Mike’s mini review of the RadioShack Model 2000669 shortwave radio

RS-ShortwaveRadioRegarding the performance of the RadioShack Model 2000669 portable radio, SWLing Post reader, Mike, comments:

I picked one up today, and overall, I’m impressed. It does have complete coverage from 2.5 to 26.1 MHz as advertised, and overall, it has very good sensitivity and adjacent channel rejection for a small portable (in fact, the best I’ve heard from such). Sure sounds like some sort of DSP filter is involved. Reception is at least as good as my old Grundig Mini 300 and much, much better than a Degen DE22. Clipping an external long-wire antenna did not cause overloading (I was very surprised by this). AM BCB reception is actually quite decent: I was able to listen to several distant stations that were only 10 kHz from local ones. Audio is OK but not great, and the case does not stand up stably. I guess you can’t expect too much from a $30 radio. No case or earbuds are included.

By the way, if you go to a local Radio Shack store, be sure you get the internet price. We have two stores near my house; both had the radio marked as $39.99 instead of the $27.99 online sale price. The guys at the first store said “sorry, we can’t change the sticker price.” No sale. So, I went to the other store. When I pointed out the web price to the young women helping me there, she said, “this isn’t right” and called her manager over who overrode the store price with the cheaper one.

So, who makes this radio? Good question. The back of the case says “Custom manufactured in China for Radio Shack Corporation.” Maybe Tecsun?

Sounds like this may be a great portable for the glove compartment of a car, or to keep in your backpack/briefcase.

Thanks, Mike, and please share any other comments about this radio as you use it.

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17 thoughts on “Mike’s mini review of the RadioShack Model 2000669 shortwave radio

  1. Fred

    Its probably using the Chinese AKC6955 DSP receiver chip.

    I wouldn’t doubt if they reverse engineered / copied the Silicon Labs DSP chip.

    Reply
  2. ShortwaveGuy

    So, I picked one of these up and I am impressed, though it is early in the “love affair”. 2 years in, what are your findings with this unit? Do you still use it? How has it held up to time?

    Reply
  3. Michael Schuster

    After reading the comments about the web sale price being obtained in-store I visited 3 Radio Shack stores only to be turned away with excuses why they wouldn’t “price match”. So I ordered one on Cyber Monday with free shipping, and got an additional 10% off the sale price. (I was going to have it shipped to one of the 3 stores I’d visited just to spite them; but hey, why waste the gas again).

    Anyway, if you’re thinking of running out to buy one of these instead of the competition – don’t. This radio doesn’t hold a candle to similarly-sized and featured Tecsun DSP radios like the PL-505 and PL-606.

    On FM it’s quite sensitive and selective; but MW/SW are another matter. It receives the local powerhouses just fine, but I had a $6 Wal-Mart transistor radio that did that adequately too.

    The main problem seems to be lack of any detectable AGC action, resulting in inadequate volume (even in headphones) on anything besides the locals. Sorta like the first production run of the CC Pocket radio but, to their credit, they did fix that. I can’t even tell whether the DSP chip is programmed to enforce “soft mute” because EVERYTHING is already muted.

    It also does funny stuff with the splash from IBOC stations. On any other radio it sounds like white noise that grows weaker the further you de-tune. On this radio it’s just a kind of silent de-sense which extends 20 or 30 KHz in either direction.

    SW reception is marginal because the telescopic whip is way too short; I haven’t tried connecting a long wire yet but don’t have high hopes. Lots of MW images on SW too.

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      Wow, Mike–thanks for the comments on performance. In the end, I’m glad you got a better deal on Cyber Monday. Sad that RS can’t match their own online prices. I wonder how much longer they’ll last after this holiday season.

      Reply
  4. Pingback: Mike’s RadioShack Model 2000669 modification to prevent station memory loss | The SWLing Post

  5. Ben

    I just bought one tonight during the Thanksgiving rush. Everyone there were buying pretty expensive phones and gadgets while I rolled up to the counter with this little radio marked 39.99. I asked if they honored their website prices and after going in the back to talk to someone, I was told they would.

    It really does well with a little wire attached to it. The volume seems very low on SW compared to AM/FM.

    Reply
  6. Henry

    I went to a RS store this evening to get one of these. The website showed the item in stock (and it was) but I got the same story from the clerk: it rang up as $39.99 and he wouldn’t sort out the price. Not happy about that.

    Reply
    1. Mike

      Unfortunately, the current level of knowledge that RS employees have about their products and (apparently) business procedures is highly variable. Gone are the days when the manager was probably a ham and the rest of the staff pretty knowledgeable. Probably the safest method to get the better price is just order from their website.

      Reply
      1. Henry

        Out of stock online–only certain stores had it. I complained to RS on Twitter, but had no confirmation they did anything about the problem at the original location. The other location in town that had these was able to do the right thing this evening. Tomorrow I’ll check it out.

        Reply
  7. Pingback: A look inside the RadioShack Model 2000669 shortwave radio | The SWLing Post

  8. Paul

    Thanks Mike.

    It’s interesting that with this Silicon Labs enabled radios, it really takes nothing to switch the SW/MW tuning steps to 1 kHz. Yet, it’s not done.

    Reply
  9. Paul

    Also, Mike, what are the step sizes (in KHz/MHz) on AM, FM, and shortwave?

    Does the radio suffer from the infamous “soft mute” problem that Silicon Labs chips are famous for (unless fixed by the end system integrator)?

    Reply
    1. Mike

      Size steps:
      AM BCB – 10 kHz steps (if there is a way to change to 9 kHz, I haven’t found it)
      FM BCB – 0.2 MHz steps
      SW – 5 kHz steps

      The tuning on SW uses an accelerating scheme – the longer you press the button, the faster the tuning steps. The receiver is muted during scanning, but I don’t hear any “soft muting” when stepwise tuning. The main limitation of the radio for SWL is the short antenna (16″; 40 cm). Clipping a wire antenna to the whip really brings in lots of station with decent adjacent channel rejection.

      Reply
      1. Mike W

        What modifications would need to be made to remove the mute during the scan? I don’t know if you know what a ghost box is but the end result is for it to scan through the channels at a rapid pace unmuted

        Reply
  10. Paul

    Thanks Mike; is the radio easy to open to see what DSP chip they’re using? Is the upper limit of shortwave coverage 24 MHz (as RS states) or 26.1 MHz?

    Reply

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