RadioReference on Facebook   RadioReference on Twitter   RadioReference Blog
 

Go Back   The RadioReference.com Forums > HF / MW / LW Monitoring > HF/MW/LW Equipment


HF/MW/LW Equipment - For general and technical discussion of all receivers which cover the HF bands. For HF tranceiver discussion please use the Amateur Radio Equipment forum above.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2013, 5:25 PM
WB4CS's Avatar
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Northern Alabama
Posts: 899
Default RadioShack Synthesized World Receiver (Reviews?)

I'm looking for a cheap (under $100) SW receiver to use in the bedroom on my nightstand. Reluctantly, my first stop was to check out the local Radio Shack to see what they have. 20 years ago I had a few RS DX model SW receivers that worked pretty well, but I imagine their quality is not what it used to be.

I found this SW Receiver for $80 RadioShack® Synthesized World Receiver. The problem is, there are no reviews on the RS website, and I cannot locate an actual model number for the radio to search eHam for reviews. I would like something that can also receive SSB, and this one can.

Does anyone have any experience with this receiver, or can suggest a good AM/SSB receiver under $100?

Thanks!
__________________
Brandon, WB4CS
Kenwood TM-V71A, TM-281A, TH-K20A. Yaesu FT-60R
Amateur radio is a hobby. We supplement emergency communications, not replace them.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2013, 8:53 PM
E-Man's Avatar
Completely Banned for the Greater Good
  Shack Photos
Shack photos
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Global
Posts: 840
Default

Looks like the same receiver:

Amazon.com: Sangean ATS-505P FM Stereo/MW/LW/SW PLL Synthesized World Receiver: Electronics
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2013, 9:19 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 75
Default

There is a nice review here > RadioIntel.com - Reviews Sangean ATS-505
__________________
ICOM R-1/R-71A/R-7000, Grundig Satellit 700,
PRO-2006 (x2)/106/163/197 /668, DX-160/302/398 and a ton of "boat anchors"
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 06-01-2013, 7:15 AM
Member
   
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: South Central PA
Posts: 73
Default

I don't understand why they bother putting SSB on any of these radios when it seems that none of them can receive it properly...at least the ones I've used haven't been able to.

I had a Sony (forgot the model #), Grundig G6, a cheapo Kaito of some sort & a Sangean - none of them have been able to make any sense out of the garbled SSB reception...maybe it's something I am doing, I don't know.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 06-01-2013, 11:17 AM
Member
   
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 75
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by radiokatz View Post
I don't understand why they bother putting SSB on any of these radios when it seems that none of them can receive it properly...at least the ones I've used haven't been able to.

I had a Sony (forgot the model #), Grundig G6, a cheapo Kaito of some sort & a Sangean - none of them have been able to make any sense out of the garbled SSB reception...maybe it's something I am doing, I don't know.
I own quite a few radios; one is a nice little Kaito, and the SSB works on all of them. It takes some finesse to get the BFO tuned in. If you tune to a known station and turn on the BFO you can zero-beat the BFO and that's your center point. Stations below 10 MHz are usually LSB while stations above 10 MHz are usually USB. The BFO will be turned in one direction (from the center point) for USB and the opposite direction for LSB. Occasionally some utility stations only use USB like most AIR Traffic Control and Weather stations. There's also the possibility of some station using voice inversion which might cause some problems but as I've said I've never had any problem using BFO on any radio, so long as it's working properly.
__________________
ICOM R-1/R-71A/R-7000, Grundig Satellit 700,
PRO-2006 (x2)/106/163/197 /668, DX-160/302/398 and a ton of "boat anchors"
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 06-01-2013, 4:40 PM
majoco's Avatar
Member
  Shack Photos
Shack photos
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 2,951
Default

Quote:
Stations below 10 MHz are usually LSB while stations above 10 MHz are usually USB.
Only the ham bands - all commercial SSB is on USB AFAIK. Any commercial station will be on an assigned frequency that is spot on eg Auckland HF Aero is on 8867.000kHz so once you set the BFO to its centre frequency (as Aggie says) then just dial in the correct frequency and it should be as clear as a bell. My Degen/Kaito 1103 sounds just as good as the JRC and Kenwood receivers and is spot on for frequency.

The hams will wander up and down and often tweak the main tuning knob on their transceiver to make the other guy intelligible - but then when they transmit they are off frequency again.....don't they know what "RIT" means?
__________________
Cheers - Martin ZL2MC - Palmerston North
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 06-03-2013, 9:24 AM
Member
   
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 743
Default

For what it's worth, I've never had any trouble tuning SSB on digital portables, either with a BFO or with USB / LSB. It just takes a bit of practice at first, because each radio has a different range and feel to its BFO knob. On a digital portable with a BFO knob, I just tune just below the station (if it's USB) and tune the BFO higher in frequency until the speech clears; or just above the station (if it's LSB) and tune the BFO lower in frequency until the speech clears.

Regarding where you'll hear LSB or USB, it's USB everywhere for utilities, and also on the HF ham bands 20 meters and above. You'll hear LSB on the the 40, 80, 60 and 160 meter ham bands, and LSB on some of the 11 meter CB channels. Above the US CB band, in 'outband' territory, you will hear both USB and LSB.

Regarding the Sangean 505, I've read some good reviews about it. It's probably the last of the Sangean mid-range models (I think the only SW radio they make anymore is the new version of the 909). I've never had a problem with a Sangean digital portable, except a battery connector in a DX-398 (Sangean 909) which developed a bad battery soldered connector after several years of fairly heavy use. But that could have just been an anomaly. It was an easy enough fix.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 06-03-2013, 12:41 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 407
Default

You might also consider the Tecsun PL-660 radio. It might be a few dollars more but it really performs well. I use mine to monitor HF nets when I am not in my ham shack.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 06-03-2013, 1:11 PM
WB4CS's Avatar
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Northern Alabama
Posts: 899
Default

Thanks all for the replies and info, all very helpful! I'll look over the other recommended models and read over some of the reviews.
__________________
Brandon, WB4CS
Kenwood TM-V71A, TM-281A, TH-K20A. Yaesu FT-60R
Amateur radio is a hobby. We supplement emergency communications, not replace them.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 06-04-2013, 9:13 AM
Member
   
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 743
Default

A small correction to my previous post about SSB:

On the 60 meter ham band (which consists of several designated channels located between 5300 and 5500 khz), the hams use USB, not LSB.
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2013, 7:55 AM
Member
   
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 743
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by WB4CS View Post
I'm looking for a cheap (under $100) SW receiver to use in the bedroom on my nightstand. Reluctantly, my first stop was to check out the local Radio Shack to see what they have. 20 years ago I had a few RS DX model SW receivers that worked pretty well, but I imagine their quality is not what it used to be.

I found this SW Receiver for $80 RadioShack® Synthesized World Receiver. The problem is, there are no reviews on the RS website, and I cannot locate an actual model number for the radio to search eHam for reviews. I would like something that can also receive SSB, and this one can.

Does anyone have any experience with this receiver, or can suggest a good AM/SSB receiver under $100?

Thanks!
I just found some reviews of what is possibly this same radio on EHam.net, the popular ham forum / review site.

Go to EHam's "reviews" sections, and look up Sangean ATS-505 or Radio Shack DX-402 -- I'm guessing that they are basically the same radio -- they look almost exactly the same, and appear to have the exact same features.

This link will take you to the ATS-505 reviews:
Sangean ATS-505 Product Reviews
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 06-12-2013, 2:08 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 743
Default

Curious about this Radio Shack radio you asked about, I decided to buy one. From what I've been able to find out over the net, this radio is a newer version of Radio Shack's DX-402 -- the Sangean ATS-505 that Radio Shack sold under their own name and model number in the 2000's.

I've had a chance to use it over the past two days, and so far, I'm impressed.

It's picked up practically everything my DX-398 picked up, and it has better sound (esp. through headphones). I tuned around the SW bands, ham bands (both CW and SSB sections), and MW and it seems to work well. FM seems to work well also.

When you consider that this new DX-402 only costs $80 and the DX-398 cost over $200 new (although that was a few years ago), you’re getting a lot of radio for the money.

On MW it performs basically the same as my DX-398. It seems to have less splatter from strong stations than the DX-398 on MW, even though it has a wider filter. I have a local splatter master on 710 khz., and hearing a distant ESPN station on 700 is nearly impossible on most of my radios without using a narrow filter. This radio was able to pick it up with just the standard filter, with very little splatter.

On SW, I tuned into the BBC on 6005 khz., and I was able to reduce the interference from Cuba on 6010 by switching the radio's tuner knob to 1 khz., and tuning the radio to 6004. So, even though the radio doesn't have a wide/narrow filter switch, you can still get readable signals from a QRM'ed station that way.

On SSB it works pretty well. Once again, I was surprised that it heard everything my 398 heard. The 20 meter band wasn't crowded, so maybe that made a difference. But this new radio picked up one weak signal ham from Australia, and another weak signal ham from Belgium, with the same readability as the DX-398. The only drawback on SSB is the radio tends to distort slightly on hard peaks. The AGC is moderate and doesn't pump like it does on some radios.

On SSB, this radio's clarifier knob has a detent so you can center it back on frequency easily, and it wasn't hard for me to tune in hams or utilities with it. When I tuned the 20 meter ham band, I switched the tuner knob to 1 khz. (by pressing it in once), and the tuner stayed at 1 khz as I tuned up and down the band. The tuner will go in 1 khz. steps until you press the up or down buttons, then it will switch back to 5 khz. tuning.

I used a 30 ft. wire with mine on SW, without it overloading the radio. Here in the NW, using wire antennas with portables (at least those with external antenna jacks) usually is not much of a problem, because of low overall signal levels. My guess is the radio would probably pull in signals off the whip rather well in your area of the U.S.

So from my impression of two days of use -- I’d say this radio is well worth the money.

Last edited by Boombox; 06-12-2013 at 2:11 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 06-12-2013, 2:30 PM
WB4CS's Avatar
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Northern Alabama
Posts: 899
Default

Boombox, thank you so much for this review! I may have to go pick one up now
__________________
Brandon, WB4CS
Kenwood TM-V71A, TM-281A, TH-K20A. Yaesu FT-60R
Amateur radio is a hobby. We supplement emergency communications, not replace them.
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 06-12-2013, 4:55 PM
E-Man's Avatar
Completely Banned for the Greater Good
  Shack Photos
Shack photos
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Global
Posts: 840
Default

I have not been disappointed in any Sangean products that I have purchased. I think they make quality products. Enjoy
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 06-12-2013, 5:13 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 743
Default

I'm glad you found the review helpful!

I think it's worth checking out, at least considering the price.

If you don't like it, you could find a used Sangean 909 or DX-398. That's still an excellent radio, especially on SSB.

Like E-man mentioned, Sangean makes good radios.
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 06-13-2013, 10:22 AM
Member
   
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 743
Default

An update on the Radio Shack Synthesized World Receiver:

I spent another evening DXing with the radio, mainly on the 31 and 25 meter SWBC bands, and spent a lot of time tuning through the 20 meter ham band, which was more crowded with signals last night than it was the night before.

Once again, it seemed to pick up whatever SW signals my DX-398 picked up. However, the lack of a narrow filter / independent USB/LSB filtering shows up when the 20 meter band is a bit crowded, or you have a strong ham signal close to a DX signal. I was listening to a couple European hams work some guys in Arizona on 14195, and there was another Arizona ham on 14192 whose signal was so strong that the Europeans on 14195 were almost impossible to read when he was talking.

I kept wanting to reach for a narrow switch...

When I listened to the same signal on 14195 on my DX-398 (which has independent USB/LSB and is stuck on 'narrow', 'cause I broke the switch on it) the heavy QRM was greatly reduced to a bit of splatter, and the QSO on 14195 was very readable.

Also, I spent more time tuning MW with the new radio last night. I didn't buy this radio planning on using it primarily for MW DX, because I have a Superadio and a couple other radios that are excellent for that. But, of course, MW is important for me.

Once more, the selectivity is very good, but I noticed this time that my DX-398 has better sensitivity, and I also noticed that you have to turn up the volume on MW on the new radio, it's like the AGC isn't hot enough. I don't think the radio is deaf on MW, because I was hearing DX stations, but it doesn't seem to be a 'hot' MWDX receiver, not like a Superadio, DX-398, or even the Realistic DX-375 (which is very good on MW). Maybe it needs a more robust loopstick.

I tried the radio with a Select-A-Tenna, and the combination works really well. The selectivity still holds up with the boosted signals.

Overall, I still think it's well worth $79.
Reply With Quote
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2013, 1:43 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Richmond VA
Posts: 200
Default

Thank you for the review. My Tecsun PL-600 died, well, the tuning encoder did, so I want a quick replacement. Even with the lack of narrow selectivity I think it'll fit the bill. Plus Radio Shack is easy for me to get to after work. On radios like this I connect a Yaesu FRT-7700 tuner in line with the wire antenna, but I use it more like a preselector than a tuner. It does wonders on portable general coverage radios.


Larry
Reply With Quote
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 06-15-2013, 9:14 AM
MTS2000des's Avatar
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
Posts: 2,721
Default

thanks for the review Boombox. I think I'll give one a spin for $80, and it shows to be in stock at my local RS (according to their website). I've been looking for a replacement for my DX-398 which I sold quite a while ago and all I have for SWL is a cheap Grundig G8 (granted, a GREAT FM DX radio but poor SW/MW).
__________________
NO I will not help program your trunking radio. All opinions are exclusively those of the author and in no way reflect the position of his employer, contractors or other parties.
Reply With Quote
  #19 (permalink)  
Old 06-15-2013, 12:46 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Richmond VA
Posts: 200
Default

Well, I went to the nearest Radio Shack & bought this sucker, to replace my broken Tecsun PL-600. First of all, it clearly is an upgraded version of the DX-402 -- the tuning is non-muted (i.e., no "chuffing" or "thumping", or whatever you want to call it) and it seems more sensitive than the DX-402. Bottom line: I think its slightly over-priced, considering that it comes with no accessories, but its a keeper.

The BFO is unpredictable -- one moment the sideband signal sounds stupendously good, to where I'll want to praise the radio -- then suddenly it'll start 'growling', making a gargling sound that can't be resolved. This may last 3 minutes or 30 minutes. But when its working right it sounds better than the PL-600 did. The selectivity issue I found is easily solved through use of the (audio?) filters: "Music", "Normal" and "News". It isn't a tone switch like people believe, it actually reduces or eliminates adjacent interfence. Sometimes, depending, a sideband signal might sound better in the wider position.

On MW this Radio Shack model is quieter than my PL-600 was. As a result I do better on this radio with distant, weak daytime AM stations. So I have no criticism of the MW section.

The audio of this radio is better than the PL-600, which is harsh by comparison. Also I prefer the larger size of this unit ,and I like that its tuning knob is more comfortable than the one on the PL-600. It's a different radio than the Tecsun, in some ways good, in some ways bad, but its a decent SSB-capable radio to have.


Larry

Last edited by lanbergld; 06-15-2013 at 1:35 PM.. Reason: A mispelling.
Reply With Quote
  #20 (permalink)  
Old 06-19-2013, 6:03 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Richmond VA
Posts: 200
Default

Just a follow-up: I'm actually glad my Tecsun PL-600 broke & I went to Radio Shack to buy this. Sure, its deaf on the extendable whip, but a good length of wire turns this radio into something smoking HOT -- 160-meters, 40, 20, and all the aeronautical & marine bands. It comes booming in. Also love that little LED changing color with the modulation peaks. Just needs the longest possible wire for an antenna. Nothing fancy, I use about 50 feet wrapped around indoors.

For the price I rate the Radio Shack 20-629 highly.

Last edited by lanbergld; 06-19-2013 at 7:12 PM..
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 4:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
All information here is Copyright 2012 by RadioReference.com LLC and Lindsay C. Blanton III.Ad Management by RedTyger
Copyright 2015 by RadioReference.com LLC Privacy Policy  |  Terms and Conditions