Re: Stock Sangean DT-400W Receives 6 TP's at Grayland

Gary DeBock

Hello Dennis,
     Thanks for your comments on your new DT-400W.  It's true that its sensitivity is great, but for somebody used to the selectivity of the analog SRF-59 and SRF-39FP units, it may seem somewhat more susceptible to local slop, as reported in the Shootout (B for selectivity, compared to A- for the SRF-59 and SRF-39FP).
In general, high-sensitivity Ultralights perform best away from urban areas, and especially well on isolated ocean beaches around sunrise :>)
     Of course I have a stock E100, and have tested it out extensively against the DT-400W.  The stock E100 has superior selectivity to all other Ultralights, and by a pretty wide margin when compared to other digital units like the DT-400W.  Unfortunately, the stock loopstick is a classic case of corporate cost cutting, in my opinion. With the flat loopstick skimping badly on ferrite, the low-band sensitivity performance of a stock E100 is pretty humble, compared to that of the DT-400W.  Even when the E100's loopstick is aligned to peak a 600 kHz signal, it will still come in a poor second to the DT-400W on all frequencies up to about 1000 kHz.  On the higher frequencies, the stock E100 becomes more competitive with the DT-400W until they are equally sensitive on the X- Band.  The E100's stock loopstick just begs to be replaced with a more sensitive Amidon 7.5" model, which is what the hard-core experimenters have done here in Washington state to create a super Ultralight.
     Having personally received multiple TP's on California beaches (using modest portables) while I was in the Navy at San Diego, I can assure you that propagation is certainly adequate on many days of the fall DX season.  Your challenge, Dennis, will be to find some frequencies where your local Santa Barbara QRM doesn't obliterate the weak signals.  The six TP frequencies successfully used by the DT-400W yesterday might be a good starting point (594, 747, 774, 972, 1566 and 1575).  If any of these are relatively clear in Santa Barbara, take your new DT-400W to the beach about 15 minutes before sunrise, face the NW direction, invert the radio (remember the little quirk mentioned in the Shootout), and listen for a weak-sounding signal in a language other than English or Spanish.  Each of these TP stations has its own programming identity, so if you hear any clues at all, feel free to post any questions.  I'm sure the TP gang will be extremely happy to help you, or anyone else with enough confidence and determination to chase TP's with stock Ultralights.  Good luck!
     73,  Gary  

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