eHam

eHam Forums => SWL (Shortwave Listening) => Topic started by: W9KDX on March 25, 2013, 04:44:25 PM



Title: Choose between the Sony 7600GR and the Tecsun PL660
Post by: W9KDX on March 25, 2013, 04:44:25 PM
Help me choose between these two radios.  Here is some basic info.

Both are the same price.
They will be used for general SWL as well as SSB ham.
The antenna will be a long wire, indoors, about 50 feet long and the QTH is the Midwest.

I have heard of problems with the Sony getting overloaded with external antennas and I have also heard the Tecsun doesn't.  But then I have also read that the ideal long wire length is 25 feet.... and 50 feet and 135 feet and as long as possible.   At the same time I have read that anything over 25 feet just adds noise, so clearly there are differences of opinion.

I am also attracted to the "made in Japan" aspect of the Sony.  However, I really don't care for the lack of a tuning knob on the Sony.  

Also, I would love to be a collector, but I don't have an unlimited budget for something that is dying (overseas SW broadcast) so any comparison the the Kaito 1103 and the Sangean 909X would be helpful, as I know how these perform.

Last, if there is anything really significant I should know, please share.  I was stuck with a Sangean CL-100 because I had no idea that they included a "feature" where there is a delay whenever you change a channel or even turn it on.  Dumbest, most infuriating thing I have ever seen in a radio!

Thanks


Title: RE: Choose between the Sony 7600GR and the Tecsun PL660
Post by: K5TED on March 25, 2013, 06:54:50 PM
Neither of the radios are anything near the level of "ham" use.

Please, do yourself a big favor, hand on to your $145, save up another $100 or $150 and buy yourself a good used tabletop radio. Even an old Heathkit will give you a lot more listening and operating pleasure than the 7600GR or PL660.


Title: RE: Choose between the Sony 7600GR and the Tecsun PL660
Post by: W9KDX on March 25, 2013, 08:14:14 PM
Neither of the radios are anything near the level of "ham" use.

Please, do yourself a big favor, hand on to your $145, save up another $100 or $150 and buy yourself a good used tabletop radio. Even an old Heathkit will give you a lot more listening and operating pleasure than the 7600GR or PL660.

I totally agree, however, after quite a while, nothing used at any decent price has shown up.  There seems to be only two new radios made.  The Icom, and at well over $600,  still has a few bugs ( overheating due to a crummy wall wart that puts out 19.2V!) and I would probably be better off with an IC-718 and get a decent power supply, and the Palstar at $750 doesn't even have a real tuning knob.

I would love to take your advice, but in may part of the country, people hold on to the good receivers.


Title: RE: Choose between the Sony 7600GR and the Tecsun PL660
Post by: W4OP on March 26, 2013, 01:54:06 PM
I agree with K5TED. If those were my only choice, I'd wait for a real RX to become available.


Dale W4OP
 


Title: RE: Choose between the Sony 7600GR and the Tecsun PL660
Post by: W9KDX on March 26, 2013, 04:46:38 PM
Thanks,  I'll probably keep waiting.


Title: RE: Choose between the Sony 7600GR and the Tecsun PL660
Post by: K5TED on March 26, 2013, 08:51:17 PM
Just throwing this out there...

If you keep an eye out on that internet auction site, you will be able to snag a Icom PCR-1000 for around $200. You might even find one for a little more that is already outfitted with the UT-106 DSP (not an exceedingly stellar filter option, but it does help a little with heterodyne and static). You will, of course, be controlling the radio with your computer, but dollar for dollar, you'd be hard pressed to find a relatively modern, better performing all-mode MW and HF receiver than the PCR-1000.

If you want to test drive one, go to globaltuners.com, sign up for free and you'll have several PC controlled radios to choose from with various antenna setups, including PCR-1000's, PCR-1500's and others. You are welcome to camp out on one of mine. Look for San Antonio 1,2,3, and 4. None have anything more than a simple crossed VHF dipole, a MW loop or a short wire for antennas.

Running the PCR-1000 with Ham Radio Deluxe is quite enjoyable. Running either the PCR-1000 or 1500 with Shortwave Log is addictive. (yes, Shortwave Log is still out there..)


Title: RE: Choose between the Sony 7600GR and the Tecsun PL660
Post by: W9KDX on March 27, 2013, 09:26:19 AM
Thanks for the suggestion on the Icom unit.  I am a real old fashioned SWL and I am not looking for anything computer controlled.  I actually wish my Hallicrafters SX-25 was up to the task or one of the many other receivers I had when I was much younger.

Anyhow, I'll keep my eyes open and probably find a transceiver to do the job.


Title: RE: Choose between the Sony 7600GR and the Tecsun PL660
Post by: K5TED on March 27, 2013, 08:34:47 PM
On the other hand, if you like vintage, you can certainly find a Hammarlund HQ-110 in excellent condition on your budget.

Good Luck with your search!



Title: RE: Choose between the Sony 7600GR and the Tecsun PL660
Post by: KE6EE on March 28, 2013, 11:38:10 AM
The TenTec 1254 is a competent receiver for $205. Plus you have the fun of assembling a kit.


Title: RE: Choose between the Sony 7600GR and the Tecsun PL660
Post by: KJ6ZOL on March 28, 2013, 11:34:52 PM
Sometimes the Chinese radios will come included with an external antenna. I know my Degen 1102 was so equipped. I don't know if the 660 is, but if it is, and I doubt the Sony is, that would seal the deal for me for the Tecsun right there. Just using the OEM external antenna with a Chinese radio will save you worries about overloading, and about how long to make the wire. You might ask the Ebay sellers of the 660 if it has an OEM external antenna. BTW, ordering the Tecsun from Hong Kong instead of from Amazon or a ham radio store will save you $$$$.


Title: RE: Choose between the Sony 7600GR and the Tecsun PL660
Post by: W9KDX on March 29, 2013, 06:24:44 AM
Thanks for all the ideas.  BTW, the Tecsun does come with an external wire, but I have already made my own.  It also saves from $20-$40 getting directly from China; here they charge a big premium for black, same as Sangean.

I'll look at the TenTec and keep my options open.  Something is bound to come along before all the overseas broadcasting dies off.  Of course, as cycle 24 ends, I should probably just sit tight and see what is available in 11 more years.  My guess is all that will be left will be ham traffic and a few fundamentalists.


Title: RE: Choose between the Sony 7600GR and the Tecsun PL660
Post by: K5TED on March 29, 2013, 12:14:19 PM
Of course, as cycle 24 ends, I should probably just sit tight and see what is available in 11 more years.  My guess is all that will be left will be ham traffic and a few fundamentalists.

You'll miss 11 years of SWL'ing.

Shortwave broadcasting, while going through changes. will remain. India just bought 4.9MW of brand new Nautel HF transmitters. While the BBC and VOA are cutting back, many other major international and domestic SW broadcasters are expanding their capabilities. 



Title: RE: Choose between the Sony 7600GR and the Tecsun PL660
Post by: KJ6ZOL on March 29, 2013, 09:31:41 PM
Of course, as cycle 24 ends, I should probably just sit tight and see what is available in 11 more years.  My guess is all that will be left will be ham traffic and a few fundamentalists.

You'll miss 11 years of SWL'ing.

Shortwave broadcasting, while going through changes. will remain. India just bought 4.9MW of brand new Nautel HF transmitters. While the BBC and VOA are cutting back, many other major international and domestic SW broadcasters are expanding their capabilities. 



I suppose from the OP's call that he's in the Great Lakes area. Out here on the Left Coast, there's still plenty to hear from the Asians and Russians. You can sometimes catch Chinese music on Chinese domestic SW, it's very beautiful and China considers SW key to keeping a lid on the country, so they spend big on it. Russia has zillions of little SW bc'ers, and I haven't heard music yet but I'm sure it's out there. You have Radio Republik Indonesia, it's a collection of stn's and the main authority in Jakarta let's the provinces do as they please on air as long as taxes are paid, similar to Mexico and the 50s border blasters. Even VOA is still around, they broadcast various music pgm's to the Mideast and Central Asia. The days when you could listen to English everywhere are long gone, but music is a universal language and there's still plenty on SW. It's just that news junkies like myself tend to be disappointed. If you're looking for English, ditto.


Title: RE: Choose between the Sony 7600GR and the Tecsun PL660
Post by: KD0GIS on March 30, 2013, 07:45:07 AM
Back to the OP's original question, it is one that I have been wrestling with myself. I have a ham setup and I do already have a Sony 7600gr that I keep at my weekend cabin. I would like another portable for use at home and when traveling since I know if I bring the one at the cabin home then I will forget to take it with me and it is one of my main forms of entertainment out there, especially in the warm months. It is great to sit outside in the evenings working the bands and listen to the hams.

The Sony is a very fine radio, I have used it on both the whip and about a 20 meter wire to listen to SW broadcast from all around the world, as well as lots of ham activity from Japan to S. America. Never had any problems with it overloading when on the wire antenna. Lack of a tuning wheel is not a real problem for me, I have found the fine and coarse buttons, along with the fine-tuning wheel for SSB, to do everything needed.

I have come very close to buying a second Sony but both the Tecsun and Sangean have been tempting me with their more modern features, nice display and user interface. I don't know that either of them has that much better reception than the Sony, you can find lots of evidence on Youtube and the forums both ways. I do like the solid Japanese/Sony build and quality.

Anyway, if you are only going to have one radio and if you do travel or have a second place where you might want to use it, the Sony would be a fine choice.


Title: RE: Choose between the Sony 7600GR and the Tecsun PL660
Post by: W1JKA on March 30, 2013, 10:50:05 AM
     As with KD0GIS I also have a 20+ year old SONY 7600D that I keep at camp along with a 20m CW homebrew qrp xtmr.hooked up to 20m dipole and have great fun working the stronger stations.I have several QRP transceivers I could use but the benifit of this set up is the ability to listen to FM/SSB/SW when the bands are down.As mentioned before SSB can be tuned in with the combo fine tune/ssb switch and the tone button on music.This is a tough radio as I took it to sea with me for several years,my son backpacked Europe with it for 6 months and my daughter did her 10 month mountain thing in Nepal with it.Just wish I had bought two at the time.


Title: RE: Choose between the Sony 7600GR and the Tecsun PL660
Post by: N7DMA on March 31, 2013, 09:09:17 PM
I have a Tecsun PL-600 that I purchased about 6 months ago, and I find it to be a fairly capable portable receiver. I bought it over the PL-660 due to it being about half the price, and the only difference between the two was the lack of sync detection. Works well on SSB in the ham bands, filtering is kinda wide for CW. It has real knobs! Never noticed overload with the supplied wire antenna.

Hey, for about 60 bux, I'm happy with it. Sounds OK, too! My 2 cents worth!


Title: RE: Choose between the Sony 7600GR and the Tecsun PL660
Post by: N7DMA on March 31, 2013, 09:22:10 PM
Forgot to mention the crappy switching power supply included with the PL-600. It renders the radio unusable.
And the lousy included 1000mAh nicads. Internal charging problems with batteries in the radio is a well documented problem. A set of Duracells run it for about a week of casual use; that's what I do.
Oh, yeah, the manual was in Chinese. But a suitable manual in engrish is on the web as a PDF.
Still, no regrets. Fine radio, and in spite of all that, I'm happy with it.


Title: RE: Choose between the Sony 7600GR and the Tecsun PL660
Post by: W9KDX on April 01, 2013, 06:50:16 PM
Thanks for the feedback on the Tecsuns.  I am not surprised about the power supply, but the lack of synchronous detection is the main reason the 660 is so impressive.

BTW, the Sony 7600GR has similar problems with the power supply.  Some versions, not so long ago, actually shipped with a label stating Not for Use with Radio or similar language.


Title: RE: Choose between the Sony 7600GR and the Tecsun PL660
Post by: KJ6ZOL on April 04, 2013, 09:23:03 AM
Forgot to mention the crappy switching power supply included with the PL-600. It renders the radio unusable.
And the lousy included 1000mAh nicads. Internal charging problems with batteries in the radio is a well documented problem. A set of Duracells run it for about a week of casual use; that's what I do.
Oh, yeah, the manual was in Chinese. But a suitable manual in engrish is on the web as a PDF.
Still, no regrets. Fine radio, and in spite of all that, I'm happy with it.

The radio isn't meant to be run off AC anyway. The AC is there to charge the nicads. If you take the batteries out at the end of each day they'll last longer, Chinese portables are notorious energy vampires and drain batteries fast. I'm using a Degen 1102 with the supplied nicads, and it seems to charge fine. The Tecsuns are half the radio of the old Degens for twice the price.  >:( >:(