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Thread: Small Portable Radio's?

  1. #2311

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene View Post
    I should have said we have outages here several if not many times A YEAR. Some for 5-10 minutes, some for hours. Our land line is essential.
    You must have lousy cell phone providers then, Many towers here have built in UPS type systems when power goes out they still operate for awhile on large banks of lead acid batteries. We had a power outage lasting for 4 days here and I walked by a cell phone tower nearby about a half mile away that was on a gas powered generator.
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  2. #2312
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    You must have lousy cell phone providers then, Many towers here have built in UPS type systems when power goes out they still operate for awhile on large banks of lead acid batteries. We had a power outage lasting for 4 days here and I walked by a cell phone tower nearby about a half mile away that was on a gas powered generator.
    Yeah, welcome to my world. Cell reception here is always spotty and to complicate matters, we live off an old logging road on the side of a mountain in a dense forrest.

    Cell reception here has made improvements over the past few years but it's still leagues behind big or even smaller cities. Personally, it doesn't matter to me as I don't own a cell phone but my wife does.

  3. #2313
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    StarHalo

    I have a PM for you
    site says your mailbox is full

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Got it, fixed and responded

  5. #2315
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Since this model was mentioned upstream in this thread, thought I'd mention that I just returned an Eton Satellit to Amazon, and here's why. After a couple of years with my PL-880 playing shelf queen from terrible AM-band intermod due to its wide-open front end, I noticed that the Executive Satellit was on sale.

    I read the reviews again and again, and eventually bought one from Amazon using Jay Allen's affiliate link (support him!).

    MW and SW reception are pretty much as others have described; probably class-leading and definitely superior to the PL-880 in my locale. Just like the Traveller III, the Satellit has absolutely no images throughout the AM band.

    Now for the negatives.

    1.The first runs of the Satellit got dinged over build quality, and the subsequent reports indicated a visible improvement. With my "Executive" model I see evidence of Chinese QC creep. Subtle things: Chips in the silver paint at the edges of some keys on the keypad. Dust behind the LCD bezel. Mottled chrome plating on the telescopic whip. Of course I can live with these; however, in view of what I note below, I wonder whether the ugliness now goes deeper than the skin.

    2.The leatherette case, while pretty, is totally non-functional (i.e. gets in the way). Worse, it reduces the audio quality because it covers the back grille. Not to mention the ugly magnets embedded into the rear panel of the radio, visible when you remove the leatherette.

    3.Speaking of audio - whoever posted that the off-the-speaker audio of the Satellit was as good as the Tecsun, must be more deaf than me. There is NO comparison: the Satellit is thin and tinny and obviously optimized for voice rather than the general-purpose design of the Tecsun which sounds quite nice playing music.

    4.The sync detector is even more useless than the Tecsun, which wasn't even advertised as having one. At least on my specimen, it takes a signal having full-scale strength to get the sync to lock. Even local fringe stations are beyond it, leaving you with a "locked" state resulting in the original signal being buried in prominent white noise. So, in short, the only stations in which the sync detector would function, are those for which it would probably not be necessary in the first place. Back to ECSS, I guess.

    5.Few have commented on FM. I didn't plan to use this much for FM, but a glaring issue is tough to ignore. In between stations, mixed with the static, is a high pitched whine that appears to be coming from the timing circuit that turns off the dial LEDs. It becomes louder when the light is on, and softer with the intensity of the LEDs, and goes away when they are off. With headphones I can even hear it while a station is being received. Just when I thought "well, I could live with that" I noticed a warbling S9 birdie at 89 MHz having the same characteristics. Reviewers have commented on the "done right" design of this DSP radio, in which parts placement and shielding are laid out so as to minimize stray noises creeping into the audio. In FM this seems to be a glaring issue, unless it is just my specimen. But I think not - buried in the recent Amazon reviews, someone called Eton over the same issue and they insisted - notwithstanding this experienced radio hobbyist's results on numerous other radios - that this was normal and he should adjust his antenna, etc.

    6.There are numerous reviews which favor the reverse-orange display characteristic of the LCD's that Eton has used on recent models. I agree it looks cool, until (#5) you have to use the radio with the back light turned off; it's a challenge to see anything. At least, with traditional LCD displays, they are relatively legible when not specifically illuminated.

    I emailed Eton about the FM issue, and the president said he had relayed my question to the engineering dept. Never received a response, so I polled Jay Allen. He told me that, of the 3 generational specimens he'd tested, none exhibited this behavior; I must have a bad one. But the other Amazon "bad one" review was so recent, that I balked at doing an exchange and playing "did I get a good one" roulette. So I sent it for a quick refund before the return window expired.

    I really wanted to like this radio - such that I was actually starting to come up with excuses for holding onto one that was clearly misbehaving. If the discontinued black version - sans anti-functional leatherette case - ever goes on sale, I might give that a try, but I'm in no rush.
    Last edited by Bullzeyebill; 05-23-2017 at 03:46 PM.

  6. #2316
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by schuster View Post
    5.Few have commented on FM. I didn't plan to use this much for FM, but a glaring issue is tough to ignore. In between stations, mixed with the static, is a high pitched whine that appears to be coming from the timing circuit that turns off the dial LEDs. It becomes louder when the light is on, and softer with the intensity of the LEDs, and goes away when they are off. With headphones I can even hear it while a station is being received. Just when I thought "well, I could live with that" I noticed a warbling S9 birdie at 89 MHz having the same characteristics. Reviewers have commented on the "done right" design of this DSP radio, in which parts placement and shielding are laid out so as to minimize stray noises creeping into the audio. In FM this seems to be a glaring issue, unless it is just my specimen. But I think not - buried in the recent Amazon reviews, someone called Eton over the same issue and they insisted - notwithstanding this experienced radio hobbyist's results on numerous other radios - that this was normal and he should adjust his antenna, etc.
    I believe you have a defective sample, I have the original Satellit and have not experienced any of the issues you mention on FM. Iím not surprised, QC issues seems to be a reoccurring theme with Eton. I had to replace my original Satellit due to QC issues.

    As far as the audio quality is concerned I am actually pleased with the audio quality when compared with the Satellit predecessors the Grundig G3 and G5 but I agree the PL-880 with the its passive radiator speaker is superior especially for general listening. I do not think the audio quality for a hardcore SW listener would be a big deal but with fewer SW stations available today I believe it was smart for Tecsun to use a passive radiator to help the radio compete in the general market. When I travel I general take the PL-880 mainly because I am more likely to listen to AM/FM then SW and having a nice sounding speaker is a strong plus.

    Having the G3 and the G5 I was expecting a little more out of the Satellit especially given the PL-880 had already been on market for about a year before the Satellit hit the shelves. When the Satellit was originally announced I thought Eton would use a passive radiator speaker to compete with the PL-880 but unfortunately this was not to be. For me the two biggest drawbacks to the Satellit are the soft muting and the step tuning knob. I am also not big fan of the display for the reason you mentioned. I also wish Eton would have kept the same body style as the G3 and G5, having the antenna protrude out the back as far as it does when retracted leaves me concerned about incidental damage when traveling.

  7. #2317
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post
    I believe you have a defective sample, I have the original Satellit and have not experienced any of the issues you mention on FM. Iím not surprised, QC issues seems to be a reoccurring theme with Eton. I had to replace my original Satellit due to QC issues.

    As far as the audio quality is concerned I am actually pleased with the audio quality when compared with the Satellit predecessors the Grundig G3 and G5 but I agree the PL-880 with the its passive radiator speaker is superior especially for general listening. I do not think the audio quality for a hardcore SW listener would be a big deal but with fewer SW stations available today I believe it was smart for Tecsun to use a passive radiator to help the radio compete in the general market. When I travel I general take the PL-880 mainly because I am more likely to listen to AM/FM then SW and having a nice sounding speaker is a strong plus.

    Having the G3 and the G5 I was expecting a little more out of the Satellit especially given the PL-880 had already been on market for about a year before the Satellit hit the shelves. When the Satellit was originally announced I thought Eton would use a passive radiator speaker to compete with the PL-880 but unfortunately this was not to be. For me the two biggest drawbacks to the Satellit are the soft muting and the step tuning knob. I am also not big fan of the display for the reason you mentioned. I also wish Eton would have kept the same body style as the G3 and G5, having the antenna protrude out the back as far as it does when retracted leaves me concerned about incidental damage when traveling.
    Agreed that my sample was probably defective. But where there's smoke there's fire, and another recent review complaining about the same issue on FM is troubling. I felt it was not the time to do an exchange from the same production batch.

    My complaints about the audio may he been overstated; actually, in isolation there is nothing wrong with the audio for a radio of this size. It's only because of the comparison with the PL-880 having a passive radiator, that it pales.

    I have a tiny AM HD/FM HD set from Ibiquity's house brand "SPARC" which also has a passive radiator, and it makes it sound at least twice its actual size.

  8. #2318
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Jay Allen has posted his first FM shootout; interesting to see how the list of classics reorders itself when going strictly by FM..

  9. #2319
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by schuster View Post
    I have a tiny AM HD/FM HD set from Ibiquity's house brand "SPARC" which also has a passive radiator, and it makes it sound at least twice its actual size.
    Which Model?



    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Jay Allen has posted his first FM shootout; interesting to see how the list of classics reorders itself when going strictly by FM..
    Not a lot off surprises except for maybe the Tecsun PL-390/PL-398MP/PL-398B being a five star. I owned the PL-398B for a few years and due to the extremely tiny sound from the two speakers I never spent much time listening to FM with this radio.

  10. #2320
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post
    Not a lot off surprises except for maybe the Tecsun PL-390/PL-398MP/PL-398B being a five star.
    The Kaito 1103 beat out the Sony 7600, The Sangean 909 beat out the Sony 2010, the Sangean PR-D4W proves itself as a $120 radio for $60, the GE Superradio and CCrane EP aren't five stars, the Eton Mini is four stars, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post
    I owned the PL-398B for a few years and due to the extremely tiny sound from the two speakers I never spent much time listening to FM with this radio.
    Nothing an external speaker couldn't fix, but then you're back to parting out components, and that always ends up back at the internet device + Bluetooth speaker..

  11. #2321
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post
    Which Model?
    The AM HD/FM HD portable I referred to is the SPARC SHD-TX2; manufactured in Hong Kong by Nicetex and previously sold, briefly, under the Audiovox brand.

    https://sparcradio.com/product/sparc-shd-tx2/

    It looks like Grace Digital has taken over distribution of Ibiquity's consumer receivers but their availability comes and goes at random; mostly out of stock.

  12. #2322
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Kaito KA390; analog AM/FM/WX/SW powered by 3D cells for 300 hours runtime, AC in, 5mm LED "flashlight", $25. Could be the new budget emergency radio champ..


  13. #2323
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    The Kaito 1103 beat out the Sony 7600, The Sangean 909 beat out the Sony 2010, the Sangean PR-D4W proves itself as a $120 radio for $60, the GE Superradio and CCrane EP aren't five stars, the Eton Mini is four stars, etc.
    It would be interesting to compare your ICF-SW7600GR against the newer Degen DE1103 which uses the Silicon Labs Si4735-D60 DSP chip. I would think it would it would be close. I am really not all that surprised the Sangean 909 which uses the Si4734 DSP Chip beat out the Sony 2010. The 2010 is a great radio and really fun to use but I can see why Jay would give it 4 stars on FM when compared to some of the other 5 star radios. With that said I also donít think there is a big difference in performance between Jayís five and four star rating within classes. Most of the radios listed are already known for performance which is what I really meant when I posted not a lot of surprises.

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