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Sony Corporation, Tokyo

ICF - SW15

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überarbeitet am 30.10.2010

In the year 1993, Sony came out with a small portable travel shortwave radio, not a really ambitious receiver, but a very useful travel companion.

Single conversion

Analog dial, around 25 kHz


FM, LW, MW, 7 x SW (49 - 13 mB)

Selectivity -6 dB/ -60 dB


The Sony ICF-SW15 with it's 160 x 95 x 33 mm and a weight of 400 g fits in nearly every coat pocket; the front panel with it's speaker on the left side and the vertical bandspread dials has been copied very often over the years. Sony has at least been the inventor of this arrangement, have a look at the ICF-4900 or the ICF-7600.

The Sony ICF-SW15 is powered by three UM-3 / AA batteries.

The left part of the receiver front is taken by the speaker. Most of the right half is taken by the dial window with it's vertical frequency dials of the spread 49, 41, 31, 25, 19, 16 and 13 m shortwave bands, the dials for mediumwaves and the FM broadcast band are located further right, the dial pointer can be seen through a small slot.
Below the dials, You find the sliding switch to select one of the shortwave bands and three pushbuttons, which act as bandswitches for SW, MW and FM, a turqoise pushbutton is used to turn off the receiver. A HOLD sliding switch prevents the receiver being switched on during the transport in the suitcase, in case one of the pushbuttons is depressed.
The thumbwheel volume control and the tone switch are located on the receivers left small face.
The tuning knob at the receiver's right small face is rotated without backlash, within the broadcast bands, the frequency accuracy of the ICF-SW15 is around 25 kHz.

Operating the ICF-SW15 is absolutely easy: press the SW button to switch the radio on and to select the shortwave range, then use the sliding switch to select the desired shortwave band, position number 1 stands for the 49 m band, the selected band in indicated by a tiny mechanically moved indicator just below the frequency dial. Try to locate the desired frequency on the corresponding bandspread dial, this might not be an easy task as channel spacing between the dial marks is 100 kHz.
The Sony ICF-SW15 is still a useful shortwave travel radio, if You just want to listen to some local MW or FM stations or try to catch some english language news on the shortwaves with a no thrills analog radio. Production quality and eletronic design of this radio is better then in other "no name" sets shipped from China...
As on the used market, You might find double conversion receivers with PLL synthesis are for a little amount of money, I would rather take one of these, e.g. a Sony ICF-7600D with me on trips abroad.


© Martin Bösch 26.9.2010 / transl. 16.11.2010