Adept Instruments - Information on Receivers for Tracking

The T400 Transmitter pictured above was originally designed as a model rocket tracking transmitter that will fit inside a small diameter rocket (18 mm). We first offered it in 1999. They have been sold under the business name Adept Rocketry, and many hundreds of them are now in service. We have always required proof of the buyer's Amateur Radio license, and for this reason we were responsible for many new Hams getting their licenses. If you are a Ham and are interested in hobby or amateur rocketry, then please check out our other website. www.adeptrocketry.com

The Adept T400 Transmitters are now available in various physical forms. They operate at 433.92 MHz in the 70 cm Amateur Radio (ham) band, in either AM Mode, or in CW Mode (no FM Mode). At these frequencies, the receiving antennas can be quite small. Adept does not offer transmitters that operate on the 2 meter Amateur Radio band. Click here to go to our Transmitters Page.

 

There are numerous receiver options available on the open market. Many of them are listed on this page. Adept does not manufacture or offer receivers. You will need to acquire an appropriate receiver. You will also need a directional antenna and a connecting cable.

There are several commercially available hand held receivers that are ideal for receiving the signals from Adept transmitters. Actually, you can receive just about anything else with these little guys too, including commercial AM and FM radio stations, nearly all the ham bands, shortwave, CB, baby monitors, the Family Radio Service, ship-to-shore, police, aircraft, and so on and so on. You just need to use the appropriate antenna for what you wish to receive.

Not all hand held receivers and handy talkies can receive AM signals on 433.92 MHz, but there are many that can. There are even fewer that can receive CW signals. Most hand held wide-band receive only units can receive AM at 433.92 MHz. Some of the dual and triple band handy talkies can also receive the AM signals, but not all of them can. For instance, the Baofeng handy talkies function in FM mode only, and they will not work for receiving AM or CW.

What you need to look for when choosing a receiver for the Adept T400 Transmitters

If the unit is specified with a continuous coverage wide-band receive capability, or "extensive receive frequency coverage," then it may be what you need. The manufacturers that specify wide-band receive capability generally allow AM reception on the 108-137 MHz aircraft band, but usually don't specify that it will also receive AM at other frequencies. Most often, they will. If you are looking for a receiver or handy talkie that will receive AM and/or CW signals on 433.92 MHz, you should first verify that it can.

Older Icom, Alinco, Kenwood, and Yeasu hand held receivers and handy talkies capable of receiving AM or CW can still be found on the used market, and at very attractive prices.

There are other receivers that will also do the job. The key words are "Communications Receiver." They must be able to receive AM or CW signals on the particular frequency of use. Scanners typically receive only narrow band FM signals, and sometimes receive AM signals only on the much lower frequency aircraft band. You will not be able to use the T400 transmitters with an FM receiver or FM handy talkie unless it also has the ability to receive AM and/or CW.

 
These discontinued receivers are some of the first that were available, and are shown here in comparable scale. The smallest unit, the IC-R2 does not receive CW or Single Side Band signals. The other three units receive "all modes" and were comparable in price.
 
New receivers keep showing up in the pages of QST Magazine and others. Now there are many dual or triple band handy talkies that are FM transceivers with the added capability of receiving AM. There are many choices, old and new, and they continue to come and go at at a very fast rate, as features and technology are updated.

The receiver is by far the most costly item in a radio tracking system. The directional receiving antenna, the cable and such, add a little to the cost, but these devices are never at risk (unless you drop the receiver on a sidewalk), so they should perform for many years. A club or group of users can own a receiver and antenna to spread out the cost, and a license is never required for receiving.

 
Currently Available

The Alinco DJ-X11T is a wide band communications receiver with multi-modes (AM, SSB, CW, FM, and WFM). It offers an RF gain control, and a two level front end attenuator. The attenuator levels are OFF, Low, and High (dB value not specified). It has an SMA antenna connector. The current price is about $320.

Recently Discontinued

The Icom IC-R20 is a wide band communications receiver with multi-modes (AM, SSB, CW, FM, and WFM). It offers an RF gain control, and a multi-level front end attenuator. It has a BNC antenna connector. The last advertised price was about $500.

 
Discontinued

The Icom IC-R5 replaced the IC-R2. It is a wide band communications receiver that can receive 433.92 MHz signals in AM mode, and it offers a 10 dB internal front end attenuator. It has an SMA antenna connector.

Currently Available

The Icom IC-R6 is a wide band communications receiver with three receive modes, FM, AM, and WFM. It can receive 433.92 MHz signals in AM mode, and it offers a 10 dB internal front end attenuator. It has an SMA antenna connector. The current price is about $175.

 
Currently Available

The Alinco DJ-X30T wideband communications receiver covers 100 kHz to 1.3 GHz in AM, FM wide and narrow FM modes. It can receive 433.92 MHz signals in AM mode, and it offers a 20 dB internal front end attenuator. It has an SMA antenna connector. The current price is about $180.

Additional hand-held Communications Receivers are available, and just about all of them will receive AM at 433.92 MHz for receiving the Adept Instruments transmitters.

Also, numerous hand-held Transceivers are available with wide-band receive capability. Many of them can receive AM at 433.92 MHz. A few of them are listed below.

 
The discontinued Icom IC-Q7A (left) looks just like the IC-R2 Communications Receiver shown above on this page. It is a dual-band HT transceiver (handy talkie), but it also can receive AM signals at 433.92 MHz. The original price was about $120.

The discontinued Yaesu VX-1R on the right is even smaller. It is a dual-band HT transceiver that can also receive AM signals. Its cost was about $130.

Both of the units shown here have an SMA antenna connector, not a BNC connector. So an SMA to BNC adapter connector is required if a BNC cable is to be used to connect to the tracking antenna.

 
Currently Available

The Yaesu VX-3R is dubbed the "world's smallest" dual-band HT transceiver. It can receive 433.92 MHz signals in AM mode, and it offers a 20 dB front end attenuator. It has an SMA antenna connector. The current price is about $120.

Discontinued

The Yeasu VX-7R is a triple-band FM transceiver with extensive receive frequency coverage. It can receive 433.92 MHz signals in AM mode, and it offers a 20 dB front end attenuator. It has an SMA antenna connector.

 
Currently Available

The Yaesu FT-60R is a dual-band FM transceiver with wide band receive frequency coverage, and it can receive 433.92 MHz signals in AM mode. It does not offer a front end attenuator. It has an SMA antenna connector. The current price is about $150.

Currently Available

The Yeasu VX-6R is a triple-band FM transceiver with wide band receive frequency coverage. It can receive 433.92 MHz signals in AM mode, and it offers a 10 dB front end attenuator. It has an SMA antenna connector. The current price is about $240.00.

 
Currently Available

The Kenwood TH-F6A is an FM Triband transceiver with 5W of output, and a second wideband receiver with multi modes including CW.

It's been advertised in QST as a "Great Introductory Radio" and also in the same issue as an HT with "Airwave Superiority." It is probably the only presently available handy talkie with CW receive capability.

It can receive 433.92 MHz signals in AM (and CW), and it offers a 20 dB front end attenuator. It has an SMA antenna connector. The current price is about $290.

The TH-F6A fits the bill for a general all around handy talkie and communications receiver, and at a good price. It can receive the Adept Instruments transmitters in AM or CW mode. Use it on 20 meters to track down a noisy power line, where a small loop antenna would do the trick. Use the TH-F6A to work the ham radio satellites. Use this rig on a 10 meter or 80 meter Fox Hunt. Most hams don't have this capability.

The Yaesu VX-3R above on this page would be the lowest cost receiver solution for receiving the Adept Instruments transmitters in AM mode. If you want a small rig that could be committed to your AM tracking system, then the VX-3R would be ideal.

 
It should be noted that all of the above receivers and handy talkies can receive FM signals. If you are involved with typical 2 meter fox hunts where the fox transmitter is running what we call high power fox hunting (5 or 10 watts FM), then you probably already have the receiver you need. However, you may look into obtaining an external attenuator such as the Adept Instruments AOA1.
 

In addition to an appropriate receiver, you will also need a directional antenna and a connecting cable. You may be able to supply your own connecting cable, and possibly an appropriate antenna. The SMA to BNC adapter connector is necessary for use with most of the receivers and handy talkies on this page.

 
 
www.adepinstruments.com       6/10/16

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