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Author Topic: the very best of HF BA receivers  (Read 52032 times)
K8AXW
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« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2014, 07:43:35 AM »

I'm voting for "changing girlfriends!"  Once that s*** starts, it never stops.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2014, 01:56:14 PM »




Wow!

I can understand about screwing the Valiant down to prevent it from falling, but how did you keep the cat from sliding off the Valiant?

Good job! Wink
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W1BR
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« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2014, 08:39:40 AM »

Velcro the cat's ass.
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AC2EU
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WWW

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« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2014, 09:24:46 AM »

I'm adding a new criteria to used equipment purchase besides "non smoking".
-no cat piss!  Grin

That's a very nice collection of BA's though. When's the last time you used the ART-13 and BC-348 ?
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KG8LB
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« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2014, 04:21:52 PM »

It is fine with me that you left the over-rated , Ham bands only ,no 160M -SX-115 off the list .   It is good that you grouped the R-390 and R-390S together as well . The R-725 is a blend of the two and the best of that group IMHO .
   However , what works fine for the military may lack tools that hams find useful to indispensable . For many reasons military receiver don't find much use in the shack here . The SP-600 is the exception for amateur radio operation among the military radios listed .

  I have owned and operated every RX on your list and then some .
Still , my personal favorite BA receiver isn't even on your list .  "Best" is a personal issue but not a one of the receivers you listed makes it as "Best" here .
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K8AXW
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« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2014, 07:52:38 PM »

Quote
what works fine for the military may lack tools that hams find useful to indispensable

LB:  You're absolutely correct!  It's easy to form an opinion when evaluating a receiver designed for a specific job and then say, "This one is the best for ham and BC or any other use for which the receiver was NOT designed for.

This is the trap I fell into when I listed my preferences. 

For example, the R-390 was an incredible receiver for SW CW work but needs to be modified for use as a SSB receiver.  (As I understand it - I've never used the 390 for anything but CW)

KAPT4560 nailed it when he said, "Every BA tells a story."  The collection SCI has is very nice and would hate to see him give it up.  As for using any or all of them.....this is like a gun collection.  Chances are you'll never use ALL of them but they are nice to look at and nice to pick up, feel and work the actionl.  Only a ham will understand this.
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IW5CI
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« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2014, 01:54:00 PM »

Well.. It is very difficult to chose one radio over another.... Really.

For example for am usage , it is difficult not to fall in love with art-13 and bc-348 with ls3 speaker. I have tested this station a month ago after one year , and it works strong.
Anyway the receiver is wide and not the best for am activity on crowded bands.

A better choice would be johnson valiant coupled with hammarlund superpro same tx power but the receiver is definitely perfect for am.

Another cute combination can be national nc-303 with the visual appealing ranger II.

But if i want also to use ssb?

Maybe i can use the rare hammarlund hx-500 with hammarlund hq-180a receiver.
Or sx-115 with ht-32

At the end a drake B-line is a good ssb choice too, difficult to beat but less visual appealing.

I would like to have one more room in my house to Put all the radios in working condition..
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N4UE
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« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2014, 05:44:19 PM »

Hi own most of the receivers on the list. All have their good and weak points.
One thing that should be mentioned is the amount of 'maintenance' or 'updating' of these great old radios.
Just as one example, I have a very nice 75A-4 with a bunch of filters, 4:1 dial, etc.
One day I got around to reading Chuck's "10 deadly caps" article.
Every coupling/bypass caps was horribly leaky and one mica as well. The radio really came alive after replacing those old caps. There have been a ton of articles through the years on re-engineering the A-4. I did the really simple ones, but let's face it: it's fun to listen to but it is, what it is......
My SX-117 was greatly 'improved' with the articles in ER Magazine, as well.

ron
N4UE
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IW5CI
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« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2014, 08:08:43 AM »

Of course all of my receivers have been overhauled before tracking place in the shelf. For example the sp-600 black beauties, but also ar-88 sx-28 sx-115 and bc-348 needed the replacement of many capacitors. Fortunately all the stock tubes still work great and only in a couple of cases the receiver problems where caused by bad tubes, so i have a lot of spare tubes.
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VK3DWZ
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« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2014, 05:33:36 PM »

The best I have ever used is the R-390A.  I love mine.  I love the direct frequency readout, the ease of servicing, the nice audio (if the Rippel mod. is performed) and the Mechanical Filters.  To show how good it is I  am able to receive a Broadcast band station just 9kHz below super-strong 3AR (Melbourne) on 621kHz.  The tuning might be a little bit stiff but that doesn't bother me at all.

I've also used a Racal RA.17L professionally but the skirts on the bandwidth filters were so wide that we wonder how the professionals put up with it.  Ditto the Hammarlund SP-600 -- here the bandwidth choices, difficulty in servicing and poor readout make this receiver more of a curio.  The Collins 51J-4 looks to be a very nice receiver (it would have to be being a Collins) but even here it looks to be somewhat difficult to service.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2014, 07:56:42 AM »

DWZ:  "You can't spin the dial" was the common complaint among all of the R-390 operators. 

The SP-600 required an outboard or separate frequency meter..... which was a PITA.

Even though the R-390 outperformed the SP-600, the SP-600  was the favorite receiver "back in the day," hands down.

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G3RZP
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Posts: 1265




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« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2014, 10:46:33 AM »

No mention of the Racal RA17? Not that it was that brilliant a performer.....or the Eddystone 880, which was a sort of 51J copy but without decent filters.
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K1YTG
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Posts: 486




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« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2014, 09:33:18 AM »

The SUPER PRO 400 has the best Hi Fi audio I have heard for AM reception.  The adjustable bandwidth goes really wide and the push pull output gives full fidelity. 
It was built to commercial and military specs, not price reduced so hams could afford it.
But for ssb it is not a good choice.

Norm
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W1BR
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« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2014, 11:10:13 AM »

I was pretty amazed at the IF bandwidth in my restored SX-16... it beats most of the the boatanchors I own or have used when set to the broadest IF BW.

Pete
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WN2C
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Posts: 550




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« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2014, 10:49:44 AM »

Well, no help from the group solving the question... Smiley

I own all of them, unfortunately all this stuff is heavy and fills a room of my house and my girl-friend is asking for a reduction of the radio gear to a couple of full working Lines instead of 30 more radios just showing up in the shelf.
At the moment i am considering the collins 390 (non A) with the tmc ssb converter or 51j4 coupled with johnson valiant for the first line and hammarlund 180a coupled with hammarlund hx-500 for the second. But i also like a lot the an/art-13 with bc-348.
And what about sx-115 coupled with ht-32... Also another cool combination.... Maybe changing girl friend is a better option?  Huh Smiley


Which came first... the radios or the girl friend and which is cheaper to keep?

Rick  WN2C
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