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Author Topic: SW Receiver Recommendations  (Read 3542 times)

Offline ko4fki

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SW Receiver Recommendations
« on: January 24, 2022, 2007 UTC »
Does anybody have a recommendation for shortwave receivers for dx? The only one I have is an old Realistic DX-440.
See you on HF...

73,
KO4FKI

Offline dxace1

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Re: SW Receiver Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2022, 2132 UTC »
You're obviously a beginner -- the possibilities are endless.  Lots of good receivers on the used market,
including portables and high-end communications receivers.
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!

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Re: SW Receiver Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2022, 0029 UTC »
Until about 8 months ago I owned a dx-440. I consider it a very good all around "radio" for actual logging of signals caught from the atmosphere vice "sdr" (correct me if wrong, pls.). Gotta have ssb nowadays/zero beat that thar signal, especially for acute reception. In the end, my personal opinion most important is Antenna 1st.-then Our good friends the Propagation Gods up yonder (No control there)- & finally...did I mention ssb? The speaker in mine finally went south & I had it siting on a small external bought 2nd. hand, though small it was 4 ohms. Shoulda been 16. Some stations in Seattle would send an additional signal letting you know what was playing at the moment displayed on the display...like KING- FM: "Iannis Xenakis "Keqrops,1986". Check out the "State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia, posted June 24, 2014". Ya gotta watch it. That Xenakis dude was something else.

Offline JustGreg

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Re: SW Receiver Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2022, 0045 UTC »
First, you have to decide what you want to hear.  If it is weak signals, then I have to agree with Uncle John.  You need to have a decent antenna (wire one is fine) in a reasonable low electronic noise location.   One can have the finest receiver, but, if the antenna is not good  or the local noise levels are high, then you will not receive much only the strongest signals. 

I have used portables (Eton E1, or Tecsun PL-880 or XHData D808).  I have a 50 foot length end fed wire antenna with 9:1 matching transformer (AKA UNUN).  I have found the E1 and PL-880 work Okay, but the D808 overloads badly.  In the D808 case, I can use  it with a 15 foot wire attached to whip.  It works fine for most shortwave broadcasting stations and will get some weak stations when the propagation gods are kind. 

My usual receiver is an AirSpy HF + Discovery software defined receiver.  It was not the easiest  to set up and get operating well.  But, once that I got familiar with its operation and solved an interference problem, the AirSpy is one of the better receivers that I have owned.  It works well with my 50 foot wire antenna.

I would recommend looking at some the shortwave YouTube channels.  I did know the "Official SWL" channel does a lot of reviews.  The gentleman also lives in an urban environment with high noise.  You may get some good ideas.   I hope this is help.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2022, 2004 UTC by JustGreg »
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Offline BoomboxDX

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Re: SW Receiver Recommendations
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2022, 1146 UTC »
Nothing is wrong with a DX-440. It will pull in most that any other receiver will. The key is an antenna. But make sure you have protection against static electricity if you use an outdoor wire. Two back-to-back diodes from the antenna to ground will work, to bleed off static discharges and save the radio's RF amp transistor from getting zapped.

That said, any modern Tecsun or Grundig portable with a DSP chip will do OK off the whip. I have a Grundig G2, a small digital readout portable with a DSP chip inside. I can hear most everything on it off its whip that my DX-398 will hear using a 30 ft indoor wire.

All that said, just don't expect to hear a ton on SW right now. The sun hasn't been exactly cooperating for about 5 years. Some nights and mornings I do hear a few things on the 25, 31 or 49 meter bands, but most nights and mornings it's WRMI and Cuba, with maybe Marti in the mix.

Sunspots won't really be cooperative for another two years or so. So even a great radio won't bring in a lot if the ionosphere is presenting nothing but static.

If you're in 4-land, you're pretty far south, so you may hear more than those of us in the northern latitudes, even with the sunspot cycle at a lull.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2022, 1148 UTC by BoomboxDX »
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The usual Realistic culprits on SW (and a Panasonic).

Offline ko4fki

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Re: SW Receiver Recommendations
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2022, 1340 UTC »
Thanks, yes I am a beginner sorry about that. I think I will just make a wire antenna for now.
See you on HF...

73,
KO4FKI

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: SW Receiver Recommendations
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2022, 1416 UTC »
An Airspy HF+ Discovery.
Chris Smolinski
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Offline CoolAM Radio

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Re: SW Receiver Recommendations
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2022, 1455 UTC »
Tecsun or Degen Receivers (with SSB)

André
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Offline Stretchyman

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Re: SW Receiver Recommendations
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2022, 1604 UTC »
ANY SDR, far better than most analog receivers.
'It's better to give than receive' so why Rx when you can Tx!

                                              ;)

Offline Erik Mattson

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Re: SW Receiver Recommendations
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2022, 1639 UTC »
If a portable, I'm really liking my Tecsun PL-990 (I believe there's no difference in the 990x, anyone? Could be wrong on that). Seems great for MW dx. But an outdoor antenna is a must, and best with a 9:1 "un-un" as I'm sure others have mentioned already.
Ideally, a portable should have an external antenna jack, "EXT ANT" (1/8" usually). And you can find just about any type of connection adapter you can think of now.
Be sure to read reviews to see how they can/can't handle bigger external antennas.

Good luck & 73.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2022, 1642 UTC by ErikMattson »
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: SW Receiver Recommendations
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2022, 2114 UTC »
ANY SDR, far better than most analog receivers.

This. Well, other than an RTL Dongle which on HF is pure garbage, of course.  :)
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 900 ft Horz skyloop / 500 ft NE beverage / 250 ft V Beam / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD / 400 ft south beverage / 43m, 20m, 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline RobRich

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Re: SW Receiver Recommendations
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2022, 1447 UTC »
An Airspy HF+ Discovery.

^This. Good lucking finding a better performing new HF receiver option for under $200.

I sometimes use my RTL-SDRs for very casual HF listening, though that is with upconverters converters and various RF filters. I already had some of the components available, so "whatever" in my case, but otherwise I certainly agree the extra costs are too much for the very limited HF performance.
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Offline M R I

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Re: SW Receiver Recommendations
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2022, 1614 UTC »
SDR’s have the best sound out of the box.
Mix.Radio.International [at] ProtonMail [dot] com

Offline ko4fki

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Re: SW Receiver Recommendations
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2022, 1648 UTC »
An Airspy HF+ Discovery.

^This. Good lucking finding a better performing new HF receiver option for under $200.

I sometimes use my RTL-SDRs for very casual HF listening, though that is with upconverters converters and various RF filters. I already had some of the components available, so "whatever" in my case, but otherwise I certainly agree the extra costs are too much for the very limited HF performance.
Thanks!
See you on HF...

73,
KO4FKI

Offline redhat

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Re: SW Receiver Recommendations
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2022, 2011 UTC »
+1 on the HF Discovery.  Its my main SDR now, and follows me everywhere I go, along with a chinese DSP portable.

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