Re: Kchibo KK-D6110 AM-FM-SW DSP Receiver- First Impressions

Gary DeBock

Hi Richard,
My initial comparisons with the PL-310 and PL-380 models indicated that the KK-D6110's soft mute threshold is similar to that of the PL-380, so that weak AM signals do not cut in and out as frequently as in the PL-310 (or PL-300WT/ G8). Tuning 1 kHz up or down from a weak station also does not seem to result in a drastic reduction in signal strength, as it does in the "full-blown soft mute" models. 
Unfortunately the KK-D6110's AM sensitivity (as provided by the stock loopstick) does not keep up with either the PL-310 or PL-380 models, making an external antenna seem almost a necessity for serious DXing. The Kchibo's effective 1 kHz DSP selectivity and (apparently) reduced soft mute would be very attractive for transoceanic DXers with tuned passive loops, mega-loopsticks, Beverages and other serious DX antennas.
73, Gary    
In a message dated 7/1/2010 7:18:26 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, lrdheat@... writes:

Hi Gary,
Attactive little the soft mute off, reduced, or blatant?

--- On Thu, 7/1/10, D1028Gary@... wrote:

From: D1028Gary@...
Subject: [ultralightdx] Kchibo KK-D6110 AM-FM-SW DSP Receiver- First Impressions
To: ultralightdx@...
Date: Thursday, July 1, 2010, 6:26 PM

Hello All,
Although John Washburn (VT) and Jim Zozzaro (MA) have also ordered the Kchibo KK-D6110 model, apparently my radio was the first to arrive from the Far East, so I hope they won't mind if I give my initial impressions on the list.
The KK-D6110 model represents a serious effort by Kchibo to get back in the Ultralight DSP receiver market, after having seen their D96L model seriously outclassed by the Tecsun PL-310 and PL-380 radios. The KK-D6110 can essentially be described as a D96L with all the quirky issues corrected, although with AM sensitivity somewhat reduced from that provided by the D96L. It retains Kchibo's Chinese domestic market identity (with Chinese label controls and a Chinese owner's manual), and with length and height slightly exceeding that of the PL-310, seems right on the borderline of the current Ultralight radio standards based on size and weight (I'll defer to the Definitions Committee on that decision).
Despite earlier impressions, the KK-D6100 is indeed an Si4734 DSP chip model, and features the full range of DSP filtering options (1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 kHz). The digital "chuffing noise" and RF hash of the D92L and D96L models have been corrected in the KK-D6110, and Kchibo has ditched the rechargeable batteries in favor of standard AA types (three total). The beveled cabinets of the D92L and D96L have been replaced with a rectangular cabinet in the KK-D6110, making the model appear like a Tecsun PL-310 with a Kchibo label.
A quick check of the KK-D6110's AM-band performance was made against the D96L and PL-310, and provided an interesting glimpse into where this model may eventually fit in the Ultralight niche market (assuming that it is approved by the Definitions Committee). Kchibo has retained the relatively pleasant audio of the D96L model, as well as the bright green digital display whenever a control is changed (which stays on for 4 seconds, and causes no digital "chuffing noise" like in the D96L). For those who have complained about the quirky dual tuning rate of the PL-310 and PL-380 based on tuning knob rotation, the KK-D6110 comes to the rescue with a selectable 1 or 9/10 kHz tuning rate, making DXing very predictable. The new Kchibo model has numerous digital tuning functions, although it will take a Chinese expert to completely figure them out from the manual (my own Chinese reading ability is basic, although probably better than that of most ULR DXers :-)
The KK-D6110 model tested today has AM sensitivity somewhat weaker than that of either the D96L or PL-310 models, and this disadvantage extends throughout the AM frequency range from 530 to 1700 kHz. Further testing against other ULR models should give an accurate picture of where this model stacks up in the highly competitive genre, although the mediocrity of a stock loopstick in the KK-D6110 would not be a deal-breaker for transoceanic DXers with effective external antennas, especially considering the effective 1 kHz DSP selectivity and other superb features. The Tecsun PL-380 also has a stock loopstick that is quite underwhelming, but it has managed to become quite popular among 9-kHz split DXing fanatics because of its effective 1 kHz DSP filtering. Like the PL-380, the KK-D6110 also has a flat, rectangular top cabinet surface ideal for attaching 7.5" loopstick frames, and other such fanatical antenna attachments-- but that's another story :-) Suffice it to say that the KK-D6110 would provide extremely stiff competition for the PL-380 among transoceanic DXers with effective external antennas, assuming that the Definitions Committee gives its nod, and that the DXers could tolerate the Chinese labels on the radio. The Kchibo KK-D6110 is offered by the eBay seller "hygt369" for $51.99 with free shipping (which takes about 2 weeks, from Singapore), a significant bargain in comparison to the Tecsun PL-310 and PL-380 models. The radio will be fully featured in the upcoming 2010 Ultralight AM Shootout, along with the PL-310, PL-380, PL-360 and a couple of analog models.
73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)

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