The new Degen DE1129A sports RDS, but is there really a version with keypad?

Thanks to a tip from the Herculodge, I discovered the DE1129A: a version of the recently reviewed Degen DE1129 with RDS. RDS is a very useful feature–especially for instant FM station ID on the go.

The DE1129A is available from Anon, a trusted Degen distributor from Hong Kong, on eBay. I have purchased from them before and have been very pleased with their service. Click here to view their listings.

If you’ve been sitting on the fence about purchasing the DE1129, perhaps RDS will sway you toward purchasing this portable radio with integrated digital recording and playback.

Frankly, I was unimpressed by the DE1129. Though the radio has very good FM reception and an impressive little speaker with bass response,  I believe the majority of shortwave and medium wave radio listeners would be upset with its overall performance.  I can’t imagine that Degen’s updates would bring dramatically improved performance on the shortwave and mediumwave bands. If nothing else, the lack of a number pad to directly input frequencies, would put me off. Cruising through the shortwave bands at slow 5kHz steps with noted muting between frequencies make band-scanning a chore on the DE1129.

According to, this image was altered by Degen to show what the DE1129 would look like with a number pad. It’s obvious that the image has been altered by Photoshop or another graphics application.

DE1129 Number Keypad?

Speaking of a number pad…earlier this year, told me that there would soon be a version of the DE1129 with a number keypad.  They published a prototype image (see right). When I first saw this image, I could instantly see that it had been Photoshopped; obvious use of cloning tools and the fact that the number pad characters are not in alignment with the buttons really stand out. Still, for a prototype image, it gives you a good sense of what the final product will look like.

Within weeks, I started noticing the keypad version of the DE1129 appearing in search results on eBay and had assumed it was in production.

This eBay seller shows a version of the DE1129 with number pad, but the image is the Photoshopped image (see above) released from Degen earlier this year.

This morning, I opened an eBay listing of the DE1129 keypad version (see image on right) from pbuying.usa. Their listing clearly shows the same Photoshopped image from above. I then noticed that neither the product description nor any other image they feature indicates a number pad on the DE1129. I wrote a message to them this morning asking for clarification and will update this post with their response.

UPDATEpbuying.usa confirmed that his radio does not have a number pad and was apologetic and thankful that it was pointed out. The image has been removed.

I mention this as a note of caution: On eBay, you should always confirm any discrepencies before purchasing.  Though you could rightfully return the radio and get a refund, return shipping to Hong Kong/China (which you would pay for) could be in excess of $20-25 US.

By the way, though the addition of a number keypad on the DE1129 would make this radio at least 50% more usable, it would not sway me to recommend it because receiver performance is so mediocre. Check out my other review notes here.

I’m very curious if any SWLing Post readers have actually received a keypad version of the DE1129–please comment!

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7 thoughts on “The new Degen DE1129A sports RDS, but is there really a version with keypad?

  1. Dario

    I’ll want received informations about the difference of receiver DEGEN 1121 and DEGEN 1129.

    Besides I’ll want informations about the difference of receiver DEGEN 1121 and the new model DEGEN 1129A. Thanks.

  2. Ante

    Hello Thomas,
    Thank you very much for your reply. Yeah, unfortunatlely, DEGEN 1129A is the same in that regard. Anon-co confirmed this to me this morning. Too bad. I really wanted to buy this radio, but I think I will stay away from it until they fix this issue.

  3. Ante

    Hello, I am actually thinking of getting one of these radios, as `i don’t really need AM or SW. The recording issue, however, is troubling. But, I have a question. When recording from radio, is it possible to mute the sound completely, or not? Thank you so much!a

    1. Thomas Post author

      Hi, Ante,

      No–there is no option to mute the audio in record on the DE1129. They just released the DE1129A, but I would be very surprised if it were different.

      The only work-around would be to insert headphones or a dummy 1/8″ stereo plug–perhaps an adapter. It would trick the radio into believing headphones had been inserted. Of course, I never tried recording from radio with the headphones in–it may require that the speaker on.


  4. Keith Perron

    The image of this receiver with the keypad is not totally off. It’s not just released yet. At the Hong Kong electronics show they did have a prototype with the keypad. But I would suspect it would be released so close the one they just did. I would estimate with in 10 to 16 months.

    1. Thomas Post author

      A keypad is certainly a worthwhile addition to this little radio. Tuning is cumbersome to say the least as-is.

      Thanks for the report!



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