R20 for sw and lw

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SCPD

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Let me answer a different way. I would not spend $400-600 (depending on where you get it) to use as a SW/LW receiver. You can buy far better receivers for that money.
 

k9rzz

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Do you want to hear anything specific, or would you be happy to just 'tune around' and listen to whatever you can? I think it would be good to give you an idea of what's out there, and the louder shortwave stations will come through just fine. What you hear on longwave depends on where you live ... again, you'll hear the stronger stations, but if there aren't any where you live then you might be hard pressed to hear anything.

Just so you know that it cannot be called a 'serious receiver' for LW and HF in any regard, but for something that fits easily in your coat pocket and you can listen to it just about anywhere, like when riding on the bus or train, it might be just the ticket!
 

markchen

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I guess I should have been alot more clear on what I want :) I am currently using a Panasonic shortwave radio that also gets LW. I am looking for a upgrade and to expand my listening to racing frequencies when I am at the races. And looking into using software with it.
 

trap5858

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The R-20 is an excellent radio that also happens to scan. There is a fairly steep learning curve to using it. There are some on line resources that are out there with better explanations than the manual provides. When I had one, I had more positive experiences than negative. The software is fairly straight forward so very worthwhile owning.

I do have to say if you were just going to use it at home for SW etc. the other response you got saying the same $500.00 or so dollars could buy you a heck of a good base receiver. For portable use, I am not sure there is a better one out there.
 

k9rzz

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My 2 cents after 30+ years in ham radio.

Buy a scanner for scanning.

Buy a HF/LW receiver for DXing those freqs.

Anything else is a disappointment if you're looking to be serious about hearing the 'good stuff' in either category.
 

wbswetnam

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I have found my ICOM R20 to be a big disappointment. Programming it without the software is nearly impossible. Also I am very disappointed by its low sensitivity, especially on HF bands. I have the AGC on "max" and even with that, it will pull in only the strongest of AM broadcast signals. Forget about ham - I have yet to hear any amateur radio at all on this receiver. Maybe I bought the lemon, I don't know, but on my ICOM R20 the sensitivity is very very weak.
 

markchen

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I have found my ICOM R20 to be a big disappointment. Programming it without the software is nearly impossible. Also I am very disappointed by its low sensitivity, especially on HF bands. I have the AGC on "max" and even with that, it will pull in only the strongest of AM broadcast signals. Forget about ham - I have yet to hear any amateur radio at all on this receiver. Maybe I bought the lemon, I don't know, but on my ICOM R20 the sensitivity is very very weak.
Are you using the supplied antenna?
 

wbswetnam

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Yes, I have tried the telescopic antenna that came with it. I also tried clipping a 20' long wire antenna to it, with only somewhat improved results. It seems to perform well on VHF and UHF, oddly enough. It's just the HF frequencies that seem severely attentuated.
 

wbswetnam

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Incidentally, I have made sure that attenuation is off, and that AGC is set at "max". The telescopic antenna that came with it is attached. Even so, just now I tried tuning in stations on the AM broadcast band, and it can only receive very local stations (within 20 miles, no more), and they only register 1 or 2 bars on the s-meter. Very weak reception. I think maybe I just had the bad luck of getting a defective receiver.

What's even more strange is that it works well on VHF / UHF. As a matter of fact, at this moment it is pulling in a sheriff's office on 460.350 which is 40 miles away, and the Home Patrol isn't able to receive it. So its sensitivity on VHF / UHF doesn't seem to be an issue, just HF.
 
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Turbo68

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Dec 12, 2005
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I use the Icom-R20 at home hooked up to my Wellbrook-ALA1530 active
loop for hf Icom-AH7000 VHF/UHF excellent results on both antennas when I'm portable I use the Miracle
Ducker-IL antenna tuner with a telescopic antenna works brilliant..

Regards Lino..
 
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I have to agree, the R20 isn't the best for picking up SW, but does really well on VHF/UHF. I went back and forth over getting one, and finally caved. It's a great overall unit, but one of my requirements was portability...
 
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