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Author Topic: Portable with good ssb?  (Read 5535 times)

Offline moof

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Portable with good ssb?
« on: April 04, 2017, 0053 UTC »
I have a maybe 8-10 year old Sony 7600 and I HATE the ssb tuning wheel.  It is so sensitive and you never really nail the ssb tuning.  No great complaints other than this other than general ergonomics. What about a Tecsun 880 or 660?  Do you guys have recommendations with the ssb tuning on these or any other ones I should consider in a portable?  No SDR or big radios, already have one of each.

Offline Stretchyman

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Re: Portable with good ssb?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2017, 1225 UTC »
Any Tecsun is fine, all use the same SiLABS chip.
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Offline Josh

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Re: Portable with good ssb?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2017, 1615 UTC »
I had a 660 and it was fine for ambc/swbc but it has a spur every few khz or whatever it is, and I had to set the bfo in every band for decent ssb copy. The 880 may be better but it may also suffer from the spur. I don't think they ever fixed the spur in the 660, got rid of mine for that reason as well as the alignment issues with the master oscillator and bfos. I'd like to try the sangean 990 or whatever it's called.
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Offline Looking-Glass

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Re: Portable with good ssb?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2017, 0941 UTC »
What do you consider to be "portable"?  ::)

I have a Tecsun S-2000 which can be a base radio or portable via battery power. 

Has a rather good BFO for SSB and CW reception.  Quite a good radio for the price, works very well on utility DXing on HF and goes really well on FM broadcast too. 

Have a look via Google and see what you think and what people say about it.  A good starting point. 8)

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Offline MDK2

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Re: Portable with good ssb?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2017, 1426 UTC »
Echoing Looking-Glass, if a radio of the size of the S-2000 (marketed in North America as the Grundig Satellit 750) is portable to you, that's got great SSB. If you're thinking more of receivers like the Sagean 909x, all I can say is that the Tecsun PL-600 (which isn't that popular of a model these days, unlike the PL-660) has terribly distorted audio in SSB mode, unless you attenuate the signal by retracting the antenna, or if you're using an external, if you tune away from the peak a bit. In other words, I would not recommend that model to you.

But the Satellit 750/S2000 has terrific SSB.
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Offline BoomboxDX

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Re: Portable with good ssb?
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2017, 0903 UTC »
Sangean 909X or the earlier model, Sangean 909.

I have the DX-398, the Radio Shack version of the 909. My best radio for SSB, hands down.

Switch to USB or LSB, set the tuning knob to "fine" tuning and you're set. Much better than using a thumbwheel.

909's and 909X's are a little deaf off the whip -- just add some wire. They will also handle external antennas, where a lot of other portables really won't (depending on local and nearby SW signal strengths).
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Offline pinto vortando

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Re: Portable with good ssb?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2017, 1602 UTC »
Another vote for the Satellit 750.  Maybe a bit big for a portable but it does have good SSB performance.
If that is too big for you, try the Tecsun PL-600.  Smaller in size and price but still has nice SSB tuning. 
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Offline moof

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Re: Portable with good ssb?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2017, 0019 UTC »
Well, between the reviews, Ryver, PMs, and here, the portable still came down to Tecsun. That Grundig I'm sure is sweet for ssb but would be like carrying a small boombox and I wanted a single hand radio,  I got the Tecsun 880 off Amazon Prime in 1.5 days.  It has the latest firmware, is more sensitive than the Sony 7600G thing, sounds nicer, and ssb tuning is a dream compared to the Sony.  Lots of bandwidths for shortwave.  It came with a retro pleather case which I will never use, a spool extra antenna which I have not tried, usb cable, cheap earphones, giant poster of features, and simple manual... I'm quite happy with it.  The only ding is there is a sticky spot in the fine tuning wheel every revolution in the same place.  Not a huge thing.  I was already hearing 6950 and 6955 usb dance music a little after 7pm local. I give it 4.5/5 stars because of the sticky tuning wheel and the ssb seemed to be off 0.2 kc on wwv 15 mhz when I first turned it on but later seemed much closer to where it should be so I'm still evaluating that.

Offline MDK2

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Re: Portable with good ssb?
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2017, 0036 UTC »
If that sticking point is right in the center setting, that's by design. It's meant to find the 0 setting since they don't have any markings. Just speaking from my experience with the 600.
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Offline pinto vortando

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Re: Portable with good ssb?
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2017, 0852 UTC »
If that sticking point is right in the center setting, that's by design. It's meant to find the 0 setting since they don't have any markings. Just speaking from my experience with the 600.

ditto,  sounds like that could be a center detent placed there by design 
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Offline moof

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Re: Portable with good ssb?
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2017, 1226 UTC »
I don't think so because it is a continuously turning wheel.  It is not like the Sony where the fine tuning goes only half a turn each direction.

Offline MDK2

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Re: Portable with good ssb?
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2017, 1340 UTC »
I don't think so because it is a continuously turning wheel.  It is not like the Sony where the fine tuning goes only half a turn each direction.

Is it right in the center position?
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Offline dxace1

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Re: Portable with good ssb?
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2017, 1350 UTC »
I have a maybe 8-10 year old Sony 7600 and I HATE the ssb tuning wheel.  It is so sensitive and you never really nail the ssb tuning.  No great complaints other than this other than general ergonomics. What about a Tecsun 880 or 660?  Do you guys have recommendations with the ssb tuning on these or any other ones I should consider in a portable?  No SDR or big radios, already have one of each.

I would recommend the older classic portables, SW55 and especially the Pan RFB65.  I did a comparison that was posted on SWLing Post, of the 909X, a Sony SW100, and the Panasonic and the Pan and Sony blew the 909x away.
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Offline Josh

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Re: Portable with good ssb?
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2017, 1511 UTC »
The 660 has the center indent tuner iirc, and you can never get the master oscillator aligned so upper and lower are at 0 beat on all bands with it centered.
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Offline Bill F

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Re: Portable with good ssb?
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2017, 0131 UTC »
Moof, I still really like the Radio Shack Dx-440 and DX-390.  I think the Dx-440 is really a Sangean ats-803a.  They are not as compact as a kaito 1102,  but they are portable and work well for me.  SSB tuning is an art!
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