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DX-1000 Bearcat Uniden DX-1000 what was it like?

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hertzian

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Anyone still own or use this HF radio from Bearcat / Uniden?

What was it like operating it - was it satisfactory in real-world terms in it's price class? I had always wanted to operate it.

Until I wake up, I'm dreaming of UPman announcing the long-awaited return of a quality HF tabletop from Uniden modernized a little bit....
 

ka3jjz

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As I recall, many of the reviews I saw said this was a real dog of a receiver. Very prone to overloading and poor IMD. I'd avoid it

Mike
 

hertzian

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Bummer. After reading some of the reviews it looks like taking the cheap way out by cranking up not only the front-end rf-gain, but also driving the IF/mixers/detectors into distortion prematurely and band-aiding it with heavy user attenuation.

But I'm just guessing. Still I wonder if some of the poor reviews were due to the poor price/performance ratio, and not keeping the performance in perspective to the hardware itself.

Oh well, it sure looks pretty!
 

ratboy

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It's an awkward, poor design and there are a lot better radios out there for a lot less money. The Kenwood R1000 blows it away, as do many others. I've had two of them, one I bought years ago at a hamfest that worked 100%, the other was donated as it was dead and Uniden wouldn't/couldn't fix it. I had it running pretty quickly as the only problem was a bad filter cap had eaten the PC board up.

Both of them were OK, for a beginner's radio, but the CPU locked up a lot, making it one of the more annoying HF receivers I've ever had. The silver paint wasn't very durable either.

Pass on it. There are plenty of other receivers out there.
 

Jimru

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Wow. This is one unit that I never heard of!

It certainly is sleek looking, though. I just took a gander at Rigpix.com.

It appears it was only made in 1983-84, so Uniden must not have had much faith in it, either.
 

ratboy

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As nice looking as it was when new, that silver paint wore badly and when it did, it made it look older than it really was. An early Icom R71A is almost as old as the Dx-1000, but most of them look 10X better and work better than the Dx-1000 did new. Besides the issues it had with basic RF performance, such as overloading, it had very bad ergonomics. Almost like they took a JRC radio and decided to do everything a totally different way, the WRONG way. The old RS DX-400 and Uniden CR-2021 were better radios, IMHO.
 

ka2ing

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dx-1000

I bought one a year ago from ebay, never new they were made, I enjoyed play with it mostly broadcast band. fun toy.. lasted about a year and one day i came home after a lighting storm passed thru and i guess it took a hit, now only whit noise
 

bob550

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A quote from Larry Magne's review of the DX1000 in the 1985 WRTH: "Good features-to-cost radio, but overall radio performance only fair." Also: "dynamic range is mediocre." "Sensitivity is good." "Stability is good." Summary: "The DX1000's price - and it's relative level of refinement - make it worth considering."
 

spongella

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Never had one but surely one of the best looking receivers in my opinion. May get one someday regardless of the reviews seen on the 'Net, surely a preselector and a suitable antenna would tame the overload problems.

These days with the Internet and the ease of buying and selling it's a great age to buy a radio, try it out, and if it does not live up to your expectations then put it back up for sale.
 

ratboy

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The thing is, there are so many better radios out there for about the same price. There are endless Icom R71a's out there, probably more of them than any other receiver made from that era, I've had at least 10 of them, from dinged up messes, to mint ones that I only sold because I needed cash. My last one had a failed power supply, and a $25 Ebay one got it going again. The 71a's seem to hold up the best of all the older solid state receivers. Yeah, they have the battery thing that costs about $90 to eliminate, and if you run it on 115V you're going to have to recap it sooner than if it's run on 12V, but there are cap kits on Ebay to solve those issues too. No support exists for the DX-1000, and some parts are only available by cannibalizing another DX-1000. Same kind of goes for the R71a, but since there are so many of them, it's much easier to find them.

Oh, it IS possible, and not all that hard, to make an R71a sound decent on AM. There is a simple mod that changes the current to the AM detector and after it's made, the distortion is much reduced and the pumping S-Meter with modulation is mostly eliminated too. Costs about a dollar and an hour or so. Not a job for the chicken hearted though. A friend of mine had the vapors when he saw his precious radio taken apart when I did the mod for him. He sure was happy with the results!
 

pjxii

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In Rainer Lichte's book "Chance or Choice" he states that the frequencies below 150 kHz are nothing but synthesizer noise on the DX-1000. The fact that Bearcat's own user manual lists the sensitivity in this area as "Not Specified" made me believe that tuning down to 10 kHz was just a marketing gimmick.

I just got a VLF loopstick from BAZ Spezialantenne that plugs into my Palstar LA30 to use on a Cubic CDR-3250 which works very well. So I thought...

The DX-1000 absolutely receives down to 10 kHz and is in fact a wonderful VLF receiver. It's only let down by the fact that the digital readout is just in 1 kHz increments. By comparing the signal against the Cubic's readout I could tell what was coming in. WWVB on 60 kHz was booming into Florida as was NAA 24 kHz Cutler, Maine. The French Navy signal on 18.4 kHz was easy and there were a few signals near 45 kHz that I need to identify. I even heard the carrier for DCF77 from Germany, though the antenna is not rated for above 70 kHz. Not bad for the first test!

This thing inpresses me more and more. I wonder why Dr. Lichte didn't receive DCF77 during his test.
 

pjxii

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In my previous post I stated France was on 18.4 kHz (it's 18.3), sorry had mixed it up with Norway 16.4 kHz which the Cubic could get but the Bearcat could not on the first try. The SSB filter in the DX-1000 is very good but still too wide for a clean seperation there. I was able to get Norway on another night using LSB and the fine tuning control. The signals around 42 kHz are from Sweden: (http://www.mwlist.org/vlf.php).
Much like hunting for NDBs in the longwave frequencies, searching for signals in the VLF range is more fun than I originally thought.
 

pjxii

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I'm surprised I never saw the review in Ham Radio Today from March 1987 before. It certainly confirms much of what I've found regarding my DX-1000. Most receivers of this era attenuate reception in the mediumwave and lower frequencies, but the lab test shows that this is one of the few true NDB hunters out there (along with the Lowe HF-225/HF-225 Europa and Kenwood R-300) using SSB/CW mode:

IMG_2663.jpg
 
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