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Author Topic: What was your first shortwave radio?  (Read 474618 times)
W0BKR
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Posts: 2067




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« Reply #285 on: February 28, 2019, 03:49:18 PM »

Soundesign Portable AM/FM...then a DX-150. I was really livin it up hooking stuff up in the garage at night and listening to signals from around the world with my long wire....
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KB8ASO
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Posts: 84




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« Reply #286 on: March 04, 2019, 01:38:51 PM »

My first SW was a Philco 48-1270 AM/SW/FM/78 phono combo purchased for me by my parents in 1973 for the outrageous sum of $2.00 at a church auction.  I was fascinated by the shape of the 5U4G tube in the back of the set.  I was 9 years old at the time.

Randy AB9GO
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KE5HVM
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Posts: 8




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« Reply #287 on: March 06, 2019, 12:39:09 PM »

Yaesu VR-5000.  Purchased in 2001.
Still use it.  Still my favorite.
It was my first "big" purchase as an adult, and one which I researched up and back, reading everything I could on it.
I was absolutely amazed the first time I hooked it up and started hearing international shortwave broadcasts.
Now, as an astronomy teacher, I use it to demonstrate radio astronomy techniques to my students.
After their attention is exhausted, I re-kindle it by listening to aircraft, fire, ambulance, ACARS, and anything else they can think of.

The display is beginning to go (a few lines on the display are beginning to go out).
It will be a sad day when the radio finally gives up the ghost, but I'll enjoy it all the way up until that day!

Gerrit
KE5HVM
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VK2NZA
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Posts: 275




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« Reply #288 on: March 07, 2019, 03:20:41 PM »

I have posted here previously (Pge-9) however recently I came across an "old friend".
A couple of months ago I attended the "Gold Coast Radio Club"  Queensland, Australia with a number of my club members S.A.R.C. -Summerland Amateur Radio Club, Lismore NSW Au.
We had risen at 0530 to do the 2 hr drive out to the coast and watched the sun rising over Surfers Paradise as we arrived.

Waiting for the doors to open we had coffee and breakfast served by the lovely YL's and Xyl's of the club members, ( no men behind the servery counter) !
An orderly queue formed before the doors to the large hall and approximately 80  amateurs filed in to get the bargains and best pickings, more arrived later!
I wasn't particularly on the look out for anything in particular  except some good quality jumper cables, spotting a table with a box of cables I rummaged through finding several high quality commercial jumpers with N' connectors. As I was negotiating the price I spotted a black and silver shape sitting in a box behind the table, Asking what it was, the owner placed the box on the table and I recognized a Zenith Transoceanic 3000 model, complete with original AC/DC transformer, manual, Zenith SW listening booklet and separately something I had not seen before what appeared to be a genuine black leather case with zip and Zenith stamped on it in white lettering.
The seller said he had tried it on MW and FM and it appeared to work.
I walked away with it for $40.00!

Back at home I began removing the dust and cleaning it up, the radio and the case cleaned up well and positively shone when I applied some "Armor-Al" protect-ant although the leather case zip was frozen, some silicon spray lube soaked a few hours worked wonders on that.
The battery compartment was empty and very clean, fitting a set of D' cells to and turning it on yielded a hiss and tuning got the local MW stations, un-clipping the the long handle mounted whip antenna exposed a perfect condition antenna mast and FM stations poured in, later that evening the Zenith produced very good SW signals with good audio.
This Zenith must be around 55-60 years old now and is in perfect operating condition, a real testament to great American design, quality components and manufacture!
Amazingly the batteries last for ages compared with newer processor type type radios and it has a nice smooth rounded audio.

I was first acquainted with a Transoceanic 1000 when being sent 17000 miles away from my family  to stay with an older couple as a 14 year old. They had no children and there wasn't a lot to do in the winter at their house, I spotted the Transoceanic on a shelf  and asked if I could turn it on, I was allowed to take it to my bedroom where I spent hundreds of hours listening to SW through out that lonely time in my life. It became my escape and I surfed the bands when SW was king.
The "3000' now sits on my bedside table almost 50 years after using that "salvation" radio that made a sad and lonely time bearable.
Sadly though many of those shortwave stations have gone including the recent "stupid" shutdown of Radio Australia and the pending sale of its Shepparton antenna farm and transmitters.
Many of our huge outback areas now during the day have no signals on MW, FM forget it however "China Drive " from Bejiing in English booms in and thankfully Radio NZ can be heard on SW with its Bellbird signature here in Eastern Australia, no longer the distinctive "Kookaburra" bird call from Radio Australia however.
Although I have a shack full of radios my old friend the Transoceanic is used every day!
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KG7BV
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #289 on: March 19, 2019, 01:20:48 PM »

The Heath GR-64 started it all for me. My dad built it for my Grandmother in the 60's. She never used it. As a kid in the 70's, I pulled it out of the closet and started listening.
I was absolutely fascinated that I could hear broadcasts from other countries. After I learned that I could get a transmitter and send signals around the world myself, I was hooked forever.
Still have it. It still works. Don't care that it is considered a piece of junk performance wise. It worked good enough to get me hooked.

Spencer
KG7BV 
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KJ4DGE
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Posts: 41




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« Reply #290 on: March 19, 2019, 01:24:18 PM »

Zenith Transoceanic 6 tube in the wooden case with magnet antenna for BCB. Full rich audio.
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W2KG
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Posts: 7




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« Reply #291 on: March 29, 2019, 04:42:38 PM »

My first shortwave radio was a Sears Wayfarer.  The next was a Radio Shack DX-160.
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W0BKR
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Posts: 2067




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« Reply #292 on: April 15, 2019, 04:43:58 AM »

Sound Design/Airline portable AM/FM....used it a lot...then moved up the the DX-150....
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WB5X
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #293 on: April 17, 2019, 05:42:37 PM »

Allied Star Romer Kit - Mid 60s
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W4CP
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Posts: 14




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« Reply #294 on: May 09, 2019, 11:49:08 AM »

I got interested in radio in general through my father's attempted use of CB for his small business around 1966. (That was one of the original, legit uses of CB.)  As one of the several CB radios he bought to try to make this work, he bought one with a limited general coverage receiver built into it, and I first heard BBC, HCJB and some of the other powerhouses on it. I cannot remember the brand or model of that radio. 

In early 1968 I built an Eico 711 "Space Ranger" from a kit (received for Christmas), so that was *my* first shortwave receiver.  I enjoyed using it and still have it, but soon knew that I wanted to be able to transmit also, so I got my ham license later than year at 13 years old.  I added a used Hallicrafters SX-101 Mark III receiver for Novice use, to go with a Heath DX-60A transmitter.

Unfortunately, I haven't turned on the Eico is so long, I need to bring up its power on a Variac to keep from causing damage when I ultimately crank it back up.

Curt W4CP ex-KD4YU; ex-WB4LHI
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N4UE
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Posts: 887




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« Reply #295 on: June 17, 2019, 01:01:07 PM »

Maybe this is off-topic, or I'm so old that I can't remember replying here   Huh
But a trip down memory lane.....
I shoveled a LOT of snow back in Mass. as a youngster to buy a NEW Hallicrafter S-120. I thought it was better Than my homebrew radios.
As I progressed, my parents let me buy (with my own $) at age 14 a Lafayette HE-80. OMG
I was in hog (ham) heaven! The big slide rule dials, 14 tubes, flywheel main and bandspread…..
It left a lasting impression on me. At that time the SW bands were full of everything! I have since bought and restored dozens of these old Lafayette/Trio (Kenwood) receivers. Never sold a one. ha ha

After I got out of the Military (1969), I got back into radio. Had a General by then. Built some Heathkits, bought some Swans, but then and now, 6 Meters has always been my band of choice. I guess it was because I could drive to several mountaintops with my HA-460 AM 6 Meter radio and a 3 el beam and make dozens and dozens of AM contacts. SSB was just starting up at that time.
Now, I've been a ham for 65 years. I keep hearing about "the Gvt wants our frequencies" etc.

I have a quiet location (most of the time) big antennas, and several times I'll fire up the 7300, the 7610, etc and 'listen' to what's out there on SW.
MY goodness, it's a VAST wasteland. Other than WWV and a few RTTY stations, all I hear is Bro Stair screaming some lunatic bs.

I'd say we're safe for a while. ha ha

Yes, I remember the "Woodpecker" well!

ron
N4UE
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If you're not the lead sled dog, the view never changes......
ONAIR
Member

Posts: 3731




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« Reply #296 on: June 18, 2019, 12:32:34 AM »

Maybe this is off-topic, or I'm so old that I can't remember replying here   Huh
But a trip down memory lane.....
I shoveled a LOT of snow back in Mass. as a youngster to buy a NEW Hallicrafter S-120. I thought it was better Than my homebrew radios.
As I progressed, my parents let me buy (with my own $) at age 14 a Lafayette HE-80. OMG
I was in hog (ham) heaven! The big slide rule dials, 14 tubes, flywheel main and bandspread…..
It left a lasting impression on me. At that time the SW bands were full of everything! I have since bought and restored dozens of these old Lafayette/Trio (Kenwood) receivers. Never sold a one. ha ha

After I got out of the Military (1969), I got back into radio. Had a General by then. Built some Heathkits, bought some Swans, but then and now, 6 Meters has always been my band of choice. I guess it was because I could drive to several mountaintops with my HA-460 AM 6 Meter radio and a 3 el beam and make dozens and dozens of AM contacts. SSB was just starting up at that time.
Now, I've been a ham for 65 years. I keep hearing about "the Gvt wants our frequencies" etc.

I have a quiet location (most of the time) big antennas, and several times I'll fire up the 7300, the 7610, etc and 'listen' to what's out there on SW.
MY goodness, it's a VAST wasteland. Other than WWV and a few RTTY stations, all I hear is Bro Stair screaming some lunatic bs.

I'd say we're safe for a while. ha ha

Yes, I remember the "Woodpecker" well!

ron
N4UE
  I had a Starlite A-120 (Hallicrafter S-120 clone)!  Memories!!  Wink
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N8FNR
Member

Posts: 308




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« Reply #297 on: June 18, 2019, 08:43:55 AM »

My first rig was a Kenwood R-1000. Here is the review I wrote for Eham in 2013;

"My gateway drug to ham radio.
Bought one when they first came out in 1980 and had a ball with it for years. Only had a longwire indoors but still heard a ton of DX. Had West Radio install mechanical fiters, one for AM and one for SSB and that made a big diference on receive. Also added a weighted tuning knob that came from a TS-830 and that made tuning very sweet. Sadly I had had to sell to finance a used loaded TS-840SAT once I got my General ticket. If I never bought the rig I would have never gotten interested in ham radio and would not have written this review."

I used that rig a lot. Remember one night listening to Radio Uganda and they kept playing the same song over and over (a disco version of Black is Black). Then someone came on and said "test test" and switched off the transmitter. Heard Air Force One doing a phone patch in the clear to Kissinger's wife when AF1 was flying back from Sadat's funeral. One day I heard some drug smugglers trying to figure out where to land their plane. Oh I had a lot of fun with that radio.

Zack N8FNR
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KF0OU
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #298 on: June 21, 2019, 12:39:30 PM »

Mine was a New Sears 22871.  I had a Radio Shack AM transmitter kit that my dad's Ham friend modified to transmit into the IF frequency of the radio and then I could listen to SSB with it.  Had it for about 10 years before it fell apart (glue on the push buttons failed and such).
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K6BSU
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Posts: 39




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« Reply #299 on: July 03, 2019, 09:21:09 AM »

I first heard a SW broadcast, and also discovered "ham" radio after graduating from USAF radio op school.  Then on to further training, got to listen on military SP-600. 

So, studied every radio book I could find, including some ARRL Handbooks.  Along with my 30 WPM Morse capability, passed General in 1952.  Extra in 1955.  Continued to study.

Background got me accepted to college, and 5 years later, a BSEE.
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