• 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.

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    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Uniden's new "retro" shortwave desktop receiver?

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Feb 4, 2017
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British Columbia, Canada
#41
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!
Yeah, that's where my scanner has wound up, too! It used to be a good performer, with nice, clear audio and lots of sensitivity. The last time I tried to use it was when the fire alarm started sounding in this apartment building. It was nothing serious, just a false alarm, and attended to promptly by the fire dept., but I dragged out the scanner hoping to monitor the goings on and find out what set off the alarm. Without a display I was unable to key in their frequency properly, so I missed their communications. I believe a plumber working in our building had accidentally set off the alarm with smoke from his welding torch.

I used to have a Radio Shack DX-300 receiver that started losing segments, although that was an LED display. Besides radios, I've had several other devices with display problems. One of them was a PDA.

With all the talk here about features and performance, the main thing I want from a radio is reliability. It should continue to work as advertised, not break down a month after the warranty expires. Unfortunately, a reviewer can't always keep people informed about that, because maybe his radio didn't fail.

LCDs have been in existence for many years now, so you'd think that they could be made to last, especially if the user is not rough on his equipment. I never throw my devices around, or leave them in the hot sun, etc. When a device fails on me it's because it's a lemon. I've had enough of those to make a pitcher of lemonade.
 
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#42
Nah, the oldies are still goodies...
Is this old enough? ;)

It's a Westinghouse Model 100 radio from 1929, which I bought at a farm auction in rural Saskatchewan roughly 20 years ago. It only covered MW, but it worked perfectly as soon as we had hauled it home in the pickup truck. Some of those old 4-pin tubes may have been the originals, too. Unfortunately, it had to be left behind when we sold the house 2 years later, as it obviously couldn't have been accommodated in the motorhome we had moved into.
 

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Sep 16, 2007
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Early, TX
#43
Nearly 30 years ago I thought the NRD-515 was the best receiver i had ever seen. Too much $ for me to spend back then. Nothing has changed, still cant spend that much $ on one. still like the looks of it. When they make a receiver that looks and works well enough that it has a large almost fanatic group following, why change it? I also have a VR 5000 with a bad display, and a motorola JT-1000 with a display problem. My kenwood R 1000 still works after all these years, some things are just built right.
 
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#44
... When they make a receiver that looks and works well enough that it has a large almost fanatic group following, why change it? I also have a VR 5000 with a bad display, and a motorola JT-1000 with a display problem. My kenwood R 1000 still works after all these years, some things are just built right.
You hit the nail on the head. Some receivers don't have to have the absolute best specifications around, but if they are built *right*, even including the inexpensive ones, then they can become a treasured tool.

I keep bringing up the Target HF3 for staying power. Not the best specs in the world and oddly enough - not for beginners really. Portable specs, but in a small desktop form factor. But built right - not a single ribbon cable. No "unobtainium" parts that I know of. Maybe that's why it's been constantly refreshed since 1995 and still being produced today.

I almost pulled the trigger on a few ebay finds that I knew and loved. But just can't take the chance on parts-swappers, or the un-obtainium part going south when I put them to daily use after being dormant for more than a decade. I'm tired of restoration.

That's why I think a small marketing demographic might exist for something like a modern Lowe HF150. For one thing no competition. And no features for competitors to badmouth. Basic performance and build quality is something I think might open a wallet or two - in *addition* to an R8600. :)
 
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Dec 8, 2017
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Naples Florida USA
#45
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.

Gerry
This is one reason why I am so attached to vintage receivers. I still want an analog frequency display in case the digital readout fails. The analog display on the Sony ICF-6800W is marked for 10 kHz (but they're spaced wide enough to read much finer) and needs a slight adjustment from one end of the range to the other, but will make all the difference if the LEDs should go out. The Drake SPR-4 reads to 1 kHz so that is of course even better. Even the Kenwood R-1000 and Yaesu FRG-7700 will give 5 kHz analog accuracy if needed.

Add an analog display to your wish list, Hertz. It can come in handy.
 
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#46
This is one reason why I am so attached to vintage receivers. I still want an analog frequency display in case the digital readout fails. The analog display on the Sony ICF-6800W is marked for 10 kHz (but they're spaced wide enough to read much finer) and needs a slight adjustment from one end of the range to the other, but will make all the difference if the LEDs should go out. The Drake SPR-4 reads to 1 kHz so that is of course even better. Even the Kenwood R-1000 and Yaesu FRG-7700 will give 5 kHz analog accuracy if needed.
5 kHz doesn't sound all that accurate, unless you mean 5 hz. For SSB reception, a 5 kHz difference in frequency would be unacceptable. The Drake's 1 kHz accuracy would be better, although still not fine enough for clarifying some SSB signals. One example is a 40-meter amateur net, which always meets on 7283.5 kHz LSB. Also, during one of those hectic ham contests I've often heard SSB stations separated by only a few hundred hertz, so unless I use a narrow filter I'll hear one clarified station, with Donald Duck and his family quacking along at either side. :)
 
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Joined
Dec 8, 2017
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#47
5 kHz doesn't sound all that accurate, unless you mean 5 hz. For SSB reception, a 5 kHz difference in frequency would be unacceptable. The Drake's 1 kHz accuracy would be better, although still not fine enough for clarifying some SSB signals. One example is a 40-meter amateur net, which always meets on 7283.5 kHz LSB. Also, during one of those hectic ham contests I've often heard SSB stations separated by only a few hundred hertz, so unless I use a narrow filter I'll hear one clarified station, with Donald Duck and his family quacking along at either side. :)
Haha, I'm really showing how old school I am here. With direct key tuning, digital readout to 1 herz and waterfall displays it seems that using your ears to tune and find a signal seems a long obsolete art. You're right, 5 kHz readout is of course not even close to ideal but it will put you in the neighborhood when the LCD fails, that's the pont I was trying to make. How wide or narrow the receiver's filters are is a completely different conversation.
 
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Dec 25, 2008
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3,156
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New Zealand
#48
I was amazed back in the late 60's when I first used a Racal RA17 receiver when I joined the Royal Navy Reserves. For the first time you could dial in the frequency of the station you wanted, whether it was CW or AM, turn up the gain and there it was. It was one of the first receivers to use the Wadley Loop principle to cancel drift and increase frequency accuracy. Then came frequency synthesizers and we are spoilt for choice now! You can buy a used FRG7 for $50 that works on the same principle.
 
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Feb 4, 2017
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#49
I was amazed back in the late 60's when I first used a Racal RA17 receiver when I joined the Royal Navy Reserves. For the first time you could dial in the frequency of the station you wanted, whether it was CW or AM, turn up the gain and there it was. It was one of the first receivers to use the Wadley Loop principle to cancel drift and increase frequency accuracy. Then came frequency synthesizers and we are spoilt for choice now! You can buy a used FRG7 for $50 that works on the same principle.
The Radio Shack DX-300 I once had during the 1980s was also based on the Wadley Loop. Frequency accuracy was pretty good, but the receiver would continually drift away from the signal, then correct itself and come back again. It was the first time I had ever used a receiver that drifted without having to keep my fingers on the tuning dial all the time to correct it. That radio met its demise when the readout failed.

The Sony ICF-2002 was my first PLL synthesized receiver, and I still have it today after 30+ years. It's in perfect working order, but I stopped using it when I got the Sangean ATS-909X, because the Sony has only 10 memories and lacks a tuning dial. From what I've read, it caused quite a stir in Europe when it was introduced.

BTW, since you mentioned the FRG7, an old review on eHam.net claims that the DX-300 was a copy of the FRG7. Wonder if it was as unstable as the Radio Shack copy.
 
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Joined
May 28, 2009
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#50
Add an analog display to your wish list, Hertz. It can come in handy.
I'm right with you on that. It doesn't need to be frequency counter accurate, just close, but mostly repeatable.

To be honest, I nearly pulled the trigger on a classic Yaesu FT-107M. If the led's gave out, I wouldn't care. Many rigs like that - Kenwood R 820 / 830 etc. Mostly the classic hybrids had them.

Years ago when give the choice, I actually went with the analog Yaesu FR-101 vs the FR-101D.

Heh, just getting near to actual frequency was a major step up from the dual-dials of an analog bandspread.

The digital displays, even if they weren't absolutely spot-on, were a total joy of being repeatable from session to session.
 
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Naples Florida USA
#51
To be honest, I nearly pulled the trigger on a classic Yaesu FT-107M. If the led's gave out, I wouldn't care. Many rigs like that - Kenwood R 820 / 830 etc. Mostly the classic hybrids had them.
It's ironic that you said this. I recently bought a complete FT-107M station for just that reason. Can't set it up here in the condo but have it for my future house. I wanted the analog readout and especially no menus, seperate knobs and buttons for every function. Old school until I die...
 
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#52
It's ironic that you said this. I recently bought a complete FT-107M station for just that reason. Can't set it up here in the condo but have it for my future house. I wanted the analog readout and especially no menus, seperate knobs and buttons for every function. Old school until I die...
I guess I'm old school enough to remember having to wait a long time for a radio to warm up before I could hear anything at all. That was, until I learned the trick of connecting a diode across the terminals of the on-off switch, so that the filaments stayed on at half their required voltage when the radio was shut off. The radio was "instant on" after that, and the tube filaments probably lasted longer in the long run.

Come to think of it, none of my current radios have analog tuning, so I can't really call myself old school, just old. :lol:
 
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#53
I guess I'm old school enough to remember having to wait a long time for a radio to warm up before I could hear anything at all. That was, until I learned the trick of connecting a diode across the terminals of the on-off switch, so that the filaments stayed on at half their required voltage when the radio was shut off. The radio was "instant on" after that, and the tube filaments probably lasted longer in the long run.

Come to think of it, none of my current radios have analog tuning, so I can't really call myself old school, just old. :lol:
Even though I have the R8600 at the desk in all its cutting-edge glory, and the R75 at the chair in the living room with its digital readout, I also have the Korting Delmonico tabletop on the kitchen table hooked to a CCrane twin coil Justice antenna and it's playing 1590 KLIV AM as I type this:) and every night the old "driftmaster" DX160 gets my music from far far away via the Wellbrook loop. It has the classic drift but I found the secret; when I tune-in to a signal, if I apply pressure to the tuning knob and rock it left and right as I zero-in, it won't drift.

I'm spoiled here as I have the best from the old days and the new.
 
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#54
ridgescan said:
every night the old "driftmaster" DX160 gets my music from far far away via the Wellbrook loop. It has the classic drift but I found the secret; when I tune-in to a signal, if I apply pressure to the tuning knob and rock it left and right as I zero-in, it won't drift.
Out of curiosity I was just looking at your DX160 on eham.net. How is it that every time I look at reviews of older radios on that site the product is indicated as "in production"? This applies to their reviews of the DX300, the DX160, the R75, and even the Sony ICF-2002 (from the 1980s). These have all been out of production for years now. So far, the only review that states "product is not in production" has been for the Hammarlund SP-600. I should look up an Atwater Kent radio and see what they say. :roll:
 
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#55
Out of curiosity I was just looking at your DX160 on eham.net. How is it that every time I look at reviews of older radios on that site the product is indicated as "in production"? This applies to their reviews of the DX300, the DX160, the R75, and even the Sony ICF-2002 (from the 1980s). These have all been out of production for years now. So far, the only review that states "product is not in production" has been for the Hammarlund SP-600. I should look up an Atwater Kent radio and see what they say. :roll:
I think it's just a matter of the person/people in charge of managing the Eham reviews can't or won't make the effort to keep up on current info.
 
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#56
I think it's just a matter of the person/people in charge of managing the Eham reviews can't or won't make the effort to keep up on current info.
I guess so. Anyway, I followed my whim and searched their site for Atwater Kent, knowing that the factory closed down some time in the thirties. Naturally there were no reviews matching the name, but it was mentioned in a review for a different radio, something to do with choosing a retro skin -- and that would be as retro as it gets for a radio theme. Back in the late 50s a friend of the family gave me an old radio to tinker with that I believe was either an Atwater Kent or a Stromberg Carlsen, but it wasn't in working order, not even close, and I hadn't a clue how to fix it. It was a tabletop radio, but would have required a substantial table to support it. It had a piano-hinged top for access to the tubes, which all had just 4 pins each. My guess is that it was a TRF radio, not a superhet.
 
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#57
It's ironic that you said this. I recently bought a complete FT-107M station for just that reason..
Congrats! One review pointed out that the attenuator is activated with a relay, and sometimes that fails and is a real pita to get to, so some just ignore the attenuator rather than rip that beauty apart.

Rigs from that era have a secret advantage - they appeal to THREE senses (sight, sound and *feel*), whereas modern radios may only appeal to two if done right. Just sight and sound for the most part.

That's why if Uniden is paying attention, to put the money into any possible retro rig into the feel of a quality vfo, pots and switches - like stereo components of the same era.

SDR's are great - and I think both can live happily side by side with older tech.

I wonder if Elecraft knows what we are talking about? Heck even CCrane?

At any rate it is a pipe-dream, but in the meantime the manufacturers should know that they are missing out on our dollars going to older classic gear and restoring them if need be. The market is there, but they'd have to know how to handle it in today's instant-feedback, competetive and usually negative world view about anything.

To not have your lunch eaten at the start, the marketing people would have to be VERY specific about what something like this is all about - fending off those who bench-race Sherwood specs without taking operator skill into account...
 
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#58
an old review on eHam.net claims that the DX-300 was a copy of the FRG7. Wonder if it was as unstable as the Radio Shack copy.
There is still one oscillator in the FRG7 that is not locked to the crystal. It has a tuning range of 2.5 to 3.5MHz and can be made relatively stable. This oscillator is used to convert the 2 to 3Mhz IF down to 455kHz for the last IF. I haven' noticed much drift after a couple of minutes warmup - if yours seems to drift then 'hop' back to the original frequency, I'd be inclined to look at the crystal locked loops first.
 
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#59
Congrats! One review pointed out that the attenuator is activated with a relay, and sometimes that fails and is a real pita to get to, so some just ignore the attenuator rather than rip that beauty apart.

Rigs from that era have a secret advantage - they appeal to THREE senses (sight, sound and *feel*), whereas modern radios may only appeal to two if done right. Just sight and sound for the most part.

That's why if Uniden is paying attention, to put the money into any possible retro rig into the feel of a quality vfo, pots and switches - like stereo components of the same era.
Thanks for that info. The attenuator on mine is working but I'll remember this.

I've wasted a lot of money trying out and reselling receivers to see if I like them, but until you actually handle it you just can't know if you like it. The Lowe HF-225 Europa almost left as I just never warmed up to it. Then I found what a great NDB hunter it is, now I "tolerate" it.

How a rig handles really is important for me. The FT-107M is a perfect example, as is the Drake R7A (though the tuning knob does feel a little cheap). Decent sized seperate controls for every function ready on the front panel, no menus to dig through. That's why despite the incredible reviews of the AOR 7030 I've never had the slightest interest in getting one. The only menu driven receiver I actually like is the Cubic CDR-3250 because of its fantastic audio recovery (wait...does that say DSP RCVR on the front?? What is WRONG with me...?!!)
 
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May 28, 2009
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#60
Our experiences sound very similar. I probably would have had several Lowe receivers in the stable if I could have actually put some hands on, like at HRO or other outlets I could drive to. (new that is).

I don't do mail-order risks at those prices. I'd probably have an Elecraft or two, even a Palstar, but without hands on, and the ability to bring one home personally at those price ranges, they are vaporware to me. Ten Tec was the same deal. I can't take the risk of leaving hundreds of dollars on a doorstep.

I could even handle the mod British cases - but there is a line that I just can't cross. Witness the never-released case of the Lowe HF-160:

https://rigreference.com/rigs/5388-lowe-hf-160

I mean, it belongs on Doctor Who's desk somewhere. :) Still, if it had the performance, and I could actually get one personally, then well, maybe .....

I think over the years manufacturers just didn't understand - contributing to the desktop receiver decline. Too high a price for performance, limited availablity, loss of quality handling concerns, etc.

The question is - why do so many of us admire and are willing to use / restore radios (sometimes at extreme cost) that are 40 years old or older, when at the same time 40 years from now, will any of today's gear be desired with such passion? I don't think so.
 
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