G4NSJ – Lowe HF150 communications receiver

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I’ve just bought a Lowe HF150 communications receiver. It’s compact with very few controls, but it’s amazing. The receiver covers 30kHz to 30MHz and I intend to use it for medium wave DXing and tuning around the HF broadcast bands. My Mini-Whip Active Antenna is perfect for use with this little gem.

Lowe HF150 communications receiver
Specifications.

Frequency Range ……. 30 kHz – 30 MHz
Modes …………….. AM, Sync, LSB and USB
Intermediate Freqs. … 1st IF = 45 MHz 2nd IF = 455 kHz
Tuning Increment …… 8 Hz, 60 Hz.
Sensitivity ……….. 0.5 µV1 0.2 µV with whip preamp on1
Selectivity ……….. 2.5/7.0 kHz -6 dB,
Stability …………. <± 30 Hz in 1 hour typical
Aerial socket ………. SO-239 50 Ohm, clips 600 Ohm
Spurious Response ….. > 65 dB rejection
Output Power ………. 1.6 W 8 ohms 5% THD
Memories………..60
Power supply….. 8 AA cells, rechargeable, or 12 Volt PSU

If you have rechargeable batteries installed, they will be charged when the receiver is switched off but the PSU is left on. Battery drain is high, that’s why it’s worth investing in rechargeable types.

The receiver has some very interesting and useful modes:

SSB lower sideband 2.5kHz
SSB upper sideband 2.5kHz
AM wide filter 7kHz
AM narrow filter 2.5kHz
AM synchronous double side band 7kHz
AM synchronous ‘hi-if’ mode 7kHz
AM synchronous LSB only 2.5kHz
AM synchronous USB only 2.5 kHz

Basically, the synchronous detector uses a phase locked loop to lock on to the carrier and replicate the incoming signal on exactly the same frequency. This signal is then used as the local oscillator signal to mix with the incoming AM signal to extract the audio.

The AM synchronous double side band setting is excellent for dealing with selective fading. I’ve tried this on distant short wave broadcast stations and it works really well.

Here’s a link to how synchronous AM, works.