Category Archives: Retailers

Steven is pleased with the Tecsun PL-360 and Anon-Co


Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Steven Crawford, who shares the following:

I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for posting my inquiry on the Sony 7600GR. The post comments answered my question.

I also wanted to let you know your confidence in Ebay seller Anna and Anon-co continue to be well founded. Remembering your recommendation and wishing to pick up a Tecsun PL-360 as a spare to my CountyComm GP-5 SSB (Tecsun PL-365), I placed the order for it and a couple of other bits of Tecsun kit with Anon-co.

The order arrived in 6 working days to my Gulf coast Texas home, taking longer to travel from Chicago to my home than it took to move from Anon-co in Hong Kong to Chicago and clear customs.

I then had a question about the connecting cable included with the Tecsun badged, Tecsun / Kato / Grundig / Eaton, AN200 Loop Antenna. Posed through Ebay Anna promptly answered the question and added a photo of the cable to Anon-co’s Ebay listing for the AN200. It just doesn’t get better than that. You can continue to recommend Anon-co with full confidence from my perspective.

I picked up the PL-360 as a lower cost AM/FM/SW backup to the GP-5 SSB that would allow me to accept the risk of using the larger and heavier extended ferrite rod loop stick aftermarket antenna that garnered so much interest on your blog a year ago, before CountyComm warned of accelerated wear on the antenna jack. Happily the antenna works just as well on the PL-360 as it did on the GP-5 SSB.

Overall I am pleased with the PL-360.

The performance on AM and SW appears to match that of the GP-5 SSB (Tecsun PL-365) albeit with a slightly higher noise floor. Whether this is due to something akin to sample to sample variation or a direct result of inherent design differences between the PL-360’s Silicon Labs Si4734 DSP chipset versus the GP-5 SSB’s Silicon Labs Si4735 DSP chipset I can’t say. I can say the PL-360 with the included High Gain loop stick external tee antenna received my list of news gathering AM clear channel stations out to 900 miles during the night hours matching the GP-5 SSB. This list includes WGN, WBBM, WLS and KOA at the furtherest extreme. It also includes Mexico City’s XEEP 20kW at night at 800 or so miles. Switching to SW broadcast using the whip antenna and Tecsun’s / CountyCom EZTune system day or night the PL-360 and GP-5 SSB select and load the same stations within the PL-360’s slightly shorter SW tuning range.

Dittio on FM on the whip. Both radios snag my list of FM stations out to 60 miles.

For my purposes both are extremely close in performance to my Sony SW7600GR when using their supplied external loop stick. On AM if you combine one with the larger and heaver aftermarket loopsticks they will slightly outperform the 7600GR combined with a Tecsun / Kato / Grundig / Eaton, AN200 Loop Antenna. The Sony’s speaker gives it the edge in listening pleasure, but on earphones or plugs all three are close.

None of forgoing addresses the SSB performance as the PL-360’s chipset doesn’t offer that option.

I am pleased with the PL-360, Anna and Anon-co and I do thank you for posting my 7600GR inquiry.

I look forward to your blog.

Steve

Thank you, Steve! I’m happy to hear the 7600GR posting helped you–that’s what this community is all about…helping each other. Thanks to everyone who commented on that post.

And, yes, I think what surprises so many SWLs is the fact that Anna at Anon-Co actually knows Tecsun radios as well, if not better, than the manufacturer. I’ve only had good experiences working with Anon-Co and that’s why I recommend them so readily. Anna provides excellent customer service. (Click here to check out Anon-Co on eBay.)

I’m also happy to hear you’re enjoying the PL-360 and that you understand the risk of using the large ferrite bar on this radio series (PL-360, 365 and GP5 DSP and SSB). I use my antenna as well, though like you, very carefully.

I only use the large ferrite bar when I’m stationary and I’m careful not to put a strain on the antenna in any way; keeping it balanced and steady. In other words, you must handle it with kid gloves. If you take these precautions, I think your radio will enjoy expected longevity.

Thanks, again, Steven for sharing your review! I’m very pleased to hear you’re enjoying the SWLing Post!

International Crystal Manufacturing Closing Shop

(Source: ARRL via Ed Ganshirt)

International Crystal Manufacturing (ICM) of Oklahoma City has announced that it will be going out of business, probably at the end of May. Royden Freeland Jr., W5EMH, son of the company’s founder, posted a letter this week on the ICM website.

“We will be honoring all orders that we have already taken and will be able to fill a limited amount of new orders dependent upon raw materials available,” Freeland said. “We would like to thank you for your past business. The success of ICM over the previous 66 years has been largely due to its amazing customer base.”

International Crystal produces RF control devices — quartz crystals, oscillators, QCM crystals, filters, TCXOs/VCTCXOs, and precision crystals.[…]

Continue reading at the ARRL…

ICM has also posted the following message on their website:

More RadioShack store closing details including dates

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Zantow (N9EWO), who writes:

Here is a very interesting PDF legal document (via Prime Clerk) that not only has the “COMPLETE” RadioShack store list that are closing by early April (Tranche One and Two) but with important dates given.

Click here to download Docket 98-2 (PDF).

(more info: https://cases.primeclerk.com/generalwireless/Home-DocketInfo)

Yes, sadly the store I worked in for over 8 years is closing by (before) April 6th when this store will become Sprint only. Being in a Mall , its funny it was not closed in the first bankruptcy ?? It’s been in that spot since late 1981.

Many thanks, Dave. As I mentioned in this previous post, poor RadioShack is all but dead for us hobbyists and Makers–one last chance to grab some closeout deals before the retail outlets become Sprint stores.

List of RadioShack Stores Closing Soon

(Source: The Consumerist)

RadioShack is, once again, bankrupt and all of its locations that aren’t being converted to Sprint stores are potentially on the chopping block. A new court filing has finally revealed which of the nearly 200 Shacks will be closing in the immediate future. Update: We also have the list of 365 more RadioShacks that are either already holding store closing sales, or are candidates for the next round.

Below is a sortable list (click on any column header), taken from a filing with a federal bankruptcy court in Delaware, of all the RadioShack locations expected to be shuttered by the end of March.

Click here to view the full sortable list at The Consumerist.

Our local RadioShack is not closing according, to this list and the employees at the store. However, it sounds like the store will simply become a Sprint mobile phone retailer, thus everything that made RadioShack a convenience for us Hams, Makers and Tinkerers (local availability of components and parts) will disappear with the store renovation.

Last week, I purchased a few connectors and components at half price. I also snagged this new Makeblock mBot Kit for $63 tax included (as a comparison, $94 at Amazon). I had been looking for a small programable robot kit for my daughters–so far, I’m very impressed with the mBot!

Our local RS also had Arduino shields at half price.

The catch? No returns–all sales are final.

Last week, everything our store was 20% off, but many items were as much as 50% off retail price. According to our local RS store manager, prices will continue to fall as stock is entirely liquidated.

If you still have a RadioShack nearby, I believe it’s worth venturing out to check for bargains.