New to shortwave, have questions

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packrat56

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Have been enjoying limited DX on AM, and CB for a long time..

Moving on to shortwave.

Please be easy on me, I have typical newbie questions and would sincerely appreciate honest and kind answers.

I have decided on a Alinco DX-R8T. I cant afford crazy expensive, yet I don't want to have to upgrade anytime soon. Reasonable choice?

1. Is a simple Pyramid PS-3 KX regulated power supply adequate to power this machine? Any dramatic advantages to a more complex power supply?

2. Antennas are a bit confusing. I would like to start with something that I just setup and use without the learning curve of complex antennas. I do not yet understand antenna tuning?

Can something like :MFJ G5RV Multi-Band Antenna MFJ-1778 work? (link below)


What fairly user friendly antenna would be recommended with the Alinco DX-R8T?

What else might I need?


https://www.dxengineering.com/parts...MI6raKlfHe1QIVhVt-Ch1QagE6EAQYAyABEgLS7fD_BwE

Thanks!
 

a29zuk

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SE Michigan
The Pyramid PS-3 should be adequate for your receiver.

For starters a random length wire as long(30' or longer) and high as you can get it will work fine. Getting it up as high as possible will help reduce man made noise. End feed it with coax cable to your receiver. For receive only HF is signal to noise ratio so it's not all that critical.
Some listeners like to use a 9:1 balun to match the end fed antenna impedance to the receiver.
The G5RV will work well, too and others will recommend different antennas which will work fine.

Have fun,
Jim
 
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ridgescan

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The Pyramid PS-3 should be adequate for your receiver.

For starters a random length wire as long(30' or longer) and high as you can get it will work fine. Getting it up as high as possible will help reduce man made noise. End feed it with coax cable to your receiver. For receive only HF is signal to noise ratio so it's not all that critical.
Some listeners like to use a 9:1 balun to match the end fed antenna impedance to the receiver.
The G5RV will work well, too and others will recommend different antennas which will work fine.

Have fun,
Jim
+1 on Jim's post. Also, for about $30 more you can get the very good PAR EF-SWL which is endfed, comes with a 9:1 transformer, and is only 44' long where the G5RV is 102'.
 

ka3jjz

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Now that you've got a couple of recommendations, and will have a radio, it begs the question - what do you want to hear? HF (a.k.a shortwave) is very wide in its scope, and it's sometimes a difficult question to answer. And please, give us some idea where you are (county/state is fine)

Mike
 

packrat56

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Eugene, Oregon. 60 miles from the pacific ocean. Interested in listening to people from other countries.

Not to confuse the issue, but we have always wanted to talk to people as well.

Seems almost a waste to set up with SW, and not just take the leap to ham?

Would a Icom IC-718 be a good start? Can I receive all the interesting stuff with that, as well as transmit?

Then, the antenna issue becomes even more complicated?
 

ka3jjz

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The 718 is a good unit, and will serve you fairly well whether you are just listening or will (eventually) become a ham. Along with the G5RV clone you've mentioned, you should be all set to get listening. It's been my opinion for years that learning all you can about (what we in the ham community sometimes refer to as) SWL is a very good training ground, as much of what you learn here will be applicable when you begin your ham career.

Where you are, Asia and the Pacific are, propagationally speaking, right on your doorstep. In fact you will be able to hear things we here in the East would give our eye teeth to get. This is due to the effects of propagation - how a HF signal is bent up and down our ionosphere and can, and often does, travel thousands of miles, regardless of borders.

My access at work is severely restricted, so I can't point you to some source websites (there are tons of these) but rest assured, you are on a journey of learning - and there is much to be learned.

Mike
 

packrat56

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Excellent information, I appreciate the assistance from all of you. I would like to avoid some of the potentially money wasting errors and try to begin this with well performing and reliable equipment, and not have to replace things too soon.

The 718 and the G5RV clone will get me listening, even the Asia and Pacific signals?

When we are ready to transmit, license and all, what are the antenna needs for transmission? Will something like the G5RV get a signal out as well?
 

ladn

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Eugene, Oregon. 60 miles from the pacific ocean. Interested in listening to people from other countries.

Not to confuse the issue, but we have always wanted to talk to people as well.

Seems almost a waste to set up with SW, and not just take the leap to ham?

Would a Icom IC-718 be a good start? Can I receive all the interesting stuff with that, as well as transmit?

Then, the antenna issue becomes even more complicated?
pacrat56--Since you've looked at the Alinco DX-R8-T, consider its transceiver brother, the SR8-T. I bought one a few years ago and have been pleased with it. It's simple to operate and has a decent receiver. When you get your amateur license, it will make an excellent first HF transceiver. I use the Alinco switching power supply with mine and it works perfectly well (no switching noise), and it's lightweight and compact compared to by Astron.
 

n2pqq

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First you have to set a budget.

Do you want a SDR or a radio with physical knobs.

The most important part of listening to shortwave
is the antenna.
You want something that limits the noise.

My recommendation is a loop.

Take a look at the new MFJ loop

MFJ-1886, mfj1886 Loop Antenna

You will need cable ,mounting poles and brackets .

I suggest a antenna rotator also.

Look here for a video review

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEny55bZ8FA

Next is a radio : Take a look at the ELAD FDM-S2

It is a sdr radio but highly rated , also eliminates the need
for a separate power supply.

It is also in the same price range as the Alinco.

ELAD FDM-S2

Here is a Video of the ELAD going all the way across the spectrum.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGXeXTIawkU

I would also recommend bookmarking the following two sites .


http://www.short-wave.info/index.php


Global Frequency Database - Verified Radio Scanner Frequencies - Worldwide

Don't forget to get a copy of multipsk

index

Read the reviews on eham http://www.eham.net/reviews/products/8

Read Fenu Radio page http://www.fenu-radio.ch/en-index4.htm

Well hope this helps you some, good luck and let us know
how you make out.
 
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KC4RAF

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Davenport,Fl.- home to me and the gators and the s
You've been given some excellent answers. You'll need to shop around a bit to find the best prices/dealers. Some times ebay can be a good source, but you have to aware of some of the dealers there.
You ask the questions here and you'll find most of the answers to be very valuable.

And where you post that you would like to talk to operators in other countries, go for your amateur General license. Once you start having comms with oversea countries, you'll be hooked!
 

packrat56

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Jun 9, 2012
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Excellent resources and information, much appreciated. I can see there is a lot of reading/study involved in this process-and it will take time to get a basic understand, and years to become actually knowledgeable. . A general license seems perfect. I need a technician class before I can get a general?

While I am learning I would like to assemble a system on paper, and continue figuring out how it all is connected.

I am just beginning to grasp the equipment needs and hope to enjoy the collective wisdom of you folks in narrowing down choices, understanding quality, and component compatibility.

At this point here is what I think I need: ( likely misunderstanding something)

*Amateur Base Transceiver, I like the IC-718, or perhaps the DX-SR8T. Not interested in the SDR.

*Power supply SEC-1235M for the ICON or QJE PS23SW1 for the DX-SR8T

*Antennas.. This is the most confusing. From what I am reading, there is no one antenna to receive and transmit , one must assemble a collection of antennas depending on what they want to do? Or?

So: * PAR EF-SWL for listining
* Two separate antennas for transmitting on both 10 and 40? Or is there one that can do this? Examples?

How does one tie together multiple antennas, how to switch between, or does the radio use all at the same time?

Must be some intermediary components I do not know about ?

Can this be on a simple mast on a rooftop?

Thanks!
 

ka3jjz

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<snip>*Antennas.. This is the most confusing. From what I am reading, there is no one antenna to receive and transmit , one must assemble a collection of antennas depending on what they want to do? Or?

So: * PAR EF-SWL for listining
* Two separate antennas for transmitting on both 10 and 40? Or is there one that can do this? Examples?

How does one tie together multiple antennas, how to switch between, or does the radio use all at the same time?
</snip>
Thanks!
While there are antennas that are tuned just for certain bands (for example, just the ham bands) there are many wide banded designs that will work (to an extent) across the entire HF spectrum. The antenna you had mentioned in one of your other posts will likely work just fine on both 10 and 40; however some people like to build separate antennas for different bands because they like to concentrate on just those bands, or are working on certain amateur radio awards (or both). At this stage of the game, a G5RV clone (like I believe the antenna you had linked really is - there are better ones) will serve you well to start.

The PAR EF-SWL is, as the name implies, for listening, not transmitting. The company that took over PAR's wire antennas line has other antennas, many of which are for hams.

Antennas are just one piece of the puzzle, but it's an important one. The ARRL has many very good books on the subject, and are rightly prized for their use as a reference source. There are many others as well - anything by the late Joe Buch N2JB is worth reading. Universal Radio in Ohio is a good source of these books, and there are many others as well. Building a small reference library - either electronic or in hard copy form - will serve you well later on down the road.
 
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