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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Sangean 803A/Radio Shack DX 440 Help

Reviews Summary for Sangean 803A/Radio Shack DX 440
Sangean 803A/Radio Shack DX 440 Reviews: 35 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $$180
Description: One of the best portables ever made!
Product is in production.
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K5TED Rating: 5/5 Oct 2, 2007 09:21 Send this review to a friend
Easy SDR/DRM conversion  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
add a $25 I5XWW DRM downconverter, which is a very easy installation, and you can use the blank panel on the left side to mount a phono jack, connect to your PC, run DReaM, and you are receiving the cutting edge digital HF broadcasters in quality that surpasses AM HD radio stateside. Using SDRadio, Rocky or other SDR coftware, you will have an impressive AM/SSB/CW performer.
M0WZM Rating: 5/5 Dec 19, 2006 12:27 Send this review to a friend
Solid RX  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have also owned a DX-440 which is obviously the same RX. If you need a solidly built and good performing RX look no futher. The bandwidth selection could maybe do with being a bit more selective on narrow but you can make up for that in any number of ways with external filters or software etc. depending on what you are trying to receive.
If you are lucky enough to pick one up for $100 or so on eBay you've got a bargain.

ps Use an external antenna of some sort!
SLIDERULEX Rating: 4/5 Jul 17, 2005 02:16 Send this review to a friend
Pretty solid performer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I finally decided to bid on this radio on ebay, and I won for $45.00 which included the shipping.

I like its size and solid construction. It's relatively heavy (with all the batteries 6-D and 2-AA). It won't tip over easily and is stable even when the very long antenna is fully raised. I like the large tuning knob and though it has up-down tuning buttons too, I mostly use the knob with the nice finger hole making tuning easy. It comes with a convenient carry strap.

I give this radio a 4 because while it has good sensitivity, it isn't great sensitivity. It does have enough sensitivity, however, to pull in all the strong stations like the BBC, Deutsche Welle, Radio Japan, Radio Moscow, Radio Taiwan, WWCR, etc. It does have an easy to use and sensitive SSB function which allows the user to home in on SSB signals relatively easily. I like its large LCD and everything is easy to read. If you use headphones, you won't drain the batteries as fast as when you use the speaker, as headphones have 32 ohm impedance and the speaker has 8 ohm impedance. The headphones present a smaller load to the output circuitry. I bought this radio because I like how it looks and has a pretty solid reputation and performs well enough for the price I paid. And also because it's a radio that has undergone many modifications and is relatively easy to get at the parts so it lends itself to the experimenter.

Nice radio for the price and I can recommend it at $50.00 or less.
VE3VYZ Rating: 3/5 Jun 17, 2005 07:39 Send this review to a friend
Alright SW receiver, but some annoying points.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got a DX-440 off ebay for $30 USD. Not a bad deal.
Here are my thoughts:
The controls are mainly very responsive, and crisply stiff (a good thing), but the BFO and RF Gain knobs could be a little bigger. Also, the switches on the bottom (FM Mono-Stereo/AM Wide-Narrow, BFO In-out, Lock in-out) could be bigger. The tuning knob tends to make a scraping noise and wobble when you spin it, and it's very loose.
The screen is nice and big and easy to read. The treble/bass/balance control is rare on that type of SW receiver, so that's a good point. When the QRN is grating at my nerves, I turn the treble way down and it turns into more of a low grumble than high-pitched, annoying hiss.
A fine-tuning knob would be very nice. The AM Wide/Narrow control is useless: the audio is barely readable with Narrow engaged.
The signal strength meter doesn't do much. For perfectly copyable but weak stations the scale is at 0, but it shoots to full at any sign of a moderately-strong signal. It does give you a good general idea, however.
The speaker is big and is capabable of undistorted very high volume, but the audio isn't that great, it tends to be a little hissy and crackly, even on local broadcast FM stations.
A little annoying point here: The AC adapter port and the headphone port are situated so that it's hard to keep the headphones plugged in while the AC adapter is, too.
I'd prefer the bar on the back of the radio to tilt the face of the unit on a higher angle. I'm not too tall, and I sometimes have to lean over to see the display properly.
Sensitivity is average, leaning towards deficient. I hear those very weak stations, but then I tune them and they just sound like some whispering in the background.
SSB selectivity is good, however for various reasons, CW signals are often very annoyingly crossed.
Other than that the receiver is decent, and if you can get it for less than $40 USD, it's a good deal. Don't pay more than $50 for it, though, in that case buy something a little higher-quality.

73 Zack VE3VYZ
AKREIDER Rating: 4/5 May 25, 2005 22:26 Send this review to a friend
Good Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a new one over ten years ago and used it to hear stations from over 100 countries. It could handle a 100 foot or more antenna without being overloaded. Built more solidly than the Grundig YB 400.

The thing I wanted to highlight is the crazy microprocessor. Many people know that strange things happen when you take out the two batteries that store memories, but I suspect few people realize how you can use this to your advantage.

Basically, if you take out the batteries and replace them at the right time (or do this with the AC/DC adapter) you can dramatically increase the frequency coverage.

It is possible to get coverage down to 1 khz (though the first 10 khz is useless due to internal noise). And it is possible to get wide-fm coverage down to around 30 mhz (mostly useful for TV audio).

You want to restore power before you are meant to. So that when you turn the radio on, and hit the AM button, it will go to blank or 1 khz. Then quickly store it in memory.

Sensitivity is seriously reduced as you get out of usual frequency range, but what other portable radio goes down to 10 khz?
YI9VCQ Rating: 5/5 Apr 16, 2005 08:24 Send this review to a friend
A $5 Fleamarket Gem!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I picked up a DX-440 at a local fleamarket from a guy who obviously didn't know what he had on the table. As soon as I verified the receiver worked, he asked $5 for it and I jumped on it.

This little receiver has served me well in Iraq for general listening. It was my companion until I was able to set up my station.

The receiver is very good on the SW bands. I had no problems listening to VOA from Kuwait and also the other "big broadcasters".

I don't understand why people compare this receiver to top-of-the-line receivers and then gripe about the performance. Compare apples to apples. Of course it doesn't have the sensitivity or selectivity of my Icom ProIII nor do I expect it.

Attaching an external antenna or just a long length of wire to the whip antenna works wonders.
KI4GST Rating: 5/5 Apr 16, 2005 04:38 Send this review to a friend
Love it  Time owned: more than 12 months
Got my first DX-440 back in 1990 had it till it was taken out by lightning in 1996. Had always enjoyed using that radio. Picked up just about anything out there. Had been trying to get another DX-440 for a long time and just this week I was able to get my hands on one.
NN2G Rating: 4/5 Oct 7, 2004 13:18 Send this review to a friend
Good overall  Time owned: more than 12 months
I owned DX 440 several years ago and it performed fairly good. I did the "anti chugging mod" on it and it helped tuning around the dial.

I give it a 4.5 because it performed just like I expected. The only thing that I did not like was that Radio Shack did not include the AC adapter with it like Sangean did.

The Shortwave and SSB and AM worked OK and I do not recall picking up more than one or two beacons on the Longwave.

The price was OK at the time and it had SSB and widely available at the time at Radio Shack. If you wanted a affordable SSB portable, this would be the one you would likely get at the time.

If you can pick one up now for $75 or less, It would make a good backup shortwave.
W9LBB Rating: 3/5 Dec 28, 2003 19:50 Send this review to a friend
Not the worst portable around...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned both the Rat Shack 440 and Sangean 803A versions of the radio. I now own neither one. I was somewhat disappointed by the first one (The RS). After a couple of years had gone by, and a Christian Science Monitor labeled Sangean presented itself at a price I couldn't refuse, I thought that maybe I'd been a bit too harsh the first time, and I should try it again.

No, I hadn't been too harsh. When a friend developed a burning desire to own the Sangean, I happily sold it to him.

That's not meant as a put-down of the radio, but more as a warning to some potential buyers.

These radios showed me that I'd long ago outgrown thier capabilities. After many years of using the BEST full blown communications receivers that I could lay my hands on, the performance of these portables seems to me to be second rate, and the idiosyncracies and limitations of them are intolerable to me for any serious uses. Next to something like a Collins R-390, a Sangean portable seems like a toy.

Just the same, it WAS handy at times to have a simple portable available. On the workbench, it was good to have something to take a quick check to see if an oscillator in a project was actually running, and at what frequency (to the nearest full KHz ONLY tho). On trips it was nice to have a general coverage receiver available to me, even if it DOES have some warts.

In terms of stability, these radios are adequate for most uses; they'll do a fair to middling job on SSB signals.

I found them to be a bit short on sensitivity tho, but if that was corrected by hooking them to a REAL antenna (rather than the whip) the result was intermod up the wazoo.

My biggest dissapointment was the poor sensitivity on LF... one of my favorite activities is beacon hunting, and these radios are totally inadequate for the job (even tho they cover down to 150 KHz), in addition to the low frequency range being plagued with overload crud from the local AM broadcasters.

As a beginner's radio, I'd recommend them... but for someone with enough experience to have more refined tastes, I'd have to say No Way!

There ARE much better portables out there for more advanced tastes (look to the Sony entries).

For what it is, the RS / Sangean is ACCEPTABLE... but I can't endorse it any more highly than that.


Tom, W9LBB

KB3IQD Rating: 4/5 Jul 12, 2003 09:50 Send this review to a friend
Nice Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months

Nice overall radio. hungry on Batteries!
DC Supply connector on radio is poorly mounted and tends to come loose.

Easy to use receiver!
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