Good shortwave desktop receiver

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I m looking forward to buying my first desktop receiver I live in northern Canada and will install a good diapole antenna would like one to hear the weak pirate stations any suggestions thank you
 

WA8ZTZ

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Unfortunately, the R-75 has been discontinued.
If you want a new desktop, about all that 's left is the Alinco DX-R8T.
 

NC1

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There are some good ones to be had on ebay. Get one with continuous coverage.

I have a Radio Shack DX-390, and their smaller more portable DX-399.
They are good for my purposes and have served me well over many years. I have had no issues.

You will want one that goes from 29.999 MHz, down to about 1.710 MHz or so.
 

jwt873

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Another option rather than a dedicated desktop would be one of the SDR radios that are available today. The simple ones don't work without a computer, but since you posted here, you obviously have one :)

One good bang for the buck radio is the SDR Play... SDRplay

Radio World out of Toronto is the Canadian distributor.
 

ka3jjz

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SDRs have an advantage where you can see a whole section of a spectrum (say 1-2 Mhz, for example) at a time, and you can then jump to it rather quickly. Some pirates don't stay on all that long, so this is a significant advantage in pirate hunting

MIke
 

WA8ZTZ

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If the OP is a ham or considering a ham license, get a ham transceiver. Many have general coverage receive capability.
 

Token

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I m looking forward to buying my first desktop receiver I live in northern Canada and will install a good diapole antenna would like one to hear the weak pirate stations any suggestions thank you
New? Or used? What kind of budget are you looking at?

The new market for desktops/tabletops is rather thin, in the under $1000 the only one left today is the Icom DX-R8T. However if you are willing to buy new there are a lot of suggestions.

As has been suggested, if you are a ham it might be a good idea to get an HF transceiver, most made today include an excellent general coverage receiver. Even if not a ham you could consider these, just remember you are paying extra for gear you can't use (the transmitter of the radio). Might this be a fit for you? In that case there are half a dozen, at least, in the ~$1000 or less range.

T!
 

ridgescan

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I would add here that a good used R75 would be a very good choice. There are several that pop up on Ebay, in the Yahoo R75 group, the HAM sites, Craigslist etc. and can be had for as little as $400 from what I see. I love my R75 too that I bought back in 2008. Used every day since, it is fiercely reliable and a very capable very good quality receiver.
 

majoco

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You don't need a ham licence to use a transceiver on receive only- so you won't need a 35Amp power supply either!
 

majoco

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I'll pretend I never saw that!

I tried listening for the pirates but your evenings are my middays so 40m just don't cut it!

Hope you all had a great Christmas and looking forward to a great 2017 if the sun behaves!
 

mbott

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SDRs have an advantage where you can see a whole section of a spectrum (say 1-2 Mhz, for example) at a time, and you can then jump to it rather quickly. Some pirates don't stay on all that long, so this is a significant advantage in pirate hunting

MIke
Although 1 to 2 mHz is the norm for me too, the SDRplay RSP (1 or 2) will allow you to see a 10 mHz part of the spectrum as long as the PC/laptop is powerful enough to keep up. :)

--
Mike
 

Boombox

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The OP could always get a Sangean ATS-909X and save a bit of money -- it sells for around 200-250$ US --and it works great on SW, and will also handle an external wire antenna. Cheaper than a tabletop.
 

mbott

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The OP could always get a Sangean ATS-909X and save a bit of money -- it sells for around 200-250$ US --and it works great on SW, and will also handle an external wire antenna. Cheaper than a tabletop.
There is a new Grundig Executive Satellit out for about $199 that is getting very good reviews at the moment. Friend who purchased one already (actually stole it for $77 off of Amazon) says it is better than any other portable he has owned. Might be worth a look.

--
Mike
 

majoco

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"radiomancanada" hasn't said what he's using at the moment, so suggesting portables when he's asked for a desktop is rather pointless.

+1 on the R75, great receiver although I don't own one - I have played with one for a while but couldn't afford it at the time!
Get a look at the "Used" lists on the Universal Radio web site - all their stuff has been tested and has a 60-day guarantee. I see they have a couple of JRC receivers but the price is astronomical!
I bought my JRC NRD515 from a local ham shop 'needs repair' for NZ$500 with speaker and memory unit but the repair was trivial so I got a good deal there.
Your Durham Radio has a "used" section and they have an email system where they will inform you of items on the list before they go into print so you might get a good deal there.
 

wa8pyr

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I used to have a Drake R8 before I landed a ham transceiver (Icom 746 Pro) with a general coverage receiver. Any of the R8 variants (R8/R8A/R8B) is highly recommended, although pretty pricey, even used.

However, a lot depends on how much you want to spend and how elaborate a receiver you want. I'd recommend starting off fairly simple as fewer bells and whistles are (I believe) a better way to learn how to properly pull signals out of the noise.

I picked up a Radio Shack DX-160 at a local hamfest last summer for $25 which was a lucky find, but they usually show up on eBay in the $50-100 range. I always wanted one of these when I was a sprat, and finally got one. It's solid state, lots of fun, and a pretty darn good receiver too (the seller laughingly called it "Mr Drifty" but it's actually pretty stable and amazingly sensitive). I actually use this for general shortwave listening more often than the Icom. With a good antenna you could do well.

Alternatively, you could go with the Radio Shack DX-300, which is more advanced but also a pretty good starter radio if you can find one at the right price (I always wanted one of these, too).

Relatively simple, inexpensive radios like these are excellent starter radios, and loads of fun to use (especially the DX-160; there's just something about tuning a dial and seeing the dial pointer moving across the display).

In any case, your best bet is to start with something relatively inexpensive like these to see if it will do the trick, then getting something more advanced later if you need more bells and whistles.
 
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