Best radio for MW DXing?

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jk77

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Hey guys,

What is the best radio currently on the market (new) for AM broadcast (MW) DXing?

Thanks.
 

kilokat7

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Hey guys,

What is the best radio currently on the market (new) for AM broadcast (MW) DXing?

Thanks.
More info needed. How serious are you? What's your budget? "Best" portable or "Best" desktop receiver? Are you going to use an external antenna, or not? What are your expectations?
 

k9rzz

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jk77

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Thanks guys. Some more info: I'd actually like to know both some good desktops and some good portables. I'm not really, really, really serious but casual serious, if you know what I mean. My budget really depends on cost vs. performance. If the performance is MUCH better, I'm willing to spend more.

k9rzz, thanks for the tip on the ham tranceivers. I'm actually right now in the market for my first HF transceiver. Any ideas which sub-1000 dollar transceiver is the best for MW dxing?

Thanks also for the links!
 

k9rzz

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I've logged my share of time chasing stuff on MW, and while you can hear a lof of stuff on portables, especially if you utilize the nulling features of the built in loop antenna, I REALLY like a radio where I can turn the AGC -OFF- and ride the RF gain for audio volume. Why? With the AGC on, every snap crackle and pop will spike the AGC up and you miss a second of audio. Multiply that x100 or x1,000s and you're missing a lot of audio that might help ID that station. WIth the AGC off, you loose that micro second, but there's no recovery time lost and you get more audio from the desired station. Hmmm, I'll have to do a blog post on the topic. I've got other tricks up my sleeve for that band too. =:^]
 

Boombox

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If you're looking at cost vs. performance the Sony SRF-59 headset radio is hard to beat. Couple it with an external loop and you have an excellent DXer.

They can only fit so large a loopstick inside a headset radio. But even with its internal loopstick it does quite well. An excellent overall value for a radio that usually sells for just less than $20.

The Sony ICF-38 is a portable with speaker and good sound, and also DX's well. It has a hot IF chip in it, and I think it has an extra RF amp but am not sure. Acts like it. Sells for around $25.

The Sangean PR-D5 is an excellent MWDX radio. You don't need an external loop to DX with it. The narrow bandwidth may not be for everybody -- the 4 khz bandwidth makes for terrific selectivity for a portable but muffles some of the highs, which may be an issue for some people. Sells for around $70.

The PR-D15 is apparently similar, and sells for $80-90 depending on the store, and unlike the PR-D5 it has tone controls, which probably are helpful (I haven't used one of those, though, just going by what I've read).
 

majoco

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I wish that Elecraft would make a receiver - I don't need a transceiver and I don't see any of theirs that say the receiver is broadband.
 

jk77

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Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I've been thinking about the CCradio. Is the CCradio-EP any good? It's a pretty inexpensive generic AM/FM portable radio but it does offer a knob to fine tune the ferrite coil AM antenna that even the CCradio 2E Enhanced lacks. I'll have to look into the Degen.

One thing I wanted to ask about ham transceivers with general coverage: does one exist that is any good on MW? Anybody have luck with one? I was always under the impression that amateur transceivers are made intentionally partially deaf on MW to prevent interference with the amateur bands from strong MW stations. But if any good MW dxing transceiver exists, I'd be very, very, very happy to know about it.

Thanks for the tip on turning the AGC off and working the RF gain.
 

Boombox

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I've heard good things about the CCRadioEP with tunable twin coil. Also have read some reviews where people had some issues with quality of parts, but that may have been just isolated cases.

Here's a review, a lot of people read this guy's reviews on radios:
CC Radio-EP | radiojayallen

The Sangean PR-D5 I mentioned has a twin coil antenna. The twin coil is not adjustable, though.
 

Boombox

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PS -- the site I linked also has reviews of other MW and SW portables, including the Sangean PR-D5 and Sony models I mentioned. Jay Allen seems to give pretty fair reviews, and has some electronics background, so it's a decent site to look over.
 

k9rzz

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... snip ...

One thing I wanted to ask about ham transceivers with general coverage: does one exist that is any good on MW? Anybody have luck with one? I was always under the impression that amateur transceivers are made intentionally partially deaf on MW to prevent interference with the amateur bands from strong MW stations. But if any good MW dxing transceiver exists, I'd be very, very, very happy to know about it.

Thanks for the tip on turning the AGC off and working the RF gain.
I was very dissapointed to find out that the Icom R75 has a MW attenuator built in, and it's all surface mount so very difficult to eliminate. It's fine up at 1,600khz but down in the basement on longwave .... YUCK! If you want to go old school, the Yaesu FT767gx I used to have was KILLER on MW and long wave. No MW attenuation plus the pre-amp worked down there too. That was great for using loops. The problem, however, is that it is an old radio and old radios are subject to needing repairs. The upside to THAT, is that they use regular electronic circuit boards (transistors, capacitors, resistors), NOT surface mount, so they are repairable.

Tip: watch for an old Kenwood R-1000. KILLER!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgTPTOFbvfA


YMMV
 
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ridgescan

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Hey John-that MW att. you're talking about-is this something in all r75s? I did not know about that.
I do know there is an "AM NB" you can disable within the "set/ant" function.
Also, my r75's preamps work fine down in MW and LW, and the r75 does just as well if not a little better receiving stuff in LW, albeit I need to use the ATT in LW (in the r75 AND r71a) to kill imaging from local MW BCs every 10kHz.
 

jk77

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Boombox, thanks for the link and the info! Great and very helpful!

k9rzz, I guess I really want to buy a new radio as my first transceiver. I did not know that the Icom R75 has the same built-in attenuator as the IC-718 transceiver. I was seriously considering the 718 until I found out about the attenuator and that the AGC is not adjustable and not able to be shut off. Basically, the only choices I'm considering among ham transceivers are:

1. Icom IC-718 - which I am about to scratch off
2. Yaesu FT-450D
3. Icom IC-7200
4. Alinco DX-SR8T

Obviously, the quality of the MW reception of a particular transceiver is not going to be THE determining factor in getting that transceiver or not, but it will be A factor. The more factors I can line up in favor of a transceiver, the more justified I feel in my mind about spending that amount of money on a radio.

On the other hand, perhaps I should forego worrying about AM DXing with a transceiver and just get something like the CCradio-EP or some other portable to do my MW DXing.

Thanks for your input!
 

krokus

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The Sangean ATS-505 might be an option, which is also carried at RadioShack as a world radio.

Others might be able to tell you about the MW performance, but I have been impressed with the FM reception, and the HF reception has been acceptable.

Sent via Tapatalk
 

corbintechboy

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Boombox, thanks for the link and the info! Great and very helpful!

k9rzz, I guess I really want to buy a new radio as my first transceiver. I did not know that the Icom R75 has the same built-in attenuator as the IC-718 transceiver. I was seriously considering the 718 until I found out about the attenuator and that the AGC is not adjustable and not able to be shut off. Basically, the only choices I'm considering among ham transceivers are:

1. Icom IC-718 - which I am about to scratch off
2. Yaesu FT-450D
3. Icom IC-7200
4. Alinco DX-SR8T

Obviously, the quality of the MW reception of a particular transceiver is not going to be THE determining factor in getting that transceiver or not, but it will be A factor. The more factors I can line up in favor of a transceiver, the more justified I feel in my mind about spending that amount of money on a radio.

On the other hand, perhaps I should forego worrying about AM DXing with a transceiver and just get something like the CCradio-EP or some other portable to do my MW DXing.

Thanks for your input!
The CCradio I have is a great radio. No other portable I have can touch it.

If you can get your hands on a Drake R8, you would have an awesome MWDX rig (I had one). Of course they are aging and in my opinion may not be worth the cost of the trouble they may give in a few years. I also have the Sony 2010 which is very capable on MW.

I myself would get the CCradio. Great radio for the money and the sound is really good. A pleasure on MW and also a pleasure on FM when you just want to listen to some tunes, I love mine. Not to mention the added benefit of the weather channels and being able to listen to the weather net when the weather gets bad and hear what the other radio Operators in the area might see.
 
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