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Thread: Small Portable Radio's?

  1. #451
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Looks like a nice setup StarHalo, thanks

    The Sony LX20i wouldn’t work for what I’m looking for mainly because where I would use it has no cell service and I also have mainly Android phones. I have searched the internet many times for an all in one quality radio and have come to the conclusion that there are no solutions at this time on the market. The closet I have come to finding what I’m looking for is the Delphi Sa 10034 and in fact I bought one but had to return in within a week because of quality issues. One day when I started to us it I pushed one of the buttons and the button just kept going in and as it turned out the panel in the back behind the faceplate that popped lose was made of cardboard. Very disappointing and if you read the reviews on Amazon you would see that this unit gets very mixed reviews based on quality. Ideally what I would like to have would be a small Sony boom box which could somehow accommodate XM and wouldn’t eat batteries. I can’t be the only person looking for such a product.

    Delphi Sa 10034



  2. #452
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    You wouldn't use cell service with your phone, it'd be web connected by wi-fi; I also own an Android phone, which can be connected to anything that has a line-in - you could just get a good CD/AM/FM boombox, and you'd have all your bases covered..


  3. #453
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    What I like to do is camp and normally I go to remote areas like the mountains and deserts of southern Utah and AZ so a Wi-Fi solution really isn’t an option. I might be out for two to three weeks at a time so that is why I really would like to find something that is easy on the batteries.

  4. #454
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    lol, you're a tough customer, great vacation area though. All I'm picturing at this point is a big Tupperware container with a bunch of radios in it..

  5. #455
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    LOL well I have some Tupperware containers that I use for camping.

    I think the solution is going to have to revolve around a power solution more than a radio, I was thinking about buying a large deep cycle battery and powering the radios I have. I am concerned about dirty power and the effect it might have and I’m not sure how long a radio will run using a fully charged car size deep cycle battery.

  6. #456

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post
    LOL well I have some Tupperware containers that I use for camping.

    I think the solution is going to have to revolve around a power solution more than a radio, I was thinking about buying a large deep cycle battery and powering the radios I have. I am concerned about dirty power and the effect it might have and I’m not sure how long a radio will run using a fully charged car size deep cycle battery.
    I think it depends on the radio. I have an old 70s analog stereo boom box that has AM/FM stereo and at low volume levels I ran it for over 4 days off a 6v 4.5Ahr SLA and it was designed for 6D cells (9v). All analog radios will run a long time off even D cells as long as you are not using them as a high power stereo system I think a 12v car battery is way overkill unless you are expecting a need to need it loud with powerful bass that shakes the floor. Analog radios draw about perhaps 0.5 to a few watts of power at nominal listening levels, less using earphones.
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  7. #457
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    The Sony would work for that one AM station, but wouldn't do anything else; $130 is way too steep for a one-station receiver.

    For roughly half the price, you could get the successor to your Superradio, the CCrane EP; gets both AM and FM with top-rated reception (even better than the Superradio), a backlit dial, and long battery life with no other frills.
    I did a lot of research on your recommendation StarHalo. Most folks stated that it has the same problem as my GE Super Radio III in that it drifts and won't hold a station for very long.

    In fact a bunch of folks who have this radio recommended that I keep my SRIII and don't waste my money.

    You folks are lucky in that you live in urban areas and don't have to put up with sensitivity problems like I do in my very rural area.

    I guess I'll just have to listen to internet radio but I sure wish there was a portable radio that has superior sensitivity!
    Last edited by Gene; 04-14-2012 at 06:08 PM.

  8. #458
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene View Post
    Most folks stated that it has the same problem as my GE Super Radio III in that it drifts and won't hold a station for very long.
    If you mean drift as in the signal fades in and out, that's a weak-signal reception problem, and a more sensitive setup is the only solution; the EP is my #1 recommendation for rural areas even over the complex shortwave units, as it outpaces nearly all of them in sensitivity.

    I have had this same problem listening to a station ~300 miles from my location that I can only receive at night; listening with my radio alone, the signal fades to unintelligibility about once every ten minutes. If I get out the CCrane Twin Coil antenna, the fading is reduced to about once every thirty minutes. So merely increasing the sensitivity of your setup versus what you have now can decrease the fading you experience, every little bit helps.

  9. #459
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Gene

    I realize based on your post you are mainly interested in FM/AM with little desire for SW but I can’t help but think you might be limiting all your possible options. Most of the shortwave radios I have owned in the past have better reception quality then your typical AM/FM radios plus you can use some of the tools available on the radio to help bring in distance AM stations you might not normally be able to get.

    I was checking out the TECSUN PL660 on Amazon and based on the reviews it seems to be a decent radio. There are probable better options but this was one of the radios I was considering. Also don't forget about YouTube as a source for your research, you can actually hear what the radio sounds like if someone post a vid on a particular model.

  10. #460
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post
    I was checking out the TECSUN PL660
    You should check out Jay Allen's AM Portables Mega Shootout

  11. #461
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    A walk down memory lane. Wow. I bought a Panasonic RF-2200 in the late 70s. ~25 years ago I gave it to a friend who still uses it to listen to RFI via Canada every day in his shop.

  12. #462

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sub_Umbra View Post
    A walk down memory lane. Wow. I bought a Panasonic RF-2200 in the late 70s. ~25 years ago I gave it to a friend who still uses it to listen to RFI via Canada every day in his shop.
    No kidding. When I started this thread I had no idea it would grow to 16 pages and a couple years. I'd love to have someone run down the latest and greatest for 2011/2012. I'm still very interested in the topic but I want something handheld instead of the traditional format. Something that reaches as many bands/channels as possible.

  13. #463
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by bmstrong View Post
    I'd love to have someone run down the latest and greatest for 2011/2012. I'm still very interested in the topic but I want something handheld instead of the traditional format. Something that reaches as many bands/channels as possible.
    The Sangean DT400W is still the top of the heap for handheld AM/FM/Weather radios; if you don't mind losing the weather band in favor of adding the shortwave and air traffic bands, the Grundig G6 is remarkably full-featured for its small-enough-to-be-handheld size. If all you need is AM/FM and cost is no object, the comically tiny Sony SRF-T615 is still my favorite "dream EDC" pocket radio, but it costs more than the two previously mentioned radios combined.

    Degen/Kaito and Tecsun are deluging the market with a lot of new and unique handhelds, though these are not yet well-tested, and appear to have some unit-to-unit consistency issues.

  14. #464

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Can anyone recommend a decent portable radio that is capable of being solar powered? I am back in the market for one and I honestly can't find any that offer even remotely good performance. The one I had was some generic radio that performed very well but had horrible build quality and therefore shattered. I tried Eton, but all their solar radios appear to be poor quality. I need one that can be placed outside and simply run, not be charged for later use or require completely direct sunlight. The one I had could be run on even a cloudy day and had good reception and sound. I have a cheap one now that I picked up on a garage sale for $1. And it performs like a $1 radio. Poor reception, quiet, requires direct sunlight. I end up using a battery operated one much of the time instead.

  15. #465
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by silver_bacon View Post
    Can anyone recommend a decent portable radio that is capable of being solar powered?
    If you just need AM/FM/Weather, the CCrane Solar Observer would fit the bill nicely; if you also need digital tuning/weather alerts/shortwave, check out the Kaito Voyager Pro.

  16. #466
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by silver_bacon View Post
    Can anyone recommend a decent portable radio that is capable of being solar powered?
    Personally I don't trust most radio/flashlight/electronics with a built in dynamo, solar cell, etc. The only exceptions to this are my Casio watch that has a solar cell and my Nightstar flashlight (shake flashlight) has decent construction and supposedly uses a capacitor. Most dynamo/solar powered electronics seem to have poor quality and they will still be charging a battery with the dynamo or solar cell, which will eventually wear out (sooner if they are using cheap batteries). I would consider a portable radio that runs off of AAs (Sangean DT-400w), and use Eneloop cells with usb charger, along with a good solar charger (Solar JOOS). I don't own the Solar JOOS but it seems to be the best solar charger out there for several reasons.

  17. #467
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by TyJo View Post
    Most dynamo/solar powered electronics seem to have poor quality and they will still be charging a battery with the dynamo or solar cell, which will eventually wear out
    Either radio above can be run off AAs without charging/using their internal batteries. Each has quite a few reviews over on Amazon.

  18. #468
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    The Freeplay self powered/solar powered radios and flashlights are quite durable and are primarily designed for use among third world populations and in emergency relief but available to developed nations as well. Their lineage traces back to Trevor Baylis the founder of Freeplay Energy who in 1991 invented the original Baygen wind-up radio thereby creating the product category. I've owned several Baygen products and every wind-up radio or flashlight I've seen since is a piece of junk by comparison.

    Here's an example of one of their newest offerings, the Encore:
    "The Lifeline Encore radios are highly dependable self-powered and solar radios, with an MP3 playback option, designed for a range of applications in both the developed and developing world."



    We have 3 versions of the Encore:
    Analogue Primary
    • Analogue FM/AM/SW
    • Integral and detachable solar panel
    • Failsafe winding mechanism
    • Dual lighting
    • Mobile phone charging
    • DC adaptor charging
    Encore Digital
    • Digital Display FM/AM/SW
    • Integral and detachable solar panel
    • Failsafe winding mechanism
    • Dual LED lighting
    • Mobile phone charging
    • DC adaptor charging
    Encore MP3/Record (Coming soon)• Digital Display FM/AM/SW
    • Integral and detachable solar panel
    • Failsafe winding mechanism
    • MP3 enabled to deliver educational or informational content anytime, anywhere
    • Dual LED lighting
    • Mobile phone charging
    • DC adaptor charging
    Last edited by EZO; 05-19-2012 at 11:25 AM.

  19. #469

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    If you just need AM/FM/Weather, the CCrane Solar Observer would fit the bill nicely; if you also need digital tuning/weather alerts/shortwave, check out the Kaito Voyager Pro.
    I have not been able to find much information out about the Kaito. Do you know if it can run or just charge in the sunlight? It seems most radios now days charge in the sunlight, instead of simply operating. The CCrane looks pretty nice though.

    Quote Originally Posted by TyJo View Post
    Personally I don't trust most radio/flashlight/electronics with a built in dynamo, solar cell, etc. The only exceptions to this are my Casio watch that has a solar cell and my Nightstar flashlight (shake flashlight) has decent construction and supposedly uses a capacitor. Most dynamo/solar powered electronics seem to have poor quality and they will still be charging a battery with the dynamo or solar cell, which will eventually wear out (sooner if they are using cheap batteries). I would consider a portable radio that runs off of AAs (Sangean DT-400w), and use Eneloop cells with usb charger, along with a good solar charger (Solar JOOS). I don't own the Solar JOOS but it seems to be the best solar charger out there for several reasons.
    I am not too concerned about the internal battery. It won't be used for emergency situations. Rather, it will be used for frequent long durations while I am working outside. I have the Sangean DT-400w. I had not thought about using a solar charger for the batteries, but it wouldn't be quite as convenient. Though I have never heard of the Solar JOOS before, so I will look into that.

    Quote Originally Posted by EZO View Post
    The Freeplay self powered/solar powered radios and flashlights are quite durable and are primarily designed for use among third world populations and in emergency relief but available to developed nations as well. Their lineage traces back to Trevor Baylis the founder of Freeplay Energy who in 1991 invented the original Baygen wind-up radio thereby creating the product category. I've owned several Baygen products and every wind-up radio or flashlight I've seen since is a piece of junk by comparison.

    Here's an example of one of their newest offerings, the Encore:
    "The Lifeline Encore radios are highly dependable self-powered and solar radios, with an MP3 playback option, designed for a range of applications in both the developed and developing world."



    We have 3 versions of the Encore:
    Analogue Primary
    • Analogue FM/AM/SW
    • Integral and detachable solar panel
    • Failsafe winding mechanism
    • Dual lighting
    • Mobile phone charging
    • DC adaptor charging
    Encore Digital
    • Digital Display FM/AM/SW
    • Integral and detachable solar panel
    • Failsafe winding mechanism
    • Dual LED lighting
    • Mobile phone charging
    • DC adaptor charging
    Encore MP3/Record (Coming soon)• Digital Display FM/AM/SW
    • Integral and detachable solar panel
    • Failsafe winding mechanism
    • MP3 enabled to deliver educational or informational content anytime, anywhere
    • Dual LED lighting
    • Mobile phone charging
    • DC adaptor charging
    I have heard of Freeplay, but I guess I associated them mostly with flashlights than radios. I will look into them.
    Last edited by silver_bacon; 06-01-2012 at 10:11 PM.

  20. #470
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by silver_bacon View Post
    I have not been able to find much information out about the Kaito. Do you know if it can run or just charge in the sunlight? It seems most radios now days charge in the sunlight, instead of simply operating. The CCrane looks pretty nice though.
    The CCrane can be run directly from sunlight, not the Kaito.

  21. #471

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    The CCrane can be run directly from sunlight, not the Kaito.
    Sounds like that is an option for me then. Looks like it would fit all my requirements, and I found some reviews and they were quite good.

  22. #472
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Bear in mind that the internal batteries on these radios will give you ~20 hours of radio play; an afternoon in the sun on the weekend will give you an entire week of fishing regardless of cloud cover.

  23. #473

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I wonder what the added cost of solar power in such radios.
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  24. #474
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    I wonder what the added cost of solar power in such radios.
    Apparently zero; the former version of the Observer (which is identical excepting the solar panel) is the exact same list and sale price.

  25. #475

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Apparently zero; the former version of the Observer (which is identical excepting the solar panel) is the exact same list and sale price.
    Makes you wonder if they could have made a cheaper version without the solar option. For me a solar powered radio is close to useless (the solar part that is) because I would be using it indoors over 90% of the time so it wouldn't get recharged unless I left it outside somewhere. I have one radio I use in power outages that is a medium sized table radio that runs off 4C cells and hasn't had a new set of batteries in close to 15 years it runs forever on one set and outages have become a rarity here since they trimmed back the treelines in 2007 we haven't lost power for more than a few hours and it was related to power station problems not any accidents or weather.
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  26. #476
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Lynx_Arc, what is the name/model of your table radio. Batteries not leaking after 15 years? I want the names of them too. Thanks,

    Bill

  27. #477
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    For me a solar powered radio is close to useless (the solar part that is) because I would be using it indoors over 90% of the time so it wouldn't get recharged unless I left it outside somewhere.
    It works if you set it in a window with sunlight coming through it, it'll even run directly that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullzeyebill View Post
    Lynx_Arc, what is the name/model of your table radio. Batteries not leaking after 15 years? I want the names of them too.
    Any good larger-cell-powered analog radio will give you at least 200 hours runtime on a set of batteries; the CCrane EP comes to mind (300 hours.) The batteries are the impressive part here, though they're probably old enough to be quality cells, before most manufacturers started cost-cutting.

  28. #478

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    It is an old penncraft table radio 3 bands AM/FM/SW radio.. by JC Penny and I spoke too soon. I haven't checked the batteries for years and one leaked in the middle damaging another one. They were energizers my dad put in the radio so they were 14 years old (1998). The radio is model 1993 made in Taiwan and has a SW band from 4-12 Mhz. I should buy some new batteries for it I just keep putting in used C cells I have lying around as I have no other use for them now I decommissioned my C cell incan lights.
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  29. #479
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I thought this was pretty cool, the Tecsun PL398BT worldband receiver has Bluetooth capabilities allowing you to connect your cellphone or tablet so you can use the receiver’s speakers to listen to what is ever is playing on your phone or tablet. I have a Galaxy tab 10.1 I use to watch Netflix when I’m traveling but the speakers on the tab are not always loud enough. I also loaded a bunch music in my Dropbox account so I can see how this would be a useful to listen to my music on the go. I’ve never owned a Tecsun so I’m not sure what to expect as far as quality but the reviews I’ve read on other Tecsun products have been favorable and I have also liked what I read about the ETM feature available on Tecsun products. I checked YouTube to see if anyone has posted a review but no such luck. It would be nice to hear what the speakers sounds like and what the battery life really is.

    http://www.universal-radio.com/catal...able/4398.html



  30. #480

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I received the CC Solar Observer (finally) and I must say it is the best solar radio I have had so far. The solar panel is big enough the be the sole power source, even with the internal battery removed. The radio will not play as loud with the battery removed however. It has a pretty good tuner. A little touchy on the FM side, but the AM side seems to work great. The crank works great, and the internal battery is user replaceable. The flashlight is what you would expect in a little radio. The cell phone charger doesn't fit my phone, so no idea if that works well or not. I am not predicting that it does, as is typical for these kinds of units. That lighted-display and weather tuner are great. The build quality seems decent.

    Overall a great unit. It is better than the radio it is replacing in every way.
    Last edited by silver_bacon; 07-31-2012 at 05:48 PM.

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