Best radio for MW DXing?

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RattusNor

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Palstar R 30 A

I''ve been DXíng MW/ SW since 1965.

I've had a Hammarlund DX 180 A, a Icom R 71 A, a Icom IC-R75 and my Palstar R 30 A beats them all, in my opinion.

There is no MW attenuation on the Palstar, and yet it never overloads.

I'm retired, and live in Hawaii. I can get MW DX from Alaska to Mexico city to Tahiti with it.

This is the antenna is use: Par Electronics EF-SWL End Fed Dipole SWL Antenna. Par EF-SWL.

The antenna fits perfectly on my Lanai.

Also, the Palstar is easy to use if your eyesight is as bad as mine is.

http://www.palstar.com/qstR30.pdf

Palstar R30A | Shortwave Radio Index
 

Jimru

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Some of the best MW DXing I ever did was in my mom's 1984 Pontiac on Cape Cod! There are some threads around RR discussing the use of car radios for MW DXing. I've also had good results with my Rat Shack DX-398 (really a Sangean ATS-909) using the internal loop. Good luck!
 

Andy3

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Whatever radio you decide on, if you suffer from local electrical noise (as I do) then a loop antenna is highly recommended. I've been using a Wellbrook 1530 loop antenna for many years and it kills most of the noise stone dead. It is a wideband, untuned antenna which works well from about 50KHz to 10 MHz and tends to droop a bit t higher frequencies but is still usable at 30 - 40 MHz.
If I try to listen to LF/MF on my vertical wire antenna, all I get is S9 of noise.
The loop is mounted at gutter height at the rear of the house on a cheap rotator.
 

ka3jjz

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Let's not wander too far OT here...the question was on radios, not antennas. We have a separate forum for that topic.

Onward...Mike
 

jonohudson

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Staying with the topic, the advantage of an SDR is you can monitor the whole of the MW band in one go. The new generation of SDRs like airspy and our own SDRplay RSP are ideal. Software like SDR Console works well. A key consideration is additional front end filtering. There's a good article here covering that topic Arctic DX: When You Need To Get Rid Of That Noise. Jon
 

a29zuk

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I''ve been DXíng MW/ SW since 1965.

I've had a Hammarlund DX 180 A, a Icom R 71 A, a Icom IC-R75 and my Palstar R 30 A beats them all, in my opinion.

There is no MW attenuation on the Palstar, and yet it never overloads.

I'm retired, and live in Hawaii. I can get MW DX from Alaska to Mexico city to Tahiti with it.

This is the antenna is use: Par Electronics EF-SWL End Fed Dipole SWL Antenna. Par EF-SWL.

The antenna fits perfectly on my Lanai.

Also, the Palstar is easy to use if your eyesight is as bad as mine is.

http://www.palstar.com/qstR30.pdf

Palstar R30A | Shortwave Radio Index
I agree. The Palstar R30 is also one of the best receivers I ever used for MW DX. But it is about $350 more now then it was when I purchased it in 2007. This puts it out of reach for many consumers looking for an affordable BCB receiver.

Jim
 

ab3a

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Some of the best MW DXing I ever did was in my mom's 1984 Pontiac on Cape Cod! There are some threads around RR discussing the use of car radios for MW DXing. I've also had good results with my Rat Shack DX-398 (really a Sangean ATS-909) using the internal loop. Good luck!
For casual AM listening, I really enjoy the radio embedded in the late model Ford Sync systems. While the audio could be just a bit less "muddy," they have done a lot to reduce the effects of selective fading. Some regional stations near me that often suffer from ground/skywave interference are quite easy to listen to on this radio.

Muddy audio is one of my biggest criticisms of AM radios. Years ago, I built a synchronous detector for a friend's FRG-100. It didn't hold sync all that well for short-wave stations, but it did make local stations sound fantastic!

One of these days I intend to design and build a MW AM broadcast receiver with clean, synchronous audio being my primary goal. The technical challenge intrigues me. I'm sure that once I build it, I'll be disgusted with what I hear, both technically and programmatically. But I have to try...
 

ridgescan

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I run three serious (to me anyway) HF comms receivers here at my QTH, on a respectable Wellbrook loop, on which I often do MW DXing.
Then I get into my Toyota Tacoma and find the cold dose of reality, that its radio has reception of distant signals on MW equal to the base rigs! To me, it is impressive how well and how clearly this thing can pull em in.
 

Boombox

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After a break of a couple months, I decided to see what's on the MW band again at night. Same 300 odd stations for the most part, but one 'new' station, KXOL 1660 is back on the air, simulcasting another Spanish speaking station in Utah.

DXed it and a few other stations on a couple old Sangean / Radio Shack portables from the 1990's, a DX-370 and DX-350. Both have very good ceramic filters in them (I think the 350 has two wired together), and coupled with a loop, they DX very well. Both are rather small radios with decent gain (although no where near what you get on a Superadio) and moderate sized loopsticks (although they're thicker than the loopsticks in some other Sangean made Radio Shack models).

I guess my point here is that you can DX MW on any radio that at least has decent selectivity (i.e. a ceramic filter) and enough gain to work with an external loop.
 

k9rzz

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Okay, I'm gonna get yelled at because this isn't about the "radio", but AM DXing is largely about HOW you do it. If you listen at the same time every day, then your results will be limited. You need to mix it up. LOTS of different techniques can be used, but that will have to be another topic or else they'll (moderators) will yell at me. :^]
 

a29zuk

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Yes, most receivers can be used to listen to distant stations across the dial. Heck back in the 70's my little 8 transistor pocket radio could listen to KFI on 640 in Los Angeles here in Michigan because it was on a "clear" channel with no other station on the frequency or adjacent frequency. Yes it was easier to do right before sunrise and WSM out of Nashville on 650 started to fade. That is part of knowing when to listen as K9rzz is suggesting.

What sets the good ones apart from the rest is the selectivity. Can you listen to the frequency next to the local powerhouses in your backyard. The Palstar R30 and the Sangean PR-D15 are receivers with the ability to do this as well as some of the other communication receivers mentioned in this post.

My receiver test station is WLW out of Cincinnati on 700 in the daytime. If I can hear it without any splatter from the local on 690 while it is playing music, that receiver passes the test for me.

Jim P.
 
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Boombox

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Yes, most receivers can be used to listen to distant stations across the dial. Heck back in the 70's my little 8 transistor pocket radio could listen to KFI on 640 in Los Angeles here in Michigan because it was on a "clear" channel with no other station on the frequency or adjacent frequency. Yes it was easier to do right before sunrise and WSM out of Nashville on 650 started to fade. That is part of knowing when to listen as K9rzz is suggesting.

What sets the good ones apart from the rest is the selectivity. Can you listen to the frequency next to the local powerhouses in your backyard. The Palstar R30 and the Sangean PR-D15 are receivers with the ability to do this as well as some of the other communication receivers mentioned in this post.

My receiver test station is WLW out of Cincinnati on 700 in the daytime. If I can hear it without any splatter from the local on 690 while it is playing music, that receiver passes the test for me.

Jim P.
Having a Sangean PR-D5, I understand what you're saying -- the digital IF chip in the Sangan PRD series gives those radios 4 khz bandwidth.

But I have cheaper radios that also have great adjacent channel capability, including the two radios I mentioned above (DX-370, DX-350), and the Sony SRF-59 $20 headset radio mentioned earlier in this thread. They may not be as narrowly selective as the PR-D5, but still are DX capable selectivity wise.

The reason I reflected on the cheaper radios earlier this week wasn't to take away from the comm rigs mentioned here, but more to promote the idea that even cheap radios can perform quite well, especially if you have an external loop -- which one often uses with the more expensive radios as well.

On SW it's not quite as easy to DX on a budget, but with MW you can get 'lucky' with a cheaper radio, a loop, and still do quite well.
 
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