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Thread: Small Portable Radio's?

  1. #2611
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    And while I am dreaming why not add HD to boot.

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by mightysparrow View Post
    Don't worry about spending a lot of time doing another video. I will probably get to hear my father's PL-880 next week during a visit - maybe I can base my decision on what to get partly on what I hear during that visit. The problem with that 'sample trial' experiment is that I won't get much time to search for good ssb transmissions I can listen to at length. That's why I'll do more digging online to look for more reviews of recent units, before making a purchase decision. Some people on eham have PL-880's, I think - I'll post a query there to see if I can get any helpful feedback.
    Just let me know if I can help and please share your thoughts when you get a chance to play with your fathers radio. It would be nice to do a side by side comparison between the earlier production runs VS the latest. I hear some of the hidden features may have disappeared in the newer production models.

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    The $20 Target phones are better in this role than when used as phones..
    I never would thought of using an inexpensive phone for that, that is a good idea for someone using a flip phone who has WIFI.

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by mightysparrow View Post
    Anyone have both?
    I donít have the 880, but I do have the PL-660 and the S-8800.

    SSB on the 8800- Set it to LSB or USB, and you can just tune through the band 1khz at a time and you will find perfectly clear voices when you hit an active band. You can fine tune in .01 kHz steps if needed.

    SSB on the 660- finding a good signal is fiddley. Itís hard to be sure if you are a kHz off, if you are on USB when you need to be on LSB, or if you just need to adjust the BFO. With that many variables it can be frustrating in comparison to the 8800. Once you get the BFO set correctly, you can tune up and down the band like the S-8800, itís mostly just the initial signal that can be a struggle. Once you do get something tuned in, the 660 is good and stable, but it takes a very fine adjustment of the BFO to come close to (but not quite match) the audio clarity on the 8800.

    All that said, the PL-660 is fine, and still miles ahead of trying to tune in SSB on the older and drifty analog SWís. I imagine the PL-880 is a step up from the 660, but Iíve never had the chance to get my hands on one to compare.
    Last edited by GaryF; 06-30-2018 at 10:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Well my AM listening is going fine without wifi - my PL-880 is getting good reception right now at my bedtime, and with it's passive radiator speaker, the sound is sublime. I'm using my DT-400 a lot lately too - AM and FM. Listening to AM on my Tecsun ICR-110 right now.


  6. #2616

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5S8Zh5 View Post
    Is there such a thing as a portable AM radio (does not have to be dedicated) that will tune in via wifi, if you don't have wifi? We don't have wifi, but in my trying to keep up with modern connectivity and mostly not keeping up thinking, tablets and kindles connect via wifi - even if you don't have wifi. If that makes any sense. I just like AM and late in the day there's lots of static from inside the house.
    I may not understand, or may not be reading correctly. If you are asking about a combination traditional radio that receives broadcasts + internet radio, then I'm not aware of one. If you have been searching and haven't found one, then I would say they don't exist. I didn't search.

    As an aside, many traditional broadcast radio stations also feed their broadcast to the internet. Find your favorite stations (or find new favorites) and then look for a button or link. It might be "listen live" or might be a link to tunein or iheart or similar. There are numerous ways to listen and numerous device options, provided you have an internet connection.
    Last edited by aih; 07-02-2018 at 06:50 AM.

  7. #2617
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5S8Zh5 View Post
    Is there such a thing as a portable AM radio (does not have to be dedicated) that will tune in via wifi, if you don't have wifi? We don't have wifi, but in my trying to keep up with modern connectivity and mostly not keeping up thinking, tablets and kindles connect via wifi - even if you don't have wifi. If that makes any sense. I just like AM and late in the day there's lots of static from inside the house.
    You can't connect to something that isn't present; your two options are wifi, which is your home internet data signal coming from your router, or LTE/4G/cell data, which is the data signal that's part of your cell connection and subscription plan - even if you have a dumb phone, whoever sold it to you will have other devices for sale (tablets, mobile hotspots that turn the cell signal into a wifi signal, etc.) that can use the cell connection you're already paying for as a data stream.

    You'll find the ease and convenience of having an unlimited selection of radio stations with flawless reception to be very addictive, especially once your device is paired with a Bluetooth speaker..

  8. #2618
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryF View Post
    I donít have the 880, but I do have the PL-660 and the S-8800.

    SSB on the 8800- Set it to LSB or USB, and you can just tune through the band 1khz at a time and you will find perfectly clear voices when you hit an active band. You can fine tune in .01 kHz steps if needed.

    SSB on the 660- finding a good signal is fiddley. Itís hard to be sure if you are a kHz off, if you are on USB when you need to be on LSB, or if you just need to adjust the BFO. With that many variables it can be frustrating in comparison to the 8800. Once you get the BFO set correctly, you can tune up and down the band like the S-8800, itís mostly just the initial signal that can be a struggle. Once you do get something tuned in, the 660 is good and stable, but it takes a very fine adjustment of the BFO to come close to (but not quite match) the audio clarity on the 8800.

    All that said, the PL-660 is fine, and still miles ahead of trying to tune in SSB on the older and drifty analog SWís. I imagine the PL-880 is a step up from the 660, but Iíve never had the chance to get my hands on one to compare.
    GaryF: thanks for the input - yeah, the S-8800 looks to me like the top of the line for ssb monitoring with a portable. I am actually tempted to consider getting one from Anon-co, even with the problem of overseas repairs being difficult and costly if necessary, but aside from that problem is my concern about the weight. I have serious arthritis issues, and if I am correctly remembering the weight of the S-8800, at 7 pounds, I'm concerned it will just be too heavy for me to cart out to the balcony and put on my leg for a listening session. I'll need a table out there, I think. Still, the performance gives me reason to seriously consider it. How does the weight feel to those of you who have the S-8800? Let's see, four D cells would weigh a little over a pound, I think....hmmm. Will consider getting a S-8800 later, even if I get a smaller radio now. I gave up my real ham gear for HF, after all.
    "However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -- Stanley Kubrick

  9. #2619
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5S8Zh5 View Post
    Well my AM listening is going fine without wifi - my PL-880 is getting good reception right now at my bedtime, and with it's passive radiator speaker, the sound is sublime. I'm using my DT-400 a lot lately too - AM and FM. Listening to AM on my Tecsun ICR-110 right now.
    Yep, the speaker on the PL-880 is definitely a major plus for me! If I can get one that does well on ssb, I'll go for it. And the DT-400 is a favorite pocket radio for many - I'm envious of that, because I also need to upgrade my pocket radio. Mine is old. I would choose between the DT-400 and the CC Crane Pocket. Both are great!
    "However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -- Stanley Kubrick

  10. #2620
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    In looking for good places on the web to purchase Tecsun radios, I found a radio I had not previously known about that looks quite impressive on the surface. I notice the Kaito.us website shows the Tecsun CR-1100 as being out of stock - but looks like a great radio! Anyone tried one in person?

    [Minutes later.....OK, I've seen some reviews of the CR-1100 now....some rate is highly, others not so much. I might go with the Sangean PR-D14 instead, as they have similar features]
    Last edited by mightysparrow; 07-02-2018 at 06:36 PM.
    "However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -- Stanley Kubrick

  11. #2621
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by mightysparrow View Post
    I might go with the Sangean PR-D14 instead
    Why the D14 over the D4W?

  12. #2622
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Re: S-8800 weight, it was 3lb 5.3oz on my postal scale just now, batteries included. Not a heavy radio. Note that it uses two 18650 lithium cells that can be charged directly in the radio.

    I do share your concerns on any repair / warranty service. Mine is doing fine, but itís only about 7 months old.
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I have gifted a S-8800 to my wife and she is absolutely happy with it (for some reason women enjoy that ďold styleĒ design). But! A couple days ago its firmware was stuck. Well, a hidden reset button (under the main tuning knob) immediately cured the issue. Even stored stations did not go away.

    P.S.: She didnít like that stupidly bright ďstand byĒ blue illumination ó not the best idea if you are going to use the radio as an alarm in a bedroom.
    Last edited by vadimax; 07-02-2018 at 10:53 PM.

  14. #2624
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Why the D14 over the D4W?
    I thought the DT-4W did not have an aux. in jack. I was mistaken. I would go with the DT-4W now. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.
    "However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -- Stanley Kubrick

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryF View Post
    Re: S-8800 weight, it was 3lb 5.3oz on my postal scale just now, batteries included. Not a heavy radio. Note that it uses two 18650 lithium cells that can be charged directly in the radio.

    I do share your concerns on any repair / warranty service. Mine is doing fine, but itís only about 7 months old.
    Thank you for the weight info for the S-8800. The weight figure I saw was incorrect. Now I officially want one! I'll save my pennies. I'm glad to hear you are enjoying the radio.
    "However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -- Stanley Kubrick

  16. #2626
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by vadimax View Post
    I have gifted a S-8800 to my wife and she is absolutely happy with it (for some reason women enjoy that ďold styleĒ design). But! A couple days ago its firmware was stuck. Well, a hidden reset button (under the main tuning knob) immediately cured the issue. Even stored stations did not go away.

    P.S.: She didnít like that stupidly bright ďstand byĒ blue illumination ó not the best idea if you are going to use the radio as an alarm in a bedroom.
    Thank you for that information. I'm happy to hear that your wife is enjoying your generous gift. I wish somebody would give me a S-8800!
    "However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -- Stanley Kubrick

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post
    Just let me know if I can help and please share your thoughts when you get a chance to play with your fathers radio. It would be nice to do a side by side comparison between the earlier production runs VS the latest. I hear some of the hidden features may have disappeared in the newer production models.
    I will post a report after I have an opportunity to operate my father's radio. Interesting to hear of that report about the hidden features.
    "However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -- Stanley Kubrick

  18. #2628
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by aih View Post
    As an aside, many traditional broadcast radio stations also feed their broadcast to the internet. Find your favorite stations (or find new favorites) and then look for a button or link. It might be "listen live" or might be a link to tunein or iheart or similar. There are numerous ways to listen and numerous device options, provided you have an internet connection.
    I am very computer literate, and listening to the radio in front of my PC tower is doable, but not portable.
    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    You can't connect to something that isn't present; your two options are wifi, which is your home internet data signal coming from your router, or LTE/4G/cell data, which is the data signal that's part of your cell connection and subscription plan - even if you have a dumb phone, whoever sold it to you will have other devices for sale (tablets, mobile hotspots that turn the cell signal into a wifi signal, etc.) that can use the cell connection you're already paying for as a data stream.

    You'll find the ease and convenience of having an unlimited selection of radio stations with flawless reception to be very addictive, especially once your device is paired with a Bluetooth speaker..
    If you purchase a Kindle wifi with internet (I got this one https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ) it comes with internet connectivity, so you don't have to have wifi, which like I stated, do not. So it is possible to have a dedicated radio portable device that is not a smartphone and connects to radio stations via the internet - and this is the 21st century, I say, why not? If not - I'll live.


  19. #2629
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5S8Zh5 View Post
    If you purchase a Kindle wifi with internet it comes with internet connectivity, so you don't have to have wifi, which like I stated, do not.
    The Kindle Paperwhite connects to the internet through a cell data connection; this is ideal for moving small packets of data like books, but for indefinitely long streams of data like radio, someone eventually has to pay the data bill, so a manufacturer wouldn't offer that for radios.

    There are tabletop Wifi radios (which require a wifi connection) which use a list service such as Receiva to provide you with thousands of stations - the catch is it can only tune what is on that list, so there may be a few of your local stations available and that's it, there's no way to tune to anything that's not on their list. So the phone/tablet/device is a much better option as you have a range of free apps to choose from, or you can also use the radio station's stream directly on their site, or you can use a podcast, etc.

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    The Kindle Paperwhite connects to the internet through a cell data connection; this is ideal for moving small packets of data like books, but for indefinitely long streams of data like radio, someone eventually has to pay the data bill, so a manufacturer wouldn't offer that for radios.

    There are tabletop Wifi radios (which require a wifi connection) which use a list service such as Receiva to provide you with thousands of stations - the catch is it can only tune what is on that list, so there may be a few of your local stations available and that's it, there's no way to tune to anything that's not on their list. So the phone/tablet/device is a much better option as you have a range of free apps to choose from, or you can also use the radio station's stream directly on their site, or you can use a podcast, etc.
    That makes sense - thanks. I guess I do need wifi - probably will not happen though. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5S8Zh5 View Post
    That makes sense - thanks. I guess I do need wifi - probably will not happen though. C'est la vie.
    No wifi hotspot option on your phone? Or does your cell carrier offer a mobile wifi hotspot, so you could just use the cell plan you're already paying for as a wifi source?

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    No wifi hotspot option on your phone? Or does your cell carrier offer a mobile wifi hotspot, so you could just use the cell plan you're already paying for as a wifi source?
    My phone is a no data plan.

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5S8Zh5 View Post
    My phone is a no data plan.
    How are you reading/responding to this?

  24. #2634
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    Default Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    How are you reading/responding to this?
    Most phones have Wi-Fi man...lol. Even if you donít have a cellular data plan, thereís no reason you canít just use Wi-Fi to access the internet.
    Last edited by the0dore3524; 07-08-2018 at 01:42 PM. Reason: I think I misunderstood something now haha. Iíll see my way out of this ;)

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by the0dore3524 View Post
    Most phones have Wi-Fi man...lol. Even if you donít have a cellular data plan, thereís no reason you canít just use Wi-Fi to access the internet.
    He has no wi-fi or data plan, so his cell is phone-only.

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    How are you reading/responding to this?
    PC tower.

  27. #2637
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5S8Zh5 View Post
    PC tower.
    Use a streaming service like TuneIn, iHeart etc, plug a FM transmitter into your PC tower and broadcast to your radios no wifi system needed. I picked up a FM transmitter board on eBay for 5 or 6 bucks and it easily covers my house with a 6" wire antenna.
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  28. #2638
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Yup, internet connection = internet connection, use it. All free and easy to get the stations playing on your PC, then all kinds of options to pass it where you please in your house; if you have a Bluetooth 4.0 transmitter somewhere in your PC (or obtain one, ~$25) that's as powerful as a wifi signal, you can use a Bluetooth speaker or receiver anywhere else in ~200 feet. And because you're using a full computer, you're not limited to just the apps, you also have the station websites, the podcasts, etc.

  29. #2639
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Tried out my father's new Tecsun PL-880 on ssb very briefly over the past week. I did not have much of an opportunity to tune through the bands, unfortunately, but what I heard on ssb sounded very good. With my father's PL-880, I did not hear the markedly delayed AGC and continuing "flutter" in the sound evident in the YouTube reviews of some units from a few years ago. I am not saying others will not experience AGC delay or flutter in the sound, but I am saying such problems were not obviously evident on my father's particular radio.

    As for whether all or most of the "hidden features" are still accessible on the newer units, I cannot say - I did not have an opportunity to look for them while only briefly handling my father's radio. I have ordered a PL-880 from Amazon, so I will soon have an opportunity to see how the radio performs. I will look for some of the hidden features on my own unit, when I can.
    "However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -- Stanley Kubrick

  30. #2640

    Popcorn Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Hi all!
    Wow! A thread that goes back 10 years! I haven't read every post, but I've read with interest the last few years. In the last few weeks I've been looking for a high end portable myself, and have read every review everywhere. I was looking at the C.Craines, but have still have a bad taste in my mouth from owning one of their first expensive radios (can't remember the model) 20-sum years ago, that after 5 years or so all the text and numbers became invisible internally in the display. However for anyone looking at their radios, I'll share that if you sign-up for their email you will receive a coupon code for 15% off an order of $49 or more.

    After many YouTube videos and much reading, I ended up purchasing the Sangean ATS-909X and I love it! I'll explain my reasoning in another post. I think I have caught the dreaded "Radio Collecting Fever" This Seagean brings my total up to about 20 receivers in my shack. I am now I'm looking real hard at the Sangean PR-D4w (Primarily due to the filter selection)Ö But I was wondering why it's SO much cheaper on Amazon than on the Bay? Is the PR-D4w being discontinued? If so I need to act soon... any speculation would be appreciated.

    These modern radios have come long way since the early 70's when I used a Realistic TR-F and managed to log all 50 States, all 13 Canadian Provinces and nearly 40 Foreign countries as a teenager in Ohio. A feat I doubt I could repeat today.

    First posting!

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