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Author Topic: Receiver Is Dead - Long Live The Receiver!  (Read 5474 times)

RadioRay

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Receiver Is Dead - Long Live The Receiver!
« on: September 21, 2013, 01:28:43 AM »
Well -

Back in the early 1990's, I bought a Sony LW/AM/HF/FM band receiver with discrete sideband reception and etc.  The model was the SW100.  It was the size of an audio cassette tape, popular at the time. A real marvel. I am certain that I spent over $300 for it at the Denver area HRO. 



I have drug this radio over four continents. Exposed it to sub-zero temps at high altitude in snow camps in Colorado and Idaho, roasting deserts in the USA, jungle cities on Borneo. As a back-up HF receiver for sailing weather. I've even had it in Japan and Thailand, Malaysia, Germany, The Czech Republic .... the list goes on.  It's been SO used and has so many repairs, that the outside is well worn, even the semi-sticky rubber coating is almost completely worn off.  I could probably repair it yet again, but it's SOOOOO worn out and patched battery door latch was made from a Japanese paper clip when the radio was dropped onto a hard floor and broke away the door dogs...  Well, it finally died 3 days ago, which is good, because if it had been a horse, I would probably have had to SHOOT it anyway, because it was so worn-out & tired!

So, I decided to replace it.  Not requiring the ultra-miniature radio, but still wanting something to put into my day pack; I selected the Kaito 1103 (AKA: Degen 1103) from an Amazon vendor.  The radio has always had glowing reviews of great sensitivity, better and average selectivity, DOUBLE CONVERSION which greatly reduces 'ghost' interference. Naturally, it has a BFO so that I can receive SSB and CW.  This is NOT discrete upper/lower side band as the old Sony had, but for a radio that cost me $69 plus $3 and some change for delivery to my door in less than 24 hours, no complaints. The radio comes with 4 AA NiMH batteries and the radio has a built-in charger when powered using the supplied wall wart.



Mini-Review:  Wow!  Excellent sensitivity, stable, SSB/CW is usable, though not to be mistaken for a communications grade receiver, due to the WIDE bandwidth, because the radio is optimized for shortwave listening.  As a plus, it's a HOT FM and AM receiver as well, in fact better than anything I've owned in years for listening to AM/FM which I largely avoid. This radio has an audio sample port that is separate from the headphone jack so that you can port audio to a PC or iPhone/iPod to read PSK31, or to look at weather fax from HF. 

Without a doubt, I appreciate this new radio.  No - I cannot put three of them into my shirt pocket.  Then again, it's a hotter receiver, more stable and cost me just over $72 delivered to my door in under one day, as opposed to the over $300 of my 1994 Dollars and a long drive.

>>>====>  If you want a small, good performing portable shortwave receiver with SSB/CW capability (remember this is NOT separate USB/LSB, it is BFO injection) then I can highly recommend the Kaito 1103 also sold as the Degen 1103.  Shop around for best prices, but Amazon did well for me.


>de RadioRay ..._ ._

Ps.  This and a small solar charger would keep you going for a VERY long time!
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 01:32:32 AM by RadioRay »
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

gil

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Re: Receiver Is Dead - Long Live The Receiver!
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2013, 01:48:06 AM »
Awesome Ray! Now, the BFO injection, what does that mean in practical terms?

Gil.

Rob_ma

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Re: Receiver Is Dead - Long Live The Receiver!
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2013, 08:53:53 AM »
The Kaito KA1102 radios are also a great deal for $65. Digital readout, small footprint, great battery life and excellent receiver for a portable. I'm embarrassed to compare it to my Sony ICF-2010 which is a high end portable.



- Rob
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 04:53:42 PM by Rob_ma »

KK0G

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Re: Receiver Is Dead - Long Live The Receiver!
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2013, 11:12:35 AM »
That's a neat little rig at an awesome price. I'd be tempted to get one but truthfully I don't need one and right now I have a higher priority for my limited radio fun money, as in a 30/80 meter module for my KX1.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

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KC9TNH

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Re: Receiver Is Dead - Long Live The Receiver!
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2013, 10:26:41 PM »
Awesome Ray! Now, the BFO injection, what does that mean in practical terms?

Gil.
Awesome timing as well; I was flipping around between one of these 2 radios for a particular grand-daughter for Christmas time. So critical nit-posting appreciated. After all, I sure can't say he mislead me about the KX3's performance, but I'm not puttin' one of those under the tree.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 01:05:49 PM by KC9TNH »

KC9TNH

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Re: Receiver Is Dead - Long Live The Receiver!
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2013, 01:43:59 PM »
Now, the BFO injection, what does that mean in practical terms?

Gil.
Almost missed the question while Christmas shopping. Do you mean the added function that is normally incorporated into the integrated circuit frunctions generally known as a "product detector" nowadays?  Needed to discriminate SSB...?  (versus really old stuff that just detect AM with its separate carrier, SSB's carrier is in the content).  Or is this a "what do I push/dial to make this work?" type question?

Man, there's alot of quality stuff out there now.



RadioRay

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Re: Receiver Is Dead - Long Live The Receiver!
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2013, 02:09:51 PM »
Many people are used to 'modern' rigs (made since 1970... in my case...) that have a switch for upper sideband  or lower sideband.  This type of receiver uses a 'product detector' with a fixed beat frequency .  Old CW operators like me, are used to a receiver with a BFO (beat frequency oscillator) that injects into the I.F. to put a tone on top of a received frequency so that you can copy Morse code (SSB is necessary). 

The difference is that those used to USB/LSB switch are used to true 'single sideband' reception in that when you listen to CW in upper sideband, you ONLY hear signal above your zero beat frequency.  In lower sideband, you only hear signal below tour frequency.  With a receiver that uses a BFO, you hear signal above and below your listening frequency at the same time (they WERE the in single sideband, but filtered out.  You usually set the BFO at ZERO and then tune the receiver to 'zero beat' the CW signal so that it is in the center of the pass band and then adjust the BFO for whatever pitch you like. No need for an RIT, because the BFO does not change your transmit frequency or the receive frequency, only the tone in your earphones changes.  With narrow filters, you will likely not notice the difference in most cases for CW.

This little receiver has wide filters for voice - but it's not half bad for CW and even works for SSB if there is not TOO horrible of interference on the opposite side band.  For the PRICE, it's a VERY GOOD deal!  Much bang for the buck here, both for entertainment and for use in monitoring the shortwave bands, ham bands (including 'digital modes'.  AM/FM reception is excellent, allowing me to listen to many more stations with low quality programming . . .     ::)


For those who ask the question 'Which small shortwave receiver should I buy?" , I recommend this one. I came to my door within 24 hours for about $73, with case, 4x AA NiMH batteries, a ten meter wire antenna, wall-wart, manual and quick start guide. 

I listen to All India Radio to EUROPE from my kitchen table as well as Radio Australia on 21740.  This receiver is how I like my women: HOT and yet stable!


de RadioRay ..._ ._

"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

KC9TNH

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Re: Receiver Is Dead - Long Live The Receiver!
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2013, 02:48:08 PM »
For those who ask the question 'Which small shortwave receiver should I buy?" , I recommend this one. I came to my door within 24 hours for about $73, with case, 4x AA NiMH batteries, a ten meter wire antenna, wall-wart, manual and quick start guide.
Especially for young ones that may not own their own banks of alternate power, I like that it will charge the NiMHs in the unit when plugged in. Thanks.

This receiver is how I like my women: HOT and yet stable!
Ah. Yes, Orient/Euro good then. Sud Amerika not so much.  8)

Radio Preppers

Re: Receiver Is Dead - Long Live The Receiver!
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2013, 02:48:08 PM »