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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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Old 03-28-2017, 8:39 PM
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Default Long distance reception AM radio

I'm looking to purchase a AM/FM long distance reception radio.
I have researched many but I'm still looking.
Can someone please recommend a radio that has the best sensitivity and selectivity plus long distance reception for A/M Dxing?
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Old 03-28-2017, 9:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snapperq View Post
I'm looking to purchase a AM/FM long distance reception radio.
I have researched many but I'm still looking.
Can someone please recommend a radio that has the best sensitivity and selectivity plus long distance reception for A/M Dxing?

Kaito 1103 <<<<my pick for $99
Sangean 909
Tecsun PL660
Grundig Satellit 500 and 700 (older ebay radio)
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Old 03-28-2017, 9:38 PM
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'Long distance reception' on the AM band is dependent on many factors, not just the radio. The antenna is also a big part of the picture (loops are often used here, unless you are very well endowed with lots of land for an antenna), as well as understanding how the AM band works, and when and where to listen. In fact we were discussing this very phenomenon here...

https://forums.radioreference.com/hf...opagation.html

Of course, as we get into the summer, it gets more difficult due to thunderstorm static, as well as greater absorption of lower frequencies due to the increase in solar radiation. But it can, and does, happen even then.

There are 2 organizations here in the US that cater to AM band DXing. Between the 2, they've been around for almost a century. Either club has an outstanding rep in this part of the radio world, and if you are really interested in this part of the hobby, you should consider joining either or both of them...

International Radio Club of America

National Radio Club -World's Largest & Oldest MW DX Club

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Old 03-28-2017, 9:49 PM
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The GE "Super Radios" are quite good: The GE Superadio Tech Page
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Old 03-29-2017, 12:33 PM
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CCrane CCRadio-EP... amazing AM sensitivity.

A lot has to do with the antenna, do some research on loop antennas.
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Old 03-29-2017, 1:07 PM
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We have a separate forum for discussing receive antennas (including loops) here...

https://forums.radioreference.com/re...s-below-30mhz/

and to get you started on the topic of loops...

Loops - The RadioReference Wiki

I have little doubt that either the IRCA or the NRC will have lots of information on loop antennas for MW DXing

Feel free to ask loop related questions in the above forum. Mike
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Old 03-29-2017, 3:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WA8ZTZ View Post
CCrane CCRadio-EP... amazing AM sensitivity.

A lot has to do with the antenna, do some research on loop antennas.
+1. They pack a twin coil ferrite loop inside some models. I don't own a CCrane radio but I do own one of their "justice" twin coil amplified loop antennas. Very impressive reception.
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Old 03-29-2017, 5:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ka3jjz View Post

I have little doubt that either the IRCA or the NRC will have lots of information... for MW DXing. Mike
Check out IRCA "A DXers Technical Guide", an excellent book on all things AM BCB DX.

The NRC publishes the "AM Radio Log", all US and Canadian stations by frequency, location, call sign, and a bunch of other good info.
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Old 03-29-2017, 8:50 PM
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You may already have a DX capable radio -- just need an external loop to sit next to it to DX with -- such loops are available online (Eton makes one) and run maybe $20-$40 or so.

A good loop will make even a Walkman a MW long distance radio.

That aside, I'd add the Sangean PR-D5 or PR-D15 as suggested radios. Both have twin coil, 200mm internal loopsticks, and high gain DSP IF chips inside. They're basically the same radio except the PR-D15 has added tone controls.

The Sony ICF-38 is still available and is moderately priced ($30) and is a very good performer, and has good sound.

I have both the PR-D5 and ICF-38. I also have a couple older GE Superadios, which are excellent if you find a good used one.

Some digitally tuned SW radios are good on MW. The Sangean 909 / Radio Shack DX-398 is a good MW performer, as is the Sangean 909X (the newer version).
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Old 03-29-2017, 9:25 PM
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In the oldie category, the analog tuning Panasonic RF2200 was unique in that it had a large rotatable loop mounted right at the top of the radio. I had one for a while, fooled around a little with MW DX while on assignment in Illinois. Worked well

And I seem to recall the GE SuperRadio 3 model had a significant issue with wiring (the speaker?) incorrectly which coupled adversely to the loop. There were several folks that figured out how to fix this. The previous models didn't have that issue.

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Old 03-30-2017, 12:50 AM
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Default Best place to start for AM DX

Quote:
Originally Posted by snapperq View Post
I'm looking to purchase a AM/FM long distance reception radio.
I have researched many but I'm still looking.
Can someone please recommend a radio that has the best sensitivity and selectivity plus long distance reception for A/M Dxing?
Heard from Strasburg,VA Intersection of Interstate 66 and Interstate 81 most logged in the last month
Your car radio is the best place to start logging AM DX. AS for antennas the older cars use to have longer antennas but i find my 2004 Toyota gives me a good log of stations some in canada
550 WSVA HARRISONBURG
610 WXVA OLDIES Winchester (60s,70a,80s)
630 WMAL
650 WSM Nashville STRONG
660 WFAN NYC
670
680 OLDIES OLD SHOWS SUNDAY WPTF NC Raleigh
690 AM DAY
700 WLW Cincinnati 888-860-TRUK (8785) GOOD
710 L&C STRONG
720* WGN ChicagoSTRONG oldies radio shows at nite
740 CFZM Oldies 40s Toronto,Ontario WRNR Sports Martinsburg,WV
750 WSB ATLANTA HANNITY STRONG
760 WGS WJR Detroit Mark Levin till 1100PM WJR 50K-U NDA STRONG CLARK@nite
770 Loud 1-800-600-8850 most likely is WABC in New York City 50K-NDA
780 WBBM L&C CHICAGO 780 is WBBM 50K-NDA all news all the time STRONG
790 Excellent WSG(W )Saginaw MI WSVG 790 Country maybe days AM
810* WGY Tallk is Schnectady, New York 50K-NDA
820
840* WHAS L&C Bill Cunningham Louisville,KY 50K Clear channel Mark Levin off 1100PM
870 WWL New Orleans
880 WSLK MONETA,VA, WCBS L&C New York STRONG
890 WLS talk Chicago STRONG Mark Levin
900 CHML OLD RADIO SHOWS Sunday night HAMILTON ONTARIO STRONG,StantonClassic Cty
910
920 CKNX Country Music Wingham Ontario 800-265-3030
930 WFMD EXCELLENT FREDERICK
950 KRWZ oldies DENVER 5K- DA1 that means it uses the same pattern for both day and night
980 Excellent
1000
1020 Christian
1030 WBZ Boston STRONG
1060 KYW Philadelphia 50K DA1
1090 country nite am
1100 is WTAM from Cleveland 50K- NDA STRONG
1110 STRONG
1120 KMOX L&C CBS News St Louis
1140 WRVA Richmond VA Mark Levin NASCAR
1170 WWVA Wheeling WV
1190 Excellent Day
1330 WRAA Luray Classic Country Excellent Country
1360
1400 South Boston,HillsvilleWHHV Excellent
1410 WRTZ Roanoke Classic Cty
1420 WKCW warrenton va
1430 WNAV Annapolis till midnight
1440
1470 WBTX Broadway Christian
1500 WTOP Washington DC
1510 WLAC Tn
1520 WWKB ESPN (Was WKBW George “Hound dog” Lorenz)
1530 WCKY
1540 KXEL Talk Waterloo Iowa
1550 MD
1560
1590 Radio Show
1690 WPGS Oldies
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Old 03-30-2017, 6:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ka3jjz View Post
In the oldie category, the analog tuning Panasonic RF2200 was unique in that it had a large rotatable loop mounted right at the top of the radio. I had one for a while, fooled around a little with MW DX while on assignment in Illinois. Worked well

And I seem to recall the GE SuperRadio 3 model had a significant issue with wiring (the speaker?) incorrectly which coupled adversely to the loop. There were several folks that figured out how to fix this. The previous models didn't have that issue.

Mike
The RF2200 has a terrific rep -- so long as the bandswitches still are working. The switch designs of that era (a long chain of slide switches, not all equal in spring strength) did not age well..... as the non-working SW on my Sony of that era can attest.

The GESR3's speaker wiring problem was very early on, and quickly fixed. The solution was to reverse the speaker wires. But this was only in the first few batches from the factory.

A bigger problem occurred later on, after around 1997 or so, when the tuning potentiometers weren't drawn from the best sources, and they would wear out quicker than they should. I have two GESR3's from 1995 and 1996 (one is my mom's), both work fine. The problems came out after that time period some time.
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Old 03-30-2017, 8:12 PM
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My CCrane CCRadio-EP beats my GE Superadio III in every respect on AM except audio quality where the GE is somewhat better. The Superadio III is fine at the low end of the AM band but the top end scale is very compressed. Tuning up there is very touchy and there is an issue with the radio suddenly jumping off frequency after it has been tuned in... don't know whether this is mechanical backlash or a problem with the circuitry. Perhaps Boombox or one of the others may be familiar with this problem? The earlier Superadios I & II seem to enjoy a better reputation. Overall, the CCRadio-EP with the built-in twin coil antenna is my best AM portable.

Last edited by WA8ZTZ; 03-30-2017 at 8:16 PM..
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Old 03-31-2017, 3:31 AM
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WA8ZTZ: if it stays on a station at the high or low end of the dial (my GESR3's are compressed between around 1200-1500 or so) your potentiometer is fine. It's just picky tuning. I have to zero in a couple times on mine. Mechanical backlash. There's a fine art to tuning those frequencies in that tight range.... :-)

If it's the potentiometer going bad it will cut out, won't stay on frequency even on a high or low frequency, there will be a lot more drift than what it sounds like you're describing.

The older GE SR models are better, built like tanks... they can sometimes have the bandswitch go FM only, which is an easy fix (once you get the back off), resolder the connection carefully, add some silicone glue to the front side of the mechanism to absorb some of the stress of switching bands. The bandswitch is apparently stronger than the PCB connections. I had a GESR1 go a bit intermittent on AM once so I fixed it.

My GESR2 is original and fine, so not all of them have this issue -- probably only a small minority of them -- but it's out there. But like I said, it's an easy fix once one gets the back off.

My best AM portable is probably my Sangean PR-D5. Twin coil, DSP IF chip, nice sound on speaker. Have to choose the right headphones, though. If they have a lot of bass response it's a bit fatiguing for long periods of DX.

I still use my GESR3 a lot. Great sound, even through phones, and mine is a little hotter model than some of the other ones out there.
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Old 04-06-2017, 3:26 AM
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WA8ZTZ:
I just did some DXing on my GE Superadio 3, and tuned around the 1300-1500 section of the band. It had been a while since I used my SR3 for DXIng (or DXing at all, as I have been sick the past month).

My SR3 works great but yes, it's tricky to tune in the range between 1200/1300 and 1500/1600, where the frequencies are tightest.

What I do is use a very light touch on the tuning knob and zero in on the target frequency. Sometimes the backlash will move a hair, and I have to do it again. But generally once I have zeroed in on a frequency it stays put.

I use headphones, which may help in hearing the 'edges' of the channels when tuning.

I hope this helps. Add a loop and your SR3 will match any other portable -- of any stripe -- out there.

Mine has two spots where there is a hair of overload: 620 or so, and 1340. Otherwise, it's an excellent DXer. Mine may be a bit hotter than some others because the resistor in the antenna circuit is slightly lower in resistance than that listed on the schematic. Some Superadios had variance in these antenna resistors. I've seen SR1's that had 30Kohm resistors and the schematic called for 46K. Maybe they just used what was available at the factory. :-)

Have fun DXing. It seems the MW band is picking up after a week or two of fair to middlin' conditions.
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Old 04-06-2017, 3:53 AM
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Boombox,

tnx, will give the SR III a try with a loop, never tried that before
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Old 04-06-2017, 6:29 AM
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phillips radio....
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Old 04-06-2017, 4:22 PM
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Which Philips had you in mind? There are some domestic that are cr@p, there are some that are fantastic - even the one that was in Goldfinger!
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Old 04-08-2017, 6:07 PM
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I've been told that the Palstar desktops are superb MW DXing machines - they don't overload easily and the filters are pretty good as well. Expensive as all get out, and not easy to find, but if you do find one and can afford it...

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Old 04-12-2017, 9:33 PM
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Boombox,

Had an opportunity this evening to try out the Superadio III with a loop antenna per your suggestion. Actually, used the CCrane TCA twin-coil antenna. On most stations, it overloaded the receiver but in some cases it was useful for nulling out interfering stations. Did this test on the expanded AM band 1600-1700 where the scale is most compressed.

On 1610, CHHA Toronto overpowered a local TIS. KCJJ "The Mighty 1630" from Iowa City was putting in a big signal. The CCrane really helped here in nulling out some interference and allowed the Iowa station to sound like a local. WQLR 1630 Kalamazoo was carrying the Cubs baseball game, nice signal. WOZN 1670 "The Zone" Madison, WI also had a nice signal. On 1690, WPTX Lexington Park MD playing "favorite adult music" was mixing with an ethnic (probably CHTO Toronto) and both were drowning out another local TIS. The MD station had a good signal for a 1 KW station, probably due to its ideal transmitter location near Chesapeake Bay.

The excellent audio quality of the Superadio III made it an enjoyable evening on the AM band. Next time, will try the Grundig AN200 loop with this radio and see what happens.
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