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Author Topic: What radio should a beginner get for shortwave listening (Under 90 USD)  (Read 8800 times)

Offline d3crypt

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I have a budget of at max 90 dollars. I want to get the best radio for listening in that range. I already have an rtl-sdr, Baofeng BF-F8HP, and YARD Stick ONE. I am looking at the Tecsun PL-600. Would that be a good one? http://amzn.com/B00ESUOMFW

Offline Stretchyman

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Yes any of the Tecsun range and their clones, they all use the same chip, Si4734 et al from SiLABS.

The radio therefore is DSP and leagues ahead of anything previous especially at the price range.

That or an SDR kit if there's one at that price.

Good Luck!

Str

 :)
'It's better to give than receive' so why RX when you can TX!

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Offline ff

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I have no experience with the PL-600.  However, the PL-660 is a GREAT radio for the price.  My 660 has a few microprocessor-related quirks that don't diminish my experience one bit because I really don't use much of that electronic overkill.  As far as being a RECEIVER, it outperforms any of the Sangeans I have owned-INCLUDING the 909.  Others might disagree but I think its a killer portable radio.  Kaito is the best place to buy because they are the authorized distributor and can better take care of any problems you have.
Hailing from the upstate boondocks region of the progressive paradise which once was New York State

Offline moof

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Yes totally tecsun 600.  You may be able to get that $30 off deal starting the amazon credit card too.  Not like you have to ever use it, but i charge everything on mine and get 1-3% amazon $ back so I get myself a free present monthly.  Cmon, you know you'd rather have that lube delivered in a brown box than have some humanoid scrape it over the scanner at the town CrapMart and look at you wondering in its feeble mind what you might do with it. Not that I reward us with lubricants.  Usually.

Offline Fred Smith

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Either Tecsun. Or maybe a down converter for your RTL, or the one of the combo Rtl/converters on Amazon Or eBay. EBay might be cheaper.
FT-920, SDR Play and others. 80 meter doublet/openwire feed, 80/10 OCFD, 400 BOG  NE/SW unterminated

Offline ff

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you know you'd rather have that lube delivered in a brown box than have some humanoid scrape it over the scanner at the town CrapMart and look at you wondering in its feeble mind what you might do with it.

 ;D Geezuz moof!  ;D

Or maybe they're wondering why you're paying good money for that fancy schmancy mojo slick when you could just go to the back door down at Jiffy Lube and Goober would give you with a whole mayo jar of waste oil for a couple of Loosies... :o
Hailing from the upstate boondocks region of the progressive paradise which once was New York State

Offline moof

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This is the "Equipment" forum right?  So what prompted that response?  Maybe 5-6 drinks by bedtime.  Maybe wife telling me her friend at work knows someone that works at a nearby Amazon distribution center.  She asked them "What do you box up the most of?"  Answer "dildos."
I believe it.  I searched a year ago for the heaviest auto or marine grease I could find to help seal the rusting gas cap channel on a dying old car.  Initial results included gems something like Twinkie Armstrong's An** Fis**** Lu**.  New and improved with lidocaine!  5 stars.  100 users overjoyed.  I browsed in awe looking at things I never guessed would have existed and the explicit reviews.  Some of those things come in 1 gallon+ containers.
So yeahhhh Tecsun 600.

Offline ff

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This is the "Equipment" forum right?  So what prompted that response? 

Whatever prompted it - it was GREAT!  Lit me up like a Christmas tree... 73!  ;D
Hailing from the upstate boondocks region of the progressive paradise which once was New York State

Offline d3crypt

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So its down to the Tecsun PL 600 or an RTL-SDR Upconverter.

Offline redhat

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Just remember, "There's butter in the refrigerator"....

I also vote for the Tecsun at that price point.

+-RH
Somewhere under the stars...
WinRadio Excalibur/305 w/ a chi-town resonant loop, Kenwood KDC-U356 for mobile listening.
Please send QSL's and reception reports to xfmshortwave [at] gmail [d0t] com

Offline Liberty

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Re: What radio should a beginner get for shortwave listening (Under 90 USD)
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2016, 1700 UTC »
I've had pretty good luck with the Grundig radios Rat Shack Sells. Though nearly all of them start showing signs of issues after a few years.

Offline William Hassig

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Re: What radio should a beginner get for shortwave listening (Under 90 USD)
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2016, 0146 UTC »
Try looking at estate sale sites. A few years ago I got a used Kenwood R2000 for $100 at an estate sale. I also got 2 scanners for $15 each at that sale.
Drake R8, Kenwood R-2000, Panasonic RF-4900, Sony 2010, Realistic DX440, Grundig Satellit 500, 7mhz backyard dipole, Mt Prospect, IL 20miles (32km) NW of downtown Chicago. williamhassig@yahoo.com

Offline Looking-Glass

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Yaesu FRG-7700 is a good entry level radio, simple and good to use with some nice features plus digital readout.  Kenwood R-2000 another good radio. 

Amateur radio field days and radio club swap meets are a great way to pick up a bargain, make sure it works properly though before parting with the cash...Caveat Emptor!
Hermitage Flat, NSW.

Grid Square:  QF56dm.

Yaesu FT-2000D, ICOM IC-736 HF/50MHz, ICOM IC R75 & Tecsun S-2000 to 450 feet of wire, and a multi band vertical of dubious reliability.

Offline Josh

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If you just want a portable sw set the tecsuns and the like are fine. If you're looking for a sdr rig, you already know the shortcomings of the rtl. If looking for more HF capabilities I suggest as a starter/real sdr the sdr-iq, they can often be found around $300 used. I think an sdr-iq for $300 is about the best bang for the buck.
Conveniently located near Vincennes Indiana.

Offline d3crypt

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So I finally got my radio after all this time. Its a new Grundig G3 Global Traveler. Its kickass to say the least.