenna for the car SWLing as it is very small and covers wide bands, without the effect from engine noise.  Because of the better signals, I have switched the circuit board to PBA-MLA4.  In the same manner as the original one, this active antenna resists the engine noise, so I can enjoy shortwave listening while I am driving!





Testing Amplifiers for Small Magnetic Loop Antenna

I recently purchased a BCL-LOOP Ver. 11, an amplifier for small magnetic loop antenna.  This was developed by The Hokushin Electronic Service in Japan (Sorry their website is only in Japanese).  The amplifier comes as assembled PCB, and I put into a small plastic enclosure.

BCL_Loop11 BCL_Loop11inCase

Please note that the enclosure is not intended for outdoor use this time, and I wanted to compare its performance with other amplifiers, by using an identical indoor small loop element (triangular, 1 meter each side).


The following video is when I received Radio Nacional da Amazonia on 11780kHz and every 15 seconds I switched amplifiers:  ∆-LOOP-X (developed by Mr. Kageyama, Japan.  See also this page) → BCL-LOOP 11 → AAA-1B (developed by LZ1AQ, Bulgaria) → then back to ∆-LOOP-X.  ∆-LOOP-X was in non-tunable mode.

To be honest, I did not feel significant differences between the amplifiers when I listened by ear, but on the spectrum, BCL-LOOP Ver. 11 showed lower noise floor than others.