Yaesu FT-747GX - my 'new' short wave receiver!
I have had an 'almost' moment with short wave receivers a number of times over the years (and they were all Yaesu's) but have never actually bought myself one.
It started out I suppose when very early in the 80's my 'Elmer' at the time loaned me an Eddystone valve receiver for a few weeks, a proper 'boat anchor' radio. I looked at buying something secondhand but to no avail. There was a CB'er / SWL in Modbury near where I lived who had a receiver I could have had cheaply, I visited to try it and was having trouble refining SSB using the old type BFO (Beat Frequency Oscillator); apparently it didn't work properly as he ripped the earphones off me, re-tuned to an AM broadcast station and gruffly muttered 'there's nothing wrong with it there you go' and clamped the phones back on my ears quite hard! "Thats fine thanks, I'll think about it!!"
Eddystone short wave receiver similar to the one I used so many years ago!
As a CB'er all those years ago I wanted but couldn't scrape up the cash for an FRG-7, (a mate who was a security guard had one and whiled away the nights listening to the HF bands while he was on duty at the paper mill near where we lived), but my ultimate would have been a new FRG-7700 which just looked to be amazing. In a bizarre twist (!) I could've bought a mint condition FRG7700 and the matching VHF transverter when I bought the FT-707 at Tavistock radio rally years later for just £100 but that wasn't on the cards at that stage; shame as it remained unsold and the guy took it home again (often thought about that as the 'one that got away').
Well time went by and the interest in radio waned until I started to get interested again in the mid 1990's when I looked at buying a secondhand FRG-8800 advertised for sale in Torquay, chatted to the seller about it on the phone but never went through with it (again it was quite expensive and he actually suggested that I may not use it to its capabilities and it may be more than I needed at that time!). There was one at the radio club years later and it was a nice bit of kit but things had moved on by then having become licensed.
My old Yaesu FT-707 was for long my favourite radio and still receives beautifully on the amateur bands (its not general coverage) but it seems to have developed yet another old age fault and stopped transmitting (now fixed thank goodness!)! So in a recent (October 2016) change around I looked at alternatives and wondered about just using a HF all band receiver. My old favourite FRG7700 is probably a bit of a risk again due to the age of components (especially the display apparently - see pic above), the FRG8800 getting similar (and not cheap) leaving the FRG100 which always looked nice but expensive. Whilst prices have started to soften a little its still quite a bit of 'wedge' for what will be at minimum a 10 year old radio and, "doesn't it look similar to (kind of) and about the same size as my old FT-747GX ?!
Well my old 747 had its problems early on but was satisfactorily repaired AND had the FM board fitted at the same time AND includes a basic level of AM and CW filtering apparently. So my 'new/old' receiver is sat on the radio stack and works a treat PLUS it can be used to transmit if I need it to as long as its connected to a suitable antenna. For HF general coverage though the Q82 works fairly well the wire is better (its the old thing of having plenty of metal in the air isn't it!?!). And I saved some money that I just don't have right now!
'New/old' FT-747GX listening in on transatlantic airband.
On top of the rig that is an early 80's and excellent Datong FL-3 audio filter connected to an external speaker though the front facing internal speaker works pretty well by itself.