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Author Topic: all round desktop dx radio  (Read 18193 times)

Offline acl12

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all round desktop dx radio
« on: January 15, 2012, 0902 UTC »
Hi. I need to buy a desktop radio for dxing and am about to buy the eton 750. My budget is small so cant afford anything beyond 300 pounds. My two concerns though are is would it take external aerials especially for an and fm Dxing and would it overspill as a result of poor image rejection. My eton g3 dumps mw stations in lw frequencies. Has anybody got any experience with this reciever or has any other recommendations. I would hate to buy the eton 750 and find it had bad image rejection like the g3. I want the radio primarily for Dx. Any advice would be great.

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: all round desktop dx radio
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2012, 1505 UTC »
At this price range, have you considered getting a used communications receiver? Icom IC-R75s typically sell for $400 or so on eBay, as an example.
Chris Smolinski
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Offline acl12

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Re: all round desktop dx radio
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2012, 1609 UTC »
Do these recievers cover longewave through to the entire shortwave and fm spectrums and can they also be used for regular radio listening ? The icon comes to just under 500 pounds on eBay but found a uniden bearcat 785 xlt base scanner for under 300 on amazon uk. Communications recievers could be the way to go.

Offline Beerus Maximus

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Re: all round desktop dx radio
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2012, 1740 UTC »
An Icom R-75 is a very different beast from a scanner such as the Bearcat. An R-75 is only going receive "regular radio" on mediumwave. However it will only receive analog transmissions. It won't receive digital broadcasts. It will also not receive the FM broadcast band. It will receive in FM mode on HF. It will receive longwave.

I hope that answers your questions...
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Offline acl12

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Re: all round desktop dx radio
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2012, 1912 UTC »
Thanks. I didnt know there was an fm mode for hf. Guessing that must be 30 to 35. I will probably buy eton 750 after all, as it suits my needs for broadcast dxing and amateur shortwave.

Offline mondomusique

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Re: all round desktop dx radio
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2012, 2019 UTC »
"I would hate to buy the eton 750 and find it had bad image rejection like the g3"

I've never used an Eton/Grundig 750, but I have read reviews that have been less than enthusiastic about that radio.  Have you checked the reviews on eham.net ? 

You can get a lot of radio for 300 pounds on the used market.  I would start reading reviews if I was you.  I echo what others have said here, that the Icom R-75 is an excellent radio for shortwave broadcast dx listening.  There are radios offered for sale on Eham.net classifieds and in the various Yahoo radio user groups.
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Offline acl12

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Re: all round desktop dx radio
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2012, 2045 UTC »
Thanks, will checkout eham. The problem is many of these scanners don't cover the frequencies I'm after. Uniden bearcat is vhf and others like the alinco don't cover broadcast fm. I really like the idea of fm and shortwave dxing on one unit. The eton 750 definatly has mixed reviews

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: all round desktop dx radio
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2012, 2059 UTC »
"All band" radios are almost always a compromise. What's your goal for FM listening? DX, or just casual listening? If casual listening, get a cheap FM radio and call it good. Then spend in the other 275 pounds on a decent HF radio. A used communications receiver is an order of magnitude better than any all band portable you're going to buy new. There's simply no comparison.

I echo what mondomusique said, and suggest spending some time looking at reviews, before you buy.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
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Offline acl12

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Re: all round desktop dx radio
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2012, 0449 UTC »
I live on the east coast of England and so my goal for fm was to Dx European stations during tropo lifts. If Dx can be done on a cheap fm reciever and it'd just q case of buying a an antenna then I will do as you suggest and spend the bulk of my money on an hf communications reciever. My last question then is can I fm Dx during tropos on a cheaper fm  reciever and will an hf communications reciever allow me to get all of medium wave and shortwave. Thanks for the advice.

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: all round desktop dx radio
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2012, 1230 UTC »
Back when I was doing a lot of FM DXing, I found that of all things, a used car radio worked best. It had really good sensitivity, and the selectivity wasn't bad either. Plus the analog tuning was handy when you wanted to tune slightly off frequency to get away from a strong station on an adjacent channel. Something to consider, anyway.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
NRD 545 / netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop

Offline acl12

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Re: all round desktop dx radio
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2012, 1933 UTC »
Does the icom r 75 come with everything needed, ie whip antennas and power supply. The cheapest used I can find is about 400 pounds so cannot afford any hidden costs. For example I noticed the alinco came without a power supply and they cost about 100 pounds.

Offline Lex

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Re: all round desktop dx radio
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2012, 2159 UTC »
Universal Radio tells you what comes with the Icom R75 they sell new.  They include the power supply.  They do not include an antenna and most tabletop receivers do not accommodate a typical telescoping whip.

However, whenever you buy a used radio there may be items missing, or the seller may include all the original items plus some extras.  So you'll need to read the ad or auction carefully and ask the seller for specific information.  For example, when I bought my Palstar R30C on ebay a few years ago, the seller included the 12 volt wall wart power supply (which I replaced with my own quieter floor muffin) and the excellent Palstar SP30 cube speaker.

If your budget is really tight right now, I'd recommend getting the most receiver you can for your money and don't worry about the antenna.  This is probably the opposite from most advice, which usually recommends the best antenna you can get, which may improve reception with an ordinary portable.  However, I tried that for awhile and found that most external antennas only overloaded my portables and tended to pick up powerful MW AM signals throughout the shortwave band.  That's when I decided to upgrade from my Sony ICF-2010 portable, which is otherwise an excellent radio.

For example, the Icom R75 - like the Palstar R30-series - includes a high impedance or "Hi-Z" antenna input.  All you need to use that antenna input is a bit of random wire, which you probably already have around your home.

That's all I used back in 2007 and 2008 with my Palstar.  Just some magnet wire strung along the ceiling during the week, and on weekends I'd toss some wire up a nearby tree, maybe 30 feet long total.  I can't leave outdoor antennas up permanently here because the maintenance crew will tear 'em down as soon as they see the wire.  That's why I use magnet wire - it's thin, nearly invisible, and so cheap I don't care if they tear it down and throw it away.

Basically, the Hi-Z input with some random wire behaves just like a portable radio with a telescoping whip.  It's as good, or as bad, as your local noise level.  To give you an idea of what to expect from a receiver like the R75 or R30 with random wire strung along the ceiling, use your portable indoors.  The tabletop with around 10 feet or so of random wire indoors will be slightly better than the portable.

Now take the portable outdoors and try to get at least 10 yards away from any building or power line.  That's about what you'll get with a tabletop and some random wire *outside*, although the tabletop may sound a little better because it offers better selectivity, rejection of spurious signals, and filters which can help minimize interference from adjacent stations.

Later, you can add a better antenna.  A couple of years ago I put together my own passive loop for indoor use, which is much quieter than a random wire antenna, at least below 10 MHz.  There are plenty of designs online for making your own loop inexpensively.  But if you're lucky and you live in an area without too much RFI, you might do just fine with the random wire antenna.

Does the icom r 75 come with everything needed, ie whip antennas and power supply. The cheapest used I can find is about 400 pounds so cannot afford any hidden costs. For example I noticed the alinco came without a power supply and they cost about 100 pounds.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 2208 UTC by Lex »
That li'l ol' DXer from Texas
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Al: Palstar R30C & various antennae
Snoopy: Sony ICF-2010
Roger: Magnavox D2935
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Offline acl12

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Re: all round desktop dx radio
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2012, 1530 UTC »
Thanks for all the advice. Have found a used icom r 72 for 350 pounds which I plan to order this wkend. I couldn't find an r 25 so am hoping this will be as highly recommended

Offline acl12

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Re: all round desktop dx radio
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2012, 1534 UTC »
Meant couldn't find a used r 75 not 25 .

Offline Lex

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Re: all round desktop dx radio
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2012, 1735 UTC »
Check the eham reviews for the Icom R72 before deciding on it or any other receiver.  My 1993 copy of Passport to World Band Radio gave the R72 3-1/2 stars, good but Passport didn't seem to like it as well as some other tabletops.  Eham reviews of the R72 are generally more favorable.

Not that expert and user reviews are always the final word.  My first tabletop - actually a portatop - receiver was the luggable Uniden Bearcat DX-1000, which generally gathered scornful reviews.  In actual practice for more than 10 years it was not bad at all.  It compared favorably with my Sony ICF-2010 and Philips/Magnavox D2935 portables, and was able to handle an outdoor random wire antenna without overloading.  It featured better filters and various features that generally made it handier than the portables, including a tuning dial with a very good feel for bandscanning (much better than the VFO on my Palstar).  The DX-1000 also offered FM mode for shortwave, which was occasionally useful.  I may have heard a North American pirate once in FM mode, but mostly used that option for the local MW AM radio relays, which operated in FM mode above 28 MHz (whoops, make that above 25 MHz - WBAP's local transmitter link is 25.910 MHz in FM).  I used it to snag one of my more interesting QSLs, a low power test by Radio Sweden in the late 1990s or early 2000s, before they switched to Sackville relays via Canada.

If you're in the UK, check around for deals on the discontinued Lowe receivers.  If I'm recalling correctly the HF-150 and HF-225 were very well regarded throughout the 1990s, and still earn good reviews among longtime owners and used radio buyers.  I'm still tempted by the HF-150, for it's unusually flexible AM sync detector compared with other receivers offering sync detection.

Also, the recently available Lowe R-350 is actually the US-made Palstar R30.  It's a very good receiver but pretty much a bare bones rig without the nifty features of the typical Icom, Kenwood or other tabletop.  If you don't mind giving up those features - including the computer control option - a good used Palstar R30 or Lowe equivalent may be a good buy.  However here in the US the Palstar's have held their value very well on the used market and aren't often available inexpensively.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 2235 UTC by Lex »
That li'l ol' DXer from Texas
Unpleasant Frequencies Crew
Al: Palstar R30C & various antennae
Snoopy: Sony ICF-2010
Roger: Magnavox D2935
(Off-air recordings.)
Email=my name at hotmail dot com