2009 Ultralight Radio Shootout Contestants


Gary DeBock
 

Hello Guys,
 
     The final lineup of pocket radio contestants in 2009's first shootout includes some very innovative units from the Far East, products of the hot competition between Chinese manufacturers:
 
1)  Tecsun PL-450 ($79.99 at Amazon.com)   A very recent upgrade to the discontinued Eton E100, this model features 600 memories and double conversion (presumably on AM, also).  It remains to be seen whether it can be modified into a DXpedition wonder, like the Slider E100's with the Murata CFJ455K5 IF filter.
 
2)  C.Crane SWP ($45.00 at Amazon.com)   Much improved from the substandard unit tested last year, this model's function and appearance are similar to the E100, with superior low-band sensitivity.  With 1 kHz tuning steps and a 455 kHz IF, it can also be modified exactly like the E100-- for greatly improved sensitivity and selectivity.
 
3)  Degen DE1123 ($79.99 at Amazon.com)  Probably the most versatile Ultralight ever built, with AM-FM-SW and a built-in MP3 recorder, and player.  It remains to be seen whether AM reception will be competitive, or just a neglected part of the impressive package.
 
4)  Grundig Mini 300 ($30 at Amazon.com)  Primarily designed for the traveling Shortwave listener on a budget, the AM section features an analog design with digital tuning readout, with a circuit board looking very much like the SRF-59's.
 
5)  Tecsun DR-910 ($27.90 plus $9 shipping from "dpmega" on eBay)  Chinese market analog portable using digital readout, with the same height, width, thickness, color, whip antenna, wrist strap and manufacturer as the Eton E100.  Will AM-DXing performance be anything like the model it resembles?
 
     These five models will be thoroughly aligned, tested and evaluated in the coming days, with the popular models from the previous Shootouts (E100, DT-400W, SRF-T615, DT-210V, DT-200VX, SRF-M37V, SRF-59, SRF-39FP, SRF-S84, etc.) joining in the final exhaustive comparison.  If you have yet to experience the unique excitement and challenge of DXing with an Ultralight radio, this new purchasing guide will provide you with the latest in accurate information!  We hope you will join the 170 members of the worldwide Ultralightdx Yahoo group, and personally experience the legendary fun for yourself.
 
     73 and Good DX,
 
     Gary DeBock            


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