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Author Topic: Ham Receivers on Longwave. How's your's?  (Read 4186 times)
K0OD
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Posts: 2987




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« on: November 15, 2017, 01:40:12 PM »

Might be a service if we review the longwave receiving performance of our transceivers/receivers on 472 MHz and 136 MHz. Here are some observations based on my radio collection.

1) Flex-5000. Worthless below the AM BCB as is. Excellent down to 10KHz with a longwave converter such as a Palomar or probably a $15 Jackson Harbor. Good results also reported with low pass filters. Loads of features including bandscope and new KE9NS enhancements. Zero drift for digital modes. 

2) Kenwood TS-430. Minimum receive 150 KHz. It picks up some stuff down there. Surely drifts too much for modern digital modes. 1977 radio.

3) Kenwood. TS-850. 1990 vintage  Minimum receive 100 KHz. SWLs used to consider it an excellent longwave receiver.

4) SDRPlay 1 and 2: Rated down to 1 KHz. Touchy to adjust to prevent AM BCB bleed-through. Dirt cheap with a bazillion features. I haven't tried it with WSJT-X yet. Some have. Could be an excellent choice with a lowpass filter or in a low RF location.

How's your receiver perform in RF's basement?
 
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WA4JNX
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Posts: 14




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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2017, 01:51:15 PM »

New Version SDR Play just out,here are specs
and review by SWLing.com:

https://www.radiodiscussions.com/showthread.php?706066-New-and-Improved-Model-SDR-Play-Receiver-announced-119

Lowpass filter:

https://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/filters/1143.html
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 01:59:25 PM by WA4JNX » Logged
K0OD
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Posts: 2987




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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2017, 02:40:03 PM »

"Might be a service if we review the longwave receiving performance of our transceivers/receivers on 472 MHz and 136 MHz...  Meant 472 KHz and 136 KHz of course."
 
Yep. the SDRPlay RSP1A was just announced today. Full featured longwave for about $100!
 
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AA2UK
Member

Posts: 372




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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2017, 04:08:19 PM »

My primary is a brick & Mortar rig an ICOM IC-7410. It works very well at 630 meters not so good at 2200.
73, AA2UK
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K3EY
Member

Posts: 31




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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2017, 07:04:39 AM »

I have been logging NDB's for years---200 to 500 Khz.

I have found the TS590SG to be one of the best receivers down there, used everything mentioned here including the 7300 and nothing touches the Kenwood.

YMMV

73

k3ey
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K0OD
Member

Posts: 2987




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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2017, 07:25:36 AM »

TS590SG, odd thing is specs say: "0.13 ~ 30 MHz, 50 ~ 54 MHz." Yet "VFO: Continuous 30 kHz ~ 60 MHz."

Perhaps it's only spec'd down to 0.13 but tunes lower. Doesn't take much to pick up WWVB in most of the US. Nice to see several newer transceivers receiving both longwave bands. http://www.kenwood.com/usa/com/amateur/ts-590sg/spec.html
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KM1H
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Posts: 2622




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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2017, 06:15:24 PM »

I do not have any digital capability yet but on CW a TS-940 and TS-950SD do well on both bands with a passive tuneable preselector.

Others here that do well are:

HRO-500 with LF-10 tuneable preselector; I use it yearly for the SAQ Christmas Eve broadcast on 17.2 kHz, Im batting about 70% from right at the noise to pounding in.

1934 RCA designed RAK-7 WW2 USN TRF regen, very quiet and stable for CW and the adjustable audio limiter is fantastic for QRN. Big, ugly, uncalibrated (A tuning chart is in the manual) and needs a separate PS. Im going to use it for SAQ this year.

Carl
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N8FVJ
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2017, 08:28:22 AM »

2nd Vote- Kenwood TS-590SG. Works well, low noise & sensitive. IC-7300 is deaf down there. It is noisy on all bands too- overrated by many hams.
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N4UE
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Posts: 709




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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2017, 11:12:32 AM »

FVJ, maybe if you could understand what RFG stood for, you wouldn't sound like such a fool.

The 7300 has ample front end gain. Using wire antennas with preamps on the low bands is just ignorant.

ron
N4UE

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K0OD
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Posts: 2987




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« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2017, 11:19:07 AM »


HRO-500 with LF-10 tuneable preselector; I use it yearly for the SAQ Christmas Eve broadcast on 17.2 kHz, Im batting about 70% from right at the noise to pounding in.

Carl

Carl, I did a double take when you mentioned receiving the Swedish station SAQ on 17.2 kHz with an HRO-500. But I see that the old (and rare) HRO-500 tunes down to 5 kHz. Congrats on also having the even rarer LF-10. preselector.

I tried copying SAQ a few years ago and heard nothing. From what I've been able to tell, hearing SAQ in the US is pretty much an East Coast thing... at best.   
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AA2UK
Member

Posts: 372




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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2017, 01:59:30 PM »

FVJ, maybe if you could understand what RFG stood for, you wouldn't sound like such a fool.

The 7300 has ample front end gain. Using wire antennas with preamps on the low bands is just ignorant.

ron
N4UE


Ron perhaps you've had different results with the 7300 om 530 meters here's a review.
http://njdtechnologies.net/the-icom-7300-on-630-meters-by-david-g0mrf/
I'm sure everyone in this thread understands RF Gain .
Bill, AA2UK
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N8FVJ
Member

Posts: 376




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« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2017, 04:50:58 AM »

Sorry N4UE. Tested the TS-590SG & IC-7300 side by side. The TS-590SG was far superior. It is what it is, no bias. K3EY with many years experience below the broadcast band agrees the TS-590SG is the best receiver he used below the broadcast bands & the IC-7300 was not a contender per his post. Cannot dispute facts. Did both K3EY and myself receive a bad new IC-7300? I doubt it. Perhaps you have a bias issue.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2017, 05:03:23 AM by N8FVJ » Logged
N8FVJ
Member

Posts: 376




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« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2017, 05:27:44 AM »

BTW- N4UE. Let me guess...... You own an IC-7300, but not a TS-590SG.
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KA4NMA
Member

Posts: 518




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« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2017, 08:57:30 PM »

Anybody tried or have o go on the Yausa Ft897
Randy Ka4nma
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KM1H
Member

Posts: 2622




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« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2017, 06:24:15 PM »

Quote
Carl, I did a double take when you mentioned receiving the Swedish station SAQ on 17.2 kHz with an HRO-500. But I see that the old (and rare) HRO-500 tunes down to 5 kHz. Congrats on also having the even rarer LF-10. preselector.

I bought the package around 1980 which was long before collectors got into the act.
I also worked at National and was the only one in the Service Dept who wanted to tackle the 500 and have been working on them ever since.

Quote
I tried copying SAQ a few years ago and heard nothing. From what I've been able to tell, hearing SAQ in the US is pretty much an East Coast thing... at best.   

Ive heard reports from some places in the Midwest getting readable copy. Currently I use a pair of 750', 20 and 60 degree azimuth, Beverages and a HB signal combiner. Considering that one wavelength is 57209' its amazing it even works and I suspect it is just loosely coupling to Mother Earth 10' below.
I can also take the 230 kHz IF off the HRO-500 back panel and feed it into the TS-950SD to take advantage of the pair of 250 Hz crystal filters plus the digital audio filtering but most of the time I just use the 500/LF-10.

And I have heard it once (heard on the 500 first) a 1934 RCA designed WW2 USN RAK-7 which is amazingly quiet with a super sharp tunable audio filter. Too sharp and the alternator frequency drift will chop it....same as on the 950SD.

Carl

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