ALL TIME TOP / BEST FM RADIO or TUNER ?

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PascalD
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ALL TIME TOP / BEST FM RADIO or TUNER ?

Post by PascalD » 11 Jan 2017 10:09

As the titre say's i would be intrested in knowing the thought of fellow DXER's which radio or tuner is the best of all time that they possibly have had experience using ? Is it possible the Sony F1HD is n°1 or the some modified tuner models of past times which DXER's are still using today for i use a F1HD unmodified and very satisfied with the result because with appropriate external aerial equipment the Sony is almost ( ALMOST ) flawless . I read that many Skywaves member DXER's use other older type tuner models over the Sony mentioned , but why ? Of course i understand that a tuner is only good as the antenne and possibly location but honestly , is the F1HD the top of the pop's for FM DXing or perhap's someone has preference for a very cheap sdr type dongle with variable bandwidth ?

Spring is just around the corner :D


QTH : l'hay les roses ( ile de france )

Sony F1HD
Antennenland ( korner ) 9.2
Triax FM aerial amplifier
HS Publications FM tunable notch filter

A lot of patience :)

Andrew Webster,Wigan
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Re: ALL TIME TOP / BEST FM RADIO or TUNER ?

Post by Andrew Webster,Wigan » 15 Jan 2017 15:16

I would say the Sony F1HD is top in the conventional tuner stable I don't have one myself far too expensive so I have had to go with the less expensive Sony tuners ST-311 ST-SE700 ST-SE520 as these are easy to modify with narrow filters and SDSspy.

I have had very good DX using these as here the FM band is full to the hilt the only clear frequencies is 87.5-8 if there are no RSLs or pirates on and overload is also a problem as well but the tuners cope well.

Now that SDRs are on the scene I bought an RTL stick that was useless on band 2 but ok for band 1 I aslo have a Noxon stick for DAB DX and that is ok I just couldn't justify paying a lot of money on a better SDR if it doesn't work on band 2.

When I started band 2 DX I thought I would not do well I was wrong I have done very well considering the state of the band here so I have to make the most of what I have.

Andy
Receiving equipment: 2 Sony ST-S311, 1 Sony ST-SE520, 1 Sony ST-SE700 2 crossed FM 5s rotatable, 1 homemade FM 3 horizontal beaming S/E, 1 vertical FM 3 fixed beaming at Ireland, 2 element band 1.

satnipper
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Re: ALL TIME TOP / BEST FM RADIO or TUNER ?

Post by satnipper » 16 Jan 2017 21:08

The Sony F1HD is the best. If FM dxers are not using one it's either because it's too expensive these days (was less than $100 when it first came out...) or they have gone to a wide-band SDR approach (Elad/SDRPlay/Airspy etc).

Modded with Konrad's mod it is a superb B2 performer.

Stuart

tvdxrools
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Re: ALL TIME TOP / BEST FM RADIO or TUNER ?

Post by tvdxrools » 18 Jan 2017 08:48

RTL dongle at my location ie empty band , tested against a sony f1hd and a sony 920 and with variable filters the RTL wins easily again at my location , David ,
ps hard question as some tuners work at one qth and they are crap at others

Nick Gilly
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Re: ALL TIME TOP / BEST FM RADIO or TUNER ?

Post by Nick Gilly » 18 Jan 2017 15:38

For DXing yes the Sony XDR-F1HD and any other tuners using the same chipset would be the best choice. A pity the remote for mine is playing up.

However, my ideal tuner is one that combines top audio quality with excellent DX performance and I think the Kenwood L-1000T excels for it's overall combination of audio and RF performance. Tropo and Es signals can be strong enough to really appreciate the superb audio quality of a good broadcast, even if the reception via the latter mode is usually brief!
Good DX.

Nick, Whitchurch, Hampshire.

BW Broadcast RBRX Encore, Kenwood L-1000T, Yamaha T-2, Denon TU-800L, Kenwood KT-1100SD (modified), Yamaha T-85, Sony XDR-F1HD tuners, horizontal Körner 9.2 beam (Antennenland version), Yaesu G-450C rotator

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zach_m
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Re: ALL TIME TOP / BEST FM RADIO or TUNER ?

Post by zach_m » 01 Sep 2017 09:31

satnipper wrote:
16 Jan 2017 21:08
The Sony F1HD is the best. If FM dxers are not using one it's either because it's too expensive these days (was less than $100 when it first came out...) or they have gone to a wide-band SDR approach (Elad/SDRPlay/Airspy etc).

Modded with Konrad's mod it is a superb B2 performer.

Stuart
I was thinking about buying Sony F1HD, but the unit itself and the modification would greatly exceed costs of already available great DX tuners (not SDR ones) on the market. I like the tunning wheel on standard tuners and the push button tunning is not conviniet to me. Also there is no option to force mono in XDR. I listened to XDR sound via recorded file and I noticeced less noise, on weak stereo signals. That's a big plus. I wonder why these tuners were made only for US market? Nevertheless, it's a great little tuner, but overpriced.
Antennas: half-wave folded dipole & FM quad loop. My receivers: Onkyo T-4711 (stock filters), Sony ST-SA3ES (2x150 and 2x110 kHz Muratas). My logs are at http://fmdx.bplaced.net

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: ALL TIME TOP / BEST FM RADIO or TUNER ?

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 01 Sep 2017 10:27

For live DXing, the answer is the Sony XDR-F1HD with the Konrad modification. Otherwise, an SDR like the Elad FDM-S2 is the ultimate.

A tip. If you are going to go for an SDR, wait for the arrival of the Elad FDM-S3 which will record the whole band. I don't know when it is due to be released, but bear in mind that you may need a fairly meaty computer to run it.

daveB
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Re: ALL TIME TOP / BEST FM RADIO or TUNER ?

Post by daveB » 01 Sep 2017 15:51

but bear in mind that you may need a fairly meaty computer to run it.
It will also need a fairly big wallet! I might be tempted - but as a 2Gb 20 MHz file will probably only be 30-35 seconds long it is potentially a huge number of files to process.
SDRPlay, AirSpyMini, RTL dongles, SB920s, Yamaha TX930. 5 ele compact yagi on rotator at 18ft agl. FM5 facing east, FM5 facing south, FM3 facing NE, OIRT dipole, 3-ele Moxon vertical facing east.

satnipper
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Re: ALL TIME TOP / BEST FM RADIO or TUNER ?

Post by satnipper » 01 Sep 2017 16:43

The file sizes will be larger than 2GB. That limit went out with XP.

I agree 100% with what John wrote. Another alternative would be a fast PC with 2 x Airspy 10MHz devices. Though the FDM-S3 would probably be superior. Maybe....

Stuart

Nick Gilly
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Re: ALL TIME TOP / BEST FM RADIO or TUNER ?

Post by Nick Gilly » 01 Sep 2017 20:43

For me, I will now have to say that the best FM tuner I've used so far is the most recent addition to the 'shack' (well, living room), the BW Broadcast RBRX Encore. It has superior audio quality and reception capabilities to the Sony XDR-F1HD. Using the narrowest 56 kHz filter to extract weak DX 100 kHz away from a local powerhouse it produces cleaner audio than the XDR, and seems to have slightly less splatter, so overall intelligibility is higher. Sensitivity is also superior. Using the widest 311 kHz bandwidth in the 'Measure' configuration it has audiophile-grade sound quality on the BBC's better engineered programmes.

It is much more flexible than the XDR e.g. the soft mute can be defeated, and signals can be endlessly tweaked if you so wish. Plus it has a rotary control knob which is used for tuning up and down the band without muting, and it has good RDS decoding including the ability to show PI codes. There is a future software upgrade that will add an RDS analyser screen, and I'm really looking forward to that.

The main advantage the SDRs mentioned above have is the ability to record chunks of the band for later playback but that kind of set-up is not practical for me so the RBRX Encore is the best solution. I do appreciate that these receivers are NOT cheap!
Good DX.

Nick, Whitchurch, Hampshire.

BW Broadcast RBRX Encore, Kenwood L-1000T, Yamaha T-2, Denon TU-800L, Kenwood KT-1100SD (modified), Yamaha T-85, Sony XDR-F1HD tuners, horizontal Körner 9.2 beam (Antennenland version), Yaesu G-450C rotator

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