New old stock (NOS) Grundig G3s available on eBay

GrundigG3

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Steve Lebkuecher, who writes:

Hi Thomas

I was a little surprised to see a batch of new Grundig G3s selling for $79.99 on eBay. Given the quality issues with the G3 it may be a bit of a risk but what a great deal if you could get one that works. I have enjoy mine but ended up having to return the first one I bought due to issues with the sync.

Thanks for all you do, I always appreciate your website!

Steve

Click here to view on eBay.

Many thanks for the tip, Steve! You’re right, if this batch of new, un-opened radios is from the last production run of G3s, there could be inconsistency in quality control. The seller, hileydealshas a 99.6% positive rating and offers, “14 days money back or item exchange, buyer pays return shipping.”  So, if you purchase a G3 and feel it’s not performing up to spec, then you could return for a full refund within 14 days, but you’ll be out your return shipping.

g3keypad

The rubberized coating on the G3 is also prone to develop a sticky residue with time. We’ve posted a number of cleaning solutions–click here to read.

I’ve owned a total of three Grundig G3s over the years and have never been displeased with one. I may have simply been lucky. In fact, the G3 was my go-to travel portable for quite a few years. I gave two G3s away and still have one here in my collection. It’s a sensitive little radio and certainly worth the $79.99 price (if not one of the faulty units).

If you have any questions about this offer, and are considering biting the bullet, you should contact the seller prior to purchasing. It appears they have a number of units in stock. 

Grundig G3 discontinued, Tecsun PL-880 on the way

The Grundig G3 shortwave radio.

The Grundig G3 shortwave radio.

Not really a surprise, but I’ve confirmed that the Grundig G3 has been discontinued. They are still available, for the moment, from Universal Radio and online sources like Amazon.com. I would not advise buying from Amazon as I’ve received numerous complaints that they’ve shipped faulty units. Universal Radio, on the other hand, is testing each an every G3 leaving their shop.

With the exit of the G3, this leaves Grundig with the following selection of shortwave portables:

TecsunPL-880Box

Tecsun PL-880

Tecsun, meanwhile, is adding to their extensive line of shortwave portables. Indeed, this morning, W4ASZ comments:

“I found this link courtesy of the manly men at Herculodge :

http://tecsunradio.com/2013/09/14/new-arrival-tecsun-pl880-fm-radio-dsp-stereo-speaker-coming-soon/9030

Looking pretty good !”

I agree and I do feel cautiously optimistic about the Tecsun PL-880. Could it be my new travel radio? Though I still happily travel with the Grundig G3, Sony ICF-SW7600GR and Tecsun PL-380, a guy can’t have too many radios to choose from!

I’ll plan to review the PL-880 once it’s available. I’m particularly interested in seeing how it stacks up against the venerable Tecsun PL-660.

Stay tuned!

The Spec-Ops Pack-Rat: A new go pack for my radio gear

The Spec-Ops Pack-Rat makes for an ideal radio gear bag and easily accommodates the Grundig G3

The Spec-Ops Pack-Rat makes for an ideal radio gear bag and easily accommodates the Grundig G3 (Click to enlarge)

As I’ve mentioned before, I love to travel with one bag and efficiently pack my radio gear.

This year at the Dayton Hamvention, my good friend Eric, retiree of the Air National Guard, took me onto the nearby Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Eric is a good buddy and fellow ham, and for several years now, we’ve made it a point to visit both the National Museum of the US Air Force and Wright Patterson AFB while at the Hamvention. This year he was in need of some gear, so we visited the store where those on active duty purchase Air Force-approved gear and clothing. Being a bit of a pack fanatic, I of course quickly found the backpack section. I was searching for the perfect small radio gear pack, and I think I found it: The Spec-Ops Pack-Rat Organizer.
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Pack-Rat2This little pack (roughly the size of a larger-format paperback book at 10″ high, 7.25″ wide x 3″ thick) is built very well–it seems nearly bullet-proof.  It immediately suggested several uses. Here are a few of its advertised features:

  • 14 separate storage compartments/ slots
  • A unique “inside-out” design which allows for instant open access while inside packs
  • 12″ gear-keeper leash for keys, lights, etc.
  • Clear business card/ID window
  • External mesh pocket
  • External accessory loops and carrying handle
  • “D”-ring attachment points for optional shoulder strap
  • Fully zippered perimeter allows for a 90° opening
  • Extremely tough Cordura® 1000D nylon exterior lined with heavy duty nylon pack cloth
  • Fully seam-taped interior
  • High-tensile nylon web attachment points and
  • Bar-tack reinforcements at critical stress points

One glance at the Pack-Rat, and I knew that one of its two largest interior pockets could hold my larger shortwave portables, the other could hold my Kindle Fire tablet, and there would still be plenty of room for wires, cables, accessories, and headphones.

PackRat3After bringing it home, I was simply amazed at exactly how much gear it could readily hold.  And indeed, this summer I’ve taken it on several trips; including my July trip to Belize for which I packed all of my gear into one small convertible carry-on pack (a small Timbuk2 Wingman).

Here’s the list of items I stashed in the Pack-Rat:

  • Grundig G3
  • Kindle Fire and power cord
  • Zoom H2n Handy Recorder with wind screen and mic stand holder
  • Eight AA batteries
  • Ear buds
  • Icom ID-51A HT and adaptor
  • 2 Cliff Bars (a guy’s gotta eat!)
  • 3′ stereo audio patch cable
  • two alligator clip leads
  • keys
  • pen, pencil, notepad
  • business cards

At this point, the little pack was full, but could close very easily and didn’t even bulge on the sides; even with all that (somewhat bulky) gear inside.

PackRat1Best yet, as I moved around in town, I could use the shoulder strap from my convertible backpack on the Pack-Rat, making it very easy to carry. Even though most of the internal pockets are open from the top, I never had anything fall out, even when the pack was upside down.  When the pack shuts, it seems to put enough pressure on the pockets to hold items securely. It’s bright yellow interior makes it very easy to see the contents even in dim conditions, such as on a night flight.

Spec-Ops packs are made with pride in the USA and obviously meet military standards for durability and construction. They also carry a lifetime warranty. You don’t have to visit a military base to purchase one, either: Spec-Ops has an online store where they carry their full product line. Spec-Ops Brand also has a store on Amazon.com. You’ll find the Pack-Rat on this page–note the number of positive reviews from customers.

SWLing in Belize City: comparing the Grundig G5 and G3

G3AndG5BelizeFor the past week, I’ve been traveling:  this time, in the inner-city section of Belize City on behalf of Ears To Our World, where we’ve been working with ETOW’s partner organization, The Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI).  I had the honor of working with a group of visually-impaired and blind children, giving each a self-powered shortwave radio, along with instruction on its use.

One of our talented advisory board members, David Korchin (KC2WNW)–also an avid SWLer–met me on this recent adventure. One afternoon, we found a moment to pull out our portable radios.  Turns out, he had brought his Grundig G5 while I had my Grundig G3. So we sat back to listen: to broadcast stations (including RRI and REE), to ham radio communications, and to some medium wave stations, including Radio Reloj on 790 kHz. Some great radio listening, by the way.

It was interesting to observe that in almost every case, the G3 had a slight edge on the G5. The G3 noise floor was slightly lower, and audio characteristics slightly better, than the G5’s. Where the G3 really had an edge, though, was on single-side band, where its selectivity was far superior to that of the G5.

With that said, if you purchase a G3, be sure to check out  your unit’s performance thoroughly–and keep your receipt. When Amazon last posted a sale on the G3, we had several reports of faulty units (check out the comment thread in this post). Though I cannot confirm this, I suspect these may be among the final units of the G3 production line.  Choose carefully, and you’ll enjoy a great radio.

By the way, I’ve always had good luck purchasing through Universal Radio.

Is Amazon.com selling used, defective Grundig G3’s?

Amazon GrundigG3-001After posting the Grundig G3 deal from Amazon.com last week, many of you sent a message saying that you had snatched one up at that excellent price. However, readers Gary and Dave will be sending theirs back.  Here are their comments:

From Gary:

I received my $52 Grundig G3 today. Unfortunately, it appears to have been a re-sold defective unit. The whip antenna is bent, MW AM sensitivity is far worse than my Sony 7600GR, there is lots of internal noise on MW AM, and sync locks only on the strongest stations (and 1 kHz low).

From Dave:

Well, when I got to it it was up to $59 but that’s still a great deal so I snagged one.  It arrived today.  I suspect like Gary (above) that it was a returned unit.  Lots of scuffs and signs of use.  So… I’ve sent it back to Amazon asking for a replacement.  We’ll see what shows up.  I see now that it’s selling for $96.    I would hate to think that Amazon would be selling off returned stuff at a discount and yet presenting it as new.

Gary and Dave, I certainly hope that Amazon replaces your G3s with new-in-box units; I expect they will. These G3s were certainly advertised as new and sold by Amazon.com (not anther vendor). Let us know if you get a proper replacement.

Any one else experience the same problem from this Amazon sale? Please comment.

[Update: Also check out this thread on the Herculodge. Thanks, Gary.]

Excellent price for Grundig G3 at Amazon

GrundigG3Thanks to both Mike and Gary for pointing out that the Grundig G3 is currently $47.21 with free shipping at Amazon.com.

That is the lowest price I’ve ever seen for this excellent shortwave portable. I’ve noticed that the price has actually fluctuated over the past 24 hours, but I haven’t seen it higher than $52.46.

Click here to view the Grundig G3 on Amazon.com.

Grundig G3 on sale at Universal Radio

The Grundig G3 shortwave radio.

The Grundig G3, one of my favorite full-featured portables, is now on sale at Universal Radio for $89.77.

The G3 would make an excellent gift for someone in your life who is interested in shortwave radio. I recently updated my review of this radio and even included it in our annual gift recommendations.

Not sure how long this sale will last.