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Author Topic: Car radio/sound systems with Short wave fitted.  (Read 9537 times)
VK2NZA
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Posts: 275




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« on: March 14, 2016, 11:10:14 PM »

I noted an older thread about 3 pages south of this site that was enquiring as to the availability of SW radios for vehicle use.
As a couple of contributors noted they could find them from suppliers catalogs in Saudi Arabia and Australia.
I have shortwave units fitted in my Ford Ranger pickup and Landcruiser Wagon and use them when travelling in the Australian rural/remote areas (Outback) as FM quickly fades out and only MW (AM) stations are the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) running big antennas and a bit of power to cover areas of a few hundred thousand Square miles.
Yes I know other VK's will add some others, such as Far Western New South Wales radio station 2WEB "Outback radio" broadcasting from Bourke covering 130,000 sq kilometers!
These stations also have the critical warning programming for bushfire, cyclone and flood events that are all too common in our country.  But there are areas so remote that the only signals available during the day are SW from Radio Australia aimed at the Pacific and New Guinea, and Radio New Zealand 1800 klms to the East of coastal Eastern Australia can be heard clearly and that is when a good car radio is required, NOTE -  attached to a decent whip antenna not a windscreen or stubby roof type for FM,
At night under big clear skys the MW signals are good and many NZ and Asian stations boom in.
The sensitivity of the units I have are very good and are not desensitised in the MW frequencies as some European branded units I had when living in England and France in the 1970's I expect due to the high number of stations in close proximity high sensitivity was not required and adjacent channel performance was critical.
Recently I went down to one of our Auto supply warehouses and spent 30 minutes playing with the available CD/radio units in a big test console to see what was available in Short Wave..
I found that all the Pioneer, JVC and some Kenwood were supplied with 2 short wave bands covering the majority of SW broadcast bands  - 2.940khz - 18.135 khz. in 5 khz steps. Oddly JVC and Kenwood are the same corporation but market the brands seperately.
None of the Sony's I looked at here were fitted with SW frequencies.
My experience with both the Pioneer branded unit in my Ranger and the JVC in the Landcruiser is that they both have good sensitivity on MW and SW and will scan stop on a reasonable SW signal.
Looking at several other auto supply shops the story is the same, Pioneer, and JVC all fitted with SW, Kenwood some units and Sony not!
So if you are looking for units such as these they are available (dependant on extra features, Bluetooth, ) for around AUS $120 - $180 thats around US $90 - $135 not including postage/freight.
My JVC unit is Model no KD-R862BT and the Pioneer is DH2450DUB
I have often surprised tourists when pulled up somewhere in a remote area listening to my car radio when all they can find is static on their rental vehicle radio,
There are a number of Australian suppliers supplying online so for those countries that don't supply these 3rd World?? spec'ed units then this may be a way to obtain them.
 
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KQ4YA
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Posts: 78


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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2016, 03:48:01 AM »

I have the Pioneer radio that includes shortwave frequencies installed in my car. It was an easy decision to try it since the original car radio stopped working. So even if the shortwave bands didn't work all that great I'd be out nothing as long as AM and FM worked OK since I needed a new radio anyway and the price was comparable to what I would have paid for a conventional car radio here. Since the radios aren't available from U.S. retail outlets I ordered my radio from a fellow in Israel using his eBay listing.

The radio works fine on the conventional U.S. broadcast bands. The shortwave performance hasn't been very good. However I do put that down to the fact that I'm using the car's original antenna. I'm sure the radio would do better on the shortwave bands with a better antenna.

I do find the occasional station using the shortwave bands. But I would have been disappointed had I entered into this expecting good shortwave performance. Again, I suspect the radio does just fine and I would bet that the original poster did a better job when it comes to an antenna.
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WA2ONH
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Posts: 518




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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2016, 01:08:21 PM »

FYI: A March 11, 2016 article on "The SWLing Post" noted the following...

Car Shortwave Radio
http://swling.com/blog/2016/03/car-shortwave-radio/

also additional details noted on
http://carshortwaveradio.com/

Approx cost $180 USD
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73 de WA2ONH  <dit dit> ... Charlie
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Never be satisfied with what you know, only with what more you can find out"
Dr David Fairchild 1869-1954 US Scientist
VK2NZA
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Posts: 275




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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2016, 04:42:25 PM »

Hi KQ4YI - I believe you will find much improved performance with a decent fender or as in my case a bull bar mounted whip style antenna. I am using a fibreglass type antenna about 5 feet in length and it definitely improved performance over the short roof top antenna supplied with the pickup or Landcruiser wagon.
Obviously night time performance is better on the lower frequencies however and sometimes the number of stations coming in is surprising.
Probably won't be equivilent to a Drake R8 with a Beveridge though!
regards Ross.
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KQ4YA
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2016, 05:03:16 AM »

You are completely right Ross, I believe the problem is the small helical wound car antenna that I am using. But it gets complicated. The car is a small two-seat BMW Z4. And a 5 foot antenna on that car would be almost comical. I know that shouldn't matter but it does to me. I have thought about getting some antenna that uses an motor to extend and retract.

Truth is that it isn't a huge deal to me. I would have enjoyed having better shortwave reception but - unlike in your case where the shortwave performance is actually useful - for me it was just a fun add-on. The time may come when I try to figure out a better way for the antenna but I'm actually OK. I did need to replace the non-functional car radio and I did that about the same cost of a regular car radio.

I wish I had done better and know that I could with a better antenna. And maybe I will eventually look into some way to improve the antenna by using something that can extend and retract.
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KK4YDR
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Posts: 673




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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2016, 10:21:08 AM »

Are there any car radios that can tune into L/USB on SW, i.e. ham bands?
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KC9V0
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Posts: 30




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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2016, 10:35:23 AM »

There is a Panasonic model DEH2750UI that is available for about $140.
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KK4YDR
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Posts: 673




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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2016, 03:06:25 PM »

There is a Panasonic model DEH2750UI that is available for about $140.

This model does not support HAM SW, only AM and FM radio and USB (uni serial bus) not upper side band, and CD MP3 etc... just read the manual
« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 03:09:17 PM by KK4YDR » Logged
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