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Thread: Small Portable Radio's?

  1. #2281
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post
    I have never understood why Sangean never addressed the deaf on the whip issues with the ATS-909X. I have had my eye on the ATS-909X for some time but itís hard to justify the price given the performance. There is a balun mod one can perform to increase the sensitivity but it voids the warranty. I also considered buying the radio from Radiolabs with their ClearMod but at almost $300.00 the radio is just not worth it to me anyway.

    I read an article on the North Coast Journal a few years ago leaving me wondering if Sangean intentionally refuses to address the issue to help Radiolabs. Apparently there is a dark history between Bob Crane the owner of C. Crane Company, Chris Justice owner of RadioLabs and Sangean. I donít really think Sangean is not addressing the 909X issues to help Radiolabs but the thought did cross my mind.

    Link to journal article removed,
    Especially in view of the mod's comments I won't post much in reply to that, except to say that at the time I had the ATS-909X and was vacillating on whether to keep it or send it back, Radiolabs didn't wasn't offering anything that would improve the sensitivity. Radiolabs does have some interesting specialty gear, and Chris has done some difficult filter upgrades on tiny portables for me with excellent results.

    Anyway, looking forward to some methodical test results on the Tecsun S-8800 in real world use. Agree that a Jay Allen review would be great but I don't know if he's tapped into the Chinese supply pipeline so as to get a review sample at this stage.

  2. #2282
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I too have used Justice's services to upgrade my 909. He did nice work. What other models have you had Chris work on? Some where I have his antenna mod when he worked with Crane and used it with my CCrane radio, an earlier mode.

    Bill

  3. #2283
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Apologies Bill, you shouldnít have to spend your time editing a post. And you are right in that it was long ago. I am curious if the mod made a significant difference in sensitivity?

    Quote Originally Posted by schuster View Post
    Agree that a Jay Allen review would be great but I don't know if he's tapped into the Chinese supply pipeline so as to get a review sample at this stage.
    Jay mention in one of the groups I am a member of that Tecsun Australia will be sending him a S-8800 for review when they become available.

  4. #2284

  5. #2285
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullzeyebill View Post
    I too have used Justice's services to upgrade my 909. He did nice work. What other models have you had Chris work on? Some where I have his antenna mod when he worked with Crane and used it with my CCrane radio, an earlier mode.

    Bill
    Bill,

    Radiolabs did great filter upgrades on two of my ultralights: a Sony SRF-M37W and Sangean DT-400; based upon some earlier postings in ULDX (and elsewhere) that found good matching ceramic filters that (just barely) fit inside the cases.

    --mike

  6. #2286

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Just a thought ... With many of the the newer radios using DSP and all the hoopla about the advantages and disadvantages (soft-mute issues), I've decided to fall back to my G6. Still a wonderful radio imo. Got all the goo off with 90% ispropyl.

  7. #2287
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Al View Post
    Just a thought ... With many of the the newer radios using DSP and all the hoopla about the advantages and disadvantages (soft-mute issues), I've decided to fall back to my G6. Still a wonderful radio imo.
    A classic, but you might look into the CCrane Skywave; same size and features, but adds weather band and selectable AM bandwidths.

  8. #2288

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    A classic, but you might look into the CCrane Skywave; same size and features, but adds weather band and selectable AM bandwidths.
    Skywave = apparently an exceptionable portable, but has DSP and no SSB? I don't have one but reviews mention sound is a bit tinny. Maybe one in my future ...

  9. #2289
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Al View Post
    Skywave = apparently an exceptionable portable, but has DSP and no SSB? I don't have one but reviews mention sound is a bit tinny. Maybe one in my future ...
    +1 on the Skywave.

    Like you I eventually steered away from the "pure DSP; radios due to the issues with digital noises, soft-mute, and the like; which make for frustrating use of MW/SW at times. The best compromises seem to be rigs like the Skywave which appear to be more traditional PLL/superhet designs that use DSP for the bandwidth filters and audio processing. A larger example of this design may be the revamped Sangean ATS-405.

    I initially balked at the Skywave for lack of SSB too; but, then, reconsidered how often I really needed that feature in a pocket radio and decided the compromise was worth it.

    I had gotten a pristine G6 off eBay but, as I commented earlier in this thread, its wide-open front end made it virtually unuseable due to the high amount of intermod in my locale. Plus, I tried the isopropyl trick to remove the goo (which I had done so easily and successfully on the E100) and ended up taking half of the printed lettering off the front as well.

  10. #2290

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by schuster View Post
    +1 on the Skywave.

    Like you I eventually steered away from the "pure DSP; radios due to the issues with digital noises, soft-mute, and the like; which make for frustrating use of MW/SW at times. The best compromises seem to be rigs like the Skywave which appear to be more traditional PLL/superhet designs that use DSP for the bandwidth filters and audio processing. A larger example of this design may be the revamped Sangean ATS-405.

    I initially balked at the Skywave for lack of SSB too; but, then, reconsidered how often I really needed that feature in a pocket radio and decided the compromise was worth it.

    I had gotten a pristine G6 off eBay but, as I commented earlier in this thread, its wide-open front end made it virtually unuseable due to the high amount of intermod in my locale. Plus, I tried the isopropyl trick to remove the goo (which I had done so easily and successfully on the E100) and ended up taking half of the printed lettering off the front as well.
    After considering all that's important to me, I've decided to pass up Skywave. Good radio I'm sure, but price and some questionable QC issues gleaned from user reviews ...

  11. #2291
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by schuster View Post

    I initially balked at the Skywave for lack of SSB too; but, then, reconsidered how often I really needed that feature in a pocket radio and decided the compromise was worth it.
    Just my thinking, too. But, the Skywave has been a good little companion. Great size and battery life. Perfect for traveling, or just carrying around the house. And, I honestly don't use it for much more than AM and FM. Guess I could have saved a few bucks on something else, but life is short.

    Geoff

  12. #2292

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    How to save a few bucks: Tecsun R-209 on the way from Anon ... Looks like a new offering for a toss around "Cheap & Cheerful" radio - $15.49 delivered.

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I was in need of a radio to use during power outages, and broke down and bought the GP-5 ver 3 from CountyComm. As much as I have used it it works just fine. I already have a Weather band radio so that wasn't a concern. I'm thinking about getting the optional longwire antenna and doing some DX, but haven't yet. Only so much discretionary income in a month.
    You don't NEED a parachute to skydive. You DO need a parachute to skydive twice.

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothybil View Post
    I'm thinking about getting the optional longwire antenna and doing some DX, but haven't yet. Only so much discretionary income in a month.
    Nine bucks and free shipping if you have Prime; a must have for shortwave listening.

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    He's talking about the 8" plug in bar.

    Bill

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullzeyebill View Post
    He's talking about the 8" plug in bar.
    Hm, they want ~$30 for it; wonder if a loop would work better for the money..

  17. #2297

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    A classic, but you might look into the CCrane Skywave; same size and features, but adds weather band and selectable AM bandwidths.
    I have the Skywave and latest model of the Eton/Grundig Field radio. It's good to have a couple around handy, but to be perfectly honest, I'm leaning more these days towards your way of thinking with the smartphone/bluetooth speaker/headphones.

    There's just so many now dumping the shortwave broadcasts with Australia becoming the latest to do so back in January. Yet on TuneIn Radio I can find several of those formerly shortwave ABC stations alive and well.

    The Government texts me over severe weather plus I have the Dark Sky and the RadarScope apps, so more than covered there. The station I hear Coast 2 Coast on is readily available on iHeartRadio​ app.
    Plus with Google Assistant now on more phones now than just Pixel, I can just tell it to play a station. Easy peasy.

  18. #2298
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Jay Allen has updated his AM Portables Shootout for 2017, with an especial eye on noting DSP effects on relevant radios.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lit Up View Post
    to be perfectly honest, I'm leaning more these days towards your way of thinking with the smartphone/bluetooth speaker/headphones.
    Yeah, I'm now essentially viewing the portable radio as primarily a tool for getting info during a power outage or entertainment for camping, there are at this point so many different means of getting content for casual listening that limiting yourself to just a radio is pointless; we recently had DirecTV installed, and it turns out one of the "TV Apps" available on the set top box is IHeartRadio - so now you can listen to flawless terrestrial radio through the internet without any kind of digital device at all, just sitting on the couch with good ol' basic cable..

    It should also be mentioned that prior to the FCC switching up the analog bands, I always promoted listening to TV audio on the radio as the first means of getting info during a power outage/emergency; TV stations have exponentially more news resources than any radio station, and they will for certain be broadcasting news at the very least at given times during the day on channels you already know. The DirecTV app for phones/tablets/devices allows you to watch any of their channels/live content right there on your device, so I can now just tune local TV on my phone during a power outage. That's a pretty big mark against the portable radio for me.

  19. #2299
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullzeyebill View Post
    He's talking about the 8" plug in bar.

    Bill
    No, I was talking about the longwire like shown in the link. My CountyComm GPL-5SSB radio already has an external AM radio included with the purchase.

    My only question is does a longwire like this plug into the same jack as the AM external antenna, or do I have to use the adapter clip?
    You don't NEED a parachute to skydive. You DO need a parachute to skydive twice.

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothybil View Post
    My only question is does a longwire like this plug into the same jack as the AM external antenna, or do I have to use the adapter clip?
    It plugs into the AM antenna jack, then you just reel out as much wire as you have space for along the axis of the station signal you're trying to receive (Australia is SW, so lay/hang the wire SW from/to NE.) You want to be away from sources of RF noise, so it's best used outdoors away from the house.

  21. #2301
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Al View Post
    Skywave = apparently an exceptionable portable, but has DSP and no SSB? I don't have one but reviews mention sound is a bit tinny. Maybe one in my future ...
    Finally got to Jay Allen's 2017 update of his radio shootout.

    Buried deep in there, in the paragraph writeup of the Skywave, is a teaser that he is testing a prototype of an updated model that includes SSB....

    http://showstoppers_ces.vporoom.com/...+SSB+Radio.pdf
    Last edited by schuster; 03-31-2017 at 02:03 PM.

  22. #2302
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    It should also be mentioned that prior to the FCC switching up the analog bands, I always promoted listening to TV audio on the radio as the first means of getting info during a power outage/emergency; TV stations have exponentially more news resources than any radio station, and they will for certain be broadcasting news at the very least at given times during the day on channels you already know. The DirecTV app for phones/tablets/devices allows you to watch any of their channels/live content right there on your device, so I can now just tune local TV on my phone during a power outage. That's a pretty big mark against the portable radio for me.
    During certain emergency situations, one of the first things to go is cell phone reception. There was an earthquake off Hilo and my mom in Honolulu said cell phones went down, but analog dial telephone landlines still worked. And battery radios worked fine.

  23. #2303
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5S8Zh5 View Post
    During certain emergency situations, one of the first things to go is cell phone reception. There was an earthquake off Hilo and my mom in Honolulu said cell phones went down, but analog dial telephone landlines still worked. And battery radios worked fine.
    Right, the towers will overload during an emergency, which is why having TV audio on the radio was such a boon; no replacement for AM radio once everything's down.

  24. #2304

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by schuster View Post
    Finally got to Jay Allen's 2017 update of his radio shootout.

    Buried deep in there, in the paragraph writeup of the Skywave, is a teaser that he is testing a prototype of an updated model that includes SSB....

    http://showstoppers_ces.vporoom.com/...+SSB+Radio.pdf
    Typical.
    I just noticed the other day that Eton snuck in a new version of the Field model radio. They added Bluetooth capability to it. grrrr!
    You'll notice it's called the Field BT and has a pair function added on the buttons
    110 bucks on Amazon.
    Last edited by Lit Up; 04-15-2017 at 09:05 PM.

  25. #2305
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lit Up View Post
    Typical.
    I just noticed the other day that Eton snuck in a new version of the Field model radio. They added Bluetooth capability to it. grrrr!
    You'll notice it's called the Field BT and has a pair function added on the buttons
    110 bucks on Amazon.
    Hobbies cost money :-)

  26. #2306
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Sony is really going all out with Bluetooth speakers and LEDs for 2017:

    Sony XB40


    I saw this guy at the local box store; it's 11 inches wide with a multi-color changing light bezel, color changing light inside the grille, and "strobe" white lights on each side of the unit - basically an explosion of light and sound and color, very impressive in person. Sits horizontally or vertically, can be stereo paired with a second copy or linked with up to ten other speakers for multiple room sound, and has a 24 hour runtime.

    LED Bulb Speaker


    A 500 lumen LED bulb with 192 color and 32 brightness plus cycling options a la the Philips HUE, which also happens to be a Bluetooth speaker. Any basic lamp/fixture becomes a sound and light show, or just pleasant lighting and mood as needed.

    Glass Sound Speaker


    A unique attempt at an at-home centerpiece speaker; dimmable warm LED filaments sit within a resonant glass tube which acts as the tweeter, mated to a midrange speaker below. Can be stereo paired.

  27. #2307
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    ( Next up for Alexa is an Echo with a ~7" screen; why have her explain your schedule when she can just show you..)
    As promised:


  28. #2308
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I live rural and I would never give up our landline. We've had several outages here where my wife's cell phone wouldn't work but our trusty landline always did. I think they're still viable in this day and age of amazing whatever.

    That Sony LED bulb/BT speaker looks interesting SH!

  29. #2309
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene View Post
    I live rural and I would never give up our landline. We've had several outages here where my wife's cell phone wouldn't work but our trusty landline always did. I think they're still viable in this day and age of amazing whatever.
    Would totally agree if given the opportunity; when paying a cable/internet company to provide your land line, they route it through the data connection using a router (which of course dies if the power goes out,) the copper line isn't used. Given that our power is out less than an hour a year, there's not much point in paying for a redundant-but-not-mobile phone line.

  30. #2310
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    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.

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