CC Skywave SSB Update: C. Crane addresses first production run issues

Earlier this year, I posted a review of the CC Skywave SSB: C. Crane’s latest ultra-compact travel AM/FM/WX/AIR/shortwave radio.

If you’ve been following this little radio, you might remember that early first production models had issuesindeed, all six production units I tested had issues–that prevented me from releasing my full review before the end of 2017.

The main problem that plagued my first production run units was a background audio whine/tone. Here’s the description from my full review:

Upon careful listening, I discovered the production unit had a faint, internally-generated whine on some of the shortwave bands; when tuned to marginal signals, this whine manifested in the form of variable background noise. Between signals it was audible as a faint background whine, hardly noticeable. With that said, the whine was most notable while tuning––since the Skywave SSB mutes between frequency changes, the whine was most conspicuous during audio recovery between steps.

I later discovered that part of the problem was related to an alignment issue that C. Crane had to address in-house on their first production inventory.

Second production run evaluation

A few weeks ago, C. Crane sent me one of the first CC Skywave SSB units from their second production.

Due to my hectic schedule after almost two months of travel in Canada, I’ve only gotten around to checking the new unit this past week.

I put the CC Skywave SSB on the air and carefully tested it across the bands.

Fixed: No more whine!

I’m very pleased to report that this unit shows no signs of the internally-generated noises that plagued all six of my first production run units!

In fact, the second production unit’s performance is identical to that of the pre-production CC Skywave SSB which I’ve so admired. I’ve compared the units side-by-side and would not be able to tell them apart if it weren’t for a silk-screen error on the back of the pre-production unit.

I can now recommend the CC Skywave SSB without hesitation. If you’d like to know more about this radio, check out my full review by clicking here.

You can purchase the CC Skywave SSB from the following retailers:

Next Up…

C. Crane also sent me a second production run CCRadio-EP Pro. If you recall from my review, this model also had several issues that prevented me from recommending it–primarily: muting between frequencies, images, fixed 10 kHz steps on mediumwave, and an inaccurate analog dial.

I’ll start evaluating the EP Pro this week and report back soon. Bookmark  to follow updates.

Spread the radio love

23 thoughts on “CC Skywave SSB Update: C. Crane addresses first production run issues

  1. Paul Moriak

    The sound is very thin and tinny. If you want to hear amazing sound from a radio this size AND sold for a fraction of the Skywave’s price ($24.99 on Amazon), get a Retekess V115 shortwave radio. Granted, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the Skywave, but it shows what great sound can come from a tiny package. C Crane company – pick up one of these radios and figure out how to deliver that great audio. The poor sound of your radio is inexcusable for a $169 price point.

    1. Samuel Rhine

      Lol no. It has tons of internally generated RF noise, dead receiver, and definitely not a good sound. The real equivalent is XHdata d808. Got one for 90$, same internals from same China company that makes the sky wave ssb for CCrane. Different shell and no noaa but I like it lots better and it has external antenna jack.

  2. Dan

    Any feedback is appreciated.
    Point: I am looking for a GOOD (to excellent) choice for an AM/FM/WEATHER BAND RADIO to possibly short wave and other tuner adds to utilize with traveling either camping or use of hotel (and at home inside or the deck/yard). Useage: 1. use as a weather radio for bad weather and/or getting weather predictions. 2. listening to radio for music, talk radio, or other. 3. connect hard wire via headphone jack to my blu-tooth speakers for the aforementioned items –> (A) BOSE mini-link and (B) JBL Extreme 2. Much improvement to the sound of an excellent small good to great tuner choice, but small radio

    I currently use a SONY cassette digital tuner WALKMAN. However, I think from the reviews the tuner for the C.Crane radios will be the best choice.


  3. George

    I have become aware that Crane has manufactured 5 versions of the Skywave SSB. I ordered an orphan product, but I was told that they are unable to tell me which version will be shipped (other than it will be version 3,4, or 5 (not 1 or 2). Is there a significant difference between these versions? Should I be concerned? Thank you.

    1. Thomas Post author

      Wow. I didn’t know there were so many versions. I somehow doubt there would be a massive difference in performance with any unit after the first production run. I can tell you that C. Crane stands behind their products, so if you have an issue, you’re in good hands.

    1. Thomas Post author

      Good question. I think the only option was to return it for re-alignment. I don’t think there’s a way the user could easily perform the alignment.

  4. Doug Nickle

    I recently picked up my Skywave SSB (to complement my original Skywave).

    I like both a lot and am impressed with the SSB version so far. Clear and crisp as the original, with the same form factor and footprint. Great little full feature radio.

  5. Marty

    Is there anything on the radio or packaging that denotes the second production run. Alternately a serial number range? The $20 discount at Universal Radio is hard to pass up but I wouldn’t want to get a first run radio.

    1. Thomas Post author

      I don’t see anything in particular that denotes a 2nd production run. I’m positive, however, that Universal Radio will be able to confirm this if you give them a call prior to purchasing.

      Of course, even the first production run units currently in stock likely have been re-aligned by C. Crane and most likely will function as it should.

  6. Dave AA7EE

    This is fantastic. I’ve been waiting for your report on the second production run of the CC Skywave SSB, and hoping that it would be favorable. Thank you Thomas!

    1. Thomas Post author

      You’re most welcome, Dave! I’m so happy they sorted out the internally-generated noises. The Skywave SSB is a fine little travel radio. True, it’s a pricey one compared to so many other portables, but I personally think it’s worth the investment having such a capable little radio at your fingertips when doing one-bag travel!

      1. KA7EII

        Hello Thomas, I just got one of the second production run Skywave SSB radios and so far, it seems to be perfect. I have not heard any of the “whine” like the two I had last December. C.Crane is a great company and I know I’m going to really enjoy the Skywave SSB.

          1. Thomas Post author

            This radio was sent to me as an evaluation unit from the second production run by the manufacturer directly.
            If you’re curious about a CC Skywave SSB unit that you plan to purchase, ask the retailer and they should be able to confirm if your unit is from the second production run or not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.