Date   

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

Guy Atkins
 

Gary,
 
Is it possible to adjust the 1400 kHz trimmer by alternating between disassembly as needed to access the trimmer, making a small tweak to the cap, and reassembling it enough to check? With enough repeats of this cycle it should be possible to zero in on the best trimmer setting without soldering in 14 jumper wires. The only downside I can see is that too much flexing of the stock jumper wires might break a wire or solder joint.
 
Guy Atkins
Puyallup, WA
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: ultralightdx@... [mailto:ultralightdx@...]On Behalf Of D1028Gary@...
Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 11:03 AM
To: ultralightdx@...
Subject: Re: [ultralightdx] Re: Stock Sangean DT-400W Receives 6 TP's at Grayland

     Any DT-400W can be easily aligned for optimum low-band sensitivity simply by peaking the loopstick coil on a 600 kHz weak signal, but this new unit's redesigned RF board has the 1400 kHz trimmer in an inaccessible position when in the operating configuration, which makes it impossible to align without multiple jumpers (which I'm sure Sangean uses for its own alignments).  Normally I would attempt to construct such an alignment setup, but with 14 close-spaced jumpers required, I decided to wait until my schedule isn't so crammed.
 
 
.


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

Gary DeBock
 

Hi Guy,
 
     Thanks for your suggestion about a possible 1400 kHz trimmer adjustment procedure for the DT-400W.
 
     As we recall, when you developed your DT-200VX alignment procedure, on the DT-200VX RF board the 1400 kHz trimmer and AM IF transformer adjustments are just barely accessible in the operating configuration (with the 14-lead plug in jack between the RF and digital circuit boards just barely making contact, as the boards are separated enough to provide access to the two adjustments).  On the DT-200VX, both of these adjustments have a "hair trigger" adjustment tendency, in which slight changes throw the whole AM alignment seriously out of the optimum position.
 
     On the DT-400W, however, the RF board has been completely redesigned, with the 1400 kHz trimmer and AM IF transformer adjustments relocated to a completely inaccessible position whenever the 14-lead connection jack has continuity.  As such, these hair-trigger adjustments cannot have optimum alignment without a technician-constructed alignment jig, connecting the 14-lead jack with enough space to provide access to the two adjustments.  This assumes that the extra RF lead lengths would not act as small "antennas," throwing off the whole AM alignment due to stray oscillations.  I assume that Sangean has such an alignment setup, so it must be possible to align the radio this way.  Unfortunately, with multiple hobby projects having higher priority here (E100 Slider Loopstick article, etc.), I haven't really had time to construct such a DT-400 alignment jig, and ensure its proper function.
 
     Your suggestion of adjusting the 1400 kHz trimmer by a slow incremental method would certainly work well on a radio without such a hair-trigger adjustment tendency, Guy, although the risk of degrading the existing sensitivity due to an inability to "hit the peak" would be too great in the case of the DT-400W, in my opinion. Long term, the only real solution is to tackle the problem head-on, build an alignment jig, and assuming that it is reasonably similar to the equipment that Sangean itself uses, hopefully have a resource where the entire enthusiast group can have optimum DT-400W alignments.  The RF design itself has a lot of promise, and with the exception of Richard's unit, quality control does seem to be above average for factory alignments.  All three test units here had fine sensitivity, straight from the factory. The price is very reasonable for such a high-sensitivity design, and after using it at Grayland two days ago, it has become my favorite TP-chasing stock Ultralight.  
 
     73,  Gary
 
       




It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel deal here.


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

bbwrwy
 

Gary: I got the DT-400W that isn't as sensitive as my SRF-M37W and
SRF-59 (my third) I use for DXing. It is only better at the lower end
of the AM band than the E100. I guess I'll order another DT-400W and
see if it's better. As we've all discovered from using these little
wonders there seems to be misalignment issues with all of them.

Sensitivity aside, the DT-400W is the easiest of my little ultralights
to use. It's ability to null interfering signals is almost equal to
the Sony receivers. For example, I was able to log five new stations
(and a new state) by nulling WKY-930 (5 kW @ 92 km/57 mi). This
morning I nulled WWLS-640 (5 kW @ 122 km/75 mi) and heard three new
stations in a half-hour. One being KTIB, Thibodeaux LA reading orders
to evacuate the area ahead of hurrican Gustav. In my opinion the
DT-400W is a very worthwhile receiver, and I look forward to seeing
how it be modified.

Now if I can figure out a way to block out the IBOC jamming! A half a
century ago they made color TV compatible with black and whire, so why
can't they figure out how to get HD right??? But they wouldn't be
able to sell those new newfangled receiver they want us to buy!!!

Have a good DXing holiday everyone.

Richard Allen.


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

Gary DeBock
 

Hi Richard,
 
     I'm sorry that your new DT-400W isn't performing to your expectations, and yes, with other models there has been a wide variation in quality control at the Chinese factories for AM alignments.  Being aware of this, before recommending the DT-400W as a top performer, I ordered three units from Amazon and tested out all three to ensure that the high sensitivity wasn't a rare fluke.  They all performed equally well here, although it's certainly possible that all of mine were from one factory, and that other factories may not be so diligent in ensuring top sensitivity. Other DT-400W users have seemed pleased with the sensitivity so far, but there certainly could be some yellow-colored lemons around.
 
     Any DT-400W can be easily aligned for optimum low-band sensitivity simply by peaking the loopstick coil on a 600 kHz weak signal, but this new unit's redesigned RF board has the 1400 kHz trimmer in an inaccessible position when in the operating configuration, which makes it impossible to align without multiple jumpers (which I'm sure Sangean uses for its own alignments).  Normally I would attempt to construct such an alignment setup, but with 14 close-spaced jumpers required, I decided to wait until my schedule isn't so crammed.
 
      If you order another DT-400W and it also doesn't perform to your satisfaction, Richard, please let us know ASAP.  We may need to keep a serial number data base for inadequate units, like John did for the inferior "new" E100's.
 
     73,  Gary   




It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel deal here.


another great evening propagation wise

Allen Willie
 

 
 
Hi Guys,
 
Pretty decent conditions last evening as I  added another 19 stations to my Robert Ross 30 Day Challenge list. Total now standing at 202 so far  Transatlantics and domestics were both numerous here in the Atlantic .
 
A Few logs as follows:
 
1179 khz - Sweden , Radio Sweden  Solvesborg  8/30/08  23:29 UTC  w/ Radio Sweden Interval signal, frequency mentioned and woman after in Swedish ; good
 
 630 khz - Norway, NRK1  Vigra   8/30/08  23:28 UTC  w/ pop songs including Love Me Baby in English, woman with talk in Norwegian; fair
 
1290 khz - WKBK Keene, New Hampshire   8/31/08  5:00 UTC  w/ "More Ways To Get Your News 1290 WKBK " ID then into News; fair
 
840 khz - WHAS Lexington, Kentucky  8/31/08  6:00 UTC w/ " 24 Hrs A Day, Depend On It, Newsradio 84 WHAS" ID ,Talk show ; fair
 
 
*** WHAS was logged using the SRF-39FP, all others with the SRF-M37V  *** both barefoot
 
 
73
Allen Willie
St. John's, Newfoundland
SRF-M37V and SRF-39FP barefoot


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Re: Inside a G6 + Review Comments

starship20012001 <starship_2001@...>
 

Thank You John. I was thinking about this one back in June at the
begining of summer but passed after seeing not too great reveiws about
issues. Your review puts a final coffin nail on it.
--- In ultralightdx@yahoogroups.com, "Gary Kinsman" <gkinsman@...>
wrote:

Hi John,

Thanks for your thoughts on the G6. Between what you said, and what
Colin said in his review, I think I'll pass.

Regards,
Gary


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

starship20012001 <starship_2001@...>
 

There must be QC issues for the E-10s and E-100s. My e-10 (e-ten)
performs above average and had excellant sensativity on MW. In fact it
does something other radios wont do. It allows MW DX without shutting
of power at the main in this noisy QHT. It also allows access to
jammed 1st ajacents o IBOC staitons with its excellant nulling abilty
and low MW noise floor. It has performed better then the Kaito 1103 on
MW. This one must be above average on QC. My eton e-100 perform aabout
average very sensative on high end of MW band with high noise floor
not bad on he lower end. As far as the DT-400 (yellow one) i was
thinking about it but i really don't need to "collect" any more
radios. I push them aside as new ones arrive like the srf-59 is
obsolete to me.
--- In ultralightdx@yahoogroups.com, "Dennis Gibson" <wb6tnb@...>
wrote:

My DT-400W arrived yesterday. Wow! The MW sensitivity is indeed
fantastic throughout the entire band. I'm a little disappointed with
the selectivity but I don't have anything similar to compare it to
(except a Sangean DT-110, which is on the turkey list and rightfully
so) so maybe I'm expecting too much. I have five locals within seven
miles (three are only a little over one mile away) but none are more
than 1 KW at night.

I can walk to the beach but I don't know anybody in California
looking
for TP's so I don't know if hearing any from here (Santa Barbara) is
even feasible. I'd like suggestions on which frequencies I'd be the
most likely to find TP's on.

Are a stock DT-400W and a stock E100 even in the same league or fair
to compare to each other? I'm still thinking about getting one but
I'm
hesitant because the MW on my E10 isn't that great. It was
refurbished
so maybe that's why it was returned but it isn't aligned properly.
Gary has offered to have a look at it so maybe I'll let him. I guess
if I want an E100 I'd better get it while the single conversion type
is still available.

What type of batteries are you guys using? A friend says his SRF-59
isn't great with NiMH's but is really great with alkalines. I use
NiMH's in radios that charge them internally (Kaito KA1103 and E10)
and alkalines in everything else. Maybe my E10 would work better with
alkalines.

Thanks again to Gary for all of his hard work and imagination.

--- In ultralightdx@yahoogroups.com, D1028Gary@ wrote:

Hello Guys,

With a sudden rare chance to get away to Grayland, WA for an
early
morning of DXing on the ocean beach, I couldn't wait to try out
the
three top
performers from the Summertime Shootout-- the DT-400W, a modified
E100, and
the tiny SRF-S84. I was especially interested in seeing how the
DT-400W would
compete against the previous "sensitivity king," the SRF-T615.

The SRF-T615 is an excellent, compact Ultralight, although
very pricey
compared to the DT-400W (about $120 including shipping compared to
about
$55). So how did these two perform in an actual DXpedition
environment? Well,
the two were similar on the low frequencies, and both could
receive
JOAK-594,
JOIB-747 and JOUB-774 without too much trouble. HLCA-972 was
slightly
stronger on the DT-400W, but not by much. But on the receptions
of
HLAZ-1566 and
VOA Thailand-1575, the DT-400W was really superior, making
crystal-clear mp3's
of both stations (that the SRF-T615 had at a pretty weak level).
The stock
DT-400W was able to produce an mp3 of an ID from VOA-1575 (7,200
miles) that
sounded like a local, and I'll try to upload the recording to the
ultralightdx file section soon. The Sangean managed to receive 7
DX "countries" in one
early morning (Canada, USA, Mexico, Hawaii (KPUA-670), Japan, S.
Korea, and
Thailand).

My modified E100 has been logging weak TP's since June 29,
but
it has
very fanatical sensitivity and selectivity improvements, so it's
not fair to
compare it to a stock Ultralight. During this trip to Grayland,
it
received
North Korea-657, China-1593 and a presumed Taiwan-738, which would
be its 22nd
TP catch. Developed here in Washington state together with John
Bryant and
Guy Atkins, this extremely effective E100 will be the subject of
some
upcoming technical DIY articles, so that everybody can have one of
these "secret DX
weapons."

The tiny analog Sony SRF-S84 was also a blast to use,
managing
to log
its first TP with a reception of JOUB-774. When properly aligned
(for free, by
me), this ridiculously small Ultralight has performance that can
make even a
paltry propagation morning seem like an absolute blast.

If any of you feel like AM-DXing is not as much fun as it was
before,
just take a few top-rated Ultralights to an ocean beach... and
you'll be
shocked and thrilled along with the rest of us.

73, Gary


Re: Inside a G6 + Review Comments

Gary Kinsman
 

Hi John,

Thanks for your thoughts on the G6. Between what you said, and what
Colin said in his review, I think I'll pass.

Regards,
Gary


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

Dennis Gibson <wb6tnb@...>
 

My DT-400W arrived yesterday. Wow! The MW sensitivity is indeed
fantastic throughout the entire band. I'm a little disappointed with
the selectivity but I don't have anything similar to compare it to
(except a Sangean DT-110, which is on the turkey list and rightfully
so) so maybe I'm expecting too much. I have five locals within seven
miles (three are only a little over one mile away) but none are more
than 1 KW at night.

I can walk to the beach but I don't know anybody in California looking
for TP's so I don't know if hearing any from here (Santa Barbara) is
even feasible. I'd like suggestions on which frequencies I'd be the
most likely to find TP's on.

Are a stock DT-400W and a stock E100 even in the same league or fair
to compare to each other? I'm still thinking about getting one but I'm
hesitant because the MW on my E10 isn't that great. It was refurbished
so maybe that's why it was returned but it isn't aligned properly.
Gary has offered to have a look at it so maybe I'll let him. I guess
if I want an E100 I'd better get it while the single conversion type
is still available.

What type of batteries are you guys using? A friend says his SRF-59
isn't great with NiMH's but is really great with alkalines. I use
NiMH's in radios that charge them internally (Kaito KA1103 and E10)
and alkalines in everything else. Maybe my E10 would work better with
alkalines.

Thanks again to Gary for all of his hard work and imagination.

--- In ultralightdx@yahoogroups.com, D1028Gary@... wrote:

Hello Guys,

With a sudden rare chance to get away to Grayland, WA for an
early
morning of DXing on the ocean beach, I couldn't wait to try out the
three top
performers from the Summertime Shootout-- the DT-400W, a modified
E100, and
the tiny SRF-S84. I was especially interested in seeing how the
DT-400W would
compete against the previous "sensitivity king," the SRF-T615.

The SRF-T615 is an excellent, compact Ultralight, although
very pricey
compared to the DT-400W (about $120 including shipping compared to
about
$55). So how did these two perform in an actual DXpedition
environment? Well,
the two were similar on the low frequencies, and both could receive
JOAK-594,
JOIB-747 and JOUB-774 without too much trouble. HLCA-972 was slightly
stronger on the DT-400W, but not by much. But on the receptions of
HLAZ-1566 and
VOA Thailand-1575, the DT-400W was really superior, making
crystal-clear mp3's
of both stations (that the SRF-T615 had at a pretty weak level).
The stock
DT-400W was able to produce an mp3 of an ID from VOA-1575 (7,200
miles) that
sounded like a local, and I'll try to upload the recording to the
ultralightdx file section soon. The Sangean managed to receive 7
DX "countries" in one
early morning (Canada, USA, Mexico, Hawaii (KPUA-670), Japan, S.
Korea, and
Thailand).

My modified E100 has been logging weak TP's since June 29, but
it has
very fanatical sensitivity and selectivity improvements, so it's
not fair to
compare it to a stock Ultralight. During this trip to Grayland, it
received
North Korea-657, China-1593 and a presumed Taiwan-738, which would
be its 22nd
TP catch. Developed here in Washington state together with John
Bryant and
Guy Atkins, this extremely effective E100 will be the subject of some
upcoming technical DIY articles, so that everybody can have one of
these "secret DX
weapons."

The tiny analog Sony SRF-S84 was also a blast to use, managing
to log
its first TP with a reception of JOUB-774. When properly aligned
(for free, by
me), this ridiculously small Ultralight has performance that can
make even a
paltry propagation morning seem like an absolute blast.

If any of you feel like AM-DXing is not as much fun as it was
before,
just take a few top-rated Ultralights to an ocean beach... and
you'll be
shocked and thrilled along with the rest of us.

73, Gary


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  




It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel deal here.


another new country and state heard on ultralights

Allen Willie
 

 
 
Hi Guys,
 
Conditions last evening started out rather blah with Transatlantics in early again but somewhat weaker. than previous evening. Then later on around 10 PM local time here things got interesting. Managed to log 12 more for the   Robert Ross 30 day challenge which brings the count to 191 stations after 5 days.
 
Bagged 2 new ones which included a new state,  Texas and another country , Tunisia. Logged the Tunisia station with the SRF-39FP completely upside down for the best signal nulling the local on 640 here allowing a clearer signal .
 
All other logs with the SRF-M37V.
 
 From 1600-1700 khz (extended band)  had been hard to dig signals out until last night also
 
 Some Logs from the evening  as follows:
 
  630 khz - Tunisia , RTT Tunis   3:18 UTC     8/30/08  w/ slow chants and arabic talk ; fair *** NEW COUNTRY ***  # 53 on ULR    3227 miles (5193 km)
 
1700 khz - KVNS Brownsville, Texas    3:39 UTC  8/30/08  w/ spanish talk and announcements and playing oldies ; fair   *** NEW STATE *** # 22 on ULR (first time to hear this one at readable level)
 
1566 khz - Benin, Africa    Trans World Radio    22:02 UTC  08/29/08 w/ "ID - The International Voice of Trans World Radio " by man in English  , drumbeats before and after ID ; fair
 
1548 khz - Kuwait, R. Sawa   22:16 UTC  8/29/08  w/ R. Sawa ID, news in arabic, commentary; good
 
1296 khz - Radio XL London England   00:45 UTC  8/30/08 w/ Indian  language programming
 
1650 khz - WHKT  Portsmouth, Virginia  2:57 UTC   8/30/08  w/ Radio Disney ID's and Radio Disney.com mentioned ; fair
 
 
73
Allen Willie
St. John's, Newfoundland
SRF-M37V and SRF-39FP barefoot
 
 
 


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Inside a G6 + Review Comments

John H. Bryant <bjohnorcas@...>
 

I had hoped that a modified E6, with its reported SSB capability, could serve as a spotting receiver for my hotrodded E100 on my upcoming adventure to coastal Peru. I now don't think that I'll take it, but I did learn quite a few things while modifying the radio. I've uploaded five photos to our Photo section that will give you a peak at the inside of a G6 and see my antenna mod, as well.

http://ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/ultralightdx/photos/browse/f619

Opening the set is no problem at all... two screws on the back and one in the battery compartment. What you get is a clamshell, connected together by a ribbon cable.  The upper board with the display and control circuitry (and speaker) stays with the top and the main board with the input/output jacks to one side, stays with the bottom.  I think that the main board is held in by those input/output jacks on one side and a single screw on the other.  I'm pretty sure that the plastic fitting where the ribbon cable meets the main board is NOT a pin plug, but just a hard-wire solder fitting to permanently attach the two boards together. I also would not be surprised if the main board is also glued in the back part of the case.  What I'm hinting at is my opinion that doing a filter change on this radio would be a NIGHTMARE....  so would any other mods to the main board.

Putting an antenna pickup coil on the ferrite bar was a bit of an adventure. The bar was held in with three blobs of hot glue which came out quite easily, but prying the bar up so that it could be worked on was really tough.  It turns out that there is a blob of really tough glue under each end of the bar, too.  I'd guess that anyone would have about a 50-50 chance of breaking the bar rather than getting it out. I finally raised one end far enough to put the pickup coil around the bar.  Since I could not get to the back side of the main board to attach the coil leads to the existing antenna jack, I used a continuity tester and found metal tabs on the outside of the jack that would connect to the two parts of the antenna plug (tip and braid).... after tacking the two leads to the antenna jack, it was just a matter of buttoning things up.  

I tested the new antenna input arrangement immediately.... sitting in my shack between two computers, the radio, barefoot, was wall-to-wall buzzes, burps and just a few stations, badly QRMed. I plugged in the outside antenna and things cleared immediately.... the "swamping effect" was alive and well and I could feed MW signals directly to the G6 from outside.  Success!!!

REVIEW COMMENTS
What I did not note in my brief look yesterday afternoon was signs of massive amounts of overloading.  I should have been looking for this, given Colin Newell's comments in his current review on dxer.ca about the 6 being too sensitive for use in urban areas. I really looked forward to testing the G6 this morning at dawn, with plenty of Asian split frequency stations, some that would be running S-8 or so. Man was I shocked and disappointed!!!!  First, there was quite massive overloading on MW.  It was so bad that the SSB detection basically wouldn't work.... the 10 kHz splits were pretty well smeared together and I don't know what else was going on...  The radio was not at all happy connected to the giant 70' x 100' Super Loop.  I had hoped to at least hear 774 and 1566 with the G6, since both were in the middle between 10 kHz stations and each was running S-8 or so when I tried.... there was nary a trace, even though there did seem to be a slight "gap" between each pair of 10 kHz. stations. All that I can figure is the massive amounts of RF coming in from the big loop was simply desensitizing the radio.  In any case, attaching a major outside antenna to the G6 for MW should only be attempted in the far Out Back, like Grayland, where there are no nearby stations.  I'm not at all sure how it would behave there, even.  I should add the front end was overwhelmed and there were ghostly and not so ghostly MW signals at least as high as 10 MHz on shortwave.Its really clear why the designers restricted the MW band to the small ferrite bar and not an outside antenna.

I suspect that the SW part of the radio would work OK on an outside antenna, without the ferrite bar loop that I added.... which is feeding massive MW signals to the front end.  I'll try that after I take the added MW loop out of the antenna circuit.

My biggest disappointment was the SSB capabilities of the radio.  I suppose that it is true that the G6 circuit will demodulate signals transmitted in SSB, though I did not look around on the ham bands for a SSB signal to try it out and I'm not sure.  It is true that you can zero-beat an MW AM signal using the slow tuning and true that you will understand the audio.  HOWEVER, I'll bet my entire pension that you are still listening to both side bands.... it ain't SINGLE SIDE BAND at all! Those of you old enough to remember DXing before SSB will no doubt recall listening to an AM signal with the BFO on. If you tuned to the center of an AM signal and then zero-beat (centered) the BFO over it, you could tune up and down the band hearing a descending whistle until you hit the center of a signal, and then the whistle would go right back up as you tuned past. Well, imagine that BFO fixed on the center of the AM frequency and unable to be tuned independently from the main tuning of the radio..... What do you have, then???   You have a frequency or carrier marker, but you are not able to select one side band or the other to listen to, to dodge adjacent channel slop, or dodge IBOC or whatever.  So the usefulness of the mislabeled G6 "SSB" is quite limited for an international MW DXer and non-existent for those who DX on domestic frequencies.

There are other limitations to the "SSB" detection system offered on the G6.  The "SSB" detection is clearly intended to be used with the slow tuning rate, which actually feels like slow analog tuning. It takes almost four full rotations of the knob to go one kHz. That's fine for clarifying a signal and none too slow, at that.  However, its useless for slow band scanning in "SSB" to detect international carriers.  You can use "SSB" in the fast tuning mode (a 1 kHz tuning step, when in "SSB.") That capability, if everything else worked as an international MWaver would wish, would be marginally useful.  The optimum tuning step would be 0.1 kHz, but the full kHz would be somewhat useful. Of course, the design of those other things actually work against its use as an international DX machine.

The "SSB" capability has one further nasty habit: When in Fast tuning mode (what you would use for Int. MW) the BFO seems offset about 300 Hertz to produce a garbled growl. I think that is so that you will know that you are in "SSB." You can then switch to Slow tuning and clarify..... HOWEVER, when you switch back to Fast tuning, it jumps back to the 300 Hertz growl!!!  It does that every time.  Unless my unit is defective, it is simply another example of the engineers dumbing down a circuit for the "convenience" of unsophisticated users. Grrrrr!

CONCLUSION
Since I've verbally stood on this radio and jumped up and down, I need to remind myself that these sets WERE NOT DESIGNED FOR DXing!!!  We are absolutely misusing these receivers from the designers' point of view. As Colin implied in his dxer.ca review, the G6 could be a really good set for the suburban or, especially rural person (too sensitive for many urban uses) who wished to program listen on shortwave or, even MW. Its a nice little radio with a superb strength meter and LCD for its size and pretty reasonable audio quality. That is exactly what the Eton/Grundig designers were challenged to provide, I would guess.

For the Domestic MW DXer, the plusses are 1 kHz resolution and the sensitivity (outside urban areas) and the minuses are a useless SSB capability (for DXing) and fairly wide selectivity. For the International MW DXer, the G6 is one of John Madden's four-drumstick TURKEYS. It is one of life's little ironies that the "SSB capability" that disqualifies this radio as an official Ultralight radio is so useless for DXing MW.    

There went $100 right down the drain!

John B.
Orcas Island, WA, USA
Rcvrs: WiNRADiO 313e, Eton e1, Ultralights
Antennas: Two 70' x 100' Conti Super Loops, West and Northwest


Stock Sangean DT-400W Grayland TP mp3's

Gary DeBock
 

Hello Guys,
 
     For those still considering a purchase of the new DT-400W, two very clear mp3's of VOA-1575 Thailand and HLAZ-1566 in South Korea recently recorded on the new stock Sangean Ultralight have been uploaded to the group file site.  Received at Grayland, WA on 8-29-08, these demonstrate the DT-400W's superior high-band sensitivity.
 
     73,  Gary
 
    




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

Gary DeBock
 

Hello Guys,
 
     With a sudden rare chance to get away to Grayland, WA  for an early morning of DXing on the ocean beach, I couldn't wait to try out the three top performers from the Summertime Shootout--  the DT-400W, a modified E100, and the tiny SRF-S84.  I was especially interested in seeing how the DT-400W would compete against the previous "sensitivity king," the SRF-T615.
 
     The SRF-T615 is an excellent, compact Ultralight, although very pricey compared to the DT-400W (about $120 including shipping compared to about $55).  So how did these two perform in an actual DXpedition environment?  Well, the two were similar on the low frequencies, and both could receive JOAK-594, JOIB-747 and JOUB-774 without too much trouble.  HLCA-972 was slightly stronger on the DT-400W, but not by much.  But on the receptions of HLAZ-1566 and VOA Thailand-1575, the DT-400W was really superior, making crystal-clear mp3's of both stations (that the SRF-T615 had at a pretty weak level).  The stock DT-400W was able to produce an mp3 of an ID from VOA-1575 (7,200 miles) that sounded like a local, and I'll try to upload the recording to the ultralightdx file section soon.  The Sangean managed to receive 7 DX "countries" in one early morning (Canada, USA, Mexico, Hawaii (KPUA-670), Japan, S. Korea, and Thailand).
 
     My modified E100 has been logging weak TP's since June 29, but it has very fanatical sensitivity and selectivity improvements, so it's not fair to compare it to a stock Ultralight.  During this trip to Grayland, it received North Korea-657, China-1593 and a presumed Taiwan-738, which would be its 22nd TP catch.  Developed here in Washington state together with John Bryant and Guy Atkins, this extremely effective E100 will be the subject of some upcoming technical DIY articles, so that everybody can have one of these "secret DX weapons."
 
     The tiny analog Sony SRF-S84 was also a blast to use, managing to log its first TP with a reception of JOUB-774. When properly aligned (for free, by me), this ridiculously small Ultralight has performance that can make even a paltry propagation morning seem like an absolute blast.
 
     If any of you feel like AM-DXing is not as much fun as it was before,  just take a few top-rated Ultralights to an ocean beach... and you'll be shocked and thrilled along with the rest of us.
 
     73,  Gary




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Re: DT-400W in Yellow, or ...?

ronshire2000
 

its not that bold or bright of a yellow. i'm not fond of yellow but
this color yellow is pale and unobtrusive and i kind of like it now
that i have it

Ron


update for Robert Ross 30 Day challenge

Allen Willie
 

 
 
Hi Everyone,
 
Wow ! ..... Fantastic Transatlantic evening last night for reception , The TA's were in earlier than usual around 7:30 PM local time  to well past 10:30 PM . Best night of the challenge so far conditions wise. 
 
 Logged another 28  for the Challenge  list of which 2 were new to my  overall ULR list.  The count now stands at  179 stations for the Challenge.
 
A few from last night:
 
999 khz - Morocco  RTM A Tanger    8/28/08  23:32 UTC  w/arabic  chants ; fair *** NEW** on ULR
 
1050 khz - CHUM Toronto, Ontario  8/29/08  2:36 UTC  w/ oldies , 10-50 CHUM ID; fair *** NEW *** on ULR
 
 954 khz - QBS Al Arish , Qatar    8/28/08  23:08 UTC  w/ arabic music and chants; fair
 
1460 khz - CJOY Guelph, Ontario   8/29/08  2:50 UTC  w/ oldies, CJOY Jingle ID, song by Hollies ; good
 
 
73
Allen Willie
St. John's, Newfoundland
SRF-M37V barefoot


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FS: Sony SRF-T615 and Sangean DT-200VX with Filter & Antenna Mod

Guy Atkins
 

I hope it's OK to mention this on the Yahoogroup, but I'd rather sell the following radios to Ultralight enthusiasts before listing them on Ebay.
 
Since I use my Eton E100 and other larger radios almost exclusively now, and I'm not a collector of receivers, I have the following which need a good home:
 
SONY SRF-T615 
This is the over-achieving, tiny AM/FM radio that is typically available only in Japan. Until the recently introduced DT-400W came along, the SRF-T615 was the undisputed leader in stock AM sensitivity. The new DT-400W reportedly has a small edge over the SRF-T615. The Sony is certainly the *smallest* radio with excellent performance, though! This unit is in excellent, stock condition and works perfectly. It has also been recently aligned on AM. These radios are typically $115 + shipping from Japan, but I am selling this SRF-T615 for $55 including free shipping in the USA.
 
SANGEAN DT-200VX with upgraded 6 kHz I.F. filter & antenna mod
This receiver has been fitted with an improved 6 kHz filter, the Murata CFWS450HT. This filter is the same nominal -6 dB bandwidth as the stock one, but with a much better shape factor due to the 6-element design (versus 2-elements in the simple, Chinese-made stock filter). This DT-200VX is in excellent condition and works great. With the upgraded filter and careful nulling I'm able to catch DX signals within 10 kHz either side of my super-local KSUH (1450 kHz, 1.4 miles away from my home). This radio also has the desirable "external loopstick mounting", which gets the antenna further from the circuitry's noise field for noticeably better weak signal performance. The antenna is positioned approximately 1 inch below the bottom of the radio's case, using a Gary DeBock-approved mounting solution (a piece of a wooden ruler :^)  The DT-200VX has had a full AM alignment. $45 shipped in the USA.
 
Please contact me off line if interested in either of these.
 
73,
 
Guy Atkins
dx at guyatkins.com
Puyallup, WA
 
 
 
 


Re: calculating distances

ronshire2000
 

thank you Allen and Richard for the link to calculate distance from
radio station to known location. i noticed as expected that there is a
drastic difference from the road mileage that most maps calculate but
can see its value for TA's or TP's.

Ron


In answer to your question I personally use Google Maps Distance
Calculator for my Transatlantic catches and  for my domestics this
site http://www.topazdesigns.com/ambc/ it has very useful information
about power output  and antenna patterns also just with the input of
your geographical coordinates and the  callsign you are searching for
 
 
73
Allen Willie
St. John's, Newfoundland


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Robert Ross 30 Day Challenge

Allen Willie
 

 
 
Hi Guys,
 
Last night as  I was working away at the loggings for the Robert Ross 30 Day Challenge I found the conditions to be such that most of the stations heard were markedly weaker than past evenings since I began the challenge.
 
So far I've logged half the goal now right at 150 stations . Here's a few from last night as follows:
 
1440 khz - Luxembourg, Marnach ; China Radio International Relay 8/27/08     22:39 UTC w/ China Radio International programming in English; good
 
1575 khz - United Arab Emirates; R. Farda  8/27/08  22:36 UTC w/ Arabic pop songs , R. Farda Id by woman; fair
 
1300 khz - WJDA Quincy, Mass   8/28/08  2:29 UTC  w/ spiritual gospel music and songs ; fair
 
1440 khz - WJAB Portland, Maine   8/28/08  2:47 UTC  w/ Fox Sports Radio ID , baseball recap with audio clips; fair
 
1107 khz - Spain  RNE 5 Caceres  8/27/08  23:16 UTC w/ Espana mentioned, spanish commentary about Cuba ; fair  // 1098 khz
 
756 khz - Germany , DLF Braunschweig   8/28/08  00:01 UTC  w/ german news commentary by man ; fair
 
 
73
Allen Willie
St. John's, Newfoundland
SRF-M37V and SRF- 39 FP barefoot


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Re: "New" E100 for Sale on Ebay

Brett Saylor <bds2@...>
 


On Aug 28, 2008, at 11:32 AM, John H. Bryant wrote:

Having fallen so deeply in love with E100s for both domestic and international DXing, I keep watch on ebay to see how sales are going.  Just today, I've spotted the first "NEW" E100 offered for sale.  Its by an individual owner...  I'd strongly recommend that you give this one a pass, since its both inferior and not at all amenable to any of the easy modifications that Gary DeBock, Guy Atkins and I will be publishing in the next few weeks.  Here is the URL is you want to watch this Turkey:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190247604672&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123

John B.


I noticed that this morning too, John. The picture wasn't clear but it sure looked like a different logo. I have not seen any "new" E100's before this on eBay,

Brett