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August 30, 2014

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bill

Since I mess around listening to AM Medium Wave more than anything else, I took the plunge and bought a CCradio 2E to be more or less a dedicated MW DX set. It doesn't disappoint.

I could get my revenge for you California types saying "This radio is so good I can get KGO on it, by saying I got WDBC in Escanaba on it, in daytime. But that would be as meaningless to you as KGO is to me. Let's say that during daylight, on MW, I get about twice the stations I can on my good shortwave portables, maybe three to four times as many as on a cheap consumer grade set.

I suspect my Panasonic RF-2200 could have beaten it in its earlier days, but I've used the Panny heavily for decades. It needs some cleaning up and alignment now. I don't know how to do that.

On FM, the CCRadio 2e rates as good as anything else I have, but not better. Sound quality is superior, though, so it is more pleasant to listen to than my other newer portables. Here again, the Panasonic equals it.

The CCRadio has the modern conveniences one takes for granted; digital display, clock, presets, a dial light, alarm, and timer.

No wall wart! The power supply is built into the radio, and it is quiet. I couldn't really notice any more radio noise plugged in than on batteries.

One feature some will question but I like is that the memory presets are accessed by dedicated buttons across the top of the set. That means five presets on MW and five on FM- five on weather and ham also, for that matter. Radios seem to be in a number war about how many memories they have; hundreds aren't enough, you need a couple thousand. Frankly I prefer five, with easy set-top buttons. If you have more stations you want to listen to than that, choose which ones to set memories for so that the ones that don't have memory locations are only an easy tune from those that do. Or just space your memories evenly across the dial as an aid to quick tuning.

A second toss-up feature is that the radio switches automatically, and silently, between line current and batteries when you plug in or unplug the power cord. This is a nice feature but can cause you to drain your batteries unexpectedly when you think the set is plugged in but it isn't.

The radio picks up NOAA weather radio and does it well. It has three weather alert settings; light, light and siren, or weather radio on. If you're like me you'll probably disable this most of the time, since the alarm will go off each Wednesday noon when NOAA tests the system. This gets a bit annoying. Also, the radio manual mentions leaving alerts on costs you on batteries. But when you are actually home and / or the weather threatens, you can turn the alert on. It's a good thing to have at need.

Downsides are that the set takes a second or two to produce full sound when you tune in a MW frequency, which makes quick bandscanning for weak signals impossible.

Second, the radio has no internal battery charger. Perhaps this is a toss up, since these can cause problems (such as burning your house down, as one regular to Herculodge reported).

Third, it is spendy! It will definitely pull in MW signals I couldn't otherwise, but these stations and any others I might have already heard which weren't strong will still sound poor. So unless like me you care much more about getting more content than you do about audio quality, this set may not be a good buy for you. On the other hand, if you live out in the pickers (and there are still a few of us out here) or you go camping, this set might make the difference between weak, noisy news and no news at all-- and in times of bad weather or other trouble, no news is definitely not good news.

All in all, a very nice set. I'm happy with it.

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