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March 12, 2012

Comments

Ante

Hey Jeff, thanks for this life saving post. I was so delighted when the announcement for DEGEN 1128 / Grundig G2 Reporter came out. I thought it was the radio recorder I was waiting for. Unfortunately, it looks like it’s a piece of junk, as most Degen radio recorders are. Now I am definite, I will be buying Sangean PR D8 instead.

Stephen A

Blech! That is *MUCH!!* too small of a ferrite bar for a radio of that size!! I've been recently looking for a decent, not-too-expensive radio to use as a bedside radio / alarm clock / mp3 player, and if the G2 has the same small antenna I'll be looking elsewhere.
In my opinion, the internal ferrite bar on the radio should take up the entire width of the radio in the same orientation as the LCD panel, with maybe 1 or 2 mm between the ends of the bar and the sides of the cabinet. Slightly "shorter" (relative to the radio's size) bars, especially on larger radios, may be permissible, as long as it still takes up at least 90% or so of the cabinet's width.
I saw the sale on the Sangean PR-D5 at NewEgg a few weeks ago, but by the time I decided to take the plunge, the sale was off. (It had still been on earlier that day.)
I had been concerned about
- audio quality I'd been reading about (I'd like something comparable to the GE SuperRadio III in wide mode, or a Sony SRF-42 or other full-spectrum AM Stereo radio)
- usability in urban areas (Example 1: when visiting my grandma in the L.A. area, I might want to be able to wake up to a weak station that on Radio-Locator is considered "fringe" or doesn't even register, on a frequency 10 kHz divorced from a 50kW that's 1/3 mile from her house. Example 2: at home, being 9.3 miles from 50kW 1170 KCBQ, I'd want to have a listenable (for example, on a DSP radio, not soft muting, preferably pegging the S/N display at 25 dB before raising the signal indicator above 15 dBµ), splatter-free signal from 1180 KERN, for which I'm about twice as far as radio-locator's "fringe" contour.)
(I think there was something else, but I can't remember what right now.)
But if those issues weren't much to worry about, I would have been willing to live with the PR-D5's lack of an mp3 player.
Looks like I won't be using the G2 for those functions, either. And, if it still has the internal hets/birdies and soft mute that the previous SiLabs-based radios have had, that would steer me clear.
So it appears that I'm still looking. For the time being I'm using my brother's GE 7-4633D analog AM/FM clock radio, which I have set to KFI. It's not selective enough to separate 1110 KDIS from local 1130 KSDO (10kW, 6.3 mi), and even if it was, it's not sensitive enough. My PL-606 doesn't work either - it's not nearly loud enough especially on weak, soft-muted stations (1110 reads about 41/00 outside in the daytime, and is barely detectable in my bedroom) or when offtuning to zero out a het (I have to tune to 643 to zero out a het on 640, or to 1107 (or sometimes other frequencies cause the het moves around) to zero out a het on 1110). I need a *LOUD!* radio to wake me up - probably something upwards of 90 to 100 dB or so.

Drive-In-Freak

Thanks for saving me some money.

Bummer. I'd love a decent radio/mp3 recorder combo, but there just isn't one available yet. I'm thinking of scoring a Tecsun PL398MP, but unfortunately it doesn't record.

I was brought up back in the days of cassette/radio combos ("boomboxes") and still enjoy them a great deal. You'd think that the natural progression of things would have led to a modern version. There are a few out there, but none of them have gotten it right so far.

I've bought a few of the cheap radios with an SD slot (Supersonic and Quantum FX as well as the huge Lasonic), and yes I've had some fun with them (for the price they're kind of hard to beat), but their performance as a radio leaves a lot to be desired. I sure would like to have a GOOD one.

Gary

An alternative is to use a standalone MP3 recorder like the Sangean DAR-101. The disadvantage is that it has no built in radio. The advantage is that it can presumably be used with any radio with a line out or headphone jack.

http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/misc/4101.html

http://www.amazon.com/Sangean-DAR-101-Desk-Recorder-Black/dp/B003XU76QK/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Gary

@Stephen A - If you want crisp AM audio, like a Superadio III when using the wide filter, then the PR-D5 is definitely not for you. The audio on the latter is much more muffled than an SR III. Almost all of my radios have crisper AM audio than the PR-D5.

Sensitivity of the PR-D5 on AM in suburban or fringe areas is quite good, but as you noted some folks have trouble with overload in urban areas, and there is no RF Gain or Attenuator to reduce this tendency.

Drive-In-Freak

Gary,

That [Sangean DAR-101] looks really sweet. REAL (AA cell) batteries instead of the usual annoying built inside so you can't get to it type (one of the worst ideas of all time IMHO), record level controls that are conventional knobs, two built in microphones for stereo sound (something that's far too uncommon), SD card storage, and line in. What's not to love?

192k bps max?! *facepalm*

Even with that I'd be on it in a heartbeat if it had a tuner with a half way decent AM/MW loop-coil and circuit in it.

Paul S.

I have been reading the specs on the newer 2-AAA battery type of SI48XX chips. These ALL show very stubby ferrite rods as being acceptable. Meh, poor MW design right from the chip-maker. In the move towards consumerism, some enthusiasts will be dissapointed.
.
JMH2" ferrite bar.
Paul S. in CT

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