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November 21, 2014


A. Black

I noticed the 2015 C. Crane catalog is out.


There is a new AM/FM only version too; gets generally poor reviews.


I'd agree that the new AM/FM is worthless. It is deaf to stations on AM or FM. The one in this article, however, is a slim little radio that performs fairly well on FM, picks up most AM stations that I am looking for, and even manages to get some SW. It will never replace your C.Crane or Sangean (though I suspect that is who manufactured this), but it isn't a bad little radio, either.


Here's another favorable review of this radio.



For $12 more, you can get the new Eton "50th Mini" AM/FM/SW radio. It has the nice reversed-LCD amber display:



Oops... make that $15 more. Still, the oddly-named "50th Mini" looks interesting.

I searched on this blog but couldn't find any previous reference to this model.


Somehow I missed Tom Stiles' review of the Eton Mini (same as the "50th Mini" that Radio Shack sells) that appeared in September:


I have one on order, and don't expect it to compete with other radios I own, but it could be handy to keep in the car's glove box.

Michael Schuster

After reading the comments about the web sale price being obtained in-store I visited 3 Radio Shack stores only to be turned away with excuses why they wouldn't "price match". So I ordered one on Cyber Monday with free shipping, and got an additional 10% off the sale price. (I was going to have it shipped to one of the 3 stores I'd visited just to spite them; but hey, why waste the gas again).

Anyway, if you're thinking of running out to buy one of these instead of the competition - don't. This radio doesn't hold a candle to similarly-sized and featured Tecsun DSP radios like the PL-505 and PL-606.

On FM it's quite sensitive and selective; but MW/SW are another matter. It receives the local powerhouses just fine, but I had a $6 K-Mart transistor radio that did that adequately too.

The main problem seems to be lack of any detectable AGC action, resulting in inadequate volume (even in headphones) on anything besides the locals. Sorta like the first production run of the CC Pocket radio but, to their credit, they did fix that. I can't even tell whether the DSP chip is programmed to enforce "soft mute" because EVERYTHING is already muted.

It also does funny stuff with the splash from IBOC stations. On any other radio it sounds like white noise that grows weaker the further you de-tune. On this radio it's just a kind of silent de-sense which extends 20 or 30 KHz in either direction.

SW reception is marginal because the telescopic whip is way too short; I haven't tried connecting a long wire yet but don't have high hopes. Lots of MW images on SW too.

Sure glad I didn't spend $40 on this.


Even if it isn't that great I'm still tempted. It's nice to be able to walk into someplace and buy a new radio, and that option is becoming more and more thin as time goes on it seems.
Sure, I've picked up a few duds from Rat Shack over the years, but there's something to be said for not having to wait for something to come in the mail.
From the way it looks they could use our business too. They're having a really hard time staying alive at this point. While it's true that they're not what they used to be I think it would be a great loss if they were no more.

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