[RFI] All band handheld receivers

Chuck O'Neal cdoneal at comcast.net
Sun Feb 11 19:22:57 EST 2007

Hi Don and all,

I use the Icom R-10. This one has the best AM, SSB, and CW performance of
all the ones that I tried as of two years ago.  Things may have changed
since. All these hand held receivers are built with front ends that require
a 50 ohm input.  On HF, they are deaf unless you do something to improve the
input matching.  The stock antenna on them is good for VHF only.  There are
several after market antennas that significantly improve their performance
on HF.  I've tried two of them.

They fall into two categories.  One has a high gain broadband preamp and
impedance matching, the Active Duck, and one uses a longer whip with a
passive tunable autoformer to do the tuning and matching, the Miracle
Antenna.  Both really improve the performance and are absolutely required in
my opinion to make these radios work on HF.  Each works better in a
different part of the spectrum so I find that I use both on my R-10. Both
enable decent BC band and 160M reception as well.

Yes, this is an expensive way to go but has enabled me to rid my area of
nasty RFI on a continuing basis.  Also, make sure to get one of those dual
freq satellite antennas that do both 2M and 440 when you get close so you
can home in on the source.  They are hand held with a nice grip. I think
Arrow makes them as I recall.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Donald Chester" <k4kyv at hotmail.com>
To: <rfi at contesting.com>
Sent: Sunday, February 11, 2007 6:54 PM
Subject: [RFI] All band handheld receivers

> Has anyone tried one of the miniature handheld receivers, like the Yaesu
> VR-500 or Icom IC-R series?
> Seems like it would be a good receiver for casual listening and rf noise
> sniffing purposes.
> Looking at the specs and some comments on the web, I would think the
> would be a better deal than the Icom ones.  The IC-R5 is less expensive,
> has no SSB or CW capability, and tunes in 5 kHz steps.  The others are far
> more expensive than the VR-500.
> But I am wondering just how well do those things pick up signals.
> Also, do they have a headphone/ext speaker jack for better fidelity
> reception than with the tiny speaker?
> For anyone who purchased one, do you think it was worth the bucks?
> I am looking for a portable receiver with at least fair reception from MW
> broadcast band up through 10m with a whip antenna, for running down
> ever-increasing sources of noise and interference.
> Don k4kyv
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