what is the best HF rig ever made??

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by M3WFO, Dec 5, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: Left-3
ad: L-MFJ
ad: abrind-2
ad: Left-2
ad: Subscribe
ad: QSOToday-1
  1. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not really, by a long shot. It sucks on SSB and is very difficult to tune.

    I had a Collins version and sold it 20 years ago before it gave me tendonitis.

    To me, the R390 is a terrible receiver in many ways, although it was perfect for what it was designed to do.

    Best receiver ever made? Not sure, but the HRO-500 comes fairly close, and that's from the late 1960s. The R8 from Drake is no slouch, either.

    The RX section of my Drake TR-7 is also no slouch. On the Sherwood Engineering reports, it has the highest (best) off-channel performance of any receiver ever tested, and that's an important factor for those of us located near very strong transmitting stations.
  2. W0GI

    W0GI Ham Member QRZ Page

    The R-390A ia pretty cool receiver. Needing visegrips for the VFO is the bad part. :D
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    You don't need vice grips, you need patience. It's not an easy rig to "tune around" with, and has no product detector, either.

    PERFECT for tuning in WWV at 10.000 MHz or whatever and listening to that.
  4. NL7W

    NL7W Ham Member QRZ Page


    Mine, too!

  5. NI7I

    NI7I Guest

    Wouldnt mind having the Mackay xmtr I used with my 3031. Had a 4CX1500 for a final and was just as bullitproof.
  6. NI7I

    NI7I Guest

    I like the R1051's.. On the small ship is was on in the Navy, we didnt rate them. I managed to steel a couple that somebody on tin can alley in Pearl stupidly left on a palet on the peir. I think we were the only ATF in the Navy that had a pair of them.. Made tuning in the broadcast a lot easier.

  7. KI4WCA

    KI4WCA Ham Member QRZ Page


    I have never owned a R390.I have always wanted one.One of those and an SP-600 and you are set.My SP-600 is fabulous.The tuning action is just exquisite, and something that has to be tried to be appreciated.My SP-600 was a gift from a friend who did not like older gear and was using a Icom R-71A.I even got a classic set of clevite brush high impedance cans with it...complete with silk covered cord!
    Other rigs are better for ssb.When I still had the BC-348R I used it as a tunable IF with the SP-600 and the ssb worked fabulously.Talk about a lot of weight and heat!!But it worked really well.

    The R390 and the SP-600.The 2 ultimate boat anchor receivers.Everybody should drive one at least for a couple of hours.

    And the Drake R7 and TR7 are legendary too.Epic rigs.
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The SuperPro SP-600 is miles ahead of the R-390/A in terms of actual functionality for ham use. It had an analog dial you could spin, the R390 does not.

    In '67-70 I had an SP-600JX with crystal filters installed and it was a very fine receiver. I'm trying to remember who made the one I had, but I think it was Hammarlund. (The contract went to low bidder, and a few different companies made this stuff.)
  9. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think you had a bad one and you are speaking from your own experience.

    I never experienced these issues you are mentioning. :)

    When these rigs are properly restored, properly realigned and when the ford transmission inside them are properly cleaned and lubricated etc you will have no issue with tuning (cruising?) around the bands. You will also find the SSB received is very sensitive even near the bottom of the noise floor. In addition, I have done A-B comparison tests using my FT 1000mp and other modern day receivers using SSB mode and was very satisfied with the results the R390 exhibited by comparison.

    Again, I think you are speaking from your own personal experience perhaps owning and using a bad one that was either out of alignment or perhaps not up to snuff.

    To state "they all suck" is not entirely accurate when you consider the sheer number of people who are very satisfied with the R-390's performance. That's not by accident. ;)
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nah, I worked at a U.S. Army MARS station that had about 20 of them. K2USA, at Ft. Monmouth, NJ. They ALL sucked, compared with the TR-7s and 75S3s we had there at the same time...:p
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

ad: Alphaant-1