Gregg finds a case for the Sangean ATS-909X

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Gregg Freeby, who writes:

I recently purchased a Sangean ATS-909X and while I really like the radio, I wasn’t too impressed with the envelope pouch/case it came with for protecting the radio. I really like the leather case of the Tecsun PL-880 but it appears to have one major flaw, it only holds the radio and no accessories. I like to have everything all in one neat kit. So, I set out to see what I could find that would fit my 909X.

It didn’t take me long to find this little gem [on Amazon.com].

By removing the CD envelope inserts (they’re just sewn in) there’s just enough room for the radio, power transformer, earbuds and reel antenna. I’ve attached a couple photos to show the case and what fits inside. I added a little strip of soft green foam I had around the house to take up some of the extra space around the radio while also providing a little more protection.

While the case is only faux leather it is very sharp looking, black with white stitching, and is a big improvement over the supplied case, particularly since everything I need is in one complete package.

By the way, I read on the SWLing Post a tip from you regarding the need to use fresh batteries to boost the sensitivity of this radio and you could not be more correct. In fact, using the AC adapter is almost a must for pulling in weak signals. And as others have said, an external antenna really helps but for me I’ve found that running on AC power makes the biggest improvement in performance.

Many thanks for sharing your tip, Gregg! That’s a stylish case! I imagine there are many readers out there who even have CD/DVD cases they no longer use for storage and could be put into service as a radio case.

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7 thoughts on “Gregg finds a case for the Sangean ATS-909X

  1. Tim Hanson

    Just got my 909x and its a great radio, will take me a while to figure it all out. I saw this post about using cd wallets which I have several that have not been used in a while. I took one and removed the pages and its works like it fits. I really prefer to keep attachments like power and such with a unit as they get separated and its a bear to find them again. I have a lot of stuff as you can surmise and this really helps to keep me organized. Great idea…

    Reply
  2. DanH

    Nice case. I travel with my 909X in the stock leatherette case. No, it isn’t padded. I pack the ANT-60 and wall wart separately but I only use that for recharging batteries inside the radio. The smaller stock case is fine but I would like one that is the closer to the same size and padded.

    Batteries. I use Eneloop AA batteries and charge them inside the 909X. If you ever take a DVM to a freshly charged Eneloop cell you will find the voltage to be just a hair below 1.5V, like 1.49V. This is by design. The nominal voltage of these LiMH cells is 1.2V. I recharge the Eneloops in the 909X when the battery charge state indicator drops one bar. This gives me about 12 hours of radio play time with only a slight drop in sensitivity before recharging. The wall wart power supply will interfere with SW reception at many parts of the spectrum. This is true with most modern portables using switched power supplies.

    Reply
    1. Michael Meyer

      Hi Dan.

      Thanks for your reply! I have noticed many reader of SWLing post mention Panasonic Eneloop batteries for portable radios. What I’ve used is something called ReCyko+, which do fine in a Tecsun pl-680, but are holding only 1,25 volts (due to my multi-meter).

      When talking Eneloop, are we talking the Pro version (https://www.batteribyen.dk/genopladelige-batterier/panasonic-eneloop-genopladelige-batterier-1/panasonic-eneloop-pro-batterier/panasonic-eneloop-pro-aa-r06-genopladelige-batterier-4-stk) or are the ordinary Eneloop batteries enough?

      Best regards, Michael

      Reply
      1. DanH

        I faced the same quandary when choosing Eneloops for the 909X. The more expensive black Eneloop Pro or the standard Eneloop whites? The Pros offer higher discharge current than the Standards but you will never need that higher current capability for the 909X. Pros also have a slightly higher amp/hr rating than the 2000 mAh Standards The Pros are better suited for higher drain devices like digital cameras, super powerful flashlights or anything powering a motor. The deciding factor was the recharge life. The Eneloop Pros claim a lifespan of up to 500 charges while the Standards are rated up to 2100 charges. I chose the Eneloop Standards (white) for the 909X.

        Reply
        1. Gafer

          This discussion about Eneloops has been really helpful. The standard ones is what I have been using. After reading lots of reports about poor performance with rechargeables I compared the Eneloops to fresh alkalines and saw no difference. I wondered why and now I know, the Eneloops are a superior rechargeable for sure.

          As an alternative to internal rechargeable batteries or the noise from an AC adapter I suppose one could build a 12V DC power supply using an external rechargeable like this;
          ExpertPower 12V 7 Amp EXP1270 Rechargeable Lead Acid Battery https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003S1RQ2S/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_BOJEAbN9DTXX9

          At least one reviewer has concluded that the 909X works just fine on a 12V DC source. https://arachnoid.com/Sangean_ATS-909X/index.html

          Reply
  3. Michael Meyer

    Thanks for the post, Gregg.

    Regarding the sensitivity, I agree on your observations. Have just received one 909x with the RadioLabs modification a week ago.

    My experience with sensitivity is also, that one should forget all about rechargable batteries, since the low 1,2 volts from a rechargable reduces sensitivity a lot! With alkaline batteries, things improve a lot, and with a good external antenna even more!

    When running from the supplied adapter, I notice a hum om frecuencies below 25 meter, that make weak stations to be covered by noise and a strong station like Greece on 9420 kHz to have an annoying hum under the audio. I do know the adapter is a switch power type, and we do run 230 volts here in Denmark.

    Anyone with an idea about how to reduce that hum, since sensitivity also gets better when using the adapter, and saves the batteries……?

    And regarding the RadioLabs mod: Well, I don’t know how audio was before the modification, but my well-used Sony ICF-2010 / 2001D sounds quite crisper and clearer than the ats-909X!

    Best regards, MIchael from Denmark

    Reply
    1. DanH

      My 909X was purchased new in mid-2015 and is completely stock. The radio uses a full one-watt audio amp that can drive some very nice bass response from the 3″ speaker on FM and MW. This is also true on SW. There are three tone control settings on the 909X. MUSIC seems to favor music listening at higher listening volume on FM. NEWS limits both ends of audio response to voice range. This is useful for noisy stations deep in the mud on SW. NORM is the all-round audio setting. I find that NORM provides the brightest SW audio on the 909X and use it for most SW listening with the ceramic bandwidth filter in the WIDE (6 kHz) setting. My only other current multiband portable is the Eton Grundig Edition Satellit (same radio as Eton Grundig Executive Satellit) which sounds tinny by comparison to the 909X. These are multiband portables after all. A single speaker must serve the demands of both FM and AM listening which are sometimes at odds with each other.

      Reply

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