Re: Eton Travelr III
Nice and to the point review.
Few thoughts. The upgraded PL-310ET is available for 40 USD delivered. That
makes the Eton 50% more expensive and that's not including the shipping
which you didn't specify. That means the Eton is not in the 310's price
class. At all.
True, I don't find the AM performance on my 310ET all that great, especially
compared to my PL-660 which does much better and often hears things my 310ET
doesn't hear at all. But I don't hear any hets or pumping on my 310ET
either. Are you comparing against the ET or the first model 310?
The lack of a keypad on a modern digital SW radio is inexcusable. I am
really surprised about this.
I didn't see anything in the review about the Eton's memories. The 310ET has
550 memories and some amount of ETM memories. I can never remember how many
or if they're carved out of the 550. Anyway the ETM mode is great for band
scanning since it doesn't affect the "normal" memories but simply dumps all
the stations it can hear into the ETM bucket for scanning or listening. This
is a really nice feature for DXing since you can do a bandscan, save it, and
then start looking for new suspects, all without messing up your regular
I admit the 1 KHz and to a lesser degree 2 KHz bandwidths of the 310ET border on
useless given the lack of a BFO but the 3 and 4 KHz bandwidths are great for
DXing and can make the difference between logging stations or not, even on
AM and how much more so on SW.
For such a major price difference I can't see spending the money for a radio
like the Eton with so few features although it is very attractively
presented as usual for Eton. The display is really nice and clear. It
doesn't have as much info as the Tecsun displays have but it looks like it
would work better in the dark. With the extra 20 bucks and shipping you
could buy a Sony SRF-59.
I don't know who these Etons are marketed to. If to travellers as the name
would imply, then the Tecsuns win on size, weight, sound clarity (from your
notes) and 3 batteries vs. 4. I would think travellers would prefer a hotter
FM section and not care about SW at all. And a few alarms might be nice too,
not just one.
OTOH for DXers a DSP radio that's not hot on FM, doesn't have selectable
filter bandwidths, and no keypad, all at a price point at least 50% higher
than a Tecsun 310ET or 380, is not going to appeal to many smart shoppers either.
I had the old analog Traveller decades ago and I think by now Eton should
have done away with that awful, space consuming world time zone knob under the
cover. Having the time zones is excellent for travelling and I used that and
the alarm a lot. In fact, as I recall that radio was better as an alarm
clock than a radio. But that huge knob is totally passe and should have been
replaced with a tiny multifunction button by now. Just think how nicely a
keypad could fit in all that wasted space...