BUY a sensitive AM radio to listen to far away stations

Thread Starter

zwo

Joined May 4, 2010
11
Hello I justed retired after a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery and I started a new hobby of listening to far stations so I need to purchase a new radio that works well on AM for this purpose. I know that you guys are experts in your fields and I am sure someone can help me.
Thank you very much for reading my question, all your suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Best Regards Michel
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,492
Here is the response I made to your first thread on this:

Here is a radio I would recommend highly. It's designed for "DX" that is, long distance listening, and it includes the shortwave bands which you might enjoy as well. It's not cheap, but it's the right tool.

You can pay more and get more, but if you outgrow this radio by extending your hobby to serious SWL, you will always find it a useful radio for portable use, and if it is enough, you will have a very good radio.

https://www.amazon.com/Tecsun-PL880-Conversion-Shortwave-Reception/dp/B00GJ51NVA/
 

Tesla23

Joined May 10, 2009
481
Hello I justed retired after a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery and I started a new hobby of listening to far stations so I need to purchase a new radio that works well on AM for this purpose. I know that you guys are experts in your fields and I am sure someone can help me.
Thank you very much for reading my question, all your suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Best Regards Michel
I'd suggest that you google 'Medium Wave DX receiver' (without the quotes) and read up a bit before you make a purchase.

I know that intuitively you want great sensitivity to receive stations far away, but equally (and sometimes more) important is the ability to reject much stronger signals (often from local stations). The antenna is also very important. Read up on what those with more experience say and recommend, I don't know of any dxers here (I haven't played around on AM since I was at school).

The receiver that Yaakov recommends may be a reasonable start to a new hobby, to find out what interests you, but it does have some limitations, You will likely want to experiment with an external antenna but I think this limits you to the internal ferrite rod, and small portable receivers typically have lousy linearity. It will in all likelihood, though, get you a heap of stations you haven't heard yet, and may be all you need. Read up on others' experiences and see what interets you and what equipment they used.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,666
Here are some suggestions.
It looks like a well designed loop antenna is the way to go.
I like loop induction antennas for LW/MW reception. Being mainly sensitive to the magnetic component of the signal they are far less sensitive to locally generated near-field hash and noise that usually have large electric field energy ratios because most have high impedance at RF generation sources.

 
Hello Zwo. Are you just wanting to listen to AM radio, or multiple bands like UHF and VHF amateur bands or everything? The RTL-SDR is pretty cool. You can listen in to anything from VLF all the way up to the top of UHF. Get a roll of appropriate coax cable some fittings and you can make a simple dipole antenna. It does need a PC or laptop to run or you can use a Raspberry Pi 4.
 

sparky 1

Joined Nov 3, 2018
576
Buy a sensitive AM radio. One of the tools can be SDR.
Software Defined Radio has the visual spectrum to help organise the reception and show where sensitivity is needed.
If for example you want to enhance reception for the AM band SDR has very useful tools that were expensive years ago.
Filtering, conditioning, separating, tuning, organising, inspecting, analyzing, being objective about determining an antenna system ect
 

Thread Starter

zwo

Joined May 4, 2010
11
Hello everyone, Just a heart felt THANK YOU to all the great experts that replied to my call for help with my new hobby. The info you all shared was simply great ! My eyes are now open wide. I will be spending some time reading and learning and then buy and or make myself into a DX'er. Many thanks to all that replyed. Best Regards Michel
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,490
I have an SDR and an Icom R-75. I also use Ham Radio Deluxe with the R-75 which gives me the band sweeping and visual display. I can tell you the R-75 beats the tar outta the SDR! It is also a bit more pricey but you get what you pay for. For a RCVR antenna, the long wire is hard to beat albeit not very directional and you need some acreage to spread it (100+ feet is good). The nice thing about the loop is that it is directional and takes up a whole lot less space. The R-75 also has dual selectable antenna inputs so I also have a sloper at 90° to the long wire. It also helps to have an antenna tuner and pre-amp. The digital signal processing of the newer radios does wonders.
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,425
I have an SDR and an Icom R-75. I also use Ham Radio Deluxe with the R-75 which gives me the band sweeping and visual display. I can tell you the R-75 beats the tar outta the SDR! It is also a bit more pricey but you get what you pay for. For a RCVR antenna, the long wire is hard to beat albeit not very directional and you need some acreage to spread it (100+ feet is good). The nice thing about the loop is that it is directional and takes up a whole lot less space. The R-75 also has dual selectable antenna inputs so I also have a sloper at 90° to the long wire. It also helps to have an antenna tuner and pre-amp. The digital signal processing of the newer radios does wonders.
Whether at home or going at sea I used long wire extensively. I would consider it, directional. In all cases, an antenna tuner helped a lot.

If you have room to rig say, four switchable wires, you could get a reasonable coverage around the horizon.

Yes, with the vessel, it depends of her course.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,666
Whether at home or going at sea I used long wire extensively. I would consider it, directional. In all cases, an antenna tuner helped a lot.

If you have room to rig say, four switchable wires, you could get a reasonable coverage around the horizon.

Yes, with the vessel, it depends of her course.
You guys couldn't just turn the antenna when the ship changed course?
lcc20-01.jpg
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
6,061
Look around for any SWL clubs or groups. SWL (Short Wave Listening) was quite the hobby when I was a kid. Look for "Clear channel Stations" which during the evening when some local channels shut down the clear channel stations increase the transmitter power. You want a good receiver with a good antenna. When I would log an overseas station I would mail them a card with an IRC (International Response Coupon) so they could mail me back their station QSL card. My first good receiver was a National Radio NC173 and I had an old WWII Collins 192 followed by an old surplus R392 and I still have the R392. With my short wave listening I eventually got into ham radio.

Today there are plenty of really great receivers out there with high sensitivity and as mentioned they work best with a good antenna system. The better ones can be a bit pricey.

Ron
 
Top