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December 20, 2012


Bob C.

Yes, C. Crane Company sent me an email about this last night. I'm eager to read a review as to how it came out. In fact, I might just pull the trigger and buy one in the next few weeks - unless I read something that makes me think otherwise. It seems to have the potential to be a very interesting little radio.

Tom Welch

I'm waiting for Jay Allen to review this radio before buying.


At first glance, I don┬┤t like the fact it has no telescopic antenna...the headphones┬┤ wire acting as fm antenna sucks..


I agree with Pablo. Same wire setup on the Sangean DT400 makes for compromised FM reception.

Bob C.

The problem with the telescopic antenna in a pocket portable such as this is as simple as the fact that it takes up space and is awkward. The FM headphone cord antenna is, simply stated, more convenient and more user-friendly when using the radio passively (e.g., while running, walking, doing yard work, etc.). There are many other options that offer a telescopic antenna and not all offer good reception. Furthermore, it is possible to get decent reception with a cord antenna. The Insignia NS-HD01 is a good example of such a radio. If this radio has the FM sensitivity and selectivity of the Insignia + solid AM and WX band, it will be a new favorite.

Mark Roberts

The problem with a cord antenna is that it's hard to get it at the right length (approximately 30 inches) and you can't aim it at the best signal.

The Insignia NS-HD01 could do even better if it had better antenna capabilities. As it is, it's good, though, aside from the very clever volume control, the other controls are clumsy to use.


With antennas length matters bigtime. Just as a piano string resonates a certain note depending on it's length (i.e. a specific audible frequency) so does an antenna. Yes, it can (and sometimes needs to) be tuned and a radio is no different. That's what the antenna trim capacitor (usually located on the main tuning capacitor) is for, but never mind the technical aspect. I'm sure you understand what I am getting at.
The length of the headphone cord is crucial to good FM reception when used as an antenna.
No radio will preform it's best without a proper antenna.

For the FM broadcast band (at 98 MHz..the center of the FM dial) it's 5 feet (1/2 wave) or 2 1/2 feet (1/4 wave).

Unfortunately with the advent and growing popularity of MP3 players the companies that manufacture headphones no longer concern themselves with cord lengths that are good for FM reception.

Mark Roberts

Everyone memorize this: "With antennas length matters bigtime". It's not the only factor, but too many manufacturers of portables overlook it now.

You would want to use the half-wavelength for a dipole, either folded or not; the 1/4 wave works best with a single wire. Some experimentation is almost always in order; for example, on my Advent 400, using a half-way folded dipole but with only ONE lead connected gives the best results, contrary to what theory might tell you. That result has been consistent over the 37 years I've had that radio.

There are many other designs out there, though of course, most work best in a fixed installation.

I believe one reason my vintage Zenith FM portables perform so well, even today, is, aside from careful attention to circuit design, they always made sure that the telescoping antenna could extend to 30". The Tecsun DSP portables, excellent as they are, could perform even better if Tecsun did the same thing. Instead Tecsun seems to put in whatever they have at hand.


I'm not especially pleased with wire antennas either, but they do have some advantages over whips. Pocket radios often come with some type of a clip on the back, so that you can fasten the radio to your hip or belt. With an extended whip antenna, this would be extremely difficult or impossible. With a wire antenna, it's entirely possible.

What I do with my Sangean DT-400W is put the radio on my hip and then wrap the wire antenna around my waist through the belt loops. It works perfectly if you want to walk or run with the radio.


Is it possible for a manufacturer to offer both? Whip antenna and cord antenna? Frankly, there are specialty radios designed for joggers. I'd prefer to keep serious pocket portables and jogger junk separated. I maintain that I haven't yet found a corded FM antenna that performs as well as a whip antenna. Maybe they do, maybe they're out there----but not that I've seen.


So this is a DT-400W with extra station memories?

Bob C.

Angelo, Sangean's DT-220A has the capability of a whip antenna + the ability to just use the headphone cord. The sensitivity off of the cord is inferior to that possessed by their DT-400W; reception using the whip is about the same as the DT-400W (sans weather band). The biggest problem with the DT-220A is that it's size is a little awkward for a pocket radio, yet it's too small to be useful when you use it as a stand alone with its speaker.

The DT-400W manages stellar reception of WB channels with just the cord, so it is possible to offer decent reception without a whip antenna. Ultimately, a whip IS better - but you need different radios for different applications. A good whip is needed for an FM DX machine, but not necessarily for a pocket radio that you use when jogging or walking the dog. OTOH, I'd like the latter radio to be capable of pulling in adjacent market stations - and I think that's quite possible.


Karl - Based on the features and specs, the CC Pocket radio appears to be a new design, not just a small modification of the DT-400W.

In particular, the selectable narrow AM filter and the ability to tune AM in 1 kHz increments are big changes relative to the DT-400W.

The CC Pocket is probably built by Sangean. Hopefully they did a better job on this one than they did with the recent WR-12.

Mark Roberts

Shamless self-promotion: http://markrobt.posterous.com/a-first-look-the-cc-pocket-radio


Thanks for the review, Mark. This looks promising.

Regarding the WX reception, were you using the same headphones as the antenna on both radios?

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