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Author Topic: Best Portable SWL Receiver for SSB  (Read 176513 times)
K5TED
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« Reply #30 on: December 09, 2014, 11:33:45 AM »

Anyone tried the CountyComm GP-5/SSB? Looks cheap but the Youtube reviews show a relatively not bad SSB receiver.
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W2AEW
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« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2015, 11:17:08 AM »

Anyone tried the CountyComm GP-5/SSB? Looks cheap but the Youtube reviews show a relatively not bad SSB receiver.

Check my thread on this forum - I just posted two videos on this radio.  It is extremely portable, very inexpensive, and performs pretty well on SW and SSB over the last two weeks or so that I've been playing with it.
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WA4053SWL
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« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2015, 01:19:18 PM »

Looking back, estimate I had many portable receiver, like: Sony ICF-2010, Sony SW7600 GR, Sony SW7600G, Panasonic RF-65, Panasonic RF-B40, Degen 1103, Zenith 1000D/3000 (without BFO), Zenith D7000Y, Panasonic RF-2200, Grundig Satellite 210/2100 (without BFO built in), Sangean ATS-909, Sangean ATS-818, Kaito KA-2100, Sangean ATS-803, Sony ICF-2001, etc,  I am sure that I forget some other radio. These are the more "portables", and others are much more heavy like Panasonic RF-4900, ICF-6700, etc. Some bought new, other second hand on ebay, and the radios were tested side by side in many instances. The fact is that for my own personal opinion. The ICF-2010 much higher than the other Sony's, very sensitive. The Panasonic's RF-65 not very sensitive and much blow, eat a lot of battery Shocked. The Degen 1103, radio beautiful, super sensitive, I love your sharp sound Grin. The Zenith D7000Y, radio beautiful, super sensitive, huge telescopic antenna, to play with the BFO and listen ham bands Cheesy. Kaito KA-2100 horrible, I takes me 25 days to arrive from China, my radio had an internal failure the next day, I could fix it and sold it on ebay the next day Cry. Panasonic RF-2200, excellent radio on MW, acceptable sensitivity in SW, no use to listen to the BFO. Grundig satellit, if they had BFO were the perfect radios Shocked, that construction Shocked, great sensitivity, lovely sound, little affected by noise, etc. Sangean ATS-803, one of the best to listen MW, good sensitivity in SW, pretty radio. ATS-909, I had two new, It is a good radio, but I prefer a Sony 2010 used.
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KAPT4560
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« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2015, 02:02:46 PM »

 The Sony ICF-2010 is a fine general-purpose portable with a stable BFO, but it wouldn't be my first choice for SSB listening.
 While CW and SSB signals are intelligible with it, the 100 Hz increments for the fine tuning and a lack of a variable BFO pitch vernier would lead me to other (smoother, analog-type tuning/pitch control) choices.
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WA4053SWL
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« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2015, 07:23:52 PM »

The Sony ICF-2010 is a fine general-purpose portable with a stable BFO, but it wouldn't be my first choice for SSB listening.
 While CW and SSB signals are intelligible with it, the 100 Hz increments for the fine tuning and a lack of a variable BFO pitch vernier would lead me to other (smoother, analog-type tuning/pitch control) choices.
I do not have any problems with a radio if it does not have 100 hz increments. A long time ago I used to listen an old Hallicrafters that the oscillator frequency is ran much the first hour Grin, after it is stabilized a little, when heated sufficiently Cheesy, so listening to 100 or 200 cycles off frequency, it's no problem for me, i am used to do it.
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AD5TD
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« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2015, 08:53:58 PM »

for the money, you can't beat this one:

http://www.countycomm.com/gp5ssb.html

AM, FM (stereo), SW, Ham with SSB

Superb sound for the size, weight is next to nothing, battery life over 200 hours.

Come with case, ferrite AM broadcast t-bar antenna, extended SW antenna and earbuds.

All for $75.00

What's not to like?
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W2AEW
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« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2015, 07:44:02 PM »

for the money, you can't beat this one:

http://www.countycomm.com/gp5ssb.html

AM, FM (stereo), SW, Ham with SSB

Superb sound for the size, weight is next to nothing, battery life over 200 hours.

Come with case, ferrite AM broadcast t-bar antenna, extended SW antenna and earbuds.

All for $75.00

What's not to like?

I agree. Here's my video review of this fun little receiver:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuEPJ3qGu_g
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http://www.youtube.com/w2aew
KC2QYM
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« Reply #37 on: January 20, 2015, 07:36:11 AM »

I've given up on portable SW radios having owned and still own three of the models previously mentioned.  Once you use a full scale tranceiver with general coverage capabilities it's hard to compromise to a portable unless of course you're on the go and must have a SWL radio at the ready.  Without an external antenna of some type you just won't have the sensitivity necessary to avoid ear strain.  So in my home in two other locations beyond my shack I have two of my backup rigs set up for receiving only.  Setting up close to window for wire antenna setups provides plenty of signal to enjoy ham and general SWL.  Of course you have to be in a situation to have multiple backup rigs just sitting around to dedicate them to SWL only setups but this is superior to puttering around with quirky portables.
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W3OWL
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« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2015, 05:39:29 AM »

I returned my CountyComm GP-5/SSB to the retailer.  My unit was virtually deaf on HF, and MW/FM wasn't much better than my cheap Sony Walkman digital pocket radio.  I really wanted to like the little CountyComm, but it could not hear WWV on any of their frequencies.  Strong amateur signals on 20m for instance produced no signal on the CountyComm. 
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KAPT4560
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« Reply #39 on: January 21, 2015, 01:27:18 PM »

 Thank you for your appraisal. I hope that yours had a gain issue and that this is not a characteristic example of the GP-5.
 I won't hijack this thread by asking questions, but hope that some more user reviews of this new radio are forth-coming. It has piqued my interest somewhat.
 
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SWL2002
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« Reply #40 on: January 22, 2015, 05:25:16 AM »

I received mine yesterday.  I have not had much time with it, but it is very obvious that it has AGC issues in SSB mode.  It seems like the AGC attack time is way too slow, so there sometime is distortion until the AGC catches up with the signal level.  The AGC decay time seems OK.

Looking at the datasheet for the Silicon Labs chipset it uses, the AGC attack and decay times are adjustable.  Too bad they make no provision to access these settings.  There also does not seem to be a provision to update the firmware for the microcontroller in the radio.  Too bad because they might have been able to fix the AGC attack issues with this radio.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2015, 05:50:25 AM by SWL2002 » Logged
RENTON481
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Posts: 281




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« Reply #41 on: January 29, 2015, 02:52:07 PM »

The SiLabs digital IF chips are great chips, they seem to be very versatile.

But then you have the cases where the radios using them don't have the firmware (or maybe the microprocessor power?) to access all of the features. My Sangean PR-D5 is a great MW-FM radio (especially on MW) -- but it has only 4 khz bandwidth -- which is great for DXing selectivity, but not quite as great when you want to ID stations on a graveyard frequency, where that extra treble from a wider bandwidth helps.

The chip inside it has multiple bandwidths available. But the radio doesn't have the capability of switching to a different bandwidth.
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WD7Z
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« Reply #42 on: February 15, 2015, 10:43:10 AM »

I follow the Tecsun PL-880 Yahoo Group. That feature-laden portable looks promising but it is still a couple of updates away from satisfying hams. Current buyers are still getting the buggy 8820 firmware which is at least an improvement over the earliest 8819 firmware.

So do I follow it for the time being.  I like my PL-880 and am satisfied with it's performance.  I would bet you are right about this radio being a work in progress.  If down the road, I find that the 880's firmware is much better than the version I have, I may send the radio in for a firmware update.
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