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Haydez
Apr 8, 2003

EVIL LINK

AstroZamboni posted:

How much did you spend on it? I can update the stats in the OP.

$160 for the sony receiver, and I noticed Gordo's updated General liscence book was out so I snagged that for $18 too.

Unfortunately with the new receiver and 50 foot of speaker cable, I'm still getting too much static to make most stations even listenable. I'm going to try snaking my cable up the side of my apartment complex this weekend. Hopefully I can make it hard to notice.

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blugu64
Jul 17, 2006

Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face?

Well guys I think we could have gotten ourself a pretty sweet aircraft carrier Though a bunch of shortwave radios is pretty sweet too. Also I still havn't been able to pick up Africa yet. Perhaps this weekend. Anyone sent any QSL's yet? I've got some notes but I haven't sent any off yet.

AstroZamboni
Mar 8, 2007

Smoothing the Ice on Europa since 1997!

I've updated the OP, adding updated financial drain and interference clips.

manero
Jan 30, 2006



Yet another ham checking in.

Been fairly inactive as a ham operator, save for stuff I do with Skywarn (which could be a whole thread in itself), but I picked up a KA1103 independent of this thread maybe a year ago, and I love tuning around. The KA1103 is a great portable, and I'd recommend it.

I haven't stumbled across a numbers station, except for one that I found years and years ago and got spooked when I was 15.

Unfortunately I live in the city so it's hard to NOT get interference. I love taking the radio when I head up north though.

I need to get a real antenna up on my roof some time.

Sir Bobert Fishbone
Jan 16, 2006

Beebort


While part of me is disappointed that a lot of Chinese and Russian programming I pick up is most likely relayed from Canada, it's still pretty friggin cool to be able to hear them all. Gives one a whole new outlook on world events.

thehustler
Apr 17, 2004

I am very curious about this little crescendo


This thread made me replace my broken SMA to BNC converter so I could hook up my telescopic antenna again, and it was 3.95, so call that $7-8 dollars due to the appauling USD exchange rate

Add it to the total!

ValhallaSmith
Aug 16, 2005


blugu64 posted:

No but I'm intensely curious. Buy it and post about it?

Probably.

The softrock basically captures the entire 40 meter, 80 meter or 160 meter bands. Sends that info out to your sound card and then filters that down into tunable channels. Also it lets you do things like this:
Thats a crap load of CW signals going on.

blugu64
Jul 17, 2006

Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face?

ValhallaSmith posted:

Probably.

The softrock basically captures the entire 40 meter, 80 meter or 160 meter bands. Sends that info out to your sound card and then filters that down into tunable channels. Also it lets you do things like this:
Thats a crap load of CW signals going on.

no no no.....that just sexy. $30-$40 eh? Is the software included?

ValhallaSmith
Aug 16, 2005


blugu64 posted:

no no no.....that just sexy. $30-$40 eh? Is the software included?

Yea, it can run with flex-radio's software, rocky and others. Most of them are free. Keep in mind that this thing is fairly dependent on your sound card. It will work with almost any but it works best with a card that has a 192khz sampling freq. 96khz and 48khz will still work though.

Ordering info is on the yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/softrock40/

Oh, and if you just want a receiver then its only 10$. Each Softrock lite can only do 1 band though. Is my best choice to do 80m or should I do 40m?

ValhallaSmith fucked around with this message at Jun 15, 2007 around 20:28

Olrich
Jan 9, 2007


Does anyone have an opinion on the Degen/Kaito 1102. I'm not quite ready to shell out $150 for an E5 like you guys, and it seems like a decent alternative that doesn't have some of the probelms of the 1103.

Dog Case
Oct 7, 2003



Olrich posted:

Does anyone have an opinion on the Degen/Kaito 1102. I'm not quite ready to shell out $150 for an E5 like you guys, and it seems like a decent alternative that doesn't have some of the probelms of the 1103.

I haven't used one, but Passport to World Band Radio likes it. The only thing that's turned me away from one (and I'm sooo close to changing my mind) is that SSB only works while the ninth memory preset "page" is selected, or while you hold down the SSB button.

Jimmy Smuts
Aug 8, 2000



ValhallaSmith posted:

Yea, it can run with flex-radio's software, rocky and others. Most of them are free. Keep in mind that this thing is fairly dependent on your sound card. It will work with almost any but it works best with a card that has a 192khz sampling freq. 96khz and 48khz will still work though.

Ordering info is on the yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/softrock40/

Oh, and if you just want a receiver then its only 10$. Each Softrock lite can only do 1 band though. Is my best choice to do 80m or should I do 40m?
After doing some research on the softrock, it seems too good to be true.

What's the catch? Is it difficult to build from a kit? Prone to interference? Limited set of freqs?

ValhallaSmith
Aug 16, 2005


Jimmy Smuts posted:

After doing some research on the softrock, it seems too good to be true.

What's the catch? Is it difficult to build from a kit? Prone to interference? Limited set of freqs?

The kit doesn't seem to be overly difficult. If you have never done any SMT boards before it might be a little bit of a challenge but doable. The main thing with the softrock is you have to build it to support a particular band or two. I'm building a lite receive only version and I have to pick what band I want it to work in. The RXTX version can do 2 bands.

You also need to have a decent sound card in order to get the most out of it. The Delta-44 is a common one used, as is the FA-66. The key attributes you want for the sound card are a low noise floor and a 192khz sample rate for maximum performance. You can get away with cheapo integrated audio on your motherboard though to start off.(48 or 96 khz).

There are a few mods and other things you can do to them. Also they are common enough (1000's) that the software writers usually support them. Also you might want to put it in a box of some kind.

I ordered mine today (softrock lite 80m) and once I get it together I'll post something about it.

Swingline Savvy
Aug 10, 2005


Anyone feel like listing their favorites?

Just something like, time, location, frequency and your location would be awesome and a little more 'personal' than scrolling through random spreadsheets of stuff other people listed.

I have a feeling most of us share fairly common interests is all.

Dog Case
Oct 7, 2003



So I was out and about today, and, well, this happened again.



Found it at Value Village for $2.99 in the box with the case, manual, earbud headphones and rollup antenna. Sorry I'm not really adding much to your financial drain tally

Paperweight
Jan 17, 2007


I broke down and ordered a Sony ICF-SW7600GR. It's synchronous selectable sideband broke the tie with the Eton G5. I did have to buy the AC power supply seperately from Universal Radio though. Sony just couldn't seem to make a supply that doesn't cause interference and include it with the radio. I guess that would make the Eton the easiest buy since I suppose it has everything with it. I would have bought an Eton E1 if I had a little more credit left.

A modern digital tuner is also a helpful tool in testing out older vintage tube receivers. The author of Fixing Up Nice Old Radios listed off several uses for them. I think one was tuning in the local oscillator to check if it's on frequency.

Fixing vacuum tube equipment is one of the few hobbies I've enjoyed on and off over the last 10 years. I always come back to it after doing other things for a while. There's just something magical about that soft orange glow in a glass bottle. Is there a term for feeling nostalgic about an era you never lived in?

Halah
Aug 31, 2003

Stupid mouth shut

Dog Case posted:

So I was out and about today, and, well, this happened again.



Found it at Value Village for $2.99 in the box with the case, manual, earbud headphones and rollup antenna. Sorry I'm not really adding much to your financial drain tally
Don't worry about the total cost, that's a loving steal, you lucky bastard.

AstroZamboni
Mar 8, 2007

Smoothing the Ice on Europa since 1997!

Dog Case posted:

So I was out and about today, and, well, this happened again.



Found it at Value Village for $2.99 in the box with the case, manual, earbud headphones and rollup antenna. Sorry I'm not really adding much to your financial drain tally

Jesus merciful crap, that is one HELL of a find! Good work!

AstroZamboni
Mar 8, 2007

Smoothing the Ice on Europa since 1997!

Paperweight posted:

I broke down and ordered a Sony ICF-SW7600GR. It's synchronous selectable sideband broke the tie with the Eton G5. I did have to buy the AC power supply seperately from Universal Radio though. Sony just couldn't seem to make a supply that doesn't cause interference and include it with the radio. I guess that would make the Eton the easiest buy since I suppose it has everything with it. I would have bought an Eton E1 if I had a little more credit left.

How much were the radio and power supply? I'll add it to the tally.

Edit: Nevermind, I looked it up on Universal radio.

AstroZamboni fucked around with this message at Jun 16, 2007 around 06:27

Dog Case
Oct 7, 2003



AstroZamboni posted:

Jesus merciful crap, that is one HELL of a find! Good work!
Just last night I was on the verge of ordering an E5 or the Radioshack version of the Sangean 909 used from Universal, but I decided to at least wait for my next paycheck.
Today when my girlfriend and I were out doing errands, we ALMOST skipped Value Village since it's usually pretty well picked over and we hardly ever find anything good there. Also it kind of smells like pee.

blugu64
Jul 17, 2006

Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face?

Dog Case posted:

So I was out and about today, and, well, this happened again.



Found it at Value Village for $2.99 in the box with the case, manual, earbud headphones and rollup antenna. Sorry I'm not really adding much to your financial drain tally

Go buy me one, I'll pay 3x plus shipping

Edit:
5x + shipping

AstroZamboni
Mar 8, 2007

Smoothing the Ice on Europa since 1997!

Dog Case posted:

Just last night I was on the verge of ordering an E5 or the Radioshack version of the Sangean 909 used from Universal, but I decided to at least wait for my next paycheck.
Today when my girlfriend and I were out doing errands, we ALMOST skipped Value Village since it's usually pretty well picked over and we hardly ever find anything good there. Also it kind of smells like pee.

Am I correct in thinking the YB400 has SSB? I have a neighbor who has one and loves it.

Edit: By the way, what the gently caress is "Value Village?"

Dog Case
Oct 7, 2003



AstroZamboni posted:

Am I correct in thinking the YB400 has SSB? I have a neighbor who has one and loves it.

Edit: By the way, what the gently caress is "Value Village?"

Yep, it does. Value Village is a chain thrift store kind of thing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value_Village

blugu64
Jul 17, 2006

Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face?

Dog Case posted:

Yep, it does. Value Village is a chain thrift store kind of thing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value_Village

I'm calling the store in austin tomorrow and seeing if they have any....I'll bribe an employee if I have to.

Buy one for me at 7x?

Dog Case
Oct 7, 2003



blugu64 posted:

I'm calling the store in austin tomorrow and seeing if they have any....I'll bribe an employee if I have to.

Buy one for me at 7x?

Haha. They get some stuff in quantity that I'm sure you can find at more than one store, but it's mostly just random junk people donate. My radio was a little dusty; I imagine somebody bought it, tried it out and couldn't get anything right away, let it sit around unused for a while and then it got donated.

AstroZamboni
Mar 8, 2007

Smoothing the Ice on Europa since 1997!

Dog Case posted:

Yep, it does. Value Village is a chain thrift store kind of thing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value_Village

Oh, Savers. I'm actually going to one later today for other reasons, I just didn't know it had different names in different states.

Yes, they sometimes smell like pee.

manero
Jan 30, 2006



Hey, that reminds me. I can never remember how many mAH those stupid green batteries in the KA1103 are, so I think I end up underestimating the recharge time.

Can anyone with them fill me in on how many mAH they are, or at least how long they recharge theirs for? 18 hours seems to stick in my head for some reason.

StarkRavingMad
Sep 27, 2001


Got my E5 today, what a sexy piece of equipment it is! Pulled in Radio Tokyo (I think).

Unfortunately, I think I got the power supply that causes a hum. So I'll have to call them to get the updated one.

DarkSol
May 18, 2006

Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines.

I decided to hold off on getting the E5... and save up for an E1. I remember dicking around with shortwave when I was younger, and having a blast. Definitely a hobby I want to get seriously back into.

Milka
Feb 23, 2005
at least i'm not one of the '06s

Thought tonight I would kick out the E10 with my longwire, which I threw out the window over a fence. The passport book has the great guide for identification of stations by frequency and language. I was able to grab a lot in just 20 minutes just scanning the 5500-5900 and 7100-7300 bands (I'm currently in Germany):

Deutsch Welle, three times
Vatican Radio (repetition of Ave Marias and Pater Nosters)
Voice of Russia
Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran. I think it was that but the beautiful music being played was a little too modern, it may have been radio libya.
Radio China Int'l
Radio Prague (the spanish service)
Radio Canada Int'l (in French)

There's nothing like sitting around a campfire at night and pulling in stations from far away...

StarkRavingMad
Sep 27, 2001


Just (very clearly!) got Radio Australia -- their morning show. I was all excited to hear what they were talking about as morning news in Australia and the topic...was Paris Hilton.

Fermata
Jul 20, 2006

I be scrubbin', you be watchin' yo back


Milka posted:

The passport book has the great guide for identification of stations by frequency and language.

If you don't mind me asking what passport book?

Sir Bobert Fishbone
Jan 16, 2006

Beebort


Fermata posted:

If you don't mind me asking what passport book?

The one mentioned near the bottom of the OP.

TerminalBlue
Aug 13, 2005

Ah, but don't worry, it'll all make sense; I'm a professional.


poo poo, I just barely talked myself out of buying a radio when the last numbers station thread came up. I guess this time I can't avoid it.

Although I do remember my grandparents having some kind of portable shortwave from the late 60s or so. I doubt they use it, so I should ask them if they still want it.

It's a bit fuzzy, but I think it was a Zenith of some kind. Zenith Trans-something or other. Ring any bells? And are they at all useful?

StarkRavingMad
Sep 27, 2001


Well, my plan for an intricate and awesome antenna wire failed utterly. After carefully soldering various connections, running a wire all around my rain gutters, and splicing a ground line down to my water pipes I got a signal...that was much worse in every aspect than just throwing the included wire antenna out the window. And was only marginally better than just using the telescoping antenna. Back to the drawing board.

Paperweight
Jan 17, 2007


Ya I have 2 Zenith Transoceanics from the 50s. They are tube models. Anything after 1963 is solid state. If it's anything like the 50s models it should have the date stamped on the case. They are pretty decent if aligned correctly but unless they improved the design in their solid state models, they have a limited frequency coverage. I think mine cover small bands from AM broadcast up to 18 MHZ. I think what they do cover is some of the busier parts of the bands though. I have several old radios that have full coverage. You can turn the dial through a whole band and not hear but a few signals.

These were expensive well made radios in their time. The models I have retailed for $130 new in a time when $1500 would buy you a new car. They were frequently used on yachts and while traveling by people that were well off. It should have a telescopic antenna that's hopefully in one piece. Tell me the model number and I'll look up the details in either the book I have or several sites I have bookmarked. The R-7000 was the only one to offer continuous coverage from 1.8 to 30 MHz.

For the running total on how much you got people to spend on radios; radio was $147.95 with free shipping and the AC adapter was 24.90 including shipping.

Paperweight fucked around with this message at Jun 17, 2007 around 04:29

Curly Shuffle
May 31, 2001

If not US, then Mexico.

I also got Passport to World Band Radio when I bought my E5, so I guess you can add another $16 to the total.

SoundMonkey
Apr 22, 2006

i just push buttons



I'm gonna go grab an E5 tomorrow, a local place has them on sale. I pretty much went from "meh, shortwave" to "buying an E5 at my earliest convenience" between the OP and page 2 of this thread. So add like $120 (Canadian) to the price tally.

I just got hired to work on a cruise ship for 6 months, and as such, I'll be using this radio pretty far from large urban areas. I'll be going to Alaska, Hawaii, Panama, and the Caribbean/Mexico region. Are there any especially cool things I'll be able to hear that I might not be able to head back home (Vancouver)?

StarkRavingMad
Sep 27, 2001


(edit): nevermind, link wasn't what I thought.

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Paperweight
Jan 17, 2007


So do the newer radios have a ground connection on them or does the antenna itself have to be grounded? My only experience is with older radios that have seperate antenna and ground connections. If you used a piece of wire to touch the antenna and ground connections together, the signal would be cut in half. I think the signal comes in through the antenna, passes through a transformer then out to ground. I have no idea how a newer radio works.

I mentioned before I have 2 old portable Transoceanics. These are some of the radios I experimented on (now lying in pieces, but still useable with work). They didn't pick up much of anything untill I grounded the ground terminal. Then bam, all kinds of decent reception and sci-fi noises.

I read somewhere that AM transmits a lot of it's signal through the earth. On some transmitter antennas, it's standard to have at least 120 underground radials. I think this applies to lower frequencies mostly. By day it seems the lower frequencies are about the only thing you can pick up. At night time you get everything. Winter causes all kinds of signal bounce in the atmosphere. One winter night on CB I talked with a guy in Canada like he was 2 miles away clear as a bell.

A lot of the older tube radios are AC/DC transformerless models that are kind of dangerous to use. One side of the AC plug is connected either directly or through a capacitor to the chassis. Be careful kids.

Paperweight fucked around with this message at Jun 17, 2007 around 07:33

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