Best SWL Receiver?

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Mark Low:
I am looking at getting a receiver to use soley for SWLing and am not sure which way to go. First of all, is my Yaesu Ft-1000MP MKV going to be as good a SWL receiver as one of the dedicated SWL receivers on the market. I have been looking at two PC based SDR units, WinRadio 303e and the TenTec RX-320 or the RX-350D. It seem that these offer the latest in  digital technology as well as special features bor receiving AM broadcasts. Also, on the TenTec 350D model, is a PC Software difined receiver better than a stand alone receiver better as far as performance is concerned?. Sure would appreciate any advise on this subject.

Thanks, Mark/N5LPT

Steve Katz:
It will be interesting to see the replies to this; but unless the SDRs you discuss have synchronous detectors for AM, which helps reduce selective fading distortion on SW AM signals, I cannot imagine that either of them would outperform your Yaesu, if you have AM (wider bandwidth) receive filters.  If you like improved receive "fidelity," use headphones -- they beat the pants off any kind of speakers and often make lousy sounding SW BC sound better.


I agree that your transceiver will do as good a job as any dedicated SWL unit. However, Passport to World Band Radio has excellent reviews of most SWL receivers. The book is published each year.
I use a TS940S and have never found a dedicated SWL unit that is as good.


Steven E. Matda:
It depends on what frequencies you want to listen to and what you're after.

You might be able to use the Yaesu to listen to 40 (41??) M SBC stations and other casual listening fairly well, but I've never seen a ham transceiver capable of holding its own against a quality SWL receiver once the ham band edge was crossed or when digging for the really faint ones on a crowded band.

If I'm chasing any sort of AM broadcast DX, or ute stations, (or sometimes even spotting ham DX) I'm using my Drake R-8, not my TS-450.  Ham transceivers just don't have the features or performance across the entire swath of 150 kHz-30 Mhz that a good SWL/communications receiver does.

I forgot to mention that spending time puting up a good antenna will yield the most net return. If possible, you might try a large loop cut for the 75 meter band and used in either a sloping or verticle position. It will be quieter than a dipole or verticle. Apart from synchronous detection I have never found a SWL unit feature that yielded much net reward.Even synchronous detection is a very marginal benefit in the overwhelming majority of instances.Spend your time and effort on the antenna!



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