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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 91668 times)

Offline Mentholyptus

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #90 on: September 30, 2013, 2017 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.
Location: Ligonier Pennsylvania area
Primary radio: Icom R75
Secondary radios: Kenwood R1000, Icom R9000
Thirdary radio: Tecsun 880 Portable
Antennas: Par EF-SWL - W6LVP Loop - 25 ft  longwire
=====> Please eQSL to:  pm121152@gmail.com  <=====

Offline G7JDH

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #91 on: October 17, 2013, 1940 UTC »
I STARTED WITH A REALISTIC DX 160 AND A 100FT LONGWIRE STRAIGHT INTO BACK OF SET AND A EARTH WIRE GOING STRAIGHT INTO GROUND WHERE A OLD BED MATRESS HAD BEEN BURIED , WORKED LOVELY ESPECIALY ON 80MTR

Offline K5KNT

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #92 on: October 17, 2013, 2047 UTC »
I actually got started with a crystal controlled 10 channel scanner listening to my hometown police.  As for SWL and what I chose on the poll, a Grundig G3.
K5KNT

Offline Mentholyptus

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #93 on: October 17, 2013, 2325 UTC »
I had picked up a used Regency 10 channel crystal scanner when I was in high school... my next step from the Bendix towards SWL! It worked great, but I couldn't listen to it in bed at night with the lights out... the bulbs for the channels were so bright, and all that flashing when it scanned made my room look like a psychedelic disco and I couldn't sleep!! Lol. You could probably pick one of these up for peanuts now, but it was a great little scanner though. Programmable scanners weren't available yet, but when the Bearcat 210 came out, I sold this one and put the money towards a 210.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 0203 UTC by Mentholyptus »
Location: Ligonier Pennsylvania area
Primary radio: Icom R75
Secondary radios: Kenwood R1000, Icom R9000
Thirdary radio: Tecsun 880 Portable
Antennas: Par EF-SWL - W6LVP Loop - 25 ft  longwire
=====> Please eQSL to:  pm121152@gmail.com  <=====

Offline gps29070

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #94 on: October 20, 2013, 0107 UTC »
I had various Realistic portables when I was a kid but really didn't get into shortwave. My first serious receiver was a Soviet made VEF-206 I bought in England for 15 quid. I can still remember the hard clunk whenever I had to switch bands, much like an Old TV tuner. I would spend hours dxing stuff off that thing. I broke the band selector and ending up throwing it away when I moved back to the states.

I have never owned a high end receiver, I use a Tecsun 660 for dxing, pirate and digital broadcast. If I am just listening to broadcast shortwave, I use a CCrane-SW because of the sound. I also own a Grundig G5 and Kaito DE-1103.

Thanks for adding me to the group

Nella F.

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #95 on: October 20, 2013, 2052 UTC »
Actually the folks let me "borrow" their Zenith Transoceanic Model 600 when I was in junior high. I had a "long, long wire" strung out to an oak tree several hundred feet into the "back 40"( It collapsed under its own weight during the first fall wind storm). Then for Christmas of 1964 I got a Zenith Royal 500 (with gold trim). I still have my log book of the 150 or something **( I'm @ the local library) a.m. stations caught (no qsl's though) including KDKA, WWL, KGO with "Ira Blue @ the Hungry Eye", WSL, etc., up to Feb. of 1968. Following shortly afterwards it was Hello NTC San Diego...!


**152!! goodmemory, thank you headstands.  ::)
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 0017 UTC by Nella F. »

Offline BoomboxDX

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #96 on: October 21, 2013, 0359 UTC »
My grandma and grand aunt used to listen to Ira Blue's show on KGO during the late 1960's, on their old Silvertone AC powered transistor AM table radio.  KGO was fairly popular in the NW because of its signal, as well as its talk programs -- way before 'talk radio' became such a big deal.
An AM radio Boombox DXer.
+ GE SRIII, PR-D5 & TRF on MW.
The usual Realistic culprits on SW (and a Panasonic).

Offline Hornet0123

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #97 on: October 22, 2013, 2130 UTC »
My granddad gave me a Zenith Transoceanic when I was 10 years old (1982)  I used that for about 2 years until I got a Realistic dx-400.  Unfortunately the Zenith was ruined when my parents basement flooded.
Now listening on an Afedri SDR with a 450 ft Sky Loop
From the heart of Maine
Pls  QSL to dave [at] cebangor.com

Capt. Radio

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #98 on: November 04, 2013, 1555 UTC »
After I got my first job back in the '60's, I spent my first paycheck purchasing my first shortwave radio. I still remember the excitement when the package arrived! I opened it and saw the crinkle painted grey metal cabinet and all the electronic components, with two circuit boards...cool! I couldn't wait to put it together. After a few evenings with the soldering iron and hand tools, I had a beautifully completed Knight-kit R-100A. It was huge!

I remember the excitement of powering it up for the first time. The tubes came to life with a soft glow. I twiddled the tuning knob on a shortwave band and heard my first station... without hooking up an antenna! It was the powerhouse HCJB... the Voice of the Andes.

That was many years ago, and I am still playing radio.

You know, I really miss that radio with its HUGE blackface S-meter!

--------------------

Update:

Was looking through old photos and found a pic of both "firsts"... my Knight R-100A, and my first ham rig, the Heath HW-16 novice rig. Notice the "woodgrain" mod on the face of both! hi ... hi... After a while, I got tired of the wood look, stripped the contact paper off, and restored the rigs to original. BTW, the goofy looking item on the top of the radios is a pair of headhones with a lot of foam padding around the headband. Without the foam, it was impossible to wear the 'phones for too long without getting a headache.  :D



« Last Edit: November 30, 2013, 1340 UTC by Capt. Radio »

Offline ihmeyers

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #99 on: November 30, 2013, 2301 UTC »
New to the group...Brief intro.

I am 52 and live in SE Florida.  Grew up DXing on Long Island with a Realstic TRF at age 14.  Graduated from that to a GE Super Radio.  I remember vividly getting a new RF-2200 for XMAS when I was 16.  It was an expensive set for my parents to buy me but it was greatly appreciated.  I knew nothing about antenna theory and used a 60 ft longwire strung from my bedroom to the backyard pine trees.  Picked up almost as much QRN as it did signal but I recall logging KSL and KFI early one Monday morning on the RF-2200 hooked up to a timer/tape recorder as a teenager.  Still two of my best catches to date from LI.  Back then I had a friend that lived nearby that was into BCB Dxing.  Both of us wanted to be DJs, he did at one point for a few years.  Me I took a more corporate route...

These days I use an Winradio Excalibur, a tricked out Icom R-75, as well as a Kenwood TS-940.  I live in an HOA community so I am limited as far as antennas go.   I am using a DX Engineering active vertical (28 foot probe) and a Pixel Pro2B loop.

Haven't DXed for pirates in many, many years but was a regular listener and was friendly with the operators of NY's WFAT in the late 70's until they got busted.

Looking forward to contributing to this site.

73,
Ian  :)

Offline NoseyParker

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #100 on: December 30, 2013, 1606 UTC »
I was 9 years old and wandering the lane/alleyway behind our street. In a skip I found an old Valve radio and went home and had Dad put a power plug on it. It didn't explode and I've been hooked ever since... that was 1970... I then graduated to a Sanyo Multiband RF8800(?) tied to a hombrew antenna tuner and 80ft of wire. I've owned a DR49, DR28 (on which I heard KNIX 1570? when living in Wellington, New Zealand) Moved back to the UK in 2009 and recently obtained an FRG-7700 and happy with it through a MFJ-971 tuner (built for ham bands) and a 20m dipole. I have a Yaesu FT847 and 817ND also in the shack along with a Funcube Pro+ dongle. Somehow I still don't have enough gear, you know how it is!  ::)

Offline Dude111

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What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #101 on: December 31, 2019, 0118 UTC »
I think I started with a DX-440 many years ago.....

One thing I didnt like mine was off freq by 1 so if the station was .590 the center on my radio would be .591 .. Were all 440s like that?

Offline ThaDood

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #102 on: December 31, 2019, 1838 UTC »
I can't remember if I rang out on this, but am too damn lazy to go through the 7 pages to see, so... What got me hooked was a 1978 Realistic DX-40 MW/ FM / SW 4 - 22MHz portable. Only single conversion and very prone to IMD with a longwire, but decent FM 5uV sensitivity and selectivity that I was able to DX FM and TV CH6 audio from WNY, PA, and ON, Canada. I was hooked on FM DX'ing 1st, then MW and SW. Kind of wish I still had that portable. A great starter and that 1W amp IC in it sounded great. I can't believe that was now about 40 years ago. http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/html/1978/h131.html
I can't decide upon what's worst, young and stupid, or old and chemically dumbed down.

Offline Josh

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #103 on: December 31, 2019, 2225 UTC »
First exposure to sw was when as a wee lad, we had a big black dial Zenith console in the garage and it worked! BBC story time with Winnie the Poop and etc! This would be around 1974 or so.

Been sw/radio crazy ever since.

Next foray was a few years later, pa let me borrow his portable, dunno if it was a black plastic Sony or Zenith but it had a fold out tray/map thingy and I think a round time calculator thingy too you could turn to see what time it was wherever.
I listened to Radio Moscow preaching about "the evil imperialist capitalists and all their running dogs", with similar porpaganda coming from Radio Tirana, Bejing, Habana, and elsewhere, the hfbc bands where packed cheek and jowl.
The one thing that amazed me was there was even some guy whose job was to read the time every minute, with ticks every second in between reads, couldn't imagine being able to not fall asleep at a job like that.

Needless to say,  even though I turned them on and tuned around and listened to lots of stuff, I did not really understand radio whatsoever.

My HAM uncle gave me a pair of wonky tonkys (walkies) for xmas, we put batteries in them, powered them on, and they had me run to the far side of the yard when I heard my uncle's voice come out of the thing clear as day.

I was flabbergasted! I mean, this is my dork uncle on the other side of the house whose gigantor HAM antenna tower we were forbidden to climb, not some radio station like WHO or whatever!

I kept turning it over and looking in the battery compartment for the tape recorder that my uncle must have used to trick me, but no it was live radio, even had a morse button and morse chart on the face so you could send mcw, not that I had a clue what mcw was then. MCW means Modulated Continuous Wave, the talkies had an audio oscillator to input a 1kc tone into the tx chain if you pressed the cw button.

Later on at about age 12, another great xmas gift from HAM uncle, the rat shack 160 in 1 electronics kit, that got me started in electronics projects on a grand scale and was the basis for my understanding of solid state electronics and radio waves. Later on would have to relearn everything to figure out how tubes worked.

Then many (many) years later, I was reminded of the existence of sw by a high quality boombox that had several sw bands, I'd tune in to some sw station and the missus would turn it right back to some crap fm stereo pop station. She would have to go.

Then, years later, at the same time as a foray into an exciting career in law enforcement, a Halli SX110 for sale was noted in the local paper and I wanted to see what that meant. So I end up carting it home with the original manual, this thing was in great shape and I couldn't wait to get it home and fired up.

Got it home and it worked fb! Simple wire antennas produced sigs on every band! The best part for me was the vertical s meter, way cool. I went to rat shack and found they could get me new tubes so I retubed it and had an even better time with increased sensitivity and so on. The only downside was when the furnace or ac came on the temp change would make it drift a bit so you had to ride the dial to keep those Aussies on 20m ssb tuned in. That began my pastime of preferring to listen to dx work other dx stations.

Then a few months later in a local (Counciltucky IA or Omaha club) HAM club monthly, was an ad for an Icom R-70 for a few paltry hundreds. I had to have it after seeing one in a HAM magazine. Payments were accepted and I can still recall making that last payment, picking it up in a law enforcement vehicle and driving home with it. The gf was def jelly of this new toy.

What a revelation.

Digital readout, absolute stability under most any conditions, selectable filtering, selectable demodulation modes, pre amp and attenuator, reference oscillator adjust right on the top!
It looked and worked like new. Holy crap you could listen to USAF bombers and hq on 6761 and 11176 ssb! Russian volmet on 11297! later on like a fool I traded it to Surplus Sales of Nebraska for a new AEA AT300 pi section antenna tuner cuz the cb bug had hit. Happily enough after the regret set in, saw Universal Radio had a R-70 for sale in an issue of Monitoring Times and called Fred, proposing a swap for a as new AEA AT300 tuner for the R70, and made the deal.

This R-70 was in as good or better shape than the one I had before, and it came with several professionally done mods such as a better AM filter and the legendary FL-44A 2.4kc xtal filter. AM passband tuning as well as preamp on AMBC were other mods, shoulda kept that one but it went somewhere else in trade as I was by then quite trade crazy.

Only thing impressed me as much as going from a halli to an Icom was getting a rig with dsp and a fish finder. And of those I've had many and still do, ate up with radios.

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Offline NJQA

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Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« Reply #104 on: January 01, 2020, 1553 UTC »
I started when I was in 5th grade with a Hallicrafters S-72 receiver that belonged to my Dad.  I enjoyed tuning around, but didnít really know what I was doing.  The S-72 eventually died and I got a Hallicrafters S-120 for Christmas.  The S-120 was a bit better than the S-72, but not by much.  I had really wanted a receiver with an S-meter so I was a little disappointed.  Over the years I learned more about the hobby and got a few QSL cards.  Then one Christmas when I was in High School, I got a used Hallicrafters S-85.  The S-85 had an actual RF amplifier stage (the previous radios ran the antenna straight into the mixer).  OMG, what a difference.  I could hear so much more.  I added a Hallicrafters S-meter right between the dials (it looked just like a SX-99 then) and a Heathkit Q-multiplier.  Using an amplified loop antenna I built, I heard all sorts of AM BCB DX, including trans-atlantics. 

In one of Bill Orrís (W6SAI) books he recommended not getting a top of the line receiver at first, but starting with an entry level set and learning to properly operate it.  Once you have squeezed out all the performance it is capable of, then upgrade.  I can see the wisdom of that, but doubt that anyone has the patience to do that these days.  Plus, today you get so much better performance with even the cheapest radios.  A $100 RSP1A is a zillion times better a receiver than that S-120 was.

I miss that S-85, but canít stand to even look at a S-120.