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Thread: Small Portable Radio's?

  1. #3511

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post
    ...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
    I glanced through the initial assessment link ^ and did not see the mention of degraded audio performance. PL-880 equivalent audio playback of mp3s using Micro SDHC flash memory cards would be the only reason for me to purchase the PL-990.

    .

  2. #3512
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5S8Zh5 View Post
    and did not see the mention of degraded audio performance.

    .
    Dan mentions it at 9:40 and in the summary.

    I thought by now Thomas would have posted his review, hopefully Thomas will provide audio samples on FM to better compare the two speakers. I can hear the difference on SW but it is harder to compare. Given we both already have the PL-880 I agree with you regarding the only reason for buying the PL-990 is for the SD playback but I would also add Bluetooth. What would also make a difference in a buying decision for me would be if the PL-990 performed better on MW with a lower noise floor.

  3. #3513
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I apricate the responses regarding CBs.

    Normally twice a year I will drive from Tennessee to some destination out west like Big Bend National Park or Yellowstone and of course every once in a while traffic will come to a complete stop and I will have no idea why. It would be nice to find out why or if while driving if I get bored it would also be nice to strike up a conversation but it is hard to justify the cost for two trips a year. The Midland mxt115 looks interesting, I read a few reviews on amazon it reviews well. If I traveled with a group the Midland mxt115 would be my first choice given the performance over a CB. I also like the 6in antenna.

  4. #3514

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post
    Dan mentions it at 9:40 and in the summary.
    Thanks. I missed the video. Watching now.

  5. #3515
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post
    I apricate the responses regarding CBs.

    Normally twice a year I will drive from Tennessee to some destination out west like Big Bend National Park or Yellowstone and of course every once in a while traffic will come to a complete stop and I will have no idea why. It would be nice to find out why or if while driving if I get bored it would also be nice to strike up a conversation but it is hard to justify the cost for two trips a year. The Midland mxt115 looks interesting, I read a few reviews on amazon it reviews well. If I traveled with a group the Midland mxt115 would be my first choice given the performance over a CB. I also like the 6in antenna.
    One inexpensive option I've used on road trips to monitor CB communications is to use a cheap handheld CB radio attached to a removable antenna on the roof of the vehicle. Using battery power in the radio avoids the necessity of wiring the radio to the vehicle battery and dealing with interference from the electronics in the vehicle. It also allows the radio and antenna to be removed from the vehicle easily.
    "However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -- Stanley Kubrick

  6. #3516
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene View Post
    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.
    I have 18650's that I use on flashlights, my PL-880, and portable fans. I've actually upgraded the capacity of the 18650's in all of those devices, and I appreciate the run times and power of those cells. However, in my opinion, lithium-ion cells are not a good idea for use in emergency equipment for the average person. Cheap chargers are OK, but not a good idea for use with lithium-ion cells, in my opinion. The same is true for charging the cells inside the device. There is a risk of fire and explosion that should be minimized by using a good charger, good-quality cells, and a safe charging protocol that minimizes the risk of harm from fire. Most people aren't prepared to take those precautions all the time.

    In addition, the cold weather performance of lithium-ion cells is severely compromised, compared to the performance of NiMH rechargeables and single-use lithium cells. This is a serious drawback of relying solely on lithium-ion cells in an emergency for most people in cold weather environments. AA and AAA cells are also more readily found at retail, which can be another advantage of those cells for use in emergency equipment. I think it would be a good idea in cold weather areas to have equipment available that can use AA and AAA NiMH cells, to complement equipment that uses lithium-ion cells.
    Last edited by mightysparrow; 09-09-2020 at 08:32 AM.
    "However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -- Stanley Kubrick

  7. #3517
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    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.
    The FT-818 is a great transceiver, no doubt, especially for listening to the widest range of frequencies. Alternatively, for $40 more, you can now buy a FT-891, which hears everything from 30 Khz to 56 Mhz and puts out 100 watts. As a fellow ham, I wouldn't personally recommend that a typical new ham who intends to upgrade their license to General Class and transmit on the HF bands buy a transceiver limited to QRP (low) power output - it's too frustrating for a new ham interested in transmitting on the crowded HF bands, in my opinion, unless they have a big interest in QRP operations. This is especially true now and for the next several years, as we're at the low end of the sunspot cycle.

    However, the FT-818 definitely has a wider range of frequencies it can receive, covering HF (shortwave) and also VHF and UHF bands. So, if your primary interest is listening, or if you are a ham interested only in maintaining a Technician Class license and transmitting only on VHF/UHF, it would be a great choice.
    Last edited by mightysparrow; 09-09-2020 at 08:55 AM.
    "However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -- Stanley Kubrick

  8. #3518

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Whatís going on with my FM lately ? is it tropo skip, sunspot activity, or solar flares? my local stations that come in 5 x 5 are now fading or picking up stations from other states. Iím even getting other peopleís GPS on my car radio
    a single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows- St. Francis of Assissi

  9. #3519
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by aginthelaw View Post
    Whatís going on with my FM lately ? is it tropo skip, sunspot activity, or solar flares? my local stations that come in 5 x 5 are now fading or picking up stations from other states. Iím even getting other peopleís GPS on my car radio
    I just tested a couple of radios on FM and everything seems fine. Did your issues start today?

  10. #3520
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by aginthelaw View Post
    Whatís going on with my FM lately ? is it tropo skip, sunspot activity, or solar flares? my local stations that come in 5 x 5 are now fading or picking up stations from other states. Iím even getting other peopleís GPS on my car radio
    I've had the same thing happen "fading or picking up stations from other states" several times this year the latest was last week, it's back to normal for now.
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  11. #3521
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by mightysparrow View Post
    I have 18650's that I use on flashlights, my PL-880, and portable fans. I've actually upgraded the capacity of the 18650's in all of those devices, and I appreciate the run times and power of those cells. However, in my opinion, lithium-ion cells are not a good idea for use in emergency equipment for the average person. Cheap chargers are OK, but not a good idea for use with lithium-ion cells, in my opinion. The same is true for charging the cells inside the device. There is a risk of fire and explosion that should be minimized by using a good charger, good-quality cells, and a safe charging protocol that minimizes the risk of harm from fire. Most people aren't prepared to take those precautions all the time.

    In addition, the cold weather performance of lithium-ion cells is severely compromised, compared to the performance of NiMH rechargeables and single-use lithium cells. This is a serious drawback of relying solely on lithium-ion cells in an emergency for most people in cold weather environments. AA and AAA cells are also more readily found at retail, which can be another advantage of those cells for use in emergency equipment. I think it would be a good idea in cold weather areas to have equipment available that can use AA and AAA NiMH cells, to complement equipment that uses lithium-ion cells.
    I mostly agree MS but even good chargers are inexpensive nowadays and quality, hicap 18650 cells arenít too expensive if you shop around. We have two lights in each one of our two cars and all contain CR123 primary cells. We get temps here ranging from 10 to 100+ degrees and have experienced no problems and the cells have been in the lights for approximately four years and are still operating fine.

    I can understand peopleís concerns using Li-Ion in lights in automobiles and the risks but we choose to do so.

  12. #3522
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Whatever works for you is A OK with me, Gene! I use flashlights with 18650ís in cold weather - I keep them close to my body when not in use, so they arenít too cold to perform well when I turn them on.
    "However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -- Stanley Kubrick

  13. #3523
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by aginthelaw View Post
    Whatís going on with my FM lately ? is it tropo skip, sunspot activity, or solar flares? my local stations that come in 5 x 5 are now fading or picking up stations from other states. Iím even getting other peopleís GPS on my car radio
    Thatís weird. Iíll try to listen more to FM and see if I find that happening. So far, I havenít encountered that problem here in the mid-Atlantic.
    "However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -- Stanley Kubrick

  14. #3524

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    This has been happening for a few weeks now
    a single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows- St. Francis of Assissi

  15. #3525
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Looks like pretty close to solar minimum at the moment ...

    https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/products/s...le-progression
    ... is the archimedes peak

  16. #3526

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I listen to one FM radio station around here that broadcasts from about 10 miles from me to a wide area. It is the only station I can find that has NPR. I have listened to it for over two years, comes in strong, no interference. The last two weeks, some other station playing annoying Peter and the Wolf-sounding music has been cutting in on the same frequency, never happened before. My personal conspiracy theory is that, along with the dismantling of the USPS, radical anti-media groups are jamming radio news outlets leading up to the coup... wait a sec, that's not the right word for it... its something that sounds like "infection," I think. Needless to say, there has been a great disturbance in The Force.

  17. #3527
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    One suggestion for trying to find a cause of the FM radio disturbances: this is just a wild guess, but going beyond checking for solar flares, maybe you could look at this website to check to geomagnetic disturbances on earth that might have some effect. https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/products/n...tions-timeline

    I don't know if such changes in the earth's geomagnetic field might cause changes in FM reception similar to those you experienced, but the above is a desperate guess in an attempt to be of some help.
    Last edited by mightysparrow; 09-11-2020 at 09:49 AM.
    "However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -- Stanley Kubrick

  18. #3528

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    All i had to do was put it out in public. I guess they donít want us looking into it. All stations were clear as a bell today with no bleeding from other stations. The only thing I changed to the car was put air in the tire
    a single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows- St. Francis of Assissi

  19. #3529
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post
    I thought by now Thomas would have posted his review, hopefully Thomas will provide audio samples on FM to better compare the two speakers.
    Thomas posted a short recap of his impressions of the Tecsun PL-990 on his website. Not a lot new and no audio samples.

    Field Notes: Comparing the Tecsun PL-990x and PL-880

  20. #3530
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I agree in that our cable TV and WiFi and everything else has been acting weird. Maybe sun flares or the fact that everything here in California is burning.

  21. #3531

    Duh2 Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebkuecher View Post
    Thomas posted a short recap of his impressions of the Tecsun PL-990 on his website. Not a lot new and no audio samples.

    Field Notes: Comparing the Tecsun PL-990x and PL-880
    But since the PL-880 has a slightly better built-in speaker, it really can take advantage of FM radio audio fidelity when listening to music, for example. This is not to say that the PL-990 has crappy audioĖfar from the truth. Indeed, I was impressed with the audio when I first put the PL-990 on the air. You only notice the PL-880ís superior audio while doing side-by-side comparisons. Is it enough to sway my purchase decision? No, not really. For AM and shortwaveĖwhich is where I spend most of my timeĖthe PL-990 audio is robust.

  22. #3532

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene View Post
    I agree in that our cable TV and WiFi and everything else has been acting weird. Maybe sun flares or the fact that everything here in California is burning.
    I feel for everyone out there. Good luck to you and your neighbors.
    a single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows- St. Francis of Assissi

  23. #3533
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by aginthelaw View Post
    I feel for everyone out there. Good luck to you and your neighbors.
    Thank you my friend. Thatís very nice. Itís choking smoke everywhere. Hopefully, winter with rain and snow will come early to stop all this mess.

  24. #3534
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I bought a Amazon Echo Studio and few months ago and while I am impressed with the sound quality when playing music I also enjoy streaming radio stations from across the world. As I type I this post am listening to RNZ (Radio New Zealand) via TuneIn. I think most of us who follow this thread know there is a lot of content now available via streaming and I am sure streaming is one of the reasons international broadcaster are dropping the expensive SW broadcast. After reading a recent article on SWLing I am beginning to wonder what the future of streaming may look like and if the court ruling in the UK may be a sign of things to come to the US and across the world. I don't think I would invest in a internet radio now.

    TuneIn ruling may lead to a more restrictive future for UK smart speaker and Internet radio users

  25. #3535

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene View Post
    Thank you my friend. Thatís very nice. Itís choking smoke everywhere. Hopefully, winter with rain and snow will come early to stop all this mess.
    ImageUploadedByCandlepowerforums1600172923.223875.jpg

    This is what it looks like here after sunrise 3 hours ago. The haze is from the California fires. Iím in New Jersey!
    a single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows- St. Francis of Assissi

  26. #3536

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Here in Virginia, too. Looked more like the Moon.

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