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Author Topic: Please recommend some good MW and LW DX radios  (Read 1008 times)

Offline Ray Lalleu

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Re: Please recommend some good MW and LW DX radios
« Reply #30 on: June 30, 2020, 0157 UTC »

I still haven't managed to build MW Loop yet. I am planning to order some wire first. I was looking for some thin wire for the turns around the plastic box, but the lengths of the wires I have is not enough. And I must find a variable capacitor from the tool box too.  I think that is all I need for the parts.


A discarded vacuum cleaner is a good source for enamelled copper wire (only the stator wire can be salvaged). AC motors from other appliances can do as well, but they are much more heavier to carry from the curb!

Small 'dice' variable capacitors can be found in many discarded analog radios, but usually they are not left on the curb. Try garage sales. Many clocks radios available for peanuts. If you find one in a very small set, think to use the variable capacitor without removing it from its box, just disconnect the AM gangs from the printed card to connect them to the outside big crate loop.

BTW, old radios are also an easy source for transformer cans. The 455 kHz cans are useful for MW, the 10.7 MHz cans are useful for SW. (Avoid the LO coil can for FM, not a transformer, and the core material is probably best around 100 MHz). All the cans can be rewired for best results for any needs, with very small enamelled wire from relays. Identifying the cans is easier if the radio is still working. Older small radios include much more useful parts than recent ones.
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Offline BoomboxDX

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Re: Please recommend some good MW and LW DX radios
« Reply #31 on: June 30, 2020, 0457 UTC »
One thing to remember is that there are still AM/MW loop antennas that you can buy here in the US for around $50 USD (the Eton AN100 is one of them). You just sit them next to a portable radio.

I have two of them and they work almost as well as the crate loop.
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+ GE SRIII, PR-D5 & TRF on MW.
The usual Realistic culprits on SW (and a Panasonic).

Offline chanito

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Re: Please recommend some good MW and LW DX radios
« Reply #32 on: June 30, 2020, 1925 UTC »
A cheap and easy passive MW antenna helper for pocket radios can be made using an old loopstick antenna and a mica tuning capacitor.


It can be used to give a boost or also to null out an offending station in the wrong direction. I built a bunch of these decades ago. It's not a huge boost but often enough to pull the station out of the noise, and it is pocket friendly.



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It can be made from any old transistor radio parts. The cases have an interesting back story. This was about 1991. I had to make a trip to the dump one day, and noticed several sealed boxes freshly dumped right by the side of the road to the dump site. Stopped, got out and kicked one open and it was full of these "CB Rings", all brand new, packaged with instructions and a strip of double sided foam tape. Turns out these were some failed product from the waning days of the CB craze. (poetic, no?) I grabbed a box full.


It was a FM transmitter with a circuit board that appeared to be along the lines of Mr. Microphone circuitry, with a condenser mic. It came with a little plastic tuning tool. You would put a 9v battery in, turn it on, tune to empty FM channel, then stick the CB Ring to the bottom of your mobile CB with the mic hole over the radio speaker. Now you could listen to CB over the car stereo. Woo Hoo! 


Where the heck did they come from? Oddly enough, a small world. I worked at the local radio station at the time, and asked the Gm/owner if he knew anything about that product. His face turned red and out came a string of what for him, a Baptist deacon, were the equivalent of curse words and aspersions. After he calmed down, he told me that he had bankrolled that endeavor and the guy who talked him into it had been the station "engineer" at the time, and had a bunch of the things manufactured, then quit his radio job, and skipped town with the rest of the money. They ended up in a storage building for years, then to the dump.


Great project cases though. Wish I had some today.


BTW.. Did you know that Mr. Microphone lives still today?
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Offline alpard

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Re: Please recommend some good MW and LW DX radios
« Reply #33 on: June 30, 2020, 1927 UTC »
Thanks for all your info & feedbacks. Great stuff !!
Yeah, I think I will be making something very very simple, something like this I have seen on Youtube.
I think you can buy one made from TECSUN, but that is about 20-30 USD. Why not make something like this which will cost less than a fiver? and works same as the bought ones. :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl5t0v9guho
« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 1930 UTC by alpard »

Offline BoomboxDX

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Re: Please recommend some good MW and LW DX radios
« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2020, 0401 UTC »
Thanks for all your info & feedbacks. Great stuff !!
Yeah, I think I will be making something very very simple, something like this I have seen on Youtube.
I think you can buy one made from TECSUN, but that is about 20-30 USD. Why not make something like this which will cost less than a fiver? and works same as the bought ones. :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl5t0v9guho

Because a new 365 pf tuner cap might cost as much as a factory made loop? They're getting more and more rare now, especially when most radios are digitally, and DSP tuned. Even used, 'junk' radios are getting rare at local thrift stores here where I live in the US.
An AM radio Boombox DXer.
+ GE SRIII, PR-D5 & TRF on MW.
The usual Realistic culprits on SW (and a Panasonic).

Offline alpard

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Re: Please recommend some good MW and LW DX radios
« Reply #35 on: July 01, 2020, 0911 UTC »
Thanks for all your info & feedbacks. Great stuff !!
Yeah, I think I will be making something very very simple, something like this I have seen on Youtube.
I think you can buy one made from TECSUN, but that is about 20-30 USD. Why not make something like this which will cost less than a fiver? and works same as the bought ones. :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl5t0v9guho

Because a new 365 pf tuner cap might cost as much as a factory made loop? They're getting more and more rare now, especially when most radios are digitally, and DSP tuned. Even used, 'junk' radios are getting rare at local thrift stores here where I live in the US.

Sure, they cost quite high for what they are due to rarity.  But I think I have a few of them lying in the junk box in my house loft. I must go up there and search for them.  In the loft, it is dark and dusty with piles and piles of old boxes and junk. I dread going up there, but I will have to, when I have some free time. :)

Offline chanito

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Re: Please recommend some good MW and LW DX radios
« Reply #36 on: July 01, 2020, 1816 UTC »
I went looking for mica variable capacitors on eBay and found a ton of them for $5 to $15.


I also found a Pirate Radio [size=78%]https://www.ebay.com/itm/PIRATE-crystal-transistor-novelty-AM-RADIO-receiver-unbuilt-KIT-treasure-toy/293561111352?hash=item44599b1338:g:RioAAOSwOddYyDRe[/size]
PCR-1000, PCR-1500, RSP1A, RSP1, VR-120D, HDT-1, Accurian HD, Royal 3000
Caras HF-315, Belar LP-1A, SuperAntenna MP-1, RatShack 20-043 discone, MLA-30, 100' wire

Offline ThElectriCat

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Re: Please recommend some good MW and LW DX radios
« Reply #37 on: July 06, 2020, 1654 UTC »
I have a tecsun pl-880, and as far as portables go, it is pretty good, but nothing in a similar price range seems to compare to selective voltmeters/selective level meters.
I have a rycom3121a that i got for less money than my tecsun which has a tuning range of 10 to 1600 KHz and a 100 Hz cw filter.  there are several companies that make (or used to make) these. Rycom is probably the easiest to find, but Wandel and Goltermann, HP, Rohde&Schwarz, and a few others also made them.  Price range is anywhere from 100 USD to thousands, depending on what you are looking for.  Even the cheap ones will almost always outperform any common radio receiver below 500 KHz though.
Best of Luck -TeC
In another life, I could have been a telephone engineer.