Manufactured by Sony, Tokyo.
In 1994/5, about seven years after the introduction of the tiny ICF-SW1, Sony came up with another small receiver; Sony's engineers managed to build a complete double conversion superhet with PLL synthesis into the little cabinet with a lid that opens like a notebook.
- ICF-SW-100E: only the receiver without accessories
- ICF-SW-100S: complete set with mains adapter and AN-100 active antenna.
- 110 x 73 x 23 mm, weight 0.22 kg
As a successor to the Sony ICF-SW1, which was a double conversion set with 5 kHz tuning steps and no SSB reception, Sony introduced the ICF-SW100 at the end of 1994.
The set has a hinged lid, similar to a notebook computer, on which the loudspeaker and display are located, and thus a little more space for the operating elements. Sony had also followed this concept with the ICF-SW12, which, however, as an analogue receiver plays in a completely different performance class.
As a double conversion superhet with PLL frequency synthesis, the Sony ICF-SW100 covers the FM broadcast band (with the 76 - 108 MHz frequency band extension common in Japan). In contrast to the predecessor model, the tuning step size is 1 kHz (in SSB mode even 0.1 kHz) and the set has a BFO for single sideband reception and a synchronous detector for automatic ECSS reception.
The main switch and the sockets for connecting the mains adapter and the active antenna (which gets its 3 V supply voltage from the receiver) are located on the left face of the set, the volume control and the sockets for line out and headphones on the right face.
The frequency can be entered directly using the numeric keypad, the set can be tuned with standard and small tuning steps using the UP/DOWN keys, and it also has a search function to scan the fifty memory channels. The frequency memories are organised in ten memory pages of five memory channels, for each page, an alphanumeric tag can be assigned. Frequencies of the British BBS, the Voice of America and the Japanese foreign radio NHK are pre-programmed, which is no longer useful in the 21st century, as the major international stations have abandoned the shortwave bands.
The world time clock has already preprogrammed city names for the twenty-four time zones, the changeover to daylight saving time is done at the push of a button and the medium-wave frequency grid is automatically switched from 9 kHz in Europe to the 10 kHz common in the Americas based on the selected time zone.
The sensitivity and selectivity do not quite meet the high expectations, the set does not separate 5 kHz adjacent channels and the sync detector is only helpful with quite strong signals and a free adjacent channel, with weak signals it cannot be made to lock on and does not come close to the excellent sync detector of the ICF-2001D or also the ICF-SW7600G. Thus, the SSB circuit is mainly useful to the listener who would like to the the local radio amateurs on the move.
One weak point is left to be mentioned. The multi-pin connection cable between the electronics in the lower part and the display tends to break after prolonged use, what will make the receiver useless. The early sets in which the copper-coloured ribbon cable is visible in the gap between the base and the lid are affected; it is bent off at a hard edge when the set is closed. The problem can be solved by widening the gap with a file or by replacing the sharp-edged component with the Sony ICF-SW100 Ribbon Cable Repair Kit. In sets manufactured after late autumn 1997, this problem has been solved at the factory.
Double conversion with digital PLL frequency synthesis.
The set is equipped with semiconductors and is constructed in SMD technology, thus leaking electrolytic capacitors are a danger to the set.