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Sony Corporation, Tokyo

ICF - SW7600 G

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überarbeitet am 30.10.2010

The 7600 series of travel shortwave radios has been continued after the first ICF-7600D by the ICF-7600DSor ICF-2003 in 1987, it's colour scheme was slightly altered and it's price reduced for around 30%. In the early nineties, Sony improved the set and gave it the new model number ICF-SW7600, it got a dark cabinet and round keys. The technical specifications with it's double conversion design, 5 kHz tuning steps, 10 memory channels remained the same, but the separate time display of the internal clock was removed. The ICF-SW7600G with small tuning steps, the memory channels number doubled and with the synchroneous detector for automatic ECSS reception was a clear technical progress - it remained the only travel shortwave radio featuring automated AM-SYNC mode for many years. After a price reduction in 1995, this model was even more attractive.

Double conversion, I.F. 55,845 MHz, 455 kHz

Digital display, 1 kHz,
fine tuning with thumbwheel

AM, AM-Sync, SSB, FM (VHF)

Selectivity -6 dB/ -60 dB

Sensitivity

Attenuator DX / Local,

20 memories, clock, timer, FM stereo via headphones

The anthracite dark grey coloured cabinet of the ICF-SW7600G has with it's 18,4 x 11,8 x 3,2 cm and a weight of 615 g the same dimensions as it's predecessors in the '7600 receiver family.
The radio has a poor stand on it's bottom small face, in the ICF-SW7600G, a fold out stand is provided to bring receiver in a tilted position for easier operation.
The telescopic fully rotable antenna is located at the upper small face of the radio, there is a 3,5 mm jack to connect an external antenna at the left small face of the radio.

The left hald of the front panel is taken by the speaker grille, the audio power of 400 mW when operated from mains will does the job for a hotel room, but it's quite poor to bring enough audio power to a beach party...
In the right upper corner, You find a ON/OFF pushbutton to switch on the set, it can be moved to a LOCK position to prevent the receiver being switched on in the suitcase during a transport. The sleep timer is activated by the SLEEP pushbutton.
The frequency display indicates the reception frequency with an accuracy of 1 kHz. A tiny little LED is used as tuning indicator but is quite useless as signal strength meter., another green LED indicates locking of the AM Sync. A frequency dial illumination can be activated by pressing a button ot the top face of the radio.
The numbered keys are used to directly enter the desired frequency, just use the AM/FM button to select the frequency range, enter the frequency and press ENTER to tune the radio. So by pressing the keys 6 - 1 - 5 - 5 - Exec, You immediately are tuned to the signal of Radio Austria Intl. from Vienna.
To store a frequency of a favourite station in memory, You just press the ENTER key and one of the numbered key at the same time. To recall the frequency from memory just press the same number key again - what an easy procedure for storing and recalling memory content. The ICF-SW7600G has 10 memory channels in the AM and another ten in the FM band.
The receiver has no "real" main tuning knob, to tune the radio up or down in 1 or 5 kHz steps, use the fast or slow + / - pushbuttons in the right lower corner. When You press the AM button together with a + / - tuning button, the receiver jumbs to the next shortwave broadcast band.
There are some more important controls at the right small face of the cabinet - yes, You need small fingers to operate this radio properly! You find a rotary control for volume, a tone switch and a tuning step/mode switch. In normal position, the receiver is tuned in 1 kHz steps. In the AM Sync mode, the receiver is set to automatic ECSS mode, the receiver locks on the stations carrier signal, which replaced ba an internal carrier not subjected to fading. A disappearing whistle and a green LED will indicate that Your radio has locked on the station's carrier frequency. Now You can use the USB/LSB switch to select the sideband with less interference. In the SSB position, a BFO is activated for CW and single sideband reception, You can select the sideband with the USB/LSB switch. The fine tuning thumbwheel control is used to control the beat frequency note when You receive morse code transmissions or in AM-Sync mode to reduce interference from an adjacent channel.

The Sony ICF-SW7600G can be powered from an external mains power supply or from four UM-3 batteries. The power adaptor socket as well as the jacks for earphones (Stereo when receiving FM transmissions on the headphones), a cassette recorder, the external antenna connector and a single step attenuator when long antennas with high signal levels are in use, are all located at the receiver's left small face.

The receiver gives very good performance of even faint shortwave signals, specially when compared to other radios in it's size range. With it's 1 kHz tuning steps, You can avoid some interference by tuning the receiver one or two kHz high or low; adjacent channel intereference reduction is even better with the AM-Sync detector activated, You can select the less disturbed sideband. The AM-Sync locks quite easily, in my eyes, the AM-Sync found with the ICF-2001D is even a little bit better. But the arrangement gives You far better readibility for speech transmissions then any other shortwave travel portable.
The set was not that cheap, but in me eyes is worth every Euro or Swiss Franc, sometimes it can be found on the used market, there are still some sets of the successor ICF-SW7600GR (same technology in a similarly designed cabinet) sold for new.
The miniature Sony ICF-SW1 is even smaller, but I would prefer the '7600 if You don't have to count every gram of weight.

weitere Lektüre:
d: Reisebegleiter Sony ICF-SW7600G, weltweit hören 12 / 1994
d: Sony ICF-SW7600G, kurier 22 / 1994
e: Sony ICF SW-7600G, R. Netherlands receiver test

© Martin Bösch