Non-typical receivers

krokus

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What sort of non-standard receiver do you use? The below quote made me wonder what people use, that is not meant for scanning/SWLing, etc.

HP 3586 will be a bit over the top of the $200 limit, although I bought my "A" version for NZ$100, say US$68, in non-working condition but now it works very well after some TLC. Not exactly a toy for the newbies though. I'm hoping to hear Grimethorpe SAQ next month on 17.2kHz - yes, 17.2kHz! Google for it......
I used to use the 3586 for monthly maintenance of an analog microwave link, and wondered about what else it could be used for.
 

mmckenna

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I have a Frequency Selective Voltmeter that acts like a really good AM receiver from down near 0 up to 2500KHz. A bit too narrow for decent AM broadcast listening, but it is more selective and sensitive than anything else I've ever owned.
Was fun to listen to long wave beacons on it, and getting down into the weird stuff in the 40-60KHz range.
 

a417

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I had this triangular shaped black AM/FM clock radio in the late eighties that picked up BBC Radio 4's MW signal in southern New England at night. That was pretty non-standard, as it had to be in cassette mode. If it was in AM or FM I'd get the local stuff.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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I had an HP3586B. It was a very interesting receiver. But it lacked a practical AGC. So the audio level would ramp up and down. I thought about ways to improve that but eventually sold it off.
 

majoco

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Yes, the 3586 series does not have any AGC - that's the whole idea, it's really a tunable voltmeter that reads down to -120dBm which is somewhere down at 0.2microvolts in 50 ohms and measure the frequency down to 0.1Hz . You switch it to any 10dBm segment, leave it to make it's own mind up or set to cover the whole range but - as you say - the audio jumps up and down as it changes range. Mine has the hi-stab oscillator so it can measure the frequency of WWV - which is usually spot-on! Did you know you can use it as a signal generator - carrier only of course.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Yes, the 3586 series does not have any AGC - that's the whole idea, it's really a tunable voltmeter that reads down to -120dBm which is somewhere down at 0.2microvolts in 50 ohms and measure the frequency down to 0.1Hz . You switch it to any 10dBm segment, leave it to make it's own mind up or set to cover the whole range but - as you say - the audio jumps up and down as it changes range. Mine has the hi-stab oscillator so it can measure the frequency of WWV - which is usually spot-on! Did you know you can use it as a signal generator - carrier only of course.
Yeah the generator port out the back panel is a hidden feature. Probably because they wanted you to buy the pricey companion tracking generator.
 

KK4JUG

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I remember using a crystal radio (with the cat whisker) back in the Ozarks in Arkansas in the late 40s and early 50s.

(Yes, I'm old. I'm constantly reminded of it.)
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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I am interested in Aperiodic receivers.


Thinking of something modern 800 MHz, to detect transmissions and LO activity of common public safety radios. Sort of a police radio detector (Like radar detector-detector) . Once everything becomes encrypted on public safety, it would be a way to detect nearby police radio activity,
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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I remember using a crystal radio (with the cat whisker) back in the Ozarks in Arkansas in the late 40s and early 50s.

(Yes, I'm old. I'm constantly reminded of it.)
I used to listen to WOR NYC, Jean Shepard, at night using a crystal radio receiver at home in NJ.
 

GB46

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I used to listen to WOR NYC, Jean Shepard, at night using a crystal radio receiver at home in NJ.
Man, do I remember that! I did the same thing in my early teens, and stayed up late listening to his stories with my crystal radio's earplug in my ear, although I was in bed and supposed to be sleeping.

A few years later I was lucky enough to see him in person on the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick, NJ. The student centre was filled to capacity. Someone came up on stage to announce that Shepherd had been delayed on the NJ Turnpike and would be arriving late. This caused an uproar in the audience, but Shepherd showed up right after the announcement and shouted through a megaphone ordering the audience to calm down.

Where did you live in New Jersey? When Rutgers wasn't in session I lived in North Brunswick.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Man, do I remember that! I did the same thing in my early teens, and stayed up late listening to his stories with my crystal radio's earplug in my ear, although I was in bed and supposed to be sleeping.

A few years later I was lucky enough to see him in person on the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick, NJ. The student centre was filled to capacity. Someone came up on stage to announce that Shepherd had been delayed on the NJ Turnpike and would be arriving late. This caused an uproar in the audience, but Shepherd showed up right after the announcement and shouted through a megaphone ordering the audience to calm down.

Where did you live in New Jersey? When Rutgers wasn't in session I lived in North Brunswick.
Lawrenceville, off the Princeton Pike.
 

GB46

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Lawrenceville, off the Princeton Pike.
Roughly 20 miles from where I lived. I often went down to Princeton via Route 27, but never got as far as Lawrenceville. The town's name is vaguely familiar; I think I remember hearing about some kind of annual carnival there, but maybe I'm mistaken.
 

krokus

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I am interested in Aperiodic receivers.


Thinking of something modern 800 MHz, to detect transmissions and LO activity of common public safety radios. Sort of a police radio detector (Like radar detector-detector) . Once everything becomes encrypted on public safety, it would be a way to detect nearby police radio activity,
Checking for traffic on repeater inputs could work. A trunk tracking system could be modified for that.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Checking for traffic on repeater inputs could work. A trunk tracking system could be modified for that.
That very idea crossed my mind. I have a bunch of 800 MHz repeater preselectors. Add an LNA , RF gain amp and a detector. Ebay has all the parts needed.
 

ridgescan

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Not sure what you are referring to band-wise far as "receiving". The only two receivers here I can think of as non-typical for a given application, would be my old Ray Jeff RDF portable that uses MW carriers to direction-find. But it happens to be a great long-distance MW station getter.
The other is my Icom R75 that is normally mainly an HF rig but since it has scanning capability and FM mode, I happen to scan the CHP across the Bay Area in the 42mHz band. IOW I use it as a scanner occasionally.
 
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