Small Portable Radio's?

mightysparrow

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Sep 27, 2006
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521
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Palookaville, USA
Literally just ordered a Sangean DT-400w.
I have a small AM/FM + Weather Alert radio in my Work bag.
But not nearly as good as the DT-400w overall.
Ok, so maybe I should get a DT-400w AND a DT-200x. Deciding on one or the other is tough. The DT-400w is still a top performer for its size, and the NOAA frequencies are nice to have when the weather turns nasty. Enjoy your radio, when it arrives.
 
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mightysparrow

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Sep 27, 2006
Messages
521
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Palookaville, USA
Update on my post about the cheapie antenna that plugs into the earphone jack / miniature plug.

In short, it works great. I still expect there are times when the fully extended earphone wire can do a better job, but I couldn't produce that result with the signal I experimented with. Instead, I found that the antenna maintained a good consistent signal, where the earphone cable would get staticky as I changed it's orientation.

It may be a solution in search of a problem, but it is nice to be able to listen to FM without the clutter of the earphone cables. For 6 bucks it's a win.
That's a good idea! I was going to buy a metal adapter with a 3.5mm male end, to act as a substitute or spare for the stock trailing wire antenna. I'll look for something like your antenna, too, although I'm going to try to get it from a seller in the USA, if possible.
 

KITROBASKIN

Flashlight Enthusiast
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Mar 28, 2013
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5,603
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New Mexico, USA
It´s always a good read learning what CPF members are choosing for small radios.
Just want to mention that loaning one´s radio to someone younger, frontal lobes not quite developed, it may not be a good idea to let them play with that headphone jack antenna. Seems like the somewhat rigid nature allows possible damaging torque to the jack, thinking.

There is this AM antenna from CountyComm:


but thinking it would not help you all.

What about those CountyComm radios? GP-7 SSB is most often out of stock but sometimes is around. Is it viable? Sound quality?
 

Monocrom

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NYC
What about those CountyComm radios? GP-7 SSB is most often out of stock but sometimes is around. Is it viable? Sound quality?
Bought the GP-5 version years ago before it was discontinued. Someone years ago mentioned that it's a Tecsun model. A particularly good one, re-branded and sold through CountyComm. Can confirm that it's an excellent radio. Some features are easy to use. But it's far from a simple set-up. Viable? Absolutely. Sound quality, I'd say very good. But have no experience with the latest GP-7 SSB version. If you don't mind a somewhat complicated radio, I can recommend the GP-5.
 

mightysparrow

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Sep 27, 2006
Messages
521
Location
Palookaville, USA
I have two GP-5 SSB radios. I agree that it's a high quality radio, although you'll need a stand for the successor product if you buy it, due to the tall, thin shape of the radio. It was designed to be easy to hold.

For a stand, I bought the CountyComm rubber hockey puck stand they sell. I also bought a plastic brochure display stand for only about $5 at an office supply store. Both stands work well with the GP-5.
 

mightysparrow

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Messages
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Location
Palookaville, USA
Tell us about the GP-5 (side band?) radio. Cumbersome? Use it often or emergency type?
No, it isn't cumbersome. It is made to be easy to operate while holding it in one hand. That makes it handy for field use, but not so handy for sitting on a table at home. However, as I said above, I have two types of stands that work well for the GP-5 and would work equally well for the GP-7 - the hockey puck stand sold by CountyComm, and also a cheap, clear brochure display stand I bought at an office supply store.

I use a GP-5 SSB radio often. It has been sitting near my computer that I work at every day, providing music or news radio as I work. Also, when my internet and tv service goes out, as it did for a few hours today (and quite often), I use this radio on my dining table while I eat, and around the apartment as I do chores. I have tended to reach for it often, because it is easier to move around and fit in small spaces a bit easier than my PL-880, while still providing adequate volume and clarity.

A bit more information....features include MW, FM, and SW (1711 -29999 kHz). The radio requires 3xAA cells to operate, and it works very well on rechargeables. In fact, you need to set the radio to operate with rechargeable cells, and after doing that the display indicates that you are using rechargeable cells. The speaker is 40mm in diameter, and it puts out 500mW, with 16 Ohms impedance. It sounds surprisingly good for its size. There is an earphone jack on the top, as well as a jack for the MW t-type antenna, which is provided with the radio and is very effective. The FM/Shortwave antenna extends to about 15.5 inches. There is also an alarm clock feature, a sleep function, and a key lock feature.

The GP-5 SSB has upper and lower sideband capability, as well as a BFO function. You can skip from one SW band to another SW band using dedicated buttons. Memory presets can be programmed manually one by one, or using two automatic methods: 1) ETM (Easy Tuning Mode), which allows you to temporarily store frequencies found active by the radio in special ETM memories, but not in the regular memory slots; and 2) ATS (Auto Tuning Storage), which automatically stores active frequencies into the main radio presets as the radio scans the band selected. The manual claims there are 450 total preset slots for ETM and 550 for ATS - but I have only entered presents manually, so I have not tested this claim.

Performance: The radio seems to me to be quite sensitive and selective, for its size and the cost to me. To my ears, it sounds surprisingly good. It obviously is not going to wow the listener with audio fidelity, compared to the passive, sealed speaker of a Tecsun PL-880, but the clarity and volume and richness are good for the size of the radio. The battery life is excellent on Eneloops/Fujitsu cells. The charging port is an old mini-USB port, but charging works well through a 5 Volt source. Electrical shielding is not fantastic on this radio - I have to keep it at least four feet or more from my computer monitor to prevent severe interference.

The only other feature missing on this radio, and it was a deal-breaker for many potential buyers, is a keypad for direct entry of frequencies. The result is that tuning around the bands, particularly on SW, can be tedious and time-consuming. That omission is corrected with the GP-7, according to the CountyComm website.

I hope the above comments provide the type of information you had in mind.
 
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mightysparrow

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Palookaville, USA
I just received a Sangean DT-200X, and I could not be more impressed with the overall quality and design of this little radio. I was long overdue for an upgrade of my old pocket radios, and this is my first Sangean radio purchase. I decided to go with this radio after reading many reviews, and I'm glad I did. It certainly is a big step up from all of my other pocket AM/FM radios, in performance and user interface.

The FM noise floor is very low - I can't hear any hiss at all. The reception on AM is better than I expected for such a small radio, although my initial test of AM reception was limited by my almost-impenetrable apartment walls that usually thwart all AM reception, even with more expensive, larger radios. The FM reception is superb, especially with the limitations of the two antennas I tried - the earbuds included with the radio and the included wire antenna that plugs into the earphone port. The only weakening of FM reception seemed to come from moving as far away from the windows as I could, and placing myself near large objects emitting radio waves. The speaker is small, but sounds better than I expected, in light of its size.

The controls are extremely well designed, in my opinion. The clock is easy to set. The memory presets are also easy to set using the buttons on the front of the radio. Once entered into the memories, the presets are also easy to recall and tune through using the My Favorites button on the side of the radio. The bass boost works. The display is easy to read, with a quality backlight that stays on only as long as necessary. And the radio seems to operate well with NiMH cells.

The wire antenna that comes with the radio plugs easily into the earphone jack, and it works well. However, due to its length, I bought a few short aftermarket telescopic antennas with 3.5mm connectors that I can use instead. They are cheap and haven't arrived yet, so their effectiveness has yet to be determined, but they will work in a pinch. I will probably also buy a metal 3.5mm to 1/4 inch adapter I can plug into the same jack to serve as a "stub" antenna alternative to the longer antennas.

I will probably use "Apple" style outer-earbuds I bought separately for use with this radio, although the included earbuds aren't horrible. I can see why some buyers report the included earbuds are too large for their ears, but they are OK in my ears, if not entirely comfortable. In all, though, this little radio is as close to the perfect pocket radio as I can imagine . The only feature I would want in addition to what this radio offers is the ability to receive the NOAA weather frequencies - and I can get that in the DT-400W. Based on my very positive experience with the DT-200X so far, I'm going to seriously consider buying the DT-400W as well, in the future.
 
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PacificMoon

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Bought the GP-5 version years ago before it was discontinued. Someone years ago mentioned that it's a Tecsun model. A particularly good one, re-branded and sold through CountyComm. Can confirm that it's an excellent radio. Some features are easy to use. But it's far from a simple set-up. Viable? Absolutely. Sound quality, I'd say very good. But have no experience with the latest GP-7 SSB version. If you don't mind a somewhat complicated radio, I can recommend the GP-5.
GP-5 is a PL-360. GP5 SSB is a PL-365 I believe and I am pretty sure the new GP-7 SSB is a PL-368.
 

KITROBASKIN

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New Mexico, USA
Quote from a Tecsun Amazonk review:

"The little radio does pretty good. The biggest complaint I have is the antenna rattles a little and can hear it in the signal. I check it to make sure it was mounted tightly and it is. After reading other reviews it is just the way it is. The fix that is being said is to get the CountyComm replacement. But still is a good little receiver for the price"

 

Monocrom

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Decided to pull the trigger on the CountyComm GP-7 SSB.
The one in the brown packaging was still in stock couple of days ago.
And with my luck, go to buy it. Sold out! Oh well, jumped on eBay.
Found its Tecsun identical twin (English version model). Bought it!
Bought a few accessories for it. Half on eBay, half on CountyComm.
$20.oo less for the Tecsun identical twin. No waiting until end of February when perhaps the GP-7 SSB will be back in stock at C.C.

I'm definitely good on radios for a very long time to come.
 

orbital

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Feb 8, 2007
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WI
Decided to pull the trigger on the CountyComm GP-7 SSB.
The one in the brown packaging was still in stock couple of days ago.
And with my luck, go to buy it. Sold out! Oh well, jumped on eBay.
Found its Tecsun identical twin (English version model). Bought it!
Bought a few accessories for it. Half on eBay, half on CountyComm.
$20.oo less for the Tecsun identical twin. No waiting until end of February when perhaps the GP-7 SSB will be back in stock at C.C.

I'm definitely good on radios for a very long time to come.
+

nice score, let us know what you think of your new Tecsun,, maybe a mini review.

..and how it compares to your other radios.,(y)
 

Batuche

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
55
Location
Houston, TX
I just received a Sangean DT-200X, and I could not be more impressed with the overall quality and design of this little radio. I was long overdue for an upgrade of my old pocket radios, and this is my first Sangean radio purchase. I decided to go with this radio after reading many reviews, and I'm glad I did. It certainly is a big step up from all of my other pocket AM/FM radios, in performance and user interface.

The FM noise floor is very low - I can't hear any hiss at all. The reception on AM is better than I expected for such a small radio, although my initial test of AM reception was limited by my almost-impenetrable apartment walls that usually thwart all AM reception, even with more expensive, larger radios. The FM reception is superb, especially with the limitations of the two antennas I tried - the earbuds included with the radio and the included wire antenna that plugs into the earphone port. The only weakening of FM reception seemed to come from moving as far away from the windows as I could, and placing myself near large objects emitting radio waves. The speaker is small, but sounds better than I expected, in light of its size.

The controls are extremely well designed, in my opinion. The clock is easy to set. The memory presets are also easy to set using the buttons on the front of the radio. Once entered into the memories, the presets are also easy to recall and tune through using the My Favorites button on the side of the radio. The bass boost works. The display is easy to read, with a quality backlight that stays on only as long as necessary. And the radio seems to operate well with NiMH cells.

The wire antenna that comes with the radio plugs easily into the earphone jack, and it works well. However, due to its length, I bought a few short aftermarket telescopic antennas with 3.5mm connectors that I can use instead. They are cheap and haven't arrived yet, so their effectiveness has yet to be determined, but they will work in a pinch. I will probably also buy a metal 3.5mm to 1/4 inch adapter I can plug into the same jack to serve as a "stub" antenna alternative to the longer antennas.

I will probably use "Apple" style outer-earbuds I bought separately for use with this radio, although the included earbuds aren't horrible. I can see why some buyers report the included earbuds are too large for their ears, but they are OK in my ears, if not entirely comfortable. In all, though, this little radio is as close to the perfect pocket radio as I can imagine . The only feature I would want in addition to what this radio offers is the ability to receive the NOAA weather frequencies - and I can get that in the DT-400W. Based on my very positive experience with the DT-200X so far, I'm going to seriously consider buying the DT-400W as well, in the future.
I'm no expert but have owned a DT-400W for years & the print has worn off a few buttons. The only problem I have had is contact corrosion on the volume wheel - very scratchy static during use. I tried different contact cleaners but they only provided temporary relief, but a product called DeoxIT D5 cured it for good. I also dropped it a few times & have done minor repair, but it continues to work like a champ. Recommended.
 

KITROBASKIN

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
5,603
Location
New Mexico, USA
Our backup radios:

Radio Shack CRYSTAL controlled (ooh, aah!) weatheradio
 

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mightysparrow

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Sep 27, 2006
Messages
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Location
Palookaville, USA
Here's something you don't hear of every day. I looked on EBay for several weeks for an opportunity to buy a like new DT-400w for a discount. Late last week I found one listed as new, offered at a big discount outright, and also accepting offers. It was missing the long wire antenna, but I've got replacements for that. Anyway, the seller accepted my bid. The total with shipping amounted to $20 off the retail price at Amazon now. I communicated with the seller to confirm it was in new condition.

The radio arrived this week with the metal earbud plug packed right up against the display. Sure enough, there were small scratches in the display. Not big ones that are glaringly obvious, but I was unhappy. I submitted a return request with photos of the damages, which weren't easy to obtain with my phone, given the nature of the scratches. I received a return label and began packing the radio for the return.

To my surprise, the seller sent me a message very quickly after the return was initiated. He apologized for his mistake in packing the item, and told me to keep the radio for my trouble. I responded to ask him if he was sure about letting me keep the radio - but he said he wanted me to keep it. I certainly didn't expect that kind of integrity and generosity, given my past experience buying items in that community, but there it is.

I'm finding that the DT-400w provides the quality reception on the AM and FM bands that is provided by the DT-200x. The weather frequency reception seems rather weak on my unit, but it works. The interface with the controls is intuitive and functions well. Overall, it works and feels like a high quality product that I'll use quite a bit and enjoy.
 
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