What shoud be my 1st (2nd) SW radio?

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beamin

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I have my lic. and my bitX 7watt is just not cutting it. I have a decent antenna but I just don't have the power.
What's a good radio for a 1st timer? I'm looking into used if I can find it as I don't have 1000 to spend.
 

robertmac

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You mention you have your license but do not state what level. Also, what bands can you work and want to work? You mention SW as in short wave receiver, but I assume you mean transceiver. This will help us narrow down what radios you should look at. Such as a good HF radio would be over 1K, but a good VHF/UHF dual band would be much less. And don't forget a good antenna.
 
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See if you can find an old Atlas 180, Atlas 210, 210X or Atlas 215/215X.
You should be able to get these old Made in the USA rigs from the 1970's for under $200.
You just need a very hefty power supply (22A) and an okay antenna.
I can't even afford the usual $450 HF Rigs at Hamfests, so the Atlas is / was all that my budget could afford. They have thru-hole parts, so you can sometimes pull out the cards and make repairs.
I'm assuming you mean the HF bands?

If you are only a tech level and have VHF/UHF, there are a lot of choices of old hardware that I would suggest in a minute: Old Regency crystal controlled 2M rigs (if it has your local crystals, you can add a PL board for very cheap). Lots of decent Kenwood VHF rigs still out there. Vertex Standard/Yaesu commercial rigs are quite nice, but you need someone to program them for you. Please give us more details on your license grade and what band(s) you want to work. Welcome to the hobby.
73
J
 

wyShack

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I would suggest you stick to all solid state HF radios and make sure they cover all the bands. MFJ does sell some single banders but by the time you buy two you can get a all band rig. You can usually find the manual for a radio online and use that to check out the features. Things like built in tuners or SWR meters can cost a little more but are less costly than buying as add ons later.

I had good luck with a Icom 735 (if you can find one). I upgraded to a Kenwood TS 2000 to get VHF/UHF and satellite capabilities.

With that said, shop around and good luck.
 

beamin

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Technician class. Looking to do <30MHz. VHF/UHF for me is more like just having a conversation on the phone although a little more fun, but I don't hear much activity in this area as far as analog goes. VHF/UHF would be cool but I know I would get board with it. So looking to do some DX'ing, I never get board of hearing really far away stations. I have money to put into it, but don't want to spend tons because my interests change fast. I thought the 40 meter bitX would be cool for QRP but most times its frustration when no one can hear me. I had the most fun building it not so much using it because I have an SDR thats a better/easier receiver with waterfall.
 

beamin

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Alinco DX-SR8T.
I saw that, saw the price got excited then realized its just a receiver. I already have a good SDR so I'm looking for a transceiver thats around 100 watts.
 

WA8ZTZ

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beamin,

The Alinco DX-R8T is the receiver.
The Alinco DX-SR8T is the transceiver.
 

krokus

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I saw that, saw the price got excited then realized its just a receiver. I already have a good SDR so I'm looking for a transceiver thats around 100 watts.
Check out used equipment. You can look at the local hamfests, or many dealers list used equipment on their websites.

Sent via Tapatalk
 

ka9ucn

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A Kenwood TS520 was and still is a work horse. Usualy they go for around $250 but if you run a want to buy add on QRZ or QTH with an offer of $200. There is a good chance of finding one at that price + a hefty $30-$40 postage. Check the model, some have built in power supplies wile others do not. You say you like building. You might want to give the 7 watt kit a boost with an amplifier. They can be bought for very little from AlieExpress but remember to filter the output with a 40 meter pass band filter.


www.aliexpress.com/premium/hf-ampli...SB_20170721193614&origin=y&catId=0&isViewCP=y

Joe KA9UCN
 

beamin

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A Kenwood TS520 was and still is a work horse. Usualy they go for around $250 but if you run a want to buy add on QRZ or QTH with an offer of $200. There is a good chance of finding one at that price + a hefty $30-$40 postage. Check the model, some have built in power supplies wile others do not. You say you like building. You might want to give the 7 watt kit a boost with an amplifier. They can be bought for very little from AlieExpress but remember to filter the output with a 40 meter pass band filter.


www.aliexpress.com/premium/hf-ampli...SB_20170721193614&origin=y&catId=0&isViewCP=y

Joe KA9UCN
So I looked at those kits but the english is terrible. If I up my bitX 7watt 40meter to 40 watts would that be worth it? I'm also going to upgrade my antenna but thats another question, I like building antenna but I have never made one for transmitting.

Say I go with the 180 watt liner amp:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/180...lgo_pvid=7150ca26-9658-4aad-b6fc-c4ba9ead5ef9

Can this handle 7watts of input? I says 10 mA input but that seems wrong. Thats like a pre amp output isn't it?
This also has a scope sceen showing a trace decline at 3mhz, does that mean it only works at 3mhz? I know there are some really good kits out there but you think they could get an english speaking person to proof read their ads. I have had very bad luck emailing questions because they either don't understand you or say what ever they think is going to trick you into buying it.

What size min. power supply would I need? How big for the 40 watt model? Right now I'm running the bitX off a 1.5A LMA319 based power supply that I made but its at its limit.
 

wyShack

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If you are a Technician Class license all you can operate is CW (Morse code) except on 10 meters. On 10 meters you can also use SSB but the band is not open much at this point in the sunspot cycle.
 

beamin

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Look at this laughable english on their page:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/NEW...lgo_pvid=7150ca26-9658-4aad-b6fc-c4ba9ead5ef9

"Customer is the god" "with your support. we will do it better" So basically they have room for improvement but they need the help of the customer. I also like their returns flow chart that ends in "failure". They do have "100% in-kind shooting" Which is always a quality I look for in a company.
 

beamin

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If you are a Technician Class license all you can operate is CW (Morse code) except on 10 meters. On 10 meters you can also use SSB but the band is not open much at this point in the sunspot cycle.
Yes I plan on upping my lic. in the near future so I'm anticipating that.
 
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