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Old November 6th 03, 03:16 PM
Rick
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cubic R-3030A

I have a chacne to purchase one of these receivers and was wondering if
anyone here know anyting about them.
Anyone ever use one?
I did a search on he internet, but haven't found much info.

Thanks
--
73's
Rick

"When in doubt, mumble."



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Old November 6th 03, 07:14 PM
Mark S. Holden
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Rick wrote:

I have a chacne to purchase one of these receivers and was wondering if
anyone here know anyting about them.
Anyone ever use one?
I did a search on he internet, but haven't found much info.

Thanks
--
73's
Rick

"When in doubt, mumble."


The best place to find thoughtful discussion on this radio is probably in the archives of Premium RX.

A good friend has one. He's got it in his rack, but he's more likely to use a WJ 8716 for AM, a Harris Rf-550 for ssb or isb, or a Mackay 3031a for rtty.

The cubic was designed for remote operation, so working them with the keypad and tuning knob is awkward. Changing just about anything but the frequency with the keypad requires you to start by hitting "cancel" first.

The membrane keyboards are prone to "bounce". Original replacements are no longer available.

Performance is pretty good, but not as good as his Harris and WJ HF radios. Audio quality is fair - kind of harsh on the ears.

The neat thing is it's two receivers in one 3u rack.

One of the members on premium RX has been talking about publishing some easy mods to improve various aspects of the radio, but he hasn't gotten around to it yet.

Several have turned up on ebay in recent months, and one of the sellers seems to have cornered the market on 3030's with fault lights lit and displays filled with 8's.
  #3   Report Post  
Old November 6th 03, 08:29 PM
Rick
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Mark,
Thanks for the information, it really helped in my decision. I probably
won't be buying this radio. I read about the keyboard bounce and few other
problems the radio has, and I don't want to deal with a problematic
receiver.

So the hunt goes on for a better receiver.





"Mark S. Holden" wrote in message
...
Rick wrote:

I have a chacne to purchase one of these receivers and was wondering if
anyone here know anyting about them.
Anyone ever use one?
I did a search on he internet, but haven't found much info.

Thanks
--
73's
Rick

"When in doubt, mumble."


The best place to find thoughtful discussion on this radio is probably in

the archives of Premium RX.

A good friend has one. He's got it in his rack, but he's more likely to

use a WJ 8716 for AM, a Harris Rf-550 for ssb or isb, or a Mackay 3031a for
rtty.

The cubic was designed for remote operation, so working them with the

keypad and tuning knob is awkward. Changing just about anything but the
frequency with the keypad requires you to start by hitting "cancel" first.

The membrane keyboards are prone to "bounce". Original replacements are

no longer available.

Performance is pretty good, but not as good as his Harris and WJ HF

radios. Audio quality is fair - kind of harsh on the ears.

The neat thing is it's two receivers in one 3u rack.

One of the members on premium RX has been talking about publishing some

easy mods to improve various aspects of the radio, but he hasn't gotten
around to it yet.

Several have turned up on ebay in recent months, and one of the sellers

seems to have cornered the market on 3030's with fault lights lit and
displays filled with 8's.


  #4   Report Post  
Old November 6th 03, 09:49 PM
Mark S. Holden
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Rick wrote:

Mark,
Thanks for the information, it really helped in my decision. I probably
won't be buying this radio. I read about the keyboard bounce and few other
problems the radio has, and I don't want to deal with a problematic
receiver.

So the hunt goes on for a better receiver.


My personal favorite is the Harris RF-550.

There's one on ebay now, but it's almost as much as buying one from a dealer who will burn it in and test it for 24 hours for you. It's got few convenience features, so it's not for everyone, but it's built like a tank and delivers a signal that's fun to
listen to.

I had a Racal 6790/gm but while it performed well, I wasn't impressed with the build quality, and the audio just wasn't as nice as the Harris.

On consumer rigs, I've had an R8, and have an AOR-7030+. Out of the box, I liked the R8 better, but after adding a couple filters better suited to my tastes, the 7030 is better for my needs because it's practical to run on batteries. (Mine is installed
in a custom case with a pair of NIMH battery packs, a fast charger, and an Avantek preamp for an active antenna -I use it for camping and vacations)
  #5   Report Post  
Old November 7th 03, 01:18 PM
Rick
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Mark,
Thank you very much for your insight. I was looking at a Harris on Ebay and
it is a bit pricey for being used. I'll look into the Harris a bit more.

I also looked at a Plessey Receiver although it had great specs, I didn't
find much feedback on how it performs etc.

My 3 current receivers a
Drake R8, which I really enjoy, I bought it on Ebay, and the condition was
incredible. I couldn't even find the slightest scratch.

I also have a Icom IC-R75 which I puchased new about 6 months ago. Great
performer on SSB and the DSP unit seems to do it's job well. It was lousy on
AM, the sound was horrible, the narrow filters only made it worse, so I had
the Kiwai filters installed to fix the sync and had the hi fi mod installed.
A much better receiver now. Especially for the money.

My third rig is a Hammarlund SP 600 dual diveristy (without the second
receiver) Excellent in every way. I've had he receiver since 1983 and it's
in pristine condition. I would never ever part with it. It takes up alot of
rack space, but I don't care.

Thats all for now, and thanks again.

73's
Rick


"Mark S. Holden" wrote in message
...
Rick wrote:

Mark,
Thanks for the information, it really helped in my decision. I probably
won't be buying this radio. I read about the keyboard bounce and few

other
problems the radio has, and I don't want to deal with a problematic
receiver.

So the hunt goes on for a better receiver.


My personal favorite is the Harris RF-550.

There's one on ebay now, but it's almost as much as buying one from a

dealer who will burn it in and test it for 24 hours for you. It's got few
convenience features, so it's not for everyone, but it's built like a tank
and delivers a signal that's fun to
listen to.

I had a Racal 6790/gm but while it performed well, I wasn't impressed with

the build quality, and the audio just wasn't as nice as the Harris.

On consumer rigs, I've had an R8, and have an AOR-7030+. Out of the box,

I liked the R8 better, but after adding a couple filters better suited to my
tastes, the 7030 is better for my needs because it's practical to run on
batteries. (Mine is installed
in a custom case with a pair of NIMH battery packs, a fast charger, and an

Avantek preamp for an active antenna -I use it for camping and vacations)




  #6   Report Post  
Old November 7th 03, 11:51 PM
the captain
 
Posts: n/a
Default

The captain would like to take this chance to remind everyone out there
in radioland that

"A $500 radio with a well built T2FD will outperform a $5000 receiver
with a 30 foot piece of wire"


DO YOU KNOW HOW GOOD your ANTENNA IS ???????

This has been a public service announcement from "THE CAPTAIN"






Rick wrote:

I have a chacne to purchase one of these receivers and was wondering if
anyone here know anyting about them.
Anyone ever use one?
I did a search on he internet, but haven't found much info.

Thanks


  #7   Report Post  
Old November 8th 03, 02:42 AM
Albert P. Belle Isle
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Thu, 06 Nov 2003 15:16:09 GMT, "Rick" wrote:

I have a chacne to purchase one of these receivers and was wondering if
anyone here know anyting about them.
Anyone ever use one?
I did a search on he internet, but haven't found much info.

Thanks


Rick,

I have an R-3030A (among other receivers) and it's extremely good at
what it was designed for - which is NOT broadcast listening.

It was designed to be computer-controlled for surveillance
applications involving banks of them in racks.

The "A" suffix denotes what's often called "the CIA model."

The filter options are - for my uses - better than either those of the
3030 or the R2411 version. You can use 0.5, 1.0, 3.2 or 6.0kHz BW on
any mode - CW, USB, LSB, FM or AM. The control interface in the A's is
dual, independent RS-422s which is readily applicable to PC-control -
unlike the other options in the 3030 family. Simple AC power connector
- no Mil-Std barrel connector like the R2411.

I leave it parked on channels that only occasionally produce
interesting stuff in digital modes. Each receiver feeds one of the
stereo channels in a PC soundcard, and I have Hoka's Code300-32 open
decoder windows on each.

French military circuits using 400Hz-shift ARQ-E3 mode are one
application at which it excels with its 500Hz crystal filters - much
better than having to open up to the 1000Hz filter that's the only
alternative to a too-narrow 300Hz filter on other receivers.

I often leave it on overnight with one receiver on 518kHz feeding an
FEC decoder for NAVTEX broiadcasts and the other receiver on 8414.5kHz
feeding a GMDSS/DSC decoder with a text filter to pick out maritime
distress calls.

In fact, the following GMDSS packet arived just a few minutes ago over
the right-hand receiver in the 3030A:

FORMAT SPECIFIER: DISTRESS CALL
SELF IDENTIFICATION: 636010660 Liberia
DISTRESS NATU UNDESIGNATED DISTRESS
DISTRESS COORDINATES: NW LATITUDE 38 deg 6 min NORTH
LONGITUDE 9 deg 38 min WEST
TIME UTC: 1 : 57
TELECOMMAND: J3E telephone
EOS
CHECK SUM OK
DECODED AT: 8:57:49 PM 11/7/2003

(The ship is the Liberian-registered bulk carrier Torm Pacific - call
sign ELUF4 and owned by Eastern Light Shipping - at a GPS
auto-position located in the Atlantic, about 70nm SW of Lisbon,
Portugal.)

The 3030A receivers are rock stable - you just dial in what you want
and leave them there. Their internal frequency standard takes much
less time from turn-on to stability than the one in my Harris R-2368
(Navy version RF-590)

While it has a decent sound for SSB voice and AM broadcasts, the 3030A
is not as pleasant a sound as my Harris, which in turn is no
competition for my Ten-Tec RX340s (or even the little RX320s).

One of the 3030 family's quirks that is fine for feeding decoders but
not so fine for long hours of human listening is an AGC that just has
a hang time (selectable) but no decay. In some conditions, it results
in a harsh sound that is tiring for extended listening.

The worst such condition is when tuning across a band of frequencies
hunting for weak signals in high noise. If you have a decent broadcast
signal and park on it, it sounds pretty good.

If you believe that radio equipment can have something akin to sex
appeal, the Cubics have it in spades.

The construction is totally modular, and you can swap these
individually shielded modules with their counterparts in the other
receiver as a quick way to trouble shoot. (The modules have diagnostic
output fault LEDs on their edges.)

This is REAL Mil-Spec stuff that makes the Harris look like some ham
receiver with armor bolted onto it. The difference in quality of
little things like even the rack handles is readily apparent. The
yellow LED displays are better over a wider range of lighting
conditions than most any other displays I've seen. Easy on the eyes.

You do have to hit the keypads decisively and straight-on, but you
quickly develop "Cubic key-fingers."

It's a nifty box that I'd really hate to part with - but if I only had
one receiver for everything, including a lot of SWL broadcast
listening, it'd probably not be a 3030A.


Good listening,
Al
=================================================
Location: 42N39, 71W09 (Near Boston, MA)
HF Antennas: 65ft TFD, 45ft T2FD, 28ft vertical, 65ft doublet
HF Receivers: Ten-Tec RX340, RX320, Harris R2368, Cubic R3030A
Decoders: Code300-32, Universal M-8000, PK-232MBX/DSP
=================================================
  #8   Report Post  
Old November 8th 03, 02:48 AM
Albert P. Belle Isle
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Thu, 06 Nov 2003 14:14:56 -0500, "Mark S. Holden"
wrote:

Rick wrote:


The cubic was designed for remote operation, so working them with the keypad and tuning knob is awkward. Changing just about anything but the frequency with the keypad requires you to start by hitting "cancel" first.


Not true on my 3030A, Mark. Any control can be entered from the keypad
by first hitting its function key. Once a function key is hit, the
knob controls the function setting you've selected, untill you hit
other keys. If you just hit function-value-enter, you're right back in
control mode with the knob (and keys) not connected to anything.

Once you get used to the system, it's very logical. Until you do, it's
the kind of "logical" that can be infuriating about computer
interfaces, and some people just don't like it.


Good listening,
Al
=================================================
Location: 42N39, 71W09 (Near Boston, MA)
HF Antennas: 65ft TFD, 45ft T2FD, 28ft vertical, 65ft doublet
HF Receivers: Ten-Tec RX340, RX320, Harris R2368, Cubic R3030A
Decoders: Code300-32, Universal M-8000, PK-232MBX/DSP
=================================================
  #9   Report Post  
Old November 8th 03, 02:57 AM
N8KDV
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Nice description of the radio and its usage Al.

"Albert P. Belle Isle" wrote:

On Thu, 06 Nov 2003 15:16:09 GMT, "Rick" wrote:

I have a chacne to purchase one of these receivers and was wondering if
anyone here know anyting about them.
Anyone ever use one?
I did a search on he internet, but haven't found much info.

Thanks


Rick,

I have an R-3030A (among other receivers) and it's extremely good at
what it was designed for - which is NOT broadcast listening.

It was designed to be computer-controlled for surveillance
applications involving banks of them in racks.

The "A" suffix denotes what's often called "the CIA model."

The filter options are - for my uses - better than either those of the
3030 or the R2411 version. You can use 0.5, 1.0, 3.2 or 6.0kHz BW on
any mode - CW, USB, LSB, FM or AM. The control interface in the A's is
dual, independent RS-422s which is readily applicable to PC-control -
unlike the other options in the 3030 family. Simple AC power connector
- no Mil-Std barrel connector like the R2411.

I leave it parked on channels that only occasionally produce
interesting stuff in digital modes. Each receiver feeds one of the
stereo channels in a PC soundcard, and I have Hoka's Code300-32 open
decoder windows on each.

French military circuits using 400Hz-shift ARQ-E3 mode are one
application at which it excels with its 500Hz crystal filters - much
better than having to open up to the 1000Hz filter that's the only
alternative to a too-narrow 300Hz filter on other receivers.

I often leave it on overnight with one receiver on 518kHz feeding an
FEC decoder for NAVTEX broiadcasts and the other receiver on 8414.5kHz
feeding a GMDSS/DSC decoder with a text filter to pick out maritime
distress calls.

In fact, the following GMDSS packet arived just a few minutes ago over
the right-hand receiver in the 3030A:

FORMAT SPECIFIER: DISTRESS CALL
SELF IDENTIFICATION: 636010660 Liberia
DISTRESS NATU UNDESIGNATED DISTRESS
DISTRESS COORDINATES: NW LATITUDE 38 deg 6 min NORTH
LONGITUDE 9 deg 38 min WEST
TIME UTC: 1 : 57
TELECOMMAND: J3E telephone
EOS
CHECK SUM OK
DECODED AT: 8:57:49 PM 11/7/2003

(The ship is the Liberian-registered bulk carrier Torm Pacific - call
sign ELUF4 and owned by Eastern Light Shipping - at a GPS
auto-position located in the Atlantic, about 70nm SW of Lisbon,
Portugal.)

The 3030A receivers are rock stable - you just dial in what you want
and leave them there. Their internal frequency standard takes much
less time from turn-on to stability than the one in my Harris R-2368
(Navy version RF-590)

While it has a decent sound for SSB voice and AM broadcasts, the 3030A
is not as pleasant a sound as my Harris, which in turn is no
competition for my Ten-Tec RX340s (or even the little RX320s).

One of the 3030 family's quirks that is fine for feeding decoders but
not so fine for long hours of human listening is an AGC that just has
a hang time (selectable) but no decay. In some conditions, it results
in a harsh sound that is tiring for extended listening.

The worst such condition is when tuning across a band of frequencies
hunting for weak signals in high noise. If you have a decent broadcast
signal and park on it, it sounds pretty good.

If you believe that radio equipment can have something akin to sex
appeal, the Cubics have it in spades.

The construction is totally modular, and you can swap these
individually shielded modules with their counterparts in the other
receiver as a quick way to trouble shoot. (The modules have diagnostic
output fault LEDs on their edges.)

This is REAL Mil-Spec stuff that makes the Harris look like some ham
receiver with armor bolted onto it. The difference in quality of
little things like even the rack handles is readily apparent. The
yellow LED displays are better over a wider range of lighting
conditions than most any other displays I've seen. Easy on the eyes.

You do have to hit the keypads decisively and straight-on, but you
quickly develop "Cubic key-fingers."

It's a nifty box that I'd really hate to part with - but if I only had
one receiver for everything, including a lot of SWL broadcast
listening, it'd probably not be a 3030A.

Good listening,
Al
=================================================
Location: 42N39, 71W09 (Near Boston, MA)
HF Antennas: 65ft TFD, 45ft T2FD, 28ft vertical, 65ft doublet
HF Receivers: Ten-Tec RX340, RX320, Harris R2368, Cubic R3030A
Decoders: Code300-32, Universal M-8000, PK-232MBX/DSP
=================================================


  #10   Report Post  
Old November 8th 03, 03:27 AM
Albert P. Belle Isle
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Fri, 07 Nov 2003 21:57:44 -0500, N8KDV
wrote:

Nice description of the radio and its usage Al.


Thanks, Steve.

I doubt that you'd want to trade a Drake R8B for one as your sole
receiver, but if you picked up a 3030A as an addition to the shack, I
think you might find it pretty nifty.


Good listening,
Al
=================================================
Location: 42N39, 71W09 (Near Boston, MA)
HF Antennas: 65ft TFD, 45ft T2FD, 28ft vertical, 65ft doublet
HF Receivers: Ten-Tec RX340, RX320, Harris R2368, Cubic R3030A
Decoders: Code300-32, Universal M-8000, PK-232MBX/DSP
=================================================


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