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AOR AR5000


For quite a long time it is on the market - the AOR AR5000. It is known as one of the best radio scanners. It even is used in the professional sector - this means something! Its tuning range starts with 5 kHz and ends at 2600 MHz, which is an enormous range. All relevant operation modes and bandwidths are available. Even more - it is possible to install further bandwidth filters and other accessories. If the AR5000 also works on shortwave, I could test within the last few days. I challenged it with some of the best shortwave receivers.

Here is the main data of the AR5000:
Frequency range: 5kHz - 2600MHz
Modes: AM, LSB, USB, CW, FM
Bandwidths: 3khz, 6khz, 15khz, 30khz, 110khz, 220khz
Memories: 1000 (alphanumeric)
AGC: Off, Slow, Middle, Fast
Audio filters: high pass 0.05khz, 0.2khz, 0.3khz, 0.4khz / low pass 3khz, 4khz, 6khz, 12khz
In addition, there are many further functions which I cannot list all. Anyway, quite everything can be set up on this unit.

How is the reception on shortwave?
The AR5000 is a first league wideband scanner! Reception quality above shortwave is beyond any doubt! Well, on shortwave I have compared it with some pure shortwave receivers. The AR5000 is very sensitive! It can mostly keep up with the other receivers, namely the Icom IC-R75, Kenwood R-5000, Drake R8B, Perseus, RadioJet.
Unfortunately, the AR5000 only likes antennas, which are not too powerful. With a 35m long wire and as well on the Fenu-loop/HDLA3, the AR5000 has a very high noise level. The s-meter always is at S9 and above. A sign for it overloads! The sound in AM is hollow, in SSB it is quite good and audible.

Operation of this unit is quite painful due to the many knobs, because everything has to be set up manually.
The AR5000 may have an automatic operation, which depends on the frequency band. This is not very practical for shortwave and below. Operating modes, bandwidth, AGC have to be set up manually. The data is though not saved.
The AR5000 is recommended for FM listeners, so for everything above 30 MHz. Below, the AR5000 ist not really bad, but its direct competitor, the Icom IC-R8500, is much better on shortwave.

From the developers of HDSDR, the famous SDR control software, came the following hint - many thanks for it!
To our knowledge, the AR5000 is one of the very scarce receivers, which have a very wide 10.7 MHz IF interface, which I believe is 4 MHz. Therefore it is possible to combine the AR5000 with a Perseus SDR:
* Antenna connection on AR5000
* Connect Perseus to the 10.7 MHz interface of the AR5000
* Tune Perseus manually to 10.7 MHz
* Set AR5000 to AM mode to avoid frequency offset (might be due to the filters)
* Tune to desired frequency on AR5000

Even more interesting is the configuration with using the CAT interface additionally:
* install the Freeware OmniRig from http://www.dxatlas.com/OmniRig/
* copy the AR5000.ini file into the installation folder C:\Programme\Afreet\OmniRig\Rigs\ and adjust it
* select OmniRig in HDSDR and adjust: Sync LO, no Sync modulation
* set HDSDR setting under Options -> ExtIO Frequency Options -> "SDR Hardware on IF output" onto 10700000 Hz

This manual is meant for Users with advanced PC knowledge.

Written on 30. April 2012


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