Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor,Rocky Robello (KA7EII), who writes:
Just got my new C. Crane Skywave SSB radio. Same size as my wife’s C. Crane Skywave. AM, FM, WX and Airband all work just as well on the Skywave SSB as the regular Skywave.
So far, I am very satisfied with the SSB reception on the new Skywave SSB. It has one strange quirk – when you press the SSB button, it takes about 3 to 4 seconds to go into SSB mode. Five dashes appear on the display during this wait. After that, it is great.
I enjoy aeronautical communications and I get good reception of San Francisco radio and aircraft flying between the west coast and Hawaii. This is on the built in whip antenna.
Also been tuning through the ham bands and it does a nice job. There is an extra 0.5 KHz bandwidth on SSB mode so it is possible to do some casual CW listening. I like how the “Band” button works on shortwave.
When in AM mode, it cycles through the shortwave broadcasting bands. In the SSB mode, it cycles through the ham radio bands. It even selects LSB on 160-30 meters and USB on 20 through 10.
The only other receiver I have to compare it with (other than my wife’s Skywave) is my 18-year old Sangean ATS-909. The ‘909 is a bit more sensitive on MW AM broadcast band but selectivity is as good or better on the Skywave SSB.
FM sensitivity is great and the FM selectivity of the Skywave SSB beats the ‘909 hands down. Using the built in whip antennas, the Skywave SSB is more sensitive than the ‘909 on shortwave. Haven’t tried the included roll-up antenna on the Skywave SSB yet.
Having a squelch is really nice for monitoring the VHF Airband. One thing the Skywave SSB does that the regular Skywave does not do – you can scan 10 VHF Airband frequencies on the Skywave SSB.
So far, I am very satisfied with this new, tiny shortwave receiver.
Many thanks for sharing your mini review, Rocky!
I’ll also post a CC Skywave SSB review here hopefully by the end of next week–after Thanksgiving travel. My review has been delayed a as my CC Skywave SSB production units have had some QC issues: a very slight internally-generated noise in one and subpar sensitivity in the other.
My pre-production CC Skywave SSB is as Rocky describes: a gem of a compact receiver with sensitivity equal to that of its predecessor and relatively good noise characteristics.
C. Crane engineering is looking into the issues with my early production units and dispatching a replacement. I’ll post an update and review when I receive the replacement.