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I need a versatile Radio

Discussion in 'Communications & Tech' started by Peanut, Feb 25, 2018.

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  1. Feb 25, 2018 #1

    Peanut

    Peanut

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    My old analog radio died. :( I bought it in ’94 from radio shack. It could pick up am/fm, CB, two Shortwave bands, two tv bands, Wx and Vhf. It also had a built-in direction finder on the top. It could run on ac or dc (batteries).

    I’d like to find something similar to replace it. Does anyone have a suggestion? I’ve shopped the net but all I found was a headache. There are many "brand names" that I don't recognize. It gets confusing. After last nights tornado scare I realized I need a replacement quickly. Analog is probably out of the question…

    radio (2)_v1.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  2. Feb 25, 2018 #2

    ssonb

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    Go to EHAM.net and search out the reviews on receivers, Grundig seems to make some and not to expensive.
     
  3. Feb 25, 2018 #3

    Peanut

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    After reading a few hundred reviews on the ham radio site the consensus seems to be that Eton and Sony make good radios.
    I found 2 radios on amazon that are possible…

    Eton Field AM / FM / Shortwave Radio with RDS, NGWFB - $130

    SONY Portable Radio ICF-EX5MK2 FM AM Nikkei Analog Tunning - $150

    Both are more than I wanted to pay but I want quality and longevity. Has anyone here in the forum any experience with Sony or Eton radios?
     
  4. Feb 25, 2018 #4

    Flight

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    You might be able to find something on ebay.com but its buyers beware on there if its used
     
  5. Feb 25, 2018 #5

    ssonb

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    I do not have a receiver, I had an Eton many years ago but returned it because I found out later that I did not know how to string an antenna.( This was years before I got into amateur radio) I live down in a valley and the unit mounted one could not pick up any signal .
     
  6. Feb 25, 2018 #6

    kd4ulw

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    I had something similar in the 80’s from RadioShack. The problem with these radios are that nowadays many of the VHF radio systems are changing to digital. Here locally there are some analog VHF police frequencies out there but it depends on where you are. Some of these old radios could tune into TV stations, that’s all gone now. There are still shortwave stations out there to listen to but many stations of gone off the air due to the Internet. It just became too expensive for them to keep running a transmitter.

    If you’re worried about severe weather I would invest in a NOAA weather radio that will continuously monitor for the alert tones. These are NOT the units from the old days, you can program them for your specific county or for a few surrounding counties if you prefer. This keeps you from getting alerts that are not for your immediate area which would lead people to just turn off the radio so it doesn’t bother them. It’s also nice that you can program it to silence some of the alerts such as ‘watches’ if you don’t want to wake up at 3 AM for a watch.

    Midland WR120/WR120EZ NOAA Weather Alert All Hazard Public Alert Certified Radio with SAME, Trilingual Display and Alarm Clock - Box Packaging about $28.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00176T9OY/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

    Here is an analog AM/FM receiver that is both AC & battery powered (4AA). It is very sensitive at night on the AM band. Currently $30.

    Panasonic RF-2400 AM / FM Radio, Silver
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00007KDX6/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

    I’m able to get stations many hundreds of miles away from my home in the Louisville, KY area on AM at night.

    650 WSM Nashville, TN
    660 WFAN New York
    680 ESPN Louisville
    700 WLW Cincinnati, Ohio
    720 WGN Chicago, Illinois
    740 CFZM Toronto, Ontario
    750 WSB Atlanta, Georgia
    760 WJR Detroit, Michigan
    770 WABC New York, New York
    780 WBBM Chicago, Illinois
    820 WBAP Dallas, Texas
    820 WCPT Chicago, Illinois
    840 WHAS Louisville, Ky
    840 CFCW Camrose, Alberta, Canada (French)
    870 WWL New Orleans, Louisiana
    880 WCBS New York, New York
    890 WLS Chicago, Illinois
    900 WJIE Louisville, Ky
    970 WGTK Louisville, Ky
    1030 WBZ Boston, Massachusetts
    1040 WHO Des Moines, Iowa
    1100 WTAM Cleveland, Ohio
    1120 KMOX St. Louis, Missouri
    1140 WRVA Richmond, Virginia
    1220 WSLM Salem, Indiana
    1480 WDJO Cincinnati, Ohio (Oldies)
    1530 WCKY Cincinnati, Ohio (Sports)

    On AM, you rotate the entire radio to the best reception (internal antenna). That is how I was able to receive two stations at 840, tuning out a strong local station to hear Canada!

    Here is a multi-band digital radio that has multiple power options. It does a lot of things but not all of them very well. Shortwave stations don’t come in as good as the more expensive units.

    Kaito Voyager Pro KA600 Digital Solar/Dynamo AM/FM/LW/SW & NOAA Weather Emergency Radio with Alert & RDS, Silver about $80.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0051PMWY6/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

    I hope this helps a little. If you have any specific questions feel free to ask.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2018
  7. Feb 25, 2018 #7

    dademoss

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    The 3 day bags have an AM/FM from the Family Dollar store. Home has 2 HAM rigs, one in an ammo can. 2 crank or battery Grundig FR-200 . The one I would buy if I had an extra 90 bucks is this one: https://countycomm.com/products/countycomm-gp-5-ssb-general-purpose-radio The USB/LSB would be useful for listening to the HAM frequencies and finding more "local"/"country" info.

    I already have the wire, insulators, etc etc etc to string a long wire SW antenna, in the ECOMM bag.
     
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  8. Feb 25, 2018 #8

    Peanut

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    @kd4ulw This little radio seems to be what I'm looking for. The KA600L can be powered with an ac adapter as well and is only a couple of bucks more. With any bad weather I lose satellite internet and tv and at some point usually lose electricity. I kept a deck of cards with my old radio. I'd play solitaire and listen to the radio. If power is off for several hours and the sky clears some I break out a generator so I can check the weather on the tv.

    Thanks to Everyone for helping! :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2018
  9. Feb 25, 2018 #9

    Peanut

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    @kd4ulw Your post brought back an old memory. It started when I was about 13. My grandpa farmed 600 hundred acres of cotton. During spring planting several tractors were running 24/7. I’d get off the school bus around 4. Grandma would have a supper packed for me in a paper bag. She’d take me to a field to relieve someone, usually grandpa. I’d spend the next 6.5 hours on a John Deere 4020.

    It had an am radio on it. I always listened to a station in Chicago. At 10:10 pm a funny show would come on. I believe it was reruns of “The Lum and Abner Show”. It also meant my night was almost over, an uncle would relieve me at 10:30pm and take me home first.

    I remember this one field… There was a creek at the bottom of a hill at the timber line. Seems like every spring I worked that field “Honey Suckle” would be blooming and that scent filled the entire field. I haven’t thought of this in decades… Thanks :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  10. Feb 26, 2018 #10

    kd4ulw

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    @Peanut Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

    :antiqueauto:
     
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  11. Feb 26, 2018 #11

    viking

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    www.ccrane.com They have a large selection of shortwave radios, a friend of mine had one of their radios that was awesome for picking up hard to get signals it was a Sangean brand but I don't know if they sell that brand anymore.
     
  12. Mar 9, 2018 #12

    Peanut

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    My new emergency radio came today. It’s smaller than I thought. Its am/fm/sw and weather alert and has a led flashlight on the end. It can charge cell phones and other gadgets.

    It has a lithium battery that can be charged via hand crank, a solar panel on the back or by a USB cable attached to a pc or an AC adapter I bought. I also got an extra battery and a SW antenna for it.

    My new Maglite came too. I just hope my new radio lasts 25 years like my old one did.

    Thanks to everyone for helping! :)

    weather radio_v1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
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  13. Mar 10, 2018 #13

    ssonb

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    Looks good ...Later can you give us a review on how well it functions ?
     
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  14. Oct 25, 2019 #14

    jimLE

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  15. Oct 25, 2019 #15

    Peanut

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    Looks good and has a really good price. I have two handcranks. I like both, they have good range. Both have a scan function for picking up any broadcast. Both can charge phones or take a charge from any device with a USB port. The green and black scorpion has solar charging which I like. I keep it in my go bag. The white unit I keep in my kitchen.

    The only thing I don't like about any handcrank device is the fact they are handcrank! I guess I need to work on my forearms.

    Keep us posted @jimLE , let us know how you like it. :)

    hand crank 640_v1.jpg
     
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  16. Oct 25, 2019 #16

    jimLE

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    what i like about it so far.is i have 3 choices of recharging it.but my concern for now.is,does it have good reception? i had gotten a red cross radio off of amazon.poor signal from a fm station 30 miles away.pluss i had to sit outside for the noaa station.to me that aint good during thunderstorms.
     
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  17. Oct 25, 2019 #17

    Weedygarden

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    Or tropical storms.
     
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  18. Oct 25, 2019 #18

    Peanut

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    @jimLE I found my scorpion radio still for sale on amazon. $30

    I need to charge it and retest it, forgotten all it's functions. At least I need to find the user guide. I always keep the manuals. Anything I buy I use a hole punch and put the manual in a binder.
    • EMERGENCY RADIO: This emergency radio & LED flashlight receives AM,FM & NOAA weather bands with digital tuner & display. Features a rechargeable lithium battery plus hand crank & solar power options.
    • RUGGED & MULTIFUNCTIONAL: This compact & rugged unit can easily be stored in a safety kit or tossed in your rucksack. Use it to monitor emergency alerts & charge your USB smartphone or other device.
    • STAY SAFE & HAVE FUN: Use the metal carabiner to hang from a tent pole or tree limb to charge. Pop open a cold beverage with the built-in bottle opener!
    • KEEP CONNECTED: From weather alert radios & backup battery packs to solar-powered sound systems, we'll keep you connected & in the know at home, in the office, on the road or in the great outdoors.
    • ETON'S COMMITMENT TO PREPAREDNESS: We're committed to helping you be prepared for everyday fun & unexpected emergency, whether you’re out on a 10-day backpacking trip or barbecuing in the backyard.
    I have the same problem as you I'm over 30miles from an FM transmitter but when I originally bought the radio I tested the basic functions. It picked up Noaa fine. During storms the reception is a bit iffy.

    I bought the radio @kd4ulw recommended above as my main emergency radio at home. It has excellent reception even during really bad weather. I guess my hand crank radios are backups for the backups. (Kaito Voyager Pro KA600 Digital Solar/Dynamo AM/FM/LW/SW & NOAA Weather Emergency Radio with Alert & RDS)


    The Voyager Pro also has handcrank and solar recharge. A good radio in the $90 range
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
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  19. Oct 31, 2019 #19

    jimLE

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    Here's what i ended up with..am/fm/noaa radio and solar charger in 2nd pic.compass key ring in 1st pic.it came with the charger.the fm and noaa works fine while im inside with it.but could be better. charger won't recharge when something is pluged into it.but that's ok.

    1031191227.jpg 1031191054.jpg
     
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  20. Oct 31, 2019 #20

    Peanut

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    Looks good... How did it do during the rain storms thru/friday in your area. Was the reception good? Hope so, looks like it should meet you requirements. :)
     
  21. Oct 31, 2019 #21

    jimLE

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    i didn't get them untill today..so i don't know about bad weather yet.the reception is ok.and better when i have left hand on the antena.but worse with right hand on it.that's while sitting on the opisit side of the living-room from the window.
     
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