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Who has one of these radios?

Discussion in 'Electronic Devices' started by Gerry.GEG, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. Gerry.GEG

    Gerry.GEG Empty Pockets

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    Just bought last week and experimenting how to use it effectively. Doesn't seen to pick up many stations from my area although I'm sure it's something I'm failing to understand so far.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. xbanker
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    xbanker Geriatric Admin
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    Don't have this radio, but have read a number of fairly detailed reviews (both iterations: CountyComm's and the seeminly identical Tecsun PL-365). Mostly high marks for sensitivity and ability to pull in signals. If you're in a non-rural area, lack of reception surprising. Not trying to be cute, but ... has several switches ... sure you've got them set properly?
     
  3. chmsam

    chmsam Loaded Pockets

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    I don't have one of those radios but used to listen to a lot of radio bands. I'll go at this from a very basic approach.

    Are you new to radio listening (beyond the usual radio in a home or in the car)? HF and SSB are very different. Even AM on a portable radio has its complications. Shouldn't be too big a deal though but we need more info.

    How familiar are you with your radio and with radio listening in general? Did you take time to really read the manual and play with the radio for awhile? Not meant as an insult. It's just that most people don't and they miss the cure for a "problem" that really isn't anything more than missing which button does what.

    What do you listen to? What do you want to listen to?

    What specifically do you have a problem with while you're trying to listen? Are you getting a lot of "background noise" or are the stations just not there like you'd expect them to be?

    If you're just not hearing what you'd like to, first off the international HF (High Frequency or "ham" bands) broadcasts dropped off like a stone a few years ago, especially for the powerhouse BBC. A lot of broadcasters had massive budget cuts or just went to broadcasting via the Internet. If you're looking for HF the way it was years ago it just ain't there any longer.

    Also, HF frequencies change at different times of the day, not just broadcasts. This has to do with how the signals carry versus environmental conditions (mostly due to how the sun and the atmosphere interfere with signals at different frequencies). There are certain times of the day that specific frequencies work better and that has to coincide with what you want to hear on HF and AM.

    If you're looking to get better reception on AM/FM bands then read up on low cost antenna options. No more high tech than a piece of wire cut to the appropriate length may work wonders. Attach the wire to the whip antenna with an alligator clip. Simple. Cheap. Works most of the time.

    However, too much antenna can make things worse. The wrong length of antenna will mean less received signal on the bands you want to hear. Amplified or powered antennas will capture more noise as well as radio signals. There are websites that let you put in the frequency you want to hear and then calculate for you how long an antenna wire you'll want. No single antenna will pull in everything so you'll need to adjust. Adding on to a wire antenna by simply clipping on another length will work to some degree.

    If you're just getting a lot of noise, these things will interfere with radio signals:

    -High power lines near the house.
    -Computers and related equipment
    -Electric motors
    -Light dimmers
    -Fluorescent lighting
    -Nearby radio stations/ham radio operators
    -Running cars
    And there are other sources of interference.

    Shut off what you can or move away from it but electrical noise is almost everywhere. Listening while on a hike away from houses and power lines is quite a bit better than trying it in an urban or even rural community. Most every gadget people like to use will interfere with reception.

    Post what you want or expect with the radio and we'll see what might help but details help.

    Sent from expensive tin cans tied to lots of string.
     
  4. xbanker
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    xbanker Geriatric Admin
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    chmsam

    ^^^ Two thumbs-up for your detailed, helpful reply! Good info.
     
    Gerry.GEG likes this.
  5. echo victor

    echo victor Previously "YankeeHotelFoxtrot"

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    he could check the HF beacons from various spots on the world; just google "worldwide HF beacons" and you'll get a freq list and you can check various freqs at various times. There are different beacons covering different bands (freq ranges). Building on what chmsam said, HF reception is determined by diurnal ionospheric conditions. Using a beacon can tell a person if a freq from a specific area of the world is "open" (usable) or "closed (not usable). If you can hear a beacon of freq X a a specific time, that band is open and can be used. So, if you can hear various beacons you can check your radio that way.
     
  6. Gerry.GEG

    Gerry.GEG Empty Pockets

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    Thanks for taking the time to respond with this helpful information. Sorry for the late reply. I'll check your suggestions and yes, I have read the very short manual that came with it ;) I think I just need to work with it and look up more info on the net regarding how to use this type of radio to it's fullest.
     
  7. Gerry.GEG

    Gerry.GEG Empty Pockets

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    Thanks for those tips.
     
  8. Gerry.GEG

    Gerry.GEG Empty Pockets

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    Thanks for this tip. I'll look into it.

     
  9. Bogwan

    Bogwan Loaded Pockets

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    I have owned this radio for a few months. Using the whip antenna I can pick up a few shortwave stations but you really need to use the wire antenna to get very many stations. With shortwave, frequencies come in better at different times of the day or night. It has an internal AM antenna that will pick up local stations but you need to use the plug-in "T" antenna to receive anything beyond the locals. My main complaint with this receiver is that you can not go to frequencies directly by key entry. You have to scan to get frequencies and then manually enter them or store them automatically. Using the wire antenna the radio is fairly sensitive. It does a good job receiving single sideband stations. I get much better reception using it outside away from noise producing sources inside. Watch out for the new LED lighting. It produces a lot of RF noise and makes the HF section of the band almost impossible to receive weaker signals. Jim N7UAP
     
  10. chaosmagnet
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    chaosmagnet Loaded Pockets

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