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Looking to get started in Shortwave Monitoring

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gardengnome

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I have always sort of done it in my car in AM and FM. For some reason I have gotten a bug to get into more DX listening in AM and SW. I am looking at getting a new receiver and I am thinking Sangean ATS-909X or Eton Satellit 750 after reading some reviews on eham.net. Would these be a good starter receiver I am looking to go w/ the internal antenna then move into external antenna if I really hooked. The prices for them on amazon are about the same.. the Sangean is on sale now for around 223 and the Eton is 256. Any thoughts out there?
 

ermin

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I have always sort of done it in my car in AM and FM. For some reason I have gotten a bug to get into more DX listening in AM and SW. I am looking at getting a new receiver and I am thinking Sangean ATS-909X or Eton Satellit 750 after reading some reviews on eham.net. Would these be a good starter receiver I am looking to go w/ the internal antenna then move into external antenna if I really hooked. The prices for them on amazon are about the same.. the Sangean is on sale now for around 223 and the Eton is 256. Any thoughts out there?
Hello gardengnome

Tho both are great receivers I've had nothing but trouble with my Grundig (Eton). I'd really recommend the 909X. That and a bit of wire (15 or more feet) and you'll have a blast. More so if you get 50 or so feet outside. I have a 12' roll of small gauge wire and hear a lot inside.
I started listening when I was 9 (just past 60 a few months ago) and along with ham radio and scanners haven't got tired of it yet. I still get a thrill listening to AM broadcast radio when I get up at 5 AM for work and tune the band for anything out of my county.

73

Ermin
 

SCPD

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Yup the new 909X is probably one of the better SW portables that will do everything. The only knock is the price -- but since it's new, that's what you get stuck with...

The other radio I'd recommend is the Sony 7600GR. You can probably find it on EBAY or other sites for much cheaper. Before you order one, just be sure that vendor has it IN STOCK -- as it's been discontinued for a while now.

This video shows the difference. The 909X is slightly larger and is quite a bit thicker.

Comparison of Sangean ATS-909X and Sony SW7600GR - YouTube
 

gardengnome

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After more research and looking around I fell upon reviews for the Tecsun PL-660. How does it stack up against the 909x or is it comparing apples to oranges? I would assume the audio quality would be a bit less but you know what they say about assuming..
 

SCPD

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Quite a bit different. The display isn't nearly as good and more importantly, the Tecsun has a BFO dial for SSB. So you get a generic SSB mode and then you have to tune in the station.

With the 909X, you don't have to do this... you select USB or LSB and that's it.

I wouldn't buy a portable with a BFO dial. If you're dead-set on listening to AM or FM DX broadcast stations then you can ignore this comment.

Either would be fine for AM/FM DX only.

I have the Sony 7600GR and it's fine for a SW portable. Do I use it much -- not really, but it's handy for other things. :)
 

gardengnome

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Okay will keep that in mind then. I just like the idea of a tuning knob. That is what has been turning me off of the sony.
 

ratboy

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If you've done some listening already, and have gotten to the point you might want to go with a used desktop receiver, such as an Icom R71A, or the current one, an R-75. There is the Kenwood R5000, JRC NRD-525 and 535, among others. Any of these will be better than a portable. Seems like everyone starts out with one, and they are rarely happy with it.


If you do go with a portable, don't get one with a BFO on it, this is kind of a tipoff: BFO = Cheap.
 

gardengnome

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Haven't been listening for a while. I went with the Sangean ATS-909X. Thanks for all the insight and opinions. Looking forward to getting it next week or so. I'll probably will get a table top after getting more into it.
 
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