Shortwave, FM/AM DX'ing and radio listening hobby

#1
Anyone else like listening to shortwave bands? I was in radioshack today looking at antennas and I seen some nice shortwave rigs. Like Grundig for example. I seen alot of nice rigs for a good price. I'm thinking of getting one for DX'ing and listening to stations around the world. Anyone have a cabinet radio/shortwave rig at home?

Heres the one I saw:

Grundig S350 Deluxe AM/FM/SW Radio - RadioShack.com
 
#3
Y'know I was looking at that little Mini300 by Grundig at Radio Shack. Nice little rig - and for some reason I didn't buy it then, and just this week I snagged it for $22 NIB on ebay! Darned sensitive tuning wheel but sound is amazing for the size and I'm pulling in some good stuff. It's impressed me to the point that I want some kind of cabinet rig for the house and I'll just carry this with me for on the spot DXing. I've been away from the hobby for years! If you're looking for something portable the 300 might suit you. LOL Now I've got to spring for a couple of books with freqs and what have you!
 
#5
Me too Dave

I'm off to Raddiddio Shaque to get a spool of wire and a crocagator clip and set up something outdoor that I can clip to the wee antenna on my 300, and later when I get a nice table model radio I can hook it up to that with a regular plug. Been having some adventures with that little pocket model! And I can't wait to see what I pull in with a better antenna setup. :cell:
 

divxhacker

DTVUSA Member
#6
I used to go to this retired WWII friend's (call sign W6AYN) place and listened on his ham radio/shortwave radio setup. I so wanted to salvage the radio before his daughters sold his house to a demolition rebuilder, but he said a lot of it was very old and hardwired into the house - the room was pretty much built around the radio. He passed on a few months after.

I haven't wanted to touch one since.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#7
My ham license is still active but I haven't used it in a decade, so I am out of touch with what is a good SW receiver.

But one thing that never changes is antenna.

SWL (Short Wave Listening) is antenna, antenna, antenna.

Bigger is normally better but higher is really better. Higher on SW is high

Good SWL antenna are various in type and most of them are just wire. Which one can work for you depends on two things. One is what do you have room to put up, and two what are your favorite bands or do you listen to everything from 3 to 30 MHz?

The list of antenna is so long, it mostly depends on how much room you have to string wire more than any other constraint.

---

The SW Radio also makes a huge difference, but to model numbers I am out of date. One thing we always looked for in the past were

1) Sensitivity (all receivers want this)
2) Variable IF or Bandpass or at least an audio bandpass filter system.
3) Lots of Dynamic Range, so weak signal were not swamped.

At the top of the list should probably be an external ant input, as even a modest piece of wire will out preform a whip antenna.

============

FM DXing is a whole lot like high band TV, but has more range, due to a few factors. Narrow audio travels farther needing less Signal to Noise than TV (even analog TV). The low end of the band you can often hear Sporadic E skip beside just tropo, and E skip is good for 1200 miles or so.

As crowded as the band is now a directional antenna is very good. Not a lot of them are made compared to TV antennas. You can spend 35 to 90 dollars on an antenna

You can also use your old 2-13 TV antenna if you kept one after changing to a newer antenna recently.

This is a great starter antenna
Antennacraft FM6 6 Element FM Antenna (FM6) | FM6 [Antennacraft]
I own one and it works well.
You don't need an amp on FM. RG6 is only 2 db per 100 ft in the middle of the band. Most leadins are 50 so that is only 1 db. Chances of overload on FM are tremendous because of all the FM stations even in Rural Areas.....
Check FMFool first if you really want to run an amp.

Winegard makes a bigger FM, but they dropped their monster FM (too bad).
Their Winegard HD6000 PROSTAR 1000 FM Antenna (HD-6000) | HD-6000 [Winegard] is not as good as the AntennaCraft (2 to 3 db less) above but is ok for someone just wanting a some gain to a pick up a weak local. If you want to DX at all spend the $11 more on the AntennaCraft FM6.

There is of course Winegard HD HD6055P HD-Platinum FM Antenna (HD-6055P ) | HD6055P [Winegard] for $90, but it doesn't have the extra gain to make it worth the money unless you only plan to run one antenna.

Better is to start stacking AntennaCraft FM6 antennas. Two of the side by side is the way to start, as that will narrow the beamwidth more than help with gain (though you should get about another 2.5 db) as the band is so crowded. How far apart? Well I would start with 70 inches boom to boom, but I am not an expert on stacking FM beams. I just wanted to mention this as it becomes a construction project to stack them. If you just want to hunt E-Skip opening put the array LOW, about 10 ft up. If you want tropo, go higher. But even at 20 ft the tropo in most places peaks. Remember skip comes from the sky and doesn't have hills and stuff in the way.

Of course if you want to go crazy put up a quad array of FM6 antennas. There is a good place to build your own also. 3 Element Yagi

==========

AM Dxing is yet another ball of wax. Most large wire antennas or verticals on this band are just too noisy, as static at 1MHz is STRONGGGGGGGGGGGGGG.

Better are the loop antennas. There are many designs as people have been building them for a century now. Just google AM Loop Antennas.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#8
Anyone else like listening to shortwave bands? I was in radioshack today looking at antennas and I seen some nice shortwave rigs. Like Grundig for example. I seen alot of nice rigs for a good price. I'm thinking of getting one for DX'ing and listening to stations around the world. Anyone have a cabinet radio/shortwave rig at home?

Heres the one I saw:

Grundig S350 Deluxe AM/FM/SW Radio - RadioShack.com
Static did you ever buy anything?
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#10
If you have any yard at all a roll of wire, be sure to get one with an antenna input. I can tell you several antennas to try if you ever go there.
 
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