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Author Topic: What are you listening with?  (Read 118833 times)

Posts: 122

« on: April 08, 2014, 09:09:16 AM »

I have a DX-390 that is getting pretty long in the tooth. The tuning knob sticks a bit, and it's just getting up there.  So I bought a Ten Tec shortwave receiver's no where near as nice as the DX-390 as far as features and capabilities go but I have learned to really enjoy this regnerative receiver.

It's my very first regen.  Yes, it's a Ginny. It's a bit touchy in tuning but it feels like the good old days of shortwave.  The other night I even tuned in a Spanish speaking numbers station, and later on one in Deutsch.  Very exciting stuff.  Oh the religious loons have plenty of bandwidth on shortwave now too...the amount of hatred and outright bigotry toward each other is astounding...what happened to all the good old pirate broadcasters that used to be on 7410?  Have they all moved to 6955?

Listening in the dark to things that would make George Noori freak out is great fun, especially on a old timey rig like the Ten Tec 1253.

Posts: 271

« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2014, 11:26:28 AM »

My trusty Icom r71a is my main RXer, with my r75 alongside it now at my listening desk-and my old buddy SX-88 has recently been moved to bedside for the day's end DXs because, as you pointed out, there aint no sub for the tubes when it comes to distant or eerie stuff which are good things for crappin' out time Shocked

Posts: 501

« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2014, 07:47:42 PM »

I'm building the Ten Tec 1253 and its running, but not finished all the chassis.  I am pleased how stable it is and that it seems fairly sensitive.  Be finishing it in the next few days.  My other is R75, two TS590's and a TS2000.

Posts: 122

« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2014, 08:37:16 AM »

W7AIT - my 1253 sits on the desk, without the case on it...I finished it a week or so ago, and I just need to get it mounted.  I think for the money spent, it is an excellent value in kit construction. Enjoyed building it.  I am collecting parts now to Manhattan up a W7ZOI Universal QRP Transmitter to go along with it...can't wait to pair them up and make a CW QSO.



Posts: 220

« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2014, 09:17:07 PM »

I have a DX-390 that I've had since around 1996 or so, and is still my main SWL receiver (I also use a DX-398, mostly for SSB). Maybe shoot some Deoxit into the DX-390's tuner encoder. I think it's just a potentiometer.

Posts: 3

« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2014, 10:47:11 AM »

What are you listening with?  Huh
My ole trusty Grundig Satellite 800. I have not been listening for a while but when I do this is what I use.

Posts: 5

« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2014, 02:16:59 PM »

A tecsun PL 880 and a CommRadio CR-1A.

Posts: 91

« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2014, 12:03:54 PM »

Hey All,

Main rcvr is an IC R-71a, back up IC 735.Misc home brew SW  crystal sets  and simple regens  for fun.


Posts: 9

« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2014, 05:39:52 PM »

#1 used 95% of the time Hammarlund hq105tr
#2 Grundig yb400
#3 Hallicrafters s120
#4 Hallicrafters s38
#3 a n #4 just for fun. all on an 135 ft longwire.

Posts: 20

« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2014, 06:51:27 PM »

I use a Ten Tec, RX-340 receiver with a long wire or vertical antenna system.

Posts: 33

« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2014, 09:18:50 PM »

I am basically using an RTL-SDR for SWL with an upconverter. I actually have several upconverters, two commercial ones and one homebuilt.

My typical SWL signal chain is a long wire antenna, around 60 feet of stranded wire, feeding into a 9:1 unun wound on a FT50-43 toroid, which is connected to both a good ground and its output goes right into a homemade 5 pole high pass filter tuned to around 2.3 MHz, which feeds into a 1:1 RF transformer of three turns on both the primary and secondary wound on a balun core of #43 material. the secondary goes right into the antenna input on an upconverter, via an adjustable signal attenuator. Then the output of the upconverter goes into the RTL2832 dongle.

The 1:1 transformer at the end, taking care not to let DC pass from the computer part to the upconverter/antenna part, makes a noticeable difference in reducing RFI. I think its because the computer/house AC system ground is noisy and the noise rides on the USB cable.

This combination works really well across the entire HF spectrum. I suspect its better than a lot of much more expensive setups, if you accept that you have to adjust the gain. Sometimes, with one upconverter I have -  ( Thanks Adam! ) I have to turn the attenuator up up up.  I was quite happy with it before but I keep discovering ways to get even more performance out of it.

I'm really enjoying a big improvement - super quiet signals with the addition of the little tiny homemade unun (15 minutes of work!) and another huge improvement Ive gotten from adding the homemade AM band block filter made on a little piece of perfboard with two coils wound on a form made out of a at (10 mm) purple drinking straw -one of those fat straws used for tapioca drinks..  the whole setup -including all the parts cost maybe $55-60.

Highly recommended. People are not going to be able to get this much flexibility any other way.  I would expect to pay a lot more. Its also very small. The core of the hardware, enough to make for a pleasurable experience, the dongle and the upconverter and a USB extension and two ferrites fits in an Altoids tin. (Of course, you also need a computer.)

If you can live with occasionally switching the patch cables around this setup can receive fairly well from around (guessing) 300 KHz to a bit above 1750 MHz, continuously. I can receive 2.6 MHz without dropping any samples. If I can live with some issues, I can sample up to around 3 MHz. For some reason, I used to be able to sample up to the full 3.2 MHz using the USB3 input on my computer - that worked for a while but recently something, some upgrade or something seems to have killed my ability to use the USB3 on USB2 and get better performance. Now it just doesn't work. But, it works really well up to 2.6 MHz with no dropped samples at all.

Posts: 3289

« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2014, 09:08:14 AM »

My chairside radio is a Panasonic RF-1150 six band radio I've had since 1978. It was purchased on sale at Walmart for $51 as a display model with no power cord or box ($179 in 2013 dollars).  Nothing beats analog tuning, and a six inch speaker.  

Recently I've improved reception by lining the inner case with copper foil bonded to the PCB ground plane (via the speaker frame and front panel) This has helped sensitivity, selectivity (particularly with desensing from a low power church FM transmitter across the road) and reduced hand capacitance effects. For the first time the radio is stable enough to listen to ham signals.  I wish I'd done this decades ago.

The power supply capacitors are getting leaky as shown by increasing voltage feel on the metal front panel.  Visual inspection shows only a slight bulging.  Access and replacement will be easy.  The 'control' side PCB has about eight electrolytic caps, and the RF side has about four to five which are a little more difficult to access due to small size and tight fit.  I will avoid tampering with the RF side as long as there are no problems.  The only technical manual appears to be at, a German site which requires paid membership.

A Pixel Technologies PRO-1B amplified loop has improved SW signals making many stations that were weak and fading, strong and comfortable listening.  In particular Eastern Europe and South Asia stations in the early evening.  I don't get full benefit of the loop's directivity and nulling since it is inside.

A Sony ICF-2002 was my handy travel companion for years.  Amazing for it's time, it was never particularly good for band trolling (due to 1khz/5khz step tuning) and unusable for amateur listening.  Nonetheless in the days before satellite TV and internet, it was the only way to get news from the reliable VOA and BBC in far corners of the world.  bill
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 10:10:09 AM by KB4QAA » Logged

Posts: 23


« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2014, 03:59:46 PM »

Two ICOM R9000s.

Posts: 62

« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2014, 08:16:21 AM »

I bought a Tecsun PL-600 from the Universal Radio booth at Dayton.  Wanted the PL-660, but they didn't have any.  Oh, well.  From what little I've done with the 600 since getting home, I really like it.  Much more sensitive than my old Grundig G6 and sound a lot better, too.  Didn't realize it was going to be so big, though!!

Posts: 163

« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2014, 06:51:30 PM »

Just finished this little dual receiver project.

Using PCRAnywhere to test it this weekend. Works nicely.
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