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May 03, 2013

Comments

StarHalo

Nearly all car radios have much better performance than nearly all store shelf receivers. The race to improve and refine car radio design took place in the mid 20th century and hit a ceiling long ago, and bear in mind the price point is quite high - your car's receiver unit cost you at least $150 and is a seriously overbuilt unit with a metal case and high-quality components, something that can't be said of most consumer portable radios. Plus you must use external antennas with a car receiver, which most people don't bother to do with their home radio.

brandon

The only problem with the modern (ie, 1980s-1990s) Delco radios is they have terrible adjacent FM selectivity. They're very good at rejecting front-end overload but the adjacents, not so much. I suppose a filter mod would improve this. And again, if you use a non-vintage model, I cannot stress this enough - look for one with AM Stereo and a 5-band EQ! They made quite a few of these from the late 80s through mid 90s, maybe even later.

Here's some pictures of a few examples on ebay - there's several sellers who refurbish these things and add an aux. input.

http://breakingnewsfeeds.com/media/delco.jpg

brandon

...and here I found a picture of mine and its speakers; bought it several years ago. I have since purchased wood (and cut and stained it) to make a cabinet for it. The tricky part is going to be making all the custom connections on the back that I want (for AM antenna, FM antenna, wall power, etc).

http://breakingnewsfeeds.com/media/delco2.jpg

Brian

Something that may have been mentioned on this blog before - buying a radio at the Salvation Army, Goodwill or garage sales or similar.

I know the Superadio 3 is hit or miss on quality control, and the latest version with the RCA name on it is pretty much junk, but I recently found a GE Superadio 3 at Salvation Army for $4.99

It looks like it used to belong to a UAW assembly line worker here in the Detroit area. The previous owner's name is on it, along with the shift he worked and some other stuff like a Dale Earnhardt #3 stenciled on it. It looks like he replaced the original whip antenna and also marked the dial for his favorite station, 101.1 WRIF.

I got lucky though, my $4.99 investment happened to have batteries already in it and this GE SR3 is one of the good ones. The difference between this one and the RCA version I owned previously is night and day. It is absolutely brilliant on FM when it comes to pulling in the low power and obscure high school and college stations at the low end of the band. Strong local AM stations like WJR 760 sound amazing with the AM wide band setting.

Keep your eyes open and stop into a resale store now and then. There are definitely quality radios out there for cheap if you watch out for them..

Dave P

Just a little follow up to my previous post on finding Superadio bargains. During a bout of insomnia last night/this morning, I found myself on eBay scrolling through radios. About 1:45 am, I came upon an SR1 with about 20 minutes remaining on the auction, and the current bid was 99 cents. Shipping was only $6, so I took a shot. I placed a bid of $9, and won the auction for a whopping $3.75. It was listed by a seller with good feedback, and was listed as in working condition. I think what kept the bids low was the fact that the volume knob was missing. Just so happens a few years ago, I purchased a Bell & Howell am/fm/sw radio that ended up being the worst radio I have ever encountered in my life. However, the volume and tome knobs are almost identical to the SR knobs, and the speakers had good sound, so I threw it in the closet in the hopes that I could use the parts off it someday. That day has come. I can't wait for my $10 Superadio to arrive. The only unknown is the condition of the battery compartment, so I will keep my fingers crossed. The other pics all show a radio in much better than average condition. I will post a follow up when it arrives.

Mo

I'd like to listen my beloved Toronto Blue Jays and Maple Leafs when on the road. Does anyone have any recommendations for a good AM DXer?

StarHalo

Mo, know ahead of time that most baseball teams have only one broadcast station, which means if you're traveling out of the general region where your team is, in most instances there just won't be any way to receive broadcasts with a conventional receiver. The good news here is that you can get the audio-only package from MLB.tv for ~$3 a month, and that gives you access to live broadcasts from all teams. It's not as cool as a nice radio, but it's much cheaper..

Drive-In-Freak

There's one problem with car radios: omnidirectional antenna. That sounds like a good idea, but it's not. You can't null anything out. The ability to pick a signal coming from a certain direction is quite important because the AM/MW band is so crowded.
Of course if you're using one as a portable (they drain quite a bit of current so they're battery hogs, but it can be done), or putting one on a powersuppy in the house (make sure to put an RF coke on the line so you don't get a bunch of noise coming in from the powerlines) you could always build a loop or use some other kind of directional antenna instead of a stick. That would eliminate the problem.

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