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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.

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2016, 2:01 AM
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Just remember that this is in reality a $250 - $300 general coverage receiver.

Depending on where you are, and what antennas you are using, you may end up having to tote a BCB reject filter, like those from PAR, perhaps a preamp, and for NDB cw sigs, maybe an audio cw filter - since the narrow filter is 4k wide.

The display tuning is not precise - about 1-2khz off in ssb - by design standards back in the day for inexpensive rx'ers. It still works obviously, and my board has a date of 2005. So repeatability on very weak NDB's might be an issue.

So just consider how far you want to take it - do you want to add a bunch of accessory boxes to this thing, or just get a better receiver in the first place? While the 150ma current draw is admirable, when you start to add up all the current from the accessory boxes, you could easily be over 1A, which higher end rigs draw.

I'm still amazed at what this rig is capable of - as long as one keeps in mind the sales demographic it was targeted for - which was a a decent inexpensive basic hf rig - but never pretending to be a contest winner. If you like one, don't get ripped off, nor get one that has been golden-screw-drivered to death.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2016, 8:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hertzian View Post
If you like one, don't get ripped off, nor get one that has been golden-screw-drivered to death.
OK, tnx for all the good info. Got to do some shopping around. Have seen this thing priced from $350 to over $700 !!! Going to check with some of my boating friends who may know where to find deals.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 02-19-2016, 2:14 AM
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I've seen some incredulous price-gouging.

Your boater friends might be able to get one that has been taken to shore and abandoned if they don't do the WeFax thing. I think the software was mostly dos-based, or up to Windows XP and many boaters may have opted for better or other dedicated ways to get the data they need without using the hf receiver.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 02-22-2016, 9:20 AM
   
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Default Grundig Music 81 and Sony ICF-M780SL

Two very good portable radios for LW reception are Grundig Music 81 (NOT Music Boy) and Sony ICF-M780SL. I have them both, and in my opinion, they have better LW reception comparing with Sangean ATS-909X and Tecsun PL-880 (which i have also). The Grundig has the best LW performance with 1Khz tuning step in LW, followed by the Sony with 9Khz step. Both have 9-10Khz (adjustable) step in MW and 5Khz step in SW. My only complaint is that the Grundig has soft mute - AGC issues in MW and SW (l think that it's a DSP radio). Those issues, if they appeared in LW, are easily overpassed with a slight (e.g.1Khz) detuning from the main frequency. The Sony doesn't have such issues. Both have very good performance in FM.
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Old 02-23-2016, 9:18 AM
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tnx for the info on the Grundig and Sony

need the 1kc steps for NDB hunting but the soft mute is a deal breaker... a real mystery to me why any manufacturer would put it in a SWL style receiver

anyway, neither radio looks readily available in the States

enjoy the longwave in Europe while you can... too bad these stations are disappearing
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 02-24-2016, 10:46 PM
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In my view any digital portable SW from the 1990s and 2000s with LW should be adequate, the most important thing is a tuned external loop, anyway.

There's a guy in Maine or Mass. (can't remember which) who has heard Europe on LW on his Radio Shack World Receiver 200629 (a Sangean ATS-505 with RS branding) -- not sure the 200629 is available anymore... the Sangean ATS505 is. He heard Europe *without* an external loop.

I would think an external loop would be necessary to DX the LW, though.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 02-24-2016, 11:58 PM
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an older aor-8000 covers 0-1000 mhz or higher, with no blocks, does usb, lsb,am, fm, cw. Portable too. Used to use one when running df doppler, or when going on foot patrol for signals.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2018, 8:34 PM
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Default portable longwave receiver

I've been getting into NDB hunting for the past few years and have been buying receivers based on specs designed for frequencies below 500 kHz. I prefer radios with internal batteries (less to carry).

It all started by accident when I bought a Kenwood R-300 for HF since it has a bandspread dial. I wanted an analog readout in case the digital display of any receiver went kaput (I'm no tech at all). Had a Palstar LA30 with all the loopsticks and tried the longwave one day. The filters were very poor but the sensitivity was incredible (the manual claims 0.3 uV on SSB on LF and I believe it). Why Kenwood intentionally attenuated later receivers I'll never understand. Had a Murata CFJ455K5 and KIWA 6.5 kHz filter module installed and it was a killer (it is single conversion on these frequencies, though). No internal antenna, has SO-239 and wire terminals. Never tried it with a longwire.

Later sold it and bought a Bearcat DX-1000 because they look so cool! Also operates on D cells and has the same antenna situation as the R-300. Rainer Lichte's book "Chance or Choice" says the sensitivity isn't very good on LF but that is just wrong. The manual states nominal 0.5 uV on SSB here and I feel it's on par with the Kenwood, but double conversion and digital readout. Good SSB filter (NTKK LF-C2A). Have only used it with the Palstar and not a longwire. Keeping this one!

Picked up a Lowe HF-225 Europa with the internal NiCad battery pack installed and carry case. Manual says 0.4 uV nominal SSB sensitivity on LF and even better with the whip amplifier engaged. I can vouch for that. The CW mode kicks in an audio filter centered on 800 herz and the tone control makes a difference. It's much easier to haul around than the two previously mentioned boxes. Pulls in NDBs stride for stride with the Bearcat using the LA30.

One surprise I found is the European market's Panasonic DR26 (not the RF-2600 sold in the US). It has longwave coverage not found on the '2600. Easily pulls in many NDBs from all southeastern US states sitting here in southwest Florida on its internal ferrite antenna, and very low noise (static crashes are much less bothersome with this radio), The BFO is unstable for listening to hams/utilities but for hunting NDBs its terrific. Plan on trying to hook up the Palstar LA30 to it using an AOR MC-600 transformer. The Panasonic DR29 is another European market longwave radio which is equal to the DR26 but has a built in preselector for MW/LW, the DR26's preselector is only for HF. Same performance, just need to tweak the preselector. If you also DX mediumwave then the DR29 is the better choice.

Sorry for the rambling but I just wanted to give you some ideas. Good luck with whichever you choose, DXpeditions are a lot of fun.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2018, 10:23 PM
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Any of the Nova-Tech DF receivers I would have thought would make excellent LW band devices - after all, that's the band they were made for. Often crop up on FleaBay.

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/novate...t_iipilot.html
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2018, 10:35 PM
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The Nova Tech DF receivers date back the mid to late 1960s and if you find one working it will certainly need some alignment. One of my aunt's worked at Nova Tech in Redondo Beach, CA back then and I grew up listening to one all the time until we upgraded to a Zenith Transoceanic Royal 7000 around 1968.
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Originally Posted by majoco View Post
Any of the Nova-Tech DF receivers I would have thought would make excellent LW band devices - after all, that's the band they were made for. Often crop up on FleaBay.

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/novate...t_iipilot.html
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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 01-12-2018, 3:47 AM
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An update to my previous entry here: try the Sangean 909 or Realistic DX-398 (same radio). It's my best portable for LW. I just rediscovered LW on it, and it is an excellent portable for LW.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 03-21-2018, 6:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjxii View Post
It all started by accident when I bought a Kenwood R-300 for HF since it has a bandspread dial. I wanted an analog readout in case the digital display of any receiver went kaput (I'm no tech at all). Had a Palstar LA30 with all the loopsticks and tried the longwave one day.

Was thinking about getting the Palstar LA30. How well does it perform? Didn't see any reviews for it on eham.net.
I have a Palstar R30 which works well on LW and MW.

Thank you,
Jim
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 03-22-2018, 5:48 AM
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Although it's expensive I've always been glad that I bought it, especially now that I'm renting an apartment and there has been an increase in RFI lately. I can usually find a direction which is almost noise free. The LA30 has much more precise tuning than the old Palomar LA-1 did, though it has a bit less gain. I'll take the higher tuning accuray over gain any day.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 03-22-2018, 7:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjxii View Post
Although it's expensive I've always been glad that I bought it, especially now that I'm renting an apartment and there has been an increase in RFI lately. I can usually find a direction which is almost noise free. The LA30 has much more precise tuning than the old Palomar LA-1 did, though it has a bit less gain. I'll take the higher tuning accuray over gain any day.
Yeah the Palstar stuff is expensive but the quality is good.

Thanks for the reply,
Jim
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:01 PM
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The Nav/Fax 2000 is also marketed under a few different names - I've seen it under 'Target 200' or similar - if you look closely at the picture you can see that "Si-Tex" on the front panel has been photo-shopped!

Ere tis...

http://www.nasamarine.com/product/hf3w-ssb-receiver/

Seems a bit pricey in GB pounds.

and...

https://swling.com/blog/tag/target-hf3/

aparently marketed by Lowe.

Good review here, but noted that they are out of production.

Another one that has disappeared is the Fairhaven RD500 - I would dearly like to get my hands on one of them - sounds too good to be true!

Don't forget some of those DF receivers you see on Epay - I would expect those to have stellar performance on LF and also be able to null out any interference.
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Last edited by majoco; 03-22-2018 at 10:18 PM..
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:33 PM
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You can't beat the Tecsun PL-660.
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Old 03-24-2018, 2:36 PM
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The main problem with portables and long wave is that they are sort of mutually exclusive. Long wave really requires a large(r) antenna - even a larger ferrite antenna is better than the little 4-inch ones in the portables. I have a Tecsun PL600 that in the daytime receives an NDB that is 60miles away but not one in the opposite direction at 75miles - but on my Sony CRF5090 they both romp in where the ferrite is almost 8 inches long. To get the best from a portable you probably need to make a large tuned loop but then you run into lowest/highest frequency coverage problems. I made one that I tune with an old 3-gang capacitor which works really well outdoors in the evening - coverage starts at around 150kHz and goes up to 600kHz or so, but it's hardly portable.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 03-24-2018, 3:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majoco View Post
The main problem with portables and long wave is that they are sort of mutually exclusive. Long wave really requires a large(r) antenna - even a larger ferrite antenna is better than the little 4-inch ones in the portables. I have a Tecsun PL600 that in the daytime receives an NDB that is 60miles away but not one in the opposite direction at 75miles - but on my Sony CRF5090 they both romp in where the ferrite is almost 8 inches long. To get the best from a portable you probably need to make a large tuned loop but then you run into lowest/highest frequency coverage problems. I made one that I tune with an old 3-gang capacitor which works really well outdoors in the evening - coverage starts at around 150kHz and goes up to 600kHz or so, but it's hardly portable.
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Nice loop!

My PL-600 receives several local beacons during daytime with just the internal antenna. However, when inductively coupled to an external ferrite loopstick which is connected to a longwire and a good ground, the portable really comes alive and over 40 beacons can be heard during the day.
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Old 03-24-2018, 8:18 PM
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Hey Marty I may have to put this one to work!
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Old 03-24-2018, 9:34 PM
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The trick is just to join all three sections of the capacitor together to get the lowest frequency - mine goes right up to 1200pF but of course then the highest frequency suffers a bit as you have the three minimums which add together. I don't do anything elaborate - clip leads work really well! A lot of the designs say just add a fixed capacitor in parallel but what you get then is an extremely restricted variable range.
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