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Author Topic: SWL on HF?  (Read 3994 times)
K8PRG
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« on: October 26, 2017, 05:40:09 PM »

I'm sure this has been covered here before, but I can't find it.
I've just been licenced for three years now and 99% CW, but I'm intrigued with SWL.
I understand it's not what it used to be, but I still enjoy listening when I can find it.
I'm told by some that I'm better off searching for it on my HF rig (IC-718), than I am investing in a "SW radio".
I know there will be varying opinions here, and I'd like to hear them.
I'm planning on upgrading my HF rig by Christmas, if I'm a good boy......to which one, I haven't decided yet.

So I guess my bottom line question would be, are HF rigs a good SWL radio? Or are they made differently?
Thanks for your time,
Rick, K8PRG
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KD8IIC
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Posts: 667




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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2017, 07:33:21 PM »

Hello Rick, By all means save your money!
That 718 does a superb job with SWL. Not too awfully much difference in a R75.
Have both and used them as twins at one time.
Used to be TONS of stuff on HF to hear besides broadcasting but all too much gone digi.
No CW to hear either but I have heard some 'spy' stations doing MCW and sending cut numbers a few yrs ago..
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N8AUC
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2017, 08:17:09 PM »

Totally agree.
If you already have an HF rig with general coverage receive, use that.
It will be at least as good as a separate SWL receiver, and maybe better.
Besides, it's already paid for.

Now, if you just WANT a separate SWL receiver, then by all means get one.

73 de N8AUC
Eric
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N4OI
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Posts: 358




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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2017, 05:23:51 AM »

Yes, do some listening with general coverage on your ham radio.  If you want to go further down the rabbit hole, I suggest you find a good Drake R8 on eBay...  the best sound in radio...  Just sayin'

73  Roll Eyes
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K0UA
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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2017, 07:14:32 AM »

As said by others, you have what you need already.  If you do want to upgrade your station get an IC7300, You will not be disappointed I guarantee it.  I have one, and was surprised how good of a radio it is. I bought it as a back up to my IC756pro3, but now the pro3 is the backup and the 7300 is the main rig.
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SWMAN
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« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2017, 11:44:17 AM »

 I use my Kenwood TS-570 for SWL all the time and it works great. The only slight problem is that the AM filter on the 570 is 4 kc. AM sounds better if you go 6 kc or so on receive. But really no problem, it just takes a little getting use to.
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K8PRG
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2017, 05:49:51 AM »

Thanks ya'll...I believe I'm convinced my HF would work best for me.
However, I do like the "vintage" SW radios, and have come across a couple pretty cheaply. It's fun to throw up a wire and see what stations appear.....also makes for some good AM/FM listening.
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NO2A
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2017, 10:06:48 AM »

On some transceivers there may be an attenuator that kicks in on the AM or sw bands,which reduces sensitivity to avoid signal overload. Not all radios have it. My FT-857D doesn't. An external speaker might help for sw listening. Your FT-718 will be fine.
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WA8ZTZ
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2017, 12:53:00 PM »

Not a lot of new tabletop SWL receivers on the market but lots of portables.  However, IMHO, your IC-718 with the optional filters and DSP will far outperform the portables.
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K1VCT
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2017, 07:17:28 PM »

the 718 and are 75 look similar.  The receive performance is quite different however.  Both the 718 and  r75 will receive most sw youd want to listen to, although the r75 has a slight edge.  It's actually slightly better receiver.

I have both the r75 and the 718.  The r75 is voiced better for shortwave listening.  The 718 really is tailored more for speech not music at all.  The r75 really opens up when you run a good speaker on it.

Having said all that I also have an  7200. With it's filtration and Notch filter it outperforms either.
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WA8UEG
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2017, 07:28:33 AM »

Well, I am surprised every month when I receive my envelope from the ARRL QSL buro. There is almost always a QSL in the mix from a SWL somewhere in the world, very very rare from the US.

As far as listening for short wave broadcast stations, your radio will work fine. I like to turn on, warm up & use the older equipment in the shack once a month or so and I listen to SW stations all around the world on my Knight Kit Span Master, Hallicrafters S-119, HQ129X & HQ140X.

Don't get me wrong, tuning in the same stations with my FTdx5000 makes a world of difference as far as listening pleasure!

The Drake R8 was mentioned, GREAT SWL receiver but I would put the funds for something else on your wish list and use the one you have.
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KM1H
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2017, 03:03:32 PM »

I mostly use old higher end tube radios I restored which mostly have PP 6V6 or similar audio and nice speakers. Such as a SX-28, HRO-50T1, NC-183 and 183D, SP-400X
When the going gets rough a 51J4 and R-390A get it done.

I also have some old 30's era Philco, RCA, and Zenith console radios plus a 1947 Scott 600B with PP USA 6550's (originally 6L6G's) to the factory 15" Jensen coaxial speaker that will rattle the windows.

A HQ-129X has been my favorite for AM BCB DXing since the 50's.

While a TS-940 and TS-950SD are available they dont bring back the memories.

Carl
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WA8UEG
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2017, 08:23:42 AM »

I have the big ole original Hallicrafters speaker that I can switch between the 129X & the 140 and it actually sounds very good.
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AD4U
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« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2017, 05:56:31 AM »

I am not hyjacking your post, but I have tried MOST ALL ham rigs on SWL. I even have a ICOM 9000 receiver. Most do a decent job, but none of them comes close to my restored Collins 390A. If you have ever used one, you will understand.

Dick AD4U
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