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Thread: Small Portable Radio's?

  1. #481
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by silver_bacon View Post
    I received the CC Solar Observer (finally) and I must say it is the best solar radio I have had so far.
    That's good news, and thanks for the review; this has struck me as the best current design and deal for an emergency radio, and it sounds like it delivers.

  2. #482
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    The Sangean WR12; wooden cabinet, 2.1 stereo-and-subwoofer speakers, adjustable backlight, available at the end of the month. Sangean is getting pretty good at this table radio business..


  3. #483
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Got the itch for a new radio. Sony has a new little model that might just be the one, the SRF-18. Quite small, analog am/fm, stereo speakers, line-in/out, 2AA, and about $30. What's not to like?



    Geoff

  4. #484
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Turtle View Post
    Sony has a new little model that might just be the one, the SRF-18. Quite small, analog am/fm, stereo speakers, line-in
    A clever feature; take an already great Sony analog radio, and tack a line-in circuit onto it for a few cents more so it can be an MP3/iPod speaker..

  5. #485
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I have the Eaton radio you are referencing. I like to have a few minutes of warning before the SHTF Unless I am solidly asleep. I have slept through several tornados I discovered only after waking up the next morning, which is better than not waking up at all.
    will work for peanuts

  6. #486
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Recently snuck onto the CCrane site: The new CC Witness Plus:


    AM/FM tuner with full CD quality recording (or selectable MP3 qualities), stereo external microphones and input, stereo external speakers, MiniUSB port, 2GB internal memory with SD slot, onboard editing and file management, 20 timers with calendar, Li-po battery, and the display can be disabled for better reception/battery life.

  7. #487
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    nifty! I've got a little iRiver mp3 player that I use to record radio programs, but worry about what to replace it with when it croaks. This might be a good back-up. The only concern would be the Li-po battery.... any chance that it is replaceable?
    The secondary issue might be the FM sensitivity.. the iRiver tuners seem to do quite well. I'll have to see if C Crane lists any specs.
    So who builds this for C Crane?? Anyone we know?

    edit: the C Crane folks have a step-by-step guide to how to change out the battery! Very well done! I wonder if we could convince Apple to do the same for their products?
    C Crane also lists specs for sensitivity, although I don't know what the spec is for my iRiver.
    All in all, it looks like a nice product, especially if you like to use a timer to record radio programs. Makes me think I could probably sell my cassette deck and stash of blank tapes, eh?
    (actually, I've been using my DVR to record radio programs. The downside is that I need to then use the little iRiver mp3 player's line-in jack to record the program from DVR to mp3. A bit more hassle than would be ideal, but it does have the advantage of using the output from the Sony HD radio tuner, which is very low noise).
    Last edited by Steve K; 09-19-2012 at 09:21 AM. Reason: did research on C Crane radio

  8. #488
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Steve K, some of CCrane's radios are built by Sangean out of South Korea, I think, such as their CCrane Radio(s). Sangean products are usually of good quality. They are often built, such as CCrane Radio II, to Crane's specs.

    Bill

  9. #489
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I did notice that the C Crane site mentioned that it was built in South Korea, so Sangean did come to mind. I've got a handful of Sangean radios and have been pretty happy with them. Good quality, but the user interface can be a bit confusing, especially on the small portable radios. I've got a DT-300VW at my side that I've used for about 8 or 9 years, and it's doing fine. I've given up on a few features, though, just because they are so confusing to use.

    More recently, I picked up the Sangean CL-100 (I think) weather/am/fm radio, and have been rather happy with the user interface. Maybe it's easier to make a good interface when a larger display is used?

  10. #490
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    The CC Witness Plus Would be great for me if it ran on AAs or AAAs. Consumer electronics with non-user serviceable components for important things like batteries put me off on a number of levels. Li-po power greatly limits it's utility in many situations that are common in my life.

    Other than that I really like the feature set.

  11. #491
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I'm also a fan of using small rechargeables in this sort of portable gear. I've got a small iRiver mp3 player and FM tuner that I use a lot. It's powered by a AAA cell, and I just bring a few spares along for the day's activities. It also works if I'm on a multi-day trip, since I can always buy AAA alkalines. I've also got a newer Sansa Fuze. It has a better user interface and more memory, but the internal lithium battery has to be charged with a special USB cord, and it doesn't last for the whole day. A major annoyance.

    Once the Fuze's battery croaks, my intent is to add a small external AAA holder and switching power supply to replace the lithium battery. Maybe the same can be done for the CC Witness Plus?? The fact that there is a connector for the battery pack makes it a bit more suitable for this sort of thing. Might have to drill a small hole in the case, though, to route the wires from the external power to the internal connector.

  12. #492
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    The CC Witness Plus has a 5V DC in jack, which can both operate the unit and charge the internal battery at the same time. The LiPo pack is only 900mA, so any battery pack you build and use through the DC jack would give you far more runtime.

  13. #493

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Turtle View Post
    Got the itch for a new radio. Sony has a new little model that might just be the one, the SRF-18. Quite small, analog am/fm, stereo speakers, line-in/out, 2AA, and about $30. What's not to like?



    Geoff
    SRF-18 ... Just got one from B&H Photo ... $30 free shipping. I like it. Good battery life, sounds good. Three jacks: audio in, audio out, earphone.

    Sensitivity seems a bit below Sony's S10MK2, but selectivity is good w/no overload even from nearby stations.

  14. #494
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Good to hear you like this radio, Al. Now I'm even more tempted.

    Geoff

  15. #495

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Now that they're being built into cell phones and mp3 players I'm EDCing two at the time, one in SansaClip+ player and one in Nokia 1280 (the latter has excellent FM reception and sound quality). Grundig Yacht Boy 400 for home use and camping.

    Cheers

  16. #496
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by tam17 View Post
    Now that they're being built into cell phones and mp3 players
    But FM is the easy one, and it's all Top 40 (aka Top 7, as discussed elsewhere) anyway. AM is where it's at; I'm a huge fan of the TuneIn app though (highly recommended!), and thanks to the lousy audio quality of most MP3 players, all I'd use one for is podcasts..

  17. #497

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I recently sold the Grundig S350DL, took the proceeds and picked up a Grundig G3 on clearance sale at the shack. Love it so far, plus gaining SSB is a bonus. I also saw a G2 Reporter model there. I was surprised to see that it's even smaller than the G3, figured it would be a touch larger.

    I liked the S350DL, just wanted something with digital tuning, SSB, and could be tossed into a suitcase or backpack with no fuss.
    Last edited by Lit Up; 09-30-2012 at 11:52 PM.

  18. #498
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    But FM is the easy one, and it's all Top 40 (aka Top 7, as discussed elsewhere) anyway. AM is where it's at; I'm a huge fan of the TuneIn app though (highly recommended!), and thanks to the lousy audio quality of most MP3 players, all I'd use one for is podcasts..
    I've been sad to see so many new small radios (or other small devices with a radio in their feature set) that lack an AM band.

    For the most part I'm one who can't help but look at a small radio as a potential piece of emergency equipment, and of course, in an emergency AM has more utility hands down. When ALL of New Orleans local radio stations were knocked out in one evening in 2005 anyone without an AM radio was out of luck...for a long time.

  19. #499

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sub_Umbra View Post
    I've been sad to see so many new small radios (or other small devices with a radio in their feature set) that lack an AM band.

    For the most part I'm one who can't help but look at a small radio as a potential piece of emergency equipment, and of course, in an emergency AM has more utility hands down. When ALL of New Orleans local radio stations were knocked out in one evening in 2005 anyone without an AM radio was out of luck...for a long time.
    A long time back I was sort of getting excited about AM stereo. We had a station that broadcast using it and it appeared to be a competitor with FM stereo and they were starting to make car stereos with it but then it was just like it ran out of gas and now nobody broadcasts using it and no radios have it at all. I guess it wasn't that good I never got to even hear it. Where I live the worse power outage didn't take out hardly any of the FM stations and the better AM stations have bought out FM stations and now dual broadcast on both so I don't really need AM radio at all. I used to enjoy trying to listen to shortwave and long distance AM radio but the internet and dvd movies has my attention more. A lot of what I did when I was younger was to fill time that we had with not a lot to do which I have other things to fill it with.
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  20. #500
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    A long time back I was sort of getting excited about AM stereo.
    Because it was just a one-time investment in hardware, some of the stations that started broadcasting in AM stereo back in the day still do, check your local listings. Also, any radio that has the AM Stereo feature is a collectors item, and will be worth notably more than its original list price.

  21. #501
    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    My first post here, not sure why I haven't posted before, I've always been interested in any sort of radio, I hold a First Class Australian Amateur Licence.

    My favourite small radio is my Iphone using the Tune In Radio App. I know your going to say "that's not a radio" but it is fun to listen to local stations from the other side of the world that wouldn't be available without the internet. The only radio I have that really qualifies is an Icom T90A

    My HF setup is very basic and wouldn't be considered small, an Icom 718 running into a Icom AH4 Tuner.

    Norm

  22. #502

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Because it was just a one-time investment in hardware, some of the stations that started broadcasting in AM stereo back in the day still do, check your local listings. Also, any radio that has the AM Stereo feature is a collectors item, and will be worth notably more than its original list price.
    We only had one such station and they quit broadcasting in stereo about 5 years after the AM Stereo bit which basically makes such a feature in a radio around here worthless.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
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  23. #503
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Another hidden new item on the CCrane site; the CC Pocket:



    2xAA with AM/FM/Weather with alert, 1 Khz AM tuning, 50 memories, backlight, clock/alarm, battery/signal meter, rubber case, built-in FM antenna, 75 hours runtime on headphones/earbuds, $60.

  24. #504
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    That looks great! It's great that they went 2AA.

  25. #505

    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I almost bet they had Sangean make it.... looks similar to their 400 model. 25 hours using the speaker I guess that is with alkalines I wonder the runtime with eneloops or lithium AAs.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
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  26. #506

    Default Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm View Post
    I know your going to say "that's not a radio" but it is fun to listen to local stations from the other side of the world that wouldn't be available without the internet.
    Been listening to more BBC on the phone/portable and marantz at home. Crazy number of stations!


    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Another hidden new item on the CCrane site; the CC Pocket:.
    Just about to suggest a portable scanner with radio/weather, etc. this looks good.
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  27. #507
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    I bought a Tecsun PL398BT shortwave for $ 80.00US from Amazon a few weeks ago and so far I have been impressed given the price and size of the radio. The Tecsun PL398BT is not as sensitive as my Sony SW-77 and realistically not in the same class but the radio is packed with some nice features. Probable the most unique feature the radio offers is Bluetooth connectivity, very nice for connecting my phone and listening to music on the go. The radio also offers a ETM (Easy Tuning Mode) feature which is really nice in that the radio will scan for all the available stations in the band you are on (FM, AM and SW) and put each station found in ETM memory so you can easily scroll through the different stations without needing to manually find each station. The ETM feature works surprisingly well and saves some time especially in the SW band and only takes about two to three minutes to scan the entire SW band. The radio can run on rechargeable batteries and is capable of recharging 3 AA batteries through a mini USB port (not a micro unfortunately) on the side of radio and has a surprising good runtime but one disappoint I found with my unit is there is a background noise when plugged into AC. I only have one cheap AC adapter from an old phone and the unit doesn’t include an AC adapter so I’m not sure if it is the adapter or the radio. I should mention all of the reviews I read before buying the radio didn’t mention background noise as an issue. As you can see from the picture the radio has two small 2.5 inch speakers and for the size they sound pretty good but one has to understand they are only 2.5 inch speakers so you aren’t going to be blown away and unfortunately there is no base or treble controls on the radio. When on the FM band there is the ability to turn stereo on and if the stations are local with a strong signal the sounds is acceptable but again keep in mind the size of the speakers. Some reviews you might read will mention the unit has a MP3 player, not the case with the Bluetooth model, it is an either or option between MP3 and Bluetooth. One feature that might not appeal to some but being a camper I thought was a nice touch is the radio has a built in thermometer and will display the temperature on the display.

    Over all I don’t think I would buy this radio as a primary SW or listening to music radio, this is a portable radio for on the go and I do feel if you are looking for something to listen to all day there are better options. I do believe if you are looking for portability and would like to have external speakers for your phone or other Bluetooth capable device then you would be happy with the radio.

    Tecsun PL398BT


  28. #508
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Thanks for the review! The 398 sounds like it'd be a fun camping radio; it can find all the local stations for you, will play stereo FM for the kids, and tells the time and temp too..

  29. #509
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Because it was just a one-time investment in hardware, some of the stations that started broadcasting in AM stereo back in the day still do, check your local listings. Also, any radio that has the AM Stereo feature is a collectors item, and will be worth notably more than its original list price.
    StarHalo is correct. Some AM stations still broadcast in stereo.

    I still have one of these that is in excellent condition that I found at our little local dump, (I live very rural). I believe it was only available in Canada, Australia and of course Japan.



  30. #510
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    Default Re: Small Portable Radio's?

    Learn some electronics and build yourself a crystal radio. It runs without batteries. Perfect for emergency use.

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