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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: 99

Author Topic: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?  (Read 91667 times)

Offline skeezix

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2012, 2349 UTC »
My first one was a Sony ICF-2010 back in 1988. Sits next to my bed today and listened to it this morning. Will listen to it tonight. Rarely is it off.

Before I got the ICF-2010, went to a local radio store and was looking at the different models. The first one I picked up was a Panasonic RFB-60.  Turned it on & tuned around. We were in a store, so reception was mediocre. VOA boomed in on 15410 kHz, with George Collinet & The Sound of Soul. He was playing "Tomorrow People" by Ziggy Marley. Sales guy said the ICF-2010 was a better model and I should save up for that if that was an option. Did exactly that and here nearly 24 years later, still running well. Cost $335 back in 1988, which breaks down to $13.96 per year since then (the cost of 3 beer per year).

A few years later, picked up a National NC-173. First tube radio.

Around 2003, got an NC-183D off of eBay. They said it was NIB until 1998 and wanted around $300. I thought "sure" and got it anyway.  It was shipped and upon opening it, the only imperfection on it is a very slight scratch on the side, but can't see it unless looking for it. Sounds fantastic with the dual 6V6's and a big National speaker. Thing still looks like it was made within the past year or two.

Have acquired a few others over the years, with the most recent acquisitions being a Sangean ATS-909X (which went on a nice vacation to the South Pacific for some DXing at the beach) and a Perseus SDR (and I can take a virtual vacation all over the world with the remote receivers). Have hooked the Perseus hooked up to a reel-to-reel deck for recording.

As I write this, listening to a Ray-Jefferson 640/DF. Audio quality is medicore (not designed for music), but sure is a good on sensitivity and the rotatable loop is very nice.

However, back in the 70's when I was but a yute, parents had a Panasonic R-1599 AM radio. Remember listening to that & tuning around. Unfortunately, don't remember if I was doing any MWDXing. That radio is long gone, but picked up one of the same model a bunch of years ago and still listen to it.

« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 0015 UTC by skeezix »
Minneapolis, MN

Offline Beerus Maximus

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #31 on: February 18, 2012, 0240 UTC »
Like many people, my journey into SWL had some twists and turns. In the 1980's, I had a few neighbors that had scanners to listen to local police and fire. Around the same time, I kind of got into listening to AM radio late at night with my dad's old Kenwood stereo receiver from the 70's. All things radio were starting to converge in my mind.

I convinced my dad to buy me a Regency handheld scanner for Christmas, maybe in the 1987 or 1988 timeframe. It was a lot of fun. Not long after, I of course decided I wanted to talk into a radio. I think I picked up a cheap Radio Shack CB handheld and made some local contacts. At a yard sale, not long after, I picked up a GE mobile CB for a buck or two. With an attic dipole I was really in business. I somehow ran across Pop'Comm or Monitoring Times at a local CB store, or maybe a newsstand. I'm not sure. Became fascinated with the pirate radio column.

Not long after that I got an Icom IC-725 which was the first all-HF rig I've had - I still own it, but I'm not sure it's operational. Provided many hours of pirate listening, as well as general SWL and utility listening duty. Fast forward about 25 years and I'm still at this crazy hobby. My current shack is pretty indulgent by my standards. Two new HF transceivers, and associated toys. Radio will always be my #1 hobby.

Beerus shack today:

« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 0248 UTC by Beerus Maximus »
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Offline uhclem

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2012, 0848 UTC »
I first started listening on my Great Grandmother's Westinghouse WR-228. Maybe it's just my memory playing tricks but that old tube behemoth was the best sounding rig I've ever heard. I'd spend hours tweaking that vernier VFO to get the signal sounding just right. It also had the word "POLICE" on the dial, just above the broadcast part of the MW band. Although I never heard anything there, it was my first inkling that radio was more than just Perry Como, The Beatles and Doris Day. From there I moved on to a Trans-Oceanic from the late 50's/early 60's (which I still have) and discovered SW broadcast, number stations, WWV and The Woodpecker. Yeah, now I have my ham ticket and the radios I own have features I couldn't have dreamed of when I was seven, but that old Westinghouse had enough magic built in that I'm still hooked.

Offline melliferal

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2012, 0234 UTC »
Back in the 90's, I became very interested in radio as a kid after hearing a numbers station on a friend's handheld Uniden during a camping trip; unfortunately I was only able to buy myself a receiver two years ago. A Grundig G6, which picked me up some Capt Morgan and Wolverine Radio this very evening.
Alexandria, LA
melliferal[AT]yahoo.com
Grundig G6 Buzz Aldrin Edition, whip antenna

Offline aurora

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #34 on: February 26, 2012, 0152 UTC »
I got started with the Allied Knight-Kit Star Roamer in 1969. I loved building it and watching the tubes glow the first time I powered it on. I got alot of use out of that radio and I still have it sitting on the shelf.

I purchased the Radio Shack DX-160 in 1975. It was a great radio and much superior to the Star Roamer (but what isn't).  I listened to alot of utility stations especially the NASA recovery stations in the Atlantic for every Apollo launch. It was much easier hearing pirate stations with this radio so I was camped out on 7300-7500 khz most of the time.

I upgraded to the Kenwood R-600 Communications receiver in 1983. This remained my primary shortwave receiver for a long time (decades) and it served me well. One of the most interesting aspects of this radio was the ability to monitor the new 'cordless' telephones that were popping up in the 1700 khz band. I was amazed at how far the signals traveled on those cordless phones.

My primary radio these days is the Icom IC-756Pro3 for the shack and the Sony ICF-SW7600GR for traveling. This Sony portable is a great radio. I am always amazed at how well I hear the pirate stations on just the whip antenna. I had no problem listening to WEAK Radio while relaxing in my hotel room on St. Martin in the Caribbean.

I have tried several of those 'disposable' shortwave radios - the ones that can be found for sell in blisterpaks for under $30. Most of them usually do not work when needed or don't cover the entire shortwave spectrum especially 6900-7300 khz. One exception I found was the Marathon ETFR (Emergency Task Force Radio). This radio is smaller than a pack of cigarettes, has a built in LED light and even covers the 6800-7300 khz band. It was originally designed for the Canadian Forces in cold weather environments.  It is a great little radio that I carry around in the outdoors and the best thing is that the batteries never die!
eQSLs appreciated! Send to: aurora6925 (at) mail.com
Icom 756Pro3 rig & Carolina-Windom ant
Pittsburgh PA

Offline hammarhead

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2012, 2338 UTC »
My first receiver was a Hallicrafters S-53A that my Dad owned. He had used the radio while in Guam during the Korean War and it had been just sitting in our basement for years until after much begging and pleading he finally set it up and turned it on. At 11 years old I was amazed to hear all the stations with people speaking different languages come through the speaker. It was also an ear opener to hear how much other people hated America in the hey days of Cold War propaganda. I have had the radio bug ever since!
Location: NE Ohio

Offline Bowman1

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #36 on: April 11, 2012, 0104 UTC »
Sometime in the mid-70s, my brother put me in front of his Sony Earth Orbiter and handed me an earplug. He told me that, if I was REALLY quiet (translation: don't bug me), I could hear stations from all over the world. I spent the rest of the night listening to stations from all over the world in foreign languages and accents I'd never heard before. I was hooked, but didn't have much of an outlet for my fascination until I got a Realistic DX-360 for Christmas in 87. KUSW went on the air a few days later, and I was hooked all over again.

« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 2042 UTC by Bowman1 »
Receivers: Elad FDM-SW2  r390a, WJ-8718, Microtelcom Perseus
Antennas: 65' sloping vertical, Pixel Technologies magnetic loop, Array Solutions SAL-30
QSL info: bowman1 [at] gmail

"Bowman, what are you doing hanging out in grocery store parking lots? Kinda creepy."

Offline Indy DXer

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2012, 0148 UTC »
First radio was a Panasonic boombox with some shortwave bands on it.

Graduated to an ICF-2002 a year later.

Mowed a lot of yards and traded up to an ICF-2010 a year after that. Used that wonderful radio for 15 years.

Got back into the hobby for the first time, briefly, on a Drake R8B that I used far too little and eventually dumped on eBay.

My latest restart to listening is on a Sangean ATS-909X. While I've only been listening again for couple months, I'm already getting rig envy and dreaming about stepping up to something bigger and better.
Icom R-75
EF-SWL in the attic
40-some feet of pirate wire hid from the neighbors outside
Carmel, IN

Offline Danoman

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2012, 1503 UTC »
Found this thread, Googled some images and WHAM........there on the first page was my boyhood best friend.
A Lloyd's portable I spent a whole summer cutting grass to purchase.
Spent many a sleepless night surfing the HF bands with this POS.

central Louisiana
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Offline zackers

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2012, 0004 UTC »
Found this thread, Googled some images and WHAM........there on the first page was my boyhood best friend.
A Lloyd's portable I spent a whole summer cutting grass to purchase.
Spent many a sleepless night surfing the HF bands with this POS.



That looks a LOT like the radio I started with. But the one I had went under the name of "Passport" and I think it had a band switch instead of buttons. It was stolen out of my car in 1980. I haven't been able to find any info or photos of that radio.
East Central Illinois
TS-850S, 40 meter full-wave loop, various dipoles

Offline S. McArdle

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2012, 0114 UTC »
I still have mine.  Here it is.  A Ross, 11 Band portable.  From the early 70's.  My first shortwave radio.  Got it as a gift.  Think it was purchased at a retailer, popular in the midwest back then I think, by the name of "Ardan's."  It was very "touchy" to tune in on the station.  Notice the small amount of dial space between 9 & 10 mhz.  One small little movement, and seems like you would jump 500 kcs.  Almost all of my shortwave station qsl's were obtained using this receiver.

Left-click on image to make it bigger.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 0134 UTC by S. McArdle »
Kenwood TS-590,75m square loop up 43' for all prior to 1-11-15, then ocf inv vee at 80' beginning 1-11-15. Best 73's de Scott, 3500 S. Boulevard,Suite 18C,Edmond,OK 73013
PLS QSL to:mcardlelawoffice(at)netzero(dot)com. 1st ever pirate logged was The Voice of Anarchy on 1-17-98

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #41 on: April 28, 2012, 2256 UTC »
It was Arden's,Scott. They're still around,but not like they were.

I had an earlier version of that radio. My Grandpa gave it to me when he bought his first scanner. It had a bandswitch knob instead of the pushbuttons and a bfo knob for ssb.The SW section was so-so,but that thing was a stellar receiver on MW and sounded great on all bands.

I had that radio until mid-90's,when a catnip addled tomcat misjudged his landing and knocked it off a shelf. He was a good cat,but he had bad habits.

Offline MrHellion

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #42 on: May 03, 2012, 0726 UTC »
My first receiver my parents got me for my 18th b-day.

I asked for a Rolex, almost got one until they saw the price !!

So I settled for a ICF-7601. This was during the first Gulf War and was
able to hear Radio Baghdad go off the air as the transmitters were bombed.

After buying a Passport to World Band Radio, I read up on a Magnavox D2935 with that crappy "chicklet" keypad. I found one at a local shop for the low price of only 50 bucks !

After that radio was stolen out of my car, I bought a YB400. Great radio for what it was at the time.

Got a ham ticket in the mid 90s and bought a IC-706 MKII. Used that for a few years and now have my venerable TS-2000X now. Terrible on AM, but does work. Would do it different with what I know now.

Great thread btw Corq !!!

 


Offline Chanter

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #43 on: July 13, 2012, 1918 UTC »
My first DXing attempts were made via car radio, old rabbit ears-antenna'd televisions, and at least two headsets/Walkman thingies of unknown brand.  I didn't know what I was attempting to do - catching stations from far-off locales like ooooooh, Michigan, aaaaaah, Iowa and ooooooh, Illinois - had a name.  I just knew it was thrilling!  My TV DXing attempts never really went anywhere, but I was forever having a go at picking up distant FM stations and, usually on hot summer days, I'd succeed.  MW DXing was harder, as I was leery of talk stations - bo-ring! said the me whose age could be written in single digits.  I do remember hearing French spoken on the AM dial once or twice, which was quite exciting.  I now suspect I was hearing CJBC on those evenings.  :)  

I was forever poking around the AM and FM dials as a teenager as well, though generally looking for old radio shows.  If I snagged a distant station, all the better!  I used to tune in episodes of 'When Radio Was' being broadcast on an MW station from Virginia almost nightly.  Wish I could remember those call letters, if I ever knew them.  I was forever being annoyed by WBZ in Boston drowning out WHO in Des Moines via co-channel interference on Sunday nights; what a pain in the bum when your favorite program is on and you can't hear for the splatter!  

My first actual SW receiver was a DX-398, given to me as an eighteenth birthday gift.  I was crazy excited!  I spent that afternoon sitting on my bed with my ear to the speaker, having zero clue about bands, frequencies or pretty much anything else, tapping buttons and delightedly spinning along the dial.  One of the first, if not the first, broadcasters I ever heard was the Voice of America, specivically Nightline Africa.  I still like that show, even though I'm in the heart of the Midwestern U.S. and not anywhere or anyone near the target audience.  Heh.  :)  Later that evening, I was joyful at catching the BBC over shortwave for the first time.  My mother was in the room, and I think I left her a little bemused.  :)  That DX-398 is still my receiver, and still serves me very well.  Now if I could just figure out how to shut off the timer I accidentally set on it...  
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 1932 UTC by Chanter »
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QSL's appreciated 

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RNW forever.

Offline rwfisher

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #44 on: August 25, 2012, 1703 UTC »
We had a Zenith transoceanic on the sailboat when i was a kid.  I eventually bought a Grundig YB and a Sony ICF-SC1, which were just enough to make me want better receivers.  Now i've got an ICOM PCR1000 to toy around with, and a Sony ICF-SW7600 at work.  Eventually I'll probably pick up one of the RFSpace SDRs, but first I want to get my antenna array back up an running worth a hoot.....

I still have the Zenith...I just have to figure out how to restring the *$Y$! cords between the tuning knob and the capacitors....