My first wideband receiver was the Icom PCR-1000 which is a 10kHz to 1.3GHz  scanner, all-mode (AM/FM/WFM/CW/SSB).
    It has a great set of bandwith filters (2.8/6/15/50kHz). Most useful is the 50kHz filter which can be used for several types of wideband
    FM decoding such as APT / pocsag (minicall) / ACARS (aviation data) etc.
    I still use it for this kind of decoding, and as a spectrum analyzer, hooked up to the 10.7MHz IF output of my R-8500 receiver. I actually have two of these now.

    ...but my main radio today is the Icom R8500 , a 0.1MHz to 2GHz receiver (with the high stability crystal oven installed) and I just love it, it's a great piece of hardware,
    expensive perhaps  - but has everything I demand of a receiver, I won't trade away quality and feel just to save a few bucks.

    For 0-30MHz I mainly use a 30meter (~100') longwire antenna with a magnetic balun, a 15meter Windom,and a couple of E-H's,
    for VHF reception (0.03-2GHz) I use an active antenna, a Dressler ARA-2000 which is a very good VHF/UHF scanner antenna.

    I recently also purchased an E-H antenna for 20M and I've built one for 40M and another for 20M,
    and I'm truly impressed with the reception they provide, it's a strange design but it really does work!
    There is alot less background noise compared to the longwire/dipole.

                               Below are a couple of my satellite dishes...

    This was my 1.8 meter dish with 1691MHz feedhorn when it was used for Meteosat, and also some sun-noise measurements.
    With a 3 turn helical feed I used it for Inmarsat reception, Inmarsat is used for satellite phonecalls (1535-1545MHz) with analogue audio in the clear.


    The 19" box I've built the R8500 and two PCR-1000 units into, the unit on top of the R8500 is a Yaesu FRT-7700
    antenna matching unit for shortwave reception.
    I don't use the internal speakers at all , they are connected to 2 computers instead (for decoding/recording purposes).
    All mains power wires are screened with sheets of copper and stainless steel.

    It took some time to get my hands on a good 3meter (10' ) dish, but now it's been up and running for a couple of years.
    It has a dual feedhorn for 1420MHz & 1665MHz, (hydrogen and hydroxyl lines) two ultra low-noise amplifiers (<0.3dB NF)
    from DownEast Microwave , mounted directly on the feedhorn, and I use line amplifiers (0.8-2GHz) from Swedish Microwave
    to pump the signal thru about 20 meters of H-1000 semi rigid low-loss coax to my R-8500 and spectrum analyzer.

    Block diagram of the current setup.
    (just the dish section)

    Most indoor parts are assembled in this dedicated 19" rack...



Vintage Radio / Renovation Projects

my DRAKE radios, TR-4, T-4XC, R4B, R4C