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Thread: Small Portable Radio's?

  1. #2461
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Americans still have the Sparc HD Radio, though it's a bit more expensive than it used to be; AM/AM HD/AM Stereo/FM/FM HD with Alerts and passive radiator speaker, powered by 3xAA, $60.
    I have this set, as well as a very-difficult-to-find FM-only handheld with speaker and telescopic antenna, which runs on a (replaceable) Nokia-style BL-5C lithium battery.




    While odd looking and having a user interface that emphasized appearance over function, the AM/FM portable actually performs very well RF-wise, and sounds "bigger than that" because of the inclusion of a passive radiator with the speaker.
    Last edited by schuster; 11-08-2017 at 01:06 PM.

  2. #2462
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by schuster View Post
    I have this set, as well as a very-difficult-to-find FM-only handheld with speaker and telescopic antenna, which runs on a (replaceable) Nokia-style BL-5C lithium battery.


    I remember looking at that set years ago, what's your review of it?

  3. #2463
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    I remember looking at that set years ago, what's your review of it?
    Background: My first HD radio was the Boston Acoustics Receptor HD. While it sounded very nice, it was hobbled by terrible sensitivity and the use of a first-generation Ibiquity chipset that was slow to lock onto a signal. I subsequently exchanged emails with a former radio station engineer who had authored a "cheat sheet" for the hidden setup menu on this receiver, and he urged me to look at the $50 Audiovox/Insignia armband portable (NS-HD01) which used a second-generation low-power VLSI circuit that had phenomenally better performance. I got one of these at Best Buy and yes, he was correct. I used it quite a lot, but eventually the lithium ion battery developed a very high self-discharge rate, rendering it useless. (There are tutorials on replacing the battery in later versions of this product, but I have never been able to verify that the battery is the same. It was based on a pack used in the Palm Zire PDA, and by then I assumed that any remaining stock of this battery were probably so old that the exercise would be pointless anyway).

    The tiny SPARC was purchased to replace that. I believe it is manufactured by Xiboman, in contrast the AM/FM models from Nicetex. In view of my disdain for proprietary battery packs, the use of a former Nokia cellphone battery, which has become a kind of de facto generic standard for a number of little devices, was a major plus. Its sensitivity, selectivity, audio fidelity, and battery consumption are similar to the original Insignia model. The user interface is a little less confusing. The display area is about the same. The telescopic antenna is extremely thin and fragile, and I worry about it breaking off (there are indeed reports that it has done just that). The speaker is not something you would want to listen to music for any extended period; this is still a "headphone radio". But for a quick survey to find a station/subchannel, it's certainly adequate.
    Last edited by schuster; 11-08-2017 at 03:14 PM.

  4. #2464
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Such a goofy design, to have a full color display just to show an FM frequency and a scale, no other info or features. A very unique little oddball.

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Such a goofy design, to have a full color display just to show an FM frequency and a scale, no other info or features. A very unique little oddball.
    Nonono... do not take that stock product photo as indicating the actual operation of the radio. It looks completely different (at least mine does).

    While there is a blue status bar at the top (narrower than pictured IIRC), the bulk of the display below it has a black background. When tuned to a station, the middle third shows the call letters/station name, and the lower third has the usual scrolling program information you would see on a HD or FM/RDS receiver.

  6. #2466
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I'll admit to not reading the over 2400 posts in this thread, however, all I'm looking for is a recommendation for THE radio that has the best AM performance, as far as pulling in the most stations.

    Thanks in advance......
    ... it's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, It's what you leave behind you when you go.

  7. #2467
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_nascar View Post
    I'll admit to not reading the over 2400 posts in this thread, however, all I'm looking for is a recommendation for THE radio that has the best AM performance, as far as pulling in the most stations.

    Thanks in advance......
    As per radio reviewer extraordinaire Jay Allen, the current choice that is in production is the (Sangean-manufactured) CCrane CCRadio 2e.
    At approximately half the price, the Sangean-branded PR-D4W is a close second choice.
    Last edited by schuster; 11-09-2017 at 08:39 AM.

  8. #2468

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Kaito KA210, AM, FM, NOAA weather, 2AA

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Thanks.
    ... it's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, It's what you leave behind you when you go.

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Looks like there will be a new full featured small radio with SSB on the market due to release in December. At about $60.00 the XHDATA D-808 appears to be a deal. Unfortunately there is only one YouTube in Russian describing the features. I like what I see.

    SWLing link

    The XHDATA D-808 shortwave portable: A variation of the Digitech AR-1780?


    Last edited by Lebkuecher; 11-12-2017 at 08:43 AM.

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post
    Looks like there will be a new full featured small radio with SSB on the market due to release in December. At about $60.00 the XHDATA D-808 appears to be a deal. Unfortunately there is only one YouTube in Russian describing the features. I like what I see.

    SWLing link

    The XHDATA D-808 shortwave portable: A variation of the Digitech AR-1780?
    Interesting. I have seen this pseudo-brand on Amazon, as a reseller of various Chinese goods with ~100% markup added over the usual street price.
    This is the first product I have seen actually bearing their brand; and a unique model to boot.

  12. #2472
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I think emergency radio`s should be as simple as possible, analog tuning and led display less chance of a breakdown and simple for non-tech to operate.

    Sony Radio ICF-F10

    http://bestemergencyradios.com/sony-...-radio-review/

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  13. #2473
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by TinderBox (UK) View Post
    I think emergency radio`s should be as simple as possible, analog tuning and led display less chance of a breakdown and simple for non-tech to operate.

    Sony Radio ICF-F10
    When that radio was first released in the US we were all over it in this thread for quite a while, especially since it was $20 at that time. The ~$60 the resellers have competitively marked it up to now is completely unreasonable, you could get a much more capable CCrane Solar Observer with batteries and accessories at that price.

    A better deal now is the $25 Kaito KA390; 3xD cell power, AM/FM/Weather, DC in, and built-in mini flashlight.

  14. #2474
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    When that radio was first released in the US we were all over it in this thread for quite a while, especially since it was $20 at that time. The ~$60 the resellers have competitively marked it up to now is completely unreasonable, you could get a much more capable CCrane Solar Observer with batteries and accessories at that price.

    A better deal now is the $25 Kaito KA390; 3xD cell power, AM/FM/Weather, DC in, and built-in mini flashlight.
    The "Sony Radio ICF-F10" are only £23 on eBay UK

    EDIT: It looks like the "Kaito KA390" is not available in the UK, Is it sold under other brand names?

    John.
    Last edited by TinderBox (UK); 11-13-2017 at 11:10 AM.
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  15. #2475
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by TinderBox (UK) View Post
    EDIT: It looks like the "Kaito KA390" is not available in the UK, Is it sold under other brand names?
    Ah, I forget that you can't make use of the weather band; Look instead to the Tecsun D-208, basic 2xD powered AM/FM for ~$18 with shipping.

  16. #2476
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Ah, I forget that you can't make use of the weather band; Look instead to the Tecsun D-208, basic 2xD powered AM/FM for ~$18 with shipping.
    I dont really go for the looks of that radio, Lots of D cell radio`s on AliExpress.

    John.
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  17. #2477
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I received a replacement yesterday for the Skywave I mailed back and all I can say is I very much appreciate C Crane for taking care of their customers especially given the fact that the Skywave was out of warranty. The reverse tuning issue is not present in the replacement but the radio will occasionally skip changing frequencies per tuning step when rotating the tuning knob. I believe this is common with the Skywave and for me anyway it’s not a deal breaker.

    Other than the step tuning knob one other change I wish C Crane would make to the Skywave would be to somehow enhance the audio a little. The radio sounds tiny in comparison to even the Grundig G5 which some consider having a small sound especially compared to a larger receivers. For shortwave it’s not that big of a deal but it would be nice to have a bigger sound on FM. The Skywave is still a great little radio.

    Small radio sound samples

    Last edited by Lebkuecher; 11-17-2017 at 09:30 PM.

  18. #2478
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Universal snuck this guy onto their site overnight; Sangean HDR-14, AM/FM/HD 5"x3" portable powered by 3xAAs with full data display. Listed as a "future" release with no pricing yet.


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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Universal snuck this guy onto their site overnight; Sangean HDR-14, AM/FM/HD 5"x3" portable powered by 3xAAs with full data display. Listed as a "future" release with no pricing yet.

    Heh. This uses the same cabinet as the Sangean DPR-65 (an FM/DAB+ radio for the rest of the world). Not a surprise, really.



    There are omni-format chipsets out there now, which support the decoding of every form of commercial broadcast radio in use. Perhaps that's why Sangean has been able to convert DAB+ portables into FM-HD portables with relative ease.

    And this is what the new Sangean wold be competing against:
    Last edited by schuster; 11-19-2017 at 07:32 PM.

  20. #2480
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Good to see Sangean has decided to finally increase the number of presets, one of the few complaints I have with the HDR-16 is there are only five per band.

    From Universals website.

    * Digital HD Radio™ reception
    * 20 Presets for AM, 20 Presets for FM
    * Headphone Output Jack (3.5 mm stereo).
    * Line Output
    * Telescopic FM whip antenna and AM ferrite antenna.
    * Frequency range: AM: 520 - 1710 kHz, FM: 87.5 - 108 MHz
    * Information display for: Channel Frequency, Call Sign, Radio Text, Audio Mode, Service Mode, Signal Quality and Clock Time.
    * Low battery LED
    * Real time clock with dual Alarm and Sleep function.
    * Support for emergency alerts.


    The HDR-14 operates from three AA cells (not included) or via 5V AC adapter (not included). 5 x 3.02 x 1.28 inches

  21. #2481
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    The Sparc is a relative unknown though; on the Everything-From-A-to-Z site, it has 125 reviews whereas several Sangean models have 1,000+. This could usher in a new era of HD portables..

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post
    Good to see Sangean has decided to finally increase the number of presets, one of the few complaints I have with the HDR-16 is there are only five per band.

    From Universals website.

    * Digital HD Radio™ reception
    * 20 Presets for AM, 20 Presets for FM
    * Headphone Output Jack (3.5 mm stereo).
    * Line Output
    * Telescopic FM whip antenna and AM ferrite antenna.
    * Frequency range: AM: 520 - 1710 kHz, FM: 87.5 - 108 MHz
    * Information display for: Channel Frequency, Call Sign, Radio Text, Audio Mode, Service Mode, Signal Quality and Clock Time.
    * Low battery LED
    * Real time clock with dual Alarm and Sleep function.
    * Support for emergency alerts.


    The HDR-14 operates from three AA cells (not included) or via 5V AC adapter (not included). 5 x 3.02 x 1.28 inches
    I have given Jay Allen a "heads up"; he said he would see what else Sangean can tell him about it.

  23. #2483
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    The Sparc is a relative unknown though; on the Everything-From-A-to-Z site, it has 125 reviews whereas several Sangean models have 1,000+. This could usher in a new era of HD portables..
    Yes, it's nice to see a major manufacturer embrace this market segment. Some may remember that ironically, in the early days of HD Radio, Sangean announced two portables that were never brought to market, presumably a business decision at that time.

    HD Radio has always been a contentious concept in the US. The US lost the opportunity for a compatible DAB system because Band III was already in use in North America (and even later, Canada tried L-band DAB and gave up on the concept). Ibiquity had a flawed but workable, right-place right-time proposal that did not require new frequency allocations. But they somehow sold the concept without the usual technical and economic evaluation/competition that the FCC had done for other proposals (AM stereo, ATSC television, etc). The in-band on-carrier (IBOC) concept is a disaster for those who wish to listen to analog radio on those same bands, because it creates such adjacent channel splatter. The uproar over this side-effect of AM HD has pretty much killed it off; so its surprising to see portables that still bother with AM in the first place. I remember what the AM HD blitz did to analog AM DXing, though. In my area now (metro NYC) there are only two remaining HD stations on that band.

    As a hobbyist who sees both sides of the fence, I have come to appreciate the additional programming and enhanced audio fidelity that FM HD brings. My wife and I both drive cars that have HD tuners so it's nice to be able to pick up some of those multicast channels at home and out of the car.

  24. #2484
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by schuster View Post
    I have given Jay Allen a "heads up"; he said he would see what else Sangean can tell him about it.

    I sent Thomas an email as well and he mentioned he would reach out to Sangean and try to get a sample for review. Thomas also mentioned he was currently working on a review of the Sangean HD-16 and that it would be nice to compare both side by side before sending the HD-16 back.

    Just based on pricing of the Sangean DPR-65 on Amazon Europe website the HD-14 might sale for around $100.00 US. So far the DPR-65 only has two reviews.

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post
    I sent Thomas an email as well and he mentioned he would reach out to Sangean and try to get a sample for review. Thomas also mentioned he was currently working on a review of the Sangean HD-16 and that it would be nice to compare both side by side before sending the HD-16 back.

    Just based on pricing of the Sangean DPR-65 on Amazon Europe website the HD-14 might sale for around $100.00 US. So far the DPR-65 only has two reviews.
    I had seen additional reviews somewhere else (forgot) as well as a posting on some European digital radio board in which they were using this model for DAB+ DX, if you can believe that. My overall impression was that the DPR-65 is an "OK" performer but nothing spectacular. There were complaints about battery consumption too, as most radios of this type use LiIon cells. Of course, if Sangean is now using one of the new Silabs, Chorus, or ST "do it all" chipsets, the HDR-14 may be a lot more power efficient.

    Even with its slightly stunted ferrite, it's a fair bet, I say, that the HDR-16 significantly outperforms this upcoming model on AM at least.
    Last edited by schuster; 11-20-2017 at 02:20 PM.

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Thomas just update his blog with additional info regarding the Sangean HDR-14 and C Crane CC Radio EP Pro.

    https://swling.com/blog/

  27. #2487
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post
    Thomas just update his blog with additional info regarding the Sangean HDR-14 and C Crane CC Radio EP Pro.

    https://swling.com/blog/
    That tour of the new Universal Radio store is a trip; strange to think seeing a radio store is a big deal, but that's where we're at in the 21st century..

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    That tour of the new Universal Radio store is a trip; strange to think seeing a radio store is a big deal, but that's where we're at in the 21st century..
    Back in the day, I once visited (long defunct) EEB in Vienna Va. It was less of a big deal in those days as now; but still, what a trip.

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post
    Thomas just update his blog with additional info regarding the Sangean HDR-14 and C Crane CC Radio EP Pro.

    https://swling.com/blog/
    If past patterns hold, a PDF of the manual may turn up next month....

  30. #2490
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by schuster View Post
    I have this set, as well as a very-difficult-to-find FM-only handheld with speaker and telescopic antenna, which runs on a (replaceable) Nokia-style BL-5C lithium battery.


    As an aside from all these great posts and I apologize, I have 3 FM only radios with the added benefit of playing micro sd cards like we discussed many, many posts ago and I really like them. The integral USB charging of the radios takes forever and when it finally completes, the run time of the included cheap BL-5C cells doesn't last worth a darn.

    I made the mistake of buying some more inexpensive BL-5C cells and an inexpensive BL-5C charger on Ebay. I have to admit, the cells are as bad as the cells that came with the radios but at least the inexpensive charger charges them faster and the cells last awhile longer than when charged within the radios.

    I was wondering if anyone could recommend quality BL-5C cells and a quality charger that wouldn't break the bank?

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