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Author Topic: What was your first shortwave radio?  (Read 476580 times)

Posts: 5288

« Reply #240 on: October 31, 2017, 03:04:27 PM »

At my maternal grandparents it was a 30's Zenith with the old big pin glass tubes around 1952.

Listening to SWBC and AM hams got me to try building an "all band" regen from Popular Science. I bought ready made plug in coils and it all worked well enough to learn CW for my Novice in 55.

First "real" receiver was a used Hammarlund HQ-129X in 56; I have another one to use these days as part of my Boatanchor station.


Posts: 47

« Reply #241 on: November 13, 2017, 09:27:18 PM »

sony icf-2001, first model. bought used in 1983 at a pawn shop in denver. i just loved that thing. had a bfo switch to receive ssb. when i got licensed i used it with first a johnson viking ranger II, then with a hallicrafters ht-37. had to turn it off when tx'ing- no relay.
tried to post a pic ,but no go.  see google images. mine didn't have dual screens, just a freq display and an led bar for sig. strength. the sunspot activity was high during those years and i heard it alllll.
i'd appreciate a headsup on how to add in a pic. i did 'copy image', then typed control v. nothing. ??

Posts: 279

« Reply #242 on: November 14, 2017, 07:53:21 PM »

^^^^^ The first Sony 2001, it was like a space vehicle for its time. I think it was the first mass-produced portable SW digital radio.

There were 'digital' readouts of various types before then, but the 2001 was a leap in consumer tech.

Interesting reading.

Posts: 1092

« Reply #243 on: November 15, 2017, 06:08:50 PM »

My first real shortwave set was a Yaesu FRG-7.

Posts: 113

« Reply #244 on: November 26, 2017, 03:40:16 PM »

My mother's Zenith TransOceanic.  Or the Zenith console radio with the same coverage.

The only problem: I kept forgetting where my mother had the radios set before I dived in.

N9LCD Grin


Posts: 810

« Reply #245 on: December 04, 2017, 01:37:03 PM »

Knight Kit Span Master still in my shack, I turn it on for 30 minutes or so and tune in a station monthly.

Posts: 1

« Reply #246 on: December 15, 2017, 06:35:53 AM »

My first shortwave was an old Silvertone 42 table top set in early 60's which was my grandfathers originally. Stock photo. Still have it and probably needs new filters again.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 06:38:49 AM by KG4KZG » Logged

Posts: 6

« Reply #247 on: December 16, 2017, 10:04:10 PM »

Mine would have been the handful of vintage sets, tabletop and console, that adorned our home and the homes of my grandparents. My first real memory of those radios has to be of my dad's old console in our livingroom, tuning a big copper Silvertone airplane dial and seeing that green eye glow and move as I heard voices in some unknown language singing strange music (strange to a little kid).

But my first shortwave radio, like, officially mine and for the purpose of shortwave listening (and not as an added partial band in some cheap novelty multi-set) was a Grundig Yachtboy. I was eleven, maybe twelve?

Of course it's all grown to biblically massive proportions in the radio acquisitions since then. Smiley

Posts: 57

« Reply #248 on: January 16, 2018, 04:51:53 PM »

Hallicrafter S-85, still have it.

Posts: 4

« Reply #249 on: January 18, 2018, 08:12:49 AM »

My first was my JVC RC-M70JW BOOMBOX !!! One of the most powerful ghetto blasters ever made!! I spent my hard earned summer work dollars buying the thing, it was around $250 or $300 at the time, dad thought I was nuts!!!  It could chew through 10 D Cells in 20 - 30 minutes NO SWEAT!!  Shocked Shocked Angry

It had 4 Shortwave bands that went from 1.8 Mhz all the way up to 26 Mhz!  I used to have to fight my Dad over it to get to use it! We both liked listening to Shortwave. We had at one time some other portable type radio that had Shortwave bands in it ... for the life of me I can't remember the make. Philco? GE?

Was back in the day of towers and TV antennas, I have a piece of #18 or something strung up from my bedroom window, up to the top of the 50' tower and then back to the back fence which was about 80 or so feet from the house! There was a balanced line (I didn't know it was called that back then) terminals on the back, I connected the one terminal to my antenna and one to the heat register grate (I had found one of those old TV clothes line type alligator clips)  ... When I did that you could hear pretty well around the world! Dad would sit in the front room, put up both attached antennas and he could pull in some pretty far away places ... but then again that was in the days of much lower QRN. They pretty well near shut off the electrical grid at night in those day as they rolled up the sidewalks ...

Posts: 45

« Reply #250 on: January 18, 2018, 10:04:26 AM »

National NC-46 in the early 60's when in high school. I would listen to hams on 75 meter AM as well as shortwave stations around the world. I still remember the excitement of hearing those stations.


Posts: 1400

« Reply #251 on: February 03, 2018, 01:03:21 PM »

A Hallicrafters,don't remember the model. Had a Radio Shack receiver for awhile too. I think my TS-440SAT was the first transceiver to have general coverage hf. Before then just ham only rigs. I actually have a Toshiba boombox that includes sw and some   amateur bands. It doesn't have a b.f.o. but you can listen to cw on AM,or use another radio for a b.f.o.That was from the 80's. It will even tune 80m!I still have it,but it works best on FM,even though the volume pot is
Extremely scratchy.

Posts: 18

« Reply #252 on: February 13, 2018, 12:19:28 PM »

hmm....first receiver.. guess that's not really straightforward... as there were many "firsts"

my interest in Shortwave got peaked by playing with a portable am radio and detuning it to get past the end of the am band and found strange signals there, looking back that strange signal was actually a RTTY station.

that lead to me building a regenerative receiver kit from radio shack kit. which was kinda crappy but worked I could hear there was more out there than just some strange signals there were SW broadcasts.

I managed to scrape up a few dollars to by a "broken" hallicrafters S38c at a local flea market, that really just needed a new filter cap and fixed that but also survived learning about hot chassis and unpolarized plugs .. swapping in a polarized plug . ..  Though I was hooked, I quickly figured out it was not a good receiver at all, AC hum, poor audio, weak sensitivity, drifty, poor dial calibration, bad selectivity, would overload easy, had a bfo but you could barely hear some ssb. .. not to mention the hot chassis it was just plain dangerous.  Knowing what I know now I would never had let the young me anywhere near that thing..... but it did work. Guess that's my first Tube commercially made sw receiver. though a bad one.

I saved up my money and got my brother and me our first "REAL" SW receivers, a Hammarlund HQ-129 for him and Hammarlund HQ-140XA for me at my first hamfest, being new to a hamfest, I bought the 129 cause the deal was too good, only to find a better deal around the corner with the 140 and still had money left over... The HQ-140XA had more controls then any boy could possibly dream of, crystal filters, and a decent performer on the SW and ham bands. .. It set my standards for anything I've used since.  I'm sure we all have that radio we wish we never let go. that's mine.. should never have sold that radio!

Fist Synthesized receiver was a dx-302 which looked great, but could not keep up with the Hammarlund and it mostly sat on a shelf before eventually getting rid of wasn't a bad receiver, I just had something better to use.

The first portable was a sangen ats-803A / DX-440 that was an excellent receiver. I traveled the world for 10 years with that radio. it is a great performing that got more use out of then any other SW radio I've ever owned, it's literally been above the arctic circle, and in the Amazon, banged around inside suitcases for 10 years without a hitch.  Sadly I left batties in it that leaked post my traveling days.

first military receiver - BC-779 (hammarlund sp-200)
first "premium" receiver (second millitary reciever) Cubic cdr-3250 (just simply amazing)
first SDR - rtl-sdr dongle with a ham-it up converter.

there ya go... ...some  my firsts in SW


SWL, HAM and electronics enthusiast
SWL: AirspyHF+, Cubic CRD-3250, Hammarlund BC-779 / SP-210LX, DX-394, RTL-SDR dongles and upconverters, dx440 (needs work), pro2004. nc-190(needs work)
Ham: IC-7300 baofeng uv-5r, ts-830
Test: full lab.. o'scopes, HP8650a SA, hp 3582 DSA, VP-8132A SG, more

Posts: 269

« Reply #253 on: March 10, 2018, 01:16:08 PM »

Realistic Patrolman-9

Posts: 788

« Reply #254 on: March 10, 2018, 03:15:03 PM »

   Built the 'Trawler Band' receiver on my Norelco electronics learning lab cardboard breadboard with my dad.
   I already had a long wire suspended on the attic ceiling the length of our house. My room was in that finished attic.
   My first 'DX' was Radio Havana, such a thrill since I made it myself and it was pulling Cuba in on my wire from many
   miles away!
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