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Author Topic: Why are good swl recievers so darn expensive?  (Read 678 times)
N6HBJ
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« on: December 27, 2002, 04:34:18 PM »

The average high quality general coverage reciever costs more than my Yaseu 847. $1200 - $2000 bucks. Sheesh!

The only feature they seem to have different is "synchronous sideband" which is apparently important for AM reception. All the recievers under $1000 either dont have it or if they do it doesnt work well according to reviews.

I'd like to buy a new reciever so that I can listen to AM world radio broadcasts with synchronous sideband. It apparently helps prevent distortion with the fadeout. (I've never had a radio with this feature).

But I'm having a hard time buying a RECIEVER that costs more than a TRANSCIEVER!

Is this feature THAT expensive or am I missing something?
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2002, 08:11:23 AM »

Look for an Icom R71. The last one I saw on e-bay was just over $400.

Alan, KØBG
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K8KAS
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2002, 07:40:52 AM »

I see very good SWL receivers used and new all the time for the $300 to $600 range. I was at AES last week and there were 4 mint used Icom R71's in that price range. You can buy a new Grundig Satellit 800 for $495(very nice SWL box,Yaesu FRG-100B for $599, Palstar R30 for $494.95. The Grundig YB-400 I am told is a winner for a new price of around $175.00.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2002, 11:31:37 AM »

You can help minimize selective fading which causes that horrible distortion on ionospheric propagated AM signals by using antennas that favor varying directions, and using those antennas simultaneously.

If I use a single antenna to listen to SW BC (ionospheric), I hear the bad selective fading problem.  If I connect several antennas to the receiver, a lot of that just goes away, since as the signal fades on one antenna, it will improve on another one that is 90 degrees or more phase shifted from the first one.  Kind of a cheap way (just wire!) to minimize the distortion problem.  I can't believe more people don't do this.

You can accomplish this using antennas quite close together if you build an adjustable phase-shift network in a little box and plug multiple (at least two) antennas into that.  

Then, any old receiver starts to sound pretty good.

I've tried a lot of the "high end" SW receivers including the Grundigs, etc, and I'm far less than impressed by nearly all of them.  The digital (PLL, synthesized) ones have exactly the same problems as our modern ham gear, with respect to phase noise; the analog ones have exactly the same problems as old analog ham gear, with respect to frequency drift, etc.

WB2WIK/6
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KG6NJW
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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2002, 11:25:44 PM »

A few years ago I was in HRO, and I asked the clerk why the Icom R2 scanner cost more than the very similar Icom Q7 (?), which is essentially an R-2 with a transmitter added. His reply was that there are more hams than there are shortwave listeners, so the manufacturer can afford to make less on each unit, and the market for ham gear is more competitive (i.e. - more manufacturers). The topper for me was when the latest crop of SW receivers started selling for over $6,000, and I realized that for that kind of money I could GO to a foreign country instead of just listening to it on the radio.
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W0JOG
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2003, 06:58:24 PM »

You'd better hurry to spend all those bucks on a "good" SWL receiver. Most of the major broadcasters have already abandoned beaming to the US on HF frequencies. Others likely will follow. Money and the ease of using the Internet as an outlet are the reasons given. There, of course, are others. But the end result is there is little to hear other than DXing on the SWL bands. Unless you are into "The Sky is Falling" ranters and a dazzling array of innovative preachers.

 
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W9WHE
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2003, 11:33:14 AM »

Have you tried using your HF rig?  Mine works just fine. Play with the AGC response, attenuation, and IPO, and most signal fading problems become insignificant to me.
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