Serious DX SWL receiver recommendation

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Serious DX SWL receiver recommendation

Postby alphard » Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:46 pm

Hi All

I am trying to do some serious SW DXing on BC bands. Trying to listen to Radio Japan NHK and Radio Korea.
I have a couple of portable SW receivers, but I found they are not up for the serious DXing job.

What receivers on the market are the best for the serious hardcore DXing on HF broadcast bands for BC stations?
I am also planning to improve on my long wire antenna in the garden, making it into a loop antenna.

Thanks
alphard
 
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Re: Serious DX SWL receiver recommendation

Postby M3ZYH » Mon Jun 08, 2020 5:37 pm

If you can get hold of one, then I recommend a Lowe HF225 receiver. I have one, and it's serious piece of kit.
Not sure what they are going for, these days. Well worth it, though.


Regards.
M3ZYH
 
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Re: Serious DX SWL receiver recommendation

Postby alphard » Tue Jun 09, 2020 12:47 am

Thanks for your recommendation of HF-225.

Yes, it looks a nice radio and certainly have great reviews. But only things is that it is 30+ years old radio.
Would these radios not start having problems with the parts by now?

Any electrolytic caps and carbon resistors will degrade and get leaky when old, and they might start giving some problems, which will be very expensive to repair?
Would it not be better off going for more modern and newer radios?

NRD radios seem very nice but they are just too expensive. But the Chinese makes Sangean, Tecsun and XHDATA seem getting popular with several different models they produced. I would be interested to know which model you have, and how they performed in DXing on LW, MW and HF bands.
alphard
 
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Re: Serious DX SWL receiver recommendation

Postby M3ZYH » Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:36 am

I generally use my Yaesu FT857 for tx and rx on HF. I also have an AOR8600, too. That performs very well on HF, but is probably a little over the top if HF is all that you are interested in.
I'd recommend buying a second hand HF transceiver, and using that for your rx purposes. The sensitivity and selectivity would be spot on. Plus, you'd have all the convenient features to null out any noise.
I have a Yaesu FT817, and that has a great receive on it. Couple it to a decent wire antenna, and you'd have some great results.
Regards.
M3ZYH
 
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Re: Serious DX SWL receiver recommendation

Postby alphard » Wed Jun 10, 2020 12:13 pm

How is the MW and LW DXing performance of Yaesu FT-817ND?
I think there is a new model released from Yaesu a couple year ago, which is FT-818?

I was going to buy a Tecsun S-8800, but the review on the MW and LW DXing abilities on this receiver is very negative. The reviews demonstrated that the S-8800 is OK on HF, but on MW and LW, they are only fit for receiving Radio 5 and Absolute Radio.

So I decided to look something else.

With the current Sunspot minimum period persisting resulting in very poor HF band condition, I thought MW and LW DXing performance of the receivers are very important.
Although good antennas are also must, but radio performance is very critical in DXing, they say.
alphard
 
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Re: Serious DX SWL receiver recommendation

Postby M3ZYH » Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:41 pm

I've always found it to be good. But of course, the antenna is just as important. I use my Amateur antenna. It's a home made inverted V, but just a length of wire would do just fine. I've heard a few low power MW stations from London using my set up, as well as numerous Spanish stations, all after dark.
I'm in the process of getting my HF225 repaired, not the radios fault, but my own stupidity!!!. That radio is mega on MW and LW. NDB Beacons are easily receivable on it. But I can't stress enough that an external antenna is a must, even just a length of wire will out perform an indoor one.
Regards.
Simon.
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Re: Serious DX SWL receiver recommendation

Postby alphard » Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:32 pm

Great info. Thanks Simon.

Yes, I think, once it had been repaired, the HF225 should be a great rig for MW DXing.
I am planning to get an active magnetic loop antenna for DXing on MW and HF.
MLA30 made in China seems popular due to great price, but still not sure on the performance.
WellBrook 1530 loop seems getting raving reviews for high quality and performance, but quite expensive.

I am waiting for TECSUN to bring out new and improved version of the ill fated TECSUN S-8800.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIZIzRJmqUg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPcz2JpUTJc

Hopefully the new version will have great LW and MW DX reception capability as well as HF performance.

Meanwhile, I might be looking into buying a used FT-817 or FT-818 in good price. Thanks for your recommendation on that.
73 de Al.
alphard
 
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Re: Serious DX SWL receiver recommendation

Postby M3ZYH » Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:52 pm

I have a friend up in Scotland, and he uses a Wellbrook 1530. He can get stations that I can't hear. They are expensive, but I reckon it's money well spent.
Hope you can get sorted out soon.
73
Simon.
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Re: Serious DX SWL receiver recommendation

Postby Scan125 » Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:34 pm

Well my HF kit is:

Lowe HF-150
Alinco DX-R8
SDRplay RSPDuo

HF150 like the HF225 is a great bit of kit but is old and a little too open sometimes so benefits from a pre-selector/antenna tuner.

The Alinco is absolutely fine in my book but we are talking new around £470.

SDRplay devices. No knobs to twiddle, some would say not "real hardware" etc. but a fine bit of kit if you don't mind using a PC.

There are also later derivatives of the Lowe series receivers designed by the same John Thorpe, e.g. AOR7030 and AOR7070

Tecsun / Grundig receivers also get good reviews with the more expensive desktop S2000 model at around £300.

(Note all prices as new)
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Re: Serious DX SWL receiver recommendation

Postby alphard » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:05 am

Thanks for your list.
Looks like all great sets for DXing.

How is old JRC NRD-535? Someone in the local town was selling it, but it was rather expensive and also seemingly a very old radio from 1990s.
I have been trying to stay away from the old radios because by now they might be developing some problems in the sets.
And radios made of mostly ICs and Chips on the PCBs, it would be impossible / super expensive trying to repair, if / when things go wrong with them.

Meanwhile I got hold of a new XHDATA portable, and it works quite well for pulling out weak DX signals from the HF.
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