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- "Grundig / Eton Satellit 750 to return as the Eton Elite 750" : It appears that the old pricey Satellit 750 will be available new again in mid 2020 as the Eton Elite 750. As far as we know there will be no changes made to the product (wobbly tuning knob and all ?). As our Satellit 750 review covers here, we still feel that the old Satellit 800 is a much better set. See
our full "Satellit
800" review here.
However this does make available again a (the only in fact) larger
portable SW set in the marketplace. The MW/SW audio quality is actually
better over the old Sat 800 (not as narrow MW/SW bandwidth in wide
setting, but of course it lacks sync detection) but not without some
nasty "bug-a-boos". Sorry, we have no plans to retest it at this time. (Jun 02)
"The Grundig / Eton Satellit 750 to return as the Eton Elite 750"
(Click on photo above for more information) (Universal Radio Photo)
- LOWE HF-250 Review
Available / NEW "LOWE HF Receivers" Groups.IO forum : Our Lowe HF-250 HF
Receiver Review available here. This
took some major work
everyone, enjoy. Review was made possible in part with help from
reader donations....."THANK YOU".
John KC0G has started a NEW "LOWE HF Receiver" Groups.io forum.
This supersedes the other "LOWE Receivers" Groups.io forum and the now
2 defunct Yahoo Groups ones (the first one of these I started back in
June 2005). John has taken the TWO "Yahoo Groups" archive messages and
condensed these into two HTML files. Also has now restored the extensive photo PDF archives. These are all readable once you are
subscribed. This indeed took many hours of HARD work to accomplish (thanks John). (Updated : May 21)
- Updated AOR AR-7030 Page : Updated the AOR AR7030 page
with what to look for in it's old age (new block added at the bottom of
the page). Also updated to the larger font size we now normally use
with new pages.(Updated : Apr 27)
- Updated Links Page : We have added new links and removed dead ones (but if you still see one please let me know). enjoy...(Apr 24)
One of the new links added (video) :
"Blondie In The Dough" Number 21 (October 1947) -
Check out 23:53 into this video (from the old 1940’s Blondie movie
series). Listen for the “What’s Shortwave daddy” ? (great
answer). Dagwood and his pirate radio station (watch the entire 69
- "Sangean ATS-909X" Review Restored : Our Sangean ATS-909X review has been restored and can be seen here.
NOTE : Test sample review was done with a earlier production unit
(before the P-01 firmware and other hardware changes). So comparisons
with a late sample may not be valid. If anyone wishes to DONATE a
UNMODIFIED test sample with the P-01 firmware we will fully retest it.
Downright poor near unacceptable broadcast audio MW and SW quality in
our view. (Apr 23)
"Sangean ATS-909X" Review Restored (N9EWO Photo)
- "Radio's That Never
Were" : Page
devoted to Receivers and Amateur Transceivers that never made it to the
marketplace. If you have something to contribute here (with at least
one photo or photo link), please send a email to the usual address at
the top of this page. Additions will be added as needed. Many thanks. (Updated : Mar 31)
The decent "AFEDRI SDR
NET" Software Defined receiver.
Rev. 3.0 tested (located
on the bottom of the SDRPlay RSP1A Review Page) (N9EWO Photo)
new (REV 1.0) "LAN-IQ SDR" is a STANDALONE version of the AFEDRI SDR
Features a LCD Touch Screen and only available in the full 30 khz to
Mhz version. A mechanical encoder "tuning
knob" option is available.The encoder option adds $ 15. USD to the cost
and NO product warranty for the 1 normal year which is very strange. See this page for more information. Here is a excellent "Fenu Radio" video worth watching.
Price is $ 339. USD plus shipping from Israel. Has no internal speaker
or battery. Current requirement is a hefty 850 ma maximum. Click here for a "Fenu Radio" comparasion video between it the generally not available Russian Malahit DSP. We have not tested either one of these.
Blast from the Past " : N9EWO's
first short wave listening experience was with a J.C.
Penney (Penncrest) "model number 1996" from around 1972 or so. This is
a Solid State 12-Transistor 4 Band portable which was manufactured in
Japan by Matsushita
Electric (Panasonic) from around the very late 60's ? I remember it
used silicon transistors (not noisy germanium's).
Single conversion superheterodyne design that featured a fine tune
control (second knob in from the right), and a small tuning meter.
Frequency coverage was (approx.) - FM: 87 - 108 MHz , MW (AM):
520 - 1605 kHz , SW1: 1.6 - 4.5 MHz , SW2: 5.9 - 18 MHz. Lacked
coverage of the "Tropical Band". Single tone control and sounded pretty
good with a large internal speaker. Operation was with 4 D size
batteries. Never owned one of these myself , I borrowed a sample for
time. But many great memories were experienced with this radio (as
anyone's first SW receiver will). Our first "owned" short wave receiver
was the Drake SSR1 in mid 1977 (manufactured by Seiwa in Japan). (Mar
Penney (Penncrest) "model number 1996" from the late 1960's ? (N9EWO Photo Edit)
- AOR AR5700D FCC OET Cleared - Issues / AOR AR-DV1 USB Port Faliures / AOR's Web Page "FAKE NEWS" Post : Brian Robinson in
the UK returned his BRAND NEW AOR AR5700D in which the DALL function
was not working / constantly crashed the radio and the sample was sent
back to AOR Japan. Lets hope that AOR fixes this one PRONTO (that is IF it's
truly a valid bug). PLEASE NOTE :
The AOR AR-DV1 has NOT been
available for sale in the USA since JUNE~JULY 2019
(so what's up with
that....major bugs or parts unavailability here ?). Are the now widely
reported USB port failures part of the reason why ? (Updated : May 21)
- AOR AR5700D : (Brian Robinson)....update March
mine is on its second trip to AOR in Japan .I bought the radio in Jan
of this year used it for 3 days found that DALL was not working and the
radio kept crashing .It was sent back to Japan and I received it back
on the 19th of March it was very clear since they have changed the
firmware DALL no longer works but now DMR is very hit and miss on
listening to clear DMR transmissions .Anyway its heading back to Japan
again its very clear to me that the radio has many bugs they require
sorting out I would love to compare the radio they used for this review
with mine . So far I have not found any other owner of a 5700D to
compare performance with as it could be that I was unlucky to get a
duff one or are they all duff only time will tell .Within 24 hours of
receiving the repaired radio from japan it was reboxed and it was on
its way to Japan yet again ."
- AOR AR-DV1 "USB Port Failures" : (Jeff
Ashby) ...update May 21, 2020......."Be aware! Here are Serial Numbers
of AR-DV1's I know of from an apparently faulty batch re. USB Ports
failing. This is a hardware issue, not related to USB Cables, Windows
or Drivers. In three of the cases the Ports worked for a very short
time before they failed. In one it was present from the beginning."
"There are in fact 4 units with the same problem I am aware of in the
last 2 weeks. Must be an issue with a recent batch from AOR. Very
disappointing. Earlier batches are OK. At this time the cause is
unknown. It may be electronic, or the USB Port being connected badly,
and possibly not glued to the PCB as it should be. I believe all were
purchased in the U.K. IF you have bought a DV1 recently you would be
well advised to check its Serial Number. IF it may be within the same
batch then unless you check its USB Port works with suitable software,
testing for at least a couple of days, including unplugging and
plugging in a USB Plug several times, you may not find out about the
fault whilst the Radio is under guarantee."
The AOR AR5700D Wide Band Receiver.
Here is very interesting post AOR Japan
released on March 4th, 2020 (pasted below) : Too bad as it
appears the AR-DV10 will continue to be a non marketable radio product
just continues to flat out deny ANY of the AR-DV10's issues with
excessive drifting and other bugs as reported "en masse" elsewhere from actual
owners and personal friends (firmware updates not helping the cause) !
CAUTION REGARDING FAKE NEWS!"
"AOR Ltd. would like to raise your
attention regarding an alarming increase of fake news regarding its
products, circulating on radio related forums, social media groups such
as on Facebook, and on fake AOR websites."
"The most recent fake news claims
that a new AR-DV10 "MK2" version would be released this year. That is
totally false. As a general rule and for the sake of common sense, we
ask our dearest and honest customers never to trust rumours circulating
on Internet. The only sources of information to be trusted regarding
AOR products are www.aorja.com and the websites of our network of
official AOR distributors as listed on
AOR may call “Dave’s
Radio Receiver” page as one of the FAKE
websites they make comment to (and so be it) ! This is one of the main
reasons why I started this web page in 1998 (archive page here) , was
with the nasty AOR AR7030 issues (my review and comments here).
The failure of the 2 front panel Bourns mechanical encoders in early
samples which AOR UK flat out denied was never an issue (but in reality
both failed in most of the early samples with only after mild use).
They “finally” switched to
Alps encoders with those 2 encoders after awhile. At least back in
those days AOR UK was very responsive to customers questions and
concerns (and fixing issues). From our own experiences of late AOR Ltd.
(Japan) no longer
replies to customer questions/concern emails much at all (if at all).
TO AOR : AOR if you wish to DONATE
a AR-DV10 sample for a extended review, I will give it a TOTALLY fair and honest report here. Just as I
have done with the AOR AR-DV1 (review here)
and with the ICOM
IC-R30 (review here).
Please contact me at my email address at the top of this webpage (I'm
located in the USA) ! Sorry, I no longer write reviews with
test samples on a "loaner" basis (I require proper compensation for my time /
hard work doing reviews with
radios I "normally" care not to actually own/purchase).
- New "Groups io" for the
many of you already know "Yahoo Groups" no longer hosts ANY previously
posted data or uploaded files after
December 15th (all file content is now GONE). Rex Lester
started a new "Groups io" list for the Kenwood
/ Trio R-1000 receiver
on Nov 30th. So if you have a great Kenwood / Trio R-1000
receiver please subscribe (even post something) and lets help Rex to
get the ball rolling. Also our full R-1000
review can still be found here. (Updated : Dec 17)
- Updated Icom IC-7300
:"When the Rose is Not a Rose" : We have coved this topic
already, but the receive audio that irks from Icom's IC-7300
transceiver is not so great for MW / SWL broadcast listening (AM Mode
10 kHz bandwidth). It's just too flat sounding to ME. No amount of
fiddling with the tone controls in the menu or using various external
speakers helps this. I have stressed this point a bit more in the
latest review update along with added text. For Amateur Radio use (what
it was made for) is of little concern for most. However this has become
a real deal breaker for ME as I'm more of a SWL then a Ham. (Updated :
- "Updated" SDRplay
RSP1A Review : With
the help of reader donations we were able acquire a late production
test sample of the SDRplay RSP1A.
This is test sample number two (first
one was only borrowed for short time). SDRuno program is a winner (we
tested the older 1.22 version).
*** SDRplay RSP1A
UPDATES *** (as of May 22, 2020) :
- New 1.4 verson of SDRuno (release candidate 1)
came out on May 19, 2020 . New (Beta) Version 3.07 of the API/HW is
also included in this SDR Uno version 1.4 RC1. The version 3.07 API/HW
will NOT work with earlier versions of SDR UNO. IMPORTANT NOTE : You
also CANNOT have 3.06 and 3.07 co-exist on the same PC (not
tested).WARNING : As of this text being typed API/HW 3.07 does NOT work
with other SDR programs. So HDSDR and SoDiRa etc. will no longer
function. As indicated you are not able to have 2 versions of the
API/HW driver loaded on a PC (cannot co-exist). We have tested the version 1.4 RC1 and must say it is much improved over the old 1.22 we were using. .
- New Preview
32 of SoDiRa was released on May 08, 2020. Important Note :
Via user reports, 3.03 API/HW and above (driver) does NOT work with SoDiRa
(untested). Requires EXTIO to be added in it's directory.
08.05.2020: Version 0.100.32
- SpyServer manager added
- DRM30 improved
- Limiter, Compander added
- Receiver tuning border and offset added
- Tuning window audio level and mute added
- Bug fixing
- "Icom IC-R8600" N9EWO
Information : Our "version
12.2" ICOM IC-R8600 "Wide Band" Receiver Review (click here).
Includes testing of the SP-39AD Power
Supply / External Speaker and added mode information including NXDN
stuff (also 1.34 firmware updates). PDF version (link) for our improved
spectrum scope adjustments restored (near bottom of it's page). (Updated
: Apr 10, 2020)
MAC Address item is added in the Set
•The File Split function that can record
the received audio, depending on the squelch open or closed status, is
•The Noise Reduction function is improved.
•Fixed an issue where the RX audio level
may change when the bass level is increased.
We have tested the
latest v1.34 firmware, some major
performance changes we noted (see light blue block below) :
IMPORTANT UPDATE :
After additional testing 1.34 firmware audio distortion is NOT as good
as 1.32. We say stay with 1.32 if you want the lowest audio distortion.
If the AGC Audio Swamping bothers you and desire better NR performance
(noise reduction) then use the new 1.34. Many may never
hear this distortion depending on the external speaker used ! Remember
use 2 way speakers with our IC-R8600 (see review text) !
IC-R8600 TESTING with FIRMWARE 1.34 (April 19, 2019)
improved in a number of area’s. Some of the fixes were undocumented in
the 1.34 update notes.
- First the NR (noise reduction) has been improved. Going above
#2 setting sounds no more like“R2D2”. NR is now a useful feature
whereas before it was a utter disappointment. It now operates similar
to the IC-7300’s NR performance.
- The “AGC swamping bug“(that I call it) issue when tuning across
super strong signals or strong static bursts has now been fixed with
1.34. Excellent news here and appears to have also improved weak signal
Only downside is while zipping through mediumwave and shortwave MEMORY
CHANNELS or VFO, we now hear a disconcerting “pop” sometimes when we
land on a active strong channel ,(this is quite annoying after awhile
to our ears, it may not bother YOU).IMPORTANT : The
SYNC (S-AM) MUST be ON in order for this bug to be detected !
- I detect a slight added Bass kick with broadcast stations that
have it (most noticed on the FM Broadcast band) with our classic
Realistic Minimus 77 speaker. Yes we do indeed set the “Bass” tone
setting up to maximum (+ 15) on AM/FM and SSB modes.
- After extensive testing, HF audio distortion while slightly
better than 1.33, was still the best with 1.32. So if you want the
lowest audio distortion on the HF bands..we say go with 1.32
even with the AGC swamping still present.
NOTE : These observations were made using SW Broadcasts, S-AM (U or L)
10 kHz (maximum) bandwidth with the "2 Way" Realistic Minimus 77 test
Icom IC-R8600 "Wish List" : Here again
is my firmware improvement list that we would like to see added (as
doubtful any of this will ever happen) :
- Provide a "second" VFO.
(Remote Encoder Knob)
operate with the IC-R8600 totally standalone (without ANY computer
connection as like with the IC-7610). I would understand an additional
interface box and or cable / accessory may be required for connection
to the receiver.
- Allow 1 Hz tuning steps with the
knob (now this is only accessible with direct keyboard entry or
computer / CI-V control). The IC-7300 HF transceiver can tune 1 Hz
steps with the tuning knob.
- Improve the
"Synchrophase" (Sync) Detector fading distortion performance.
Provide Wider Bandwidth Selections :
- Increase AM Mode bandwidth up to
12 kHz (or better yet 16 kHz). For MUCH improved audio with good band
Increase SSB Mode Bandwidths up to 6 kHz (or better yet 8 kHz). This
would improve manual ECSS audio by leaps and bounds.
Icom released v1.34 firmware for the
IC-R8600 receiver on Apr 19, 2019
We found it to be a mixed bag, see light blue block above. (N9EWO
- NEW Updated Sangean DAR-101
Review : Our "Sangean DAR-101 MP3
Digital Audio Recorder" review
has been totally updated. First test sample failed in October 2018 and
have now received a latest production replacement unit with new
findings and well as few new pictures as well. Mostly good news for
this standalone digital audio recorder
(improvements), but a couple of new gremlins have appeared as well
(nothing that serious). UPDATED :
Internal photos added and can be found near the bottom of it's review
page (our thanks to Mike P. for sending those) (Updated : Mar 29, 2019)
DAR-101 "Stand Alone" MP3 Digital Audio Recorder.
Click on photo for
latest updated review. (N9EWO
- HF RFI Generator - "Electronic
Defrost Timer" : We recently had a defrost timer replaced
in a near 20 year old refrigerator. The mechanical one that was in it
by the Supco model UET120
which is of a solid state design. It creates some pretty nasty SW/HF
interference with it's internal switching power supply (as I was afraid
of). But it could have been worse. It’s RF noise in my situation (and
is at a pretty major level) is between
2200 and 4000 kHz. It drops off greatly after that with only a
very low level spur or harmonics above up to around 20 MHz.
Thomas Witherspoon of "The SWLing post.com"
reports to me that between his refrigerator and freezer are the 2 worst
HF RFI generators in his house. It appears that all new refrigerators /
freezers are using these "el-cheapo" Chinese solid state "Defrost"
timers now. These might seem more robust, but as I read around the
internet they are not. Guessing are more prone to failure from
spikes/power line surges ? Yeah, the new DX catch....the neighbors refrigerator.
Thank goodness I still have the MFJ-1026
device at HQ in case it gets too bad, but that is pain to have to
deal with. (Updated : Feb
Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame: Grundig Satellit 650 Radio”
Indeed, many are not aware of the real information
with the Satellit 600/650. As the article above did point out Max
Grundig sold out to Philips in 1984. The “old” Grundig had absolutely nothing
with the Satellit 600 or 650 (ditto for all models after including the
Sat 700). Yes, they were designed by Philips and manufactured in a
plant in Portugal.
The last “REAL” Grundig designed and German manufactured LARGE SW
portable was the Satellit 3400
(and the Professional Satellit 3400) to 1984.
My "RF Engineer" friend Pete
Gianakopoulos KE9OA who has worked on many
of the real Grundig “German “classics including the Satellit 3400, was
not even that crazy about that model.
“The 3400 was a cheap "dumbed
down" version of the classic wooden case models and nowhere near the
tone quality. A low cost drum bandswitch was used. Gone was the ceramic
turret bandswitch with silver plated contacts. Of course, not to
mention the poor FM performance, even though there was a separate board
for the FM band. Let's not forget the cheap mechanical construction,
with lots of play in all of the switches. Additionally with the older
designs used a ground plane on the I.F./demodulator board. No more high
Q coils in the I.F. strip with the Sat 3400. OK, the Satellit 3400 did
have digital readout!. To add insult to injury, when the back is
removed, the cabinet has all kinds of mechanical flex. I have seen
ghetto blasters that had stronger construction than this radio.”
Of course the much later Satellit 800
was designed by R.L. Drake in the USA, and manufactured by Tecsun in
China. In our view the
Grundig name on the front means nothing. Worked well enough with decent
Sync Detection and RF performance, but no
classic Grundig audio quality with the deep bass either (see
our full "Satellit
800" review review here).
(Updated : Jan 22, 2019)
FT-70D Notes : A few notes from our Yaesu FT-70DR "Fusion" test sample
hand held transceiver (sorry we are not planning a lengthy review on
Very resonable price.
- Operates well enough all around
with plenty of decent undistorted receive audio.
"Yahoo Groups" have reported a number of receive failures (not just one
or two), the internal speaker fails but still works with
speaker mic OK.
- Internal microphone
sensitivity between analog and fusion
transmit audio is still far apart and Yaesu should consider separate TX
level adjustments for digital and analog, otherwise TX punch is good.
- Very good ergonomics
and very easy to see LCD display and
- Many may not prefer the
electronic volume control, but works well. (The FT3DR has a
top mounted dedicated volume control)
- No extended receive above
579.995 MHz (nor MW or FM broadcast).
- Receive coverage
lacks SW broadcast (which the FT3DR has, AM
- The biggest "Bug-A-Boo" with the FT-70DR
involves "stand by"
current when off. Many Chinese handhelds suffer from this bug and the
Japanese made Yaesu FT-70D is nasty BAD here as well in our testing.
It's receive current consumption in regular operation is OK provided
it's RX LED's off and battery saver is in use (however the FT-3DR fares
MUCH better overall here as shown in the
specifications). ONLY way around the excessive "stand by
is to totally remove the battery when not in use (a royal pain in the
rump !). Yes, this is even after the recommended firmware update !
- Cabinet is on the
"chubby wide" side. For anyone with small
hands you know what I mean. Not easily placed in ones shirt pocket
either (unless you are a lumberjack).
- Included plastic
antenna continues the Yaesu tradition here
(that is a bit on the "ugly-thugly"
side and only so-so performance).
The Yaesu FT-70DR "Fusion" Dual Band Handheld. (Universal Radio Photo)
Attractive price these days but in our view one should
consider the FT3DR model instead
(see text above).