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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Palstar R30 Help

Reviews Summary for Palstar R30
Palstar R30 Reviews: 43 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $749. USD
Description: LW/MW/SW Shortwave Receiver
Product is in production.
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K2VI Rating: 2/5 May 20, 2014 11:46 Send this review to a friend
grossly overpriced  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Did a side by side comparison of my icom r-75 and r-30A Receivers. There was little difference in sensitivity with a slight edge going to the icom. Filtering was very even both notching out ajacent interference quite on both are quite well However no memories , scanning, band stack register on the palstar. The icom is more of a radio and 250.00 less. I just don't understand how anyone can give this radio high regard. If it was sold at say 400.00 I would most certainly give it a five. In my opinion ALL palstar equipment is way overpriced and offer less that other units costing less. I feel with palstar wether it is a tuner or receiver you just realize you overpaid when you use the equipment. It's not junk but just overpriced for what you get.
KC2RCX Rating: 1/5 Sep 7, 2013 21:02 Send this review to a friend
BEWARE  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Caution. I agree with the quality control issues.
Mine was the unit just before they changed the display. Upon receipt, radio was dead.

Sent back to Palstar with the power cube. Radio was returned operational without the power cube.

Had to argue with the owner as he stated I did not ship it and I would have to buy another one. Shortly after they found it and was difficult for him to apologize. Owner is Canadian, not that there is anything wrong with that at all, but arrogant as anyone could be.

It makes a nice desk ornament and exceptable AM radio from an audio perspective. Regarding sideband, forget about it. Move on with your hard earned dollars.

Radio was put up on Ebay and sold quickly.

WI0H Rating: 4/5 Apr 4, 2013 08:45 Send this review to a friend
A lot of performance in a small package.   Time owned: more than 12 months
I couldn't resist when I saw that a Palstar R30cc was up for sale on I'd been curious about this radio for a long time, and now it was time to scratch the itch. All in all, this is a very capable receiver that I enjoy quite a bit. The two mechanical filters in the CC version work very well, and thanks to the 455 kHz out jack on the back, I can use my SE-3 synch detector with it for even better performance. Recently this combination has been used to skirt around WWCR's 4840 flamethrower and get listenable audio from VL8A on 4835.

The radio does have a few shortcomings though that are forth mentioning. The lack of tuning step options is one, but it's not a big deal. Cafeful use of the 100 on board memories reduces that problem pretty easily. The noise floor on this radio seems higher than some of my other radios, but it never seems to be an issue when I'm chasing faint DX either.

My biggest criticism of the R30cc is its power consumption. This thing will drain down a fresh set of AA batteries in about six to eight hours, and that's with the display light turned off. That seems pretty excessive to me, so be sure to bring along plenty of spare batteries if you're taking this rig out on the road.

Shortcomings aside though, I really like this radio. Pair it up with a good communications speaker (the built in speaker doesn't cut it) or headphones and you have a very capable radio in a compact package.
SM4KAS Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2013 13:05 Send this review to a friend
One of the best...  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought the R30A in July 2012 and I have been using it portable with a G Whip Receive Antenna and a Quantum QX Loop 3.0 almost daily. I run the R30A on a Valve Regulated Lead Acid Battery. I prefer using headphones and have a pair of Koss UR-40 with a mono plug. This combination of equipment really pulls out the best from this marvellous little receiver. I have 35 years of radio experience and all I can say is that this hits the nail when it comes to serious DX-ing.The R30A really shows us that "simple is better".
KA2SHU Rating: 5/5 Nov 19, 2012 13:05 Send this review to a friend
Small Size Big Punch  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Given the size, price and original intent for this radio, is is an excellent receiver. It can easily hang in with big boys and in many ways can surpass them! Ease of operation, simplicity, portability, and fantastic audio come together in the R-30 making it an easy favorite in my receiver collection. This is an American made receiver to be proud of.
DXTUNER Rating: 4/5 Oct 20, 2012 08:55 Send this review to a friend
Pretty good radio but had some issues  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I no longer own the R30C, but what I recall is a cool looking compact receiver with nice sound & good selectivity. But there was a problem. I purchased my R30C, used, on eBay, I distinctly remember the seller putting this remark in his ad: "Stable after a 30 minute warm-up." Well, when I got the radio I saw why he put the comment in his ad.

The R30C drifted like crazy on sideband, slipping & sliding all over the place. Constant retuning. Problem was, a "30 minute warm-up" didn't stop the drift! I contacted the seller, he admitted that he'd twice sent the radio back to Palstar, and both times he was told the radio was operating exactly like it should. Reading in between the lines I now knew why he put it up for sale.

I don't expect synthesized receivers to drift like that. I keep my rating of this radio a "4" allowing a benefit of the doubt. Its possible I simply had a bum unit. There were a couple other quirks I wasn't crazy about, involving ergonomics, but then again the radio was designed to have a minimalist user interface.
K7FD Rating: 4/5 Jun 18, 2012 22:41 Send this review to a friend
12 years later...  Time owned: more than 12 months
The R30C had been sitting on the shelf for a few years...and I decided I might as well sell it. I powered it up to make sure it was still operating and it was...

I tuned to a QSO on 75 meters...and was immediately impressed (again, but long gone from my memory) on how GOOD this receiver sounds. It IS an HQ-180 in disguise! BIG ROBUST audio...none of my $5K radios come close to the wall of sound that comes from this receiver!

Bottom line, I decided to hang on to it, hi! My initial experience with Palstar's service department bordered on strange at best, but I think we parted as friends at some point if I remember right.

But if you can find one of these reasonably priced, your ears are in for a rare treat!

73 John K7FD
MW0ZZD Rating: 2/5 Mar 4, 2012 02:32 Send this review to a friend
Poor construction  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Do not try to fit batteries.I removed the cover to access the battery compatment and on re-assembly the case screws would not line up.
Secondly,the speaker connection parted company:too short and tiny connector.
While it worked,it was fine but expensive,very poor manual with pretty pictures.
JRT3 Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2012 12:47 Send this review to a friend
Still a great radio... however  Time owned: more than 12 months
I just completed three years of ownership of my bought new from Palstar R30A. Fed from a Pixel DX Pro-1A, it resurrected my interests. A pre-Christmas buy of a used Icom R75 gave me pause for concern - it's a better DX machine with many 'bells and whistles' - for a $100 less brand new. Another consideration - like the other communications receivers available, you can get a service manual and schematic for the Icom R75 - not even a schematic diagram is available from Palstar on the R30/R30A, according to Paul Hrivnak at Palstar. Sure, while they are in business, you can send it back... but larger companies than them are long gone. Even the S-meter illumination bulb - and much used volume control - could be troublesome to find a replacement for. It's something else to consider before buying an R30A..
N0SP Rating: 5/5 Jan 18, 2011 21:24 Send this review to a friend
11 Years and wouldn't want another.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well, as the author of the very first review posted here now ELEVEN(!) years ago (hard to believe) I have to say I'm still very very satisfied. Some friends bought them,(all happy) my original unit is still working wonderfully at my brother's home in California, and my more recent (3 months) purchase with the new front panel style did not disappoint in the least. I use mine three days a week for 160 meter AM schedules as well as shortwave and on-the-road amateur listening. I travel constantly in my work and this unit is SO light that it goes un-noticed in my suitcase and yet performs like an HQ-180. What's particular amazing is the abuse my 2001 unit put up with all these years. I fly private jets all over the world and have carried this radio all over the hemisphere countless times and it was no worse for the wear. I've been on the beaches of Belize with a gel cell and a 10 foot wire, had bamboo mast with a dipole in Barbados, and early morning DXing from the rooftop of the Hotel Excelsior in Naples, Italy listening to my friends on 75 meters, and never with more than 30 or 40 feet of wire and had no problems. It is sensitive, quiet, and has WONDERFUL audio. Everything about my 2001 review still stands. In that review I really rung it out with by-the-numbers specifics which I'll avoid here. But that review is still posted for those interested.
The one dramatic improvement I made was purchasing the Sherwood SE-3 sync detector. It is connected to my R30 and makes AM listening a completely distortion-free experience. It is SO much nicer to listen without the frequent fading. When I first bought the radio I enjoyed it's strong signal handling ability since I lived near some powerful AM stations down in the Denver metro area, I now live way out in the sticks with no neighbors and I can count on the R30 to be perfect every time. Even up on the top of the HF spectrum it's very sensitive.
I did have one problem with my R30 years ago. One day I accidently knocked it off of a bookshelf. The radio did a perfect 180 and landed on a hardwood floor square on it's top with a "smack" that sounded like a firecracker. I turned it on... nothing. I didn't have time to mess with it so I called Palstar and they had me send it in. A few weeks later it was returned to me, no charge, with a note saying that a wire had come loose near the power plug. It was years out of warranty, they didn't even charge shipping. I've been very happy with Palstar in general. I have owned several of their tuners and the ZM30 antenna analyzer. All great products and the support has been perfect. I've never had a problem with the tuners or analyzer but when I had questions they were always there to answer them.
Most unusual is that they're still made in America. Previous review complained about "birdies"... never heard a single one in either of my R30s.
If you want some nuts & bolts about performance go to my first review, I'll save a repeat here.
They're expensive, but when you first turn one on you'll immediately notice the strong 5 watt low-distortion audio amp and won't want much to do with the hiss-boxes anymore. 73,
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