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I am very much out of practice with amateur radio (like many others), so to some, this question may seem obvious. I don't have any specialised amateur radio equipment, but I do have a Sanyo AM/FM broadcast receiver (240V, 50 Hz, model no. MCD XP630).

Is it possible, with minor modification if necessary, to listen to amateur radio enthusiasts using this AM/FM radio?

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  • $\begingroup$ This may or may not be related, but sometimes, unintentional transmissions can be picked up by such receivers. Has this ever happened, and what did you do, not as an operator, but as a listener? Obviously this is in one of the questions in the new question pool. $\endgroup$ – HeavenlyHarmony Feb 27 at 8:25
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Using this site, I determined the operating range is:

FM: 87.5 - 108 MHz, AM: 526.5 - 1606.5 KHz

The closest ham bands are 144-148 MHz, 1800-2000 kHz. Thus, it cannot receive ham bands without modification.

With modification, essentially you need to open the radio and re-tune it's frequency calibration. There is a website that documents how to do this. It is important that you have a non-digital radio for this to work correctly.

Of course, all of this assumes that you are trying to listen to AM or FM signals. You probably could get away with this if you can adjust the FM signal appropriately, although the typical FM broadcast signal is wider band than an FM Amateur Radio signal, but AM signals are rarely used on the HF bands, it's far more common to use SSB, which a typical AM radio cannot receive, without significant modification.

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  • $\begingroup$ If it's a non-digital radio, it likely won't have frequency counters. $\endgroup$ – AA6YQ Oct 23 '13 at 20:49
  • $\begingroup$ @AA6YQ: Meant calibration, sigh... Blame my tired brain... $\endgroup$ – PearsonArtPhoto Oct 23 '13 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ 144 MHz is closer to the FM broadcast band than is 50 MHz, both in terms of frequency difference (50 / 87.5 = 0.57..., 108 / 144 = 0.75) as well as in absolute difference (87.5 - 50 = 37.5, 144 - 108 = 36). Also, FM is pretty common there, albeit narrow-band FM. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Oct 24 '13 at 7:52
  • $\begingroup$ Demodulating narrowband FM with something expecting wideband FM just results in quiet audio. $\endgroup$ – William - Rem Feb 17 '17 at 1:33
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No. Even if you modified it to tune amateur radio frequencies, it won't receive the modulation schemes used. Broadcast FM is wideband FM, which is not legal for amateurs on most frequencies. AM is legal for amateurs, but only rarely used.

Shortwave receivers that support SSB reception usually work for monitoring shortwave (HF) amateur radio transmissions.

There are inexpensive shortwave SSB receivers. As of early 2017, the Tecsun PL-310ET is $42 on Amazon. Check reviews for the current models.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0104J57GS

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    $\begingroup$ IF someone could modify the frequency range of an AM broadcast receiver, they could pick up AM modulation. Also it is possible to receive narrowband FM on a wideband FM receiver. $\endgroup$ – Reid Crowe Oct 24 '13 at 0:08
  • $\begingroup$ AM is not as common but I wouldn't call it rare and as Reid said you can understand narrow FM on something intended to hear wideband. The No answer is correct but I don't think the reasons are very good. A simpler "No, the standard AM/FM radio doesn't tune into the same frequencies as amateur radio." would have been more correct. $\endgroup$ – Micah Gafford Feb 12 '17 at 7:09
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Many years back, I found that I could take a little Jade 10 transistor radio that ran off a 9 volt battery, and instead hook it up to a 6 volt lantern battery, the radio went from receiving AM radio broadcast (it was strictly AM back then, this was in the mid 1960's)to picking up short wave. Now most hams now use FM for local and repeater communications, the short wave bands do see some use in folks that talk HF world wide, and that is the most interesting anyhow. I guess it depends on the age of your radio, the voltage it was made to run off, and where the radio gods hold their hands on that particular day. Many AC Radios do have a battery option. If this is not the case, you may well be able to find a second hand AM radio that you can do the conversion on if you want.

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    $\begingroup$ welcome to the site Jerry. We appreciate your contribution. However you do need to realize that you are answering an old post. While you explain your experience from the 1960s, and giving an option on how to receive shortwave, it does not answer the specific question asked. Please take the tour and have a look at How do I write a good answer. Looking forward to your future posts and answers. $\endgroup$ – Edwin van Mierlo Feb 7 '17 at 8:42
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when I started out listening to the short-wave, many years ago, I quickly found out that when I used a second receiver, placed next to each other, I was able to pick up the local oscillator from it, and carefully tune it on top of an SSB station, and lo and behold, it suddenly became intelligible. I haven't tried that method for years now, but if it worked in the 1980's I believe it will still work today! (SSB on shortwave, using 2 AM radio receivers with shortwave coverage, such as 14MHz, 7MHz) No modifications required whatsoever!

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to ham.stackexchange.com! Please consider taking the tour to get the most from the site. 73! $\endgroup$ – rclocher3 Feb 18 '17 at 17:20

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