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Wideband Reciever


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#1 Sn0w

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 03:58 PM

Well since I derailed my own thread from freq counters into wideband scanners I decided I should start a new thread before I get too far into it..

Attempting to find a reasonable priced wideband reciver!

I would love to find something like the AOR AR5001DU for cheap but I don't see that happening so I'm looking for used suggestions preferably less than $500.

I want to find, listen, and record to my pc.
Will be a desk unit so portability is not a necessity.
Maybe an SDR is what I need? (Something like a Icom IC-R2500?)
More frequency range and smaller steps is definitely a bonus.
I'll add more if I think of any.. :rolleyes:

#2 ticom

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 11:14 PM

So you wouldn't recommend the R75 over the VR-5000? I think because it's less of a wideband more of HF?
Too many models, no idea what to look for used haha.


If you were looking for something that just covered shortwave (HF), I'd recommend an R75 over the VR-5000. If you want something that's wideband and are willing to work within the design limitations of wideband receivers of that grade, then the VR5000 may be a more appropriate choice.

I own a VR5000, and when I'm at my bench 9 times out of 10 when I need a quick RF signal check for something or want to keep a constant eye on a frequency, I'm using the VR5000. If I'm monitoring a shortwave frequency on anything more than a casual level, I use something designed specifically for HF. If I'm keeping an ear on the locals, I use a police scanner.

I've been into communications monitoring since the early 1980s. I started with one of those cheap multiband portable radios picked up at a tag sale that had AM/FM, shortwave, and VHF aircraft/public safety bands, and then upgraded to a Radio Shack shortwave receiver and police scanner shortly afterwards. About the only make/model I have radio-wise from back then is a Stoddart "Radio Research" receiver that was my upgrade from that first Radio Shack shortwave receiver. I sold my first Stoddart receiver at an MIT flea back in 1997 and regretted it shortly afterwards. Took me 12 years to find another one to replace it!

There are a lot of good receivers out there. Read the reviews, go play with a few at the local ham shop, and find a few that resonate with you. Then see what type of deals you can find and go buy one. Read the eham reviews of the older radios and see what you can find at a hamfest or used at a ham store. For example: Right now here in Connecticut I know of three receivers for sale in the used market. The first is an Icom R10 wideband handheld receiver for $125. That's actually a pretty good receiver, given the limitations of early wideband handhelds. I used to receive GHFS on 11175 Khz. from my driveway on one with nothing more than a telescoping whip. The second one is a 1950s vintage Hallicrafters SX-71 that does HF and VHF-low bands. That's also $125. That was one of the first triple-conversion designs and is fairly well-liked by boatanchor enthusiasts. Finally I know of a military R-390A from an estate of a recently deceased ham in a lot of various pieces of equipment (including one other milsurp receiver). You could probably walk away with the entire lot for under $1000 and have a complete boatanchor-type station including spares. The R-390A is considered by many to be the quintessential HF receiver although I found it to be a pain in the ass for just spinning the dial and cruising the bands. Anyway, any one of those three receivers would be perfectly fine.

#3 Sn0w

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 01:15 AM

ticom to the rescue once again!

I didn't realize the R75 was HF until I posted that, definitely looking for something more of a wide band.

Looking around I can't seem to find any VR5000's used, not many ham shops or anything around here so it makes it a bit harder. I've been looking on ebay, eHam, RadioReference, and good old google, any other suggestions?

The Icom R10 and R20 look interesting, found an R10 on ebay for the same price as a used R20 from UniversalRadio. The R20 seems to have the advantage frequency wise (150 kHz to 3304.999 MHz-cell) as opposed to the R10 (500 kHz to 1300 MHz-cell) I'd rather have unblocked though.. I've heard a couple places in Canada will ship to the US but attempting to find a used one is less successful.

The SX-71 and the R390A look pretty awesome!

I've been reading tons of reviews from eHam and will keep looking around.

Edited by Sn0w, 01 July 2011 - 07:21 AM.


#4 ticom

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 11:50 AM

That R10 is overpriced in my opinion. Halve that price and it starts becoming reasonable. R20 is a good handheld receiver, although I've heard complaints about the "buttonology" - takes a lot of button presses to perform simple receiver functions. That's really a user-headspace/learning curve issue, but I like receivers that are not overly complicated to play with, especially for simple monitoring.

In a similar vein, I think it would be good idea if those of us who have been RF hacking for a while do a short write-up of equipment we use/used in our shacks, and for what purpose. It might help out the less experienced.

#5 Sn0w

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 05:30 PM

R20 is a good handheld receiver, although I've heard complaints about the "buttonology" - takes a lot of button presses to perform simple receiver functions. That's really a user-headspace/learning curve issue.


Ordered a R20, we'll see how it goes, hope it's a good fit. :laugh:

#6 ticom

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 09:08 PM

I don't think you'll be disappointed.

When you get the receiver and some programming software, download this file:
http://www.tscm.com/...nt.sequence.icf

It was created by Jim Atkinson from tscm.com. Very useful for finding interesting things.


R20 is a good handheld receiver, although I've heard complaints about the "buttonology" - takes a lot of button presses to perform simple receiver functions. That's really a user-headspace/learning curve issue.


Ordered a R20, we'll see how it goes, hope it's a good fit. :laugh:



#7 Pan

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 11:32 PM

I have an R20. You won't be disappointed.




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