Q : Why do I need to buy something like this for a car shortwave radio ?   I can just buy a Kaito, Degen, or similar shortwave radio for $80.00 and put it on the front seat.

A: So, it would appear, but this is what let to the development of the BST-1. The developer of the BST-1 wanted shortwave reception in his car and tried that approach, thinking, how hard can it be? He found it not to be a satisfactory approach, and here are three main reasons: Noise from car computer systems as well as engine spark plug ignition noise, difficult tuning and operating of a consumer radio, and the "rigged" setup that spoils the appearance of your vehicle.

The problems:

Sitting in the front seat, the plastic case on the popular low cost home shortwave radios lets the internal circuits pick up noise radiated from the car computer systems and spark plugs.  This noise overpowers most shortwave signals.   Also, portable shortwave radios do not have sophisticated digital noise blankers, something that is absolutely necessary to control spark plug ignition noise interference.
If you don't want to listen through the shortwave radio's speaker and want to hear it through your car audio system, then you have to hook up an audio cable from the shortwave radio to the car system, immediately adding another point of entry for conducted computer system noise.

Yes, you can add an IPOD type FM transmitter to eliminate this source of noise but it is just another item in the front seat requiring power from the car and you can't read the shortwave frequency on your car RDS equipped FM radio as with the BST-1.

If you don't want to power the shortwave radio off internal batteries (you will be changing them every few days, otherwise) , you will need to provide some form of DC power  from the car for the shortwave radio.  This is yet another source of noise, unless the external cigarette lighter power supply is well constructed and filtered.  Most aren't since they are switching types that generate noise in the shortwave spectrum.

After you do all this work, what do you have?   As this photo shows, you have a cluttered front seat with a SAF (Spouse Acceptance Factor) of zero.  The radio is sitting in the center console or passenger's seat picking up noise, and sliding around when you make turns.  You have to reach over and try to key in some frequency or tune through the presets while driving and then look at the readout (which is often obscured by sunlight) to see what frequency is being tuned.  The antenna cable is in the way, as well as the power cable and another cable to a separate FM transmitter or to your car audio system. 


The Typical Car Shortwave Installation before the BST-1

Yet Another Shortwave Installation before the BST-1

Through the buzz of the car computer noise and engine ignition noise, you might hear a few of the more powerful shortwave broadcast stations.

You will quickly find the $80.00 solution (not including cost of a DC supply and FM transmitter) is best taken out of the car and used at home where it works better.  

The temperature extremes in a car are usually outside the design range of a home shortwave receiver.  Also, imagine what this does to the LCD display on the radio as well as its performance.

Contrast the above approach to the BST-1. The small, aluminum cased, totally shielded BST-1 is in the trunk or otherwise mounted out of sight.  You have high quality audio directly broadcast to your FM radio with the frequency and signal level information appearing on your FM radio display.  You tune with a small key fob type controller that doesn't require you to even look at it or the FM radio to scan through channels.   The built-in digital noise blanker greatly reduces any car ignition noise.

The BST-1 is the best way to quickly enjoy shortwave radio in your car with the highest performance and best of all, you retain your original factory installed audio system with no front seat clutter, and a high SAF. 

When you want to listen to shortwave, just tune your FM radio to the BST-1's FM broadcast frequency, and you are listening to shortwave radio! 

We were so impressed with the BST-1 that we reached an agreement with the developer to license the design to Expert Technology Studios, LLC and put it into production.   

Q. I won't have any vehicle noise problems with the BST-1 ?
A.  We can't guarantee every installation but the remote mounting, and built-in noise blanker, has proven to be a very good way of eliminating car noise problems.
Q: Why doesn't the BST-1 tune single side band (SSB)?

A: The BST-1 was designed for listening to broadcast shortwave stations, of which virtually all are AM.   The extra cost for SSB was deemed not compatible with the intended market for the BST-1. 

Q: Why doesn't the BST-1 decode DRM (digital radio) ?

A: This is for a similar reason as with SSB.  Plus, in mobile applications, DRM is much more critical as the signal has to be very good to avoid digital dropouts.

Q. I can buy a Sony Model CDX-GT-170S 
AM/FM/SW radio for a similar price that fits right in my dashboard.

A.  It is an excellent radio but, it won't fit in newer cars that now have integrated radio/CD/GPS/control systems.  It isn't full 1.7 to 30 MHz coverage, so you can't hear some Shortwave stations.  You also won't have the handy key fob push button scan feature.

Q. Can I use the BST-1 at home ?

 A. Yes,  a low cost 12 VDC wall mounted transformer type power supply (readily available on E-Bay) will power the BST-1.  Listen to it with a bedside FM radio and tune with the key fob.   Locate the BST-1 anywhere away from noise sources (TVs, computers, etc)  and use a short length of RCA connector audio cable as the antenna. 

Q. Can I use the BST-1 in a truck ?

A.  It works in any vehicle with 12 V power outlet that has a means of mounting a small whip antenna.  

Q. Will a magnetic mount whip antennas work ?     

A. Yes and No, depending upon the interference generated by your vehicle's electronic components.  Without the direct connection of the coax cable to a metal surface of the vehicle at the base of the external "whip", as provided by the trunk lid antenna, some interference will occur on some channels from various computer systems in the vehicle.  The magnetic mount will not, as its metal base is insulated from the vehicle by the vehicle's paint and the very low capacitance isn't very effective in the HF range.   

Note: external mag mount or trunk lid antennas are provided with UHF or BNC connectors and have long coax cables (15 to 20 feet).  If you use your own antenna, it is recommended that the cable be shortened to only the length needed to reach the BST-1 mounting location (so as to reduce loss due to the cable capacitance) and of course, the connector must be replaced with a commonly available RCA male plug.  The trunk lid antenna recommended for use with the BST-1 comes complete with the proper RCA connector.