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AM radio DX as a hobby
#1
AM radio DX as a hobby
The title AM DX is something I've been doing some internet research about radios along with prebuilt and DIY antennas. I've strayed a bit in the research to include FM DX or otherwise a bit, but trying to focus on AM/MW.

I'm thinking there's some amateur radio enthusiasts out here, so feel free to chip in what you wish. I guess I'm in a passive mood so I've been just considering this as a listening hobby that includes good broadcast radios and possibly dabbling on simple antenna building at some point.

Comments on antenna build or otherwise, radios, etc. are sought after. I am considering C. Crane maybe for a prebuilt antenna and/or radio, also Tecsun, Sangean, Grundig, Eton brands of radio. That's in no particular preference order. I am preferential to digital readouts as they're easier to view and typically includes station memory. Anything I'd do would be need to be "apartment friendly" including reasonable sized outdoor antennas that happen to be inside without mounting.
Dave

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#2
RE: AM radio DX as a hobby
Back when I was about 10 or 12 I used a 5 tube superhet - the ordinary radio of the times - and stayed up late listening to WBZ Boston, CKLW Windsor, and others fairly regularly in Cleveland Ohio. The radio had the standard loop antenna, so I turned the whole radio for best pickup. I recall getting a New Orleans station from time to time.
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#3
RE: AM radio DX as a hobby
FWIW one of those YouTube clips on a Tecsun PL-880 radio demo that was getting DX AM several hundreds of miles away. I think it was late evening and he not using an external antenna.
Dave

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Standard OSCAR Chart Order
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#4
RE: AM radio DX as a hobby
I just use SDR dongles and one of the free sdr programs like SDR#. You'll need an upconverter or one of the newer dongles that have the ability to go that low in freq. There are tons of antenna ideas on internet.

Using FlashAir W-03 SD card in machine. Access through wifi with FlashPAP or Sleep Master utilities.

I wanted to learn Binary so I enrolled in Binary 101. I seemed to have missed the first four courses. Big Grinnie

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#5
RE: AM radio DX as a hobby
I bought a Radio Shack DX-440 AM/SW/MW/FM radio way back in the early 90's.  Still working strong.  They don't make it anymore of course, but it included a BFO (beat frequency oscillator) which was very nice, digital tuning, telescoping antenna and an external antenna jack as well to attach a long wire.

You can sometimes pick them up used in good condition.  Mine is still working strong today, nearly 30 years later.

Pretty sure most of todays Tecsun, Sangean, & Eton radios are Chinese or Taiwan made and not quite to the quality specs that used to be common 30 years ago.  Some may be assembled here, but using parts from Asia. Grundig used to be very solid back then, but their quality has gone down since then. They're still usable and function, but if you compare today's radios with those of yesteryear, there's an obvious quality difference.

My Yaesu ham radio transceiver is also pretty good for wide-band listening as well as using it for the amateur bands.  You don't have to be a licensed ham to buy one, just need to be licensed if you're going to transmit.  

73,

de KB9xxx
SuperSleeper
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.




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#6
RE: AM radio DX as a hobby
Thanks for the pointers so far. Those older radios cost more than some of these new types at today's pricing. I've noticed that you'll get what you pay for, as in typically the more you pay, the better the radio. Not always but mostly. I'll debate with myself for a while before I decide on the radio brand and model.

I've already found out there's quite a few antenna DIY pages out there along with lots of variants in shape, size, material, and build. One interesting AM/MW loop antenna was a wood base, 1/2" copper tubing, repurposed AM tuner, and a short section of speaker wire. Simple suits Dave on DIY.
Dave

OSCAR
Standard OSCAR Chart Order
Mask Primer
Dealing With A DME
Soft Cervical Collar Wiki
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#7
RE: AM radio DX as a hobby
(09-09-2019, 03:00 PM)SuperSleeper Wrote: I bought a Radio Shack DX-440 AM/SW/MW/FM radio way back in the early 90's.  Still working strong.  They don't make it anymore of course, but it included a BFO (beat frequency oscillator) which was very nice, digital tuning, telescoping antenna and an external antenna jack as well to attach a long wire.

You can sometimes pick them up used in good condition.  Mine is still working strong today, nearly 30 years later.

Pretty sure most of todays Tecsun, Sangean, & Eton radios are Chinese or Taiwan made and not quite to the quality specs that used to be common 30 years ago.  Some may be assembled here, but using parts from Asia.  Grundig used to be very solid back then, but their quality has gone down since then.  They're still usable and function, but if you compare today's radios with those of yesteryear, there's an obvious quality difference.

My Yaesu ham radio transceiver is also pretty good for wide-band listening as well as using it for the amateur bands.  You don't have to be a licensed ham to buy one, just need to be licensed if you're going to transmit.  

73,

de KB9xxx


Man, I miss Radio Shack.  Those were the days.  Today in Canada they turned into Bell Cell Phone depots. Total disgrace.

Anyhow, I second the recommendation of SDR.  Computers have reached a point to be able to replace many of the old analog devices for signa conversion and capturing.  As the other user said, there's awesome free software out there that allows you to take advantage of low cost interfaces to capture the airwaves that would costs many 1000's of dollars with traditional pro gear.
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#8
RE: AM radio DX as a hobby
I was into the SDR back when it first started and bought several of the boards and hard-to-find parts as they were released. Then they started re-issuing the boards due to changes. Then the price just got to be unreal. I dropped out for several years. We're doing renovations to the house which is going to include moving my office. I'm wanting to include a station as part of it. I have several radios, just no way to use them. I had an inverted V antenna from the metal roof down (old TV antenna post with PVC pipe slid onto it) to tops of fence posts. I had taken the ends off the posts one winter and in the spring, a friend was helping to do something up on the roof. He "helped" by removing the PVC pipe and jerked off the wires. I didn't have the heart to tell him.

Somewhere I have a shortwave radio. I ought to find it and start listening in.

And yeah, I miss radio shack. Could just go, rummage through the parts, get exactly what you need, and that was that. Now it is limited to online places.
PaulaO

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#9
RE: AM radio DX as a hobby
They did seem to have a gadget to answer everything. I think the last thing I bought from Radio Shack was a $9 102" whip antenna that I bolted to my car for CB.
Dave

OSCAR
Standard OSCAR Chart Order
Mask Primer
Dealing With A DME
Soft Cervical Collar Wiki
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#10
RE: AM radio DX as a hobby
OK, well I ordered a C.Crane CCRadio 2E today on eBay, new sealed box condition. ETA is set for
4/7-4/9/2020.

This seems like an interesting radio with C.Crane's Twin Ferrite AM antenna built-in. This radio has a very large 5" speaker, does AM/FM/WX and 2 Meter. WX has 3 stage alert. It's not loaded with tons of presets, the only negative for me. C.Crane says they're near Fortuna, CA.

Youtuber Todderbert reviewed this several times. At his 45 mile from Chicago location, he was getting DX AM into NYC Atlanta etc. easy.

Hey, it's something to do while in lockdown. It's gonna be loads of fun, unless nobody is at their radio station...

Coffee
Dave

OSCAR
Standard OSCAR Chart Order
Mask Primer
Dealing With A DME
Soft Cervical Collar Wiki
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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