Re: Guy Atkin's Independent Testing of PL-380 7.5" Loopstick

Tony Germanotta

I'll have to look into building a regen. Sounds like my kind of radio. Right now I'm swamped with work I am not so successfully avoiding. So I have had to put real radio projects on hold. When I come up for air in a month, I guess I could combine the hobby by building a regen amp for a box loop to feed into one of those non-tuned stereo set air-core AM loops I can couple to the UL by slipping it around the radio.

And pretty soon this ultra light outfit will take up an entire room. And that's the charm of what John and you others discovered. The pure joy of using little radios to do amazing things. I find I keep going back to a station until I can conquer it without loops or any other assistance beyond a pair of headphones.  

On Feb 11, 2010, at 8:45 PM, jim_kr1s wrote:


--- In, Tony Germanotta <germanotta.tony@...> wrote:

> But one of the problems of the new radios is we wind up with so little to tweak and turn. How many times have I missed an ID because I tried to "improve" the signal that little bit more right at the top or bottom of the hour?

Ha! Yep. Keep those fingers away from the radio at TOH/BOH!

> My old set up used to include a bunch of audio processors as well: the JPS NIR10, a magic notch, and an Autek QF-1A all feeding high quality communications headphones.

I had an NIR-10, reviewed it for QST and wound up buying it. Still have a couple of QF1-As here. The NIR-10 had the ability to knock out vocals and leave the background music, in case you were into karaoke.

> It was fun switching in filters, narrowing passbands and trying to eke out intelligence from the noise. But that would seem awfully silly attached to these tiny radios as well. Sort of defeats the spirit of UL.

The QF1-A can help notch heterodynes but I haven't tried it on a ULR, for no particular reason. Have used it on the regen. If you like twisting knobs, a regen is the way to go. There isn't much I can get on the PL-380 that isn't there on the regen, except when coping with a couple of local stations. And there's no AGC, which I find is a benefit. I took some pains to make a good audio system in the regen, with a low-pass filter to help roll off noise, and low distortion. I always listen with headphones. I've logged stuff on the regen I still haven't logged on a ULR.

> Sony or Philips or any other electronics giant can't operate at that profit margin.

They could always build a plant in China! Sony does some really dumb stuff. I have one of their MP3 recorders, the -70 model. The instruction book covers the -60, -70 and -80. Reading the book you'd think the only difference was the size of the flash memory. The -70 is 1 GB, more than enough for a night of DXing. But the book talks about charging the internal AAA battery off the USB port, by turning on that function in a menu, in case you're using an alkaline cell instead. So I get some AAA NiMH cells, and discover that function isn't on the menu! They must have included it only on the -80 model. Arrrrrrrrrggh. But the thing works well and now I have a $2.00, postage included, AAA charger from Hong Kong, to add to the menagerie.


Jim, KR1S 

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