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Favorite Shortwave Radios

Started by jonisaacs, 12/22/2008 01:17PM
Posted 12/22/2008 01:17PM Opening Post
Hi folks.... Now that we have changed the name of this forum, I would like to see some lively chatter... As a relative newbie, well, there are a few things to discuss, favorite radios, favorite antennas and favorite stations...

So how about starting out with Favorite Radios...

As an astronomer, well, I am a dyed in the wool starhopper, it's not that I have something against all the electronics motors, wires and stuff, it's just that I like the simplicity and the personal relationship with the scope and the night sky...

So when it comes to listening to shortwave, I have found myself to be a "Band Scanner." Give me an old fashioned tuning knob, a few knobs to twist and a few buttons to push and I am happy-happy.

Right now my favorite is the Kenwood R-1000 that I bought from fellow Astromarter Jim (not Bob) Carpenter. It does all the stuff I want it do and not much else and besides it's built solid. It has clean robust audio, the tuning knob is smooth and easy, once I moved the connector switching the filters to the 6khz-2.7khz it has reasonable selectivity and with my fancy antenna (made from speaker wire from the 99 cent stor) it pulls in stations from all over...

I am sure one day I will step up to something with more gizmos and dodads but for this Newbie, it's a pretty good imitation of an analog rig but with the stability of a PLL synthesizer.

How about the rest of you, what's your favorite?

Jon
Posted 12/22/2008 01:30PM #1
Hi Jon,

I have the Icom R75, but haven't really played with it enough to figure it all out.

Any good info on stations to listen to?

Maybe my antenna needs replaced, how did you do yours?

John
Posted 12/22/2008 01:49PM | Edited 12/22/2008 01:58PM #2
Jon Isaacs said:

Hi folks.... Now that we have changed the name of this forum, I would like to see some lively chatter... As a relative newbie, well, there are a few things to discuss, favorite radios, favorite antennas and favorite stations...

So how about starting out with Favorite Radios...

As an astronomer, well, I am a dyed in the wool starhopper, it's not that I have something against all the electronics motors, wires and stuff, it's just that I like the simplicity and the personal relationship with the scope and the night sky...

So when it comes to listening to shortwave, I have found myself to be a "Band Scanner." Give me an old fashioned tuning knob, a few knobs to twist and a few buttons to push and I am happy-happy.

Right now my favorite is the Kenwood R-1000

Kenwood?! Hell, I guess I'm gonna date myself when I say "Hallicrafters SX42", huh Jon? wink

No, I ain't quite old enough to have been around when this one was new, but as a sprout I remember playin' with one The Old Man had not long after that. When I was a wee bit older and had a _few_ pennies in my pocket, this was one general coverage receiver I could afford used from the hamfest tables to supplement my HW-16 CW transciever and other modest (to put it mildly) rigs.

How good was this big, honkin' thang? Purty good. Hallicrafters was really the Meade of receivers, I reckon. Not too fancy, not blow you away good, BUT DECENT. Reasonably selective, lots of audio, decent bandspread. I loved mine until that dadgummed ex-wife #2 (AKA "The Wicked Witch of the West") threw it, and a couple of teletypes, and my beloved Swan 750 (THEY were the SYNTA of transcievers...do y'all see a pattern in my radio and astro tastes? LOL) out before I could remove the gear following THE BIG BREAK UP.

I still see one at the off hamfest, and have to walk past it quickly, lest I succumb to its alluring whispers: "Come on Unk...I need a good home...you know I ain't really a BOAT ANCHOR." LOL

73s de AC4WY

Uncle Rod

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Waste it with Uncle Rod's Astro Blog!

http://uncle-rods.blogspot.com/
Posted 12/22/2008 06:08PM #3
Cool question! When I was about 14, my mum came home from a trash and treasure sale with an old Realistic radio that she just wanted to use for the AM bands. She bought it for $25 or so. She had it for a while and then I decided that it was more than just an AM radio... The dial had several bands on it, there were tons of cool knobs and I just thought it had to be something better! As it turned out, ti was a Realistic DX-160 Shortwave!

I bought it off mum using my part-time job stacking the local corner shop's milk fridge, then saved a few weeks more for a copper wire antenna. I then spent one Saturday on my summer holiday moving the radio into my room, running the cooper wire antenna about 60 feet around the house and up an old gum tree (!) (was living in Australia at the time). Then the magic of turning it on with the antenna attached for the first time...ah, fond memories! Could pick up SO many Asian broadcasts, and the BBC boomed through the speaker as though the studio was just down the road. I spent many nights awake that summer tuning into and logging different broadcasts. Mum and Dad joined me from time to time, and eventually my mates would come over and listen in.

A few years later, mum had that big gum tree chopped down due to a safety issue, and there went my antenna! I know now it wasn't the safest way to erect such a thing but boy, it really collected some sound waves!

These days I either use my Icom IC-R10 or tune into world broadcasts via their web feeds, but I miss the nostalgia of dialing in remote, unknown and mysterious stations from amongst the static background noise. I'd love to get a DX-160 again one day, just for grins.

______________________________
Meade 12" Lightbridge
Celestron CGEM
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http://theguvnah.blogspot.com
Posted 12/23/2008 08:07PM #4
A favorite SW radio? That's a tough call. I still have an Icom R70 that has provided many hours of listening enjoyment since I acquired it in the 1980s. I also have a Sony ICF-SW100, a pocket-size SW receiver that I've taken on a number of business trips abroad over the years. It was especially nice in some overseas destinations where the only link to English-language news was that little Sony.

Modern amateur transceivers often have decent general coverage receivers. A favorite in that category is my Icom 756PRO (first generation). I think Icom is up to the 756PRO-III now, which has some performance improvements over the earlier PRO rigs.

73,
Ron (N0IVN)
Equipment Forum co-moderator
Posted 12/26/2008 05:43PM #5
Jon Isaacs said:

Hi folks.... Now that we have changed the name of this forum, I would like to see some lively chatter... As a relative newbie, well, there are a few things to discuss, favorite radios, favorite antennas and favorite stations...

So how about starting out with Favorite Radios...

As an astronomer, well, I am a dyed in the wool starhopper, it's not that I have something against all the electronics motors, wires and stuff, it's just that I like the simplicity and the personal relationship with the scope and the night sky...

So when it comes to listening to shortwave, I have found myself to be a "Band Scanner." Give me an old fashioned tuning knob, a few knobs to twist and a few buttons to push and I am happy-happy.

Right now my favorite is the Kenwood R-1000 that I bought from fellow Astromarter Jim (not Bob) Carpenter. It does all the stuff I want it do and not much else and besides it's built solid. It has clean robust audio, the tuning knob is smooth and easy, once I moved the connector switching the filters to the 6khz-2.7khz it has reasonable selectivity and with my fancy antenna (made from speaker wire from the 99 cent stor) it pulls in stations from all over...

I am sure one day I will step up to something with more gizmos and dodads but for this Newbie, it's a pretty good imitation of an analog rig but with the stability of a PLL synthesizer.

How about the rest of you, what's your favorite?

Jon

I have had a Kenwood R-2000 and a Sony ICF-2010 since the mid-nineties. The Kenwood is a nice solid radio with a big tuning knob that is excellent for tuning through the bands. However the Sony ICF-2010 is ,some consider, the best designed portable to ever come out of Japan. It does put many table top rigs to shame. The synchronous detection circuitry has been useful on many ocassions. The memory is capable without being way too large for what exists out there these days. This radio is so popular that it actually has a yahoo group with a considerable number of members. Unfortunately Sony ended production of this highly sought after model in the early 2000s. I could easily sell this radio for more than I paid for it, but instead I will have this radio until "the day I die".

[COLOR="Red"][/COLOR]per me caeci vident[COLOR="Red"][/COLOR]
Posted 12/29/2008 05:36PM #6
Heath Kit SB-310. If it glows.

If it doesn't Panasonic RF-2900.
Posted 12/30/2008 10:21AM #7
My all time favorite, of which I have owned several, is the Collins R-390A. Best sensitivity, best rf immunity and unfortunately the heaviest. If you take out the tube type rectifiers, the current draw is greatly reduced. It looks impressive and you can still get a "project" at a Hamfest for a couple hundred bucks. I keep selling mine because the prices for complete working units is so high. I sold my last one for $1500. If I didn't have so little space here, I'd still have one.

George
Posted 01/05/2009 06:54PM #8
I forgot to mention I like using my Grundig 300PE down at my cabin. It is a nice little radio.

John
Posted 01/06/2009 10:42AM #9
When I was a teen I had a Sony ICF-5900 that was a great portable SW radio. I wish I had not sold it.

John
CCD-Freak
WD5IKX

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John
CCD-Freak
WD5IKX