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Re: Welcome and Introductions - Say Hello Here :)

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:13 pm
by jmz01
m0lsx wrote:
Or you could listen online via one of the SDR radios.

Thank you, yes I have just been playing with the University of Twente one, fascinating! and I will continue to use it.

...but, part of the enjoyment of listening is the 'struggle' to find a signal and that great feeling of success when you do.

Poland is so incredibly flat that I should pick something things up with a decent receiver.
We have a lot of land here and planning permission/consent can be resolved with a decent bottle of vodka so when I get my act together I'm going to put a decent antenna on one of our barns.

I'm currently scanning the Polish version of ebay: and there are a few wide band receivers/scanners (Skaner radiowy szerokopasmowy) on there I may take a look at.


Re: Welcome and Introductions - Say Hello Here :)

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:40 am
by m0lsx
With a SW RX it is all about sensitivity, but without being wide open. And by that I mean you want it to be sensitive on the frequency it is tuned to, but not picking up big signals else where, which many radios are terrible at doing. The Icom handheld scanners for example cover a lot of spectrum, but are wide open & not very good as a result.
There are plenty of radios around that cover SW, but many are of no real use as a SW RX. Finding a good RX is not about how much you spend, it is about getting the radio that does what it should & not just the one with the best brand or the best coverage. Some of the very cheap far east portable radios are really good. My Eton was only £100 & £50 or less could buy a very good SW RX. But if you want a decent SW RX that will not break the bank, but be great at what it does, look for a secondhand 1980's /90's big brand base radio. ie. Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood, or even a nice simple Lowe which are very good, or a Realistic DX-394B. (& do buy the B model 394, & not the A model, as it is a whole lot better.) These all still sell for good money, so expect to pay £150 to £200 for a decent RX, but sometimes on ebay, £100 can find you a real bargain, but take care on the older (1970's) RX's, as some drift terribly, which makes SSB RX difficult.
I still run a Trio QR-666 I brought secondhand in about 1980. But avoid the older Trio 9R59DS, it drifts more than a modified Nissan. And the 1970's Yeasu FRG-7, also known as the Frog, is a brilliant RX & still in demand among keen SWL's.
The AKD (Also sold as NASA) HF-3 is another, good, but basic, base RX that can be brought for sensible money.
You will need SSB to listen to amateur radio stations & the antenna will need to be nothing more than a length of wire. I use around 10 meters of wire on my Eton as it's a portable radio & longer lengths quickly overload portable radios designed to work on a short telescopic.
Between 20 & 50 meters of wire plus a 9:1 balun which is earthed is all that you need for a good SWL antenna & the Balun is an option. I only use one on my base RX's. My portable radios simply have the 10 meters of wire clipped to the telescopic & in the 70's & 80's I never found any real benefit from a Balun as my background noise was not very high. But in todays world, a Balun helps to keep background noise lower & thus, under £15 helps to make the RX capable of hearing more.

Re: Welcome and Introductions - Say Hello Here :)

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:33 am
by jmz01
m0lsx wrote:With a SW RX it is all about sensitivity...

Wow thanks again for a very helpful post.

I was at a market yesterday where I noticed a load of older equipment but wasn't 'allowed' to have a root through what they had, we were there for something else!

Which Eton do you have? Are you familiar with the Tecsun pl-660, it appears to be very similar to some of the Eton portable radios?

This information is really helpful as I have seen older receivers for sale.
Many thanks

Re: Welcome and Introductions - Say Hello Here :)

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:26 am
by m0lsx
The Tecson, the Eton & Sony's are often all identical radios. Just badged differently. I believe Eton is the manufacturer & that they brought out Grundig. But don't expect the quality of it, or anything like a Sony to be any where near what they were in the 70's & early 80's. Especially with anything Sony.
My Eton is the Global Traveller, it is a nice radio. It has SSB & even has Civil Airband coverage, but it's now getting old. I have had my radio almost 10 years now. Together with a small cheap Tecsun MW loop I get some great MW reception & the VHF Band 2, (broadcast,) sensitivity is brilliant. I pick up loads of stations, complete with their RDS ID with the standard telescopic antenna.

Edited to add. The Tecsun PL-660 is a rebadged Eton Traveller.

Re: Welcome and Introductions - Say Hello Here :)

PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:49 am
by Westy K
Good Morning All

Been lurking on here for a while now and am finding it very useful and interesting so thought it time to say hello.
I have been interested in Scanning and SWL for a long time back to the 80's when most of us had CB's (still got one some where as I never though anything away or sell anything as you will see with my radios :laughs: ). More recently just got in to Digital with a new Whistler TX2.

Its been very much an on and off hobby I can go 12 months without even bothering but I always find my self coming back to it, Usually when i find a bargain :wink: but having a bit of play again at the moment.
Have collected a lot of kit over the years, Mostly secondhand when I see bargains.

AOR AR1500 (bit of a disappointment after my first proper scanner AOR AR2000 was stolen but kept me going)
AOR AR8000 (great radio in its day still holds up well now. Bought New and was very expensive at the time for me)
Uniden 3500XLT (This is my mostly frequently used handheld now and another great radio for the cost probably helped bring me back to the hobby especially when out and about)
Whistler TX2 (Only just got this last year to get in to Digital and what mainly brought me to this forum. still finding my way around it)

SW Receivers
AOR AR7030 (Very expensive new but found it very cheep on Ebay. Not a very well known radio but very good apparently. I don't really do it justice with my Long wire in the loft)
Sony SW7600 (My first SW receiver Bought new but sadly faulty at the moment)
Yaesu FRG8800 (just fancied a classic a few years ago and its great to be honest)

And lastly.
Fairhaven RD500 (not a well know radio and very underrated. Its a really good general coverage. basically has a freq rage of 0 - 1750MHz on all modes and is very callable. Doesn't get used as much now but still love it)

Never listed them out like this before :shocker: looks a lot but have been collected over a 30 years. Like a said i never get rid of anything much to the dismay of my long suffering other half.
To be fair they are not all in use all the time, sadly I don't have the room or time but do all get used on occasion.

Hope I can be of some input or just keep learning from you guys


Re: Welcome and Introductions - Say Hello Here :)

PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:42 pm
by radiostationx
Hello Westy K and welcome.
I got interested in radio in the late 70s.
Its fair to say I have owned quite a few radios to date.
You have 2 radios that are particularly interesting,
The AOR7030, Wow.. probably the best enthusiast radio AOR ever made.
Tried one at my friends shop (Northern Shortwave Centre, Carlisle) and loved it.
The Fairhaven, made in the UK I seem to recall and it had a very good reputation in the 90s.

I agree on the 1500, one of the worst radios I ever had...but not nearly as bad as "the chocolate eclair of scanners", the Icom R1.
Lovely to look at,but very little substance inside..picked up just about everything except the displayed/intended frequency....My God that was an awful radio and a waste of £300+ sovs !

Enjoy the forum,


Re: Welcome and Introductions - Say Hello Here :)

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:05 am
by Westy K
Thanks Mike

Yes you can see why the AR7030 was over £700 in the day. Very well made. Grabbed a bargain on that at just over £200 and its in great condition. I must get a better antenna set up to do it justice but even with my long wire in the loft its pretty good.
All the filters and variable band pass make it very usable on weaker signals.

The Fairhaven takes a bit of getting used to as its total different to operate then anything else. Forgetting all the database bells and whistles as a general receiver its still right up there with some of the good stuff. The best thing is the guy who designed and owned the company is still around and will service it if needed. Had some problems with the audio some time ago and he was happy to help.

Been having a much needed tidy up this weekend of my kit and where its installed and have found some odd earthing issues i need to resolve. was getting a tingle when i touched one of my antenna cables and the chassis of the radio. when I measured it was getting 80VAC :shocker: . All a bit odd. I haven't actually got my radios earthed (other than the normal mains wiring of course) and i know for performance you should but didn't expect to see that.
Think I am going to run a separate earth to all my radios (the 3 main ones I use) and antenna feeds but think I had also better check the PSU for any issues. anyone know if this is normal. Sorry i should start a new post for this question.


Re: Welcome and Introductions - Say Hello Here :)

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:10 pm
by radiostationx
A bit of a worry Ian as 80v ac under the wrong conditions can kill you.

What I am hoping..
You mention a long wire loop antenna in the loft and I have a feeling that the tingle you speak of may be the release to ground of static electricity built up in the loop.
This is enough to wake up an unsuspecting fiddler.
I had a metal fold away double bed years ago in a bedsit in central London when I was working "out of town", it folded vertically as one piece into a recess in the wall.
Blimey, that was a wake up call when you touched it ! :shocker:
Always got me after coming in late with a few pints down me.

What could be happening..
Fault on PSU, Fault on House wiring, Missing/high resistance Earth connection at incoming cable armour or earth rod...ditto at Consumer unit or meter.
I have seen some deathtrap PSUs over the years, the gap (isolation) on the pcb between primary and secondary stages barely noticeable on some models from the far east that bear CE markings..CE in their dreams !
Get a local sparkie to have a look at your lekkys, he will measure the earth loop impedance and detect if there is a break or fault.
He/She shouldnt cost much, But If they find a Category 1 ("C1") fault, they have to either make good there and then or isolate the supply.

Try a car battery as a PSU, and do away with your mains for a half hour for station testing , does the tingle still happen ?
Do you get the same 80vac (potentially false reading on your autoranging meter) ?

Remember an RF earth for your station is totally separate in every way to mains earth.

Re: Welcome and Introductions - Say Hello Here :)

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:06 pm
by m0lsx
Does you house have PME. Protective Multiple Earth? If so, your own or some other house in close by could have some electrical issue.


Re: Welcome and Introductions - Say Hello Here :)

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:17 pm
by Westy K
Thanks both for your concern and suggestions.
the earthing basics pdf. looks useful and i will certainly study that before moving any further.

Just to be clear while I appreciate this is a high voltage it is extremely low current (as soon as I noticed this I tested the current and was immeasurable with the Fuke Multimeter on mA range) and dissipates to nothing when measured after a few seconds of even high resistance (My hand).

While I never claim to be an expert in these matters hence me asking, I am reasonably practical and experienced in basic electronics (manufacturing and fault finding) and understand the basics of electrical installations. Worked as a integrated security systems engineer for most of my life. Not radio I know but from the old analogue video days and even today with RS485 and 422 data networks know a little about the problems of earth loops. For video especially they were a nightmare on large sites with differing earth potentials.
Anyway I digress :tongue:

All that said this one is still puzzling me so but let me tell you what i have found so far and see what you think.
Firstly I have no antenna earths at all at the moment which is why i am starting to look at this and ask some questions. Initially to reduce some noise. I only noticed this high voltage when I started to look into it further. I think what I am seeing or feeling is some sort of floating earth on my Antennas. I am sure my house mains earth is ok but never rule anything out so will check that. I only feel or measure this between antennas and or antennas and metal chassis of the radios when all disconnected. When everything is connected I feel nothing and can measure no voltages between radios, antennas or mains earth.

My Antennas are all in my loft,
I have a long wire and a home made active whip type thing from years ago for my Shortwave. Neither of these are earthed in anyway.
For my scanning my main antenna is a dual band 2m - 70 cm Fiberglas type, Diamond X30 I think and an old Mobile wide band Scanner antenna that I have clamped to a central heating pipe (possible problem 1st there).
The worst one I get is between the Dual Band and radio chassis when disconnected. When disconnected from the radio it is completely isolated and not touching any metal in the house at all (bolted on a bracket to the loft joists)
This is the same as i get between the dual band and mobile scanner antenna that is bolted to a pipe. This Pipe is connected to mains earth as you would expect with house earth bonding? I think this is my first mistake guess.
Next is my radios. I have no issues between radios when measured but I think I do have a less than ideal arraignment. For power 2 radios and the active antenna are on one 12v PSU and one of the other is on its own 15v PSU and the last is mains powered. none of the chassis earths are connected to anything or each other. What I have measured is that 1 and only 1 the chassis is connected to the PSU negative. maybe because its designed as a mobile set?
I did initially think I had a PSU issue as I was measuring a small voltage between the psu case and the negative output (arround 2-3VAC) but think this is a red herring as it changed depending on antenna connections so for the moment i am ruling that out.

Sorry this is a lot of info and I am probably not really getting the the details across very well but what I am thinking at the moment and would value you input on is that I feel I need to earth everything consistently. Certainly all the radio Chassis. Not sure what to do about the Dual Band antenna though. Should it have its own or will connecting it to an earthed radio be enough?
I am also guessing this should be completely independent of mains earth and I need to conform none of the radios chassis are connected to mains earth currently. Or should they be connected to Mains earth as with normal household appliances?
Lastly get that mobile antenna off the central heating pipes!

Am I heading in the correct direction here or is my thinking completely wrong?

Many thanks for baring with me on this and advice is genuinely appreciated.

By the way my current system works ok. Not massively noisy or def but know it could be better. sadly I am stuck with it all being in the loft rather than outside which will limit things