We seek to understand and document all radio transmissions, legal and otherwise, as part of the radio listening hobby. We do not encourage any radio operations contrary to regulations. Always consult with the appropriate authorities if you have questions concerning what is permissable in your locale.

Author Topic: Gear required to take the step  (Read 7471 times)

Offline BoomboxDX

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 697
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Gear required to take the step
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2014, 0640 UTC »
The Radio Shack PLL World Receiver (200-0629) I mentioned in the earlier post is made by Sangean, and also has a BFO. $80 new at your local Radio Shack.

Works well on SW (FETs in the RF and IF stages), is probably capable of FM DX as well (extra FET IF stage).

MW section has excellent selectivity, and works great with an external loop.

Has built in protection so you can attach an external antenna without worrying about static electricity zapping the RF transistors (although you would still want to keep it disconnected if there's a thunderstorm).

I have one and it pulls in plenty of stations with just 20 ft. of wire.

« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 1441 UTC by BoomboxDX »
An AM radio Boombox DXer.
+ GE SRIII, PR-D5 & TRF on MW.
The usual Realistic culprits on SW (and a Panasonic).

Offline Essay

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Gear required to take the step
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2014, 1102 UTC »
I own both the Tecsun PL-660 and a Kenwood R-1000 and both a very convenient to use. However, I am at this moment limited by my antenna (I live in a huge appartment block).
A friend of mine has a Degen DE-1102, which is cheaper than the Tecsun, bus also ergonomically less convenient (it has SSB, but no USB/LSB for example). Other nice receivers are the Yaesu FRG-7700 (which is conceptually the same as the Kenwood I have), and some of the Sangean stuff (ATS-909 / 909X). A sony ICF-SW7600GR is also commonly used. Both Sangean and Sony are more expensive than the Tecsun. It all depends on how much you want to pay and the availability in your neighbourhood.
When I move in a few months to a house, I intend to install a random wire antenna with balun. This random wire antenna is simple insulated copper wire hung wherever you have space, preferably as high and as long as possible. The balun can be homemade (just check 9:1 balun on the internet). The ringcore can be scavenged from an old computer mainboard (there are typically about 4 on a computer main board and some extra on the video card). The wire of my balun is made from the wires inside an old printer cable.
If you do not have space fro an antenna, but you have access to the roof, you can try to make a PA0RDT mini-whip (check internet for that).

Nella F.

  • Guest
Re: Gear required to take the step
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2014, 2338 UTC »
Hello, all. I'm new to these forums, so apologies if this isn't the correct place to post this.
I am heavily interested in getting into shortwave listening, specifically for pirate and numbers stations around the globe. I'm a licensed General class amateur radio operator, but I have only done local communications since I've got my license. While it's kept me busy and learning, the bands in my area aren't exactly 'exciting'.
I've always had a huge interest in radio, specifically the oddities and other things you can find on the shortwave, HF areas, which is how I found this forum.
My question is, what are some good pieces of equipment to get me into shortwave listening all over the world? Is it a very expensive investment to get up and running, and what all is required/recommended? Keep in mind that I really only have background with local (VHF and UHF) communications.
A simple $50 HT with a rubber ducky ant will suffice in listening and talking on many of those bands, but obviously not for what I am looking for here. I have heard people getting a basic station for listening up for $100 or less, but I am just wondering what the limitations are to a setup like that, or if that is actually a plausible thing for someone in my position.

Yes I know it's none of my business, however you don't give a clue where you live. IF you're West of the Rockies your pirate "catches" will be few, And forget European pirates. Take a bit of free time & look at the posters locations: 90% + live in the far east & so. east of the U. S. Also, go to www.primetimeshortwave.com & download the pages of the time sort schedules. My experience is stations originating in the So. East/Australia/New Zealand, you know, Eastern Pacific, are easy catches West of the Rockies. Though Romania & Turkey also bounce around.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 2355 UTC by Nella F. »