Re: G8 vs CR-1100 preliminary AM BCB report-FARMERIK


Rik
 

Gary - Thanks for offering to mail the manual, but Kaito did email me a link, and I downloaded and printed it off. As you said, I did not find instructions on how to change from 9 to 10 Kc.steps. The performance is quite a bit better than the G8 on domestic AM BCB, and so is the audio, so it should be a pretty good port-a-table sort of radio. The only AM splatter on domestic frequencies is AM 740, a powerhouse from Toronto which does seem to have a wider audio bandwidth than any other station on the dial here.
I have not had a chance to try it out in the daytime either, but I have not forgotten about it. - FARMERIK

--- In ultralightdx@..., D1028Gary@... wrote:

Hello Farmerik,

Thanks for your message.

The CR1100 units were obviously designed for the Chinese domestic market
and can be set to tune in 9 kHz steps, but the neither the poorly-written
English manual nor the Chinese manual mentions how to do this. The Chinese
manual says that the steps tune in 9 kHz increments, and the English manual
say that the steps tune in 10 kHz increments. Lots of help, right?

But even if the CR1100 model here could be set to tune in 9 kHz steps, this
would hardly transform the radio into a prolific TP-chaser. The Si4734 DSP
filtering is fixed at such a wide setting (my guess is 4 kHz) that
domestic splatter would almost always cover any TP's that show up. Because the
radio will not tune in 1 kHz steps, there is no way to get 1 kHz farther away
from splatter (like with the PL-380).

If you still don't have an English manual for your CR1100, I would be happy
to mail you mine for free (if you can give me your snail mail address).
Both my wife (from Hong Kong) and I can read Chinese, so the more detailed
Chinese manual is the one we would use. Unless someone else wishes me to scan
and post the English manual, I'd be happy to mail it to you.

73, Gary


In a message dated 1/2/2010 9:50:05 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
farmerik@... writes:




If the 9 Kc. steps were selected, would it be on frequency for the trans
ocean signals?

I am disappointed the loop stick is not larger.

I did not get the English manual included. I emailed Amazon, and they said
contact the MFG. Since the controls are in Chinese, I thought perhaps
Kaito wrote the manual, so I emailed them. No answer, but it's a Holiday week
end here. You don't have the CR-1100 English manual scanned do you? -
FARMERIK

--- In _ultralightdx@ultralightdxult_ (mailto:ultralightdx@...)
, D1028Gary@, D1

Hello Farmerik,

All of the radios you mentioned (G8, PL-380, CR-1110 and PL-600) are on
hand here, in this overcrowded shack.

The CR-1110 is a rather odd bird that has far better AM sensitivity on
the
high frequencies (especially the X band) than on the middle and low
band.
It was tested extensively against an aligned Sony ICF-S5W on all
frequencies
from 530-1700 kHz, and was found inferior in sensitivity to that classic
model on most AM frequencies, but clearly superior on the X band. It
also
did not suffer from the ICF-S5W's severe image reception issue, of
course.

I did a mini-review of the CR-1100 back in June, which may be of
interest
to you. Some of the information is dated (such as the praise of the
PL-300WT, the only DSP model available at the time), but the rest should
give you
detailed impressions on the model. Hope you enjoy it!

73 and Have Fun, Gary



Hello All,



Very impressed with the performance of the new Tecsun PL-300WT
DSP-enhanced

Ultralight radio on medium-wave, it was a natural decision to place an

order with Amazon.com for the new full-sized Tecsun CR-1100 AM-FM
portable,

which uses the same innovative Si430/31 DSP chip from Silicon Labs.
Today
my

new CR-1100 portable arrived from Kaito Electronics after a 4-day delay,

and payment of $69.99 plus $13.00 shipping (by USPS Priority Mail).



The CR-1100 is strictly a Chinese-market portable, to the extent that
all

of the controls are labeled only in Chinese. Despite this, Kaito has

provided a very basic (and poorly translated) English manual, as well as
the

standard and far more thorough Chinese manual. The AM frequency steps
have
also

been reprogrammed to 10 kHz, matching the North American market.



Immediately after arrival, the radio's out-of-the-box AM performance was

tested against a fully aligned Sony ICF-S5W portable (which has had the

frequency coverage extended to 1700 kHz). The comparison of these two
radios

proved to be very interesting, and showed that while the CR-1100 has
some

good DXing potential on AM, it also has some puzzling shortcomings.



In comparison to the PL-300WT's sharp DSP-enhanced selectivity, the
CR-1100

had a tough time going up against the ICF-S5W, with its common 455 kHz

Murata filter. Local slop on the CR-1100 was more troublesome than on
the

PL-300WT, making it seem like Tecsun programmed the DSP chip to provide
a

wider selectivity setting on this music-oriented receiver. The ICF-S5W
was
able

to weakly receive KPQ-560 in the null of semi-local KVI-570 in the early

afternoon, while the CR-1100 could only produce KVI splatter. Low-band

sensitivity on the CR-1100 was very good, but not quite up to the
class-leading

ICF-S5W standard. Although the CR-1100's low-band sensitivity will match

that of the PL-300WT, unlike the PL-300WT, the CR-1100 cannot tune in 1
kHz

steps, making it impossible to chase TP's on the 9 kHz splits.



The CR-1100 versus ICF-S5W contest became much more competitive on the
high

band, however, and on the X-band the new Tecsun was clearly far more

sensitive than the classic Sony portable. In fact, the CR-1100 sets a
new

standard for X-band sensitivity among portables, having weak signal
performance

never experienced in extensive testing here. Weak fringe stations that
were


barely audible on the ICF-S5W had solid audio on the Tecsun.



Also notable in the CR-1100 was the complete freedom from image
reception

of local stations, a major shortcoming of the classic ICF-S5W. The
Sony's

image reception detracts greatly from its otherwise stellar performance,
but

the Tecsun DSP chip appears to have solved the problem entirely.



After the out-of-the-box performance test, the CR-1100 was disassembled
to

check the loopstick construction, and the possibility of alignment. Both

the PL-300WT and CR-1100 were designed to have a "no alignment" RF
system,
in

which the DSP chip ensures maximum performance without loopstick
peaking,

or adjustment of a 1400 kHz trimmer. In the CR-1100, there is a 4.25" x

.36" single-coil loopstick in the middle of the cabinet, which seems
rather

odd because of the extensive cabinet space on both sides which would
allow


placement of a much longer ferrite bar, if desired. Alignment was
attempted


by shifting the coil, but this had no effect on the CR-1100's
sensitivity
on

any AM frequency. Apparently DXers will need to accept the CR-1100's

sensitivity as delivered, unless they wish to transplant a larger
ferrite
bar

with a coil of equal inductance (which is certainly possible with all
the

extra cabinet space).



The CR-1100 also has a sensitive FM section, although again, for some

unknown reason it seemed slightly less sensitive than that of the
PL-300WT.


Perhaps there is a greater impedance mismatch with the CR-1100's short
whip


antenna, but in any case the PL-300WT Ultralight can receive more weak
FM

fringe stations here than the CR-1100.



The CR-1100 has a large music-oriented speaker and excellent audio, with

analog tone and volume control knobs. The 8-ohm speaker has a 1-watt
rated

output. The radio also has 300 memories, and various digital tuning

capabilities. It operates on 4 "D" batteries, and comes in an attractive

black-brown cabinet. It is available from Amazon.com (via Kaito
Electronics) for

$69.99 plus $13.00 shipping.



So after the full evaluation, what would be the CR-1100 verdict for a

dedicated medium-wave DXer? If you are a domestic DXer that concentrates
on
the

upper frequencies (especially the X-Band), the new CR-1100 would be
tough

to beat. Its upper-band sensitivity (and generally good selectivity) is

likely to set a new standard for contemporary portables. Urban DXers
will

appreciate the complete freedom from image reception, and general
freedom
from

spurious products. Hobbyists who enjoy music reception will not be

disappointed in the CR-1100's audio qualities. However, if you wish to
chase

transoceanic DX, or wish to experience the maximum potential of the
exciting new

Silicon Labs DSP chip, my recommendation would be to pass on the
CR-1100--

and go for the new PL-300WT Ultralight model. Its 1 kHz tuning ability
and

stellar selectivity (plus superior FM sensitivity) make it the obvious

choice for most medium-wave DXers.



73 and Best Wishes,



Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA)








*

* _farmerik@ * _farmerik@<WBR>._ * _farmerik







OK, now I get it. Sort of like the audio version of the screen break-up
on
digital video. I can see why it would be a problem for really weak
signal
DXing, however on my G8 I don't think I will miss any station strong
enough
to actually listen to.
Both the G8 and CR-1100 hear weak stations with less noise and
interference than my analog radios, but miss all the really weak signals
entirely. The
CR-1100 is significantly more sensitive and has less noise on its weak
stations though. Anyone have a PL-380 AND a CR-1100 to compare? My new
PL-600
seems MUCH more sensitive than the CR-1100. - FARMERIK

--- In _ultralightdx@ --- In _ultralightdx@<WBR>ul_ultralig
htdx@ultralightdxult_ (mailto:ultralightdx@...) )
, Richard Berler <lrdheat@> wrote:

The soft mute occurs when tuned exactly on frequency on weak signals
that vary between s/n's of 0, and s/n's that rise above zero...instead
of a
smooth rise or fall in the audible signal, the signal sounds like it is
flickering. The set, if soft mute is the default mode (as it is on the
G8 and
PL-310), will semi mute the signal of a station that falls below (or
rises
above) a certain threshold of signal strength, resulting in the
flickering of
the audible signal.
Â
Heatwave

--- On Sat, 1/2/10, farmerik <farmerik@...> wrote:


From: farmerik <farmerik@...>
Subject: [ultralightdx] Re: G8 vs CR-1100 preliminary AM BCB
report-FARMERIK
To: _ultralightdx@ To: _ultralightdx@<W_ultralightdx@ultralightdxult_
(mailto:ultralightdx@...) )
Date: Saturday, January 2, 2010, 9:49 AM
>
Â




I used to use WICC as a test for a good radio in the daytime. It is
much
closer to Westport than I am in the Northeast of CT, while Westport and
Naugatuck [WICC] are in the Southwest part of the state. Since you used
to
live in the area, I'll mention some call letters next time.

Maybe I need some help understanding exactly what the dreaded soft
mute
sounds like. Is it only a problem when tuned one or two Kc. off? Or is
it
the mute which happens before you couple an external loop, and you have
to
change frequency, and come back after the loop is in place? Maybe
something
else entirely? - FARMERIK

--- In ultralightdx@ yahoogroups. com, Richard Berler <lrdheat@ >
wrote:

Thanks!
ÃÆ'‚Â
Also, check to see if there is a pumping on marginal-weak daytime
signals (the dreaded soft mute).
ÃÆ'‚Â
I used to live in Westport, CT. From there, I needed a good radio to
get WBZ and WPRO during the daytime, and to get WCAU, KYW, and
WFIL?(560)
from Philly.
ÃÆ'‚Â
Heatwave
> Streets of Laredo, TX!
ÃÆ'‚Â
--- On Fri, 1/1/10, farmerik <farmerik@ .> wrote:
> >
From: farmerik <farmerik@ .>
> Subject: [ultralightdx] Re: G8 vs CR-1100 preliminary AM BCB
report-FARMERIK
To: ultralightdx@ yahoogroups. com
> > Date: Friday, January 1, 2010, 7:21 PM
> >
ÃÆ'‚Â



I'll see what I can do. I usually don't listen in the daytime.-
FARMERIK

--- In ultralightdx@ yahoogroups. com, Richard Berler <lrdheat@ >
wrote:

Happy New Year!
ÃÆ'Æ'‚ÃÆ'‚Â
Can you do some mid-day testing, and post your observations?
> ÃÆ'Æ'‚ÃÆ'‚Â
Thanks!
ÃÆ'Æ'‚ÃÆ'‚Â
Heatwave

--- On Thu, 12/31/09, farmerik <farmerik@ .> wrote:


From: farmerik <farmerik@ .>
Subject: [ultralightdx] G8 vs CR-1100 preliminary AM BCB
report-FARMERIK
To: ultralightdx@ yahoogroups. com
Date: Thursday, December 31, 2009, 11:31 PM
> > >

ÃÆ'Æ'‚ÃÆ'‚Â

> > >
I've had the G8 for a couple months, since joining here, but just
got my CR-1100 today. Both have the same DSP chip I believe. The CR only
tunes in 10 Kc. steps on the AM BCB, but I believe it can be programed
for 9
Kc. steps too.[You can not 'slope tune' it off a Kc. or two to escape an
adjacent much stronger station.]

The CR-1100 is rated by Tecsun at 0.5mv/M with its larger ferrite
and the G8 is listed as 1mv/M. The CR-1100 is not really so much
different
than a modified DSP ULR with larger ferrite, but I don't think it
qualifies
for competition.

I placed the two radios side by side, facing the same direction,
running both on good alkaline batteries. I tuned three ten 'channel'
bands,
700-790, 1000-1090 and 1500-1590, and took notes on each station I
heard.
I'll summarize here. The CR is noticeably better on about 50% of the
frequencies, and about 1/3rd of those are substantial improvements. I
got stations
on all but 6 of the 30 frequencies on both radios, so it is a good night
here in Connecticut.
> > > As expected, the audio bandwidth on the CR sounds noticeably
wider,
but what I didn't expect is that when ever there is back round noise, or
a
second weak station is also heard, it is much quieter on the CR. I
expected
wider selectivity to hear more noise and other stations not less. The
narrower G8 bandwidth seems to hurt, NOT help with interference.

Also, I looked at the meters for dBa and s/n. Both numbers
scrolled
all the time on strong and weak stations. The CR had +5 to +10 more
units
on the dBu scale on average, and sometimes the differences were much
greater. The G8 ran +10 to +15 units on the s/n read out. I don't know
what to
make of that, but probably they are not 'calibrated' or 'standardized' ,
so it
does not mean a thing. If anyone can explain it, I'm all ears.

I tried the TERK with both radios, and as before with the G8, it
can
lower back round noise,but it does not seem to ever dig a weak station
out
of noise like it does on a cheap portable.
> > -FARMERIK
>




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