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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Gladding Gulfstream Multiband RDF Radio Help

Reviews Summary for Gladding Gulfstream Multiband RDF Radio
Reviews: 1 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $399
Description: Marine and Broadcast Band Radio Direction Finder (RDF) with AM/FM/MB/LW/VHF Marine and Weather Bands
Product is in production.
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BODEN Rating: 4/5 Aug 14, 2009 13:37 Send this review to a friend
Excellent AM DX Receiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After spending some time DX’ing MW stations with various radios and antennas, I picked up this Gladding Gulfstream Multiband RDF radio from someone who had used it very briefly, as it was in immaculate condition, particularly the internals. The Gladding Gulfstream is a manual radio direction finder (RDF) receiver with a top mounted swiveling ferrite rod loopstick antenna and a separate compass rose. It has LW, Marine, AM, FM, VHF and weather bands, and can function as an RDF with the first three bands. It also has two separate whip antennas, one for FM/VHF and one that functions as a sense antenna to verify correct (180-degree) orientation of the ferrite rod antenna. The Gulfstream can be powered by either 4 ‘C’ cells or via the mains using its built in 120VAC power supply. The band switch is uncommonly hard to turn; it seems to have been made that way as I have examined and cleaned/lubricated it without effect. The DF meter, DF gain, and DF switch work flawlessly, and the tuning dial is smooth, though it lacks the precision and accuracy of modern tuners across all bands.

In a word, this radio is very sensitive on both long wave and medium wave frequencies. Using only the built-in directional ferrite antenna, I could listen to weak AM stations on the Gulfstream that were only barely and intermittently readable on my other AM band radios with directional antennas, even when the latter were positioned for best reception and occasionally boosted with a home-made loop. If you want to pick up two or three stations on the same frequency, the Gulfstream’s rotatable ferrite rod will accomplish this task with its excellent directionality; I was able to effectively null the signal of nearby Mexican AM blowtorch transmitters with a simple rotation of the loopstick antenna. I tested the RDF function by marking the null point of the antenna to an AM broadcast tower 60 miles away. The transmitter was located within 2 degrees of actual position. Using the radio on the mains did not seem to add any RFI interference or noise on the broadcast band.

On LW, the Gulfstream picked up three NDB beacons not previously heard on a VHF portable. The ‘Marine’ band is actually 1.6 – 4.0 Mhz and was able to pick up some stations at night, though only domestic and Mexico broadcasts. SSB ham transmissions can be deciphered using the BFO control.

VHF reception was good but not outstanding, a better (longer) or external antenna might help. There is no squelch control which I found to be a serious disadvantage for listening on these frequencies. FM (monaural only) reception was also good, though I have not tried to capture stations greater than 90 miles away. U.S. weather broadcasts can be tuned and clearly heard on the VHF band, or by sliding a three-position switch to one of two positions (WB1, WB2) independent of the analog dial.

The radio’s strongest performance is on the LW and MW bands, and for $50 used, it has excellent value-for-money as an AM DX radio.

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