SW Receivers

GaRebel

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I had a CommRadio CR1A and sold it a year ago. (Dumb thing to do!) Now I decided I wanted to get back in SW and I bought a Tecsum 880. I know it is cheaper but there is no comparison to the CR1A. CR1A was quite, but the 880 picks up noise and hum from the antenna even when I use an external antenna. I guess I need to remove the antenna when I'm going to use the external. Any one else with the same stuff? Any suggestions?
 

MDScanFan

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If I am listening to the 880 outside away from noise sources then I do not have any noise problems. If I try to use it inside then it picks up a fair amount of noise depending on what is turned on in my house, radio location, and frequency. I assume you are referring to the latter. Is your external antenna also inside or is it outside? If you bring the radio outside and connect it to that same antenna do you still pickup a lot of noise?

Aside from some of my portables that have antenna switches (ex Drake SW8) I have not had much luck mitigating noise when using an external (outside) antenna with a portable inside a house. I have no experience removing a built-in antenna from a portable.
 

iMONITOR

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The CR1A used to cost about five times as much as a PL-880, I wouldn't expect for them to perform anyway near the same.
 

majoco

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How have you got the external antenna connected? My Tecsun PL600 disconnects the whip antenna when the external antenna is plugged in - hopefully you are not connecting the external antenna to the whip.
 

GaRebel

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Going to send my 3 day old Tecsun PL880 back to Amazon. I tried using it with my Hy-Power AB-SWL-SL shortwave sloper antenna and it made no difference in the signal verses the on board antenna. I know the sloper ant is good because I used it with my other radio (cr1a) when I had it. Like a fool I got rid of it about a year ago! Decided to get out of SW listening. Getting back in now to pass the nights. TV sucks! So the search is on again. Maybe look for a table model.
 

mass-man

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You'll enjoy a tabletop receiver. Research carefully, especially if your attention turns to a model that is 8-10 years old.
 

mbott

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You'll enjoy a tabletop receiver. Research carefully, especially if your attention turns to a model that is 8-10 years old.
Seller research is most important, especially if using someplace like ebay. All 4 of my ebay purchases have beed good, but I knew the reputation of the seller before I pulled the trigger the first time.

--
Mike
 

ka3jjz

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The tabletop market is dead. One of the last - the Alinco R8 - is being discontinued shortly, per an article from SWLing.com. If you want to go tabletop, either go to the used market - and the advice about researching the seller is sound - or get a fairly modern ham HF transceiver which often has a pretty decent general coverage HF receiver built in.

The big push today are SDRs (in fact we have a separate forum for that topic). You need a laptop with some horsepower, and there is a learning curve, but what you get is flexibility that you couldn't get 10 years ago.

We have articles on both receiver reviews and SDRs in our wiki here...



Mike
 

GaRebel

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I just listed a brand new Alinco R8 in the classified section.
 

Engine104

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I decided a couple of months ago to get back into SW after only listening to it occasionally on my ham receiver. I purchased a new Tecsun PL660 and I have been pretty unimpressed with its sensitivity with the whip antenna, the long wire antenna that came with the radio, and even my ham G5RV. I know that all of the big guns (Radio Moscow, Radio Nederland, Radio Japan, etc) have all gone away. All I see to be able to get is occasionally Radio Havana and religious stations. Is it the limitations of the radio or is there just not much to listen to anymore?
 

Benkasey

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I recently fired up my Panasonic and Sony SW portables. All I could pickup with built-in whips was Radio Havana Cuba and some Christian religious stations. What was amazing was that RHC had basically the same content I heard 50 years ago. "The struggle continues. Think of Fidel. We sent our miracle doctors to country x. The Agriculture Minister says our grain harvest will be short this year. All our problems are caused by the U.S. embargo." Like a broken record. What a hoot. I'm waiting for a Disney animatronic of Fidel. In Cuba, the world of tomorrow is the world of yesterday. Will Raul embargo their miracle Covid vaccine from the U.S.? Stay tuned boys and girls. Second group of volunteers join Soberana clinical trials
 

W8WCA

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A hard to beat SDR (for the price) is the SDRPlay RSP1A for apx 120.00
There are a number depending on how much you are willing to spend
 

ka3jjz

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I decided a couple of months ago to get back into SW after only listening to it occasionally on my ham receiver. I purchased a new Tecsun PL660 and I have been pretty unimpressed with its sensitivity with the whip antenna, the long wire antenna that came with the radio, and even my ham G5RV. I know that all of the big guns (Radio Moscow, Radio Nederland, Radio Japan, etc) have all gone away. All I see to be able to get is occasionally Radio Havana and religious stations. Is it the limitations of the radio or is there just not much to listen to anymore?
Trying to compare the performance of a PL660- a barely USD100 portable- with a ham transceiver (with it's general coverage section) is simply a very poor comparison. It's like trying to compare a Volkswagon to a Lexus. Yes, the portable has compromises - one of the ones most people don't even look at is the DX/Normal/Local gain switch (I can't count the number of times I've heard this...)

There's plenty to listen to, but ole Sol is sitting with low activity, and it appears it's going to be that way for awhile. Propagation to the West Coast is always a bit challenging - take a look at the Great Circle paths from some of the stations you mentioned, and you'll see why.

There's still quite a lot from Asia (India is a favorite target of many) and even some Pacific stations are still around. Reflectors like the World of Radio on groups.io are a great place to find out what's running and what's not. Don't make the mistake of relying solely on frequency lists like HFCC or EiBi.

Mike
 

Engine104

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Thanks, Mike. Good advice.

In regards to the DX/Normal?Local gain switch. I assume you mean that the receiver will get overloaded and therefore, less sensitive when connected to a long wire or my G5RV instead of the whip?

73,

-Larry
 

air-scan

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Here is what I do. I use a 6volt sealed lead acid battery from RayOVac. I snipped the wire from a old universal wall wart then soldered one end to the spring terminals. The other end has an attachment for barrel type plugs all I did was match polarity. LOOONGGGG time on a full charge. Let's not do this for 5volt radios unless you have the proper resistors to drop the voltage 1 volt safely.
 
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