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Author Topic: Generic Handheld Radio (Numbers Station)  (Read 1178 times)

Offline Calimero

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Generic Handheld Radio (Numbers Station)
« on: November 12, 2020, 1230 UTC »
Hello all first time on here.

Just a quickie, despite being into radios for some time I've just stumbled across the world of number stations. I've been searching online using the Twete Uni site but I'd like,e to try and listen using a handheld radio like the spies would have done.

Any tips on what to get that has the necessary frequency and bands (AM/USB/LSB) etc.

Matt285

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Re: Generic Handheld Radio (Numbers Station)
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2020, 1317 UTC »
Not sure where your at. HM01 is usually a pretty easy catch and broadcast AM quite a bit as far as I know. It's always good to have SSB if it's in your budget. Having a piece of wire you can clip to your small telescoping whip will help you out a bit. This website post a lot of Spynumbers information, but I also like Priyom.org for schedules. It will show you the station, the operating mode and what part of the world the transmission is targeting. Good luck!

Offline Calimero

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Re: Generic Handheld Radio (Numbers Station)
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2020, 1343 UTC »
Thanks, yes I found those websites and have tuned in using the online tools.

I was after a handheld/portable just to have a go using one, something along the lines of a Tecsun etc. I haven't listened to a SW radio since I was a kid so 40 odd years ago.

Offline RobRich

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Re: Generic Handheld Radio (Numbers Station)
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2020, 0221 UTC »
The CountyComm GP-5 is a popular handheld shortwave receiver. It does SSB as well. Under $100, too.

https://countycomm.com/products/countycomm-gp-5-ssb-general-purpose-radio

Add a short wire antenna for better reception. Scrap wire works fine, but assuming you want something a little nicer, here ya' go:

https://countycomm.com/products/shortwave-coil-up-antenna

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Going up in price for handheld models, maybe take a look at the Belka-DX. However, note it only tunes shortwave bands and a tiny portion of the upper mediumwave AM broadcast band. That is fine for HF purposes, just know you will not be getting a general purpose radio with AM, HF, and FM band reception. Also note it does not have an internal speaker, though the option or maybe a kit is expected.... sometime.

http://belrig.by/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=50

If your only interest is HF bands, the Belka-DX is an impressive receiver in a tiny format IMO.

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Alternatively, if you just want a portable general-purpose receiver in a more standard size format, the older but still available Tecsun PL-660 is a good option, again IMO. It is sensitive, delivers decent sound quality, tunes SSB acceptably enough, and has an actually usable AM sync function. There are newer Tecsun portable models, but many of them have DSP-related quirks and issues, so YMMV.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2020, 0239 UTC by RobRich »
Airspy HF+ Discovery | Kenwood R-600 + R-2000 | 2x RTL-SDR V3 + NE602 | Si-Tex 200 | Soft66LC4 | Yaesu FRG-7
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Offline Rizla

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Re: Generic Handheld Radio (Numbers Station)
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2020, 0239 UTC »
Hi Rob, that's the model I was talking about in another thread, the Belka-DX from Belaruss. That's a really beautiful piece of kit. To the OP, I think that would be very close to the 80's cold war dream of what people did to listen to numbers stations.

I think Belka-dx doesn't have a speaker, headphones/ext speaker only, but so tiny!
QTH: Sonoran Desert, AZ. Kenwood TS-820S, FT-891, Tecsun 880, neophyte in a forest of antenna wire.

Offline ThaDood

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Re: Generic Handheld Radio (Numbers Station)
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2020, 1851 UTC »
If you were to get you amateur radio license, the Kenwood TH-F6A is a Swiss Army Knife-like radio, 150kHz to 1.3GHz in all modes RX, but just FM TX on 2M, 222MHz, and 440MHz. It's been my go-to HT for listening to NBFM 175kHz wireless intercoms, the AM MW band, FM BC band, CH19 CB and CH38 LSB on 27MHz, my HF AM and SSB audio, and listening for my audio checks on 6M, 2M, 432MHz, and even 1296MHz, weak signal modes. And, many of these HT's are out there on the used market, since there were so many made and sold, until recently replaced by the new Kenwood TH-D74. Oh... And that 'lil speaker is nice and perky. And, even if you never use this HT to transmit on, these RX'ing capabilities are just nice. However, I still miss my Sony ICF-SW100S clamshell portable. That had succumbed to severed ribbon cables twice.  https://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/ht/0066.html
Since I did electrical training, for being an electrician, decades ago, I thought that I could always fall-back on that. Besides, what other field can you use trade terms like nipples, hickeys, and making male / female connections, without getting into trouble at work?

Offline East Troy Don

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Re: Generic Handheld Radio (Numbers Station)
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2020, 0039 UTC »
Just reaffirming Rob's recommendation:   The CountyComm GP-5/SSB is a heckuva radio for $100.  The ETM (Easy Tuning Mode) works very well scanning and storing up to 100 stations automatically in temporary memory in each band. 
Primary: Yaesu FRG-7700  Secondary: ICOM R75 Tertiary: Grundig  750. Tecsun PL-990X, Sangean ATS-909X . Malahit DSP SDR V3,  Alpha Delta  SWL Sloper antenna. : Also, 1940 Mantola am/sw tube. CountyComm GP-5/SSB hand held, Tecsun PL-380 ,et al.  QTH: EAST TROY WI  USA.  Sea Level: + 320 meters .  75 miles (but not far enough) NNW of Chicago

 

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