OOPS! Sorry! Re: New E100: First impressions

John H. Bryant <bjohnorcas@...>


I just noticed that I made a spelling error with your given name. Sorry.  I'm a bit familiar with that, being known as John/Jon/Jack/Juan :>)

I noted that your serial number was only a couple of thousand above my NEW one, both starting 070903.

Thanks again!

John B.  (aka Big Juan)

At 02:26 PM 8/16/2008 +0000, you wrote:

After the report of the new, all-different E100s, I decided
to finally snatch one up before it was too late to get an
"old" version.

I received my sample (Lextronix branded over here) today,
which was originally bought in March this year and only
saw one vacation of use. Old enough, I thought.

After an initial performance check, I compared the serial
number to the others given - 0709032118, which means that
it's a new sample, unfortunately. This was later confirmed
by opening up the set. (Getting it back together was not
that much fun since sliding the volume control wheel back
in is not entirely trivial.) BTW, you can basically leave
the antenna screw alone.

My initial impressions are that while this set won't win
any awards with regard to audio fidelity (channel balance
seems noticeably off, and judging by noise level there's
the usual CXA1622 amp IC), it is a pretty decent performer.
Pitted against a Sony ICF-SW7600 on mediumwave, it didn't
come in far behind, just a little more noisy audio.
Shortwave sensitivity compares well to a DE1102, and the
3-step attenuator is neat. The IF filter seems to be a
6-element job with a medium bandwidth, judged by ear.
While background noise levels tend to be higher, AGC range
seems better than on the DE1102 (which is a little weak
in this regard). AM audio is similar to the DE1102, so
I assume the TA8132/CD8132 IC also found use here. (No
idea what that big squarish IC on the old E100 could be.)
AM is nice and clear over the speaker.

The carry pouch is nice, similar to what the Redsun RD1220
has on the outside but with more padding. The rubberized
coating also feels nice, but I'll be careful with it since
it has been reported to wear off. System settings are
non-volatile, while the clock is not kept if power is
removed for too long. Frequency entry has no apparent way
of cancelling other than waiting. Timeouts seem more user
friendly though.

Then I started chasing LO hets in order to determine
the IFs.

Nothing. Really nothing. Not at +/-450 or +/-455 kHz, not
at +/-10.7 MHz, not at +21.45 MHz. No traces of 10.25 MHz,
21 MHz or 21.9 MHz crystals either. There is some
internal oscillator around 11.15 MHz but it's always on
regardless of waveband and not especially stable.

This can only mean that the new E100 is DUAL CONVERSION
with a high 2st IF, presumably the standard 55.845 MHz. No
wonder that the MW section had to be changed, it is now
wideband. It is to be assumed that the set is more related
to Tecsun PL450 and PL600 than to older concepts, my guess
would be that it's a shrunk-down PL450.

Image rejection on shortwave appears to be better than
average - not as bulletproof as the DE1102, but better than
the ICF-SW7600.

Overall, this means good news for shortwave listeners
(which now have another small and well-performing set to
choose from) but not so good news for ultralight MW DXers.

Looks like distribution in North America is quite slow.