• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Uniden's new "retro" shortwave desktop receiver?

hertzian

Member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
2,604
Never blew out the R75 encoder when I had it before a major shack sell-off. Should have kept it.

Unfortunately, a similar encoder on the IC-718 got blown from static from inadequate internal grounding. The ridiculously fast agc on ssb had to be modded. (using the am agc with jumpers). Insanely hot preamp, although might have been useful with my on-ground loop. :)

Still, the wobbly plastic pots never inspired confidence on either rig. Damping the audio outputs with attenuators was necessary as the audio amp noise when just barely cracked open was tiring. I guess I'm just too picky.

Alinco's R8/SR8T etc not off the hook either. The RIDICULOUS lack of user-adjustable vfo resolution is a joke. I haven't blown that vfo yet, but I'm using 2.5k up/down on the mic for band-scanning saving a lot of turns. What were they thinking? I put up with it (along with the micro-buttons) for value, but makes me doubt they actually had an swl'er or amateur actually use the thing first.

I guess I'll have to spend some quality time first hand behind an 8600 before I feel comfortable enough to purchase. Like a Palstar, I can't order that unless I get touchy-feely first. :)
 

hertzian

Member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
2,604
pjxii - re the Bearcat DX-1000

You know what - I think I'd have a blast with the 1000. You gotta' love it when the manual describes using the noiseblanker in the slow position to combat the Russion OTH radar woodpecker!

You know an amateur wrote or helped write the manual by describing the sounds of morse characters, rather than a graphic visual of dots and dashes.

While awaiting Uniden's retro dx-3000 model <grin>, here's what I'd do if I came across a 1000...

1) Total electrolytic recap. Use bipolars in audio section. Usual KiWa type audio mods.

2) Receiver is noisy, and common-mode reception of itself may be a problem. If a good ground doesn't help, then use an isolator directly at the receiver antenna output.

3) Use external antenna only. Small to provide desired directivity moreso than gain.

4) Use an MFJ tuner / preamp, or preselector / amp combo for those times when necessary.

I'm kind of doing that very thing now with the Target HF3 receiver - much the same specs, although the 1000 has even better filtering! ARgh!

The funny thing is that the overall *fun* of trying eek out the most from a lesser spec receiver, as long as it handles well, has me with more ****pit time behind the dials of the HF3 than a Kenwood 590.

Got me thinking about using better product-detector diode mods in the HF3, that kind of thing.... :)
 

pjxii

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2017
Messages
187
Location
Naples Florida USA
pjxii - re the Bearcat DX-1000

You know what - I think I'd have a blast with the 1000. You gotta' love it when the manual describes using the noiseblanker in the slow position to combat the Russion OTH radar woodpecker!

You know an amateur wrote or helped write the manual by describing the sounds of morse characters, rather than a graphic visual of dots and dashes.

While awaiting Uniden's retro dx-3000 model <grin>, here's what I'd do if I came across a 1000...

1) Total electrolytic recap. Use bipolars in audio section. Usual KiWa type audio mods.

2) Receiver is noisy, and common-mode reception of itself may be a problem. If a good ground doesn't help, then use an isolator directly at the receiver antenna output.

3) Use external antenna only. Small to provide desired directivity moreso than gain.

4) Use an MFJ tuner / preamp, or preselector / amp combo for those times when necessary.

I'm kind of doing that very thing now with the Target HF3 receiver - much the same specs, although the 1000 has even better filtering! ARgh!

The funny thing is that the overall *fun* of trying eek out the most from a lesser spec receiver, as long as it handles well, has me with more ****pit time behind the dials of the HF3 than a Kenwood 590.

Got me thinking about using better product-detector diode mods in the HF3, that kind of thing.... :)
Honestly, the DX-1000 would be one of the last receivers I'd ever give up despite it's flaws (I'd hate to tell you the "better" receivers here that'd go before it). It does have a fun factor that I can't accurately describe, and for what I use it for (15-1800 kHz and HF utitlies) it performs very well, but some sort of preselection is really a must (and an external speaker certainly helps as well). I paid almost twice more than most go for on eBay for a mint condition one, and have never regretted it.

Spending lots of time in front of it and learning how to use it properly to its strengths was a part of the fun factor. It actually has me wanting to try other vintage receivers that also have a bad reputation, like the Realistic DX-302, and learn what they are actually capable of. Granted, when we spend several hundred dollars on a new receiver (back in the day) we should expect good performance in all areas, and that's why the Bearcat has the bad rep. For shortwave listening which it was advertised for ("The Bearcat DX1000 shortwave radio makes tuning in London as easy as dialing a phone") it was a disappointment. That's how I discovered what it is good at, by exploring other aspects of HF and lower frequencies with it.
 

zz0468

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
5,957
Location
175 DME, HEC 358° Radial
Honestly, the DX-1000 would be one of the last receivers I'd ever give up despite it's flaws (I'd hate to tell you the "better" receivers here that'd go before it). It does have a fun factor that I can't accurately describe...
I quite understand what you mean. I had mine doing some pretty esoteric stuff, tied to a homebrew microwave downconverter and (very) wide band FM demodulator. Back in the 80's, most point to point microwave was analog, multiplexed with SSB subcarriers. The DX-1000 was perfect for tuning around subcarriers.

and for what I use it for (15-1800 kHz and HF utitlies) it performs very well, but some sort of preselection is really a must...
In my application, it was looking at constant level signals, with zero overload. It's weak points were a non-issue.

That's how I discovered what it is good at, by exploring other aspects of HF and lower frequencies with it.
That's the other thing I did with it, chasing beacons. It worked as good as anything else I've used, including the Watkins Johnson ger I now use. At that frequency, it's all in the antenna.

So, yeah, not the greatest performer to come down the line, but for what it was, it was a fun toy to have, and I remember mine fondly.
 

hertzian

Member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
2,604
I must apologize - I brought up the dx-1000 over 5 years ago! So memory IS the first thing to go:

https://forums.radioreference.com/hf-mw-lw-equipment/266833-bearcat-uniden-dx-1000-what-like.html

From a pure price / performance standpoint when new, I'd be disappointed too. But from a crazed radio addict - perfect! :)

Sigh -- maybe Uniden could pull the guts out of one of their CB radios rx section guts, broadband it, throw in some bandpass filtering, put some decent knobs and vfo on it, CRUSH the button piezo, and call it a day. I'd get one.

With proper perspective, the new Uniden Retro-3000 would be happy right next to an Icom 8600. I keep hearing 'Ridges voice telling me it's going to be ok - relax, it's ok - make some space for an 8600.....
 

pjxii

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2017
Messages
187
Location
Naples Florida USA
I quite understand what you mean. I had mine doing some pretty esoteric stuff, tied to a homebrew microwave downconverter and (very) wide band FM demodulator. Back in the 80's, most point to point microwave was analog, multiplexed with SSB subcarriers. The DX-1000 was perfect for tuning around subcarriers.



In my application, it was looking at constant level signals, with zero overload. It's weak points were a non-issue.



That's the other thing I did with it, chasing beacons. It worked as good as anything else I've used, including the Watkins Johnson ger I now use. At that frequency, it's all in the antenna.

So, yeah, not the greatest performer to come down the line, but for what it was, it was a fun toy to have, and I remember mine fondly.
It's great to hear someone else actually speak good of the "lowly" DX-1000, I felt like a voice in the wilderness.
 

GB46

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2017
Messages
314
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Damping the audio outputs with attenuators was necessary as the audio amp noise when just barely cracked open was tiring.
I had to deal with the R75's audio output in a different way. Going past a certain position on the AF gain control causes a sudden jump in volume; I don't get a click there or scratchiness, just a volume jump. It's always been like that, making it difficult to adjust the volume smoothly to my comfort level. I always use headphones, so I've connected the headphones through my old CD player's headphone extension cord that has an inline volume control. That puts the trouble spot on the receiver's AF gain control well above any position I'd use, and the result is nice, smooth volume adjustment.

Still, my main complaint with the R75 is its rather harsh audio, even with good headphones. While it can make weak signals a bit easier to make out, it's often unpleasant to listen to them. I prefer the warmer audio on the ATS-909X. Of course, comparing the two receivers is like comparing apples and oranges.
 

ridgescan

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2008
Messages
4,517
Location
San Francisco, Ca.
I must apologize - I brought up the dx-1000 over 5 years ago! So memory IS the first thing to go:

https://forums.radioreference.com/hf-mw-lw-equipment/266833-bearcat-uniden-dx-1000-what-like.html

From a pure price / performance standpoint when new, I'd be disappointed too. But from a crazed radio addict - perfect! :)

Sigh -- maybe Uniden could pull the guts out of one of their CB radios rx section guts, broadband it, throw in some bandpass filtering, put some decent knobs and vfo on it, CRUSH the button piezo, and call it a day. I'd get one.

With proper perspective, the new Uniden Retro-3000 would be happy right next to an Icom 8600. I keep hearing 'Ridges voice telling me it's going to be ok - relax, it's ok - make some space for an 8600.....
:D naw, I think I badgered you enough on this Hz:) all in good fun but for all the 8600 packs it's pretty small so you'll have room:)
far as the audio in the R75 I run both my R75 and the 8600 through their own A/V receivers with big sound so I control volume through those. The SX-88 runs on its own speaker because that rig's audio is to die for and not to be subbed.
 

hertzian

Member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
2,604
Headphone audio - you guys just touched one of my hot buttons!

Usually any "hissy" audio, or really bad frequency response at normal listening levels is due to very poorly matched headphone impedances making the audio amp operate in the non-linear region.

While resistive attenuation can help dampen this problem, the real solution is to have impedance matching circuitry match those of your headphones.

Manufacturers (except for one) totally ignore this issue, and let the ops flounder around with audio *filtering*, usually low-pass, and get totally sidetracked on overall frequency response of the headphones themselves.

I can't blame them - they have no way of knowing what impedance phone an op is going to use, so they keep quiet about their audio amps operating in the non-linear region. THIS is the major issue. Overall frequency response is secondary.

The ONLY manufacturer that tries to address this issue by having their audio circuitry accept a wider range of headphone impedances is Kenwood.

Example - My TS-590S has pretty good audio at normal levels on anything from about 4 - 32 ohms. Yet I still hear some background hiss, indicating an improper match, and the audio amp being a bit in the nonlinear region.

A small outboard resistive attenuator dampens the load just enough to get rid of that slight hiss. That's important to me from a listener-fatigue standpoint.

BUT - even better is that the later model, the TS-590SG has some additional circuitry to make this even less of a problem. I won't upgrade just for that, but at least Kenwood acknowledges the issue, and instead of letting ops flail around with frequency-response filtering solutions, they START by trying to make their audio circuitry accommodate a larger variety of loads properly.

This is something that ALL manufacturers should strive to emulate if they want my business. Heck, aside from eyesight, the second most important human sense when using a radio is your hearing. I would think that would be important to many manufacturers, but cost cutting with cheap audio amplifier circuitry is the rule of the day.

"Hey, hams won't hear it because of all the background noise anyway". Actually, BECAUSE of that, good audio circuitry is a must to reduce listener fatigue.

With all these kilobuck rigs out today, you'd think there would be circuitry and a MENU for headphone impedance values 4 / 8 / 16 / 32 etc to allow the op to use their existing phones and provide a good impedance matched load so they won't operate non-linear.

Or, have engineering hide the impedance matching issue, use limited impedance audio amps themselves, and let the ops flail around with frequency response *secondary* measures, which are often not the best solution.

Whew, felt good to get that out. :)
 

TailGator911

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
1,622
Location
Fairborn, OH
Wow - great thread! The R8600 is actually my next radio acquisition (unless Whistler comes out with their new SDR scanner first) but after Christmas and the hit of airline tickets and hotels etc etc for the holidays.

I have an R75 and using 2 different wire antennas - an end-fed PAR 40-footer, and a house-around random wire about 80-feet tacked up under my rain gutters. Been switching back and forth depending on time of day and conditions but this setup has served me well. I also have the FRG-7 that I put in that antenna switch array that I am proud to say still pulls in the DX. My daily dream of a wideband receiver that does it all has led me to the R8600 which I laid hands on at the Dayton Hamfest (right around the corner from me) and I have been salivating ever since. What a RADIO! She will be on top of my R75 soon!

majoco - I agree there, the oldies are still the best. That is one beautiful radio!

I wore out the VFO twirler on my R71 many moons ago, but that was a fun radio until the R75 came out. I lived in the Tampa Bay area then and there was lots of good utility listening and USCG comms going on.


Yeah, old is good, but new is you! Buy that radio!

JD

kf4anc
 

zz0468

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
5,957
Location
175 DME, HEC 358° Radial
It's great to hear someone else actually speak good of the "lowly" DX-1000, I felt like a voice in the wilderness.
They are actually a damned decent toy. Serious professional grade receiver? Not even close. Decent toy? Absolutely. Anyone disappointed with it took it too seriously. I'd buy another just to have a lightweight receiver I could move around.
 

ridgescan

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2008
Messages
4,517
Location
San Francisco, Ca.
Probably because most of us cannot afford the $2200.00 price tag?
That's a deal. I paid $2445 for mine at HRO:( I get what you're saying though. I am not wealthy, just average. But when my R71A went down, though I still have an R75 and my SX-88 still healthily running, I justified buying the R8600 in my own mind by concluding that it will be the final purchase of a radio that will support my hobby/sickness into the future, probably for the remainder of my time here:) IE one and done. Likely to outlast my other rigs if I know Icom quality.
 

hertzian

Member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
2,604
Probably because most of us cannot afford the $2200.00 price tag?
And that's the age old challenge I present to manufacturers - especially Uniden since they don't have an existing line of HF gear to compete with.

Make an affordable, simple HF receiver that doesn't have major blunders. It doesn't have to have a million "features", just decent specs. Don't compete with a useless feature set - just put it back into the basic performance.

I point to the Target HF3 SSB receiver as an example of what *could* be done if modernized. Actually, the 4E model with a 2.6k filter and clean mixer would be more like it.

It would behoove them to grab one of these HF3's, (still available new), and see if they could up the performance with more modern techniques - yet at the same time keeping them reliable and not saddled with cheap *** pots, or a vfo that lasts only a year.

I KNOW the engineers know how to do this - but they'd shoot themselves in the foot if the bean-counters took out the necessary beans to make the rig a classic, rather than just something you recycle quickly. :)
 

hertzian

Member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
2,604
An example for Uniden as I stare at my BC75-XLT simple scanner!

Start with a basic box that everyone can afford, and possibly offer option "modules" for those that want to take it further, like high-performance preselectors, hi/low pass hf filters and so on. Make it EASY to upgrade those accessories with drop-in slots so that even kids can do it.

Looking at the 75XLT, it's obvious they know how to deal with power-sipping lcd displays. But in this application, don't festoon it with icons so small nobody can read them. Make the display BIG. Alinco's R8T display would be an extreme example. Draws very little power, but big and bold in your face.

Make a statement. But if you do, don't skimp on proper shielding, grounding, bypassing, audio quality, etc etc. Simplicity with performance.

Do it right, and it may just feel comfortable sitting right next to a high-priced SDR. Apples and oranges obviously.
 

GB46

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2017
Messages
314
Location
British Columbia, Canada
An example for Uniden as I stare at my BC75-XLT simple scanner!
I have the same scanner, but there's been nothing to stare at since the LCD finally bit the dust a few months ago, The display started losing segments a couple of years ago long after the warranty ran out. Eventually I got so frustrated that I decided to try and solve the problem, following some instructions, which, if I remember correctly, I found on this site. Not being very agile with a soldering iron and also not able to get behind the LCD where the connections had come loose, I tried a workaround, by shoving a thin piece of plastic underneath it to try and force the ribbon against the contacts. It worked for a while, but only for a while. After another attempt, the display went out altogether. While there was still part of the display working, I had managed to clear all the channels except one, our local airport tower frequency, so I can still monitor the airport continuously without having to keep hitting the hold button, but I'm flying blind, one might say.

That was the second Uniden product that went kaputt on me. The first one was a Uniden Washington CB transceiver I had in 1993 that stopped transmitting altogether, which turned my transceiver into just a REceiver. I figured the final amp was probably toast, but the rig was unmodified and connected to a proper outside antenna.

Gerry
 

hertzian

Member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
2,604
Thinking out of the box here ...

I don't know how well Uniden's CB's perform. But how about this: Uniden makes an HF rx only upconverter box that uses one of ssb CB's. Ah, that would be interesting. Maybe not high-performance, but certainly fun to dink around with for us radio nerds.
 

GB46

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2017
Messages
314
Location
British Columbia, Canada
I don't know how well Uniden's CB's perform. But how about this: Uniden makes an HF rx only upconverter box that uses one of ssb CB's. Ah, that would be interesting. Maybe not high-performance, but certainly fun to dink around with for us radio nerds.
By upconverter, are we talking about the 10 meter ham band? I haven't heard anything higher in frequency than 27 mHz for years. Low VHF here is dead as a doornail, except for the occasional outdated baby monitor or cordless phone.

27 mHz still comes alive here with California CBers during very infrequent skip condiions, but I haven't heard any locals using CB. Even the truck drivers seem to have abandoned it.
 

majoco

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
3,195
Location
New Zealand
GB46 said:
I have the same scanner, but there's been nothing to stare at since the LCD finally bit the dust a few months ago, The display started losing segments a couple of years ago long after the warranty ran out.
I feel the same about my Yaesu VR5000 - a good DC-to-daylight receiver which worked well as a scanner too with many memories and a good alpha-numeric display which started losing lines both vertical and horizontal until it was unuseable. Many attempts to reseat the display on the rubber sandwich connector failed. It can still be used through a RS232 cable but only one of my computers/laptops/tablets have a Com port and the com-to-usb adaptors don't work. It sits in a drawer sulking now!
 

Attachments

Top