The Sony is better then the Grundig... (I have a yachtboy, and it is barely useable IMHO).
I found one that the ham guys swear is better then the sony, and about 1/4 the price
Shortwave radio review and discussion
One of the things that Rose and I really came to rely on was our shortwave radio
. I had researched various brands and read all I could about them, and then bought the Kaito 1103. It’s alarm
was set to make sure we were awake to listen to Chris Parker’s weather
net every morning it was on.
Kaito 1103 specs from Kaito site;
Now, I do not believe that a ham set, or even an SSB transceiver is a requirement onboard a small boat
, but I have to say that a good shortwave receiver, capable of decoding SSB transmitions is an important peeve of gear
When you are close enough to the US, you can still get NOAA on the VHF
, but that was good for about 75 miles on a good day (for us). Others use more advanced methods, some you have to subscribe to, to get their info. I bet that XM weather is nice, but don’t care for the equipment
requirements or the monthly subscription fees
I admit I had not gone much beyond buying
before we left US waters… this was not a good idea. While I have a pretty strong background in electronics
, especially communication’s I struggled to get the right combination to get a reliable signal.
The ham guys, and most everyone I checked with had nothing but praise for the Kaito 1103. Read some reviews on Ham.net here.
It is also marketed as the Degen 1103, and tested against the standards seems to perform well. The Sony’s are great radios, less so the old standard which is the Grundig Yachtboy…. which no longer is much of a contender according to many of the the radio guys, but still seems to be popular talking to other cruisers in anchorages
in the Bahamas
Both cost more then the better rated Kaito which a quick search shows can easily be had online for less then a boat
buck. There is also a 1102 model, which many like. Whatever radion you go with make sure it has the SSB (USB/LSB) decoder... I have a YB300 that does nothave this. It is ok for news, but not IMHO a cruising radio. The Kaito also have a solid feel, not like the cheap
plastic feel that Grundig has adopted (my Yachtboy YB300 is positively cheap
feeling compared to the kaito)
I had great success with my dodger frame as an antenna…
which was surprising since I had less success with long (even tuned) antennas I tried to hoist up into the rigging
One thing I did not try, but do not hesitate to recommend would be following James Baldwin’s advice on his web page. He mentioned this page to me when we visited them, I later wished I had taken the time to put one together before I left. The link is; Aerial Tricks - making a dipole antenna for your SSB radio
(with notes on SSB receivers and RF ground planes)
by James Baldwin