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Thread: Small Portable Radio's?

  1. #3481
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Well you'll need a good radio while you're laying there recovering, hang in there; if I had to start from scratch today, I'd just get a CCRadio 3 and be done with it. Those older DX units are legends without question, but to get a copy and get it to stock condition would be more money and effort than just shelling out the $200 for a new radio with a warranty.

  2. #3482

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Does anyone have experience with the Kaito KA700? It using a standard 18650 makes it very appealing to me.


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  3. #3483
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by jrgold View Post
    Does anyone have experience with the Kaito KA700? It using a standard 18650 makes it very appealing to me.
    The aforementioned Tecsun PL-880 is an 18650 radio; its passive radiator speaker and feature set are geared for better DXing and casual listening than the Kaito, but the Kaito is more suited to emergency/no power scenarios.

  4. #3484

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    The aforementioned Tecsun PL-880 is an 18650 radio; its passive radiator speaker and feature set are geared for better DXing and casual listening than the Kaito, but the Kaito is more suited to emergency/no power scenarios.
    Thank you, thatís a high quality option. I really like the Bluetooth compatibility on the kaito tho. If the tecsun has that it would be a homerun


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  5. #3485
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by jrgold View Post
    Thank you, thatís a high quality option. I really like the Bluetooth compatibility on the kaito tho. If the tecsun has that it would be a homerun
    The catch is that the Kaito's speaker doesn't hold a candle to the Tecsun's; the Kaito is going to sound as you would expect, whereas the Tecsun is literally the same design as a standalone Bluetooth speaker, on par with a modest bookshelf/monitor speaker.

  6. #3486

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    The catch is that the Kaito's speaker doesn't hold a candle to the Tecsun's; the Kaito is going to sound as you would expect, whereas the Tecsun is literally the same design as a standalone Bluetooth speaker, on par with a modest bookshelf/monitor speaker.
    Iím hoping the ka900 is a compromise

  7. #3487
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Not to change the subject and just filling space but perusing some of the Chinese sites lately, Iíve noticed almost all of their radios are now taking 18650 cells and most are now using TWO 18650 cells even with their very small radios.

    They are also including battery compartment covers where you can remove the cells to replace them with better 18650 cells. Itís amazing how things have changed when we were wishing just awhile back where they would accept better, long lasting cells.

    Maybe, CCrane radios should do the same.

  8. #3488
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene View Post
    Not to change the subject and just filling space but perusing some of the Chinese sites lately, Iíve noticed almost all of their radios are now taking 18650 cells and most are now using TWO 18650 cells even with their very small radios.

    They are also including battery compartment covers where you can remove the cells to replace them with better 18650 cells. Itís amazing how things have changed when we were wishing just awhile back where they would accept better, long lasting cells.

    Maybe, CCrane radios should do the same.
    Only some people keep a charged phone charger on hand, otherwise I'd recommend that change since far more people have experience with charging their phones vs buying large format batteries now. But if you don't have a means to keep your devices charged for several days, the radio had better be running on some battery format that's common in your house..

  9. #3489
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I agree SH. Even though 18650 cells arenít as common as AAA, AA, C and D cells but with the vaping rage awhile back and with flashlights...etc., they are now fairly common.

    They have decent capacity, chargers are cheap and good examples can sit for a good while without discharging much and when used in low drain electronics like radios, they can go on for a long time. Plus their smaller size is perfect for radios. I applaud the Chinese manufacturers for now including them in almost all their radios.

  10. #3490
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    You donít need a charger with a radio, batteries are being charged internally.

  11. #3491
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by vadimax View Post
    You donít need a charger with a radio, batteries are being charged internally.
    Gonna want a powered wall outlet for that adapter; if you have a USB battery pack, now your radio is another device that can be charged with your phones/tablets/etc.

  12. #3492

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Panasonic RF-2400D spotted: The Assistant (2020).


  13. #3493

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    The new Tecsun PL-990 and H-501 are finally nearing release. The first radio to become available will be the PL-990 and could start shipping as early as next week with the H-501 starting to ship in August or September. Anna has already shipped at least one final production copy of PL-990 international version with all of its features for review so hopefully within the next few days we will have a good idea how the radio compares.

  15. #3495
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Gonna want a powered wall outlet for that adapter; if you have a USB battery pack, now your radio is another device that can be charged with your phones/tablets/etc.
    Having a Jackery Explorer 240 this is not an issue to me

  16. #3496
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I may have already posted this but if I did it was ten years ago, if you can spend $500 for a flashlight you can spend $500 for a lifeline to the world. It is small, will run on AA batteries or 12v DC, Is handheld and completely self contained. You get AM, FM, Shortwave, all modes, all bands and if you have a license you can transmit. It will even do 4 watts on CB with a slight modification. It will do VHF and UHF, an amazing radio. It is the Yaesu FT-817 and has recently been upgraded to the new FT-818. Everyone should have one. Used they are $300-$500, you can get the new FT-818 on sale now for $569.69, almost $100 off the regular price.

    I know it sounds crazy but just take a minute and look at what it can do, as a matter of fact I defy you to find something it doesn't do. Any questions feel free to PM me, I would love to help you decide, you may even end up getting your ham license so you can transmit. I know it's only 6 watts but that is what you want in an emergency. It can listen almost anywhere and thats what you will want in a SHTF situation. An all in one wonder box, small, light and runs on AA batteries.
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  17. #3497
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Iím am now able to pick up communications from the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) on my Shortwave (7.268 lower sideband). I am in Tennessee. Iím sure as the sun goes down communication will be even better.

    Anyone else?

  18. #3498
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    This one sounds fun; a thin (0.6") pocket radio with AM/FM/SW/CB/AIR/VHF [which covers WX.] Clock with seconds, signal db power meter, physical whip antenna, includes longwire antenna, internal Li-ion with Micro USB recharge, $37. Quite the pocket radio rig..

    Not much discussion on it...

    HanRongDa HRD-737 @ $37 on Amazon,
    includes FM Stereo/AM/SW/CB/Air/VHF world band, which is really kind of a lot for such a small radio.



    My only complaint is the battery is weird, would have preferred they use a 14500 or 10440, so one could use their charger and carry spares. Here's extra 900mAh 902040 batteries on eBay, with a little more capacity than the one it comes with. HRD-737 charger is built-in, and let's hope the charger specs are listed somewhere... but for such small capacity, I suppose we can assume it is slow charging at low mA.

    Here's a mod to make it more sensitive

    I had been eyeing the Eton Elite for some time, and it has come down dramatically in price, but it just doesn't compare to the HanRongDa HRD-737, which costs $7 more, unless you don't want all the shortwave bands, as well as CB, Air and VHF (everyone else here likely did not make this mistaken assumption, but VHF TV is no longer analog, so it does not receive TV channels). I prefer the click volume on the HanRongDa to the volume dial on the Eton.
    Last edited by chillinn; 08-27-2020 at 02:05 PM.

  19. #3499
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    There is finally a English review of the new Tecsun PL-990 international version posted on SWLing. I have been waiting for information on the PL-990 for some time as well as information on its big brother the duel speaker Tecsun H-501. The international version of the H-501 has yet to be reviewed but should be out shortly.

    After watching the almost hour long review, I have to say I am disappointed. I have been a big fan of the PL-880 and was thinking its replacement would step up the performance but Iím not sure it has. Unfortunately the reviewer primarily focused on shortwave so I really have no feel for AM of FM performance but what is clear is the audio quality from the speaker which I love on the PL-880 was sacrificed to allow for more control functions to be placed on the front of the radio. Adding a SD card for a MP3 player as well as Bluetooth is a plus but with decreased audio quality Iím not sure what the point is. The Sync performance is also disappointing.

    Tecsun PL-990x Initial Assessment

  20. #3500
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Great Thread here !




    Since we have all these intelligent, well-informed people gathered
    together in one place, perhaps SOMEONE can help me:


    Did SOMETHING just now happen to iHeartRadio ? ? ?


    Worked FINE yesterday, on 8/26/2020,
    and now, the VERY NEXT DAY, it doesn't work AT ALL ! ! !


    Even their Website says: Sorry, NOT FOUND !


    Anyone know WHAT'S going on here ? ? ?

    Thank you for your help and insights.

  21. #3501
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Burgess View Post
    Great Thread here !




    Since we have all these intelligent, well-informed people gathered
    together in one place, perhaps SOMEONE can help me:


    Did SOMETHING just now happen to iHeartRadio ? ? ?


    Worked FINE yesterday, on 8/26/2020,
    and now, the VERY NEXT DAY, it doesn't work AT ALL ! ! !


    Even their Website says: Sorry, NOT FOUND !


    Anyone know WHAT'S going on here ? ? ?

    Thank you for your help and insights.

    I see iheartradio.com and iheart.com. Maybe maintenance? If not, check DNS settings. Locally, you may find a faster DNS, but Google's DNS is consistently pretty fast no matter where you are: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4

  22. #3502
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Now, the Next Day,
    it seems to be Working FINE once again !

    Guess it must've been Maintenance or something . . . . .

    Thank you, Everyone, for this GREAT thread !


    _

  23. #3503

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    As a Ham radio operator i can say that the yaesu 817 and 818 are a good choice. I specialize in what we call QRP operations on phone (ssb) and i use these radios for emergency comunications as well as for hilltopping( ham radio activity of going to the top of hill and making as many contacts as you can in a limited time). I do reviews on ham radio gear and hiking and camping equipment as well. Here are a few videos i have done.

    3 radio go bags https://youtu.be/sjkdC9qCubg

    Hilltopping radio kit https://youtu.be/pZ5CpyMJ_fk

    Micro HT vhf uhf dual band radio yaesu vx1r https://youtu.be/RCVDUQG9hrE

    And my lightweight HF 160m-6m all mode radio for operations https://youtu.be/Nexaw4XKVVA

    Radio is correct in that obtaining one of these radios - yaesu 817, 817 nd, and the newer 818, or an elecraft kx3, xiegu x5105 will enable you to listen and transmit if you have a fcc license on most if not all the hf bands. One thing I recommend is learning how to build antennas. Antennas are key to any successful radio whether it be listening or transmitting. I recommend auto transformers of 49:1 cut to end fed halfwave specifications for specific bands you wish to listen to. I can explain more but that is all for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Radio View Post
    I may have already posted this but if I did it was ten years ago, if you can spend $500 for a flashlight you can spend $500 for a lifeline to the world. It is small, will run on AA batteries or 12v DC, Is handheld and completely self contained. You get AM, FM, Shortwave, all modes, all bands and if you have a license you can transmit. It will even do 4 watts on CB with a slight modification. It will do VHF and UHF, an amazing radio. It is the Yaesu FT-817 and has recently been upgraded to the new FT-818. Everyone should have one. Used they are $300-$500, you can get the new FT-818 on sale now for $569.69, almost $100 off the regular price.

    I know it sounds crazy but just take a minute and look at what it can do, as a matter of fact I defy you to find something it doesn't do. Any questions feel free to PM me, I would love to help you decide, you may even end up getting your ham license so you can transmit. I know it's only 6 watts but that is what you want in an emergency. It can listen almost anywhere and thats what you will want in a SHTF situation. An all in one wonder box, small, light and runs on AA batteries.

  24. #3504
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by chillinn View Post
    Not much discussion on it...

    HanRongDa HRD-737 @ $37 on Amazon,
    includes FM Stereo/AM/SW/CB/Air/VHF world band, which is really kind of a lot for such a small radio.



    My only complaint is the battery is weird, would have preferred they use a 14500 or 10440, so one could use their charger and carry spares. Here's extra 900mAh 902040 batteries on eBay, with a little more capacity than the one it comes with. HRD-737 charger is built-in, and let's hope the charger specs are listed somewhere... but for such small capacity, I suppose we can assume it is slow charging at low mA.

    Here's a mod to make it more sensitive

    I had been eyeing the Eton Elite for some time, and it has come down dramatically in price, but it just doesn't compare to the HanRongDa HRD-737, which costs $7 more, unless you don't want all the shortwave bands, as well as CB, Air and VHF (everyone else here likely did not make this mistaken assumption, but VHF TV is no longer analog, so it does not receive TV channels). I prefer the click volume on the HanRongDa to the volume dial on the Eton.
    Thanks for your thoughts on it chilling and the good info. Thanks to SH,😜, I pursued one of these awhile back and did a short report on it. Itís a neat little radio but for me living so rural, most of the extra bands are useless. I wish it had much more sensitivity but Iím not handy enough to do the upgrade that you linked to but who knows. I might try it anyway. I like the battery upgrade suggestion.

  25. #3505
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    No problem. Please note, the HanRongDa HRD-737 has increased in price since my post. I don't see it at Amazon anymore, $54 at Walmart, ~$40 on eBay from China, ~$33 on AliExpress. Bummer.

  26. #3506
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I bought mine in June of 1999 and the cheapest I could find mine was $35.22.

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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene View Post
    I bought mine in June of 1999 and the cheapest I could find mine was $35.22.
    I guess I just complained about almost nothing LOL, the extra $7 from a domestic seller, but about $3 less from AliExpress. And it isn't like it won't show up at Amazon again for $47.

  28. #3508
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by chillinn View Post
    No problem. Please note, the HanRongDa HRD-737 has increased in price since my post. I don't see it at Amazon anymore, $54 at Walmart, ~$40 on eBay from China, ~$33 on AliExpress. Bummer.
    It would be nice to have access to the CB bands on a road trip. I have thought about investing in a CB radio but I am not sure how much I would really use it. I also read somewhere that truckers do not really use CBs anymore to report on road conditions but Iím not sure if that is really true. Maybe someone reading the thread who has a CB can comment on how useful a CB radio is these days.

    I am curious how well the HRD-737 would pickup CB broadcast driving down the interstate in a car. Anyone have any experience?

  29. #3509

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post
    It would be nice to have access to the CB bands on a road trip. I have thought about investing in a CB radio but I am not sure how much I would really use it. I also read somewhere that truckers do not really use CBs anymore to report on road conditions but Iím not sure if that is really true. Maybe someone reading the thread who has a CB can comment on how useful a CB radio is these days.

    I am curious how well the HRD-737 would pickup CB broadcast driving down the interstate in a car. Anyone have any experience?
    I haven't used CB in decades but know a trucker or two. CB radio is still being used but not heavily at all. Truckers have GPS and cell phones to get information easily in most places it is more of a backup than anything a lot of truckers don't even turn on the CB till they need it they simply get on their phone and call folks that way for help.
    If you are traveling a lot over long distances in areas with little cell phone service (towers) it may be useful to have. The problem with CB is however that there are times when the atmosphere allows for great transmission ranges (skip) and that fills the bands with a lot of noise such that ranges of transmission/reception can be limited to a few miles unless you have top of the line antennas and power microphones with audio compression etc to help punch through the noise. If there is no skip you can get about 10-20 miles depending on the terrain and the person transmitting. A lot of truckers run twin antennas which can make for a bi-directional reception/transmission that is front and back of them is increased while side to side of them reduced and if you are on a road that curves or they are going 90 degrees of you they can fade out of sight quickly. At one time I had a top of the line car antenna and a very good radio and mic (Cobra 29 GTL) and I could talk up to 50 miles with it if it was quiet enough and the other person had a base station.
    I still have the radio and antenna but it hasn't been fired up since the late 80s.
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  30. #3510
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I have a road king, that's a cheap copy of the cobra 29. I still swear by the cobra 29 and the cheaper uniden 510xl. But really, your antenna can be more important than your radio. Channel 19 is still your best channel to get information on. I've also got some handheld cbs. Two are old crystal radios from radio shack that have extending antennas that are about 4 feet and only 3 channels. The problem with cb is the noise, even more so in the city. I have to keep the squelch about 3/4 to drown it out. The last time I was on the road running channel 19 for about 50 miles I heard about 99% garbage and 1% useful information. Heard a guy offering to sell bootleg movies. Gave his email address and said to email him your list and contact info and he'll do movies for a couple bucks on DVD. I also heard two guys cussing each other out. Ok for amusement.

    My ex brother in law used to drive trucks and he was dropping off and load and wanted to meet up at a truck stop afterwards. His range was horrible. Found out the company he was driving for didn't allow external antennas on their trucks, so the antenna was inside. As far as a portable in a vehicle, range is gonna suck. The vehicle will destroy a lot of the signal. Case in point why the fm antenna is outside the vehicle. I still like cbs, but high frequency radios can be unpredictable. Same with sw. My grundig with the telescopic antenna sucks indoors when the power is on. But when the power goes off, it works great. But again, that's why antennae belong outdoors.

    To be honest, if I drove for extended periods of times in a group, I think I would opt for the Midland mxt115 over a cb. Requires a license to transmit on but 1 license covers a whole family, but its more reliable than cb, has repeater access, and can talk to already existing GMRS radios. I never looked at the frequency chart, but it could probably talk to FRS radios on certain channels. Although part of me hopes not. I programmed them into my scanner but had to block them. Nothing more annoying than hearing kids screaming on channel 1 and the sound of Motorola roger beeps and call alerts.

    But of course, you can't talk to cbs with it, so.....
    Last edited by Frijid; 09-06-2020 at 03:45 PM.
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