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#133033 - 05/15/08 11:33 PM New radio for your "whatever" bag
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5333
Loc: SOCAL
After finding that fairly inexpensive Sony which I mentioned in the Being Equipped is so "Anal" thread as an alternative to a wind up emergency radio, I found the Grundig Eton Mini 300. It's a pocket size AM/FM/SW radio that runs on two AA batteries. (When it arrived today it came without batteries so I went to my AA stock and noticed two batteries that I'd pulled out of my digital camera and I thought why not see if they work -- not a problem. It worked just fine on batteries my Nikon Coolpix rejected (under voltage?) Whatever . . . )

The radio has an analog tuner with a digital looking liquid crystal readout. Despite the digital looking display, it does not have a digital tuner and it is not phase locked (PLL). Drifting will probably be an issue if you use the radio in the SW bands but it seems to hold freq well enough in AM which is all I bought this radio for. The digital looking readout makes tuning to your favorite station much easier than a pure analog tuner display (you know the little bar that moves across the frequencies as you turn the little wheel and you can never tell just where it is, so you get it close and stop when it sounds as good as you can get it). The display seems to be fairly accurate.

The sound is surprisingly clear. It's about 12" away from my laptop and is crystal clear on AM 600. With many AM radios I get a 60Hz tone with this station and when this radio was close to the laptop it did too, but just a little distance and it cleared up nicely.

It has one speaker so would indicate FM mono, but according to the specs on Amazon audio output mode is stereo, and it comes with stereo earbuds. Smooth jazz sucks on the radio's speaker but a good headset makes all the difference, FM is definitely stereo.
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#133035 - 05/16/08 12:02 AM Re: New radio for your "whatever" bag [Re: Russ]
Bear_Claw_Chris_Lapp Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/23/07
Posts: 227
Loc: Sector 16
I really like my Grundig 100PE.
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In omnia paratus

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#133043 - 05/16/08 01:41 AM Re: New radio for your "whatever" bag [Re: Bear_Claw_Chris_Lapp]
BobS Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 924
Loc: Toledo Ohio
I have a Grundig G4 Executive Traveller I have had it for 4 or 5-years. It sounds like the radio you are describing. While it works, I will not buy another one. The digital display blanks out and I need to flex the radio to see what frequency it is on, it has a lot of backlash in the dial. And it does drift a good amount.

I expected more out of a Grundig.

I have been looking to find a replacement that is the same size with a digital tuner and a speaker built into it. Itís hard to find a radio today with a speaker in it. I guess they expect everyone to use headphones. But I donít like to have headphones on all the time.
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#133055 - 05/16/08 10:37 AM Re: New radio for your "whatever" bag [Re: BobS]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2196
Loc: Beer&Cheese country
Has anyone tried this? http://countycomm.com/gp4GOVPACK.htm

If so, any comments?

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#133060 - 05/16/08 12:23 PM Re: New radio for your "whatever" bag [Re: MDinana]
TS_Shawn Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 38
Loc: Washington, D.C.
Wish I'd seen this thread yesterday. LL Bean had the Grundig Eton Mini 300 on sale for $17. But I just checked and they're gone.

It is an excellent little AM/FM radio, I use mine everyday. Haven't used the shortwave aspect.

Am also delighted with the fairly new Midland HH50 Pocket Weather Alert Radio. It is very small and came in very handy during severe weather last week. No fiddling, codes or settings to deal with. Just turn it on to hear the NOAA updates in your area.

Tornado warnings were underway south of us when I went to sleep so I left the radio on "alert."

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#133061 - 05/16/08 12:42 PM Re: New radio for your "whatever" bag [Re: TS_Shawn]
Hacksaw
Unregistered


I bought an HH50 from Cabelas a couple of months ago and it was completely broken out of the box. It only works if you take the circuit board out of the casing and flex it while the power is on...I suspect a bad solder joint or bad component. It was on sale so it was practically cheaper to live with it than to pay to ship it back and be replaced. Overall a dissapointment.

I wish there were a mini version of the Freeplay radio. I have the Eyemax WB in my camping bin and would love to have a pocket version I could crank up when needed.


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#133064 - 05/16/08 12:57 PM Re: New radio for your "whatever" bag [Re: ]
Shadow_oo00 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/21/07
Posts: 301
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
I also have the Mini 300, fits in my Camelbak MG Hawg nicely, great little radio, good reception and sound quality as well as affordable. Wouldn't be without it.
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Prepare Or Not To Prepare That Is The Question. The Answer, You Better !!!

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#133066 - 05/16/08 01:04 PM Re: New radio for your "whatever" bag [Re: MDinana]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5333
Loc: SOCAL
Subjective judgment, they're fairly comparable -- digital readout, analog tuner. I think the Grundig sounds marginally better and the GP-4L's FM is mono even w/ headset if that's an issue. For an emergency standby radio, the 150 hr runtime of CountyComm's GP-4L is very good; I haven't seen runtime numbers for the Grundig but I'd guess they're similar. Both the GP-4L and the Grundig have has seven SW bands but without phase lock SW is too drifty IMO. If all you want is AM then the either should be fine.

The CountyComm GP-4L is slightly smaller, mostly due to an antenna which sticks out from the Grundig but is really long when it telescopes out, so that can be good or bad depending on if you need that long antenna.

Recommendation: If you want AM and FM stereo (assuming you don't mind earbuds or a headset) get the Grundig because it has an FM stereo output. If all you need is AM get the CountyComm GP-4L because it's smaller. If you want to listen to shortwave, skip these two and get something with a digital phase locked tuner. $.02
_________________________
Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, whatís your point??

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#133070 - 05/16/08 02:30 PM Re: New radio for your "whatever" bag [Re: Russ]
Kris Offline
Addict

Registered: 04/13/07
Posts: 623
Loc: A Canadian in the UK
Originally Posted By: Russ
...If you want to listen to shortwave, skip these two and get something with a digital phase locked tuner. $.02


On that note... What do you recommend for a radio (primarily for SW), but that can get am/fm; but is very portable. I was looking into the ICOM r5 with a couple antena's to get what I need, but if something smaller exists (with less bells, whistles and bands), i'd be really interested. Any ideas?

I'm a noob when it comes to radios, so be kind ;-)
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"One should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything"
William of Ockham (1285-1349)

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#133074 - 05/16/08 06:40 PM Re: New radio for your "whatever" bag [Re: Russ]
big_al Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 586
Loc: 20mi east of San Diego
Russ:
I have 2 mini 300PE's one in my go bag and one in my truck. although it dose not have pll,if the SHTF most of the radio stations will be off the air anyway. Both of the Mini's have served me well, and mine were remanufactured units.
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I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved

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