Grundig Mini 300-- Mini AM Performance


Gary DeBock
 

Hello Guys,
 
     The Grundig Mini 300 is one of the Ultralight radios to be reviewed in the upcoming 2009 Shootout, and is an analog AM-FM radio with 7 shortwave bands, using a somewhat erratic digital readout system. It retails for around $35 in the USA.
 
     Prompted by a request on the dxer.ca forum for a Mini 300 alignment procedure, I went ahead and performed one early, peaking the loopstick and 1400 kHz trimmer (in the dubious hope of improving upon AM performance that was absolutely abysmal).  The alignment made a marginal difference in the unit's high-band sensitivity, but this model is obviously not designed for any type of AM-DXing, and there's no way to cure a total turkey by giving it a minor tweak.
 
     Shortwave listeners may be attracted to this unit because of the 7 bands and compact size, but AM-DXers should save their money, and avoid this model.  It puts the thrill back into receiving your locals. Further details (and denigrations) are upcoming in the Shootout.
 
     73,  Gary DeBock   


Stay up to date on the latest news - from sports scores to stocks and so much more.


Gary DeBock
 

Hi John,
 
     Well, you may be right about hearing Pyongyang-657 on an E100 Slider in Maine :>)  , but sometimes even I wonder about the "ethics" of making Ultralight radios ultra-competitive.  The latest E100 hotrods certainly make it easy to clean up on transoceanic DX, but that probably isn't the main interest of the Ultralight enthusiast group, who properly concentrate on using "basic" receivers.  I will accept 100% of the blame for this vanity trip.
 
     Anyway, you don't need to worry about using your hard-earned money, to purchase multiple pocket radio lemons (to pioneer an new class of Ultralight Turkey DXing). I already use my $$ to purchase these Turkeys periodically for Shootouts, and would be thrilled to ship the entire Turkey Farm to you, postage paid.  I would even give you a money-back guarantee, that if you are not completely disgusted with the performance of any Turkey, I will cheerfully pay the postage for you to return it to me.
 
    73,  Gary  
 
          
 
In a message dated 2/2/2009 7:08:31 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, jcereghin@... writes:

Gary, you just gave me an inspiration for a new UL DXing sub-section- Turkey Farm UL DXing.  Anyone can pull in North Korea from Maine on an E-100 with a slider (ho hum!) but can I pull in a 50kw blowtorch at 100 miles at night with a UL off the turkey farm?  THAT would be impressive- hi!

But I don't want to waste my hard-earned money pioneering this, tho.

John Cereghin
Smyrna DE

On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 12:37 AM, <D1028Gary@aol.com> wrote:


 
     Shortwave listeners may be attracted to this unit because of the 7 bands and compact size, but AM-DXers should save their money, and avoid this model.  It puts the thrill back into receiving your locals. Further details (and denigrations) are upcoming in the Shootout.
 
     73,  Gary DeBock   


Stay up to date on the latest news - from sports scores to stocks and so much more.




Stay up to date on the latest news - from sports scores to stocks and so much more.


John Cereghin <jcereghin@...>
 

Gary, you just gave me an inspiration for a new UL DXing sub-section- Turkey Farm UL DXing.  Anyone can pull in North Korea from Maine on an E-100 with a slider (ho hum!) but can I pull in a 50kw blowtorch at 100 miles at night with a UL off the turkey farm?  THAT would be impressive- hi!

But I don't want to waste my hard-earned money pioneering this, tho.

John Cereghin
Smyrna DE


On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 12:37 AM, <D1028Gary@...> wrote:


 
     Shortwave listeners may be attracted to this unit because of the 7 bands and compact size, but AM-DXers should save their money, and avoid this model.  It puts the thrill back into receiving your locals. Further details (and denigrations) are upcoming in the Shootout.
 
     73,  Gary DeBock   


Stay up to date on the latest news - from sports scores to stocks and so much more.



John Cereghin <jcereghin@...>
 

Gary,

I actually played with a mini-300 a year or so ago at a local Radio
Shack, but fortunately, I had the good sense to put it back on the
shelf. Now I am a complete technical n00b and I don't know which end
of a soldering iron to hold, but even I could figure out it was a
turkey when I saw I could dial the entire AM band in a half-turn on
the tuning dial.

Gobble gobble.

But it would be interesting to see which UL is the All Time Worst.
:evilgrin:

John Cereghin
Smyrna DE

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

Hi John,

Well, you may be right about hearing Pyongyang-657 on an E100
Slider in
Maine :>) , but sometimes even I wonder about the "ethics" of making
Ultralight radios ultra-competitive. The latest E100 hotrods
certainly make it
easy to clean up on transoceanic DX, but that probably isn't the
main interest
of the Ultralight enthusiast group, who properly concentrate on
using "basic"
receivers. I will accept 100% of the blame for this vanity trip.

Anyway, you don't need to worry about using your hard-earned
money, to
purchase multiple pocket radio lemons (to pioneer an new class of
Ultralight
Turkey DXing). I already use my $$ to purchase these Turkeys
periodically for
Shootouts, and would be thrilled to ship the entire Turkey Farm to
you,
postage paid. I would even give you a money-back guarantee, that
if you are not
completely disgusted with the performance of any Turkey, I will
cheerfully
pay the postage for you to return it to me.

73, Gary




In a message dated 2/2/2009 7:08:31 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,
jcereghin@... writes:




Gary, you just gave me an inspiration for a new UL DXing
sub-section- Turkey
Farm UL DXing. Anyone can pull in North Korea from Maine on an
E-100 with a
slider (ho hum!) but can I pull in a 50kw blowtorch at 100 miles at
night
with a UL off the turkey farm? THAT would be impressive- hi!

But I don't want to waste my hard-earned money pioneering this, tho.

John Cereghin
Smyrna DE

On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 12:37 AM, <_D1028Gary@..._
(mailto:D1028Gary@...) > wrote:







Shortwave listeners may be attracted to this unit because of the 7
bands and
compact size, but AM-DXers should save their money, and avoid this
model.
It puts the thrill back into receiving your locals. Further details
(and
denigrations) are upcoming in the Shootout.

73, Gary DeBock


____________________________________
Stay up to date on the latest news - _from sports scores to stocks
and so
much more_ (http://aol.com/?ncid=emlcntaolcom00000022) .










**************Stay up to date on the latest news - from sports
scores to
stocks and so much more. (http://aol.com?ncid=emlcntaolcom00000022)


Claudio Leite
 

The Mini 300 is indeed dreadful on MW but surprisingly got me one
station I couldn't receive on any other portable, a Cuban on 1380 with
Radio Rebelde. It came in in well one night and nothing else picked it
up. The awful, slippery dial may be its worst feature, though it is
of some use while scanning the SW bands.

I've also been using it to test MW box loops since it's the only radio I
have that truly goes from nil to a strong station.

* John Cereghin (jcereghin@gmail.com) wrote:

Gary,

I actually played with a mini-300 a year or so ago at a local Radio
Shack, but fortunately, I had the good sense to put it back on the
shelf. Now I am a complete technical n00b and I don't know which end
of a soldering iron to hold, but even I could figure out it was a
turkey when I saw I could dial the entire AM band in a half-turn on
the tuning dial.

Gobble gobble.

But it would be interesting to see which UL is the All Time Worst.
:evilgrin:

John Cereghin
Smyrna DE

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

Hi John,

Well, you may be right about hearing Pyongyang-657 on an E100
Slider in
Maine :>) , but sometimes even I wonder about the "ethics" of making
Ultralight radios ultra-competitive. The latest E100 hotrods
certainly make it
easy to clean up on transoceanic DX, but that probably isn't the
main interest
of the Ultralight enthusiast group, who properly concentrate on
using "basic"
receivers. I will accept 100% of the blame for this vanity trip.

Anyway, you don't need to worry about using your hard-earned
money, to
purchase multiple pocket radio lemons (to pioneer an new class of
Ultralight
Turkey DXing). I already use my $$ to purchase these Turkeys
periodically for
Shootouts, and would be thrilled to ship the entire Turkey Farm to
you,
postage paid. I would even give you a money-back guarantee, that
if you are not
completely disgusted with the performance of any Turkey, I will
cheerfully
pay the postage for you to return it to me.

73, Gary




In a message dated 2/2/2009 7:08:31 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,
jcereghin@... writes:




Gary, you just gave me an inspiration for a new UL DXing
sub-section- Turkey
Farm UL DXing. Anyone can pull in North Korea from Maine on an
E-100 with a
slider (ho hum!) but can I pull in a 50kw blowtorch at 100 miles at
night
with a UL off the turkey farm? THAT would be impressive- hi!

But I don't want to waste my hard-earned money pioneering this, tho.

John Cereghin
Smyrna DE

On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 12:37 AM, <_D1028Gary@..._
(mailto:D1028Gary@...) > wrote:







Shortwave listeners may be attracted to this unit because of the 7
bands and
compact size, but AM-DXers should save their money, and avoid this
model.
It puts the thrill back into receiving your locals. Further details
(and
denigrations) are upcoming in the Shootout.

73, Gary DeBock


____________________________________
Stay up to date on the latest news - _from sports scores to stocks
and so
much more_ (http://aol.com/?ncid=emlcntaolcom00000022) .










**************Stay up to date on the latest news - from sports
scores to
stocks and so much more. (http://aol.com?ncid=emlcntaolcom00000022)


------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links



Gary DeBock
 

Hello Andy,
 
     After a full disassembly and alignment of my Grundig Mini 300 (procedure details available on request), I am convinced that there's no way to make this Turkey perform well on AM.  Tecsun apparently tried to copy the SRF-59 series analog design for the AM section (if you take off the back panel, the circuit board looks almost exactly like an SRF-59 board), but lacking Sony's CXA1129N IC chip, the result was a miserable failure.  Peaking the loopstick coil on 600 kHz helped a little, and peaking the 1400 kHz trimmer on the tuner assembly also made a slight difference, but collectively they just made an awful AM radio a little less awful.  Even after alignment, the Mini 300 still can't receive any of the fringe test stations used for Shootouts here, and the jittery digital readout is pretty much of a joke.  The tuning "resolution" down to the half kilohertz level is profoundly amusing, considering that the radio's sensitivity and selectivity are really hopeless for serious DX .
 
     Shortwave listeners might find this model acceptable as a cheap, stripped-down travel radio, but AM-DXers who are serious about DX should seriously consider something else, in my opinion.  This is a classic AM Turkey, possibly the worst AM performer in Tecsun's entire lineup.
 
     73,  Gary DeBock 
 
 
In a message dated 2/3/2009 8:33:12 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, jamminpower@... writes:

Just FYI folks, these units seem to have some QC problems that may be causing some of the issues people are seeing. I have several of these (for dubious reasons). I can line them up side-by-side and tune in the same station. About 1 in 3 of them will bring it in loud and clear. About 1 other in 3 will hardly get it at all. Go figure. Other units (like the e100 or the SRF-59) are hardly different in performance from one to the next, but the Grundig Mini 300s have a lot of variability. I have one of them that out-of-the-box will not even operate properly - you put the batteries in and the radio comes on but the LCD is blank - and the power button does nothing. Everybody should call up and complain.

James A. (Andy) Moorer
www.jamminpower.com
 
 
----- Original Message -----
From: wpe2bsw
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2009 9:07 AM
Subject: [ultralightdx] Re: Grundig Mini 300-- Mini AM Performance

I like the idea of a "turkey" category. I picked up a China Orange Eton Mini 300 at the LLBean
outlet store for $20. a couple of years ago. I've had more than the equivalent of 20 bucks
worth of fun playing around with it. Sometimes I find stations on my R-75, then go see if I
can dig them out on the Mini 300. And in last fall's Ultralight Follies contest, I didn't do too
badly with it either. I heard around 80 stations with out spending time looking for locals. It
may not be a DX machine, but it can provide the unexpected catch that makes DXing fun.

Nick
WPE2BSW/1
Vermont



Stay up to date on the latest news - from sports scores to stocks and so much more.


wpe2bsw <dkucij@...>
 

I like the idea of a "turkey" category. I picked up a China Orange Eton Mini 300 at the LLBean
outlet store for $20. a couple of years ago. I've had more than the equivalent of 20 bucks
worth of fun playing around with it. Sometimes I find stations on my R-75, then go see if I
can dig them out on the Mini 300. And in last fall's Ultralight Follies contest, I didn't do too
badly with it either. I heard around 80 stations with out spending time looking for locals. It
may not be a DX machine, but it can provide the unexpected catch that makes DXing fun.

Nick
WPE2BSW/1
Vermont


James A. &#92;(Andy&#92;) Moorer
 

Just FYI folks, these units seem to have some QC problems that may be causing some of the issues people are seeing. I have several of these (for dubious reasons). I can line them up side-by-side and tune in the same station. About 1 in 3 of them will bring it in loud and clear. About 1 other in 3 will hardly get it at all. Go figure. Other units (like the e100 or the SRF-59) are hardly different in performance from one to the next, but the Grundig Mini 300s have a lot of variability. I have one of them that out-of-the-box will not even operate properly - you put the batteries in and the radio comes on but the LCD is blank - and the power button does nothing. Everybody should call up and complain.

James A. (Andy) Moorer
www.jamminpower.com
 
 

----- Original Message -----
From: wpe2bsw
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2009 9:07 AM
Subject: [ultralightdx] Re: Grundig Mini 300-- Mini AM Performance

I like the idea of a "turkey" category. I picked up a China Orange Eton Mini 300 at the LLBean
outlet store for $20. a couple of years ago. I've had more than the equivalent of 20 bucks
worth of fun playing around with it. Sometimes I find stations on my R-75, then go see if I
can dig them out on the Mini 300. And in last fall's Ultralight Follies contest, I didn't do too
badly with it either. I heard around 80 stations with out spending time looking for locals. It
may not be a DX machine, but it can provide the unexpected catch that makes DXing fun.

Nick
WPE2BSW/1
Vermont