Radio Shack 2000629 $18 NEW at RS

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SCPD

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I walked into one of my local RS retail stores with a shortwave radio in mind. They didn't have much of anything but this nice little portable 2000629 marked $39 on the shelf. I asked the customer rep to check the price and he said it is marked down to $18 without taxes so I am like cool and bought a pack of 12 AA batteries. Will need to buy a 6VDC 500ma (filtered non switching) wall adapter soon. I like the radio but shortwave propagation has been poor.

I did have to return it for exchange because of the strange oscillation it produced. I found the same problem on youtube and one guy had adjusted one of the choke cans to eliminate it but i suspect that would throw the radio off too much. the other video showed the guy toggling the SSB/AM/FM Mono/FM Stereo switch and rapidly moving the clarify knob to get that oscillation to stop. It is overload from strong stations.

The replacement 2000629 didn't have this weird oscillation...yet to be determined.

I like this little radio. It hears a bit more signals than my rtl2832u and HF up convertor sdr setup.

I am in a old brick building on the first floor of 3 floors. Wifi router and computer interferes with the radio's reception. Night time is a real drag here for SW. AM and FM is working very well. Cannot hear anything but PC noise and WIFI router noise on LW. Nothing in USA on LW except maybe a time signal station I think. Best reception is away from this building but it is way to cold to SWL-ing in freezing climate. I would hurt the radio and my feelings for hurting the radio.

RS has these at a very limited supply. I recommend make a run to all RS stores and totally out of stock them for your collection. Priced $18 in some stores. Some may have it full price. I doubt it but we never know.

Who made this radio for Radio Shack and what model is it based off of?

P.S. I just wanted to add I am listening to 7.216 mhz LSB (Clarify moved up from the centering notch) and have a halfway decent copy on those amateur radio operators. I couldn't hear squat on 40 meters with the rtl2832u R820T with up-converter. This is with the LOCAL./DX slider set to LOCAL. Antenna is the same 14ft long wire I used on the up-converter.
 
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SCPD

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EAM reception passed

Thanks kc2kth. I just heard a HF-GCS EAM message on 8992khz USB booming in sounded awesome. I didnt have to touch the clarify knob just left it centered. The lady's voice sounded so natural. Best SSB sound yet I have heard. This thing blows the nooelec hf up converter into the dust.
 

Boombox

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It's an updated version of the Sangean ATS-505. It has a different (and possibly slightly more powerful) audio chip than the original ATS-505. There might be a few other changes they made. Some of the online descriptions (EHam, mainly) of how the ATS-505 tunes don't match my radio. Mine doesn't mute noticeably, for one thing. Tuning across empty portions of the SW band (where you just hear static, for example), mine sounds like analog tuning. No chuffing.

I have had no oscillation problems.

There are extensive reviews of the radio on a thread here on RadioReference. I got one, and a couple other guys here have them also.

On my radio there can be some garbling on SSB if the SSB signals are very strong; also high noise levels can sometimes make the SSB garble a little bit (SW AM modulation broadcasts are clear as a bell, though). As Majoco hear explained it, really strong SSB can sort of slam the radio's AGC. My solution, when that happens, is to use the DX/Local switch and crank the volume. There is enough volume to compensate. I use mine mostly for SW broadcast listening, and some MW and FM listening.

I sometimes DX with it on MW, using an external loop. I'm not into DXing FM, but I think for a portable the radio is fairly capable on FM.

Glad to hear you're getting some enjoyment out of the radio.

18$ -- wow. That's a deal.
 

SCPD

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Ran into a problem

I just ran into a problem. After I bought a universal 1300ma multivolt wall DC wall adapter 1300ma maximum current, I plugged the radio into it and the noise level went really high and it drowns out the shortwave stations. on LW still noisy but worse. AM broadcast still receives fine with some DX stations. FM is clear as a bell. I tested for hum in the audio but detected nothing while listening to KOMO 92.5FM which is the strongest station in Oklahoma City.

To compare I fired up the SDR on shortwave and found very little signals and weak at that. I think maybe when it warms up enough I will take a walk with it away from this building to see what happens. There is no fluorescent bulbs in the building. TV is off. WIFI router is always on and PC.

I thought about going inside this radio to tweak on the IF amplifier filter can for the shortwave band. I wouldn't think it would help matters much. Not even worth it. 2 huge transformers on the power pole 35 maybe 40 feet from my window. the noise fades away above 13mhz.Awful below 13 mhz. I am lost. This radio has no noise blanking and no other filtering. When Local/dx is set to DX the noise is very bad. I think it is coming through the wall adapter. I am really lost what to do. Seems like the radio is deaf now with a lot of noise while plugged into the wall adapter

I borrowed a multimeter checked the voltage at the 6 volts dc setting and the meter showed 6.26 volts DC which that 26/100ths more. Maybe a hair to much voltage making it more noisy. Then I think well that's only 26/100ths of a volt more. I am sure there are tolerances that can allow operation without hurting the radio.I didn't want to cut the wall adapter's wire to check for voltage drop while the radio is on so I have no clue if any. I kinda dislike the idea of popping the screws out to go inside at the power jack to test it there.

While running on batteries stations come in fine on shortwave.The same noise is still there but not near as rough.Sounds like power line noise.

What needs to be done with this noise issue?
 
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Boombox

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I just ran into a problem. After I bought a universal 1300ma multivolt wall DC wall adapter 1300ma maximum current, I plugged the radio into it and the noise level went really high and it drowns out the shortwave stations. on LW still noisy but worse. AM broadcast still receives fine with some DX stations. FM is clear as a bell. I tested for hum in the audio but detected nothing while listening to KOMO 92.5FM which is the strongest station in Oklahoma City.

To compare I fired up the SDR on shortwave and found very little signals and weak at that. I think maybe when it warms up enough I will take a walk with it away from this building to see what happens. There is no fluorescent bulbs in the building. TV is off. WIFI router is always on and PC.

I thought about going inside this radio to tweak on the IF amplifier filter can for the shortwave band. I wouldn't think it would help matters much. Not even worth it. 2 huge transformers on the power pole 35 maybe 40 feet from my window. the noise fades away above 13mhz.Awful below 13 mhz. I am lost. This radio has no noise blanking and no other filtering. When Local/dx is set to DX the noise is very bad. I think it is coming through the wall adapter. I am really lost what to do. Seems like the radio is deaf now with a lot of noise while plugged into the wall adapter

I borrowed a multimeter checked the voltage at the 6 volts dc setting and the meter showed 6.26 volts DC which that 26/100ths more. Maybe a hair to much voltage making it more noisy. Then I think well that's only 26/100ths of a volt more. I am sure there are tolerances that can allow operation without hurting the radio.I didn't want to cut the wall adapter's wire to check for voltage drop while the radio is on so I have no clue if any. I kinda dislike the idea of popping the screws out to go inside at the power jack to test it there.

While running on batteries stations come in fine on shortwave.The same noise is still there but not near as rough.Sounds like power line noise.

What needs to be done with this noise issue?
If the power supply you got is a switching power supply, i.e. not a big square thing with an actual transformer inside it, that is probably the source of much of your noise. Switching power supplies are famous for putting out hash. Some old fashioned wall warts can add noise, too. It just depends.

The extra voltage shouldn't do any damage -- 6.26 volts isn't enough to fry the radio.

I would suggest not tweaking anything in the radio. The ATS-505 in fact has 4 IF cans on SW, plus a ceramic filter, so it's not just a matter of 'tweaking an IF can'. It wouldn't remove your noise problem.

Besides, you can't get to the IF cans without removing part of the inside chassis that holds the LCD readout and controls, which sit on top of much of the circuitry components. I've had the back and front off my radio, and can tell you it would definitely be more problem than it's worth. Sangean has a pretty good reputation for their SW digital radios. Some radios may have QC problems but generally Sangean doesn't turn out misaligned radios. I have several and they all work well.

From what it sounds, your power supply is providing noise.

But it is also possible it is somehow picking up some noise through your house wiring (house wiring can act as an RFI antenna at radio frequencies). You may have switching power supplies, routers, etc. in your house that may be putting out some hash on the SW frequencies. Bad CFL bulbs can put out incredible amounts of AC buzz and still put out light normally. Plasma TV's can turn out incredible amounts of buzz from 6 Mhz to just above 14 Mhz or so. They can broadcast RFI up to half a block away (as I can attest, one of my neighbors has one).

So noise can come from a lot of places.

If you determine that your noise issue is not the power supply, I'd suggest taking the radio outside your house and listen around on SW (or even MW can work) and figure out where the noise is coming from. If it seems to be coming from a power pole, you could call the power company and tell them they may have an issue with the pole in question. I've heard of hams doing this and getting a response. Often a noisy power pole means power loss, so sometimes power companies will respond to reports of noisy poles and transformers.

I'd also run the radio on batteries. If you don't like changing AA batteries, you could do like I did and build a battery pack.

I made my DC power pack for my RS 20-629 / ATS 505 with a D Cell holder from the local electronics supplier, which holds 4 D cells. I wired it with speaker wire to a DC input plug (which I got at Radio Shack). If you do this, of course you want to make sure the plug is wired center-negative.

A set of 4 D cells lasts maybe a month with my radio. Three weeks if I'm using it a lot. I always DX / listen to SW with headphones, though. If you're using the speaker you could probably get a couple weeks out of a set of D cells, maybe more.

PS -- I've found that running the radio with the tone switch down (in the bottom, "news" position) reduces noise -- at least the treble components, which seem to grate the worst on the ears. :)

Good luck, and let us know how things go.

Chris
 

SCPD

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Powerline Variable Power Supply

It is made by Powerline and has a voltage switch 3, 4.5, 6, 7.5, 9, and 12 volts DC. On the right side there is a polarity switch set to negative center post. It is thin. Its max current drain is 600ma. I guess it is a switching power supply. I bought it art Wal Mart to save 3 to 4 dollars. It would make sense it being the issue because on batteries the noise drops about 75 to 80 percent less

http://www.powerline.com/#!universal-600/c1yx5

There is no information saying if it really is switching or otherwise.

Does anyone know?
 

jtcase

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Yes, that is a switching supply, and it is not filtered, so it is very noisy. I have the same radio, and I use it exclusively on batteries. But, I have found that a Sony ICF-2010 AC Adapter will work just fine. The barrel and plug are about the same size, and the polarity is the same. Someone in the Yahoo Group for the Sony ICF-2010 has used on of these on the 2010 with success, so it should be OK with this radio. It is a switching supply, but it is filtered. Amazon.com: UpBright® AC /DC Adapter For Sony ICF-2010 AIR PLL Synthesized Radio Receiver Power Cord Supply Charger: Electronics
 

SCPD

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Line filter? Capacitor?

Maybe I should add a capacitor for 50 volts with right capacitance to filter it. Thanks for informing me jtcase.

Or, Do you all think it will be better to add a line filter? If so which one will work for this at a economical cost?
 
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Boombox

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I'd just build an external battery supply for D Cells or C Cells. The battery holder maybe costs $3? The DC input plug maybe a couple bucks? Easy to solder -- and you'll get no noise from the supply whatsoever.
 

SCPD

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Update on this...I went on batteries and walked throughout all the floors in this building and found the best reception is on the 3rd floor. There is a lot of noise in this building even though there are no florescent bulbs. I suspect all the electrical wiring is creating a field that blocks HF or attenuates it. Only the strongest of the signals can punch though. I am unable to mount a long wire outside per the landlord so i must be vigilant and figure out what to do.
 

ratboy

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I got one for $25, including tax from a store closing, but it's defective, so I'm looking for one. I liked it, and it works pretty well, if you get one that stays working. Radio Shack has them for $31 right now on their website. I might just buy one there. Hopefully it will work.
 

SCPD

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Energizer Rechargeable AA NiMH batteries

I decided to go with Energizer AA rechargeable 1300ma NiMH batteries that came with a charger. I know D cells will provide more capacity but I do not feel like making a battery pack. If I need to travel with it I do not want wires other than my homemade long wire.

I have noticed this radio likes to have consistent power source. When batteries drain below a certain voltage the radio will squeal if in SSB mode or have plain white noise on AM mode while on the shortwave band. It'll play for some time longer while on AM/ FM stereo or mono.

I gave up on the idea of a power supply. I don't mind charging AA batteries. I never run the radio full volume. I listen at a moderate volume maxed to about 1/4th to 1/3rd volume level. I gathered (moderate volume) it may be drawing less than 100ma on the speaker and maybe less with headphones plugged in.

Datasheet from Energizer says the batteries need a charge with a 130ma load in 10 hours at 1.4 volts. at 1.2 volts with a 650ma load they need charging in 2 hours. This is under a constant load. This radio's max load is 300ma. In this radio, optimistically, I think 9 hours. Realistically 7 to 8 hours.

WalMart has these for nearly $15 usd. comes complete with 4-AA NiMH 1300ma batteries in the charger.

Energizer Recharge Value Charger-AA AAA Rechargeable Battery Charger

If you buy it, please remove the batteries first then remove the plastic protection so it'll charge. It is a thin, clear plastic sheet between the positive tip of the batteries and the positive contacts (topside). You will feel it and see it drop out once you do this. Always insert the batteries positive tip up in this charger. I do not remember if there is a plastic sheet on the negative side (bottom side). They do this to keep the batteries from discharging or leaking (shelf life is a long time) while in the charger.

The charger has a huge red light meaning they are charging. It turns green when charge is complete. If you see brown then you inserted bad batteries. It has a auto off feature. I didn't test auto-off. It took it 2-3 hours to charge for the first time before their first run in the radio.
 
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Boombox

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I noticed that when the batteries on mine get low, and I lay it flat on a table or bed or something, it acts a little wonky. I think the batteries jiggle just enough to drop the voltage below acceptable levels or something.

But your rechargeable batteries idea is an excellent one!

Glad to hear you are getting some good use out of the radio. I use mine frequently also.

Cheers,
Chris
 

culcuhain

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after using it for about 2ish weeks, I am happy. Granted it is not the best, but for what I paid for it I am enjoying it a lot. I like listening to the music from Radio Havana as well as the Japanese music broadcasted from France....and some music from Radio Brasil... and some unique shows from Anguilla...The Voice of Vietnam in England and Radio Romania. It will drive me to buy a better receiver, but after I get a scanner. It brings back some good memories of my LRSD days in the guard while on Radio watch.... :)
 

SCPD

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this radio and antennas

I am happy to hear you also enjoy this radio. I am a antenna experimenter. I did an experiment with a unbalanced 27 mhz dipole and a balanced 27 mhz dipole. On the balanced dipole, both legs are about 6 feet in length fed with a 6 inch length of RG-174 ( do not use more than a foot of RG-174) terminated by a 1/8th inch mono plug for the radio's antenna jack. The legs on the unbalanced dipole were unequal length.

The winner was a balanced dipole. It reduced the noise by 60 percent. The unbalanced dipole picked up more noise. Testing was done with the noisy switching power supply. Now the CB super bowl CH6 booms in with their 6 KW "linear" battling it out who is the strongest.

My personal conclusion is go for balanced dipole antennas with a impedance and capacitance tuner. This radio is definitely working better with these circuits. MFJ has one for portable radios which also works with high end radios. 50 ohms. Balanced antenna is both legs equal length. Antenna resonance is important based on my experiments. If you put a balanced 14mhz antenna and listen to 27 mhz then it gets noisy.

An excellent antenna calculator for making your own antenna.
Wavelength Calculator K7TJO

Let me add that if you have a band in mind and want optimal reception, for example, if you enjoy 75 meters make both legs at 65 feet length and add an antenna tuner. Most antenna tuners cover the whole HF spectrum. Be prepared to pay a good amount for one.That way you can tune to higher frequencies and have okay performance.

If you do not want to use the antenna tuner best thing is to match the length of wire for the frequency wavelength and stay on that band.

One last thought. Do not set the Local/DX switch to DX with a dipole because signals will be enhanced and overload it. Leave it on Local.

I have tested with a random length wire antenna but never grounded it. Noise was prevalent throughout the whole HF spectrum. I didn't ground the radio. I do not have permission from the landlord to beat 6 ft of copper rod into their property to make a earth ground. These earth grounds are good way to help eliminate some noise and perhaps improve entenna performance. If you use a random length long wire then please do ground the radio. There is no ground point on the radio so use the shield of coax for the ground Share your results here.
 
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SCPD

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New battery recommendation for this radio!

I was incorrect recommending rechargeable AA batteries.this radio likes a good 6 volts fed to it. 4 rechargeable AA batteries are nominally 1.2 volts a piece making it a total of 4.8 volts. this radio will suck them dry in 3 hours. So I had an idea to walk to Synergy and see what they have for 6 volt batteries.

I was in luck. They had rechargeable 6 volt sealed lead acid batteries at 4.5 amps made by PowerSonic model number PS 640 F1. They are for light fixtures that need them but will work pretty good in this radio. synergy asked $7.66 each. I bought one. I will use a 600ma adapter to charge it.

Another reason is the radio performs to it's max on this battery. On the rechargeable AA batteries, it has less volume and seems to have trouble receiving. Even with high capacity AA batteries the radio will suck them dry in 4 or 5 hours. If we're lucky.

You will need a proper fitting banana plug with cord with the white strip (means positive). Since this radio is negative tip polarity, the wire with the white strip needs to be connected to the negative terminal on the battery.

If you do not have Synergy stores then amazon has it about 2 or 3 dollars more
http://www.amazon.com/Powersonic-PS-640F1-Battery-Fast-Connector/dp/B0002ILK4K

As a matter of fact use it on any 6 volt radio with less than 500 Milli-amp draw is good. 4500ma/300ma (4500 Milli-amps is 4.5 amps) is 15 hours per charge continuous use with volume maxed on this radio.
 
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