Date   

Head to Head Testing - TEAC PR130 v FleaMarket FMRAD2

Paul Blundell
 

Recently I have purchased a large A/B audio switch box, this is being used for direct audio / signal testing of various radios.


 
 
I have mounted this in a large case and have run two 3.5mm audio cables out the back to connect to my radios.

My testing process with the below was to tune both the TEAC Pr130 and FleaMarket FMRAD2 to the same strong local FM station and then adjust the volume levels of each to be as close as possible to identical. I then search the band with each radio and tuned them to the same stations at the same time, using the A/B audio switch box, I then compared the signal levels and audio quality between each.


 
The results are below.


FREQUENCY - STATION
TEAC PR130
FMRAD2
95.3MHz - TAMAR FM
 
T
96.9MHz - MEANDER VALLEY FM
 
T
98.9MHz - 7AD
T
 
100.5MHz - ABC DEVONPORT
 
T
100.9MHz - 7BU
T
 
101.7MHz - SEA FM BURNIE
X
X
106.9MHz - RPH RADIO
 
T
107.7MHz - SEA FM DEVONPORT
X
X

As you can see from these test frequencies, the FleaMarket FMRAD2 worked the best, with the best audio and strongest signals on 4 of the 8 test frequencies. The TEAC PR130 was the best on 2 frequencies and on 2 of the frequencies, neither radio could receive a signal.Next I tuned across the whole FM band and focused on strong local stations. Out of the 14 stations I checked, the results for each are below.

TEAC PR130 = Overall 2/14
FleaMarket FMRAD2 = Overall 12/14

 
As my second test using this process, this worked well and produced some interesting results. My previous experience with the FleaMarket FMRAD2 on the largewave band had not been great, it was a shock to see how much better it preformed on the FM band. I have always been a bit of a fan of the TEAC PR130 but it struggled on another that was not a strong local signal. Based on this I am going to make it my "at home" casual listening radio and make greater use of the FMRAD2.

https://ultralightradiodxing.blogspot.com/2020/04/head-to-head-testing-teac-pr130-v.html
--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: Head to Head Testing - AR1690 v AR1733

Paul Blundell
 

Thanks Richard. It is something that I am really interested in and enjoying.


On Sun, 5 Apr 2020, 12:58 a.m. Richard Allen via groups.io, <dx747j=me.com@groups.io> wrote:
Paul:

Thanks for posting the article.

I’ve been FM DXing since 2010 using barefoot Tecsun ULR, primarily a PL-606.  To date I’ve logged 876 stations from across North America.  I have tried using the Crane Skywave but it isn’t as good as the PL-606.  

Good luck in your research.

Richard Allen,
near Perry OK USA.

,_._,_


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: AM radio that use a chip for the receive circuitry

Paul Blundell
 

Anything with a digital display pretty much would.

Paul

On Sat, 4 Apr 2020, 11:15 p.m. lamontcranston17, <nojunk@...> wrote:
   I'm following a thread on a group with an argument about whether new AM radios are now mostly designed with a chip
for the radio receive circuitry.
  Does anyone have a website with either a list of radios using specific chips for the receive circuitry
or a list of the chips used for receive circuitry?

                                        Thanks Mikek





--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: AM radio that use a chip for the receive circuitry

Peter Laws
 

On Sat, Apr 4, 2020 at 7:15 AM lamontcranston17 <nojunk@knology.net> wrote:

I'm following a thread on a group with an argument about whether new AM radios are now mostly designed with a chip
for the radio receive circuitry.
Does anyone have a website with either a list of radios using specific chips for the receive circuitry
or a list of the chips used for receive circuitry?

"Mostly" is pretty vague. The Tecsun line all seem to be built on the
Silicon Labs, maybe better known as SiLabs, chips. Silicon Labs is a
fine American company with operations all over. See the list of
radio-on-chip products at the link.

https://www.silabs.com/audio-and-radio

I assume there are other manufacturers with similar products, but
SiLabs is the only one I know.


--
Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!


Re: Head to Head Testing - AR1690 v AR1733

Richard Allen <dx747j@...>
 

Paul:

Thanks for posting the article.

I’ve been FM DXing since 2010 using barefoot Tecsun ULR, primarily a PL-606.  To date I’ve logged 876 stations from across North America.  I have tried using the Crane Skywave but it isn’t as good as the PL-606.  

Good luck in your research.

Richard Allen,
near Perry OK USA.

,_._,_


AM radio that use a chip for the receive circuitry

lamontcranston17
 

I'm following a thread on a group with an argument about whether new AM radios are now mostly designed with a chip
for the radio receive circuitry.
Does anyone have a website with either a list of radios using specific chips for the receive circuitry
or a list of the chips used for receive circuitry?

Thanks Mikek


Head to Head Testing - AR1690 v AR1733

Paul Blundell
 

 
Recently I have purchased a small A/B audio switch box, this is being used for direct audio / signal testing of various radios.


 
 
I have mounted this in a small case and have run two 3.5mm audio cables out the back to connect to my radios.
 
My testing process with the below was to tune both the AR1690 and AR1733 to the same strong local FM station and then adjust the volume levels of each to be as close as possible to identical. I then search the band with each radio and tuned them to the same stations at the same time, using the A/B audio switch box, I then compared the signal levels and audio quality between each.
 
 

 
The results are below.

FREQUENCY - STATION
DIGITECH AR1690
DIGITECH AR1733
95.3MHz - TAMAR FM
 
T
96.9MHz - MEANDER VALLEY FM
T
 
98.9MHz - 7AD
T
 
100.5MHz - ABC DEVONPORT
T
 
100.9MHz - 7BU
T
 
101.7MHz - SEA FM BURNIE
T
 
106.9MHz - RPH RADIO
 
T
107.7MHz - SEA FM DEVONPORT
T
 
     
     
As you can see from these test frequencies, the AR1690 worked the best, with the best audio and strongest signals on 6 of the 8 test frequencies.

Next I tuned across the whole FM band and focused on strong local stations. Out of the 14 stations I checked, the results for each are below.

AR1690 = Overall 10/14
AR1733 = Overall 4/14
 
As a first test to develop and refine my process this worked well and produced some interesting results, once our COVID19 bans and restrictions are lifted, I will undertaking more of these tests from various locations.

--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: FSL antenna for SW? #ultralightdx

igvitk
 

Thank you, Gary!


Re: FSL antenna for SW? #ultralightdx

Gary DeBock
 

Hello Igvitk,

Litz wire and ferrite optimized for the MW frequencies really isn't recommended for SW performance. Especially in a sharp-tuning FSL antenna, going outside the recommended frequency range can really throw off performance, even causing the gain peak to fizzle out completely. My recommendation would be for you to use an FSL antenna design that has been thoroughly tested and proofed out, even if you need to substitute the 250/46 Litz wire for the (more expensive) 660/46 or 1162/46 type. As long as the coil inductance is the same (i.e. the number of coil turns is similar), the antenna should work fine, although the best sensitivity always is provided by the largest diameter #46 Litz wire you can use.

Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)

 


FSL antenna for SW? #ultralightdx

igvitk
 

Hi all! I was trying to make 3 inch FSL antenna for MW band, but I ordered less than necessary of AWG 250/46 litz, and did not get the required inductance (just 180 uh instead of 350 uh). As a result, I had an idea to left small number of turns and make an antenna for shortwave band (maybe 80 or 40 m), adding variable capacitor and coupling coil for connect to reciever. But confuses the fact that the permeability of the rods is too large for SW (400 instead 100), and this type of litz wire is also suitable for frequencies below SW. Perhaps these factors will spoil the quality of the SW antenna and the best way out is to simply order a new litz?


Re: Portable Ultralight Radio DXing Case - March 2020

Paul Blundell
 

Portable Ultralight Radio DXing Case - March 2020 - An Update
 
After building my latest case, I found a couple of issues. I needed to protect the screens and cases of my radios and I also had an issue with the back section where my AR1690 was. As the AR1690 does not had a hand strap, it was hard to get it out. Based on this I made some changes.
 
I have added silver cloth tape to each section, I have also made a basic strap from cloth tape which is attached to the middle section, this goes under my AR1690 and allows me to lift it up.
 
 
Photos: https://ultralightradiodxing.blogspot.com/2020/03/portable-ultralight-radio-dxing-case.html
--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


FM BCB Loggings - 01/04/2020

Paul Blundell
 

 
-------------------------
**FMDXerDB - Report**
Report Date: 04/01/2020
Report Time: 19:30:30

Freq / Name: 087.6MHz - TOTE SPORTS
Site / Type: Abels Hill, Launceston Tasmania - LPON
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania

Freq / Name: 087.8MHz - LC FM
Site / Type: Launceston College, Tasmania - Community
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania

Freq / Name: 088.0MHz - LPON
Site / Type: Multiple - Community
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania. Low power religious broadcasts.

Freq / Name: 089.3MHz - LA FM
Site / Type: Mt Barrow, Tasmania - Commerical
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania

Freq / Name: 090.1MHz - Chilli FM
Site / Type: Mt Barrow, Tasmania - Commerical
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania

Freq / Name: 090.9MHz - Triple J
Site / Type: Mt Barrow, Tasmania - National
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania

Freq / Name: 091.7MHz - ABC Northern Tas
Site / Type: Mt Barrow, Tasmania - National
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania

Freq / Name: 092.5MHz - ABC News Radio
Site / Type: Mt Barrow, Tasmania - National
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania

Freq / Name: 093.3MHz - ABC Classic FM
Site / Type: Mt Barrow, Tasmania - National
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania

Freq / Name: 094.1MHz - ABC
Site / Type: Mt Barrow, Tasmania - National
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania

Freq / Name: 095.3MHz - Tamar FM
Site / Type: Mt George, George Town, Tasmania - Community
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania

Freq / Name: 096.5MHz - City Park Radio
Site / Type: Z - Community
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania

Freq / Name: 096.9MHz - Meander Valley FM
Site / Type: Gardners Ridge, Westbury - Community
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania

Freq / Name: 098.9MHz - 7AD
Site / Type: Devonport, Tasmania - Commerical
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania. AR1690 / External FM Aerial

Freq / Name: 100.3MHz - LAFM
Site / Type: CBD, Launceston Tasmania - Commerial (translator)
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania. AR1690 / External FM Aerial

Freq / Name: 101.7MHz - SEA FM
Site / Type: Table Cape, Tasmania - Commerical
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania. AR1690 / External FM Aerial

Freq / Name: 102.7MHz - ABC Northern Tas
Site / Type: East Launceston, Tasmania - National (Translator)
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania. AR1690 / External FM Aerial

Freq / Name: 103.7MHz - City Park Radio
Site / Type: Z - Community
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania. AR1690 / External FM Aerial

Freq / Name: 105.3MHz - WAY FM
Site / Type: Z - Community
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania. AR1690 / External FM Aerial

Freq / Name: 106.9MHz - RPH Print Radio
Site / Type: West Launceston - Community
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania. AR1690 / External FM Aerial

Freq / Name: 107.7MHz - SEA FM
Site / Type: Devonport, Tasmania - Commerical
Notes: Logged 01/04/2020 - Home, Launceston Tasmania. AR1690 / External FM Aerial




 
--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: Radio listening as a career

Tom Crosbie G6PZZ <tom@...>
 

Paul,

I was keen on radio as a child, inducted into the hobby by my father from the age of about 6. Whilst still at school, I applied for a monitoring position at the BBC’s Caversham Park site. Told them all about my 10 years operating experience shortwave equipment and my O Level in French and other subjects.. They did send me an application form and pages from a local newspaper indicating house prices. Perhaps I should have mention I was only 16!

 

Years later a friend and I made some beer money repairing car radios for a local dealer, during which time I acquired a CB radio. After a week of banality, I traded that in at a Ham radio store for a receiver, a Drake SSR 1. I met a ham at a local tyre dealer who introduced me to a local club and I was soon licenced as G6PZZ.

 

One evening another friend and I had something in bits on the kitchen table when my almost-four year Old some came into the room and dragged a chair and asked my friend what he was doing. When he just patronisingly said I’m taking this thing out, my son replied you mean that carbon resistor? The 22k Ohm 20% tolerance one? That really threw him for six. So proud of my son!

 

During my varied career I spent about 25 hears in the ham radio business, during which time I was Communications Product Manager with Navico, launching the first fully featured 2m transceiver. The Las 15 years were with Lowe Electronics, famous for their range of general coverage receivers.

 

In the meantime my son has put his knowledge of the resistor colour codes to Good use by joining our RAF as an Avionics tech, cutting his teeth on Tornados and now back to Typhoons for a second time. He spent 5 years with NATO teaching people to use all sorts of radios and threat detectors and recognising different types of radar and missile tracking signatures.bits radio Jim, but not as we know it!

 

Radio can be a good career and there are many facets to it. It’s finding what puts the spark in someone to ignite the passion to take it forward. With me it was sales!

 

Tom G6PZZ

 

 

 

From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> On Behalf Of Paul Blundell
Sent: 30 March 2020 21:59
To: main@ultralightdx.groups.io
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] Radio listening as a career

 

That sounds very interesting and something I would have loved to have done.

 

Paul

 

On Tue, 31 Mar 2020, 12:12 a.m. Ron Layton via Groups.Io, <micron327=zoho.com@groups.io> wrote:

Just curious to see if anyone else here has made a career of radio listening. I have been doing it professionally for about 40 years. I started out when I joined the US Army Security Agency and trained as an intercept operator, both voice and Morse and years later data intercept. I was stationed in places all over the world and my tours of duty usually lasted from 2 to 3 years so I moved around a lot. My main radio was the Collins R390-A URR. I also was trained on a TRD11 direction finder and some early solid state high tech radios. It was an interesting career. I later worked off and on as a civilian and retired in 2013. It sure played hell with my hearing since we had to turn the radios up so we could try and dig signals out of the QRM and QRN. I loved to listen to AM and was an avid SWL when I was a kid and had a very helpful uncle who gave me a big old Hammarlund HQ-180  for my 10th birthday! I was sure got hooked on DX then!  That's what started it and the rest is history.


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: Radio listening as a career

Paul Blundell
 

That sounds very interesting and something I would have loved to have done.

Paul

On Tue, 31 Mar 2020, 12:12 a.m. Ron Layton via Groups.Io, <micron327=zoho.com@groups.io> wrote:
Just curious to see if anyone else here has made a career of radio listening. I have been doing it professionally for about 40 years. I started out when I joined the US Army Security Agency and trained as an intercept operator, both voice and Morse and years later data intercept. I was stationed in places all over the world and my tours of duty usually lasted from 2 to 3 years so I moved around a lot. My main radio was the Collins R390-A URR. I also was trained on a TRD11 direction finder and some early solid state high tech radios. It was an interesting career. I later worked off and on as a civilian and retired in 2013. It sure played hell with my hearing since we had to turn the radios up so we could try and dig signals out of the QRM and QRN. I loved to listen to AM and was an avid SWL when I was a kid and had a very helpful uncle who gave me a big old Hammarlund HQ-180  for my 10th birthday! I was sure got hooked on DX then!  That's what started it and the rest is history.


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Radio listening as a career

Ron Layton
 

Just curious to see if anyone else here has made a career of radio listening. I have been doing it professionally for about 40 years. I started out when I joined the US Army Security Agency and trained as an intercept operator, both voice and Morse and years later data intercept. I was stationed in places all over the world and my tours of duty usually lasted from 2 to 3 years so I moved around a lot. My main radio was the Collins R390-A URR. I also was trained on a TRD11 direction finder and some early solid state high tech radios. It was an interesting career. I later worked off and on as a civilian and retired in 2013. It sure played hell with my hearing since we had to turn the radios up so we could try and dig signals out of the QRM and QRN. I loved to listen to AM and was an avid SWL when I was a kid and had a very helpful uncle who gave me a big old Hammarlund HQ-180  for my 10th birthday! I was sure got hooked on DX then!  That's what started it and the rest is history.


Re: "Shelter at Home" -- A Tinkering Nerd's Dream!

Ron Layton
 

Thanks for the info, Gary. I just got a very good deal on a GE Super Radio 1 so I'm hoping to get some good DX with it. I know its not UL, but at this point I can't afford to put a lot of money into ferrite and litz wire. I have a PL-600, again, not UL that works fairly well with my home made milk crate loop. My only UL radios are a PL-380 and a Kaito WRX-911. I built a 7.5" ferrite rod antenna and it really pulls in stations with the WRX-911. I'll read your articles on FSL construction and maybe someday bite the bullet and order Litz and rods. Thanks again.


Re: "Shelter at Home" -- A Tinkering Nerd's Dream!

Gary DeBock
 

Hi Todd (and Michael),

<<<   I never knew how many MW FSL antennas you have stored at home. The development process seems to have gone through multiple iterations. There are enough FSLs to sell online as a business.   >>>

Well, you are probably correct, Todd, but since it's a labor of love I've certainly given away far more FSL's than I've ever sold. Financially there doesn't seem to be a need to do so, although my wife (in her zeal to free up more space) would be the first to agree with you!

<<<   I am still using a 40 inch side length table-top 4-leg style PVC tunable air core box loop with 9 turns. What would be the equivalent size FSL antenna that would offer comparable MW DX gain?   >>>

The 5" FSL antenna full construction project (posted at the link in the previous message) was extensively tested against a 4 foot (48") air core box loop here, and demonstrated equivalent gain, with a slightly better S/N ratio. However, the 5" FSL has much sharper tuning than an air core loop, and takes some DXing practice in order to get the best performance out of it. The new, razor-sharp "384P" variable caps transform the 5" FSL into a tiny little DXing firecracker, but without serious practice most DXers will probably be left longing for a broader-tuning air core loop. The latest 5" FSL antennas will provide exception gain once you carefully tune in the DX, but without practice you will find it tough to even locate the gain peak.

<<<   One possible drawback with the current COVID-19 stay at home guidelines, is increased local QRM. More people staying at home translates to more electrical devices operating. So far there hasn't been a notable increase in MW noise. If anything, electrical storm static last night rendered 558 KHz 6WA Wagin almost unlistenable.   >>>

Definitely true, even here, Todd. With so many families "sheltering at home" there has been an explosion of RFI of all types, as families try anything and everything to entertain themselves... indefinitely. To make matters worse, the Governor has placed all ocean beach state parks off limits-- pretty much locking you into the RFI at your home location.

558-6WA is one of our annual targets at the plunging Rockwork Cliff each August, so I certainly hope the virus will wrap up before then!

<<<   The Australian government today announced a new maximum two person gathering rule. This effectively puts a lid on club DX gatherings. I've been using Zoom software for my local Cong bi-weekly meetings. This software could also be used for DXer meetings. Any large DX club or local DX group could set up a meeting by using an assigned Zoom software log-in number. The audio and video quality is surprisingly good.   >>>

Well, Oz DXer Chris Rogers and I were very fortunate to have our Hawaii DXpedition in November-- before the entire world went into a pandemic meltdown! Come to think of it, my wife was trying to talk me into a luxury cruise about now-- but somehow she never mentions that idea any more.

73, Gary

   
 


Re: "Shelter at Home" -- A Tinkering Nerd's Dream!

Gary DeBock
 

<<<   I'm really interested in any "exotic" antenna that will work with my PL-600. Any ideas? Whats a ballpark price for the construction of one of the small FSL and are the materials readily available? 73's   >>>

Hi Ron,

There have been several "full construction" articles published for small FSL antennas, with all of them using the Russian surplus 140mm and 160mm ferrite rods (which are still available on eBay).
 
A 5 inch diameter FSL model with a "design price" of $95 (construction parts only) was published in 2012, and is linked at http://www.mediafire.com/file/9ze98h293s85p86/5_inch_FSL.doc/file
That particular model is being upgraded as one of the current design projects, with 1062/46 Litz wire (significantly more sensitive) and a "384P" variable cap from Mike's Electronic Parts (significantly higher Q). Together, the two upgrades provide a big difference in performance.

A 3.5 inch "Frequent Flyer" FSL model was designed (and a full construction article was published) in 2017. It is essentially a shrunken-down 5" FSL with slightly longer ferrite rods and more sensitive Litz wire-- resulting in exactly the same gain. It is a TSA-friendly model designed for overseas air travel in hand carry luggage, and the full construction article is posted at  http://www.mediafire.com/file/pnfm8909c77zjoy/3.5inch-FF-FSL.doc/file
Because of the increased component costs that model will run about $150 in construction parts.

The 5 inch "Frequent Flyer" FSL models that Craig Barnes and I use for Hawaii DXpeditions are built with the lightweight Russian surplus 100mm x 20mm x 3mm ferrite bars, which unfortunately have not been available commercially since 2012. There are very scarce (even among experimenters), so no more articles using them have been published recently. 

73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)
 


Re: "Shelter at Home" -- A Tinkering Nerd's Dream!

Michael.2E0IHW
 

Now we know why many of us are receiving weak signals :
Gary's FSL array is sucking in most of the RF energy :-)

Michael UK

On 30/03/2020 03:45, Todd via Groups.Io wrote:
Hi Gary,
I never knew how many MW FSL antennas you have stored at home. The development process seems to have gone through multiple iterations. There are enough FSLs to sell online as a business.
...
Regards,
Todd
Sydney, Australia


New Sub Group - ultralightdxSocial

Paul Blundell
 

Hi all.

To help both keep the main group "on topic" but also allow some more "social" interactions, especially with how the world is at the moment around COVID-19, I have created a sub group, it can be found here:
https://ultralightdx.groups.io/g/ultralightdxSocial



--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX

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