Grundig G5 via Blinq: Might want to pass…

G5While many SWLing Post readers have reported positively about their experience with the online discount retailer Blinq.com, several buyers have not been happy with the used/open box Grundig G5 units Blinq is selling for $45 US each.

Mike (K8RAT) noted that his G5’s “audio distorts when volume greater than 10 on the numerical read-out […] higher level sends the audio into oscillation.” Another buyer noted his G5 was nearly deaf on AM.

If you order a G5 from the Blinq, check out the radio thoroughly before tucking it away on a shelf somewhere. Or, better yet, just pass on this particular deal.

Fortunately, I’ve only received excellent reports of Blinq’s customer service. They’ve happily refunded consumers money for defective products in a timely fashion.

On a side note, I can only report negatively about the retailer 1Sale.com.  I’ve been trying for six weeks to receive a refund on a defective (non radio) item I purchased. I’ve still haven’t received a response from customer service. I’m sending my 6th request today;  I’ll never purchase from 1Sale.com again.

Grundig G2 sale, today only: $29.99 US shipped

GrundigG2Front

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Ulis, who shares this excellent deal on the Grundig G2: $29.99 US shipped!

You must hurry, though, as the deal is only valid today, Friday, March 7, 2014. Click here to purchase.

Ulis mentioned that the G2 was his first purchase from the retailer (1sale.com), but since he could pay with PayPal and the deal was first mentioned by CNET, he purchased with added confidence.

Note that the G2 is not a perfect radio–check out my review of its cousin the DE1129–but at $29.99, it’s a steal.

If you missed this deal, try searching Amazon.com for the Grundig G2.

Etón introduces two travel portables: the Etón Traveler III and Mini 400

Eton-shortwave-radio-family-001

In addition to the shortwave portables we mentioned earlier this morning, SWLing Post reader, Tom, points out two more radios Etón will introduce at CES:

[Etón is] showing off 2 other models all under the label of the World Travel Radios at CES.

They posted the others on the following page
http://blog.etoncorp.com/index.php/2014/01/ces-2014-travel-radios/

Your leaving out the Traveler 3 at
http://www.etoncorp.com/en/productdisplay/traveler-iii

And the Mini at
http://www.etoncorp.com/en/productdisplay/mini

Eton describes these radios on their press release:

The Eton Mini 400

The Etón Mini 40

Etón Mini – This compact radio gives you access to news and music from across the globe, right in your pocket, whether on an AM, FM or Shortwave frequency. The Mini’s built-in digital tuner and internal and telescoping antennas easily identify stations, which can be viewed on the high-contrast digital display. The radio also features an alarm clock, sleep timer and earphone jack. Perfect to listen to the radio broadcast at your favorite sporting events.

Features:

  • Frequency coverage:
    • AM:  520 – 1710 kHz
    • FM: 87.5 – 108 MHz
    • SW1: 3.2 – 10 MHz
    • SW2: 11.65 – 18 MHz
  • Digital tuner and display
  • Digital display frequency timer and alarm activation
  • Key lock function
  • Band selector on left side
  • Tuning/Volume knob
  • Metal speaker grill
  • Sleep timer
  • FM telescopic antenna
  • Rich orange LCD display
  • Earphone jack (3.5 mm)
  • Powered by USB cable (provided) or 2 AAA batteries (sold separately)
  • Click here to download spec sheet
The Eton Traveler III

The EtónTraveler III

Etón Traveler III – The Etón Traveler III receives a multitude of radio wavelengths – AM(MW), FM with RDS, Longwave and Shortwave. Providing four options to tune the radio including auto, manual and Auto Tuning Storage (ATS), the Etón Traveler III also boasts internal and telescoping antennas to ensure your reception is clear and crisp. The Etón Traveler III can store up to 500 stations in the memory and the rich, orange LCD display allows you to see temperature and time. The perfect travel companion, the Traveler III also features an alarm clock and sleep timer.

Features:

  • Frequency coverage:
    • AM: 520 – 1710 kHz
    • FM: 87.5 – 108 MHz
    • LW: 150 – 285 kHz
    • SW: 3150 – 21950 kHz
  • FM with RDS (Radio Data System)
  • Automatic or manual digital tuning
  • Auto tuning storage (ATS) function
  • 500 memory stations
  • Local/world time setting
  • Sleep timer
  • Single alarm clock (by radio or buzzer)
  • Snooze
  • Rich orange LCD display
  • Earphone jack (3.5mm)
  • FM telescopic antenna
  • Reset/lock function
  • Power supply: Use USB cable (included), 4 AA batteries or 6V adapter (both sold separately)
  • Click here to download spec sheet

Traveler III will most likely become a part of my portable collection. I loved the Traveler II as it had great overall performance on all bands and was very compact for travel. As a (major!) bonus, the Traveler III has RDS.

Etón introduces two new shortwave portables: the Field and Satellit

EtonField

 

Many thanks to The Herculodge and SWLing Post reader, Gary, for pointing out these two new portables from Etón Corp: the Etón Field and Etón Satellit.

The Etón Field, pictured above, looks like an updated version of the Grundig S450DLX. Etón mentions the following features on their website:

  • Frequency coverage:
    • AM: 520 – 1710 kHz (selectable 9/10 kHz spacing)
    • FM: 87.5 – 108 MHz
    • SW: 1.711 – 30 MHz
  • FM with RDS (Radio Data System)
  • Dial-in-Dial coarse/fine digital tuning
  • Treble/Bass control
  • RF gain control
  • Wide/Narrow bandwidth selection
  • 50 memory stations
  • External AM/FM/SW antenna connections
  • Local/DX switch
  • Rich orange LCD display
  • Line-in/Line-out and headphone jacks
  • FM telescopic antenna
  • Carrying strap
  • Reset/Lock button
  • Power supply: 6V DC Adapter or 4 D Batteries (sold separately)
  • Click here for the product spec sheet

EtonSatellit

  • Frequency coverage:
    • AM:  520 – 1710 kHz (selectable 9/10 kHz steps)
    • FM:  87.5 – 108 MHz
    • LW: 150 – 285 kHz
    • SW: 1.711 – 30 MHz
    • AIR: 118 – 136 MHz
  • FM with RDS (Radio Data System
  • Single sideband (SSB) with +/1 kHz tuning
  • VHF Aircraft band
  • Automatic or Manual Digital Tuning
  • FM stereo/mono selection
  • Electronic/volume/treble/bass control
  • Sync detector with selectable sideband
  • Direct key-in meter band for SW
  • 700 memory stations
  • PLL synthesized dual conversion receiver
  • Local/DX switch
  • Local/world time zones
  • Clock/Alarm/Sleep Timer with time backup
  • Rich orange LCD display
  • Reset/Lock button
  • FM telescopic antenna
  • Power supply: 6V DC Adapter or 4 AA batteries (sold separately)
  • Click here for the product spec sheet

If you’re interested in the Satellit and would like to participate in open and active discussions, join this newly created Etón Satellit Yahoo Group.

It’s interesting to note that FM RDS has become a feature on both the Field and Satellit and that they sport a unique orange LCD display.

Update: Also note that Etón has introduced the Traveler III and the Mini 400 travel-sized shortwave portables.

A note about Etón

For those of you not familiar, Etón Corporation (based in Palo Alto, California) is also known as the Grundig brand throughout North America. Throughout the company’s history of designing and manufacturing shortwave radios, Etón has either branded their radios as “Grundig” or “Etón” (indeed, some models were branded with both, for example the Grundig G5 and Etón E5).  I find the news of the Etón Field and Satellit very exciting as I feared the exit of the venerable Grundig G3 from the market might have also marked the departure of the company from the shortwave radio market altogether. Apparently not!

This is quite important for the SWLing hobby (in North America, at least) as Etón and Grundig products are unquestionably some of the most accessible shortwave radios on the market. Nearly every corporate or franchise retail store of RadioShack (Tandy) carries Grundig radios, as well as Universal Radio and a number of independent electronics/hobby stores throughout the continent.

By and large, I have always liked Etón/Grundig radios–I have purchased nearly everyone they’ve produced in the past six years. I also like the corporation, and it’s founder/CEO Esmail Hozour.

Indeed, Mr. Hozour and Etón Corp generously support global humanitarian efforts–they’ve donated and distributed thousands upon thousands of their self-powered radio/lighting products in the wake of disasters in Japan, the Philippines, Haiti, and even more.  Regular SWLing Post readers will also know that Etón Corp generously supports my radio-based charity, Ears To Our World (a disclaimer that will be prominently mentioned on any future Etón/Grundig radio review here.)

It’s also quite simple to get in touch with Etón product support–a live human being is only an email or phone call away. Numerous times, I’ve directed readers to Etón support and their problems have been solved.

Bookmark this tag for more information on the Etón Field and Satellit.  I have a hunch that they won’t be available until after the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

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.