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Poll

What Portable Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?

Radioshack DX-398/Sangean ATS-909
5 (4.6%)
Realistic DX-440/ Sangean 803a
9 (8.3%)
Yard Sale (Unknown Brand)
4 (3.7%)
Grundig/Eton Portable Series (List model in a reply post if you like.)
10 (9.2%)
TecSun/Degen Portables(List model in a reply post if you like.)
3 (2.8%)
Other (List model in a reply post if you like.)
78 (71.6%)
Realistic DX-350
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 98

Author Topic: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?  (Read 114203 times)

Offline clobdell

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #105 on: January 01, 2020, 1611 UTC »
I think it was 1960 when I was 8 yo, I was tinkering with an old wooden console Radio/Phonograph combo in the cellar. It had a shortwave band. I would tune it and never hear anything until one day I heard the VOA's old IS "Columbia The Gem Of The Ocean" and I heard a transmitter ID of I think Boundbrook, NJ. Wow I was intrigued. I then saw the screw for a wire antenna. After that stuff like HCJB's "Morning In The Mountains", The BBC, Radio Canada Intl. came in easily! I heard the Algerian war had just ended so I took my scoop up to my dad to tell him. He was taking a nap and was not too pleased. My next radios were a bunch of transistor portables, by GE, RCA, etc.  For Christmas of 1964 I was awarded a Hallicrafters S-120. A big step up. Then the S-200 with spread tuning,  [wow] in 1965. I saw an article in the summer of 1966/1967 in Popular Electronics on the advent of the Drake SW-4. I set my sights on that one and obtained a used one  [SW-4A] in 1968. My DXing career took off ..... 60 meter Africans, etc..... The rest is history.
Receiver: Eton E1, JRC NRD-525, 535 and 545, Icom IC-7300
Aerial: MFJ G5RV dipole
near Lowell Massachusetts - Gateway To The Merrimack Valley.
All loggings are from my QTH with my equipment unless stated otherwise.
QSL to: crlobdell1@gmail.com or
Box 80146, Stoneham, MA 02180
Amateur Radio Station: KC1IUK

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #106 on: January 01, 2020, 2021 UTC »
This is the radio that got me started DXing when I was little... My parents' old Bendix AM table radio from the late '40s. I always thought it looked like a loaf of bread! It still looks pretty cool today, sounded great too, with that wonderful tube-tone sound I still love. I used to lay on the floor for hours turning the knob, listening to WLS Chicago and lots of stations from down south, and who knows where? Wish I still had this radio, but by the mid-1970s it was barely hanging on by the skin of its dial, and my dad finally tossed it out.

My Grandma and I used to listen to the Tennessee Ernie Ford program on one of these before I was Shanghaied by the state into a kid's prison known as Elementary School. She died about two years later, I don't know what became of it when her relatives cleaned out the house while I was down with the measles at an Aunt's.

My Grandpa was always given radios by my TV repairman Uncle. He generally didn't want them, he'd moved on to TV, so I got those. Once I figured out most transistor radios weren't much more than amplified crystal sets, I got picky. A Penny's multiband radio left at the shop was the first radio I got that received SW. I listened primarily to the Swiss Radio Service as I figured they didn't have dog in the fight in the Cold War. My next radio was a Hallicrafters S-120 the neighborhood ham gave me at around 12 to keep me from pestering him on a near daily basis. I've still got that radio, it's bandwidth is as wide as a barn door, but it's a stellar weak signal performer on MW, 160, and 90 meters if you don't feed it too much wire. I got the Ali-Foreman fight from Armed Forces Radio on that thing, which will always put it up near the top of my crappy intro SW radios.

Offline dxace1

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #107 on: January 01, 2020, 2042 UTC »
Pilot Radio T-133 found in my grandmothers' basement in the late 1960s....used this to log at least 75 of my current 225 countries
Dan in Potomac, MD (USA)  eQSL to:  dxace1@gmail.com

Receivers: Skanti R-8001, WJ 8718AMFP/8711A/8709/8712P, JRC NRD-630/301A/93, NRD-505/545/535/515, Drake R8/8B/8A/SPR-4/R-7A, RFT EKD-515, ITT MacKay 3041A, McKay Dymek DR33-C6, AEG 1800/3, Racal RA-1792, Cubic 3280/2400, R&S EK-056/070/085/896/200, ICOM 71A/8500/8600/9000, Elad DuoR, AOR 7030, Lowe HF-250, Ten Tec RX-350, Yaesu FRG-8800/100, Collilns 51S-1...and more!

Offline Ct Yankee

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #108 on: January 16, 2020, 2106 UTC »

So, we were 5 kids, I the oldest, with 1 TV.  Due to sharing the tv, most of the times my sports following was via radio.  Perhaps my father's transistor that I made mine was my first radio, listening to far away baseball games in the late 60's got me into DXing.  My parents figured they could keep one kid occupied with a radio so they got me a Denon Multi-band portable radio ( a Zenith T/O 7000 imitation) for Christmas '69 or '70 (age 12 or 13).  I then discovered the dozen of international broadcasters and hooked to the outside TV antenna for better reception. I had that radio through residences in four different states.  Upon marriage and kids, the hobby was put aside for several years.

In the late 90's, I was given a Sears gift card, in the local Sears' discount rack was a Grundig Yacht Boy, I picked it up and got back into the hobby.  In the early 00's, I went to a barn sale in Pennsylvania with my father.  A '36 Emerson (Ingraham cabinet) AR-176 in terrible shape was awaiting a buyer for a song.  My son helped me throw up the long wire, I did some work on the radio, had someone I know finish it off - looks like it just came off the production line.  Since then, have been fully back into the hobby.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 2137 UTC by Ct Yankee »
Tecsun H501x (broadcast received on this unless noted), Zenith T/O G500, Zenith T/O Royal 7000, Emerson AR-176, Zenith 8S154, T/O 7G605 (Bomber), Tecsun PL-600, Tecsun PL-880, Zenith 5S320, Realistic DX 160 using 40 feet of copper wire.  With apologies to Senator Gramm for his thoughts on firearms, "I have more radios than I need but not as many as I want."
QTH:  Durham, Connecticut (rural setting, 15 miles north of Long Island Sound)
qsl please to:  jamcanner@comcast.net  (Thank you)

Offline Orb

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #109 on: February 23, 2020, 1514 UTC »
The Hallicrafters S-120, my father bought it and I ended up using it all the time. Still remember listening to the broadcasts I could pickup with my coat hanger antenna because I didn't know any better. Many radios since but I still have that one on my desk.

Now with an overload of access to information, I am thankful I grew up when radio was still the best source for hearing all types of programming, news, mysterious numbers and of course strange but delightful broadcasts you could stumble upon while tuning across the dial.
Hallicrafters S-120, Realistic DX-440
Sangean ATS909, GP5/SSB, Kaimeda SRW-710S
eQSLs much appreciated velkelnar at protonmail dot com

Offline nickcarr3151

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #110 on: February 24, 2020, 1951 UTC »
Technically my first radio was the Radio Shack Patrolman that my grandmother gave me when I was ~11 years old or so.  Since I was probably 9-10, I always played with my grandfather's crystal base scanner when I visited.  I guess she noticed and ended up giving me the Patrolman later on.  (She only used it for AM BCB listening when cooking.)

I was blown away since it had multiple bands to play with.  They owned an apple orchard in Yakima, WA and back then it was too easy to pick up just about any RF signal.

My first purchased SW radio was the Radio Shack DX-390 with 5khz tuning steps.  It had a SSB BFO but that was useless on the HAM bands due to the tuning step size.

Then in 1994 I was able to purchase a *REAL* SWL rig -- the Drake R-8.  Oooh... Ahhh...
Perseus SDR + Wellbrook ALA100LN (60m loop), Wellbrook 1530S+
ICOM 7000 + Zero-Five 10/40 GP Vertical
Xiegu G90
Motorola XPR/XTS Portables, Uniden scanners, Whistler Scanners
Airspy Mini SDR + DSDPlus + Diamond D3000N Discone

Offline rickc1970

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #111 on: March 01, 2020, 0600 UTC »
I started with a Lasonic dual cassette boombox that had shortwave on it. I had that radio until someone stole it out of my vehicle when I was moving. Years later I got back into listening when I bought my Kaito 1103.

Offline Dude111

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What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #112 on: March 01, 2020, 1825 UTC »
Wow I am so sorry someone would do that :(

I am glad you didnt give up though and got back into it :)

Offline Thermionic

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #113 on: March 12, 2020, 1332 UTC »
My first radio was by way of a Christmas present. I received it when I was 17, a few months after I'd joined my local radio club. The model a Pye 1101A.

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/pye_1101.html

As it was a table model, it lacked a BFO, which meant I couldn't resolve SSB or CW stations. This was solved by using a Class D wave meter.

https://www.royalsignals.org.uk/photos/classDno1.htm

https://www.vanzwamcs.com/greenpages/Wavemeter/Wavemeter_Mk%20II-I/Wavemeter.htm

I coupled the wave meter to the antenna lead which fed the RX and by using the second crystal which covered 1900 to 4000 Khz or 4000 to 8000 KHz I was able to zero beat the frequency and resolve the SSB.

One night I wondered if there was anyway I could modulate the 1mHz crystal. I got hold of a piece of two core wire and four crocodile clips, at one end I clipped the terminals of the loudspeaker of my record player, while at the other end I used one clip connected to the chassis of the wave meter, the other clip went to one of the pins of the crystal. Guess what, it worked. Every 1mHz I could hear what was coming from my record player. I unsoldered one of the leads from the amplifier to the speaker terminal and screwed it to one of the crocodile clips. From now on I used the Pye RX to listen to my records.

I had some copper wire which I used as my antenna which went from the shack (my bedroom) to one of the poles which held the washing line in the garden. I found I could hear my record player  when held a transistor radio in close proximity to the antenna.

Later I used the same method of using the 465kHz IF of an AM transistor radio. TRX1 connected to a record player or whatever tuned to 1600kHz while I listened to it on 1135kHz via TRX2. The range was limited to a few inches, but when I used the 10.7mHz IF of an FM transitor radio I found I could hear my record player more than a few yards away from the house.

I've had many radios since to numerous to mention. I had to give up my hobby when I moved into retirement accommodation due to QRM from the CCTV and the fire and security alarms, but thanks to WebSDR radio which I've only just found I can resume the hobby.

Offline syfr

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #114 on: March 12, 2020, 1449 UTC »
Radio Shack STAR ROAMER regen that I built with the help of my dad.

It worked to the extent the design allowed it to work! 

Sure looked good though.
Kiwsdr x 2. TenTec Paragon/NRD535

Offline Charlie_Dont_Surf

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #115 on: March 14, 2020, 1813 UTC »
I suppose that the first was an old RCA radio from the 1930s with MW and HF coverage. It lacked sensitivity (I realize now that it needed a tune up and some new tubes) but it was good enough for the major international broadcasters. It was a large stand-up radio (not sure of the correct term) that one might put in their living room/foyer with a dark mahogany laminate exterior and an electric eye to indicate signal strength.

Second was my father's Collins 75A4, but that received the HF ham bands only.

Third was a Hammarlund HQ-180A, which was general coverage. I used that all through high school.

I didn't get a portable until well after college.
I don't STRETCH the truth.

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Every minute Charlie squats in the bush, his signal gets stronger."

Offline Teotwaki

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #116 on: March 21, 2020, 1436 UTC »
Hmm. It had grey paint and those empty glass things that got hot. I loved to listen to contests that a station in Hilversum, Holland would run late at night. Much later it was replaced by a low-end Kenwood, then I think an Icom R-71 which finally gave way to the NRD-525 that I still have.
Jim
NRD-525, Elecraft KX3 and Elecraft PX3 Spectrum Display
76' end fed long wire & 66' off-center fed dipole for 10/20/40 meters
Orange County, SoCal, The better half

Offline pjxii

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #117 on: March 29, 2020, 0331 UTC »
I love reading this thread, great idea to start it!  I'm actually going to websearch the radios that I'm not familiar with, especially the old portables.

My first SWL experience was a cheap multiband that had a broken whip antenna in our kitchen when a kid.  I put a metal coathanger in it and stuck my arm through that. I spent my summer vacation that year listening to the BBCWS during the day and RCI at night, that was all that came in on that dog. When my mom wanted me out of "her" kitchen my dad found a Rising FM-500 at a flea market. Bedside with a 15' wire in an L across my room I heard the world for years, including Radio New Zealand when they still used the old 7.5 KW transmitter. (1980s). I couldn't believe I found another brand new one on eBay a few years back, made by Rising but marked as Merc. Someone else must have had one as a kid because in a bidding war it went from a starting bid of $30 to my winning bid of $89 (I really shouldn't tell you what my actual high bid was...). Now I have an R7A and a couple of professional receivers among others, but nothing will compare to what that Rising gave me when it comes to enjoyment of the hobby.

Offline Teotwaki

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #118 on: March 29, 2020, 0336 UTC »
I recalled the model of my first "modern" receiver, the Kenwood R-2000

Jim
NRD-525, Elecraft KX3 and Elecraft PX3 Spectrum Display
76' end fed long wire & 66' off-center fed dipole for 10/20/40 meters
Orange County, SoCal, The better half

Offline Josh

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #119 on: March 29, 2020, 1820 UTC »
Thing I note abt this thread is there's a shtload of people who used to post here and don't anymore.
We do not encourage any radio operations contrary to regulations.

 

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