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Old 02-21-2015, 11:35 AM   #1
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Good portable radio?

Does anyone have a recommendation for a good portable AM/FM radio that I can take with me when I go camping? I've tried a couple of inexpensive radios from Radio Shack and Eton, and they don't work well. I'd prefer one with an external antenna jack and the ability to run off 12V power.

I have an old Icom VHF/UHF communications receiver, but that's really overkill, and it's not user-friendly (meaning-- I've forgotten how to use it).
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:52 AM   #2
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We have an RCA Super Radio III. Excellent long range reception and sensitivity for such an inexpensive radio. Not 12v, but runs for weeks on batteries if used off and on:

http://www.amazon.com/RCA-RP7887-Sup.../dp/B00120WRSU

If you wanted to spend a little more, C Crane has excellent radios too:

http://ccrane.com
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:54 AM   #3
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I installed one of these, order the blue tooth model and it will work with blue tooth speaker, installed radio inside and the speaker can go outside, nice compact radio, installed in o/h cabinet over dinette area, all you need is 12v source.
http://www.amazon.com/Jensen-Radio-J...+weather+radio
check out "modifications to BlackJack" on the forum for pictures.
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:05 PM   #4
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I remember C Crane now. Thanks for the info.

Regarding the Icom receiver I have-- around 1990 my 1975-era Sony Trinitron TV finally died, so I needed a new TV. Instead, I bought a TV demodulator for the Icom and used it to watch TV, connecting the output from the demodulator to an old Amiga computer monitor. I would punch in the freq to change channels. So I never really remembered what the Baltimore CBS TV station was (Channel 13?) but I knew it was on 215.75 Mhz. The engineers I worked with were so impressed.
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:48 PM   #5
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I picked up a "use anywhere" type awhile ago -- has a hand crank, battery option and likely a 12v option as well. Might even have solar?? Haven't seen it for awhile as it buried in the storage locker.

Its a generic Chinese model, about the size of small binoculars. Survivalist stores might have similar?



PS TV demodulator for Icom... awesome!
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:24 PM   #6
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We have a Sangean PR-D9w. It is an portable AM/FM weather alert radio. It runs on 4 AA batteries and comes with an AC adaptor and telescoping antenna. It gets pretty good reception inside the trailer and the batteries seem to last a long time. We have used the weather alert function and we were happy to have it. It was somewhere around $50 on Amazon.

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Old 02-21-2015, 01:24 PM   #7
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We had a small portable from LL Bean for years but it finally pooped out. We now have a Sony ICF-38 FM/AM 2 band radio that's still on the original batteries put in a year ago last Fall. You can plug it into 110V with the enclosed plug wire too. Pretty good reception with its small antenna and an outlet for ear buds/phones. Just basic - perfect for us.
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:05 PM   #8
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A few years ago, when I was motorcycle camping, I bought a Grundig G6 Aviator Buzz Aldrin Edition, it uses a couple AA batteries or you can use its' AC adapter. I think of it as my multi purpose radio, can take it camping, take it on a bicycle ride or put it in a shirt pocket and listen to the ball game when working in the yard. Now I'll even take it in "Escaping Reality".
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:22 AM   #9
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I also like the Sony ICF-38. Mine is on 4 to 5 hours a day and the 4 AA batteries last 5 to 6 weeks. Amazon sells them for $25.
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:13 AM   #10
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Sangean PR-D7, like the D-9 but without weather. The D-5 is similar but uses 2 speakers. Very portable. AA batteries last a couple weeks, I use rechargeables. Radio comes with a 110v adapter which recharges the batteries. This is really a great product line. Sound is very good, not "tinny" and the reception is pretty remarkable which is the reason I bought it 4 or 5 years ago. No regrets.

My only complaint is that it has an alarm that I've inadvertently set a couple times and it takes an engineer to figure how to turn it off.
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:22 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Greggo View Post
Sangean PR-D7, like the D-9 but one only speaker. Very portable. AA batteries last a couple weeks, I use rechargeables and plug it back in when it needs it.

I think most C Crane branded radios are Sangean.
That looks to be a good radio. Hard to find PLL synthesized radios and good interior circuitry for $50 or less.
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Old 02-22-2015, 03:28 PM   #12
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Here's a good site with reviews of many portable radios. radiojayallen | Jay's Radio Reviews, Comparisons & Restorations
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Old 02-22-2015, 06:46 PM   #13
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Here's a good site with reviews of many portable radios. radiojayallen | Jay's Radio Reviews, Comparisons & Restorations
Wow, that's a lot of info. I'm thinking now that a Sangean radio is the way to go. Thanks everyone.
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:34 PM   #14
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I like this one with built in li/ion battery, solar and 12v charge. Leave it on alert while camping. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OJZOOLI/...=INSKCS80AYSXI
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:06 PM   #15
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Donít much like the radio I got for the camper, the Tecsun 600. I bought it for keeping in touch, catching up to the latest world news, weather, and, I guess, for listening to a baseball game on slow nights. Oh, and music. Reception seems sensitive enough. The sound is ok. Itís compact, looks good on a shelf. The antenna when extended Iím always in great fear of busting. What I hate most about this radio are its control buttons. The rogue sleep function drives me nuts. Everything on it thatís digital is a big pain. I can never remember which buttons do what. Too many buttons. They all look alike. I cannot read their damn tiny headings. When I press the wrong button and get some unwanted function backtracking is for me maddening to impossible. My next portable radio will be as analog as it gets.
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:17 PM   #16
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That is what they call progress, remember the old vcr programming fiasco
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:23 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
Donít much like the radio I got for the camper, the Tecsun 600. I bought it for keeping in touch, catching up to the latest world news, weather, and, I guess, for listening to a baseball game on slow nights. Oh, and music. Reception seems sensitive enough. The sound is ok. Itís compact, looks good on a shelf. The antenna when extended Iím always in great fear of busting. What I hate most about this radio are its control buttons. The rogue sleep function drives me nuts. Everything on it thatís digital is a big pain. I can never remember which buttons do what. Too many buttons. They all look alike. I cannot read their damn tiny headings. When I press the wrong button and get some unwanted function backtracking is for me maddening to impossible. My next portable radio will be as analog as it gets.
Now we know which radio not to get!!!
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:58 PM   #18
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. When I press the wrong button and get some unwanted function backtracking is for me maddening to impossible. My next portable radio will be as analog as it gets.
I hear you Myron. I have a habit of pushing the wrong buttons all the time.

The Tecsun is a good little radio but sometimes too frustrating, especially to someone who reads manuals only as a last resort. I almost turned down the free Eton but its turned out to be used more than the Tecsun. Also, with the hand crank, I have one of the items that I'm supposed to have when the big one hits. Even has a white LED light and a flashing red light. A siren too, don't have use for that yet. Maybe use it to signal, "bring me another beer".

It's so simple to tune etc. and reception wise seems similar to the Tecsun.

Ron
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:08 PM   #19
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Donít much like the radio I got for the camper, the Tecsun 600. ....is for me maddening to impossible. My next portable radio will be as analog as it gets.
Myron,
Look on the bright side; it's small enough to fit comfortably in your hand just before you set a distance record throwing it.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:31 PM   #20
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I've had the same problems with finding an good, automotive radio that is easy to select FM channels when driving around the country. Most of the new ones require various "button pushes" & menu selections to add local stations, then doing the same all over again at the next location.

Of course I also have the requirements that it have an aux input, bluetooth, & a iPod/iPhone connection...

Remember when you had a dial to choose the station?
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