Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: HF Listening  (Read 1989 times)
W8RJB
Member

Posts: 49




Ignore
« on: March 27, 2014, 12:24:40 AM »

Hello there,

Before I obtained my technician class license I was a vhf/uhf scanner listener. I would use my fathers old police scanner and tune into vhf/uhf amateur frequencies...this contributed to my interest in ham radio which drove me to get my license. Now that I've been a tech for quite some time, I would like to start listening to the frequencies that only general and extra class amateurs can transmit on...the HF frequencies. Unfortunately, due to financial reasons I cannot just go and buy a HF rig to listen in. So my question is... is there such thing as a HF receiver/scanner? I would like to listen to the general and extra class bands on an affordable receiver/scanner like I did with my fathers police scanner.  If so, can you please provide details on what type of receiver to get and possibly some links or receiver radio models?

Thanks in advance from a ham interested in upgrading to general class.

73,
Ray W8RJB
Logged
KA4POL
Member

Posts: 1995




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2014, 01:05:44 AM »

I recommend considering the latest development in ham radio. This means SDR (Software Defined Radio).
There are many possibilities depending upon your budget and requirements. A simple and inexpensive solution would be using one of those DVB-T sticks and an upconverter. See the discussions in the SDR forum on eham. 
Logged
WA8ZTZ
Member

Posts: 48




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2014, 01:41:19 AM »

The HF ham bands are not channelized so they cannot be scanned in the same manner as with a VHF style scanner.

Just get any shortwave receiver that covers the ham bands and can receive sideband.  You will have to tune around but that is part of the fun.   Smiley
Logged
G8JNJ
Member

Posts: 493


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2014, 01:56:01 AM »

Hi Ray,

For very low cost VHF / UHF monitoring I'd also recommend using a DVB-T USB Dongle with something like SDR Sharp (which is free) and one of the Scanner plugins. Total outlay is only a few dollars and performance is not far behind some of the older expensive multi-mode scanners such as the Icom PCR1000 & ICR7000 that cost orders of magnitude more.

It's also possible to use them for HF listening with a simple Up-convertor ahead of the dongle.

However the easiest way to get into HF band monitoring these days is to use your PC with one of the many WEB SDR receivers dotted around the world.

http://websdr.org/

I can particularly recommend the Wideband SDR at the University of Twente in the Netherlands

http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/

This particular site offers a realtime spectrum display of all frequencies from DC to 30MHz, allows tens of simultaneous users to be able to individually tune to AM / FM / USB /LSB / CW transmissions anywhere within the frequency range. If you have soundcard decoding programmes on your PC you can also receive data modes as if it was a receiver in your shack. The site will run as Java or HTML5, so it's also possible to use a wireless connected tablet to tune around the bands, which is handy if you want to check on activity or propagation without firing up the shack.

I also help run a uWave WEB SDR in the UK which is frequently used for Propagation monitoring, Satellite & High Altitude Balloon tracking. This is based on RTL DVB-T USB dongles. So pop in and see how well they work on VHF / UHF, and don't forget to say hello in the chat box whilst you are visiting  !

http://websdr.suws.org.uk/

Regards,

Martin - G8JNJ

www.g8jnj.webs.com


Logged
KA4POL
Member

Posts: 1995




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2014, 01:58:30 AM »

I can particularly recommend the Wideband SDR at the University of Twente in the Netherlands

http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/


This price is unbeatable  Grin Grin
Logged
W8RJB
Member

Posts: 49




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2014, 10:50:42 PM »

Thank you for the feedback everybody....im going to check into a shortwave radio that can do sideband and also look at some of the other suggestions too.

73,
Ray W8RJB
Logged
WA2ONH
Member

Posts: 255




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2014, 09:26:41 AM »

I have an ICOM IC-R75 general coverage receiver which includes 160 to 10 meters ham frequencies.

On pages 25-27 of the Instruction Manual, it describes two "Scan Types" which are Programmed Scan and Auto Scan.

Here's ICOM's Download Database to get a (PDF file 1,742 kb) copy on the Instruction Manual:
LINK: http://www.icomamerica.com/en/downloads/Default.aspx

I must admit since owning the receiver for over 5-years, I've never tried this function. I like the manual, aka "ME" scan better! Check it out to see if it meets your needs.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 09:31:55 AM by WA2ONH » Logged

73 de WA2ONH dit dit    ...Charlie
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
"No time is ever wasted that is spent LEARNING something!"
W4KYR
Member

Posts: 554




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2014, 11:26:14 AM »

is there such thing as a HF receiver/scanner?

Yes, the Icom IC R10. It looked just like a hand held police scanner, it picked up the VHF/UHF bands as well as all the shortwave and HF frequencies. It also has SSB so you can get SSB and Morse Code. While it is a scanner, it really should be considered more as a general coverage receiver. If anything it is a compromise radio, but a fairly good compromise radio. To be fair, there are much faster scanning, dedicated VHF/UHF scanners on the market, but they don't cover the ham bands and SSB.

It has since been discontinued, but they are still available on the used market on ebay for around $150 to $200.

http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/widerxvr/3550.html

Here is picture of it.




Logged

Still using Windows XP Pro.
AG6WT
Member

Posts: 453




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2014, 12:26:39 PM »

Ray,

Have you consider building your own receiver?

TEN-TEC has at least 3 receiver kits that cover the HF ham bands, starting at about $40.  The kits are fun to build and not hard. However, they do require a lot of tuning around to find signals to listen to and finesse to make the signal intelligible.  And of course you'll also have to also come up with an antenna that works. A long wire out the window is enough to get started but you will want to try different locations, lengths, heights, etc. to get the best signal to noise.  It may seem like a hassle but then again, the difficulty (and eventual reward) of capturing distant, weak signals is one of the reasons people are attracted to HF.

If you don't want to start with a kit, there are several SW portable radios that can do SSB for under $100. Check universal-radio.com in the SW catalog to get an idea of what you can get on a budget. Note that you should look at the specs carefully because there are many SW radios that only do AM/FM and not SSB.

Good luck,
Ray AG6WT
Logged
KB4QAA
Member

Posts: 2379




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2014, 12:42:50 PM »

http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/board,38.0.html

Here is a forum on the eHam board.   The term is "Short Wave Listening" or SWL.

I would avoid that handheld radio like the plague.  You would be very disappointed.

There are many new and used consumer short wave receivers which are fine for AM Shortwave broadcast listening.  However few have either fine enough tuning or the BFO to allow listening to amateur Side Band transmissions. 

I recommend either the Icom receivers or a used amateur transceiver with 'General Band Coverage".

SWL'ing is an interesting adventure.  Enjoy, bill
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!