Eton Elite Satellit HD Receivers – Now Shipping

Eton Elite Satellit HD

Thanks to commenter Keith on my “Consistently Inconsistent” article, we learn that the Eton Elite Satellit HD receiver is now shipping. Keith purchased the receiver from Amazon.com and is expecting delivery on August 18.

Note that over the half-hour it took me to write this update article, Amazon’s stock of the Elite Satellit HD dropped from 19 to 10!

There are also updates on availability found on three other web sites:

  • Eton Corporation: No longer does their page say “Arriving this month – reserve yours today!”. Instead, the radio is shown as “available today!”
  • Hammacher Schlemmer: their web page indicates “In stock – available for immediate shipment”.   EDIT: Wow, that was quick! Just after I posted this article, HS changed their web page to “We regret that this item is no longer available”.
  • Universal Radio: Gone is the “available late August” statement, and the radio is available for adding to your shopping cart and checkout.

This is great news for those who have awaited the receiver since its announcement in 2019, and especially for those getting the radio at the original pre-order price (myself included :^)

Keith, thanks again for the heads-up on your Elite Satellit HD order. Please leave some first impression comments when you receive it!


A regular contributor to the SWLing Post, Guy Atkins lives in the beautiful Puget Sound country of Washington State.

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47 thoughts on “Eton Elite Satellit HD Receivers – Now Shipping

    1. Keith

      Mine mutes while Tuning..The radio freezes up if on FM and its a HD station.I have to reset it via button under front access panel..

      Radio does not have coated plastic its just regular plastic no coating.

      Now for the goodies..The radio on an exernal antenna is AMAZING!!!!!especially MW middle of the day stations everywhere across the band.cross check even on the SAT 800 and there barely audible or not there.AMAZING SENSITIVITY.The radio is really quite in hash noise and digs weak signals with ease.cant wait till tonight to do Some AM MW DX..SSB sounds great loud and PBT works well also.Power supply introduces no noise or hum that I have found yet.

      For now Ill stay off FM..Whatever for that.I’m blown away by the sens even the airtcraft band is digging weak signal’s or signals my 800 or Sangean 909X2 is missing…SERIOUSLY.

      AGC is off or on no slow or fast.

      Once they fix the HD freeze and stop the muting if they can I’ll buy a second to compare to this one..Right now I wouldnt let the HD keep me from the DX power on other bands.If second one works well Ill get this one fixed but right now im going to have some fun!!

      The external antenna works on all bands seems to be a ferrite working on MW with internal switch on and telescopic lowered.Telescopic does nothing on MW but rotating radio does.but external switch disconnects ferrite on MW and the signal’s poor in on a external Antenna!!!GEEZE its crazy the signals I’m getting mid day.

      The narrow filter can knock an adjacent powerhouse local station out 10Khz away on MW nicely.

      The radio is quite large but not overly heavy well with 4 Ds its heavy but it sounds great a very mellow sound without alot of unusually hash noise gone.

      Ill make some videos of it.!

      Keith

      Reply
        1. Keith

          I have it hooked to a CB 18ft vertical.

          youre going to love this .My screen is now dying it looks like the liquid crystal is leaching out across the screen as I type..screen is turning a rainbow effect from left to right.like a magnet from the speaker is causing it to discolor..Man oh man.Wonder if its the magnet on the speaker it started when i turned the volume up to test how loud it would go.

          Keith

          Reply
  1. Frank

    If I remember correctly, the last edition of Passport To World Band radio was 2009…not 100% sure that was the year butI I think it was the last one that I had and I usually bought it almost every year.

    Reply
  2. Paul

    The user manual still mentions Passport to World Band Radio with full postal address and the passband.com website under “References”. Sloppy engineering on the radio, sloppy documentation, all for $600. Way to go Eton. Really well done this time.

    Reply
  3. Frank

    I looked at Amazon for curiosity sake to see what their inventory is but this radio never comes up for me when searching Amazon.

    Reply
  4. Pags

    So disappointing, I was intending to soon buy this radio if the reviews were good.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about it Noel.

    So, after three years of delays, Eton still got it wrong. I was confident that this radio would meet high expectations. But putting cheap DSP technology in a legendary radio chassis and calling it “the finest full size radio in the world” is a bit unethical if you ask me. So it appears the Elite Satellite is quite a step down from the E1 Satellit, just as was the 750 Satellit was quite a step down from the 800 Satellit.

    I don’t think I’ll be buying this radio after all.

    Reply
  5. Frank

    Universal radio is one of the most ethical customer-oriented companies I’ve ever done business with. They are honoring their $350 pre-order price after 3 years of waiting despite trying to do a soft shutdown of their company. The fact that they are taking the time to screen the radios first means a lot too. Hope they can get it ironed out. I ordered mine in January of 2020. I agree with what you said though, we don’t know what criteria they’re using to test them. I am definitely glad that they are looking at them first though

    Reply
    1. CT

      Totally agree. I have an order in with them too, from 8/2020. They will be sorely missed. I am curious as to what they’ve found, but I’m imaging they’re giving Eton the opportunity to get it fixed and save any face before airing the problems. My guess is it’s related to the FM mode lockups folks have mentioned below. If so, how in the world does that get out of testing after all this time?

      I swear most companies could save so many headaches by just sending their products home with employees for a couple of weeks, but it seems like so many don’t even do that.

      Reply
    2. Kevin Pagliuca

      I agree… Kudo’s to Universal Radio for holding off shipping. Ham Radio Outlet has taken the ETON ELITE SATELLIT off its website too.

      Reply
      1. Frank

        Does anyone know if Eton itself has stopped shipping units out to investigate the problems or are they just shipping as if nothing is wrong?

        Reply
    3. Jon

      Yep, I’ve done business with Universal for over three decades and have always had positive experiences. Their pre-screening of the Elite Satellits is obviously quite helpful for the buyers. Also I’m sure that Fred does not want to have unhappy customers and/or the hassle of a lot of returned defectives.
      Noel Ramos already explained a problem that cannot be considered performance within specification with this lock-up on HD FM. Perhaps this is one of the issues that Universal is finding with their allocation of Elite Satellits.
      I’m not sure whether it suggests out of spec performance that can be corrected or just poor design altogether (I’m weighing toward the latter), but Noel Ramos’s observation of MW breakthrough on SW is troubling.
      It could easily be the case that, even with certain faults addressed through servicing or firmware updates, the Elite Satellit afterward remains a bad performer by design when performing nominally.
      I like dealing with Universal, but in the case of the Elite Satellit (since, regrettably, I did not pre-order) I have opted to purchase through Amazon with a seller that was offering it as a “Prime” sale. This way, I have a simple, hassle-free approach to the return of the item if it is defective.

      Reply
      1. CT

        I pre-ordered from Universal in August 2020, and have been keeping in touch with Barbara there. Seems they were fully expecting to ship them out, so this must be a show stopper. I’m guessing they’re giving Eton the chance to respond before making everyone aware of the problems, whatever they are. Real shame on Eton’s part, but I do trust Universal.

        Reply
  6. Frank

    Thank you for the response and the information. I wish that I knew what type of Quality issue(s) Universal Radio is seeing.

    Reply
    1. Jon

      I agree. Since Universal’s message suggests a failure of the radio to meet specifications, it would be good to know which specs are not being met. A radio can have disappointing performance attributes that are still within specification. For instance, with the old E1, there was dissatisfaction among various users regarding the frequency reading being off by around 40 Hz typically (but sometimes as much as 100 or 120 Hz). However, when I spoke to a service tech at the time (probably at R.L. Drake, but I forget), it was explained to me that this was still within the specification for the E1 (again, I forget what the spec range was for frequency accuracy, maybe +/- 150 Hz?).

      Reply
  7. TK Wood

    The official PR Newswire press release is here:

    https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tune-into-the-world-with-the-elite-satellit-hddab-radio-that-has-just-arrived-301608254.html

    I note that the radio offers Eurocentric DAB+ and North American HD-Radio. So is it both or does one choose a region-specific version? If it offered both that might be a gamechanger once the firmware bugs have been cleaned up and the audio revised. A notable lesson remains – Never buy the first production run of anything!

    Reply
  8. Noel Ramos

    The receiver uses an si4683-a10 DSP for FM/HD reception. The is also a Himark FS8308 pll IC used for other bands. There may be other ICs hiding behind the LCD PCBA but I didn’t look. The radio is fully DSP with minimal tuned analog circuitry.
    As stated earlier, there is a problem with FM/HD reception: it locks up sometimes.
    I only quickly ran through the SW bands…I quit when I found MW broadcasts on the 40m band using just the whip. Didn’t spend anymore time with it before packing it up; not worth the effort IMO.

    Reply
  9. Frank

    Wow…you would think that almost 3 years of delays on the new radio and quality issues with the E1 in the past would be enough to make Eton make sure that the new radio is perfect.

    Reply
    1. Jon

      Well, at least with the Eton E1, there were the advantages of (1) R.L. Drake input on the design (direct lineage from the Satellit 800, which, in turn, drew from the SW8) and (2) R.L. Drake support for repairs. For the Elite Satellit, there are no such advantages.

      The moment I heard that the Elite Satellit was another DSP-based portable, I thought that the most likely scenario was that it would be something akin to a Tecsun H501 but with passband tuning and HD FM. Based on the preliminary reports trickling out from folks who have received initial shipments, it appears that even an H501 level of performance was wishful thinking.

      Reply
  10. Alan Johnson

    Just noticed this update on Universal’s page for the radio dated 8/18:

    Our initial allocation of radios arrived 08/17/22. Our Q/C testing detected a problem with the radio. We are working closely with Eton to find a solution to the issue. We will begin shipping radios as soon we are satisfied the radio fully meets specifications.

    Reply
  11. Noel Ramos

    I’ll spend some time with it tonight on the SW bands on my loop. I’ll try the pbt at that time.
    Update on the FM band lockups: it locks up every time I tune to an HD radio station. The screen freezes and the menu and power buttons stop working. 🙁

    I assume it is a DSP based receiver based on the sparse innards. I’ll need to remove the PCBs to confirm.

    Reply
  12. Stephen

    Noel-

    Sounds like a good idea. Don’t know what HRO’s return period is, but the RX does not sound like a $600 keeper.

    Reply
  13. Noel Ramos

    Just picked up my “Elite” Satellit at HRO.
    I’ve only barely used it for 30 mins during my lunch break, but I must say so far I am not at all impressed.

    Here are the issues that bother me right out of the box:
    -It mutes while tuning across the bands, including when using SSB.
    -The telescopic antenna is loose. It will not hold its position when the radio is at an angle on its tilt stand.
    -The lower left menus don’t line up with the hardware pushbuttons. Looks like unfinished firmware! Oh, and there are a few misspelled words in the menu system “Lossss”.
    -I don’t find the audio to be all that great. My Satellit 700 is so much better.
    -I’ve experienced two lockups which using the FM band…wouldn’t switch bands or power off. I had to pull the plug.

    I don’t feel that any of these issues should be present on a receiver at this price point. Actually, I wouldn’t expect these “flaws” on a $200 radio…
    I’ll spend some more time with it, but I think it may end up back at the store…

    Noel Ramos, W1NCR

    Reply
    1. Guy Atkins Post author

      Noel, thanks for your comments. This doesn’t sound promising for the receiver, even if it was $200 as you mention. The muting while tuning is a big disappointment!

      There has been a lot of speculation on the Elite Satellit HD’s actual filter bandwidths. Can you tell us what you’re finding? Does it have the original E1XM’s bandwidths of 2.5, 4.0, and 7.0 kHz? If it has a greater–and different–selection of filters then this radio likely is a DSP-chipped unit like the many SiLabs based portables. That too would be a big disappointment IMHO.

      Reply
      1. Noel Ramos

        It is DSP based. I opened it up; it’s does have a small ferrite loop (unlike what was believed) and everything is on two small PCBs. Most of the cabinet is empty.
        To be honest, the ats-909×2 is miles ahead of this one. Such a disappointment !

        Reply
        1. Guy Atkins Post author

          Ugh… I don’t like reading this :^(

          Does the passband tuning work? This would be the first implementation of passband tuning in a DSP portable which I’m aware of.

          So, if it’s DSP, can you report on the bandwidths available? For that matter, does it have the variable rate tuning that was mentioned? Thanks.

          Reply
  14. DanH

    Wells, at least it has HD FM and passband tuning for SW. Early reports are that it mutes while tuning on SW. Not sounding too good for a $600 – $700 portable.

    Reply
  15. Frank

    I pre-ordered mine in January 2020. Received my email from Universal Radio 2 or 3 weeks ago confirming that I still wanted the radio. No info yet on when it will actually get shipped.

    Reply
  16. john

    Cool

    Always great to see a new SW radio arrive on the scene!

    The pic of the Eton Elite Satellite’s display at Amazon looks awful though!

    Reply
  17. Steve

    My best MW radio to date is the GE Superradio. Large ferrite antenna and excellent speaker. FM OK, but AM DX fantastic. All for $59 when I
    bought it new.

    Reply
  18. Daniel Robinson

    As I said in my commentary a couple of months ago — remains to be seen how things shake out in initial tests of this new receiver. I am crossing my fingers.

    Reply
    1. Guy Atkins

      Indeed Dan, the expectations for this receiver are so high that I don’t think it will take much for it to stumble in the eyes of radio enthusiasts. The E1XM was such a great performer (if you got one without issues), and the hobby crowd is expecting this pricey, “revival” receiver to keep pace and to justify its cost.

      Collectors will order the Elite Satellit HD regardless, but I don’t think sales can be sustained on their purchases alone. “We’ll see…” is my cautiously optimistic phrase.

      Reply
  19. Keith

    Will do Guy.

    They also have them at HRO for 599.00 in stock.

    I’m in my 50s and been listening to and using receivers since I was about 11 or 12 I guess so I can probably tell if it suits me.Right now I have a Proper July 2003 Sattelit 800 that’s alway’s ran perfect since day one and is astounding my best DX’er ..I have a Sangean 909X2 that to me is the quietest background noise reciever I’ve used and really sensitive compared to the multitude I’ve used or had.Have an XH Data 808 which is alright for the price.and a Tecsun S8800 with really great AM MW/SW reception even when I compared it to the C.Crane 2E I found it held its own on MW with ferrite antennas used.

    Ill let Yall know what I think of it may be Sunday or so before I get to try it out with work schedule.

    I want to see what the MW can do I like having the ability to connect an external antenna to a radio for MW DX’ing hence the reason I love the Sat. 800 and Sangean 909X2 they both handle alot of antenna with ease.

    Keith

    Reply
    1. Guy Atkins Post author

      Thanks for the note about HRO also carrying this receiver, Keith.

      I see now that Amazon is playing the “stock is low–hurry up and order” game again. When I first checked, the receiver’s stock was 19, then 10, then 9, and now it is back up to 19 again. I find it annoying when retailers juggle inventory figures to artificially create an urgency to buy.

      Given the behemoth size of Amazon though, it’s no wonder they’ve refined algorithms to adjust numbers like these to their advantage. That is my take on the situation, anyway!

      Reply
  20. Steve

    Agree – I have a lot of better ways to spend that much money. It doesn’t even receive digital signals or DMR. My 30 year old Sony does just fine. Not to mention my Elecraft KX3.

    Reply
  21. Mark

    LMAO, 700 USD, probably 800 Euro’s, that’s if you can even get it in Europe, they’re having a laugh!

    It’s good to see the radio finally go into production and is no longer vapourware.

    Reply

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