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Recent approved ultralight DX radio list; proposing Eton Elite Mini


J.P. Tuttle
 

Is there a recent list of approved ultralight DX radios available?  I couldn't find one in the Files section, but I might have missed it.
 
Also, if it isn't approved already, may I propose the Eton Elite Mini?  I've listed the criteria and specs for it below.  The spec sheet from Eton, with a photo and specifications, is available here:

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/2407/2229/files/SpecSheet_Elite_Mini.pdf
 
1. It is a simple shirt pocket-sized radio of not more than approximately 20 cubic inches.
According to the dimensions on the spec sheet, the volume is 5.4567 cubic inches (4.3 * 2.7 * 0.47).
 
2. It is an entertainment-grade radio, as opposed to enthusiast's radio. As such, it will usually not have AM synchronous detection, SSB clarification or other specialized features.
It doesn't have either of those features, and the marketing copy on https://etoncorp.com/products/elitemini seems to imply that it's entertainment-grade:
 
"The compact Etón Mini radio lets you tune in to your favorite local stations or listen to news and music from across the globe with an internal AM antenna and a telescoping FM/SW antenna."
 
3. It is readily available to the hobby in new or used markets at the time of its approval.
The Eton Elite Mini is available new at Eton's website, Universal Radio, Amazon, etc.
 
4. It costs no more than $100 retail at the time of approval.
The Eton Elite Mini costs $30.
 
5. It is primarily a radio. While it may have other features as well (MP3 recorder, etc.), the design and function should have radio reception as its focus.
The only extra feature is the alarm.
 
6. It is not a "novelty radio" such as Coca Cola Can radio, Mr. Potato Head, etc.
The Eton Elite Mini is not a novelty radio.
 
Thank you,
 
-- J.P., KB1TIC
 


Max Italy
 

Why would you need approval for each individual model if it is not even closed to any of the limits?


J.P. Tuttle
 

I was just curious -- the definition document mentions radios needing to be approved for contests, awards, and records.  Are those things not as common as they were in the past?
 
Thanks,
 
-- J.P.




Larry Smith
 

 No. The "Awards Program" and "Challenges" died because the guys running it moved on to other interests and I seem to recall one of the founding members fell off a ladder while rigging a antenna  or something like that and died. This "Ultralight", "all the rave" stuff has fallen off during the past few years, that's why the lists haven't been updated and such. I think most of the original members went to software defined computer geek stuff and never looked back. KInda the same story with the NRC and IRCA. I just do my MW DXing in solitude now. A guy named "Toddebert" or something like that has a interesting Youtube channel where he reviews and operates a ton of these new, and older, radios.


Larry Smith
 

Just looked his "tube" channel up. it's "Todderbert", his formal channel name is "Radio Waves by Todderbert".


Gary DeBock
 

Hi J.P. (and Max),

During the worldwide Ultralight Radio Boom in early 2008 we had a very dedicated group of volunteers to handle administration, a classification and awards program, numerous Ultralight technical modifications (loopstick transplants and upgrade IF filters) and breakthrough Ultralight-related DXing antenna experimentation.

Unfortunately we have lost a lot of our volunteers since then. John Bryan provided most of our administration, but he was lost in a tragic accident in February of 2010. Kevin Schanilec also assisted in the early Ultralight Group administration, but he has been inactive in the hobby since 2015. Most of the original "super DXers" who contributed to the Ultralight Radio Boom (Rob Ross, Allen Willie and Richard Allen) are still with us, although they may currently enjoy DXing outside the Ultralight Radio niche group (which is fine with me, of course). We will always hold their accomplishments in the highest honour, regardless of how they are currently enjoying the hobby.

So, to summarize, even though the Ultralight Radio attraction is still booming throughout the world after twelve years, we suffer from the same limitation that almost every radio hobby group struggles with-- a severe shortage of volunteers. I am the only original survivor of the Ultralight Radio administrative group in early 2008, but my personal focus has always been on transoceanic DXing and antenna experimentation, not on administration. The fascinating new challenges of ocean cliff transoceanic propagation, FSL antenna development and "Frequent Flyer" Ultralight Radio DXpeditions are thrilling to the extreme-- and more than enough to keep this fanatic fully occupied.

Concerning the original Ultralight Radio Classification rules posted by J.P., they are still currently valid, although multiple DSP filters and SSB capability are now acceptable (primarily due to a decision concerning the new C.Crane Skywave model). The 20 cubic inch size limit is a guideline which is unlikely to be ever changed, however. In the absence of any currently functional Ultralight Awards program this limitation may seem irrelevant, but there have already been many top-performing Ultralight Radio models fully approved in years past, several of which have been used to receive over 1,000 stations in stock form. My strong advice to anyone who really wishes to experience a new thrill in the hobby is to focus on the challenge of receiving rare DX with minimal equipment, rather than on attempting to change the equipment to make the challenge easier.

73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)
Ultralight Radio Group Co-Founder

       


Joseph Rotman
 

He does some great videos 

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On Wednesday, July 29, 2020, Larry Smith via groups.io <larfla2@...> wrote:

Just looked his "tube" channel up. it's "Todderbert", his formal channel name is "Radio Waves by Todderbert".


Dave Hascall
 

Gary kind of summed it up, it has sort of trailed off to a niche of the main MW DX hobby and the group is more dedicated to technological advances, especially in antennas.

I did love the Contests and entered both of them.  My first (now late) wife, needed lots of care so they were a welcome break from the norm.  I kinda wish they would come back and I think the awards have trailed off as well.

But my few ULRs are my go to DX receivers right now until I get the garage cleaned up and my more serious portables unpacked.

73 and good DX.

Dave in Indy


Paul S. in CT
 

Yes by size its OK. But I'll take exception to the following... its most likely a really good radio for FM, but the vertical layout of the radio with display near the top of the set means its probably not good for AM. You might be surprised that some $20 analog sets would out-perform it on AM. I would also be prepared to buy bulk quantity of those AAA batteries, (tub of 60 at Home Depot or Lowe's for example) as battery life won't be too long. But, its your coin to spend anyways you like to spend. I prefer to spend little.

Regards
Paul S. in CT FN31nl


radiojayallen
 

I personally find this group to be one of the most interesting and enjoyable of all the radio-related groups I belong to. Yes, it has morphed a bit from its inception as Gary explained, but I consider that the content posted here is usually worth reading, even though I was never a strict Ultralight user. I love portable radios of many stripes and tend to favor higher performing radios for listening around the house but the info provided here on antennas and general listening information adds a lot to my enjoyment. 

Jay


Michael Schuster
 
Edited

The assessment of relative performance on MW vs FM is true. I bought the earlier packaging of the Eton Mini a couple of years ago during one of the periodic Amazon fire sales. It is adequate for local MW listening but far from DX material. MW performance is limited by tiny ferrite antenna and DSP-related audio artifacts. I had intended to take it on a trip but reconsidered at the last minute; it's sat in the box ever since.


Thomas Kane KC1MAT
 

While the Eton Mini might not be great at MW, I wouldn't discount everything with the same form factor. I have the Sangean DT-180 and it is fairly sensitive. I believe the selectivity is better than my Grundig G4000A although I've never compared that side to side.


Michael Schuster
 
Edited

While the Eton Mini might not be great at MW, I wouldn't discount everything with the same form factor. I have the Sangean DT-180 and it is fairly sensitive. I believe the selectivity is better than my Grundig G4000A although I've never compared that side to side.
Actually most of the pocket-sized Sangean portables are at least adequate on MW, and some are very good to excellent. Even the worst of them pretty much outclasses the Eton Mini IMHO


Russ Edmunds
 

Remember that for MW, the smaller the ferrite antenna, the worse MW reception will be.

Russ Edmunds

WB2BJH

Blue Bell, PA

Grid FN20id


From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> on behalf of Michael Schuster via groups.io <schuster.ma@...>
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2020 10:51 AM
To: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] Recent approved ultralight DX radio list; proposing Eton Elite Mini
 

[Edited Message Follows]

While the Eton Mini might not be great at MW, I wouldn't discount everything with the same form factor. I have the Sangean DT-180 and it is fairly sensitive. I believe the selectivity is better than my Grundig G4000A although I've never compared that side to side.
Actually most of the pocket-sized Sangean portables are at least adequate on MW, and some are very good to excellent. Even the worst of them pretty much outclasses the Eton Min IMHO