Please help me choose a Receiver

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Jimepage

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I want to do some AM dxing and SW listening.
I own a Sat 750 but I think I am ready for a $500+ Radio.

I am looking at the following models.
Drake R8 or R8a or b
Drake SW8
Satellit 800
JRC NRD 525 or 515 if I can find one cheap enough

I was told the Sat 800 is a Drake r8 reboxed but when I hear the sat 800 on youtube and compare the R8s the R8s sound better. I do like that the Sat800 has FM and if it truly is a repackaged R8 then I would probably purchase that instead. Can anyone who owned 2? or more of these tell me what you prefer? What are your experiences for those that tried any of the drakes? I also heard the Drake R8 is a really sensitive on AM BCB? Also I do like the JRC NRDs but fear they are out of my price range especially like the 515. Thanks to anyone who can help me with this painstaking decision. I do like my sat 750 but fear I am missing out.
 

ka3jjz

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It very much depends on exactly you are 'missing out' on - certainly the older desktops had more interference fighting gadgets that you can use, such as notch filters and passband tuning, but there are times that knowing how to properly push the radio to its limits is more valuable - it takes a LOT more skill to know how to do this correctly. That being said, the R8B is one fine radio - it's a damn shame Drake decided to leave the HF market (again).

We have LOTS of places in our wiki to do receiver reviews research...

Category:Receiver Reviews - The RadioReference Wiki

It was - and maybe still is - common to reduce the sensitivity of these radios below 1 Mhz. Sometimes this was done with a small pot or a resistor that you could adjust or jumper out. A little digging should bring out the mod to fix this - likely it's more work to get to the part then it is to do the mod itself...if you're interested in MW DXing, no doubt someone on the IRCA or NRC boards knows about this and the method of getting around it.

HTH..Mike
 
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woebbers

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I owned a Drake R8-b and as you read earlier its one fine radio....but you will be hard pressed to find one for what you want to spend....I sold mine for 900.00 and gave it away actually....I still have a Satellit 800 Millinneum and find that to be a pretty nice radio for casual Shortwave and MW DX...the sound that comes from that radio is amazing...for what you want to spend I would look for an Icom R-75...its a very nice radio when hooked up to an external speaker...I think it will do everything you need for the dollars your looking to spend...here is a link to my R-75 doing some SW work

Radio Croatia on 7375mhz - YouTube

good luck in your search..its a great hobby

Sal
 

Jimepage

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Yea looking at the R8b its a little out of my range but as I understand it its only a slightly better performer cause of preamp and better agc I believe. Also some ergonmics adjustments. Tough to justify 400$ difference. Thanks Mike and Mike I will look at that link you gave lots of info there! THANKS!
 

w2xq

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I'm partial to the JRC NRD-series, having developed control software for the -525 and -535 back in the DOS days when telephone BBS's ruled the planet. The coverage to 30 kHz is great for LW DXing. I preferred the ICOM R-75 over the -71A, and the later Drake models. While the Kenwood R-5000 was a good receiver, many now suffer keyboard bounce; those parts are no longer available. Whatever your choice of a used radio, one from a non-smoking home would be a better choice than one from a smoker. Less tar and gunk on internal connectors. Just a thought on what you are considering. IMHO you are mixing communications receivers with higher-end consumer table/large portables. The former offer more bandwidth options, and are usually better able to handle stronger signal levels. And they fair much better in the tropical bands. You'll want an audio output Jack to feed audio to the computer for either recording or digital signal decoding. But it is also very true that hanging a 10-ft wire on a communications receiver will only lead to disappointment. Have you thought about what you are interested in listening to? HTH.
 

Jimepage

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Hey TRSUNDSTROM You are right up the street from me. I plan on DXing BCB and Listening to SW BC. I heard the R8s are great for Am Dxing. I heard the R8 on youtube and was hooked. I like my Sat 750 and will never get rid of it but I been in this hobby 3 years and feel its time to upgrade. When I hear Voice of Russia or R Havana Cuba they are at times either muffled a little or their modulation isnt as strong as the signal and other stations sometimes too. I figured the R8 would give better selectivity and a better audio in general to make the broadcasts more listenable. Like you said the JRC NRD are great! I love them too especially the 515 but they arent quite as available. I can clearly see this is going to be different strokes for different folks. I was hoping for a drake owner to come on here and say get a drake you wont be dissapointed lol. Its tough cause I have no reference other then youtube and radio reviews. I wish I can go somewhere and test drive some different radios this would be so much easier. :) I see a lot of the radios you guys all have and drool a little on the computer. I also see people say the sat 750 is a GREAT 200 dollar receiver so I just want to upgrade to a tried and tested classic.
 
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w2xq

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Well Jim, actually my best radio for BCB DXing was a Hammarlund HQ-150. It had crystal phasing and a Q-multiplier. It was good for the trans-Atlantic 9 kHz-spacing Europeans and north Africans. Unfortunately parts were becoming harder and harder to find. For me on the BCB the receiver was good for about 90 countries; all continents except Australia. But then I had the advantage of Monday morning silent periods that are no more. Whatever you settle on, you'll want to be able to turn off the AGC gain control to disable the automatic gain control. Even a "fast" AGC can't keep up with the varying, competing signals on the graveyard and regional frequencies. Using the r.f. gain control only, it eliminates the AGC-induced distortion and signals will "float" up from the background jumble. I used to run a tape recorder especially across the top and bottom of the hour so I could study and dissect what was in there. Some graveyard stations from the Pacific Northwest and many through the mid-West were heard that way. If you want to be amused, go read my "BCB DX Handbook" published in S9 magazine of December 1966, p.25ff:, BC (before computers): S9 CB RADIO MAGAZINE INDEX. It was the first of my writing "career" w2xq.com Bibliography.
 

kilokat7

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I want to do some AM dxing and SW listening.
I own a Sat 750 but I think I am ready for a $500+ Radio.

I am looking at the following models.
Drake R8 or R8a or b
Drake SW8
Satellit 800
JRC NRD 525 or 515 if I can find one cheap enough
Okay, I know it wasn't on your list, but have you considered looking into a software defined radio (SDR) for BCB DXing? About three years I was in the same situation as you. I was using a flea market find DX-440 for MW DXing and decided it was finally time to upgrade. I came very close to purchasing a used R8B until I discovered SDRs. After months of research contemplating a used R8B vs. a new modern SDR (costing around the same price), I went the SDR route and couldn't be happier with what the technology offers to the BCB DXer. Anyway, you may wish to consider this as another option to look into.
 

ridgescan

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Well Jim, actually my best radio for BCB DXing was a Hammarlund HQ-150. It had crystal phasing and a Q-multiplier. It was good for the trans-Atlantic 9 kHz-spacing Europeans and north Africans. Unfortunately parts were becoming harder and harder to find. For me on the BCB the receiver was good for about 90 countries; all continents except Australia. But then I had the advantage of Monday morning silent periods that are no more. Whatever you settle on, you'll want to be able to turn off the AGC gain control to disable the automatic gain control. Even a "fast" AGC can't keep up with the varying, competing signals on the graveyard and regional frequencies. Using the r.f. gain control only, it eliminates the AGC-induced distortion and signals will "float" up from the background jumble. I used to run a tape recorder especially across the top and bottom of the hour so I could study and dissect what was in there. Some graveyard stations from the Pacific Northwest and many through the mid-West were heard that way. If you want to be amused, go read my "BCB DX Handbook" published in S9 magazine of December 1966, p.25ff:, BC (before computers): S9 CB RADIO MAGAZINE INDEX. It was the first of my writing "career" w2xq.com Bibliography.
I get ants in my pants after 20 minutes in MW-of course that's probably why I haven't logged past 1100 miles here..my hat's off to you for setting there and actually dissecting a recording:D
 

russellmaher

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Looking for an R-75?

LoL thanks Sal I was afraid to look at the Icoms! Now I want one. argg.
Thats a nice sounding receiver my brother.
I've got one in excellent condition and I'm looking to sell. Send me a PM and let's talk.


Russell
 

Jimepage

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YEa Tom the HQ series are remarkable!! I definately plan on getting an hq preferably a 180a. There is no doubt I will have a hammarlund before the year is out. I wanted to get the modern receiver out first. Those hammarlunds are SWEET! The am was meant to be heard! Oh and thanks for the AGC info I will definately keep that in mind. Wow you wrote that article I have something to read at work today thanks brother!


YA know what kilo I did look sdr's. The perseus is sooo nice! My family computer is a few years old and works fine on the internet but I fear it is on the outs.

LOL Ridge. I know what you mean. I enjoy hearing news from other counties far away and listen to the listeners accents as they call in the shows lol.

Did look at the e1 but I am just trying to get opinions on what people think is the best for the 500 range. And there are many opinions lol.

Russell give me a couple more days to look at the IC r75 on the web and I will get back to you. I am seriously more confused then ever. The R8 is still what I am thinking on but I have been working too much to properly look at the icom r75. Thanks for the replies guys!
 

radioray108

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AM and SW DX ing

I have a grundigg sat 8000. It is nice. Also have a sat 700. A very nice working reciever. But if you can get youre hands on a sony crf230 or crf320. Now you have a real reciever. The crf320 is a little pricy. But you can get the crf230 for a resonable price. The ICF2200 by sony is very sensitive also. I own all of them. Just like the big radio sitting in front of you, whith all those antennas comming out. And gobbs of audio at youre fingertips. These radio work very well on the AM Band. I like to DX at night on AM Broadcast band. Good luck radio hunting!!!!!
 
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