Sensitivity better on ham radio

mmckenna

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Well, if money isn't an option, a Kenwood NX-700 (EOL'd) or a NX-3720 would be a good option. Those will do NXDN and analog.
 

nickwilson159

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Well, if money isn't an option, a Kenwood NX-700 (EOL'd) or a NX-3720 would be a good option. Those will do NXDN and analog.
NX-3720 all day. Between myself & a few friends, we've had close to 10 different NX-700s from various sources - all had pretty poor RX when compared to the TK-7180 & other analog-only Kenwood radios. The current generation of NX-3720s, NX-5700s, etc. have the best receivers & audio quality I've ever heard on a Kenwood (and I'm specifically talking on the analog rail band).
 

ArtU

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Kenwood publishes the specs over the whole range of its extended receive. This is for the TM-D710GA I used to also monitor other things then just Hamms.

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AK9R

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Kenwood publishes the specs over the whole range of its extended receive.
You may have missed the beginning of the specifications where it says "Guaranteed range" and limits that range to 144 - 148 MHz.
1630879735873.png
 

thesavo

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This has been a good discussion. Thanks to all to have contributed.
The icom ic-f320S arrived Tuesday and programming cables should arrive today. I have setup a dedicated programming system running windows XP-SP3 system ready to go. The Icom CS300s software from AME Radio (not a sponsor) opens and runs. As expected, the software will not even open on a w10 system.
This will be my radio programming station going forward. Chirp runs too so even my baofeng UV-5R can be programmed from this machine. It has an on-board RS-232 port though the programming cable set I ordered is over USB. So we will see if that works as well.

I will get frequencies loaded today and check how it sounds. I will be looking for more of these radios in the future. They are nice and compact units compared with others I have seen. The Kenwood units mentioned above still fetch over $50 on ebay. There is a local hamfest on Sunday and I will see what is available there too. $50 per unit is my firm ceiling on these as they are only used for receiving. The F320 units with displays are over $80 currently.
 

ratboy

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Most of the ham handhelds I've had have been much better receivers for railband than my scanners have been. I have a Yaesu VX-170 that not only is a great all around radio, it's metal and the battery life on receive is amazing. Loud audio, too. I used to have an Icom IC2000 in my car, and that worked really well too.
 

krtz07

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This has been an very enlightening discussion!

I do wonder what receivers are generally considered to have the best sensitivity/selectability- I have done some research into the matter and it seems that Icom Ic-v8 is probably the most recommended handheld radio. Upon research, the search results displayed were reviewed written on average of 18 years ago! To no avail I am unable to find a used unit for sale online. I was able to find an radio which goes by the name of "XINHON IC-V8 VHF" which looks kind of like it but it looks like it's a knockoff.


Are there any other radios which exceeds it's performance? I would say all signs point towards the Icom V86! The conductors in my area uses this radio.
 
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Tim-B

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On RR frequencies my V86 outperforms all other radios I own for sensitivity and selectivity. That includes commercial Icom radios I own such as an F3261DT and an F1100DT. One advantage the V86 has is that on weaker signals the hiss and static are not overpowering and harsh like they are on other radios. As far as hearing voice over the hiss and static this radio is better than all other commercial radios and scanners I own. I use this radio in the car as a mobile receiver with a roof mounted antenna and when I get out of the car I use the F3261DT on a swivel belt clip. In the area where I live BNSF has towers every 20 miles or so. I can usually hear the towers that are 20 miles away with a little hiss and 40 miles away with more hiss but still understandable. This is with the DPD productions 5/8 wave traintenna connected to the V86. I experimented with the V86 sitting it on a shelf next to various scanners with the same antenna type on each radio and it outperformed them all on RR frequences.

I don't have a V8 to compare it to but I wouldn't doubt that an older model would outperform many newer radios. The first scanner I ever owned, a Uniden BC100XL back in the late 1980s was the best scanner on the airband that I ever owned. Later scanners struggled to pull in signals that the old 100XL easily pulled in. They just don't make things like they used to.
 
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AK9R

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I was able to find an radio which goes by the name of "XINHON IC-V8 VHF"
That's probably an unauthorized reproduction of the Icom IC-V8 using inferior components. The IC-V8 was discontinued by Icom in the mid 2000s. If you find a "new" on for sale now, it may not be a real Icom radio.

Don't get all wrapped up trying to find the radio with the absolute "best" specs. Most all 2-way and amateur handheld radios built by legitimate manufacturers have about the same sensitivity. Concentrate more on finding a radio that you can live with, that has an understandable user interface, and is easy to program.
 

cbehr91

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I agree with a couple others on here that the best (performance-wise) railfan radio right now is the Icom R30. No, it's not cheap, but you truly get what you pay for. I used to have a V86 and liked it alot for railfanning too.
 

mmckenna

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Don't get all wrapped up trying to find the radio with the absolute "best" specs. Most all 2-way and amateur handheld radios built by legitimate manufacturers have about the same sensitivity.
And they all have some amount of slop room. Due to component variances and how well the underpaid worker on the assembly line tunes the radio, they'll vary from radio to radio.
If you really want to go overboard on this, get a good commercial radio (name brand, not CCR) and have someone with a service monitor spend some time tweaking it.
 

krtz07

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And they all have some amount of slop room. Due to component variances and how well the underpaid worker on the assembly line tunes the radio, they'll vary from radio to radio.
If you really want to go overboard on this, get a good commercial radio (name brand, not CCR) and have someone with a service monitor spend some time tweaking it.
I know there are incidental variances and such - again thank you for the response sir.
 

krtz07

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On RR frequencies my V86 outperforms all other radios I own for sensitivity and selectivity. That includes commercial Icom radios I own such as an F3261DT and an F1100DT. One advantage the V86 has is that on weaker signals the hiss and static are not overpowering and harsh like they are on other radios. As far as hearing voice over the hiss and static this radio is better than all other commercial radios and scanners I own. I use this radio in the car as a mobile receiver with a roof mounted antenna and when I get out of the car I use the F3261DT on a swivel belt clip. In the area where I live BNSF has towers every 20 miles or so. I can usually hear the towers that are 20 miles away with a little hiss and 40 miles away with more hiss but still understandable. This is with the DPD productions 5/8 wave traintenna connected to the V86. I experimented with the V86 sitting it on a shelf next to various scanners with the same antenna type on each radio and it outperformed them all on RR frequences.

I don't have a V8 to compare it to but I wouldn't doubt that an older model would outperform many newer radios. The first scanner I ever owned, a Uniden BC100XL back in the late 1980s was the best scanner on the airband that I ever owned. Later scanners struggled to pull in signals that the old 100XL easily pulled in. They just don't make things like they used to.
Acquired the V86. Happy to report that off the bat I can hear the difference. Highly recommend this receiver with a tuned antenna. Certainly not hearing much hiss nor static and I use this mainly in the urban environment.

Going to try to push my luck even further to get an Smiley duck Antenna but honestly it's not necessary.
 

CcSkyEye

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I have used both a Uniden bc125at and Yaesu ft-60. Both are great for monitoring rail, but I think the Yaesu has a slight edge on the Uniden scanner.
 

krtz07

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I have used both a Uniden bc125at and Yaesu ft-60. Both are great for monitoring rail, but I think the Yaesu has a slight edge on the Uniden scanner.
Used the FT-60R and Uniden BCD325P2. The Uniden is horrible on the VHF band. Managed to compare both against one another and roughly 60 percent of the transmissions were let through.

I have also compared the FT-60R with an Laird 160MHZ antenna with the Icom V86 recently, while they both seem to let the same transmissions through, the Icom V86 seems to handle interference way better overall and also I do not need to constantly adjust the squelch.
 
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