Woerden, The Netherlands
52o5′ N, 4o53′ O
(52.08, 4.90 digital)
Receivers in use:
My first SDR receiver which I bought on the occasion of my retirement from work as a little investment in restarting the hobby. Truth be told I was not sure if I should buy this one or a Perseus or ELAD. I wasn’t too familiar with all the SDR stuff at the time and this set still facilitates conventional “by the tuning knob” DX-ing. I was also concerned about interference from the PC on the receiver.
After a few weeks I had it hooked up on my PC. The window frame was drilled through to route coax cables to my new antennas on the roof terrace, far away from sources of noise. And I never touched the tuning knob again. That said, I’m still very pleased with the excellent performance of this receiver. No regrets!
My second serious receiver. Compared to the Grundig Satellit 3400 sensitivity on mediumwave and tropical wave bands was better. It also offered better bandwidth control and passband tuning. Compared to the Grundig I had to get used to the poor audio though, and mainly used it with a headphone set.
Today I have this receiver in use to monitor a single frequency, say for DCS, FAX or SSTV. And it still doesn’t disappoint!
I bought this little receiver early 2023 for three reasons. 1) It is cheap, 2) I wanted additional monitoring capability for frequency surveys or band scans, 3) I wanted to have a portable set when I’m with the caravan on a campsite or a hotel. Already made some nice catches with it, but it is too early to make a comparison with either the ICOM R8600 or the JRC NRD535.
Grundig G6 Aviator
My travel companion since 2009. The “Buzz Aldrin Edition”, celebrating 50 years from “Tranquility Base”, the first moon landing. Wonderful robust little thing, as so many Grundig products were. Only problem is the plastic casing, designed to give you a nice soft feel, better than that of cheap hard plastics. Probably nobody thought the radio would last that long, but after almost 15 years it became really sticky. A thorough clean-up with ethanol solved the issue.
Bonito or NTi Megaloop FX 1.2 mtr diameter outdoor antenna
Receivers I used to have:
In the 80-ies I got really addicted to NDB listening. And the perfect radio to do so was this Murhpy B41. Some of you might know the B40 for SW coverage, this B41 was dedicated to Long Wave, covering 10 to 700 kHz in 5 ranges. It was in use in the British Navy.
The big advantage of this “tube receiver” was a very low S/N ratio. The biggest disadvantage was its weight, 43 kgs… It was a huge challenge carrying this one to the attic where I had my “boy’s room”. Nice detail: the manual came with instructions on how to destroy this radio should it fall in enemy hands… not an easy task given its sturdy build!
Grundig Satellit 3400
My first real “professional” shortwave receiver. I was 18, worked in cleaning jobs during summer at Hoogovens (now Tata Steel) in Velsen to save money to buy this beautiful receiver. Between 1980 and 1991 it was my main receiver until I replaced it with the JRC NRD 535. For the first time I had a receiver that covered the “tropical bands”.
It had digital frequency read out, a novelty in those days, making DX-ing and station identification quite a bit easier. Can you imagine that hard-core DX-ers complained that folks were just sending in reports when they heard “something” on the specific frequency, without listening for proper station ID?
One of the Satellit 3400 characteristics was the “drum tuner”. It already featured on its predecessor the Satellit 2100. With a knob you physically plugged in and activated a tuning board for each SW band. Great for performance, but over time also a bit of a problem… although the contacts where gold plated, they were subject to some fouling, resulting in poor contact. The receiver was “portable”, but weighed 8.9 kg, so it was pretty heavy lifting taking it to DX-weekends using public transport (of course I didn’t have a car in those days).
Not mentioned often, this radio offered a very sensitive FM reception. Just using its telescope antenna I was able to receive stations from Belgium and the UK… but also – with proper conditions – from Spain!
National Panasonic RF829-B
During my teenage years in the 70-ies having your own radio was what every boy or girl wanted. It enabled you to listen to your favourite radio station while doing home work (or pretending to do home work). I had a Philips radiocassette portable, but I found out that the Panasonic portable that my sister owned offered much better shortwave reception. It featured 49, 41 and 31 meter bands only, but allowed me to receive many European stations with their English service in the evening hours. Radio Sofia, Bulgaria was one of my favourites.
My first radio, the family radio in the 60-ies. My dad was really into free radio, and the radio was mostly tuned to Radio Veronica in those days. When I was 16 years old the radio was replaced by what we called an “audio tower” and cable reception got introduced….
I “confiscated” the radio to listen to short wave, but I also used it as receiver for 3 meter (104-108 MHz) reception of “illegal” radiostations. This required a bit of fiddling with the tuning circuits of this radio to push the range beyond 100 Mhz… and in doing so I experienced my first “electrical shock”.
To get a more accurate reading for shortwave I put a millimeter paper strip on the scale to get a better calibration. It was primitive, but I did manage to receive HCJB from Quito, Ecuador on this radio!