Help Selecting a new receiver

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g5turbo81

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Cedar Rapids,Iowa
Good Afternoon to all:

I'm in the market for a higher end receiver, and I'd like to get some opinions from those of you out there who have used/do have receivers that cover some of the areas that I enjoy listening to, so here is some background info on what I'm looking at:

1- Price point of $800..I could be convinced to spend more..
2- I enjoy snagging those weak/distant signals out of the hash of shortwave that's out there.
3- I enjoy decoding PSK-31, Hell, Olivia, RTTY, CW,Weather Fax, and ALE.
4- Modes I am looking for are AM,FM,CW,USB/LSB, I would like to get into DRM.
5-Antenna's I use are a 30 foot magnetic loop with Gamma Match, 5 ft magnetic loop with a Air variable capacitor, and Random Wires, but I am looking to expand my horizons with Antenna's.
6- I would like the DSP option as well.. Looking for coverage from 100 khz or lower to 30 mhz.

I'm open to all possibilities, and I think I have covered most of what you may want to know, but if there is something else, please let me know.. To give you an Idea of what I started with, it was a Grundig G5..Good little radio for the price...now on to bigger and badder toys. Thanks in advance-

Matt
 

dd364

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I just got the aor8600.It works great and it would be perfect for what you're looking for.
 

ka3jjz

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What you are asking for is a little like moving from a small Saturn to a Maserati - however I can think of a couple of possibilities. Certainly the R75 with the DSP option, the NRD-545 DSP receiver, and of course the various SDRs including the Perseus, and RFSpace units.

I would start with some basic research - we have a ton of links to receiver reviews linked here (anything in blue is a link)...

Category:Receiver Reviews - The RadioReference Wiki

To be honest, I have not heard of anyone using SDR to do dedicated digital decoding, but it certainly seems possible. Some queries on the UDXF Yahoo group might be in order here. Note the NASWA link in the wiki - Al Johnson N4LUS did a nice review on the Perseus last year, and I was able to play with one at a recent Winterfest. I had to wipe the drool off the keyboard, hi

I haven't tried this site - it's a little pathetic to do something like this on dialup - but here's another SDR site...

SDR-RADIO.com > Home

Now a little about what you are trying to hear would be nice. DRM in North America is a bit of a waste - there's only a small handful, if that, of DRM broadcasts beamed our way. If you wish to pursue this further, this wiki article has a small number of links that will get you started...

HF Equipment and Accessories - The RadioReference Wiki

There's very little plain text RTTY anymore, apart from a few hams that still use it. A few Aero stations, as I understand it, but not too much else. PSK31, Hell and Olivia are all ham digital modes, and I have yet to hear of any non-ham station using these on any regular basis. Weather FAX will be around for some time to come. However ALE is entirely another animal - both hams and numerous stations use it. Again, it might be wise to ask a few questions on the UDXF forum about folks who are using SDR radios and decoding ALE, among other modes. There is a dedicated COTHEN forum run by our own Lindsay that is, of course, heavily involved in ALE.

If you're a ham, many of today's ham transceivers have well-performing general coverage receivers built in, so it's a 2 for 1 game.

Time to do a little research, I think. I would take my time on this - you're moving from a pretty simple portable to a multi buck receiver might be a bit overwhelming, and it's going to be something of a learning curve learning how to make things work properly

As for antennas - we've got LOTS of links on that subject, as well....

HF Antennas - The RadioReference Wiki

and if you really have some room, and want to experiment with Skyloops, there is such a Yahoo group for that topic, too...

I'd better stop - I'm getting green with envy. 73 Mike
 
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g5turbo81

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Location
Cedar Rapids,Iowa
Receiver Choice..

To Mike and Others:

Thank you all very much for your replies thus far.. You've definitely given me some good places to start. Thus far, I've liked the looks of the R75 with DSP option. I also like the SDR-IQ.. I question if I can actually pick up anything in that low range that the SDR can go to.Something else to research. If I had to narrow it down to what I chose to listen to the most, It's SW DX...Then Ham digital Modes, then LW. You're right Mike,The 2 for 1 radios are a real treat, and my Yaesu 857D is one of my favorites. But this time, I'm looking for a dedicated receiver to add to the shack.Antenna-wise, Space is not an issue... I've looked at Welbrook's line of Loops, and from what I've seen, it could be a path I may go down. I'll check out the HF Antenna section and go from there. I'll also look at the Skyloop.

Mike, I'd also like to say I agree with you with regards to the DRM programs... To me, it doesn't seem to have caught on, and may be in the long run, a waste of time....
 

LarrySC

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Greenville, SC
While reviewing these post I noticed no one mentioned the PALSTAR made in OHIO. Collins filters and 100 memory slots. I plan to replace an older HF Rxvr soon and this one is on the top of my list. BTW I just built a 30' vertical mounted in one of the wifes 'bud vases'. Best regards to all. Larry
 

ka3jjz

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Larry if I were in your shoes I too might consider a Palstar. However, I don't know how well that radio would work with digital decoding, which is one of the things the OT had mentioned. Too, I'm not so sure I'd want to poke around in there to find the detector tap for DRM (that is, while the warranty was still in play). Something else the OT mentioned was DSP, which of course the Palstar doesn't do.

Still though, if you were in an urban area, plagued with MW stations around you, the Palstar's front end is reported to be tough as nails and very resistant to overload. It's a very simple receiver, and those 2 things alone might be a selling point for someone just starting out, although the price is a tad high. But as many things are, you get what you pay for.

73 Mike
 

g5turbo81

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Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Messages
66
Location
Cedar Rapids,Iowa
Receiver Choice

Hey guys,
After some careful consideration, I have purchased the Icom R75, DSP, Filters and all from Universal Radio...It arrived yesterday and since then I've been working with this receiver..So far it's been a real pleasure to operate, and the Twin PBT really helps clean some of the signals up. What I like best is the 2 antenna jacks, so that I can compare my Loop to my long wire, Or my dipole vs. another antenna.. On my antenna list next is the Wellbrook ALA330S..

I've researched the SDR-IQ and that may be the next piece of my shack...Hopefully this rounds it off for quite a while..

Larry, thanks for the input on the antenna.. Funny to say but when I got it home, I hooked up a 20 foot piece of wire to the back of the R75..Just to see the difference and it was amazing.

Matt
 

nanZor

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May 28, 2009
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Congratulations - I'm sure you'll be happy with the R75.

For the OBE (out of box experience), I'm sure you've adjusted the mechanical dial-drag to your liking, and sometimes when switching antennas I've forgotten to just light tap the SET button to make the antenna relay switch rather than get into the menus and wonder why the receiver went deaf. :)

For a real treat, don't use a mobile speaker or rely solely on the front-panel speaker. Grab a set of comm-quality headphones like the Kenwood HS-5 / HS-6, Heil or the like that have reduced frequency response for dx'ing. Maybe even spring for the typically overpriced matching speaker sets from any other manufacturer.

At any rate, you've got a fine base quality rx to build upon!
 

g5turbo81

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Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Messages
66
Location
Cedar Rapids,Iowa
Reciever Choice

So far so good with the R75.. The Wellbrook Loop combined with this does a great job.. I'm heading out to take this mobile,with 100 ft longwire, into a location that's clear of any electrical interference and see what I can hear... I want to thank all of you who helped me make a solid 1st Choice commnications reciever..

hertzian- I did the same thing the 1st couple times too :)- And thanks for the info on the speaker/Headphones.

ka3jjz- Thanks for the link and the Yahoo Group ino...


73's..
 
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