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Old 19-11-2013, 06:37   #1
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SSB Receivers

Can anyone offer recommendations for make and model of a good ssb receiver

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Old 19-11-2013, 13:16   #2
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Re: SSB Receivers

Welcome to Cruiser's Forum....

Not knowing your specific need, nor budget, I can only give you some generalities...
Originally Posted by HeritageIV View Post
Can anyone offer recommendations for make and model of a good ssb receiver.
1) Using an external antenna, even just a 20' - 30' wire strung up on a flag halyard, is going to be an important part of your "SSB receiving system"...

2) Ridding your vessel of RFI sources (radio noise sources), and/or reducing their effects on-board, will also be important to how effective / easy to use, your "SSB receiving system" will be...

3) Just about any modern ham transceiver, or used HF marine SSB will work fine for you as an "SSB receiver", and NOT require any remote antenna tuner,
NOR any "ground system" / "counterpoise", etc...
So, if your budget allows, you may consider a used Icom M-700Pro, M-710, etc...or a GOOD condition used ham radio (such as an IC-735, etc.)

4) If you are actually looking for an inexpensive and "good" HF receiver that would allow reception of HF-SSB signals...
For years now, the answer has been:
a) a Sangean 909
b) a Sony SW-7600
(But, both have been discontinued and replaced with newer models...)

5) See these two threads, which discuss this specific topic in some detail...

6) Some excepts:
This is my old Sangean 909, that is my emergency SSB receiver (and it works well for voice weather broadcasts, and I could connect it a laptop and use JVComm for wefax reception, but with a dedicated WeFax receiver (Furuno Fax-408), and two Icom M-802's, on-board, I never found the time to do so...

Replacing the old models are:
The Sangean 909X, and the newly discontinued Sony SW-7600GR....(and while I assume the new models work as well as the old ones, I have no first hand experience with them, as I do the originals...)

The Sangean 909X is a bit pricey, at about $215...compared to the Sony 7600GR at about $130....
So, you may wish to compare size, button placement, ext. ant. jack location, etc. on both units, before deciding on which one to purchase...

But, from just reading the Amazon ad, the 909X seems like a great little radio... Sangean ATS-909X AM/FM/LW/SW World Band Receiver: Electronics

Sangean ATS-909X Portable Shortwave Radio ATS909X

And, here is the Sony SW-7600GR... Sony ICF-SW7600GR AM/FM Shortwave World Band Receiver with Single Side Band Reception, plus External Plug-in Antenna: Electronics

Perhaps there are some here that have used these new units???
Ask around, and you may find someone....or spend the $$$ and you'll probably be happy!!!

2) As for your specific application.....

Originally Posted by paulbennett
Interesting advice about purchasing an HF receiver for getting voice weather. And, if I understand you correctly, also getting wefax? We're planning a Canal to Marquesas hop, and have an Iridium connected to weather gribs. However, I'd like to listen in on SSB and Ham nets as well. Would one of these cheapo receivers work for that? If so, what would your ideal set up be in terms of unit, antenna, etc.

a) Yes, one of these should work well for you....BUT...
But, you must do everything that others do to minimize / eliminate all (or most) on-board RFI ("radio noise")....
And, you will probably need to hoist a small wire antenna, such as a 25' - 30' piece of copper wire (any insulated copper will do), strung up a flag halyard, etc.

b) And, you should also learn some things about HF radio and radiowave propagation, in order for you to understand what band/freq to tune to (at what time of day) for the distance you are from the stations you wish to listen to....

c) Those that do these two things ("a" and "b") will have very good results....those that don't sometimes have complaints....
{Just an FYI....15-20 years ago, I sent an older version of the Sangean receiver down to my brother in Bonaire, as he needed some way to get offshore and high seas weather when sailing the Caribbean and doing deliveries to/from the US and Caribbean.....I wrote down specific instructions for him, and he didn't have an inverter or much of anything else on-board, and he simply sat in the cockpit, extended the built-in 3' long antenna and listened to the USCG NMN from Virginia, with no even those who just do it "on-the-fly" can get good results!!!}

you would be better served with either a Sangean 909 or Sony SW-7600...actually their newer versions, the Sangean 909X or the Sony SW-7600GR...

I wrote in detail about this in this thread....
Obtaining Accurate Offshore/Hi-Seas Weather data/forecasts, while at sea
Please read it over, and ask any further questions you have...

2) Secondly, the recent thread on having affordable access to weather info/forecasts when offshore, should really help...
Obtaining Accurate Offshore/Hi-Seas Weather data/forecasts, while at sea
Here gain, please read it over, and ask any further questions you have...

3) Next, the title of your thread is "Newbe to ssb, anybody help me with some basic info?", which tells me that I must clue you in to the three most important things that you must do in order to have an easy and successful experience with HF Radio weather broadcasts...
a) Spend as little as 30 - 60 minutes reading, and/or as little as 15 - 30 minutes learning about HF radiowave propagation and frequency/channel choice, so that you'll receive excellent weather forecasts from 1000's of miles at sea...
Please have a look at this thread....
Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call
And, watch videos 4, 5, and 9....

b) Understand that much of the consumer electronics that surround us these days, even on-board our boats (and a surprising amount of electrical devices on-board boats), can generate Radio Frequency Interference (RFI), and ridding your boat of devices that do this, and/or shielding/filtering this interference, and/or simply removing the electrical power from these devices while using the HF radio, will make a substantial difference in your ease and success in using HF radio on-board....
Here again video #9 (and #4, and #5, as well) on this thread will be of help...
Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call

c) Use an outside antenna....a simple 25' - 30' long piece of wire (any scrap wire, that's big enough not to snap under tension....usually 18ga insulated copper is fine...but it is NOT critical!!!)...
Attach this wire to the proper plug, and plug this wire into the "external antenna" jack of your receiver (Sangean or Sony, etc.), and string up the other end using a flag halyard, etc...

Or, many just clip a short wire onto a shroud or backstay, etc. and plug this short wire into the receiver's "external antenna" jack...and have excellent results...

If you read the threads referenced above, and do the things I write above, you should have excellent results...

George, I do hope this helps...

s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 19-11-2013, 13:33   #3
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Re: SSB Receivers

Search on Kaito 1103, great answer.... Some on this forum don't like them, others like me have used them for years and get great service.

Save your money unless you plan to cross oceans.
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