CCrane SWP: Digital tuning with both direct tuning keypad and tuning knob, 200 memories, backlit display, powered by 2 AA batteries, $38.
Don't forget to add a pocket reel antenna, takes about a minute to set up and will literally triple the number of shortwave stations you receive, $10.
The crane seems to have a few complaints about volume control. One reviewer states that it goes from barely audible to being able to hear it across the room. I was wondering if anyone else had any issues with the volume control? It also looks like the pl-606 and 380 take aa batteries. Can't decide what to pick.
PrimeTimeShortwave.com, and don't forget the ETM tuning method on your new radio, although you won't catch much without an external antenna.
Driving out of Pasadena today, I saw a small wildfire in the distance with a decent column of smoke going. I had local news on the radio just to get traffic info, and they updated that there was indeed a wildfire just East of Pasadena, a mere 18 acres in size. That's very small by California standards, and given the army-sized fire response we have for wildfires, I was surprised they bothered to mention it on the news at all. Then they started to list evacuation sites - turns out the fire was on a cliffside where it was impossible to contain, and there were neighborhoods nearby, so mandatory evacuations were underway. Without the radio, I would have had no idea such a small fire was threatening at all, even if I had lived in the area.
Radio news is important, even in the 21st century!
Last edited by StarHalo; 04-22-2013 at 03:54 PM.
I see the Monrovia wildfire is the lead story on Google news right now but it was probably on local radio first. I agree about the importance of radio. In fact, if I had to chose between giving up one or the other, I'd be inclined to give up TV over radio. (if it included shortwave)
The CC Solar Observer joined my fleet of AM/FM Weather radios today for a little more mission coverage. I currently have a Sangean CL-100 for the house and a DT-400W for the “Get out Of Dodge” bag....
I needed something value priced, a little louder than a pocket radio that I can use in the garage or throw in the car/truck as a small take along radio for what ever comes up, run on eneloops and L91s. I didn’t buy the radio for the hand crank dynamo, solar panel, LED light and phone charger but they are along for the ride and seem to work as advertised and fit in unobtrusively
My first weather radio was a Sony ICF-36 AM/FM/TV Weather model that is absolutely horrible, horrible, horrible at picking up the NOAA stations, looking out the window and employing the services of a ground hog would be more satisfying than walking around trying to pick up a station with it. I’ve been more than pleased with my Sangean weather radios but I was just amazed when I turned the CC Solar Observer on, I was picking up a station on all seven channels....I thought it was broke at first and just playing the same station on all channels but NO! I have six stations coming in strong and just spinning around in my chair brought in the the 7th.....
For those interested I live about 35 miles N/W of Charlotte NC, close to the new Apple Data Center in Maiden, NC.
NOAA Weather Transmitters Received:
Ch.1 WXL56 Mt Pisgah, S/W of Asheville NC
Ch.2 KHC27 Rock Hill SC
Ch3 WNG538 Grandmother Mtn, Linville NC
Ch.4 WXL70 Spencer Mtn. Ranlo NC
Ch5 WNG588 Mt. Jefferson, Jefferson NC
Ch.6 KJY85 Mooresville NC
Ch.7 WXJ21 Paris Mtn. Greenville SC
A note was included with the owners manual thats says:
Thank you for your purchase of the CC Solar Observer. This radio has some recent
improvements as of 1/1/13.
We are now using a new core radio chip that has helped us to achieve even
better AM and FM reception and selectivity.
We have improved the speaker for better audio compared to our previous models.
The winding/play time is different from the user manual since the new radio chip takes
more power to run.
The radio will run about 15-30 minutes after 90 seconds of winding. This varies
depending on winding speed, volume level, and band selection. You will be able to
achieve more playtime after charging and discharging the battery several times. This will
"condition" the battery so that it is able to receive more charge from winding.
The solar panel will supply about 4-6 hours of radio playtime for every 8 hours of direct
If your radio is left on for an extended amount of time after the battery pack is fully
depleted, and your radio will not turn on, then it will be necessary to unplug the battery
pack (and remove AA batteries if installed) for 60 seconds to allow a reset of the
This product info can be found on the C.Crane website.
I have a Sangean Lunchbox radio that covers my daytime AM/FM needs and some very minor DXing at night, a quick and dirty check reveals the CC Solar Observer does as well on AM/FM as the Lunchbox. Two night time AM station I frequent are 1530 WCKY ESPN Radio Cincinnati and 1510 WLAC Nashville Talk Radio...I’m happy to say both tune in just as well.
So far I'm very satisfied with the new radio.
Last edited by Sway; 04-23-2013 at 04:12 AM.
Is the new model of the Solar Observer still capable of being self-powered off the solar panel? The previous model can run directly off the panel, even with the rechargeable battery removed. I am guessing the new one can't.
Last edited by Sway; 04-30-2013 at 02:56 PM.
Post Deleted.....See post #738 for correct info.
Last edited by Sway; 04-30-2013 at 02:06 PM.
Last edited by silver_bacon; 04-29-2013 at 06:22 PM.
I tried the CC Solar Observer again today and it will work without the battery pack so it’s good to go for stand alone solar use.
I was unplugging the battery with it playing and that will shut it off, it needs to be manually cycled off and back on to “reset it” I guess but it will play without the battery pack up to about half volume
A friend of mine asked me for the Amazon link for the Sony ICF F-10 so I looked it up this morning. I thought I'd mention that the already low price has fallen $1 since I bought mine ~6 wks ago. It's now at $12.99 with Free Super Saver Shipping.
I'm very pleased with mine. I've been running mine on Tenergy 10,000mAH NiMH cells and it likes them just fine. I'd guess I'm getting about a month before I have to recharge -- more an effect of the HSD cells than the radio's current draw.
I went the other way and got the $35 Meloson M7; reports of its fidelity are not exaggerated - from a few feet away off-axis it literally sounds like a pleasant modest sized flatscreen TV. Bass drum through music stations that don't use compression (college stations) cause the radio to transmit a tiny tactile thump on whatever surface it's sitting on; handling the unit during musical interludes is akin to holding a cell phone on vibrate - the case is lightweight and mostly hollow, and it feels like the speaker is seriously testing its chassis (it's actually a speaker and passive radiator matched to the case, then further DSP-tuned.) All in a tiny 6" x 3.8" package.
It's not an emergency radio as it uses a Li-ion battery, but it turns out to be a Nokia cell phone battery that's $5 on Amazon; it's cheaper to replace the battery on this radio than to replace a quartet of NiMHs for a 4xAA radio. I haven't tested its longevity yet, but it's gone through ~8 hours without incident. One quirk, the backlight for the display is light-sensor activated, so it usually comes on as your hand approaches the radio - it's like the radio is greeting you every time you come near it, fun stuff..
If you've already got your power-outage radio bases covered and feel it's time for a "high CRI" radio, the Meloson is a serious bang-for-the-buck surprise.
Should also mention: There's a line-in jack, and I don't have an SD card to test the MP3 player. But they're nice features for a sub-$40 radio with both knob and direct keypad tuning..
Last edited by StarHalo; 05-01-2013 at 08:38 PM.
You're tempting me again, StarHalo. Thanks for keeping up on these radios for us. Since you first mentioned the Meloson it's been on my "possibilities" list. Now it's moved up a few spaces.
Will the cc solar observer work with and charge Sanyo envelop batteries?
Last edited by Sway; 05-02-2013 at 04:03 PM.
Gotta watch those prices: a seller on Amazon put up a handul of Sangean CL-100s for $23.80 + $6.89 shipping earlier today..
In other news, the tube table radio mentioned years ago in this post is now available on Amazon under the brand name Tesslor; the walnut case is not available, but the all-tube amplification and Magic Eye tuner are unchanged; $300.