Shortwave Radio Listening/Antenna Question........

peacefrog922

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Ok....question........I just "constructed" an antenna along my fence ( approx 60 ft ) and am looking to purchase a shortwave radio that will accept a coaxial antenna connection.....any suggestions? I attached a coaxial connector to the wire/antenna..........is this best?Thanks.
 

rk911

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or a radio with screw terminals. i haven’t purchased or looked at the newer SW sets but i gotta believe most would be equipped with wire antenna terminals.
 

ka3jjz

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Yeah, a 9;1 transformer might work here...

There are very few new receivers out there - SDRs, a ham transceiver or portables are what's available these days (unless you look at something used, such as radios that show up on Universal Radio's used list)

Peacefrog - what is your situation? What is your budget? Do you need something stationary or something you can carry with you?

Mike
 
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peacefrog922

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Thanks for the reply's........my situation is this.....not looking to spend more than $100-$200, and would like a desktop/stationary set up but mobile will work.
 

ka3jjz

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This gets away from the antennas topic...but the price range you mention, there are several good portables such as the Tecsun PL 660, and the PL 880, but a good SDR will blow them away any day. Take a look here, and read the first 3 articles (links are always in blue) which discusses the SDR market. There is also a link to our SDR forum where you should go to ask questions...


Since those articles were published, a couple of new SDRs have come out within your price range - a Version 3 of the RTL-SDR (the originals did not have HF coverage), and at the high end, the SDRPlay RSPdx. Websites for both, along with reviews of other SDRs, are linked in the accompanying article. Google will come up with reviews (and YouTube videos) on those 2 new ones

Mikie
 

peacefrog922

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So I was looking at the SDDRPlay RSP 1A RSP1A. ( I seen it on Amazon for approx $170 ). It seems very decent but is it too advanced for a beginner like myself?
 

WA8ZTZ

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So I was looking at the SDDRPlay RSP 1A RSP1A. ( I seen it on Amazon for approx $170 ). It seems very decent but is it too advanced for a beginner like myself?
It has a lot of capability but there is a big learning curve.
It does not come with any owner manual, you are on your own to
ferret out the info on how to use it.
That said, it will blow away any portable out there which is all that you will find new
in your price range.
btw, in your original post you inquired about a coaxial connection...
be aware that the RSP 1A has a single SMA antenna input... you should consider an adapter cable to go from
the PL-259 (if that is what you attached) to the SMA.
 

Airboss

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So I was looking at the SDDRPlay RSP 1A RSP1A. ( I seen it on Amazon for approx $170 ). It seems very decent but is it too advanced for a beginner like myself?
I highly recommend you look at the new RSPdx which replaces some of the older RSP2 SDRs. Three antenna inputs (BNC and 2 SMA). Handles noise very well and has wideband coverage (Covers all frequencies from 1kHz through VLF, LF, MW, HF, VHF, UHF and L band to 2GHz, with no gaps). The complexity of ops depends on the software front end you are using. I like SDR Console and the latest version supports the RSPdx. SDRUno which is the software designed for the RSP units by SDRPlay has a bit steeper learning curve, but nothing you can't handle if you "read the manual" and view the various YouTube videos for various feature functions. I own an RSP1A and the Airspy HF+Discovery. Love them both, but the RSPdx is a cut above both especially in the AM BCB and longwave bands. I working on a full review of the RSPdx for the Spectrum Monitor Feb 2020 issue (The Spectrum Monitor - Powered by Network Solutions.) and full review for the Global Radio Guide Summer 2020 edition (The Btown Monitoring Post) which will be available in May. We have a review of the new Airspy HF+ Discovery SDR (not near the freq coverage of the RSPs) in our Winter Global Radio Guide (Global Radio Guide: Winter 2019-2020, Gayle Van Horn, Larry Van Horn, eBook - Amazon.com). If you have any other questions feel free to ask.
 

ka3jjz

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The assertion that you are on your own with the SDRPlay is simply untrue. They have their own Facebook group, and along with that, an extensive library of YouTube videos and some PDFs with a lot of helpful info. Sad to say they recently closed down their Community mailing list due to several issues but they are very responsive to questions...Mike
 

WA8ZTZ

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The assertion that you are on your own with the SDRPlay is simply untrue. They have their own Facebook group, and along with that, an extensive library of YouTube videos and some PDFs with a lot of helpful info. Sad to say they recently closed down their Community mailing list due to several issues but they are very responsive to questions...Mike
My point was that the radio comes without an owner manual and you are on your own to find the various internet info you refer to on
how to use it. Somebody should write a comprehensive manual... it would sell like air conditioners in hell.
 

ka3jjz

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Most folks seem to like YouTube videos over printed material - it is a trend, sadly...here is the SDRPlay apps catalog


There's a PDF article called 'Getting Started with the SDRplay RSP2 and SDRuno '; most of it should still be good for the other RSPs. I would start here...Mike
 

Kramster

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Hi - I don't know if this question has been answered before but I'll give it a shot!
I have an ICOM R-75 and an Alpha Delta DX-CC multi fan dipole at about 15' at the apex. I'm using RG-8X coax for now but I'm considering getting LMR-400 coax. Will I hear any improvement in reception if I also raise the antenna another 15' or is the LMR-400 more suitable for amateur radio transmitting?
 

pjxii

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Hi - I don't know if this question has been answered before but I'll give it a shot!
I have an ICOM R-75 and an Alpha Delta DX-CC multi fan dipole at about 15' at the apex. I'm using RG-8X coax for now but I'm considering getting LMR-400 coax. Will I hear any improvement in reception if I also raise the antenna another 15' or is the LMR-400 more suitable for amateur radio transmitting?
I find that 15' is the mininum height for a HF wire receive antenna, but if you can raise it higher definitely do it As for the coax, higher frequencies have greater attenuation on long runs which is why LMR-400 etc is used for UHF and higher frequencies. For HF RG-8X is very good
 

danesgs

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SDR radios blowing away a Tecsun 660? Not likely. Plus a computer based option does not give you a portable that is worth the aggravation of carrying a laptop, dongle, and antenna et. all. You can get a pretty good do all SWL radio for 100-200 dollars that will have all the things you are looking for. I would not buy used for that price range. Stick with a review on SWLing.com or such and go with that. As far as an external antenna, even having the best outside antenna will pick up noise during a SWL scan so bear that in mind. If you are new to shortwave listening I would stay away from SDR solutions for now. tune a knob driven radio first for less than a SDRplay and see if you like the experience before forking over bucks for the advanced stuff.
 

Kramster

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I find that 15' is the mininum height for a HF wire receive antenna, but if you can raise it higher definitely do it As for the coax, higher frequencies have greater attenuation on long runs which is why LMR-400 etc is used for UHF and higher frequencies. For HF RG-8X is very good
Thanks pjxii - I see now that LMR really wouldn't be much of an improvement, if any at all, on HF.
 

prcguy

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An Icom R8600 is an SDR and so is an Elecraft K3 and so on. There are countless SDRs that will greatly outperform a Tecsun 660 if you have the $$.

SDR radios blowing away a Tecsun 660? Not likely. Plus a computer based option does not give you a portable that is worth the aggravation of carrying a laptop, dongle, and antenna et. all. You can get a pretty good do all SWL radio for 100-200 dollars that will have all the things you are looking for. I would not buy used for that price range. Stick with a review on SWLing.com or such and go with that. As far as an external antenna, even having the best outside antenna will pick up noise during a SWL scan so bear that in mind. If you are new to shortwave listening I would stay away from SDR solutions for now. tune a knob driven radio first for less than a SDRplay and see if you like the experience before forking over bucks for the advanced stuff.
 
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