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***** Dave's Favorite Links / Archives *****


25th anniversary : "Dave's Radio Receiver Page"

In late 1998 we started this web page (first Internet Archive here from Jan 1999) to provide important unbiased information in regards to the ever growing issues with the AOR AR7030 receiver. First major flaw was with the two Bourns mechanical "volume and < >" encoders and AOR UK saying there were not many failures at all. Of course that was NOT the truth, most (if not all) early samples feature encoders failed in only months of use (turned out they received a bad lot of these). In time they did FINALLY did switch to better quality alps encoders after the ever growing list of unhappy customers as posted around the internet and of course as covered here.

We continued to add views and comments with other "ShortWave" receivers (portables and tabletop) from my own experiences and also just general receiver / radio news. In the summer of 1999 we became part of the "Passport To World Band Radio's" testing team until it's demise in 2009. Independently we continued on with this web page (as well after PWBR's passing).

Of course over the years the number of Short Wave broadcast have greatly decreased and so have new SW receivers in the marketplace. However information with classic sets has now become more important than ever.

Please see the donations page for the fantastic readers who have made it possible.       

Hope over the last "25 Years" we have been and still are a valuable reference for truthful "short wave" receiver / HF transceiver information and NOT being biased or restricted by manufactures. "Thank You" for visiting this web page over the years.

Dave N9EWO

PLEASE NOTE : This "news" page is subject to frequent changes and updates (without notice).
NEW or updated entires are NOT necessarily moved to the top of the page or section.



- UPDATED : Icom IC-R8600 Ver 15.4 "Wide Band Communications Receiver". We took another hard look at the IC-R8600's so-called "Synchronous Detector" and have did a reversal view with it's performance. Is about near equal to the lousy IC-R9500's Sync (our review on the IC-R9500 here) ! At first we felt it was improved, but after a few years of ownership the final word is it's NOT to our ears. Also corrected the round EIAJ DC plug information. This was wrong in previous versions of the review but has now been corrected. March 2021 service manual addendum (changes and 2nd production run for the USA 02 cell blocked version). Also added USB port connection warning. (Updated : Nov 03, 2023, added another LCD failure report and text / link. Updated or removed bad links.).

- UPDATED : AOR AR-DV1 "Digital Voice Receiver". Updated review page / removed dead links. Also added Wayne Taylor's FREE "Windows" program link. Appears the AR-DV1 is back in production and hopefully without the "Dead on Arrival" USB port failures that plagued it for a few YEARS ! (Oct 30, 2023)

- UPDATED : Icom IC-R9500 Wide Band DSP Receiver. Updated the Icom IC-R9500 page to cover it's now being discontinued in the USA. Also some text updates and corrections. (Sep 27, 2023)

- REVIEW : (JRC) Japan Radio Co. NRD-525 HF Receiver Added review on the classic JRC NRD-525 table top receiver. "Thank You" to Craig M, who made this review possible. (Updated : Sep 19, 2023 , EPROM update , typo corrections and added / updated IF filters information)

- REVIEW : Malachite - Malahit DSP2 Russian Standalone DSP - SDR  Added review on the now discontinued DSP2. This is located near the bottom of page. Update : Added Chart (located near bottom of it's page)  "N9EWO's Best ORIGINAL Russian DSP-1 and DSP-2 Settings." (outdoor antennas). For what these SDR receivers are, work very well indeed.  Will still say best to avoid the Chinese knock offs, but don't have much choice now. NOTE : We have NOT tested any of later versions of the clones. (Updated : Oct 02, 2023. Added entry in DSP2 PRO section, updated chart on bottom of page)

- REVIEWS : Tecsun PL-330 and DigiTech AR1780 / DESHIBO RD1780 SSB FM Stereo / LW / MW / SW DSP Receivers. Our Tecsun PL-330 and DigiTech AR1780 / DESHIBO RD1780 portable reviews. Our thanks to Dean B. who made these reviews possible. Have added the CCrane Skywave review on the bottom of this page for easier access (is also located on the Misc. page). UPDATES : Added additional CON and text with the AR1780 regarding stand by current that was missed in the original draft. It also appears that the AR1780 has been discontinued, but some new samples remain as I type this. However is still available as the DESHIBO RD1780 variant on ebay (via China) at a lower price. (Updated : Sep 03, 2023)

- REVIEW : "Belka - DX" Direct Conversion DSP Micro HF Receiver  Added review on the Belka-DX ultra tiny HF receiver. "Thank You" to Hal H. who made this review possible. (Aug 17, 2023)

- REVIEW : eton E5 LW / MW / SW / FM PLL Receiver  Added review on the eton E5 compact portable from the mid 2000's. (Aug 06, 2023)

- REVIEW : Radio Shack DX-390 / Sangean ATS-818 Receiver. Radio Shack DX-390 / Sangean  ATS-818 receiver review added (first one on top of page). (Aug 02, 2023)

- UPDATED : Tecsun PL-660 Receiver. Updated the Tecsun PL-660 review with additional notes and added links. (Aug 02, 2023)

- REVIEWS OT "Task Chairs" (Mid Back) (updated) : "BodyBilt" J752 ESD / Global T9F695506 / Eurotech 4x4LE-LM59802A / Lemberi AB-EOC01. We are STILL as of late October 2023 in the search to replace the $ 80. Lemberi Amazon cheapie shack chair (which is now almost unsafe to sit in). Ones I cover on the web page are still in the running but now leaning towards a high back type with a headrest. (Updated : Oct 20, 2023)

New discoveries / observations (Updated) :

- "Padded (Bonded) Leather Chair in Fashion Gray". This high back I have not seen elsewhere. Bonded leather and has one seam in the seat. Being Bonded leather any possible seam pain hopefully will not a issue being that this covering is normally pretty soft ? Appears not to have a excessive tilt to the back or overkill lumbar. Has a important waterfall seat. Available in gray only. Assembly instructions show its back is also attached by a center bracket so it's NOT just being supported by the arms (which is very common with low priced Chinese chairs).

- Global T9F695506 24 Hour Mid Back vinyl chair we have covered on the review page has finally become available again for immediate shipping. Has been back ordered for a good part of 2023. Nicely priced for how many adjustments it has. Ditto for the leather mid back Global T9F506795, also now back in stock (near same price).

Global T9F695506 24 Hour Mid Back vinyl chair
(under $ 250., USD, now back in stock)

- A better grade high back chair made by Office Master (model PT79 Paramount High Back) that while not low cost is more reasonably priced then the Neutral Posture NPS8600-H1 below.  Has options that include a heavy duty cylinder and large number of armrests. HC (health care) Vinyl option as a reasonable $ 26.00 add on cost. Many vinyl color options here including cool orange (called Fame). Memory foam looks to be another very worthwhile option. Sadly has no headrest option which is a real drawback in our view.

- Office Master model PA58 Patroit Mid Back has the same options as the PT79 high back above (including HC vinyl and memory foam). This brings the cost down but still giving a more quality chair (well we hope it is anyway). However it does not have a headrest option.

- Moderately priced NEUTRAL POSTURE NPS8600 high back that meets my criteria perfect. It can be ordered in a better grade vinyl or Ultra Leather (which is a premium grade vinyl) and the all important headrest is available as an option. But is way out of my (and most others) affordable price bracket.

- BodyBIlt  GX-4 and GX-7 Gaming chairs. These both have headrests and meet my requirements for the most part except has seams in the seat (good that it uses Ultra leather). The GX-4 is basically the same chair as the GX-7 except for a bit wider seat. Pricing just tad under $ 1000. USD, shipped USA and for a BodyBilt chair that is pretty cheap. One review I seen indicated the seat lacks proper padding ? But after our extremely sour first hand experiences with this company (see our BodyBilt chair review here)...I don't think so anyway. Gaming chairs that I have sat in have a HARD and very uncomfortable / unacceptable seat !

- REVIEW : ATS-25 / ATS25 - LW / MW / SW / FM DSP Receiver. Our ATS-25 receiver review includes the FREE 4.0  Bernard Binns firmware and PAID 4.11 version testing which includes synchronous detection. Dead link to FREE 4.0 version now fixed / updated. See July 2023 QST magazine (pages 39 to 41) for a alternative review.  (Updated : Jul 15, 2023)

- REVIEWS : Grundig S350 / Tecsun BCL-2000 / Degen DE1101 / Kaito KA1101 MW / SW / FM Receivers. Reviews on a couple of older portable SW receivers. The Degen DE1101 / Kaito KA1101 we feel was one of the best little sets they ever produced (even if lacking SSB). (DE1101 / KA1101 Text Updated : Jun 27, 2023)

- UPDATED : "Yaesu VR-5000 Wide Band Receiver".  Updated links for the excellent FTBVR5K "Memory Management" programming software for the Yaesu VR-5000 receiver. Yes, a MUCH better way to program the memory channels including the alpha information. Now Freeware. Entire page also updated along with a few other corrections. Sorry we no longer have a VR-5000 at HQ.

The real stinker with any VR-5000 these days is the common failure of it’s LCD. But we now see a replacement LCD being sold on eBay over the last months . It takes way above average soldering skills / equipment and is a bit too large along with giving quirky / sluggish operation. But at least keeps it from becoming a paperweight for those skilled to install it.
(Jul 02, 2023).
- UPDATED : "Radio's That Never Were".  Two new entries at the dead bottom of page (AOR AR7400 Air Band Receiver (Palstar R30B HF Receiver ?) (Jun 17, 2023).

- REVIEW - FRG-100 Tabletop HF Receiver  Our review of the Yaesu FRG-100 posted. We have now added a MP3 audio file as recorded off the FRG-100 after the 12 KHz filter and audio modifications. Once again this review was made possible in part by Dean B. (Updated : May 03, 2023)

- REVIEW - FT-991A Tabletop DSP HF / UHF / UHF All Mode Transceiver  Our review of the Yaesu FT-991A posted (as a MW / SWL broadcast receiver). Excessive internal fan noise ruins the pudding once again (just as with the FT-450D) ! Too bad as it performs decently, but no cigar here in my view. But if YOU don't mind the very annoying fan noise in receive ONLY operation and it's poky MAIN tuning knob maximum speed, then it's a most worthy SWL receiver. (Apr 12, 2023)

- REVIEW - Lian Long LLA2000R Regulated Power Supply. This is one TURKEY of a power supply with any MW / SW receiver. STAY AWAY ! Our review is located on the bottom of our MW122A power supply review page. The LLA2000R uses a very RF noisy switching regulator. The RF quiet 100% linear MW122a appears to have been discontinued (via Philmore) ? But if in the USA we have located ONE dealer that APPARENTLY has remaining MW122A stock left (Arcade Electronics) or try ebay. (Updated : Apr 02, 2023)

- Sangean ATS-808 / Realistic DX-380 / Siemens RK661 "Anti-Chuff" Modification (PDF File). There is no proper information on the internet for the "Anti-Chuff" modification for these models, so we developed this PDF file. WARNING : It's 2 surface mounted resistors that need to be removed. This information also added on the "Tips" page. (Mar 15, 2023)

- UPDATED : Grundig - eton "G2 Reporter" MW / SW / FM Receiver - MP3 / WAV Recorder-Player. We tested a 3rd "G2 Reporter" sample with later firmware and still experienced dropouts with the MP3 player (see updated text). (Feb 17, 2023)

- UPDATED : Grundig "Satellit 800"  / Tecsun "HAM-2000" - Chronic Dirty Antenna Switches ! We were finally forced to tackle this extremely common issue with the Grundig Sat 800 / Tecsun HAM-2000 receiver. Might seem like an easy task, but not so easy afterall (see updated review / added photo). (Feb 05, 2023)

- UPDATED : Sangean ATS-909X2 page. Firmware change log updated (hardware / firmware change to reflect the new LCD). Information as received direct from Sangean America. (Oct 12, 2022)

- UPDATED : Sony CRF-1 review. Our Sony CRF-1 review has been completely updated as we tested a second sample. Additional text / tips and new photos. (Aug 29, 2022)

- UPDATED : Tecsun PL-880 / Tecsun PL-660 / Tecsun PL-680 Review Text. Review text reformatted (also PRO and CON now in a list).(Updated : Jul 09, 2022)

- REVIEW : ICOM IC-R71 Tabletop HF Receiver. Located on the bottom of our IC-R75 information / review page, we have added a ICOM IC-R71A mini review and links. (Mar 26, 2022)

- REVIEW : Burkhard - Reuter RDR55E Tabletop SDR HF Receiver. Reuter RDR55E Tabletop SDR HF Receiver guest review is now available. Our thanks to Dean Bianco. (Mar 19, 2022)

- REVIEW : TenTec RX-320 / RX-321 Reviews.  Ten Tec (Globe Wireless) RX-320 / RX-321 reviews. Be sure and see the Sherwood distortion lab number link on the bottom of the review page as well. The overall RF performance with the professional RX-321 is greatly improved over the consumer RX-320 model. (Updated : Mar 19, 2022)

- REVIEW : Icom IC-7300 Wide Band Receiver (Updated).
- Added N9EWO comments with the Windows IC-7300 Memory Manager Program (Free Lite Version) with test sample 2 (using Windows 7).
- Added a IC-7300 vs. IC-R8600 SWL comparison list (near the bottom).
-"TIP" in regards to it's well known tight microphone connector and a internal photo of the tested SM-6 desk microphone.
- New information on the new ST-4003W "ICOM Time Adjustment Software".
- Updated "When the Rose is Not a Rose" (Sour Audio Quality for Broadcast Listening).
- Added the LCD "white line(s)" syndrome that MANY old and new samples are now suffering from (also see the news section below for more information on this).
- Added new text : "So Are You Are Having Limited SSB RF Output ?" (important discovery by Wayne W1QC, plus my additional finding here).
- Added new text in regards to USB cable use (if inserted when powered ON can cause internal port damage to transceiver.) (Updated : Jan 12, 2022)

- ADDED Selected Sherwood Engineering lab numbers and reports (PDF files). Posted with permission by Rob Sherwood (NC0B) (Updated : May 02, 2023 FRG-100 added)

- REVIEW : LOWE HF-250 HF Receiver (updated) Added REQUIRED electrolytic capacitor replacement section (in yellow block at the bottom of the review page). Actually this important information is valid for ALL Lowe receivers ever manufactured (HF- 225, HF-235 etc.). Bean counters making use of unrated voltage capacitors ! So if you own a Lowe set and have never replaced these capacitors....DO IT NOW ! (Updated : Sep 10, 2022)

*****  NEWS ITEMS and LINKS   *****

- Clone D225 and W225 option boards for Lowe HF-225 Receiver. Information via "Lowe Groups.io" forum : Francesco Caizzi in Italy is offering replicas of the AM Synch D-225 and the W-225 external whip options cards on ebay as I type this entry. Also is offering a Keypad K-225 clone. YES, he will ship to the USA ! IMPORTANT NOTE - WARNING : The D225 and W225 cloned cards will NOT work with the HF-250 or HF-250E models ! (Nov 06, 2023)

- Degen DE1131 "Closeout" ? : Chuck Ermatinger (who we must thank for his continuing support of this webpage) checks in with information that Kaito Electronics in the USA that are selling the Degen DE1131 for $ 19.99 as I make this entry. Of course any radios with the Degen name have not been manufactured for a number of years now (which was / is connected with Tecsun), so will the included BL-5C battery be near end of life out as of the box ? These are available on Amazon or Kaito Electronics direct (until gone ?). Here it is currently on AliExpress for over $ 65. USD. For more information on these pocket Degen receivers over the years (that also have MP3 playback and built in of air recording), please see my web page here. A mixed bag these have been. We still enjoy a DE1126 here at HQ that does not suffer from bad QC or firmware bugs (which were both common nasties with many samples). (Updated : Nov 14, 2023)

We thank Chuck's for his Degen DE1131 comments below. Appears to be a "FUN" $ 20. USD pocket set with off air recording and MP3 playback (but not at $ 60. or 70. in our view) :

"Overall, after one day with it, I'll say that I'm adding it to my Degen/Kaito arsenal for keeps. The receive is acceptable - not quite rating at "spectacular", but it's a fine program listening radio with adequate sensitivity. I am getting my lower power FM stations as well as the barnburners. MW is also good enough for quite a bit of nighttime DXing. SW seems to be as good as other Degen compact recordables like the DE1125, which is another of my favorites."

"That said, the negative comments in the Amazon reviews of the DE1131 are all accurate, except that I can't yet report on the slide control, I have yet to try that out. My early tinkering was interrupted by the volume level having a mind of its own; pressing DOWN caused the volume to raise, and vice versa. A bit unnerving if it's 2AM and neighbors are just on the other side of the wall (use of earbuds/phones will alleviate this worry). Also, at one point the entire unit locked up and I had to remove the battery (no reset button provided!) Since all this, the radio seems to have settled down quite a bit, except that the volume level still sometimes plays at the wrong level."

"I will say here that the touch buttons are responsive to my quick taps. Again, I'm anxious to try out the slide control; my feeling is that it just needs to be used at a certain fixed rate of motion and touch. One thing you have to remember is that when the backlight times out, the unit goes into LOCK, and the side-mounted LOCK button (a real button) has to be pressed to reactivate the touch panel. I would have liked the option to disable the auto-lock when desired."

"Recording! Ahhh yes, recording. My first two radio recordings went very well. Again, you have to hit the LOCK button to activate the controls to enable and end recording. In practice, not a big deal, though this makes precise cuing slightly difficult. The radio recording feature puts the DE1131 right in the Star Trek class of devices IMHO."

"It's important (when considering the DE1131's negative points) to remember that all Degen/Kaito radio/recorders have their little quirks. I'm going to have a LOT of fun with this device. I like that it has a bit of size to it. And I like using BL-5C batteries and the form factors they make possible in devices."

"Overall, at the $19.95 price I paid for this radio, I'm extremely pleased."

"I was initially put off by what seemed to be an uncontrollable autoscan tuning function. The radio was scanning fine after a long press of the UP or DOWN button (touch key). But it seemed impossible to stop the scanning. Upon trial and error I found that to stop scanning, you press and hold the UP or DOWN button. A big relief. It just takes a little practice to arrive at the desired frequency. Also, regarding the slide control, it seemed nearly impossible to control at first, but I seem to be getting better at it with practice. When you're using slide for tuning, just accept that the increments will be small. I like to use all tuning methods in conjunction with each other to get around the bands."

"I forgot to mention audio quality. The DE1131's built-in speaker sounds fine to me. At times (also with headphones) I would like a touch more treble, but on MW and SW this would've let in more noise."

"After two days of use, I've had a few freezes, but except for that first time, I haven't had to remove the battery to regain control. Mostly I've been able to power off and back on to normalize operation. I will say that I would've paid $60 for this radio, but I do admit that I'm a Degen/Kaito fanboy."

- "ATS25 Max Decoder" - The latest (and mostly unavailable) Binns firmware for the ATS25 "el-cheapo" receiver is 4.16. Now includes some decoding functions (CW, RTTY, FT8, FT4) . We see a ebay listing that is supposed to include that firmware and the wi-fi antenna (another ebay listing here). Also on Amazon here. Price a bit more than normal. Sorry, we have not tested this latest version ATS25 Max Decoder with Binns 4.16 firmware. Here is a video (in Russian, just use English subtitling). WARNING : There are MANY ATS25 samples STILL being sold on ebay and Amazon that have the unacceptable original firmware installed. See our ATS25 review page for more information. (Oct 03, 2023)

"ATS25 Max Decoder" with Binns 4.16 Firmware.
The ATS25's use a very annoying CLACKY (detents) encoder !

- "Fenu-Radio websites (reviews) are off line until further notice". Fernando has removed ALL of his receiver reviews-content on his excellent website at this time. Unknown if this will be a permanent decision ? One can access the Internet Archive "Wayback Machine" here to see older content. Also he has removed most (but not quite all) of his 'You Tube" videos as well. Guessing this was due to the lack of reader support / donations ? 
(Updated : Oct 02, 2023)

- Palstar R30B HF Receiver information "coming soon" posted on the R30A web site for a number of YEARS, then removed. No prototypes ever shown. Promised features included : TFT color touch screen and Sync Detection. UPDATE : As seen in early Sep 2023, mysteriously the R30A web page has now returned . Will we see the R30B actually come to market now ? (Updated : Oct 06, 2023)

- Two NEW Uniden Scanners in 2024 - BCD160DN Handheld and BCD260DN Mobile/Base. Good to see the new models however I wish Uniden would do away with the near unacceptable (in our view) lousy Tuning Knob / Volume control mechanical encoder on all or their hand held scanners ! This is a low quality high failure - quirky to use sloppy encoder ! We feel these models will have a very limited market with no trunking or P25. Proposed release is the first quarter of 2024. (Sep 01, 2023)

Main features on both models (BCD160DN Handheld and BCD260DN Mobile/Base):
- DMR and NXDN out of the box (conventional only - NO TRUNKING and NO P25)
- 1000 channels (bank/channel config)
- Much improved Service Search
- Frequency coverage 25-512 MHz, 758-824 MHz, 849-869 MHz, and 894-960 MHz.

- Icom IC-R15 Handheld Communications Receiver. Shown at the Tokyo Ham Fair 2023, the Icom IC-R15 handheld receiver. Translation here is strange. Only 76 to 500 MHz frequency coverage ? This is clearly NOT a replacement for the IC-R30. Appears to be a set more targeted to airband listening ? Update : Comments floating around says this was only a prototype showing and no solid word that it is actually coming to market at this time. (Update : Oct 04, 2023)

Icom's new IC-R15 Handheld Communications Receiver (prototype ?).
Nothing to get excited about with it's limited frequency coverage.

- Tecsun S2000 Discontinued - Last Call. Tecsun Australia has indicated that the Tecsun S2000 has been discontinued and purchased the last remaining stock. This is of course the close variant of the previously discontinued Grundig / Eton Satellit 750 and current Eton Elite 750. Unknown if this effects the Eton Elite 750 or will shortly (most likely) ? Our review is available here as tested with a early production sample. Yes these receivers were not a favorite of ours, however is one of the last larger SW portables left of the market (or should we say was). (Aug 11, 2023)

Tecsun S2000 - LAST CALL (Eton Elite 750 ?) (N9EWO Photo)
Appears that these have been (or will be shortly) discontinued.
As typing this news entry dealers still have new stock available.
Our review is available here.

- SDRPlay "SDRconnect" - SDRconnect preview version became available on August 10, 2023  (Updated : Aug 19, 2023)

From "Jon Hudson" SDRplay (via Groups.io) : The current preview build of SDRconnect is just at the beginning of the development process. It contains a number of features, including :
- Multiple VRXs with basic radio controls
- Built in support for all model RSPs except the original RSP1
- Remote server with two streaming modes across both LAN and WAN (internet): a) Full IQ and b) Audio – a streaming mode which provides a very efficient way of displaying a large spectral bandwidth across a network with a limited data throughput.
- Calibrated Power meter and S-Meter
Band framing
- HDR mode support for the RSPdx
- Support for RSPduo Single and Dual Tuner mode (two tuners) within a single instance of SDRconnect
- Manual Diversity Control for the RSPduo
- Headless server command line options
- SNR Measurement
- Support for un-docking and re-docking of panels
- Saving and reloading of settings
- Ability to allocate the Aux SP to different tuners in Dual Tuner mode for the RSPduo and for additional VRXs

SDRconnect runs on the following architectures : x64, ARM64 (including Apple Silicon) Please NOTE. SDRconnect is a 64-bit solution and does NOT run on 32-bit operating systems.

Supported Operating systems:
- Windows – 10, 11 and later – 64-bit only. Note SDRconnect will NOT run on anything earlier than Windows 10, so please don’t ask for Windows 8/7/XP etc. It is not possible to compile for these older operating systems with the tools used for the development of SDRconnect.
- Linux x64 – Ubuntu 20.04LTS and later.
- Linux ARM64 (aarch64) – Raspberry Pi OS (64bit) – Bullseye derived (we recommend the Raspberry Pi 4B or better)
- MacOS x64 – 10.15 (Catalina) and onwards
- MacOS ARM64 (Apple Silicon) – 13.0 (Ventura) and onwards

SDRuno plugins will not work with SDRconnect, but we will be porting the SDRplay developed SDRuno plugins so that they will be made available for use with SDRconnect as modules. The module interface will be published so that third party developers can also port their SDRuno plugins to SDRconnect modules, but we have no control over whether they will choose to do so, so please contact the plugin developers about this.

Regarding touch functionality, the first release will not support gesture recognition. This will come in a later release. SDRconnect and SDRuno are able to co-exist on the same OS (NOTE : The latest version of SDRuno MUST be installed)

Release notes for all versions of SDRconnect can be found here (https://www.sdrplay.com/docs/SDRconnect_Release_Notes.pdf)

Whilst this is the first preview version of the software, we believe that it is stable on all platforms. However, this is just the first step in the long term development of a brand new platform and future releases and modules will further enhance functionality.

The first few video guides are also available here.

Our (N9EWO's) list of comments with the PREVIEW version include (as used with RSP1A) :
- Unable to adjust RF Gain and see the OVERLOAD INDICATOR (gets covered up).
- S-Meter and it's icons just too dark to see.
- M
iss the faux S-meter found on SDRUNO.
- Get rid of all gray icons on GUI (make those white).
- No direct keyboard entry.
- No SAM selectable sideband (just has double sideband SAM).
- Show MODE selected on GUI with no sidebar.
[SDRplay has told me that if you stretch the right hand edge of the Main SP to the right, you will pull the overload warning out from underneath the hardware settings drop-down. This only occurs on certain screen sizes and can be easily adjusted (we have 19 inch size 16:9 screen.) Also said that most of what we commented on above is already on SDRplay's radar for future releases.] 

- Electrolytic Capacitors: Comprehensive Overview, Teardown, and Experiments also How to Pick Replacement Electrolytic Capacitors. Very useful You Tube Videos of different types of electrolytic capacitors and how to select a replacement. (Jul 12, 2023)

- "Kiwa Electronics" in Kasson, MN USA has closed and no more radio modifications / filter upgrades / Bandpasss Filters. As we accessed the radio mods web page on Feb 20, 2023 , it stated : "This site is closed until further notice...Thank you for the many years of business !"So we have to assume that Craig Siegenthaler made the decision to close. The Low and High pass filters webpage / sales also have ceased. UPDATE : Both URL's are now dead !
Very sad but we must thank Craig for all of his excellent SW receiver modifications / antennas / filters and service since 1989. How many remember the Kiwa MAP Synchronous Detector ? (Updated : Aug 02, 2023)

- NEW Tecsun PL-320 DSP portable receiver.  Feature whacked version of the PL-330. Lacks SSB / Sync mode operation. Gray (painted ?) case has rounded corners that also includes a rear kick stand (lacking on the PL-330). Major change is the use of a USB Type C charger / DC input (not USB micro).  Sadly it uses the same dreaded BL-5C lithium ion battery pack. Of course the price is a bit less than the PL-330 (see N9EWO PL-330 review here). (Nov 24, 2022)

Tecsun's NEW PL-320 DSP Portable Receiver.
Feature whacked variant of the PL-330 (no SSB / Sync).

- NEW "CC SKYWAVE SSB 2". CCrane has updated the CC SKYWAVE SSB model with these marked improvements :

- 1/8 inch external SW antenna jack (plastic type).
- Charging jack now USB MICRO type (was USB Mini).
- Improved charging circuit (whatever that means).
- Higher quality speaker with slightly powerful audio amplifier.
- Longer feet on the bottom of the radio for better stability.
- 500 hz bandwidth SSB setting (Tecsun PL-330 and Digitech AR1780 / XHDATA D-808 variant models already have this)
- Simple SW Wire Adapter included.

Here is the owners manual (PDF format).
 At least they did not get stupid and make use of a lithium ion battery (still uses the MUCH more desirable 2 AA batteries for operation). WARNING : It APPEARS that the recommended AC Adapter CCrane is selling here is of a SWITCHING type ? If true will be useless for operation, only good for charging the batteries. Todderbert You Tube review - comparison here (some differences).  (Updated : Feb 05, 2023)

- CCrane Item # CWTPLP, Model: SR0509U. This rare super quiet 5 V Mini-USB regulated linear transformer type AC adapter is now back in stock. Get them while you can. See the bottom on this page for more information. (Sep 02, 2022)

- "Eton Elite Satellit" LW / MW / SW / AIR / FM / FM HD Portable DSP Receiver

"Eton Elite Satellit" portable. It is NOT a re-release of the e1 (totally different innards) ! Dreadful performance.
When first released the receiver would lock up when using the FM HD mode. Firmware 1.0.5 fixed this bug. (eton photo).
Find a nice used  [Drake designed, mfg by Tecsun] Grundig Satellit 800 instead (see our Sat 800 review here)

The "Eton Elite Satellit" - What a Disappointing Overpriced Disaster !

Uses si473x DSP receiver / filtering in it's architecture. Quick Manual and Spec Sheet are available for download on the manufactures web site.

User reports have indicated that the ONLY issue they fixed with updated version 1.0.5 firmware was with the lockup issue on HD radio reception. The rest continues to be the same disaster (below) as we type this ! PLEASE NOTE : We have NOT tested a sample ourselves. Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware) !

"Passport To World Band Radio" is a reference on the posted online owners manual. This publication and web site have both been gone since 2009 and of course the address is defunct. The WRTH info given is also outdated (which has changed once again for the 2023 edition with the new publisher).

Selected comments via "the SWLing post" / Noel Ramos, W1NCR :
I must say so far I am not at all impressed. Here are the issues that bother me right out of the box:
- It mutes while tuning across the bands, including when using SSB.
- The telescopic antenna is loose. It will not hold its position when the radio is at an angle on its tilt stand.
- The lower left menus don’t line up with the hardware pushbuttons. Looks like unfinished firmware! Oh, and there are a few misspelled words in the menu system “Lossss”.
- I don’t find the audio to be all that great. My Satellit 700 is so much better.
- I’ve experienced two lockups which using the FM band…wouldn’t switch bands or power off. I had to pull the plug.
(Noel also reported hearing MW signals in the 40 meter band and FM / HD radio lockups. Appears there is no proper front end filtering ? Additional note : "It is DSP based. I opened it up; it’s does have a small ferrite loop (unlike what was believed) and everything is on two small PCBs. Most of the cabinet is empty. To be honest, the ats-909×2 is miles ahead of this one. Such a disappointment". Wow...and we felt the ATS-909X2 was a disappointment. Noel's internal photos can be seen here ("where's the beef !" comes to mind).

UPDATES (May 12, 2023)

- Dan Robinson's "You Tube" Page  
- Amazon Reviews #1
- Amazon Reviews #2

- You Tube Video : "Etón Elite Satellit HD is Junk! Mutes while manual tuning via knob....".

Reported Bugs :
- Unacceptable tuning muting (chuffing)
- Very limited dynamic range.
- No proper front end filtering !
- HAS the dreaded AGC clipping distortion bug on SSB. Even the Tecsun PL-330 does MUCH better with near zero SSB clipping and good dynamic range.
- No REAL AGC adjustments.
- PBT tuning is ONLY a Fine Tune / RIT (even in SSB and Sync modes).
- Limited Bandwidths AM / Sync modes.
- Appears bandwidths are about double to what they are shown at (but as most know I near require nice WIDE IF filters available on a SW receiver, so that part I like).
- Microprocessor noises abound using internal / whip antenna's.

- Low quality whip antenna.
With so many bugs and limited hardware it has, it is highly doubtful that Eton be able to fix the radios MANY ills to EVER warrant it's steep price ?

- MFJ-1026 Deluxe Noise Canceling Signal Enhancer . I have received a couple of emails (again) of late asking me if I have ever used the MFJ-1026 ? Yes I have and is still a hobby saving device I use when local interference plagues listening on the SW bands which of late has been a real issue at HQ. I will direct you to the "Monitoring Times" article I wrote back in April 2007 (click here, in PDF format). For anyone who is going to use it with a transceiver you need to add another relay in the AUX antenna input. Don't trust it the way it comes for ANY transceiver use (and that silly RF protection light bulb). Please see this useful "You Tube" video here. This information is also (and has been) provided over on my links page.

The AUX antenna pre-amp feature in the 1026 model is a near REQUIREMENT (I will say don't bother with the lesser MFJ-1025 model). We tried a Timewave ANC4 years ago and it was not usable at my location due to the lack of the AUX antenna preamp. There are the lesser Chinese devices around, but these have MUCH fewer parts so don't expect the same performance (not tested) ? (Updated : Jul 12, 2023) 

MFJ-1026 Deluxe Noise Canceling Signal Enhancer (my MT review here)
Even if a bit pricey these days ($ 260. USD), is still a most worthy accessory in the
HF listening shack.
This is NOT a plug and play device. AC adapter is NOT included.
A second and proper AUX noise antenna is REQUIRED !
(N9EWO Photo)

- ICOM IC-R8600 / IC-7300 / IC-9700 :  Bad LCD displays "White Lines(s)" Syndrome.

This was covered on one of the Icom IC-7300 Facebook User Groups and equally important these QRZ forum postings (also see eham reviews). It appears that Icom has received at number of BAD batches of RayStar LCD screens affecting some IC-R8600, IC-7300 and IC-9700 samples. White lines just start to appear (and do not go away). From viewing all of the user report failures this is NOT happening with just one or 2 samples (it’s MANY more than that). It seems it does NOT matter when the radio was manufactured, but seems that more current production tend to have this bug pop up more ?
With some it has been 3 lines that have appeared. I have to wonder IF abusing the LCD (say touching it too hard) or using those stylus pens (or even worse trying to use screen protectors) could be a factor in this LCD failure occurring ? Someone on Radio Reference forums made this comment : "These LCD modules were outsourced (RayStar) from someone who didn't use quality adhesive on the flex cable that connects to the contacts on the LCD substrate and thus, the "lines". One thing for sure, if this is the cause, it WILL get worse over time as that glue breaks down."

Also reported that IF out of warranty ICOM is NOT covering the replacement LCD or labor charges (which is about $ 250.~300 USD including the return shipping fee). This has now become apparent that this is much greater issue happening than first thought. Icom most likely to deny that there is not a problem at all here ? The forums and other internet sources says different. Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware).

Please Note : Original Icom IC-7300 part number on this RayStar LCD was 5030004050, and with the IC-9700 was switched to 5030004051 and then changed again to 5030004052 (unknown what it might be currently ?). These are of course are revisions and hopefully improvements in the QC and no more issues ? (Updated : Jul 01, 2023)

- ICOM FIRMWARE (Updated : Mar 02, 2023)

- ICOM IC-R8600 - LCD Display Failure Issues have been reported (see bottom of N9EWO's IC-R8600 review page)
- ICOM IC-7300 and IC-9700 - LCD Display Failure Issues.
- ICOM IC-7300 Screen Replacement (You Tube Video).
WARNING : DO AT YOUR OWN RISK. Use JIS type screwdrivers ONLY of course. Be sure and read the LCD part number changes in the comments section. The IC-705 / IC-R8600 / IC-9700 SHOULD be the same display being used here ?

- JRC Receiver Display Failures
- HF RFI Generator - "Electronic Defrost Timer"

Uniden SDS100 / SDS200 Links
(Updated : Jul 07, 2023)
- What happens when an Uniden SDS100 lithium ion battery fails
- Uniden SDS100 - **SAFETY ALERT** SDS100 battery severely swelled
- Uniden SDS100 - 2nd swollen SDS100 battery in 1 year (shows internal cell construction)
- Uniden SDS100 and SDS200  Entire receiver on "one chip" disaster ?
- Uniden SDS200 - LCD Failures (again)

- Uniden SDS100 - J401 Bad Connection To PC Board
- Uniden SDS100 - J401 Cold Solder Joint Symptoms
- Uniden SDS100 - J401 Failure on a Brand New 2022 Made Sample - Caveat Emptor !


- Malahit / Malachite Firmware 2.40. Russian developers officially released (posted) the non beta version 2.40 firmware for the original Russian DSP2 and DSP3 Malahit / Malachite receivers on October 25, 2023. This update includes built in FT8 and RTTY decoding (see below). In process of testing this new firmware in the DSP2 test sample, please check back. (Updated : Oct 31, 2023)

Change Log Version 2.40 : DSP2, DSP3, DSP1 samples updated to the DSP2 version:

1. Added FT8 mode.
For correct reception, accurate receiver time is required. There are two options to adjust this :
Option 1 - Go to the time setting menu, set the time for 1 minute ahead and, upon reaching the exact moment 0 seconds - press the Set Time button;
Option 2- Wait for the end of the transmission of the station signal and press the CAL FT8 button.
Wait a while, if it did not help, then repeat this procedure. If there are stations, then you do not need to press the CAL FT8 button.

FT8 must be received in USB mode. Frequencies: 1.840, 3.573, 7.074, 14.074, 18.100, 21.074, 24.915 MHz. Recommend using the Normal filter, with an upper frequency of 3 kHz.

2. The equalizer mode is added similarly to the DSP series receivers. Now you can select EQ Type in Audio Menu and rotate the lower frequency encoder to enter user 1 to 3 profiles. If you press the EQ Type button with the set user 1-3 profile, the equalizer setup menu will open.

3. Small errors are fixed.
4. The WFM reception algorithm was converted (improved ?).
5. The RDS reception algorithm was converted (improved ?).
6. Added RTTY decoder.  Has Baud Rate parameters - transmission speed, shift - frequency variety, reverse - inversion.
7. The error in the work of the clock was eliminated - it was not always possible to put positive calibration;
8. Eliminated errors detected in the process of beta testing;
9. The accuracy of the voltage display is changed to 0.1V.

Malahit / Malachite DSP2 with firmware 2.40 receiving FT8 on 40 meters.
(oops...we were tuned 1 kHz high....but it worked anyway) (N9EWO Photo)

- DEEPELECT (DeepSDR101 folks) have released their own versions of the Malahit / Malachite receivers Indicated that these do have authorized firmware. These may well be the only way to experience a NEW Malahit / Malachite these days as they LOOK to be decent with proper performance and quality. However we have not tested either one of these ! Usual warning as with any Chinese products, look for inferior knockoffs that LOOK identical externally of these in time (if it has not already happened, as always "Caveat Emptor") ! (Updated : N\ov 15, 2023)

- 1st model is what THEY call SDR V5 is actually a clone of the Russian DSP1 with high-Z antenna input (firmware 1.10d).
- 2nd more pricey model is what they call the DSP2 (SORRY SOLD OUT AS SEEN ON NOV 14th, 2023) which has the Russian 2.30 firmware).
(WARNING: We now see MANY knockoffs of this DeepElect DSP2 already all over the place ! Lots of unknowns and the possibility of inferior innards including having DSP1 firmware or even worse containing bad (cheapened) hardware ? Caveat Emptor [buyer beware] !)
You tube breakdown of what's inside this Malahit DSP2 clone / knockoff  (it's not in English). Another You Tube video shows DSP2 clone updated to the new 2.40 firmware which has built in FT8 and RTTY decoding. You Tube video from Andy Seidler that gives a decent rundown of the DEEPELECT DSP2 unit.

- "DeepSDR 101".  These days it’s usually many of the Chinese clones or something else for a compact standalone SDR device. I guess the Chinese SDR's are better over the first days. But I have not tested any of these. Check out Dan Robinson's "You Tube" video here with a comparasion of a couple. Many of these are grossly overpriced in our view !

The DeepSDR101 has much more limited frequency coverage over other standalone SDR devices. However I’m NOT a fan of one encoder that does all. At least provide a separate volume control. Nice front facing speaker. Also good to see the use of a BNC antenna connector instead of the less robust SMA type. Very attractive price it is. See important comments below / including updates  ! (Updated : Jun 16, 2023)

Youtube channel with a few videos from Leon Huang : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMdgwN92DGQqMrSLKmRgUTg
Deep Elect Manufacturer website. Includes pictures and manuals : https://deepelec.com/2022/08/04/deepsdr-101-product-release/

"DeepSDR 101" standalone Chinese SDR (Hardware V1).
Orginal hardware V1 shown above is discontinued (V2 is in the works ?).
Lets hope for a SEPARATE VOLUME CONTROL encoder !

"DEEPSDR 101" is DEEP in Issues !
Craig Menning N7TQM tests out a DEEPSDR 101. He does not recommend it to anyone ! So appears is just ANOTHER Chinese disaster SDR ? Thanks Craig for letting us know ! Will update / add to this information as required (please see updates below). Dave N9EWO (Updated Jun 16, 2023)


When a product description starts with "This product is neither an instrument nor a professional radio", it probably means something.

Issues :
1) A strong antenna overloads the radio badly. A preselector might help the HF mands, but AM/LW would still be a problem.
2) The spectrum display is full of image products, more noticeable on strong signals. Using the display to assist tuning is a challenge.
3) Occasionally, tuning 'misses' a station. The frequency display is right, but the spectrum display indicates not on the signal. Tuning off one step and back resolves the issue.
4) Lacks an input attenuator.
5) No FM narrow mode. It makes this useless for the 2M band as well as the VHF low band.
6) Changing the width of the spectrum display is interesting. The wider two widths appear to be before IF filtering, while the narrow seems to be after the IF filtering. 
7) Does not cover the 162 MHz weather band. While known when I ordered the radio, it is disappointing. Lacking FM narrow makes this a moot point.
8) This radio could be used as a spectrum display for  another radio, via an IF output, but the images limit its usefulness.
9) When changing stations in the AM band, while using the supplied whip antenna, lots of digital noises can be heard for the following few seconds. These eventually do stop.

There are other anomalies, but they are minor compared to the above.

Positive points :
1) FM broadcast band seems good. Sensitivity is average, selectivity is good. Audio quality from the tiny speaker, while not hifi, is good.
2) Aircraft band works.
3) Shipping from China was fast. Ordered Aug 22, arrived on Sep 02 (North Western Wisconsin).

Further testing reveals that this radio really needs some sort of preselector and attenuator to limit signals into the radio. If just using the supplied whip, you don't pick up much signal, but you also don't see any overload issues. A better antenna is just too much for the radio to handle.

All in all, this radio shows the potential of some technologies. A Taylor mixer has some interesting broadband capabilities. As implemented here, it can be used from 100 kHz to 149 MHz. When presented with a proper signal, it can be reasonably sensitive. Using an M4 processor to do all the DSP work and the display management is also impressive. The display is quite responsive and its content is presented in a way to show lots of useful information.

I hope the supplier can come out with a firmware update to add the narrow band FM mode and possibly increase the top end to 163 MHz. On the other hand, releasing the source code as an open source project, might allow someone else to make some enhancements. 

With some front end signal handling, this could be a much more interesting radio.

My antenna is a 150-200 foot wire in my backyard. (About 80 paces long.) It overloads most radios in the AM band during the day. For VHF/UHF I have a discone in the attic.  Even the discone presents too much signal to avoid overload issues.

Gilles VE2ZZI tests the DEEPSDR 101 and comes up with the same ills that Craig did above and more. Like nightmare ergonomics, the lack of a REAL AGC and limited FIXED non adjustable bandwidths (like AM only having ONE lone 9 kHz bandwidth available).

You Tube Video : Gilles VE2ZZI Complete Review "DeepSDR 101" SDR Receiver

UPDATES (Jun 16, 2023) :

New 1.0.1 firmware was released on April 17, 2023.

Firmware 1.0.1 has the following feature additions and improvements:
- Attenuation can be set for ADC input, with three gears of 0dB, -6dB, and -12dB. When the input signal is strong, you can turn on ATT to prevent ADC from overloading;
- Touch screen quick operation: volume increase, volume decrease, frequency increase, frequency decrease, see the picture below for details.
- Changed hardware AGC to software AGC to solve the problem of inconsistent IQ gain;
- Expanded volume adjustment range;
- Long press on the encoder can clear the saved channel information;
- Other improvements and more.
Hopefully this 1.0.1 firmware cures the excessive SSB clipping distortion on strong signals I can clearly hear it has from watching you tube videos. But appears that 9 kHz is still the only bandwidth you get on AM mode and also no Narrow band FM filter for the 2 meter band ?
Keep in mind that the original V1 hardware (as tested above by Craig and Gills) has been discontinued and being updated to V2 (release date unknown). They talk about a knock off version on the bottom of this page that you also see reviews on You Tube now.

Lets hope that they add a second encoder for volume adjustment with V2 ?

At our direction, Gilles VE2ZZI tests the DEEPSDR 101 "1.0.1" firmware and notes some improvements. But it still does not turn the receiver into a gem either. It appears that the very annoying SSB clipping distortion has been improved ?

Dave N9EWO

- Malahit DSP1 (last firmware version download link here) : Please Note : The DSP1 and DSP2 versions are both discontinued, no longer available new.

Firmware 1.10d (what we call Rev2) Dated Nov 17, 2021.
- fixed the error indicating the firmware version. The version is now indicated on the splash screen in the lower right corner
- added display noise reduction function to HARD menu (EMI Reduction)
- WTF replaced with WF
- changed encoder control - now, being in the menu, the frequency encoder is used for control
- added 9kHz step in SSB
- added the ability to select colors in the Visual menu
- excluded Sleeptime parameter for backlight control
- no delay when switching between menus
- small bugs fixed
- Nov 17, 2021 lower receiving frequency reduced to 10 kHz

We have installed 1.10d (what we call Rev2) in our DSP1 test sample and the review includes updated testing notes.

UPDATE : After about 18 months of use the main tuning knob would no longer select tuning step (push in the main tuning knob encoder). Review updated that covers the easy fix. (Updated : Aug 10, 2023)

(Please Note : Both are discontinued, no longer available new).

Information on the Chinese Malachite / Malahit SDR's - "Caveat Emptor"
NOTE : Original posted information page is still available via
"The Way Back Machine - Internet Archives" ....CLICK HERE

*****  RANTS and REVELATIONS  *****

 (for USA 117 VAC input voltage)

Have covered this topic in the past with other radios that use a USB socket for power. What to do about the excessive RF noise that ALL switching AC adapters emit for use with a HF receiver ?  CCrane in California USA still has available an excellent , RARE and fairly inexpensive ANALOG / LINEAR / REGULATED 5 V 900ma USB power supply that provides enough “cool” and TOTALLY CLEAN current for operation with receivers that use a 5 pin MINI USB socket (example : Tecsun PL-880). CCrane Item # CWTPLP, Model: SR0509U. Yes it has a good old power transformer and linear type regulator. If one is handy enough, can add four .01 disc ceramic capacitors across its internal 4 power rectifier diodes to make it even cleaner (kills off diode hum for close indoor antennas, see photo). We just soldered them across the top of each of the diodes. But this is not a requirement of course AND DONE AT YOUR OWN RISK !!

Super RF quiet LINEAR 5 V AC Adapter with MINI USB connector (left). Sold by CCrane in the USA.
Hefty 900ma Output. CCrane Item # CWTPLP, Model: SR-0509U (subject to availability).
Right photo shows 4 - 0.01 disc-ceramic capacitors added to
 reduce rectifier hum with indoor antennas on MW and HF.

The downside is that the CCrane power supply has a MINI USB output cable and you need a MICRO USB for the Russian Malachite SDR (Chinese ones use a USB Type C) and other receiver that use Micro USB , so of course it will not work out of the box. Not to worry as there are simple adapters available on ebay and elsewhere. Example adapter here but a warning here that it will be a bit stressful on the receivers USB socket (so be very careful). If one is electronic handy could just change out the DC output cable for the proper one with a USB "Micro" plug (just dealing with the red and black wires of course). The CCrane adapter above is screwed together for easy access.

(Updated : Sep 01, 2022) : GOOD NEWS ! This adapter has now come back in stock ! Available once again as we typed this entry. Get them while you can.

IMPORTANT - WARNING ! : With the Russian Malahit / Malachite SDR operational current consumption approx. 300ma (as indicated in the manual), normal operation with this CCrane AC adapter is no problem at all. However when charging the internal lithium ion battery, current jumps to around 850 ma PEAK (NOTE : RECEIVER OFF) and makes this supply operate HOT and near it's maximum rating ! It would be a good idea to use a 2 AMP USB switching type adapter when charging the internal battery to rule out any possible heat failure problems down the road of the linear power supplies regulator. If you operate the receiver at home on the AC Adapter full time , best to just unplug and remove the battery.

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