Looking to get into shortwave

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CalebATC

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Hi,


I'm looking to get into shortwave, but I don't know much about it. I'm a VHF and UHF man :)

What good recivers are there, and what are the prices?

I am looking to monitor USB, and some of the 5.XXXX frequencies for Miami Oceanic.
 

ka3jjz

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You can start your research by looking at our HF Gateway in the wiki...

HF - The RadioReference Wiki

Read the stuff in the preamble - they will give you some of the basics, which you will need to understand to get started. It's especially important to understand the basics of HF Propagation. Unlike scanners, there are bands that open only at night, and those open during the daytime.

At the bottom, you will find a link for equipment and accessories. That article has LOTS of links to reviews, articles and so forth. Sad to say there aren't many HF desktop radios anymore - the Palstar is one of the very few, along with the Icom R75 workhorse. Look around and see what strikes your fancy. Ask questions - you'll find lots of places for answers. If you're a ham, or looking to be one, an used HF transceiver (which nowadays often has a built in HF general coverage rx) may be another option. There are even some online HF receivers you can play with.

73 Mike
 

CalebATC

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Well, that's what I'm asking. Around how much are the recivers? How much are the antennas?

I'm looking to monitor USCG and anything else I can find, along with flight communications. And Miami Oceanic, along with all the other oceanic frequencies.
 

ka3jjz

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Antennas aren't all that expensive, especially if you've got some leftover coax from your scanner antenna stuff - in fact you can build one quite cheaply (well south of USD50, less if you've got stuff in your junkbox)

As for receiver prices - that depends greatly if it's new (for example, see some of the links at Universal Radio) or used, as well as your own budget. Keep an eye out for the various hamfests in your area, and I wouldn't ignore some of the used radio links at places that actually check out a radio before it's put on the list (like Universal Radio's used list). You'll pay a bit more, but you will also get a return policy - something you're not likely to find on places like eBay or Craigslist. You will pay less if you get a used rx. The same rule applies to ham transceivers - say a Kenwood TS440, or one of the older Yaesu models. Heck, even the FT817 QRP radio I had for a time had a helluva hot general coverage rx.

73 Mike
 
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Murstech

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If youre willing to use your computer as an interface TenTec manufactures an awesome receiver.
The RX-320D....
 

ka3jjz

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And don't forget about the various online radios linked at the bottom of the HF article 73 Mike
 

nova1010

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You can buy the best SW receiver out there but if you haven't got a good antenna it might as well be a brick.

Get yourself a good inexpensive sw receiver that does USB/LSB to start off with and a good antenna and your good to go.

Im using a DX-398 with a Kaito KA35 active loop antenna indoor because im in an apartment works good for what I want to listen to.(I paid around $125 used for my setup)

If your in a house and able to throw a good line outside do it.

Good luck.
 

ka3jjz

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If you look at the Universal website that lists used radios, there are a few there that are well south of USD700. For example, there's the FDM77 (that's a Software Defined Radio or SDR), an Icom R70 and used R75, a Kenwood R2000 and a Yaesu FRG100. All of them floating around the USD400 range.

Murstech is quite right - the RX320D is a fine performer in its own right, but in many ways the FDM77 is better. The RX320D new is retailing for USD369 but with a little patience a used one can be had for less. In both of these cases, though, you end up marrying a PC to a radio. They don't work stand-alone.

Take the time to read the various reviews and links supplied earlier and educate yourself. That doesn't cost anything, and you'll learn something about what to look for and what to avoid. 73 Mike
 
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CalebATC

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Alright gents,

Thanks for your help!

I'm only 13 so to come past that much money is a little hard. Atleast I know what to look for now when I goto buy one.

What do you get on HF and USB besides aviation, and USCG? I know there is globaltalk and Link11, but thats it.
 

ka3jjz

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<sigh> Again go read the HF wiki article I gave earlier. It gives a good introduction into all the things you can hear. It only touches a little below the surface, but it's a real good starting point....73 Mike
 

brandon

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Hi CableATC

I would recommend subscribing to the HFmonitors group. It's the best HF monitoring group out there for us folks in the United States. The owner actually lives in Flordia, so his reception logs be a good reference to see what you can expect to hear.

There is another excellent group called UDXF but it tends to focus more on Europe.
 

csoguy

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My Yupiteru MVT-7100 is a portable multiband receiver and it does pretty well for shortwave. It does very well for shortwave when hooked up to an external antenna. They are very hard to find as they were discontinued many years ago, but well worth the investment if you can find one. I bought mine from the UK...cost me under $200 shipped. Yupiteru was not a brand offered here in the states so they are all unblocked models. I am thinking about getting a ICOM IC-R20 but it needs to be as sensitive in the shortwave range and not sure if there is anything to listen to above 1650mhz!?!
 

SpecialAgent

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thanks!

You can start your research by looking at our HF Gateway in the wiki...

HF - The RadioReference Wiki

Read the stuff in the preamble - they will give you some of the basics, which you will need to understand to get started. It's especially important to understand the basics of HF Propagation. Unlike scanners, there are bands that open only at night, and those open during the daytime.

At the bottom, you will find a link for equipment and accessories. That article has LOTS of links to reviews, articles and so forth. Sad to say there aren't many HF desktop radios anymore - the Palstar is one of the very few, along with the Icom R75 workhorse. Look around and see what strikes your fancy. Ask questions - you'll find lots of places for answers. If you're a ham, or looking to be one, an used HF transceiver (which nowadays often has a built in HF general coverage rx) may be another option. There are even some online HF receivers you can play with.

73 Mike
Thanks for the info mike, ill take time to read it so i too can better understand it. I've been a vhf/uhf guy for pushing 30 yrs now. And I too have my eye on shortwave. I live monitoring the feds and a buddy told me to check into this. I dont have the license to Tx so i am looking to Rx only. And being a novice im on a budget as well. I want to monitor FBI,DEA,BORDER PATROL,COAST GAURD, as well as Military. I noticed Radio Shack has a Grunding G5 and a Grunding 750. Are these good models to start out with and have the necessary coverage range that i am looking for?
thanks
jb
 

rexgame

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USB and LSB are both examples of SSB modulation. The analog passbands are AM, SSB, QAM, FM, PM, and SM.

Most of the military stuff is either AM or SSB in the HF range (though, any frequency can have any modulation). So just check to see if the radio has SSB. I just got a G6 for the road, and at the house I use a CCRadio-SW. The CCRadio (also known as KAITO KA2100 and REDSUN RP2100), does not do SSB however, for around $30 you can add a little device (called a BFO) that will plug into the IF out and allow you to do SSB,
 
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