As reported yesterday by Dave Zantow N9EWO and in the SWLing Post, the Eton Elite Satellit HD receiver has left the vaporware zone and arrived in production. Universal-Radio started taking orders on June 28th.
Any new receiver is cause for celebration, but the closer I inspect the available manuals and marketing materials, well, the more questions I have!
I’m sorry Mr. Eton, but it appears your marketing materials are very confused. I’ll need to send you to a proofreading specialist.
I began comparing Eton’s product page for the new receiver, with their own datasheet and owner’s manual… as well as Universal-Radio’s catalog page and photos. The deeper I dug, the less certain I was of the feature set and specifications of this “revival” version of the Eton E1/E1XM receiver.
How best to describe what I was finding? I decided to create a table showing the inconsistencies between the sources / materials.
You can download a PDF version of the above chart here: ELITE SATELLIT HD CHART
Note that the PDF contains links in the header to the sources of information on Eton’s web site and Universal-Radio’s catalog page.
I’m sure there are more mysteries and puzzlers lurking within the documents and pages referenced above. The biggest question of all, in my opinion, is the circuitry itself. Is the receiver a superheterodyne design as in the original E1/E1XM (with three discrete ceramic I.F. bandwidth filters), or is it a DSP circuit, a la SiLabs-based portable radios with additional (but poorly performing) bandwidths?
I personally hope Eton’s new flagship includes filters that are a copy of those in the original E1/E1XM. They have better shape factors and ultimate rejection prowess than the filters in DSP portable radios on the market today. Coupled with selectable synch-AM and Passband Tuning, they are a powerful combination for fighting interference in a portable receiver.
What do you think about all the conflicts as described in the above table? Perhaps it’s just a jumble of preliminary prototype specs and final features. I hope Eton will take steps soon to bring clarity and consistency to their materials. Also, as Eton’s leading–or only–USA dealer, Universal’s web page should match too.
Please leave your comments below!
Guy Atkins is a Sr. Graphic Designer for T-Mobile and lives near Seattle, Washington. He’s a regular contributor to the SWLing Post.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Troy Riedel, who notes that Eton has now placed a splash page image of the new Elite Satellit (above) on their home page.
There is no further information yet and the splash page simply links to their current production shortwave models. It does, however, show that Eton is committed to produce the Elite Satellit this year.
Of course, we’ll post any Elite Satellit updates as they become available! Stay tuned!
I have badgered people I know – mainly this site’s owner, our friend Thomas. Question: does Eton still plan to bring the Elite Satellit to market?
Image Credit: Eton Corp
I’ve posted here before (in the Comments section of more than one post) stating “I’ll believe it when I see it”.
Last week I emailed Eton Corp and I flat-out asked them if they could provide a “status update” regarding the production of this radio and “do you still plan to bring [this model] to the marketplace”.
Moments ago, I received this email reply:
Thank you for your interest in the Elite Satellit radio. Due to the global shortage of chips and the backlog of delivery of materials to our manufacturer, it is taking much longer to bring this radio to market.
Thank you for your understanding and patience,
This isn’t very definitive … it offers very little detail, and no expected release date – but – it appears this project (proposed new model) has not been tabled, has not been canceled. Seeing as how it’s November 1st … Christmas is less than 8-weeks away – well, this would be a good time to ask the question because surely I would think an imminent release date would be best for business.
As such, I guess I’ll stand-by my comments over the past 18-months … “I’ll believe it when I see it”. The optimist in me is happy the reply wasn’t an outright cancellation of this gorgeous radio!
If there is anyone out there with more information, definitive information, I’m sure the SWLing Post Blog Nation would love to hear it. For now, I guess those of us interested will continue to wait. And those among us who still have doubts, this group “will believe it when we see it”!
As they have done in the past, Universal is offering a “pre-order” discounted price of $349.95 that will not be charged to the buyer until the unit actually ships.
Universal expects the Elite Satellit to ship sometime in the 4th Quarter of 2019.
I gather the Elite Satellit is still very much in the design and development stage, so I would even take the expected availability date with a grain of salt. Much may depend on how well the initial prototypes perform in evaluations. With that said, I’m sure Eton will do all they can to have the Elite Satellit ready for the 2019 holiday season.
Not a hoax–!
I’ve gotten a number of emails and comments from readers asking if the Elite Satellit is a hoax. I can assure you it is not. 🙂
I get why so many are skeptical, though. It’s not often that a legacy receiver–one that’s been off the market for nearly a decade–is re-introduced with an identical chassis, and with the promise of some internal upgrades. In fact, I can’t think of a time this has happened in the past.
Features and Specifications
All we know about the Elite Satellit is what is mentioned in Universal’s product description:
The Eton Elite Satellit is simply the finest full-sized portable in the world. The Elite Satellit is an elegant confluence of performance, features and capabilities. The look, feel and finish of this radio is superb. The solid, quality feel is second to none. The digitally synthesized, dual conversion shortwave tuner covers all long wave, mediums wave (AM) and shortwave frequencies. HD Radio improves audio fidelity and adds additional programming without a subscription fee. Adjacent frequency interference can be minimized or eliminated with a choice of three bandwidths [7.0, 4.0, 2.5 kHz]. The sideband selectable Synchronous AM Detector further minimizes adjacent frequency interference and reduces fading distortion of AM signals. IF Passband Tuning is yet another advanced feature that functions in AM and SSB modes to reject interference. AGC is selectable at fast or slow. High dynamic range permits the detection of weak signals in the presence of strong signals. All this coupled with great sensitivity will bring in stations from every part of the globe. Organizing your stations is facilitated by 500 user programmable presets with alpha labeling, plus 1200 user definable country memories, for a total of 1700 presets. You can tune this radio many ways such as: direct shortwave band entry, direct frequency entry, up-down tuning and scanning. Plus you can tune the bands with the good old fashioned tuning knob (that has new fashioned variable-rate tuning). There is also a dual-event programmable timer. Whether you are listening to AM, shortwave, FM or FM-HD, you will experience superior audio quality via a bridged type audio amplifier, large built in speaker and continuous bass and treble tone controls. RDS is included. Stereo line-level output is provided for recording or routing the audio into another device such as a home stereo. The absolutely stunning LCD has 4 levels of backlighting and instantly shows you the complete status of your radio.
Many receiver parameters such as AM step, FM coverage, beep, kHz/MHz entry etc., can be set to your personal taste via the preference menu. The Elite Satellit has a built in telescopic antenna for AM, shortwave and FM reception. Additionally there is a switchable antenna jack (PAL male) for an external antenna. Universal will offer antenna jack adapters.
This radio comes with a protective carry bag and AC adapter or may be operated from four D cells (not included). The Eton Elite Satellit is for world explorers who want to travel first class.
I agree with Post contributor Guy Atkins: the Elite Satellit appears to be based on the Eton E1 analog circuitry. Guy points to three clues in this recent comment:
Exact same three I.F. bandwidths as on the E1 (7.0, 4.0, 2.5 kHz). If this is a DSP radio, why only these three bandwidths?
Selectable sideband synchronous AM detector, as found in the E1. I’m not aware of any SiLabs chips that can provide *selectable* sidebands on sync AM.
I.F. passband shift control. Again, this is not a feature in any consumer DSP radio I know of.
Of course, all of the specifications Universal has published are “preliminary and subject to change.”
As I mentioned in a previous post, you can count on us to review the Elite Satellit as soon as it’s available.