Update 2: Sangean DT-160CL v Sony SRF-39FP

Sangean-DT160CL and Sony SRF-39FP

It’s been eighty seven (!!!) hours since I started the Sangean DT-160CL versus Sony SRF-39FP endurance test and both radio are still going strong.

My iPhone stopwatch has been tracking the test.

My iPhone stopwatch has been tracking the test.

I’ve tuned both radios to my SSTran AMT3000 AM transmitter which is currently re-broadcasting the UK 1940s Radio Station on 1570 kHz.

The Sangean DT-160CL still shows two of three segments on the battery indicator (see above).

The Sony SRF-39FP seems to have no indication of quitting anytime soon–it’s still sensitive and audio sounds great.

I believe the Sony SRF-39FP is rated for 80 hours of playtime, and I’m sure if I had turned it on and off numerous times during the test, it might have had an impact on battery performance. It’s still going strong, though.

I am using advanced alkaline (CVS Brand) batteries in both radios. These should give each radio better battery life than standard alkaline or rechargeables.

Regardless which radio wins this test: both have already proved themselves “Holy Grail” battery misers!

I’ll be monitoring the radios very closely today as we pass the 90 and 100 hour mark!


UPDATE: Shortly after making this post–at almost exactly 88 hours and 30 minutes into the test–the Sangean DT160CL’s battery indicator lost a battery indicator segment. It’s now only showing one of three battery segments. Could the end be near for our DT-160CL? Stay tuned!

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4 thoughts on “Update 2: Sangean DT-160CL v Sony SRF-39FP

  1. DanH

    Well, heck. Anything digital or modern means more power consumption. This includes DSP and LCD dial displays. Talk about HD v. analog radios: modern HD devices consume much more power than analog radios. But, they sometimes deliver more in terms of audio and reception ability. Way out in left field: HD radios are power-hungry devices.

    Back to the case in point: if you want the most battery efficient radio go for the inaccurate mechanical tuning dial and less audio fidelity available with simple PLL radios. Accept less tuning accuracy and (usually) less audio fidelity in the trade-off. Which works best behind modern corporate prison building walls? Which works best while strolling in the yard?

    Now, which is the better prison radio?

  2. Cap

    I have two SRF-59 radios like the SRF-39FP they only take one battery, which is unbelievable, you can even chuck 1.2v rechargables and they will go some.
    OK, no fancy LCD or built in speaker but still pretty incredible.
    When the battery gives up, pop it in the Humanalight and you are still going 🙂

  3. Gary K

    One thing we know for sure is that the batteries in an analog radio will last much longer when in storage, because digital radios draw various amounts of standby power.

  4. DanH

    Yes, the end is near for the Sangean’s battery. I have the same three-element battery charge indicator on the Sangean ATS-909X. Three bars means all to 1/4 of the useful battery capacity remains. Two bars means the battery capacity is near empty and one bar means the low fuel idiot light has turned on. No bars means get out and push.


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