Coming soon: C. Crane CC Skywave review

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C. Crane has sent me their new CC Skywave shortwave portable for review. I’ve been using it since Friday and have started putting together a quick review.

If you have any thoughts or questions, please comment and I’ll try to address them in the upcoming post.

Update: Click here to read a full review of the CC Skywave.

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24 thoughts on “Coming soon: C. Crane CC Skywave review

  1. H. Alexander

    Enjoyed the review, Thomas. And your opinions pretty well square up with my own experience with the CC Skywave! I consider it to be one of the hottest new products on the market!

    This radio is my sixth C Crane product, and I have only had one disappointment so far, that being the CC Pocket radio, which had a terrible engineering design on the power button. It held up for only about 3 months.

    Keep up the good work!!

    Reply
  2. George Sherman

    Hi Thomas, sorry for the tone but if we order by Su 12/14 we save $6.95. I really just was curious if anyone could estimate when they might have a review. Some people don’t know how to do a review, like leaving out 99% of what a person might want to know. A review on CCrane.com says MW sensitivity & audio quality are good, but I need more to make a decision. Thanks in advance for your review! 73, George

    Reply
  3. George Sherman

    We keep hearing from the person that got the radio for free that it is a $79 radio, yet C Crane says it is $89.95 plus shipping ($5 thru 12/14), then $11.95 again. The review may not be published until after Su 12/14, so we lose about $24-$25 if we return it. I have about 100 radios, mostly cheap portables, that I could compare it to if motivated. I may need to wait til I find an orphan or used one, as $100+ with shipping is high for a radio with no synchronous detection, no sideband, no external antenna jack, no RDS on FM.

    I got Sony 7600GR for $80 with SSB & sync, like new; Tecsun PL-660 for just a bit more (SSB & sync). Grundig G3 w/RDS, SSB, Sync, again off eBay for about $80; Tecsun PL-310 ET all accessories like new $39.95 off eBay. Use the excellent $100 Sony AN-LP1 SW antenna on most of my portables, but CC Skywave designers decided to make that impossible. A couple dozen feet of wire for $14.95 will hardly help & is included in price on most portables, so $125 in all. Is AC adapter extra?

    Even most $10 radios will get 50 KW clears. Most SW stations will need a better antenna or better sensitivity built-in. Whip is how short? Whoever the mfr is, they refuse to tell us the sensitivity on any band. Think I need to wait for more info.

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      Hi, George,
      Apologies…you’re right. I posted $79, but I should have written $89. My review should be published tomorrow morning. Sorry–you must understand, I do reviews in my spare time and get to them as time allows.
      -Thomas

      Reply
  4. Tim

    Since it’s a brand new design, I’ll be interested to know if there are any software bugs that need fixing, and if so, if C Crane will be offering updates.

    Reply
  5. L.A. Davies

    Sorry, got to dismiss any radio review where the manufacturer is sending out the radio themselves. A true review only comes from one purchased at random without their knowledge. CCrane is notorious for this, as they give away free radios to popular bloggers. If swling gave them a bad review, they would no longer be given the radios to test out. So I would ignore any review by them.

    CCrane has a long history of very questionable quality with their radios lasting, as they use bottom of the barrel rebranded Redsun radios. No review of any CCrane is valid until tested a few years after usage.

    I would only recommend a CCrane if they give it a 5 year guarantee on the product. Many of us have been burned by CCrane products like C Crane EP radio.

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      You’re welcome to pass this judgment prior to the review being published. That’s why, on the rare occasions I receive a review sample, I state this clearly up front. This is the first radio sample I’ve received in 5 years. I can tell you that I’m not swayed by a $79 portable to bend the truth on a review. I’m posting audio clips on MW and SW comparing this radio to the PL-310ET; they will speak for themselves.
      -Thomas

      Reply
  6. David F.

    I know this website is for shortwave enthusiasts, but I would appreciate a comparison with the Grundig G8 Traveler II, especially on FM and AM reception.

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      Hi, David,

      If I still had my G8 Traveler II, I’d do a quick comp, but I gave that radio away a couple of years ago to a young SWL.

      -Thomas

      Reply
  7. t deforest

    No BFO, again. What a disappointment. I can’t begin to tell you the amount of money I’d have spent with this organization if they offered radios with a BFO.

    Only a few added parts are needed for a BFO, and many of the Chinese made radios have the traces on their circuit boards. If Bob has these receivers tweaked to his specs as he claims (and I believe him), he is overlooking an important feature for those of us who enjoy a portable that demodulates SSB, CW, and utility stations. The SW AM broadcast bands are rapidly vacating, almost necessitating a BFO for much interesting listening. Even the cheap Radio Shack 2000629 that seemed to be everywhere for $25 most of 2014 has a BFO. Tecsun PL 600s are still available from Chinese eBay vendors very cheap, with the PL 660s for not much more.

    The aircraft sections on most inexpensive sets like this are usually lacking, and understandably so at this price level. My Sony 2010, Tecsun PL660, Grundig G3 and Grundig G6 offer poor sensitivity at those frequencies. I hope you’ll find more performance from this set.

    Reply
  8. Michael Schuster

    In response to my pre-sale question, CCrane assured me that the internal design of the Skywave is considerably improved over the earlier Redsun radio sold in Australia as the Digitech AR-1733. Specifically the AGC issue on MW which makes for difficult listening of non-local signals because they never produce enough volume. Can you confirm this?

    Reply
  9. Paul

    Hi Thomas…could you tell me if this radio has a “step by step” volume control or is it a “free wheel”…same about the tune knob feeling. What about the audio quality? Sorry for my anxiety, can´t wait until your review. Cheers.

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      Hi, Paul, I’m happy to confirm that the volume pot is “free wheel”–completely variable and no steps. I wish more portables used the traditional volume pot.
      -Thomas

      Reply
  10. Mel

    How is the general quality? Does it have a solid feel, or is it cheap and “plastiky”? Portable radios often get dropped, so I want to make sure it can “take it”.

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      It feels very much like the CCRadio-SWP. Of course, the body is plastic, but it feels durable to me–at least as much as a similar Tecsun portable.

      Reply
  11. James Patterson

    Hi there.Has this radio no SSB mode?.Looking at the photo,it has AIR ( UHF),AM,FM and SW.I feel a true SW radio would enclude Upper and Lower SSB for tuneing in all the HF utility frequencies.Most utility stations are on the SW bands.So it makes sence that these can be received as well to make it a true SW/Gen coverage portable receiver.I see many SW portables on the market.But what they miss is the SSB section.Listeners dont realise that SSB utilities are on the HF/SW band,there is a whole lot more to listen to,than just SW.!!

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      Hi, James,

      I can confirm that the Skywave does not have SSB. At this price point, there are only a few radios with SSB–namely, the Degen DE1103, the Tecsun PL-600 and the new CommRadio GP5/SSB which should be shipping in a few days.

      The Skywave is the only radio at $79 with a functional AIR band.

      -Thomas

      Reply
      1. James Patterson

        Thanks Thomas.Yes there are many portables on the market, but very few at a reasonable price have all the “Bells and Whistles” encludeing a quality BFO circuit (Single Side Band) for Utility monitoring.There are many SW DXers but it seems fewer SSB DXers.I happen to be a very keen SSB DXer and own a very good Tecsun 660,that was brought into my country and sold to me.After trying two 660s and found internal harmonic problems,I finaly bought a “good” one.But the very early National Panasonic receivers such as the DR49 and other models came out with SSB/BFO as per normal.These radios were used in the early days,in the South Pacific Islands to listen into the “Home land” for thoses europeans that settled there.I still own a very good Nat/Panasonic DR49 with no BFO drift at all( around 45 years old).I find all receiver reveiws most interesting espeicaly since I live in “down under” New Zealand where very few are ever brought into our country.Certainly not sold in shops as there is only one outlet called Jaycar,an Australian electronics shop owned by Australia,with a few shops here in NZ.But again a very poor selection of quality portable receivers.So I think we mostly hold on to our more Vintage type,and restore them as nessesary.For some reason,there does not seem to be any demand or interest amongst the public here,for true SW radio.Unfortunitly,its all internet now these days.Very few of us are keeping the “Radio waves” interest going!

        Reply

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