C.Crane’s new CC Skywave SSB 2

If, like me, you received your latest C.Crane catalog, you’ve no doubt noticed the new C.Crane CC Skywave SSB 2 on page 3.

The CC Skywave SSB is one of my favorite all-time travel portables. I love it for its versatility, frequency coverage, and overall performance. Click here to read my review.

Version 2 of the Skywave SSB includes the following upgrades per C.Crane:

The new The Skywave SSB 2 has several improvements: The new Shortwave antenna jack can significantly improve SW reception when used with an external antenna. The new micro-USB connector now works well from any USB port along with improved in-circuit battery charging for optional “AA” NiMH rechargeable batteries. Other upgrades include a higher quality speaker along with slightly more audio amplification. Longer feet on the bottom of the radio for better stability.

All of these are welcome iterative upgrades. I especially love any improvement to the built-in speaker–travel portables are small, so any speaker improvements are most welcome.

Here’s the full copy from their catalog:

We will plan to review the Skywave SSB 2, of course! Stay tuned!

Click here to check out the CC Skywave SSB 2 on C.Crane’s website.

Spread the radio love

46 thoughts on “C.Crane’s new CC Skywave SSB 2

  1. Robert K. Meyer

    Deal makers for me
    AAx2, not oddball, yes!
    Fits in Pelican 1020, perfect!
    Better speaker, thanks!
    More audio power, great!

    C Crane pocket radio, could not stand the tinny audio and returned. The Skywave has tinny audio made acceptable by tone and bandwidth settings. The SSB2 speaker will be a very nice improvement. The original SSB speaker has kept me from investing.

    Wish it had mini-USB but will take micro over C! Cannot please all here. AAs and size, perfect!

  2. JD

    CCrane Customer Service and Technical Support offered to repair their defective switches if I return the radio to them — for a $110 charge!

    1. Tony C

      That’s insane. Reminds me of Yaesu and their service after the sale. If I was to get another SW it’d be the Eton Grinding with SSB

  3. Buddy.

    I would be more interested if it had longwave. In this age of technology I find it hard to understand why a unit can’t be made with all the features a person wants, and with the build quality and great reception everyone expects.

  4. Donald Gillies

    I am through with C. Crane radios after our ccradio AM/FM – sitting atop our refrigerator – had a water vapor LCD failure just 15 months after purchase! That was $200 I’ll never see again! The parent company is writing checks that the radio manufacturing quality just can’t cash!

    1. JD

      Very true, unfortunately. I’m on my third CC Radio 2/2E. The radio works great for the first two years or so, but then the switches stop responding. My current 2E won’t even turn on now!

      1. Donald Gillies

        Buy Sangean instead. They are an OEM manufacturer for some of the C. Crane radios but their own name-brand products are much more rugged and durable. I’m still using (every single day) my 2005 Sangean AM/FM PR-D7 (which hasn’t changed price since 2005, by the way) and it gets carted out into the yard to mow the lawn, weed, wash the car, etc., I have gotten my money’s worth many times over! I couldn’t tell a difference in sensitivity from my C. Crane (with failed LCD) when I owned them both at once!

    2. herb

      These failures on the digital versions of the CC Radio 2E and CC radio 3 are the norm and C Crane not only fails to try and correct the issues , in most cases they fail to even acknowledge them.

      Buttons & LCD screens start failing around the 2 year mark . I’ve experienced both on my 2E’s and just recently my CC Radio 3 which is only a year and two months old.

      Never again

  5. Lee

    This seems like they ran into parts obsolescence issues and were forced to introduce a new SKU. That happened to Yaesu with the FT3DR, which is how the updated (not) FT5DR was born. Surely nobody asked for a micro SD connector. The external antenna jack is cool. I use the buds that came with my v1, so the new speaker and amp are pointless to me.

  6. Sink74

    The improvements are definitely good, but I’m not going to spend the money to get another one at this price point.

  7. Douglas Smith

    Looks promising. I like my C Crane radios a lot . Have a SSB Skywave , standard Skywave , and the long-range CC3 . They are gems imo.

  8. Mike

    While $199 is a rather high price to pay for a compact receiver I will say that the Skywave SSB, to me, has been the *best implementation* of the Silicon Labs Si series chip in a shortwave receiver. I’ve tried many different receivers who utilize that chip series and all of them have had quirks and issues that range from annoying (the PL-330’s soft mute) to absolutely unbearable (the loud “pop” the emanates from the headphone audio of a XH DATA D-808 when one changes from AM to FM to SW). The Skywave has been the only one that felt very mature in its implementation and realization of the chip series. That completeness, that stability in operation, to me, is worth the additional cost.

  9. Dave

    Re pricing: the cumulative rate of inflation in the US since 2018 when the first version came out is 18.2%, i.e. the price today, if adjusted for inflation, would be…$199.76. So the price “increase” is not an increase in real terms and it has improvements addressing a number of the criticisms of the original design (but by no means all, e.g. poor SSB audio quality and muting while tuning which presumably will not be changed are serious cons for me).
    Agree that should have been USB C not micro, if there was a PWB re-spin for the USB & antenna connector not sure why they couldn’t have used a USB C.
    Re air band scanning, this was a feature in the first version and it works on all 10 memory pages (at least on my copy); the manual says only works on page 1.
    The Skywave SSB (v 1 or 2) remains (for me anyway) the #1 travel radio since it combines AM/FM broadcast bands, SW with SSB and air band into one compact package. AFAIK there isn’t any similar product available that matches it that way – at any price.
    Just my two (inflation-adjusted) cents…

  10. Prasad Assoldekar

    Not worth the price. Better option would be Tecsun PL 330 or XHDATA D-808 or Digitech Audio 1780 at nearly fourth the price. As far as I am concerned, AIR and Weather bands are useless for me. Of course, choice is always subjective.

    1. Jason VE3MAL

      My preference is that Air and weather band really belong more in an HT or a scanner, as they are intermittent, strong signals where readability is far more important than audio quality or ear fatigue. What? We don’t all walk around with at least 2 radios on them? 😉

      1. James Fields

        I usually agree; but the scanning feature of air band just makes this a fun little radio for nights when I sit on the patio and want to switch around my listening, and reduces how much I take on trips. Also – for whatever reason the weather band reception on my Skywave SSB outperforms pretty much every other thing I have that can pick it up. There’s lots I might choose to change about it if I could, but having weather and air band that work so well is a decided plus for me.

        1. JD

          Indeed. It seems Jay is not happy with several of the radios in this group. “On weak daytime AM signals the PL-330 performed similarly to the Skywave SSB and Radiwow R-108 which are also 1 1/2 Star AM performers. These same signals were a bit clearer and just a tad less hissy on the Traveler III and XHDATA which rate 2 and 2 1/2 Stars respectively but for perspective the differences were quite small…you would have to be in a fairly noise-free environment to discern these differences. But the PL-330’s ability to disconnect the internal ferrite rod and use an external antenna on AM makes it one of the very few modern portables to allow this option.”

    1. Mike S

      This really looks like a set of within-budget, measured tweaks rather than the type of redesign that would provide workarounds for basic limitations of the hardware.

      Muting while tuning is usually implemented because the chipset generates noises during switching which, the designer feels, would be more objectionable to the listener than momentary silence. It’s a pretty good bet the basic chipset and signal path is the same here, so the same limitations.

      1. Jason VE3MAL

        Maybe they should have taken the lead from the VOIP world and found a way to insert a little white noise to replace the silence. It’s funny how that tricks the brain so well to think there’s no interruption.

      2. Mike

        One question I have is how did Tecsun manage to eliminate this muting in their PL-990 and H-501 radios? Those use the same Silicon Labs chip.

        1. K.U.

          That is because both of these are superheterodyne radios. The dsp chip is used only for the intermediate frequency which remains unchanged irrespective of tuning. Tuning is accomplished by circuits before the dsp.

  11. Tom G. ABQ

    One thing that’s important to me is support. If you buy an inexpensive radio from a Chinese vendor you’ve basically purchased a disposable radio. Yes I know there are exceptions. Spend a little more and get support from a reputable supplier here in the USA. CCrane has excellent product support IMHO.

    BTW there is a Halloween sale going on now at CCrane. Use code TREAT22 at checkout and receive 10% off your pre-order. That makes the radio slightly more palatable at $179.99.

  12. Kevin b

    I assume it still mutes while tuning? Man I hate that “feature”. It’s like listening through a picket fence.

  13. Bob WB2VUF

    Can any of these upgrades, particularly the speaker, be installed in existing units?

    I recently bought an Eton Elite Executive, taking advantage of Universal’s “buy an Executive and get a Traveler free” (Can’t have too many AM/FM/SW portables).

    I will do comparison between the Executive and my C Crane original Skywave, since they are now the same price, though the Eton does not include the WX band, a handy feature on the Skywave.
    Bob WB2VUF

  14. Sandip Nambiar

    The addition of an external antenna connection is definitely a step forward for the Skywave SSB receivers.

      1. Stuart

        My thoughts exactly. For about $50.00 more you can purchase a Tecsun PL990X for goodness sake. I am going to save my money and purchased a PL990X.

        1. John. Johnson

          The. Radio. If. I’m. In. Releigh. NC. Can. I. Pick. UP. WHP. AM. 580. From. Releigh. The. Manufactures. Should. Manufacture. Such. A. Radio. Write. To. Me. John. Johnson. P. O. B. 5591. HARRISBURG. PA. 17110.

  15. Rob W4ZNG

    I’m really looking forward to a test & review on this radio. The addition of the antenna port is likely a big step up. My non-SSB Skywave is still marching onward (6 years now & still just like new!), but there are times that I want the SSB capability while backpacking. Once a review or two says “yeah, no issues, it’s a solid radio,” my order goes in.

    As for the price… at full CCrane MSRP it’s +$30 over the first version, an 18% increase. Sign o’ the times.

  16. Jason VE3MAL

    Love to see these just get better -though micro-usb can just die already. At least with the mini-usb in my Tecsun, you can actually see which way it needs to plug in without a magnifying glass and a sub-atomic particle of dust isn’t going to stop it from charging. heh. Too bad those cables are getting more rare as they slowly seem to walk away.

    Would have been good to go straight from mini-usb to usb-c and skip the sad cellphone charging connector.

  17. Mike S

    Hardware-wise it’s as if CCrane told the Redsun factory to add the things they already did for the D-808.

    USB charging? check.
    Better speaker? check
    More powerful audio amp? check.
    Antenna jack? check

    The one true feature upgrade is the ability to scan the air band memories, something which (to my knowledge) none of the clones do.


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.