Affordable starter shotwave reciever

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chrismol1

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I am looking to spend maybe $100 or less.
It will be my first time on recieving on the HF bands
If anyone could recommend me a nice reciever it would be appreciated

And is it recommended to get one with SSB?
thanks
 

trixwagen

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Kaito KA1102. $65 from places like radios4you.com. Has SSB. I recommend SSB only because you need SSB to hear pirate radio. Otherwise you just receive the state/church sponsored propaganda from around the world. The KA1102 has dual conversion, which gives the radio better selectivity. The blue backlit LCD looks kinda cool.

Impressive for its price. There are better radios for $150, but, well, they are $150.
 

ch40n1k

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Grundig G5

I bought my first shortwave radio a few weeks ago. I bought a Grundig G5/Eton E5. It has SSB, external antenna jack and is a decent little radio. I think I paid $150 at Radio Shack for it ... but don't let the retailer scare you away from the radio ... you can also get the G5 at HRO. ;)

I had a lot of fun with it during the last ARRL field day ...
 

immelmen

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I am also looking for recommendations for an inexpensive shortwave receiver that is compact and would easily fit in a carry-on suitcase with all your other travel goodies, but still has decent receive audio.

Anyone have a "travel size" rig that can still hear?
 

corbintechboy

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I am also looking for recommendations for an inexpensive shortwave receiver that is compact and would easily fit in a carry-on suitcase with all your other travel goodies, but still has decent receive audio.

Anyone have a "travel size" rig that can still hear?
The Kaito 1103 would have to get my vote. It's cheap and receives very well indeed! You only have to get used to the odd volume on the radio then you learn really how great it is for such a cheap radio.

Hope I was a help!
 

KC0QNB

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The Kaito 1103 would have to get my vote. It's cheap and receives very well indeed! You only have to get used to the odd volume on the radio then you learn really how great it is for such a cheap radio.

Hope I was a help!
I did read about the "volume control" that is strange the way they design it.
 

chrismol1

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If it really matters then I will go for quality over price anytime
thanks guys! i check into those ones
the Kaito KA1102 looks very good, but are there any others that are better for their price?
 
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KC0QNB

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Nice receiver, under $100, sounds like an oxy-moron, you need to decide if you want a nice receiver, OR spend under $100, you prefer quality over price. Digital or analog?
Ok here is one,
 

chrismol1

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Nice receiver, under $100, sounds like an oxy-moron, you need to decide if you want a nice receiver, OR spend under $100, you prefer quality over price. Digital or analog?
Ok here is one,
a digital is nice
I'll probably go on ebay and get the Kaito one

And while the reciever is shipping, what about an antenna? whats a really nice antenna model for this reciever? I would like a nice wire but then, it might not work out and I will have to get telescopic or something like that
 
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trixwagen

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I'm not getting paid by Kaito or anything, but the Kaito KA33 amplified loop antenna improves reception on shortwave and medium wave. Take a look at this list of antennas, if you don't want to put up an outside type:
http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~vk5vka/antnews.htm

And while the reciever is shipping, what about an antenna? whats a really nice antenna model for this reciever? I would like a nice wire but then, it might not work out and I will have to get telescopic or something like that
 

KC0QNB

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pathalogical

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I've had my Grundig G5 for 3 months now and I really like it. Within the first week I heard numbers station and an EAM from Andrews AFB just with stock telescope antenna. Get something with SSB, as you learn more about HF you'll be glad you have that feature. I like listening to trans-oceanic planes that use the MWARA frequencies. You may also consider the G6, much like the G5, but has the civil air 118-136 Mhz and is $50 less than the G5. Good luck with your purchase, I'm sure you'll enjoy HF !!!
 

KC0QNB

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Not to harsh anyone's buzz, but in my experience, the Sangean ANT-60 antenna (the one in the link below), did nothing to improve my radio's reception. I'd use that $12.95 toward a better antenna.
I just found a link and posted it nothing more, he wanted an antenna I showed him one.
Let it roll on and what pops up next
 

chrismol1

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I just found a link and posted it nothing more, he wanted an antenna I showed him one.
Let it roll on and what pops up next
I just ordered the Kaito 1102 with the roll up antenna
thanks to all
 

cpuerror

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I have a KA1102, at least the degen version of it. I've had it for almost 2 years now, so here is my little mini review of it.

First of all, you get a lot of receiver for you money. Sensitivity is very good, FM is better then most AM/FM radios. The page system takes alittle getting used to, but once you know the basics its easy to navigate.

The filters on this radio leave a lot to be desired but its to be expected for the price. On SSB its almost impossible to hear only one station at once. If you use a long wire antenna it will overload the radio when connected to it directly. I just give it one wrap around the antenna to avoid overload.

Tuning SSB is tricky, I modded the SSB knob to reduce its range. Otherwise, a tiny change results in a huge shift. But once you get it tuned SSB audio sounds surprisingly good. There is no USB/LSB on this radio, its just a knob adjustment so there is a lot more fiddling involved then on a real HF rig.

It comes with an AC adaptors useful for FM or charging the batteries when the radio is turned off. But its useless on HF since it dumps a lot of RF hash onto the signal. I do think it will serve you well as a portable and can't be beat for the price.
 

ka3jjz

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We have numerous reviews linked in our wiki; here's the link (anything in blue or underlined):

http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Category:Receiver_Reviews

As noted by cpuerror, the little portables can and often do overload if you put too much antenna on them. You are much better off with an amplified loop, or a short wire fed with a balun, if the radio is set up to handle a coax leadin.

If you are willing to spend a bit more than USD100, then keep your eyes on the various hamfests - sometimes a good receiver (or if you're a ham, keep in mind that most modern transceivers have built in general coverage rxs these days) can be had for a fraction of what it sold for as new. Old rxs such as the Yaesu FRG100 and Kenwood R5000 are examples; there are a great many others.

Do your homework beforehand, so you aren't disappointed later. Be prepared to learn; HF right now is in a bit of a slump, due to crummy propagation conditions. Expect to experiment with antenna setups (there's no such thing as 1 good antenna in this game...), and ALWAYS disconnect your antenna and power supply from the radio in a thunderstorm

73 Mike
 

ch40n1k

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Long wire antennas

For what it's worth, there are also some really good ideas in the Wiki and on the Web for homebrew SWL antennas. I'm using a 75 foot length of speaker wire that runs up to the roof. It works surprisingly well.
 

Zaratsu

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but you can sometimes find a G5 when retailers give up on SW like Circuit City had them for $100, then $80 a few months back.

Then Sony had their 7600GR on their refurbished sales website for $89.99.

The G6 is supposed to be $100, has more features than the G5. No idea why it is cheaper. Maybe give that a try? it is also brand new.

The grundigs hit the ergonomic nail on the head, while the sony and kaito have ergonomic shortcomings. All hear about as good as you can get in a box that small.
 

immelmen

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Maybe some HAMs could help expand a bit on my earlier question as to what is a good SW radio.

while I have never touched a SW portable receiver, I have been working HF on the ham bands with a modern solid state rig for a while now and would like to hear some comparisons on performance of the SW radios so I would know what to expect from one.

I know the receive on these SW radios will not be as good as the ICOM transceiver in the shack, but how close do they come? On a scale of 1 to 10 for ssb and AM?

Thanks for your opinions.
 
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