I received my *Skywave SSB* yesterday... it's a nice unit! The packaging
and accessories make a good impression too. I like it better than the
original Skywave for sure.
On weak daytime signals its almost as good as the 909X and Satellit Exec
but falls behind on the weakest of the MW signals... that's expected due to
the bigger ferrite in the bigger radios.
However the SSB modes in the new Skywave are a really good addition for
tight signal situations! For instance, there's a fairly low power (4.5 kw)
Milwaukie, Oregon station just 10 kHz up from powerhouse KOMO 1000, and the
Skywave can hear it when using USB...indoors and in the daytime. Not only
that, using LSB I can easily hear a 5 kw Dalles, Oregon outlet on 1440,
just 10 kHz away from my strongest local KSUH 1450 (1 Kw omni-directional,
Korean lang., 1.4 miles away). I'm *very* impressed with what this little
handful has accomplished in the short time I've had the radio.
This radio should do well at the coast with receiving some TPs and DUs when
using LSB/USB, especially with a coupled loop.
FM is of course superb on the Skywave SSB, just like on similar
SiLabs-chipped receivers. The weather channels are good to have too, and I
read in the manual that the radio can even be set to receive weather ALERT
broadcasts such as when severe thunderstorms or tornadoes are approaching.
The radio's build quality is just fine for the price. I like the new gray
color, and I don't mind the "Speak & Spell" toy speaker shape once I saw
the radio in person (I admit it--I'm a designer and the looks of a radio
are more important to me than to many DXers). The Skywave SSB's build
quality is pretty good too.
The radio seems sensitive enough (MW & HF) and I haven't noticed any
abnormal amount of digital noises. Like many radio hobbyists, my own home
has enough buzzes and hash to cover up any weaker circuit oddities.
Speaking of oddies, I've never encountered a radio that ramps up in volume
over 1-2 seconds when you turn it on... has anyone else?
I'll be interested in my cross-town pal Gary DeBock's opinion of the the
Skywave SSB after he's taken his for a test drive.