A little question...


ea3hhx@...
 

Hello I would like to ask you for advice. 

I'm hesitating between a Tecsun PL505 or PL606 and Tecsun PL600 or Degen 1103. 

I know they are different in performance, size and technology, but little more than the price of a new Tecsun (10 Euro) I have an old Tecsun or Degen with SSB. 

And the comments on the Degen 1103 are excellent.

I have a Eton G3, a Degen De15 (ultra, ultralight) and a Icom R20.


I want as travel receiver but I don't need to fit in my pocket,  and for all types of use. 

You know any ultralight with SSB as the older Eton G6.


Thanks in advance.


Jose (EA3HHX)


josephrot
 

Well, the Tecsun PL-660 is well-owned, overall well-liked, has overall excellent SSB, AM Sync and other attributes, doesn't have thee greatest speaker in the world, but operates worldwide quite well.

One might consider that Tecsun model too, especially the newer year PL-660's, as opposed to the early ones.

Joe Rotello / Knoxville, TN / USA


bwlietz
 

I have a Kaito KA1103 and the only inconvenience, but you get used to it is the volume control, extremely sensitive.  It is my replacement for my still operational Sangean ATS818.
As a shirt pocket, while not popular in our group, I have the Degen 1105 which has an electronic volume control that with a secondary volume control right on top of the radio is the nicest feature I have ever seen on a small radio.  With it one can adjust the low threshold of volume to make it very comfortable for earphone listening.  It is also a very sensitive AM/FM/SW receiver, well built, it replaced my defective Sangean DT400W ultralight.

Both of these radios have virtually no back ground noise between stations, something I have not found true with the DSP radios.  If you are still interested in a DSP look at the Meloson S8.

On Friday, May 16, 2014 9:39 AM, "joerotello@... [ultralightdx]" wrote:


 
Well, the Tecsun PL-660 is well-owned, overall well-liked, has overall excellent SSB, AM Sync and other attributes, doesn't have thee greatest speaker in the world, but operates worldwide quite well.

One might consider that Tecsun model too, especially the newer year PL-660's, as opposed to the early ones.

Joe Rotello / Knoxville, TN / USA



keith beesley
 

Hi Jose, 

The small Tecsuns are a lot of fun to play with, but the '1103 is one of my favorite radios for all-around use. It's good for talk program listening, music, or DXing. It's too big and has too many features to qualify as an ultralight by the definition of this group, and has been overshadowed somewhat by the newer Tecsun PL-600 and '660, but it's a very nice receiver. Just my opinion. 

73,

Keith B. 

On Friday, May 16, 2014 7:14 AM, "Barry Lietz bwlietz@... [ultralightdx]" wrote:


 
I have a Kaito KA1103 and the only inconvenience, but you get used to it is the volume control, extremely sensitive.  It is my replacement for my still operational Sangean ATS818.
As a shirt pocket, while not popular in our group, I have the Degen 1105 which has an electronic volume control that with a secondary volume control right on top of the radio is the nicest feature I have ever seen on a small radio.  With it one can adjust the low threshold of volume to make it very comfortable for earphone listening.  It is also a very sensitive AM/FM/SW receiver, well built, it replaced my defective Sangean DT400W ultralight.

Both of these radios have virtually no back ground noise between stations, something I have not found true with the DSP radios.  If you are still interested in a DSP look at the Meloson S8.

On Friday, May 16, 2014 9:39 AM, "joerotello@... [ultralightdx]" wrote:


 
Well, the Tecsun PL-660 is well-owned, overall well-liked, has overall excellent SSB, AM Sync and other attributes, doesn't have thee greatest speaker in the world, but operates worldwide quite well.

One might consider that Tecsun model too, especially the newer year PL-660's, as opposed to the early ones.

Joe Rotello / Knoxville, TN / USA





Jose <ea3hhx@...>
 

Thanks Joe but PL660 is too expensive for me.
I think in a receiver arround 50 euro aprox. shiping inc. as the PL505 but I see that the old ones as DE1103 is actually in this segment price.
This is my doubt.
Thanks again.

Jose M
--------
ea3hhx@...

El 16/05/2014 15:39, "joerotello@... [ultralightdx]" <ultralightdx@...> escribió:
 

Well, the Tecsun PL-660 is well-owned, overall well-liked, has overall excellent SSB, AM Sync and other attributes, doesn't have thee greatest speaker in the world, but operates worldwide quite well.

One might consider that Tecsun model too, especially the newer year PL-660's, as opposed to the early ones.

Joe Rotello / Knoxville, TN / USA


Phillips
 

I agree that the 1103 is a nice radio but I don't use mine much anymore.  One day it got very hot, including the batteries, and the audio output was weak and distorted.  I removed the batteries and let it cool down overnight.  Now, whenever battery or external power is applied, there is no sound from the speaker or audio on the headphone jack.   The line-out still works but the audio stage, she is kaput.

My  PL-310 died when the first set of batteries went flat and nothing will resurrect it.

That makes two "praiseworthy" radios, two failures - perfect record. 

My two-band 1954 tube mantel radio is going as strong as ever and has only had two tubes and one coupling capacitor changed in its 60 years.  And I thought that solid state devices were meant to be more reliable.


Ray,  Adelaide



To: ultralightdx@...
From: ultralightdx@...
Date: Fri, 16 May 2014 10:30:59 -0700
Subject: Re: [ultralightdx] Re: A little question...

 

Hi Jose, 

The small Tecsuns are a lot of fun to play with, but the '1103 is one of my favorite radios for all-around use. It's good for talk program listening, music, or DXing. It's too big and has too many features to qualify as an ultralight by the definition of this group, and has been overshadowed somewhat by the newer Tecsun PL-600 and '660, but it's a very nice receiver. Just my opinion. 

73,

Keith B. 

On Friday, May 16, 2014 7:14 AM, "Barry Lietz bwlietz@... [ultralightdx]" wrote:


 
I have a Kaito KA1103 and the only inconvenience, but you get used to it is the volume control, extremely sensitive.  It is my replacement for my still operational Sangean ATS818.
As a shirt pocket, while not popular in our group, I have the Degen 1105 which has an electronic volume control that with a secondary volume control right on top of the radio is the nicest feature I have ever seen on a small radio.  With it one can adjust the low threshold of volume to make it very comfortable for earphone listening.  It is also a very sensitive AM/FM/SW receiver, well built, it replaced my defective Sangean DT400W ultralight.

Both of these radios have virtually no back ground noise between stations, something I have not found true with the DSP radios.  If you are still interested in a DSP look at the Meloson S8.

On Friday, May 16, 2014 9:39 AM, "joerotello@... [ultralightdx]" wrote:


 
Well, the Tecsun PL-660 is well-owned, overall well-liked, has overall excellent SSB, AM Sync and other attributes, doesn't have thee greatest speaker in the world, but operates worldwide quite well.

One might consider that Tecsun model too, especially the newer year PL-660's, as opposed to the early ones.

Joe Rotello / Knoxville, TN / USA






Michael <michael.setaazul@...>
 

Failures are often due to electrolytics. The SONY icfSW1 is a well-documented
case. The audio motorboats on the speaker, although it works fine on headphones.
Replacing two tantals brings it back to life. Your 1103 and PL310 may have a similar issue.
However modern SMD designs canmnot so easily be repaired. I have repaired quite
a few units with failed "modern" electrolytics - frequently of distant provenance and
not comparable with military spec.

I may be inheriting a Marconi CR100 from a SK and would need to ascertain the health
of its electrolytics. Compared to the real boatanchors in the SK shack, the CR100
would almost qualify as an ultralight :-) Older radios, whether transistor or valve, are
a joy apart - and lend themselves more readily to tinkering, improvement and repair.

Michael

----- Original Message -----
. . .
I agree that the 1103 is a nice radio but I don't use mine much anymore. One day it got very hot,
including the batteries, and the audio output was weak and distorted. I removed the batteries and
let it cool down overnight. Now, whenever battery or external power is applied, there is no sound
from the speaker or audio on the headphone jack. The line-out still works but the audio stage, she
is kaput.

My PL-310 died when the first set of batteries went flat and nothing will resurrect it.

That makes two "praiseworthy" radios, two failures - perfect record.

My two-band 1954 tube mantel radio is going as strong as ever and has only had two tubes and one
coupling capacitor changed in its 60 years. And I thought that solid state devices were meant to be
more reliable.

Ray, Adelaide


kitsaplorax
 

My PL-660 eats batteries so fast that I have to replace them every listening session-about four or five hours. I'm about to cobble together an adapter and run it off of a lead acid six volt battery that normally powers my RP2100.

73,

Gordon Cooper
Bremerton WA


Michael <michael.setaazul@...>
 

Gordon, a regulated bigger battery power-supply is a good idea.
I do that with my pocket DAB radio which likewise eats
batteries. Just make sure the regulating circuitry doesn't
add noise. Battery power consumption can be a problem
with many of these receivers. Hence the preference
for rechargeables.

My vintage Sony icf SW1 is far less greedy. It is also
more sensitive on MW and LW than my 660 and 880.
The latter have selectivity advantages, but a higher
noise threshold due to the clever DSP. I use a single 8inch
ferrite with tuned LW and MW windings. Adjacent to
the SW1 I can hear signals that remain in the mush
when adjacent to the 660 and 880. It might be different
with a FSL, of course :-)

As a compromise, I am tempted, in this life or the next,
to try building a sensitive tuned frontend with RF amp
(or Q multiplier) to feed an existing ultralight.

Heresy?

Michael

----- Original Message -----

My PL-660 eats batteries so fast that I have to replace them every listening
session-about four or five hours. I'm about to cobble together an adapter
and run it off of a lead acid six volt battery that normally powers my RP2100.

Gordon Cooper
Bremerton WA


Rik
 

I have a bunch of cables made up to operate radios from Sealed Lead Acid batteries. Mostly stolen cords from Wall Warts from the dump in town. Watch the polarity carefully. There are at least two common sizes of flat battery tabs and also I use square 6 volt rechargable Lantern batteries, so I just put red and black alligator clips on the cords for which ever battery I use. Red means center or tip and black means ring or outer surface of the barrel plug. If I use the radio often with the power cord I add a label or simply tie it to the handle if there is one. MCM offers a "Tiny Polarity  Checker" which lights LEDs to indicate polarity which is a handy way to double check after you connect the battery and before you plug the power cord into the radio.

I wonder if your PL-660 is defective or if they all eat batteries? My first PL-600 kept turning inself on in storage but stopped doing that after awhile. So did my first CR-1100. - FARMERIK


josephrot
 

BTW, if ones uses the sealed-gel-cell b atteries, like used in motorcycles and UPS (uninterpretable power supplies) be they supplying 6V or 12V (or more), you have the option to carefully choose a float-charger that can keep those batteries charged, say between uses, etc.

I also saw someone adapt a float charger used both on power mains and they also float-charged the batteries from mobile poewer sources too, say an automobile/van/truck, etc...and the process worked and has worked well.

Just a thought to pop that info out there...

Joe Rotello / Knoxville, TN / USA


kitsaplorax
 

I am using a tuned passive loop (Tecsun) with all of my AM radios. The little Sony (59 something or other) is by far the quietest small radio I have. My Carver TX11a has really impressive filter options that can eliminate the 1490 pest that covers the band and is my choice for listening to Old Time Radoi on AM 880 KIXI--they drop power at sunset, making them harder to hear.

In truth, nothing I own comes close to the Collins R390s with the 5 acre CDAA (circularly disposed antenna array) I used in the service. My wrist aches in a good way when I think about tuning that monster of innovation.

Why hasn't anyone done even a breadboard for a simple inductively tuned AM radio? Not a bit of digital hash, no PLL issues, etc.

73,

Gordon Cooper
KE7RYM


Michael <michael.setaazul@...>
 

----- Original Message ----- From: kitsaplorax

I am using a tuned passive loop (Tecsun) with all of my AM radios.
The little Sony (59 something or other) is by far the quietest small radio I have.
. . .
Why hasn't anyone done even a breadboard for a simple inductively tuned AM radio?
Not a bit of digital hash, no PLL issues, etc.

Gordon Cooper
______________________________________________

Gordon, my sentiment too, as posted on 17.6.14 (edited below).
The SRF-59 series is amazingly sensitive for its size. The lack
of hash from a digital frequency display probably explains its
relative quietness.

-------------------------

My vintage Sony icf SW1 is more sensitive on MW and LW
than my 660 and 880.

The latter have selectivity advantages, but a higher
noise threshold due to the clever DSP and display
circuitry. I use a single 8inch ferrite with tuned LW and
MW windings. Adjacent to the SW1 I can hear signals that
remain in the mush when adjacent to the 660 and 880.
It might be different with a FSL, of course :-) I assume
the 660 and 880 ferrite aerials do not have a tuned winding
as does the SRF-59.

As a compromise, I am tempted, in this life or the next,
to try building a tuned frontend with RF amp (or Q multiplier)
to feed an existing ultralight, such as the SRF-59.
Substituting the short internal ferrite aerial with a long
external one with its winding tuned by the chip might be
another option worth trying.

I might first breadboard a superhet with tuned RF amp
to see how it compares. It will not be possible to equal
the selectivity of a DSP chip, but improved sensitivity
is worth achieving - if and when I find time....

Michael


mediumwavedx
 

The high battery usage sounds defective to me, but.... I was going through batteries quickly with my Tecsun 2010D. When I measured it, I discovered it drew a whopping 63ma even when switched off (digital display showing the clock only). I measured this myself. I wrote it off to it being a cheap radio. But the 660 is not a cheap radio, or defective in an engineering sense.

Bill
RADIO-TIMETRAVELLER
http://radio-timetraveller.blogspot.com


Richard Jones
 

"Why hasn't anyone done even a breadboard for a simple inductively tuned AM radio?
Not a bit of digital hash, no PLL issues, etc."

 There's something about the words "simple","breadboard", "ultralight" and "AM Radio" that are challenging to put together. The natural evolution of radio has been from simple but low performance to complicated but high performance. Superhet designs are the cream of the analog crop but are pretty challenging to breadboard due to their parts count and complexity. Trying to breadboard one that qualifies as an ultralight? Good luck! Crystal radios, trf radios, regen radios and superheterodyne circuits are all over the internet. Home built SDRs are coming on strong. I've built a Softrock Ensemble II SDR the size of a cigarette pack that will put any good receiver to the test (but is very tied to a PC of some sort). Heat up the old iron and let us know how things are going. If nothing else you will have a mad appreciation for the brilliant minds that came up with the "classic" designs!


These are interesting links:


http://www.elliottelectronicsupply.com/kits/am-radio-on-a-chip.html


http://theradioboard.com/rb/viewtopic.php?t=3946


Michael <michael.setaazul@...>
 

Standard-issue mortals just go into a store making huge profits and buy something
with a fancy label and glitzy front panel rom a suave salesperson. Been there, done it
- not infrequently with later regret. We few with Planet-Zog DNA like things to be
more challenging, unpredictable and failure-prone. Errare humanum est ...

TA7642, ZN414, MK484 or similar lend themselves to low-component constructs
which can deliver impressive results with a good ferrite or longwire aerial. The audio
quality of AM can be a revelation! These circuits are great fun to experiment with,
but have evident limitations.

Cheats - like me - cannibalise a cheapo superhet and add a FET frontend
with tuned RF amp and possibly with regeneration (aka Q-multiplier). The
cheapo can suddenly outclass itself. Selectivity will remain muddy, but audio
quality can outclass such piffling shortcomings - especially on local stations.
Standard-issue mortals can only live with a single tuning knob or button-press.
Non-standard-issue mortals have a perverse penchant for adjustable-knob multiplicity.

Ergo my interest in a low-noise tuned RF-amp feeding a proven receiver,
such as the SONY SRF-59. If I had a multi-acre aerial array, I just might
settle for that, however... Is Area 51 for sale, perhance?

Michael

----- Original Message ----- From: n3ikq

"Why hasn't anyone done even a breadboard for a simple inductively tuned AM radio?
Not a bit of digital hash, no PLL issues, etc."

There's something about the words "simple","breadboard", "ultralight" and "AM Radio" that are
challenging to put together. The natural evolution of radio has been from simple but low performance
to complicated but high performance. Superhet designs are the cream of the analog crop but are
pretty challenging to breadboard due to their parts count and complexity. Trying to breadboard one
that qualifies as an ultralight? Good luck! Crystal radios, trf radios, regen radios and
superheterodyne circuits are all over the internet. Home built SDRs are coming on strong. I've built
a Softrock Ensemble II SDR the size of a cigarette pack that will put any good receiver to the test
(but is very tied to a PC of some sort). Heat up the old iron and let us know how things are going.
If nothing else you will have a mad appreciation for the brilliant minds that came up with the "clas
sic" designs!

These are interesting links:

http://www.elliottelectronicsupply.com/kits/am-radio-on-a-chip.html

http://theradioboard.com/rb/viewtopic.php?t=3946


josephrot
 

Although it's "possible" to inductively tune a RF front end for an Si 484x radio-on-a-chip, the selectivity is NOT good.
 
One of the only other options one might think of would be to remake / breadboard the front-end of the GE SuperRadio and go from there ??
 
Joe Rotello / Knoxville, TN / USA


Michael <michael.setaazul@...>
 

The selectivity would be primarily that of the DSP chip. My intial hookup suggests
that an added frontend with MOSFET + NPN follower can tune sharply enough
to selectively enhance either the upper or lower sideband. This also applies to a passive,
inductively-coupled external tuned ferrite or loop - most impressively with an FSL.
I have yet to try a Q-multiplier or RF-regen stage. That might generate stability problems,
but proven designs have been published, so in principle it should work.

Famous last words???

Michael

----- Original Message -----

Although it's "possible" to inductively tune a RF front end for an Si 484x radio-on-a-chip,
the selectivity is NOT good.

One of the only other options one might think of would be to remake / breadboard
the front-end of the GE SuperRadio and go from there ??

Joe Rotello


Richard Jones
 

Thanks for the "back story" Michael. Sounds like your iron spends plenty of time in the "on" position"! It appears that the front end of the SI series chips has varicaps built in which means simply adding an external ferrite forms the resonate tank. Other radio chips aren't designed that way so you have to feed them with your own highly pre - selected signal. Am I on the right track? Just trying to keep up and understand!


Michael <michael.setaazul@...>
 

----- Original Message ----- From: n3ikq

Thanks for the "back story" Michael. Sounds like your iron spends plenty of time in the "on"
position"! It appears that the front end of the SI series chips has varicaps built in which means
simply adding an external ferrite forms the resonate tank. Other radio chips aren't designed that
way so you have to feed them with your own highly pre - selected signal. Am I on the right track?
Just trying to keep up and understand!


Yes, the "clever chips" autotune the external L (a bit like the principle of AFC in FM radios, but
with much wider range, of course). The L has to match fairly well so as to stay in range of the
internal varicap. If the internal ferrite L is replaced with a bigger external one a little
experimenting may be required. The SONY SRF-59 is a good radio to start tinkering with as it is
more basic - and cheap to replace if the soldering iron slips :-)

Michael