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December 29, 2012

Comments

Bob C

Interesting comments here. For me, Mark Roberts' review convinced me to buy. The "cheap Chinese plastic" comment in the Yahoo blog is too subjective to sway me and I honestly couldn't care less about whether the speaker sounds like its Dolby 5.1 or not. There are MANY other radios that sound good, so the reviewer totally missed the mark there - especially given his admission that reception is "superb". Which is exactly what I was hoping to hear. I'll probably pull the trigger late next week.

Gary

It sounds like something is wrong with the AM AGC on the reviewer's radio. With a properly performing AGC, medium strength stations should sound just as loud as strong stations. Hopefully this is just a sample defect.

Among the larger radios that I have, the CCRadio-SW has a very good AGC. Even relatively weak stations sound as loud as strong stations. My WR-2 has only a fair AGC. Weak stations have a low audio level compared to strong stations.

I'd be interested to hear if Mark Roberts has this AGC issue with his CC Pocket radio.

Keith Beesley

One of the small Tecsun radios with DSP would probably be a better choice for a travel radio. You give up the NOAA weather stations, but most hotel rooms in N. America are now equipped with cable TV and wifi for checking the forecast. Maybe for camping...

Bob C

I'd probably use the CC Pocket for walking around and a Tecsun DSP for travel. Essentially, the Pocket would replace my DT-400w. Selectivity is the key. I live between Chicago and Milwaukee, so there are lots of first adjacents here. Chicago FMs have the edge thanks to great line of sight from the Sears (er, Willis) tower. Meanwhile, most Milwaukee FMs have tx's on a tower north of Milwaukee. Often i'll be listening to Oldies 95.7 from MKE only to turn a corner and have the Beatles rudely interrupted by sour-horn Ranchero from 95.5. WNUA. That said, they're competitive enough that I have issues when walking around with the DT-400w. The FM feed of WBBM newsradio on 105.9 is often clobbered by WMIL on 106.1. Tried the Tecsun F100, which has DSP but it lacks sensitivity. The Insignia is good, but is FM only. Hence my quest for a sensitive and selective "walking around" portable.

mike_s

Gary: yes, it sounds like my radio has an AGC problem. However, since it is advertised as using DSP without a describing how, I am reminded of the "soft mute" function on the SiLabs DSP chips which can make the audio drop off a cliff when below a certain level.

I am now also regularly able to reproduce keyboard lock-up after using the 2-key combo presses to activate some functions. Usually I can recover by holding the UP or DOWN button for a few seconds.

Perhaps my specimen should have failed QC. Awaiting a response from CCrane.

Mark Roberts

I don't think it's soft mute; I don't detect any signs of it. I'll put more on Posterous shortly but to make it brief, AGC is decidedly different between the two, and there seems to be a functional relationship. There doesn't seem to be much AGC on the CC. On the other hand, the DT overloaded on a very strong local signal, complete with audio distortion, while the CC didn't.

I haven't had the keyboard lockup so far.

mike_s

Bob C: We each have our own criteria for what makes a good product. I think you've misunderstood - evne misquoted - my comments.

My concern about the plastic used for the case is that such material, in my experience, proves to crack under stress. Removing the battery cover provides exactly that stress.

Regarding the audio - no, I'm not looking for Dolby 5.1 from a tiny speaker. But I do expect the high sensitivity of this receiver to be useable - i.e. it produces enough volume on mid-strength signals to be audible without putting your ear 3 inches from the speaker.

And I didn't "admit" that the reception is "superb" ... if you re-read my posting, you'll see that I only used that word to describe adjacent-channel selectivity (which it, in fact, is).

Gary

Mike & Mark,

Thanks for your additional thoughts on the AGC action with the CC Pocket radio.

Here is Mark's updated info on the AGC issue:

http://markrobt.posterous.com/some-issues-with-the-cc-pocket-radio-on-am

Hopefully C. Crane will rework this on future units. I'm surprised that something as basic as a properly performing AGC got past their QC efforts during the design and prototyping process.

Mark Roberts

I just revised that post (URL is the same) after normalizing the audio output to 0 dB peak. The results didn't meaningfully differ. I'm still not entirely satisfied with how I measured things -- for one thing, I wish I had more music programming to work with -- but it does provide enough of an indication, I think, that AGC is one of the unit's weak points.

Jack

Here's my beef with this "review."
>>>>>>>My radio came in today's mail. I have only tried in on daytime MW so far. Some initial observations.<<<<<<<
How long did you actually play with this thing? 10 minutes? An hour? Just listening to MW during daylight hours hardly gives anyone a decent synopsis of this radio.

To predict what might fall apart is just conjecture. I've used plastic radios from China for years. The only plastic that's ever cracked on me were a few Sangean radios made 10-15 years ago (from Taiwan.)

This radio performs quite well on all bands, contains many bells and whistles not found on other smaller radios and has a few areas that could have been better. (The on board speaker being one of them) I just received this radio on Christmas and despite continual playing, I won't get into full detail.

Again, I feel if you're going to give a review, even an "initial thoughts" piece, play with it for a full day or two. If there are things that just don't seem right (poor volume, a deaf band, broken switches) return it and see if it's just a defective unit. Then give thoughts and opinions based on the typical use your readers would have.

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