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December 28, 2012

Comments

Tim

Fabulous! This is great news. I'm really looking forward to getting this radio.

Gary

Here's a review of the CC Pocket radio posted today by m_a_schuster on the Yahoo ultralightdx group:

My radio came in today's mail. I have only tried in on daytime MW so far. Some initial observations.

The radio is slightly larger than the DT-400. The case, while clad in rubber on some surfaces, is made of what I call "cheap Chinese plastic". It's that silvery-grey brittle stuff that never looks or feels quite right, and has a tendency to crack under stress. This is of functional importance because of the battery cover; which is unlatched by squeezing along the edge, causing the latched edge to deform towards a rectangular slit. I could easily see that, after 50 openings, that deformable edge will crack off.

The LCD display on my specimen lacks contrast. It improves somewhat when you tune around and the LED illuminates the display - but considering the QC issues that CCrane has had with displays on other larger models, I'm a bit surprised.

Getting used to pressing multiple unlabelled buttons simultaneously to accomplish certain functions is tedious. Also I've had a few instances in which I've selected something (like changing from 10 to 1 KHz steps) and the controls are frozen afterward, requiring power off to get access again. Accessing presets off the first (default) page is a pain too.

There is some minor CPU/display noise on some frequencies which disappears when you use the 2-key combination to turn the display off. Firmware is intelligent here; if you change frequency the display comes back on.

Adjacent channel selectivity is superb even with the default 4 KHz filter. The only situation in which adjacent channel splash is apparent is around strong IBOC signals where absolutely nothing helps on any radio.

The radio is also relatively immune to bleed-trough of the local blowtorches clear across the dial, a plague on most other radios here in RF Alley, NJ.

My biggest gripe in initial daytime listening is speaker volume. Only local stations are received with enough volume to listen to at more than 1-2 feet away. In side-by-side comparison with the DT-400, daytime reception of 3-bar strength stations ~40 miles away, even with proper antenna orientation, wide filtering, and fresh batteries often requires putting your ear right on the cabinet. In contrast the DT-400 blasts the same station clear across the room. This is absolutely unacceptable, and I've just emailed CCrane to ask about it. If this can't be fixed, the radio is a non-starter.

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