Sangean DT-500W: a new AM / FM / Weather Alert Pocket Radio


Many thanks to my pal, Jeff McMahon from The Herculodge, who has just apprised me of a new Sangean AM/FM/WX portable: the DT-500W. Jeff learned about the new pocket radio via a comment on his blog.

DT-500W-SideIt appears the DT-500W is powered by a rechargeable Li-ion Polymer 3.7V (1850mAh) battery. I would expect good longevity from a full charge.

Based on the specifications, the receiver covers all NOAA weather radio frequencies, the FM broadcast band (87.5 – 108 MHz) and the full AM broadcast band (520 – 1710 kHz). I also noted on the spec sheet, however, that the AM broadcast (mediumwave) band is limited to 10 kHz tuning steps. Not a great contender for the ultralight DXer or someone who travels outside North America if so!

Click here to view the Sangean DT-500W on Sangean’s website.

As of posting, I can’t find the DT-500W listed with any online retailers.

Thanks again for the tip, Jeff!

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12 thoughts on “Sangean DT-500W: a new AM / FM / Weather Alert Pocket Radio

  1. Edward

    So many potential nice radios that miss the mark due to some simple design oversight,
    “AM broadcast (mediumwave) band is limited to 10 kHz tuning steps. Not a great contender for the ultralight DXer ” Another good radio that miss the cut. Hope they will fix this problem in the next version.

  2. Michael Black

    I ended up with a weather radio recently without knowing it.

    I bought a pair of FRS walkie talkies for five dollars at a rummage sale. I’ve yet to try them for communication because when I got home and searched for details, it turned out they tuned the 162MHz weather channels.

    I assume they use a bit of space in an existing IC, or the main FRS receiver can tune the band, and probably converting to digital along the way.

    It beats the Radio Shack Weather Radio I got in the seventies, I got it to retune to 2metres but it wasn’t a good receiver. It beats the Eton analog radio that was am/fm/tv and weather which I found a few summers go, that had marginal sensitivity. If I’d not gotten 162MHz reception with the Icom 2M walkie talkie I got at a garage sale in June, these FRS units would be a great find.

    So this is one way to receive those weather channels, cheap if the chance comes along. The set even came with rechargeable batteries (but no charger with this pair), but also runs off regular AAA batteries, the best of both worlds.


  3. Dan H

    If “good longevity” means battery capacity then Li-ion batteries are often good for 2000-2800 mAh with better brands like AW and Samsung. If the DT-500W uses a single 18650 Li-ion then the supplied 1850 mAh Li-ion is actually a pretty low capacity battery. The strength of Li-ion batteries is not battery capacity but the capability to to operate under conditions of high current drain for limited periods of time. There are high amp Li-ions out there that will run 20 amps and more pulsed. That’s why Li-ion polymers are favorites with the electric and hybrid automotive industry. The market is flooded with various Li-ion battery types. Unprotected Li-ion batteries with improved “safer” chemistry like LiMN are safe for travel if kept in proper containers.

    Most Li-ion batteries are good for a lifetime of about 300 charge cycles. A rare few can reach 500 charge cycles.

    For portable radios Li-ion batteries are not always the best choice for rechargeable batteries. The current version of the AA Eneloop standard (white) NiMH battery is the same size as a 14500 Li-ion battery and is rated 2000 mAh with a lifespan of up to 2100 charge cycles. The Sangean ATS-909X can use four Eneloops and charge them inside the radio with a built-in AC powered smart charger.

    Li-ion and NIMH are very different batteries and require different power supplies. Li-ion has a nominal voltage of 3.7V and is charged to 4.2V. NiMH is a nominal 1.2V and is charged to 1.5V.

    Otherwise, the Sangean DT-500W looks like it could be a very nice radio. The Li-ion battery can be recharged inside the radio via USB which is fine if you have a live USB connection available. Sangean build quality and QC is usually first-rate. The similarly sized Sangean DT-400W is available with the same frequency coverage. It uses either two AA non-rechargeable batteries or rechargeable batteries like Eneloop. However, DT-400W has no provision for charging batteries inside the radio.

  4. Steve

    I just refuse to consider a portable radio that relies on a fixed internal rechargeable, or proprietary rechargeable battery. To me, to be useful a portable must use standard or rechargeable AA or D size batteries, no C or 9v. Just gave my 85 yo mom a Sangenan DT-400W as I felt she would be able to change the batteries on it with more ease than on my personal favorite the Crane Pocket.

    1. rtc

      You are absolutely correct.
      Another radio designed by computer dweebs… .

      Ever notice how many battery jobs require a
      5v usb cable?

      Radio does not = computer.


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