Steve Ponder N5WBI <n5wbi@...>
Radio Reviewed: Grundig Mini 300 (unmodified)
Radio Used for Comparison: Eton E-100 (unmodified)
Description of the Grundig Mini 300
Frequency Coverage: AM (525-1710 kHz), FM (88-108 MHz), SW1/49M (5.95-6.20 MHz), SW2/41M (7.00-7.30 MHz), SW3/31M (9.50-9.95 MHz), SW4/25M (11.60-12.10 MHz), SW5/22M (13.60-13.80 MHz), SW6/19M (15.10-15.80 MHz), and SW7/16M (17.50-17.90 MHz).
Size: Fits in your pocket. Dimensions are 2.6 x 7 x 1.2 inches (65 x 170 x 23 mm). Weight without batteries is 4 ounces (127 g).
Tuning: Analog with digital display. Tuning is accomplished by means of thumbwheel on right side of radio. MW tunes in 0.5 kHz increments. FM tunes in 50 kHz increments. Shortwave tunes in 5 kHz increments. Bands are selected by a 9-position slide switch on the left side of the radio. FM Stereo is available through the headphone jack, located on the left side of the radio just below the band switch.
Antennas: FM and Shortwave reception use a telescopic antenna that is located on the left side of the radio. There is a molded part of the radio case that extends approximately 2.125 inches (57 mm) above the top of the radio to protect the antenna. Unfortunately, it also prevents the antenna from swiveling or turning. You must occasionally orient the entire radio for best FM reception. Fully extended, the telescopic antenna adds another 19.75 inches (502 mm) to the overall height of the radio. This often causes the radio to tip over. The AM band uses an internal ferrite bar loop antenna oriented parallel to the top of the radio.
Power Source: The radio operates on 2 AA batteries. There is no provision for an external DC power adapter.
I checked the Mini 300 for (1) sensitivity and (2) selectivity using the Eton E-100 as my base for comparion.
For the sensitivity portion of the review, I selected two stations on the high end of the AM dial, one a local TIS station on 1610 kHz, the other a semi-local on 1460 kHz. I also selected two stations on the low end of the AM dial, both semi-locals, one on 550 kHz, the other on 560 kHz. I also threw in another TIS station on 830 kHz and a station in a neighboring state on 870 kHz that can be heard well at my location. The sensitivity review was performed during the middle afternoon, before local sunset started affecting the signals.
For the selectivity portion of the review, I chose two local stations, one on 740 kHz, the other on 1480 kHz, that are (IMHO) notorious for splattering their immediate adjacent channels at night. This is due, not to the fault of the stations, but to the quality of the radio - hence the reason for the test. So, I compared the Mini 300 and the E-100 on 730, 750, 1470, and 1480 kHz at approximately 2 hours after local sunset in order to give the station's signals time to settle down into their nighttime strengths.
To "quantify" my completely subjective evaluations, I used the same scale that Gerry Thomas of Radio Plus uses in his evaluations:
5 - Local (all background noise "quieted")
4 - Easily Readable, but not like a local
3 - Readable, but with some effort
2 - Intermittently readable
1 - Present, but not readable
0 - Not detectable
Based on the fact that my totally non-scientific results returned over 50% in both categories (sensitivity and selectivity), I think the Grundig Mini 300 world be a worthy addition to the list of Ultralight Radios!
Disclaimer: The opinions stated in this review are myown. I personally own all of the radiosthat I reviewed. Measurements,calculations, and estimates were performed strictly by ear and reflect my bestjudgment alone.
73 and Great DX,