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Details about  Sony ICF-SW1 Shortwave AM FM Radio Receiver ***RESTORED & GREAT LITTLE UNIT***

Sony ICF-SW1 Shortwave AM FM Radio Receiver ***RESTORED & GREAT LITTLE UNIT***
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Item Information

Item condition:
Seller refurbished

Radio suffered from capacitor failure that is almost guaranteed with this unit and this has been

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Sold for:
US $299.95
Approximately C $380.77(including shipping)
US $38.00 (approx. C $48.24) USPS Priority Mail International | See details
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Item location:
Lamar, Pennsylvania, United States
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Please allow additional time if international delivery is subject to customs processing.
International shipping and import charges paid to Pitney Bowes Inc. Learn More- opens in a new window or tab
14 day money back, buyer pays return shipping See details
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Last updated on  Oct 15, 2013 22:53:48 EDT  View all revisions

Item specifics

Condition: Seller refurbished : Split the cost with friends
An item that has been restored to working order by the eBay seller or a third party not approved by the manufacturer. This means the item has been inspected, cleaned, and repaired to full working order and is in excellent condition. This item may or may not be in original packaging. See the seller’s listing for full details. See all condition definitions- opens in a new window or tab
Seller Notes: Radio suffered from capacitor failure that is almost guaranteed with this unit and this has been repaired. Operationally works perfectly with no known issues. Cosmetically, the radio shows some light signs of use. The fabric cover shows some wear and the plastic travel case has a bit of light wear, as well, but nothing significant.
Type: Shortwave Radio MPN: Sony SW1
Signal: AM/FM, Shortwave Features: AC Powered, Battery Powered, Digital Display, Headphone Jack
Brand: Sony Bundled Items: Battery(ies), Carry Bag/Case, Headphones
Model: ICF-SW1 Country of Manufacture: Japan
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This Sony Shortwave receiver was manufactured in Japan from 1988-1993 and originally sold for about $350 which would be closer to $700 or more today.  It is, in it's simplist terms, a gadget person's dream.  Some have even referred to it as a James Bond receiver due to it's carry case and components.  These radios almost all suffer from capacitor failure after the passing of a few years regardless of whether the radio has been in operation or not.  If the you have one of these and the capacitors are still working, they will eventually need replaced.  However, this radio has had the defective capacitors recently replaced so it works perfectly.  This can be an expensive repair, but I had it done prior to listing this radio on Ebay by the local repair shop as he does professional work. 

The capacitor failure manifests itself as a motorboating sound when turning on the radio and when you are trying to hear a station.  If you ever purchase one of these radios, you need to inquire of the seller if the caps have been replaced.  The caps on this radio were quite bad and the audio was unintelligible.  However, since the cap replacement, the audio sounds great and as it did originally when sold by Sony and likely will never need done again for the life of this unit. 

I have seen to the restoration of over 60 of these classic Sony SW1 radios.  And while I have paid for the restoration, it may leave a question in the buyer's mind since they cannot see this repair.  So in addition to having the caps replaced, I have also requested and paid for an upgrade to the LED light circuit.  The stock dial lighting is very hard to see and was poor quality visually.  I had the local shop replace the green LEDs with white ones that give a significantly improved performance.  Thus, let this LED upgrade also be a visual clue telling you that you will likely not need to replace the audio caps again for the life of this SW1 radio:

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I have taken a variety of pictures so that you can see both the uniqueness of this radio and all it's components.    Everything on this SW1 works well and as designed by Sony.  Cosmetics are above average, but not perfect.  Most notably, there are a couple of marks on the top of the external antenna module.  Beyond that, there are very minor signs of use that you would have to look very close to see.  Please refer to my pictures at the bottom of this listing and use them to suppliment my written words.

Included in this auction are the AC adaptor with European plug, SW1 radio with fabric cover, antenna controller, external antenna module, user manual, Sony Wave Handbook, warranty information (no longer valid, of course), copy of a rarely seen advertisement, and a copy of the service manual.  I am also including a CD of the service manual in the event it is necessary to reference for any future repairs and of the owner's manual for convenience in reference.  Also included is a carry case with strap so that this radio and all the accessories can be toted on that hike, business trip, or travel destination.  The carry strap for the case has not been attached to the case.  The AC adaptor is an auto switching one that can be used virtually worldwide as it moves from 120 to 240 by internally sensing the power input.  To use the external antenna, you will be required to supply 4 additional AA batteries (not included), but these last a long time. 

This is no mere radio, but rather, it is a complete shortwave listener's package and travel radio.  In it's basic form, the radio can be used without any of the other gadgets.  With the SW1, you can tune into any AM, FM or Shortwave signals as the frequency extends from the bottom of the AM band in the longwave section of 150khz.  Europe still uses these lower frequencies and the band extends into the AM band which is very heavily used both in Europe and North America and also other parts of the world including South America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. 

The radio listener can then expect to get frequencies in the medium wave band that extends into the marine and ham bands in the middle range of 2 to 4 Mhz.  Just above the 4 MHz range, the listener enters into the tropical bands where, depending on your location, you can expect to receive some of the exotic sounds from the Latin and African stations intended for their domestic audiences.  Just above the tropical bands, the listeners then enters into the HF or high frequencies of shortwave where one can receive broadcasts from all over the world at the push of a button.  The frequencies then extend all the way up to 29995khz (29.995 MHz) and cover the rest of the HF amateur radio bands, commercial shortwave bands, and CB bands.  And finally, it receives FM broadcasts, but not just the 88 to 108, the frequencies extend down to 76 MHz to include the complete European FM band.

This radio is amazingly small.  It is about the size of a deck of playing cards and yet is capable of picking with thousands of signals across it's many bands.  The SW1 is also highly sensitive...surprisingly so.  You look at it and figure that anything that small would have to certainly compromise sensitivity on reception.  Just to check out it's capabilities, I used one of my desktop communications receivers with outside antenna to tune in a weak station.  I then typed the frequency into the Sony's calculator keyboard and hit the "execute" button (James Bond again) and was amazed to hear the same weak station on this tiny device. 

And if the sensitivity were not enough, the folks at Sony came up with an over the top solution for the most challenging reception conditions...a remote active antenna.  Here is how it works.  If you determine that reception is poor...say you are in a hotel room with thick walls and away from the visit the carry case and remove two components...the antenna module and antenna controller.  You pick up the radio and retract the onboard radio antenna and then snap on the antenna controller.  Next, you pull out the connector from the winder in the antenna module and connect it to the antenna controller.  At this point, you reel out wire from the antenna module and locate the external antenna to a better receiving area...let's say a window that is 10' away.  You turn on the antenna controller and expand the antenna on the remote module and now discover that reception has dramatically improved so that you can hear the broadcast that was weak just a short time before.  If this sounds complicated, try to write out how to tie your shoes.  It is actually very easy, despite the lengthy instructions. (easier than tying a shoe)

This is the coolest device and the fact that it fits neatly into it's own formed plastic case gives you the sense that the radio and it's accessories were extremely well thought out.  There are even retainers built inside the case to hold the AC adaptor and power adaptor in place so that they don't swim around inside during movement.  The radio has a clock on it that has a built in alarm for travel or bedside use.  Additionally, you will find a dx-local switch so that you can choose between local or distance listening, a tone control for news or music choices, a sleep feature to turn the radio off after you doze off, an onboard scanner to help locate stations, output jacks for both headphones and tape recording (or inputting into your computer sound card), and a dial light for use once the lights go out.  On the carry strap is a plastic tab that when inserted into the back of the radio, gives a nice tilt stand...very clever.  You can use 2 AA batteries or chose to connect the power adaptor for more economical use.  Tuning can be done by direct keyboard entry, slewing up and down the band with the arrow controls, pushing a memory button for a selection or scanning for stations.

With this radio tuned into shortwave, you will expect to readily hear China, South Korea, Canada, BBC, Voice of Russia, Cuba, Germany, Vietnam, Romania, Australia, New Zealand and more.  All the above are easy DX catches here on the east coast in central PA and all of them can be listened to in English.  Where ever you live and depending upon the time of year and daily receiving conditions, you will receive some stations better than I do and others you will receive worse.  That is the interesting thing with radio propagation, especially on shortwave, as there are so many variables. 

Here is a great site for getting info on English language broadcasts.

The world of shortwave radio is fantastic as you can not only get stations from all over the world, but each broadcaster has unique programming.  Almost all offer some sort of news, whether local or world or both, but many also offer cultural music...oriental music from China, Latin music from Cuba, or even African drums from one of the African broadcasters.  In addition, you will learn info as if you traveled through the country, hear language lessons, get cooking tips, hear interviews with historians, authors, entertainers, and other people of interest, hear plays or drama and tune into religious programs or sports. 

For me, I especially like the alternative news sources that an interesting option to the big media owned news here in the USA.  I do not suggest that alternative news is more accurate, as indeed it has often proven, but rather I suggest that I hear an alternative whether I agree or not with the slant of the news.  During the day while at home, domestic broadcasters featuring programs like Alex Jones on Infowars or The Power Hour offer interesting bits of information that typically shows up in local TV broadcasts within a few months or years, if it shows up at all.  The news is that original and often that cutting edge!

Feel free to email with any questions that you may have. 

This radio can be shipped anywhere worldwide for $53 plus $7 for insurance.  Canadian buyers will pay about $38 plus $7 insurance and I will refund back any overpayment if the invoice is paid prior to me being able to adjust the shipping ahead of payment.  International bidders are welcome and I ship about a third of my items overseas these days.  For those living here here in the USA, the cost to ship would be about $19 regardless of your location and this price includes actual shipping, insurance, and delivery confirmation. 

Please keep in mind that this shipping cost does not include any provision to pay import, duty, VAT or customs fees.  Many countries charge these additional fees.  If you are not sure, please verify with your local post office or customs's office prior to making a purchase.  Thank you!

The buyer it to pay via Paypal within 3 days of purchase.  Ebay does not permit us to list other accepted forms of payment so I will refrain from doing so as I do not want them to take down my listing as they advise us that they will do.  Please email if you have any questions.

Penna residents are reminded about their responsibility to pay the 6% PA state sales tax. 

Thanks so much for taking the time out of a busy day to look at my Ebay items!

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No questions or answers have been posted about this item.

Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing.

Shipping and handling

Item location: Lamar, Pennsylvania, United States
Shipping to: Worldwide
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Seller charges sales tax for items shipped to: PA (6.0%).

Return policy

Item must be returned within
Refund will be given as
14 days after the buyer receives it
Money Back
The buyer is responsible for return shipping costs.
Return policy details
There is a 15% restock fee with returns to cover outgoing processing and additional incoming processing time for the item. Shipping cost is not refundable. All materials included in the sale (manuals, power cords, accessories, etc) must be returned and the item must be in the same condition as it was shipped to you. Please contact me prior to returning to obtain a return authorization.

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