eHam

eHam Forums => SWL (Shortwave Listening) => Topic started by: N4WVE on April 28, 2013, 11:38:31 AM



Title: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: N4WVE on April 28, 2013, 11:38:31 AM
Hello all,

I am looking for opinions on the best short wave receiver in the 700 to 900 dollar range.  I need computer interface capability for use with ERGO, etc. any ideas?

Greg N4WVE


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: KE7RNK on April 28, 2013, 12:58:23 PM
The most popular is the Icom Ic-R75. Time tested. Tough.Built like a Ford


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: SWL2002 on April 28, 2013, 02:20:43 PM
Hello all,

I am looking for opinions on the best short wave receiver in the 700 to 900 dollar range.  I need computer interface capability for use with ERGO, etc. any ideas?

Greg N4WVE

SDR or conventional analog?


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: K5TED on April 28, 2013, 06:36:22 PM
Now is a good time to get the R75. There's a special on where you get the UT-106 with it for free.

That said, you can spend the same money on a new Flex 1500 and have a more versatile receiver that will run on most any relatively modern PC through the USB port, and outperform the R75 by a good margin, plus have full computer control and audio interfacing in the digital domain, no patch cables or interfaces needed..




Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: AUSSIE on April 28, 2013, 10:32:01 PM
Hi Greg the Icom-R75 is an excellent hf receiver.These are my videos on Youtube first video is an R75 with UT-106 dsp which personally its a waste and i do have other receivers with the UT-106 dsp but took them out second using my other R75 with no dsp board using a Bhi NES10-MK2 dsp speaker which highly recomend main intrest for me is monitoring hf aircraft..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=IqwVsUsuX1g
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ofVuOq8Z5gw

Regards Lino..
MY SHACK:
ALINCO DJ-X11,ALINCO DJ-X2000,ALINCO DX-R8 (2)
AOR-3030,AOR-5001D,AOR-7030,AOR-8200MK3,AOR-8600MK2
DRAKE-R8,DRAKE-R8B,DRAKE-SW2
GRE-PSR400,GRE-PSR500
GRUNDIG SATELLIT-750
ICOM-PCR1000,ICOM-PCR1500,ICOM-R3,ICOM-R20,ICOM-R71A,ICOM-R75 (2),ICOM-R2500,
ICOM-R7100,ICOM-R8500,ICOM-RX7
KINETIC SBS-3
KENWOOD-R5000
LOWE HF-235
PALSTAR-R30A
RACAL-6790
REALISTIC-PRO2035
RFSPACE SDR-IQ
TEN TEC-320D,TEN TEC-340 (2),TEN TEC-350
UNIDEN-BCT15X,UNIDEN-UBCD396T,UNIDEN-UBCD396XT,UNIDEN-UBC780XLT
WATKINS JOHSON HF-1000A
YAESU-VR500






Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: KE6EE on April 30, 2013, 11:39:24 AM
Regards Lino..
MY SHACK:
ALINCO DJ-X11,ALINCO DJ-X2000,ALINCO DX-R8 (2)
AOR-3030,AOR-5001D,AOR-7030,AOR-8200MK3,AOR-8600MK2
DRAKE-R8,DRAKE-R8B,DRAKE-SW2
GRE-PSR400,GRE-PSR500
GRUNDIG SATELLIT-750
ICOM-PCR1000,ICOM-PCR1500,ICOM-R3,ICOM-R20,ICOM-R71A,ICOM-R75 (2),ICOM-R2500,
ICOM-R7100,ICOM-R8500,ICOM-RX7
KINETIC SBS-3
KENWOOD-R5000
LOWE HF-235
PALSTAR-R30A
RACAL-6790
REALISTIC-PRO2035
RFSPACE SDR-IQ
TEN TEC-320D,TEN TEC-340 (2),TEN TEC-350
UNIDEN-BCT15X,UNIDEN-UBCD396T,UNIDEN-UBCD396XT,UNIDEN-UBC780XLT
WATKINS JOHSON HF-1000A
YAESU-VR500

Lino has just a few receivers! I notice that he has two Tentec RX 340s.

I have only one. They are expensive new ($4.5k these days) but can be found on occasion used in excellent shape for half that. That's how I found mine. I wanted to point out that a receiver's ease-of-use, ergonomics, esthetics if you will, can be most important to a user. Much more so than strict performance in certain critical areas.

The RX-340 is elegant in design, function and ease-of-use. The Icom R-75 performs well but is anything but elegant in design; it's passably easy-to-use, IMHO.

Quality of design-for-use is something worth reflecting on. And then there's pure charm in a receiver as possibly exemplified best in the ancient Hallicrafters SX-28. Old Collins S-line general coverage receivers have enormous charm and elegance tool, and they perform quite well. Cheaper than the RX-340.

You might wonder why Lino has two RX-340s. The guy I bought mine from had two too.

Then there's the question of audio quality which varies significantly from receiver to receiver. The Icom R-75 has rather inferior audio quality, but there are simple modifications one can find on-line to improve this.

Yes, the RX-340 has a serial interface.


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: SWMAN on April 30, 2013, 01:48:56 PM
 I have a Yaesu FRG-100 SW radio and it is GREAT. It receives from 100 kc up to 30 mhz. Great little table top radio and sells for about 600 bucks.


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: AUSSIE on April 30, 2013, 02:12:29 PM
Hi N6GND youre right when it comes to audio varies on all the receivers tonightonly use the Bhi NES10-MK2/MK3 dsp speakers on all my hf receivers each sound and clarity is different enough to understand the voices specially when monitoring hf aero comms..

I do share another shack with dad and we have around 50 receivers and have 6 uncles that are into radios.

I bought 6 Ten Tec-340 got a massive discount when i was on holidays few years ago with dad in the US postage for all cost $1600 US dollars end at the time our aussie dollar was around the 88 cents against the american dollar buy the time we got back picked up the radios within 5 business days.The Ten Tec-340 sells in australia for $7000 aussie dollars very expensive..

Regards Lino..


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: K5TED on April 30, 2013, 09:04:28 PM
Back to the topic, radios in the $700-$900 range featuring computer interface...

So, the other parameter is the use of ERGO software..

Looking at ERGO, the site claims compatibility with:

AOR AR3030, AR5000, AR7030
 Collins HF-2050
 Cubic R3030
 Drake R8, R8A, R8B
 ICOM R75, R8500, R9000, R9500, Generic
 ICOM 746, 756, 7000, 7600, 7700, 7800
 Kenwood R-5000, TS440
 Kenwood TS570, TS870, TS2000, TS590S
 Japan Radio NRD525, NRD345, NRD535, NRD545, JST245
 McKay Dymek DR333
 MicroTelecom Perseus CI-V
 Racal 6790
 Rhode & Schwartz EK890, EK895
 Ten Tec RX320, RX340, RX350, RX400, Orion
 Watkins Johnson 8711, 8712, HF1000
 Yaesu FT767, FT1000, FT950, FT2000, FTDX3000, FTDX5000, FTDX9000, FRG100, VR5000


In the specified price range are only a couple of current production receivers, and a few current production transceivers.

Of the new receivers, I'd probably pick the Perseus.

If I were looking at used radios in the specified price range, then the market opens up a bit in the traditional radio category, especially when taking into consideration some of the older but fully featured transceivers, i.e., the Kenwood TS-870 with DSP or even receivers such as the R-5000 or FRG-100.

What sort of listening will you be doing, primarily? Broadcasts? Utilities?

Are you using the ERGO for point n' click tuning of shortwave stations based on downloaded program skeds or more for scanning, discovery and logging?













Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: N9RO on May 01, 2013, 10:00:12 AM
I would consider a WiNRADIO Excalibur, I have had a number of WiNRADIO receivers over the years and they are excellent!  The Excalibur uses the newer direct-sampling technology and supports EIBI and HFCC databases.  Although it still uses a USB interface the Client/Server software is excellent for running it over you LAN.  Easy software tools (no need to be a programmer) to roll your own operating environment, great device to create your own personal SWL station with LAN support.  This is a SWL receiver create for the serious SWL environment with SWL supporting software.

Good Luck
Tim  N9RO


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: KE6EE on May 01, 2013, 10:47:24 AM
I do share another shack with dad and we have around 50 receivers and have 6 uncles that are into radios.

I bought 6 Ten Tec-340 got a massive discount when i was on holidays few years ago with dad in the US postage for all cost $1600 US dollars end at the time our aussie dollar was around the 88 cents against the american dollar buy the time we got back picked up the radios within 5 business days.The Ten Tec-340 sells in australia for $7000 aussie dollars very expensive..

Regards Lino..

50/6 means only 8 1/3 receivers per Uncle. Which could be enough, depending.

Having so many Radio Uncles, not to mention Radio Dad, certainly explains the need for the half-dozen RX-340s.

I had only one uncle who was a collector. He collected heating and cooking stoves from all around the world, including the specialty items known as Lighthouse Stoves. He had a very big house with a huge basement. Fortunately for the sanity of the family, he was unique.



Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: N4WVE on May 05, 2013, 03:25:51 PM
Thanks for all the input guys! I am primarily interested in AM broadcast and am leaning towards sdr, but which one?

Greg N4WVE


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: SWL2002 on May 05, 2013, 05:19:57 PM
Thanks for all the input guys! I am primarily interested in AM broadcast and am leaning towards sdr, but which one?

Greg N4WVE

Stay away from any Flex Radio SDR if you are going to use it in the am broadcast band or below.  They dont have the proper filtering.  I would also stay away from the SRR-IQ for use down there too.  Look at a Perseus or a QS1R.  Perseus is made in Italy and is a bit too expensive for what it covers and the QS1R is American made and is well supported.  I try to buy American made when I have a choice.  Thats why I have a Flex-5000 and a QS1R.  99% of my use is SWL.

- robert


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: N4WVE on May 05, 2013, 05:34:29 PM
Robert,

I am most interested in broadcast am. Does the QS1R show EIBI and HFCC schedules with point and click frequency changing?

Greg


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: SWL2002 on May 05, 2013, 06:16:07 PM
Robert,

I am most interested in broadcast am. Does the QS1R show EIBI and HFCC schedules with point and click frequency changing?

Greg

Greg, I use my QS1R with HDSDR which is excellent for AM broadcast reception.  It has EIBI and HFCC integrated (point and click).   I also use Studio 1, which also does both.

-robert


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: K0OD on May 05, 2013, 07:51:36 PM
Quote
Stay away from any Flex Radio SDR if you are going to use it in the am broadcast band or below.

SWL2002, you are correct. My Flex-5000 is worthless below 530 kHz. i can't even hear local NDBs. So I use mine with an $89 Palomar VLF converter via the handy Flex converter port to hear down to 10 kHz while getting all PSDR features.

Here's a review I did on using a 5000 with a longwave converter:
http://www.eham.net/reviews/review/117564 

As for BCB reception, my 5000 works well. But for some reason it's not fully spec'd for below 1800 KHz. Perhaps it's prone to images from extremely strong local stations but I haven't had a problem. It picks up BCB DX just fine at my location. Nor have I heard complaints from other owners.


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: K5TED on May 05, 2013, 09:53:46 PM
The Flex family, for whatever reason, is horrendous below BCB. However, Kiwa makes a nice low pass filter to take care of this. That said, the Flex radio family is billed as a HF/6m transceiver. Not a general coverage receiver.


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: SWL2002 on May 06, 2013, 03:29:33 AM
Quote
Stay away from any Flex Radio SDR if you are going to use it in the am broadcast band or below.

SWL2002, you are correct. My Flex-5000 is worthless below 530 kHz. i can't even hear local NDBs. So I use mine with an $89 Palomar VLF converter via the handy Flex converter port to hear down to 10 kHz while getting all PSDR features.

Here's a review I did on using a 5000 with a longwave converter:
http://www.eham.net/reviews/review/117564 

As for BCB reception, my 5000 works well. But for some reason it's not fully spec'd for below 1800 KHz. Perhaps it's prone to images from extremely strong local stations but I haven't had a problem. It picks up BCB DX just fine at my location. Nor have I heard complaints from other owners.

Interesting.  However, this would offer me no advantages over what I already have now with the other SDR.  I'll soon be selling the Flex5k since I have a different solution and I don't need the transmitter.  The 5k worked OK above 1.8 MHz for SWL though.

-robert


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: SWL2002 on May 06, 2013, 03:35:44 AM
The Flex family, for whatever reason, is horrendous below BCB. However, Kiwa makes a nice low pass filter to take care of this. That said, the Flex radio family is billed as a HF/6m transceiver. Not a general coverage receiver.

The sensitivity of the Flex SDRs drops severely below 1.8 MHz.  If you are serious about MW Dxing, then the Flex radios are bad below 1.8 MHz.  By the time you add an external preamp and addition filtering, or add an external convertor, you have so much additional junk hanging off the Flex that it is just not worth it.

You are correct the Flex does not market their SDRs as general coverage receivers. 

-robert


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: K0OD on May 06, 2013, 09:15:49 AM
I and others discussed several brands of low pass filters as possible solutions. The Kiwa 500 KHz cut off model is $120. Rejection of low frequency BCB stations is problematic. A broadcaster on 580 KHz is especially strong at my QTH. OTOH the Jackson Harbor converter kit is under $20.

The Palomar converter is available for IF outputs of either 3.5 or 4.0 MHz. I bought the later model which isn't ideal with a Flex due to lack of band pass filtering in that range. Some IF leakage can be heard and seen on the panadaptor.  I listen to longwave with my ham antenna which produces weak longwave signals that occasionally aren't strong enough to override the leakage. But it's NOT a huge problem.

In the 3.5 MHz ham band, where Flex filtering is excellent, IF artifacts are weak. Some can be detected on the panadaptor with the antenna removed but they would never be a problem even with the worst of antennas, such as a few feet of wire.  A VLF converter with output in the 80 meter ham band turns a Flex-5000 into a fabulous longwave receiver, with advanced features including customizable bandwidth, synchronous AM, great noise reduction and tracking notch filtering, and of course the panadaptor.   

I've discovered that a panadaptor is a useful accessory for BCB DXing. I can sometimes see a blip on 1521 KHz which is probably the Saudi powerhouse station. Audio from that station can't be heard in Missouri as I have to contend with 50 KW US broadcasters on 1520 kHz.  Around 170 KHz European AM broadcasters can easily be seen as panadaptor blips even when they can't be heard.       


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: K5TED on May 06, 2013, 06:03:25 PM
Here's a cheap good radio option...

Find a Icom PCR-100. Usually these go for about $75 on the internet.

Out of the box, it is a simple to use computer controlled wideband receiver. 10kHz to 1300MHz, AM/FM/WFM only. Outstanding audio quality with an external speaker or headphones. It can be used with the original Icom software, or, with an additional free emulator app, with HRD. Shortwave Log controls it natively just fine, if you can find a copy.

Next...

Buy I5XWW's "DRM Converter" which is a little $25 piece of kit that takes the Icom 455kHz IF down to 12kHz audio. You can also find the same sort of project kit or schematic if you prefer to roll your own. It's relatively easy to install into the PCR-100. If you prefer to roll your own, these sort of downconverter kits are readily available, or you can easily find the schematic to do it from scatch. Either way, install the converter. Buy or make and appropriate patch cable from the converter output to your computer soundcard LINE IN (or pad it down and use the MIC IN)

Download I2PHD's free SDRadio, M0KGK's SDR, HDSDR, Rocky, or other "SDR" software.

Now you have the makings of a very inexpensive but high quality wideband DSP receiver. You will get a nice 12kHz panadaptor display centered on the radio's tuned frequency, plus all the modes available in whichever SDR software you chose.

Download free Sodira or DReaM. (you'll have to find a compiled version of DReaM or compile it yourself) Now you have a DRM receiver.

Mind you, the PCR-100 by itself will do very well without any fancy stuff attached, but the addition of the DSP capability makes it quite nice.

For around $100, you will have a receiver that rivals much more expensive rigs. Add a $35 Griffin USB knob for more traditional feel.



Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: SWL2002 on May 06, 2013, 06:11:22 PM
Here's a cheap good radio option...

Find a Icom PCR-100. Usually these go for about $75 on the internet.

Out of the box, it is a simple to use computer controlled wideband receiver. 10kHz to 1300MHz, AM/FM/WFM only. Outstanding audio quality with an external speaker or headphones. It can be used with the original Icom software, or, with an additional free emulator app, with HRD. Shortwave Log controls it natively just fine, if you can find a copy.

Next...

Buy I5XWW's "DRM Converter" which is a little $25 piece of kit that takes the Icom 455kHz IF down to 12kHz audio. You can also find the same sort of project kit or schematic if you prefer to roll your own. It's relatively easy to install into the PCR-100. If you prefer to roll your own, these sort of downconverter kits are readily available, or you can easily find the schematic to do it from scatch. Either way, install the converter. Buy or make and appropriate patch cable from the converter output to your computer soundcard LINE IN (or pad it down and use the MIC IN)

Download I2PHD's free SDRadio, M0KGK's SDR, HDSDR, Rocky, or other "SDR" software.

Now you have the makings of a very inexpensive but high quality wideband DSP receiver. You will get a nice 12kHz panadaptor display centered on the radio's tuned frequency, plus all the modes available in whichever SDR software you chose.

Download free Sodira or DReaM. (you'll have to find a compiled version of DReaM or compile it yourself) Now you have a DRM receiver.

Mind you, the PCR-100 by itself will do very well without any fancy stuff attached, but the addition of the DSP capability makes it quite nice.

For around $100, you will have a receiver that rivals much more expensive rigs. Add a $35 Griffin USB knob for more traditional feel.



A 12 kHz panadapter display is about useless.  You might as well just not have it.  Even the lowly flex 1500 can do 40 kHz.  I owned a PCR-100 and it is not a very good receiver at all.  It is horrible on HF in particular.


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: K0OD on May 06, 2013, 08:53:35 PM
     
Quote
"A 12 kHz panadapter display is about useless."

LOL!  I just fired up my Flex-5000 and the panadaptor was set on the 4X scale and zoomed in to show only about 6 kHz of 40 meter CW. I almost always have it on 4X. But I do a lot of DXing and contesting. What's useless is looking at an entire band... especially during a contest.

Only time I view a wide swath is occasionally on six and ten meters to see whether the band is open.


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: SWL2002 on May 07, 2013, 03:35:14 AM
     
Quote
"A 12 kHz panadapter display is about useless."

LOL!  I just fired up my Flex-5000 and the panadaptor was set on the 4X scale and zoomed in to show only about 6 kHz of 40 meter CW. I almost always have it on 4X. But I do a lot of DXing and contesting. What's useless is looking at an entire band... especially during a contest.

Only time I view a wide swath is occasionally on six and ten meters to see whether the band is open.


 ::) ::) ::) Go back and read what the original poster wanted a receiver for: SWL on the AM Broadcast band.  A narrow panadapter is useless for MW Dxing. 

We are not talking about you using your Flex5k (which can see up to 180 kHz) on the CW portion of the Ham band!

-robert


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: W1JKA on May 07, 2013, 06:44:54 AM
Re:N4WVE

Four years ago I had the same problem,I was looking for a good SW rcvr. to replace my aging FRG 7700 at a price point similar to yours.After much research I bought an IC-7200,it does everything better than my FRG 7700 plus easy computer interface and as an added bonus it came with a xtmr.circuit if I should ever find a need to use it.


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: K5TED on May 07, 2013, 09:38:34 AM
MW DXing is a lot of fun. Over the years, I've used a number of radios for this, including vintage Hammarlund, Hallicrafters, etc., Drake R series, Kenwood/Trio, Lowe, Panasonic, Sony, etc. None of these radios had any panadapter at all, but that didn't stop me from MW DXing, nor did it seem to hinder the process at the time. Generally, I either knew which station I was looking for, or would hunt for stations in the quiet slots.

Either way, in the U.S., spacing is 10kHz, bandwidth is 10.2kHz per the NRSC. Other ITU regions may use different spacing.

In the instance of the modified analog radio with 12kHz panadapter, the window is sufficient to observe the tuned station full bandwidth, identify and null any other interfering carriers in the passband or in the event the desired station is on a different spacing, shift the passband to avoid adjacent interference, and adjust the filter bandwidth from 0 to 12kHz. Additionally, some SDR software includes noise reduction and additional modes such as USB/LSB/CW/ECSS. All of these fit in the 12kHz panadapter model, all are useful for MW DXing.

A wide panadapter is great for looking at wide swaths of the MW band for spikes. No good for drilling down into the signal for processing and interference mitigation.

Using a point 'n click logging system with integrated EIBI, HFCC, etc. (I personally use Shortwave Log), clicking on a spike, whether in a 192kHz wide display, or a 12kHz display, will give you at most a list of stations that are supposed to be transmitting there. No more. Therefore, the only advantage of a wide panadapter vs narrow panadapter for MW use is the ability to watch lots of spikes go up and down. Handy if you are keeping tabs on many slots at once. Useless if you are actually listening for a particular station.




Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: K0OD on May 07, 2013, 09:47:25 AM
Some SWL says:
Quote
Go back and read what the original poster wanted a receiver for: SWL on the AM Broadcast band.  A narrow panadapter is useless for MW Dxing. 

What the heck is "SWL on THE AM Broadcast band?"

    N4WVE said:
 Hello all,
I am looking for opinions on the best short wave receiver in the 700 to 900 dollar  range.  I need computer interface capability for use with ERGO, etc. any ideas?
Greg N4WVE



   And then N4WVE adds:
Thanks for all the input guys! I am primarily interested in AM broadcast and am leaning towards sdr, but which one?
Greg N4WVE


----------------
So his wishes aren't precisely stated. I certainly wouldn't spend $700-$900 just to listen to AM, whether in the AM BCB or shortwave or wherever.

I usually keep my Flex panadaptor in 4X on the AM BCB (or medium wave or 530-1710 kHz) to watch all the hidden stuff piggybacked onto AM signals. Useful too to spot weak stations on non-USA frequencies, such as Euro 9 kHz channel separations.


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: SWL2002 on May 07, 2013, 10:35:25 AM
Some SWL says:
Quote
Go back and read what the original poster wanted a receiver for: SWL on the AM Broadcast band.  A narrow panadapter is useless for MW Dxing.  

What the heck is "SWL on THE AM Broadcast band?"

    N4WVE said:
 Hello all,
I am looking for opinions on the best short wave receiver in the 700 to 900 dollar  range.  I need computer interface capability for use with ERGO, etc. any ideas?
Greg N4WVE



   And then N4WVE adds:
Thanks for all the input guys! I am primarily interested in AM broadcast and am leaning towards sdr, but which one?
Greg N4WVE


----------------
So his wishes aren't precisely stated. I certainly wouldn't spend $700-$900 just to listen to AM, whether in the AM BCB or shortwave or wherever.

I usually keep my Flex panadaptor in 4X on the AM BCB (or medium wave or 530-1710 kHz) to watch all the hidden stuff piggybacked onto AM signals. Useful too to spot weak stations on non-USA frequencies, such as Euro 9 kHz channel separations.


Since you seem to have poor reading comprehension, I was trying to put it in very simple terms for you.  He seems to be into MW DXing.   Most MW DXers use SDRs that are capable of recording the ENTIRE AM broadcast band to hard disk, usually on the top of each hour, so the recording can be played back to look for new DX stations.  The Flex5k can only record and playback 180 kHz of the band, which is only marginally useful over a radio without a panadapter at all.

The reason why you think being able to look at an entire Ham band is useless is because you use the Flex5k.  It has very limited ability and a clunky interface to be able to display the whole bandwidth in a high resolution manner and to allow zooming and panning of that bandwidth.  Other more sophisticated SDRs are not limited like the poor software (PowerSDR) that is used with your Flex5k.


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: SWL2002 on May 07, 2013, 10:43:28 AM
MW DXing is a lot of fun. Over the years, I've used a number of radios for this, including vintage Hammarlund, Hallicrafters, etc., Drake R series, Kenwood/Trio, Lowe, Panasonic, Sony, etc. None of these radios had any panadapter at all, but that didn't stop me from MW DXing, nor did it seem to hinder the process at the time. Generally, I either knew which station I was looking for, or would hunt for stations in the quiet slots.

Either way, in the U.S., spacing is 10kHz, bandwidth is 10.2kHz per the NRSC. Other ITU regions may use different spacing.

In the instance of the modified analog radio with 12kHz panadapter, the window is sufficient to observe the tuned station full bandwidth, identify and null any other interfering carriers in the passband or in the event the desired station is on a different spacing, shift the passband to avoid adjacent interference, and adjust the filter bandwidth from 0 to 12kHz. Additionally, some SDR software includes noise reduction and additional modes such as USB/LSB/CW/ECSS. All of these fit in the 12kHz panadapter model, all are useful for MW DXing.

A wide panadapter is great for looking at wide swaths of the MW band for spikes. No good for drilling down into the signal for processing and interference mitigation.

Using a point 'n click logging system with integrated EIBI, HFCC, etc. (I personally use Shortwave Log), clicking on a spike, whether in a 192kHz wide display, or a 12kHz display, will give you at most a list of stations that are supposed to be transmitting there. No more. Therefore, the only advantage of a wide panadapter vs narrow panadapter for MW use is the ability to watch lots of spikes go up and down. Handy if you are keeping tabs on many slots at once. Useless if you are actually listening for a particular station.


All your minimally useful system would be able to do is to record one station on the AM broadcast band (a 12 kHz swath at most).  Most AM broadcast DXers have SDRs that record the ENTIRE AM broadcast band at once to hard disk, usually on a timed basis on the top of each hour, every hour, so the recordings can be reviewed later to spot new stations.  Two SDRs that can do this are the Perseus and the QS1R.  The Perseus can record 1600 kHz of bandwidth and the QS1R can record 2000 kHz of bandwidth, both enough to cover the entire AM broadcast band.  The wide panadapter view (> 1.5 MHz) is indeed very useful for spotting new stations that you would miss without the panadapter or with a very narrow panadapter view.  AM Broadcast DXers (and MW DXers) want to spot new DX stations, NOT listen to one AM radio station.


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: N0YXB on May 07, 2013, 10:47:00 AM
Using a point 'n click logging system with integrated EIBI, HFCC, etc. (I personally use Shortwave Log), clicking on a spike, whether in a 192kHz wide display, or a 12kHz display, will give you at most a list of stations that are supposed to be transmitting there. No more. Therefore, the only advantage of a wide panadapter vs narrow panadapter for MW use is the ability to watch lots of spikes go up and down. Handy if you are keeping tabs on many slots at once. Useless if you are actually listening for a particular station.


Wow, that's neat.  And thanks for sharing the PCR-100 ideas. 


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: N0YXB on May 07, 2013, 10:54:26 AM
Two SDRs that can do this are the Perseus and the QS1R.  The Perseus can record 1600 kHz of bandwidth and the QS1R can record 2000 kHz of bandwidth, both enough to cover the entire AM broadcast band.  

Yeah, I'm still planning on buying a QS1R, but that may not happen for a few months.  Meanwhile, playing with the budget-friendly PCR-100 sounds like fun.


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: SWL2002 on May 07, 2013, 10:59:49 AM
Two SDRs that can do this are the Perseus and the QS1R.  The Perseus can record 1600 kHz of bandwidth and the QS1R can record 2000 kHz of bandwidth, both enough to cover the entire AM broadcast band.  

Yeah, I'm still planning on buying a QS1R, but that may not happen for a few months.  Meanwhile, playing with the budget-friendly PCR-100 sounds like fun.

If you are going to use the PCR-100, make sure you have a serial port on your computer or a good USB to serial convertor that is compatible with the PCR-100.  The PCR-100 software communicates to the black box via rs232.  What I did with my PCR-100 is to tap the IF and bring it out to a BNC connector.  I can them use my SDR tuned to the IF frequency and get almost 1 MHz of bandwidth on the panadapter.  This works nicely to be able to tune VHF and UHF bands.  The PCR-100 is not very good on the HF bands, you will soon grow tired of it.

Also, without adding an IF output to the PCR-100, you will be limited to AM, FMN, and FMW.  No SSB.

-robert


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: K0OD on May 07, 2013, 12:43:30 PM
Quote
He seems to be into MW DXing.  
Yes, he SEEMS to be into MW DXing... or something.

Quote
AM Broadcast DXers (and MW DXers) want to spot new DX stations, NOT listen to one AM radio station.
Guess TED and I have been doing it all wrong, Mister SWL2002.
 
While I do some MW/LW listening, I certainly wouldn't consider it any kind of hobby. My radio stuff shares my home office. There was challenge and accomplishment in DXing with the newfangled technology in the 1920s using a Quaker Oats carton and chip of mineral. Modern receivers are appliances, like toasters.

When you've WORKED Asian stations on 1800 KHz thru monstrous CW pileups, HEARING a professional broadcaster a few states away on 1600 KHz amounts to zip. About as challenging as watching TV... or making toast.

See ya!


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: SWL2002 on May 07, 2013, 12:54:00 PM
Quote
He seems to be into MW DXing.  
Yes, he SEEMS to be into MW DXing... or something.

Quote
AM Broadcast DXers (and MW DXers) want to spot new DX stations, NOT listen to one AM radio station.
Guess TED and I have been doing it all wrong, Mister SWL2002.
 
While I do some MW/LW listening, I certainly wouldn't consider it any kind of hobby. My radio stuff shares my home office. There was challenge and accomplishment in DXing with the newfangled technology in the 1920s using a Quaker Oats carton and chip of mineral. Modern receivers are appliances, like toasters.

And when you've WORKED Asian stations on 1800 KHz thru monstrous CW pileups, HEARING a professional broadcaster a few states away on 1600 KHz amounts to zip. About as challenging as watching TV... or making toast.

See ya!


In case you haven't noticed this is the SWL forum which includes MW and LW DXing.  If it is so boring to you, then why are you here (other than to give bad advice)? There are probably just as many or more SWLs than there is Ham radio operators and I am sure some SWLers think of your silly Ham hobby "busting" CW pileups as just as pointless.  Giving guys bad Ham advice when asking about a SWL receiver is not helping anyone.

BTW, I can call anyone I would care to talk to in Asia for free on the phone, or on Skype with a lot less trouble.  Welcome to 2013. Working them on CW with a bunch of impersonal beeps is just about as exciting and pointless as watching the flowers grow in a cemetery. YAWN...


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: K5TED on May 07, 2013, 01:15:16 PM
"Most AM broadcast DXers have SDRs that record the ENTIRE AM broadcast band at once to hard disk, usually on a timed basis on the top of each hour, every hour, so the recordings can be reviewed later to spot new stations."

Really? "Most" of them? You sure about that? Do "Most" motorcyclists ride Harley's? You might want to consult this site.. http://www.fallacydetective.com/news/read/sweeping-generalization 

 


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: SWL2002 on May 07, 2013, 03:12:25 PM
"Most AM broadcast DXers have SDRs that record the ENTIRE AM broadcast band at once to hard disk, usually on a timed basis on the top of each hour, every hour, so the recordings can be reviewed later to spot new stations."

Really? "Most" of them? You sure about that? Do "Most" motorcyclists ride Harley's? You might want to consult this site.. http://www.fallacydetective.com/news/read/sweeping-generalization  

 

You must not know much about MW DXers then.  The ones that use SDR have all embraced recording the entire spectrum as I have described it.  You would do well to educate yourself by using Google a bit before making yourself look uninformed on a public forum.
 
A good resource: http://www.kongsfjord.no/ (http://www.kongsfjord.no/) and http://arcticdx.blogspot.com/ (http://arcticdx.blogspot.com/)

-robert


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: K5TED on May 07, 2013, 03:35:26 PM
"Most AM broadcast DXers have SDRs that record the ENTIRE AM broadcast band at once to hard disk, usually on a timed basis on the top of each hour, every hour, so the recordings can be reviewed later to spot new stations."

Really? "Most" of them? You sure about that? Do "Most" motorcyclists ride Harley's? You might want to consult this site.. http://www.fallacydetective.com/news/read/sweeping-generalization  

 

You must not know much about MW DXers then.  The ones that use SDR have all embraced recording the entire spectrum as I have described it.  You would do well to educate yourself by using Google a bit before making yourself look uninformed on a public forum.
 
A good resource: http://www.kongsfjord.no/ (http://www.kongsfjord.no/) and http://arcticdx.blogspot.com/ (http://arcticdx.blogspot.com/)

-robert

You didn't specify "the ones that use SDR". You plainly stated, "Most AM broadcast DXers have SDRs". That is a broad generalization that holds no water. Much like everything else you post here. The chance that you would even have a remote possibility of educating me about anything at all to do with radio in general is absolutely 0%.


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: SWL2002 on May 07, 2013, 05:13:33 PM
"Most AM broadcast DXers have SDRs that record the ENTIRE AM broadcast band at once to hard disk, usually on a timed basis on the top of each hour, every hour, so the recordings can be reviewed later to spot new stations."

Really? "Most" of them? You sure about that? Do "Most" motorcyclists ride Harley's? You might want to consult this site.. http://www.fallacydetective.com/news/read/sweeping-generalization  

 

You must not know much about MW DXers then.  The ones that use SDR have all embraced recording the entire spectrum as I have described it.  You would do well to educate yourself by using Google a bit before making yourself look uninformed on a public forum.
 
A good resource: http://www.kongsfjord.no/ (http://www.kongsfjord.no/) and http://arcticdx.blogspot.com/ (http://arcticdx.blogspot.com/)

-robert

You didn't specify "the ones that use SDR". You plainly stated, "Most AM broadcast DXers have SDRs". That is a broad generalization that holds no water. Much like everything else you post here. The chance that you would even have a remote possibility of educating me about anything at all to do with radio in general is absolutely 0%.

Yes, it is a zero percent chance when you choose to remain ignorant.  Picking and posting only parts of my sentence in an attempt to change the meaning is just a pitiful desperate attempt on your part to try to save face here.  You cant argue with the facts, so you try to create them out of thin air.  Nice try, no cigar.


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: K5TED on May 07, 2013, 05:35:45 PM
Here's your entire sentence:

"Most AM broadcast DXers have SDRs that record the ENTIRE AM broadcast band at once to hard disk, usually on a timed basis on the top of each hour, every hour, so the recordings can be reviewed later to spot new stations."

Do you stand by your assertion that MOST, "the majority", of AM broadcast DXers, have SDRs ?

It seems you are stating that the majority of individuals who have MW DXing as a hobby, either casual, semi-serious or seriously intense, own SDRs and use them in the manner you specified, i.e., to routinely record the entire MW BCB to later parse the results for DX?

How did you come by these statistics? What is the number of SDRs currently in use by MW BCB DXers? How does that compare to the number of MW BCB DXers who use other types of radios?

Are you implying that "MW BCB DXers" are a group of individuals who use only the type of radio you personally deem appropriate for your particular style of operation? Can one be considered a MW BCB DXer if one chooses to use, for example, a non-SDR for MW BCB DXing?

Is it possible that having read a lot of material on the internet regarding hobby use of SDRs, that you might have inadvertently lost your grip on reality when evaluating and evangelizing the relative penetration of SDRs into the MW BCB DXing equipment share? Surely it is substantial, but, is it "MOST"?

Let's review the material..


most

 [ mōst ]   


1.greatest: indicates the greatest in number, amount, extent, or degree
2.to greatest extent: to the greatest extent, or in the largest number or amount
3.superlative of "much": used as the superlative of "much" to mean "with the greatest frequency or intensity"


Isn't it possible that there is a quite substantial number of MW BCB DXers who do NOT use SDRs? Could it be that some individuals who enjoy MW BCB DXing choose to do so using other techniques than you have outlined as the supposedly de facto standard?


Perhaps it might be entertaining for you to start a topic for "Exclusively SDR MW BCB DXers". You might get some traction there. Here, you are just spinning your tires.




Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: SWL2002 on May 07, 2013, 05:55:20 PM
Here's your entire sentence:

"Most AM broadcast DXers have SDRs that record the ENTIRE AM broadcast band at once to hard disk, usually on a timed basis on the top of each hour, every hour, so the recordings can be reviewed later to spot new stations."

Do you stand by your assertion that MOST, "the majority", of AM broadcast DXers, have SDRs ?

It seems you are stating that the majority of individuals who have MW DXing as a hobby, either casual, semi-serious or seriously intense, own SDRs and use them in the manner you specified, i.e., to routinely record the entire MW BCB to later parse the results for DX?

How did you come by these statistics? What is the number of SDRs currently in use by MW BCB DXers? How does that compare to the number of MW BCB DXers who use other types of radios?

Are you implying that "MW BCB DXers" are a group of individuals who use only the type of radio you personally deem appropriate for your particular style of operation? Can one be considered a MW BCB DXer if one chooses to use, for example, a non-SDR for MW BCB DXing?

Is it possible that having read a lot of material on the internet regarding hobby use of SDRs, that you might have inadvertently lost your grip on reality when evaluating and evangelizing the relative penetration of SDRs into the MW BCB DXing equipment share? Surely it is substantial, but, is it "MOST"?

Let's review the material..


most

 [ mōst ]  


1.greatest: indicates the greatest in number, amount, extent, or degree
2.to greatest extent: to the greatest extent, or in the largest number or amount
3.superlative of "much": used as the superlative of "much" to mean "with the greatest frequency or intensity"


Isn't it possible that there is a quite substantial number of MW BCB DXers who do NOT use SDRs? Could it be that some individuals who enjoy MW BCB DXing choose to do so using other techniques than you have outlined as the supposedly de facto standard?


Perhaps it might be entertaining for you to start a topic for "Exclusively SDR MW BCB DXers". You might get some traction there. Here, you are just spinning your tires.




My sentence had one misplaced word,  "that", which was because of a typo.  You are obviously so desperate for acceptance and to appear superior that you will take a sentence with a single word accidentally out of order and blow it out of all reasonable proportion.  This tells readers a lot about what type of person you are.  Anyone with a bit of sense would have read my sentence and understood the meaning.  What is wrong with you?   How about if I go back in your posts and pick apart all your grammar, spelling, and other mistakes ?  (I would not waste my time.)


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: K5TED on May 07, 2013, 09:01:02 PM
All of this talk about SDRs for MW BCB DXing piqued my interest even further... So here's the deal.

Look here: http://k5ted.net/mp3/

The recording of Cuba's Radio Progreso 1620AM marked "radioprogreso1620TOH.mp3" was made this evening with two radios.

On the Left channel, the Flex 3000, on the Right channel, the modified PCR-100. Each radio feeding separate instances of HDSDR(one set to output AF to the Left, the other to the Right) to keep things fair. Both on the same wire antenna. HDSDR set to AGC OFF, NB OFF, sample rates both set to 96/48, feeding Audacity for recording.

The one marked "radioprogreso1620TOHLRA.mp3" is the same recording, with the L & R channels synched up as well as possible without too much fiddling. The original recording had about a .1 second offset between tracks for obvious reasons. It's also amped up a bit, uniformly, of course, no normalization.

For this exercise, you will need the ability to listen selectively to Left or Right while playing the file, to hear the differences between the radios.

The other recordings are just random samples using the PCR100/HDSDR combo.







Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: W1JKA on May 08, 2013, 03:15:08 AM
Re:N4WVE

Just curious,has all this controversy and grammerical(sic) errors helped you in your decision of which recevier to buy yet?


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: RENTON481 on May 09, 2013, 10:30:00 PM
I just glanced at the ERGO site, they say their software works with Icom R75's and Drake R8's.

I realise that SDR's are gaining in popularity, but if I had a choice between an SDR and a stand alone radio like an Icom R75 or Drake R8, I'd choose the R75 or the R8.  But that's just me.



Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: K1DA on May 17, 2013, 06:24:48 AM
  Google WA1ION, one of the best sources for MW dxing around. 


Title: RE: Receiver buying advice please
Post by: VA1CQ on May 25, 2013, 07:25:48 AM
Have you heard about the new CommRadio CR-1?
http://www.commradio.com/
http://www.dxing.com/news.htm
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/commrxvr/2001.html