Radio Deal: New Retekess TR608 AM/FM/SW/AIR intro price of $29.99 US shipped

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, John Palmer, who writes:

Hi Thomas,

Just noticed that Retekess has introduced a new AM/FW/SW/Airband! receiver and it’s on sale at a special introductory price ($29.99) till the end of Dec 2019.

Interesting that this one has the commercial aviation band (118-138MHz).

Click here to view on eBay.

Thanks for the tip, John!

Post Readers: Please share your review of this new portable if you grab one!

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9 thoughts on “Radio Deal: New Retekess TR608 AM/FM/SW/AIR intro price of $29.99 US shipped

  1. Mike S

    For this model, the company marketing electronics under the Retekess brand seems to be using a different supplier compared to the previous digital-radio-plus-memory—card-player products. The result is a more traditionally styled multiband DSP radio which runs on (gasp) traditional AA batteries. Its feature set takes inspiration from the Radiwow R108 and original CCrane Skywave, but with mixed results (albeit at a fraction of the price). It delivers decent performance for its price class but more serious listeners would be advised to spend a little more on a more established model.


    Usual set of features: sleep timer, alarm, scanning, auto memory fill.

    Uses replaceable alkaline or NiMH “AA” cells.

    Decent sensitivity across the board.

    Full shortwave coverage.

    Frequency display is large and contrasty.

    Dial light is effective and can be disabled. Display is readable without it, even in dim light.

    No annoying keypad “beep”, so no mad rush to discover how it can be disabled.

    Speaker can play reasonably loud without distortion.

    FM reception is solid with good frequency response and stereo reception through headphones; this also activates a display indicator.

    MW/SW reception is NOT plagued by digital hash bleeding through from the processor as with most other models in this price range!


    Signficantly larger than expected.

    Unfortunately the added cabinet space is not utilized for a more wide-range speaker; audio is tinny.

    Clumsy mounting of one spring in the battery compartment on my sample makes it almost impossible to insert the third AA battery without risking damage.

    Many keypad buttons are so tiny and almost flush with the cabinet, that they are difficult to press.

    Lens over LCD display is molded and unpolished with moiré distortion at some viewing angles.

    Air band reception marred by birdies, bleedthrough from other bands, and lack of squelch.

    Volume control defaults back to level “10” under some circumstances (the manual warns about this).

    Confusing 2-level LOCK function requires close attention to almost microscopic indicator on LCD.

    No battery level indicator.

    Although the manual advises that batteries can be charged using the 4.5V coaxial socket, no charging indicator is obvious.

    Rotary knob, used for both tuning and volume adjustments, has no detents and so can easily spin off target. Assigned function (no indication) depends on whether the tuning or volume buttons on the keypad were the last to be used.

    SHOWSTOPPER ALERT: MW band channel assignments marred by 9KHz-centric firmware bug. Even after changing to 10KHz channel spacing (undocumented), the CPU still “thinks” in 9KHz assignments for direct input. Entering FREQ-1-0-1-0-FREQ should get you to 1010 KHz; but it actually lands on 1018 KHz because that is the nearest channel in the 9KHz bandplan. You are now stuck in frequency step hell, as the up-down frequency keys still operate in 10KHz mode but do not know they are now off bandplan. UP/DOWN yield 1028/1008, not 1020/1000. The only way to recover is to enter a MW frequency that is the same in both bandplans, or to power off and double-reset the step rate resulting in all memories being lost.

    No fine tuning outside of pre-programmed increments.

    MW selectivity is a bit too wide for congested night reception.

    MW reception occasionally exhibits weird artifacts; ghost images, sputtering audio on marginal signals, and “processed” sounding voice audio. Don’t know if these are DSP or AGC related, or a mixture of both. I have observed the same thing with the Eton Mini and other inexpensive portables using marginal DSP implementations.

  2. Rob

    Something to consider before you take a chance on a new radio shipped from China: Amazon has this for $38 with coupon, quick shipping & free return privileges until Jan. 31. If you order this from China, you’ll pay almost as much, once Trump’s 25% tariff is added in the U.S.

    1. Michael Schuster

      Much higher marks now, especially for MW DX.

      Incidentally noted, esp, compared to small DSP sets from Tecsun, Redsun, etc; no ability to change bandwidth filter size. I suspect because these sets are using homebrew or cloned DSP chips which lack some features implemented by Silabs that are used in mainstream models.

      One reviewer also revealed the “secret” way to change MW step rate: with the power off, hold down the BAND key.

    1. Mike S

      It also mentions dual MW frequency ranges and step sizes (good) but does not detail whether/how the end user can change them.


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