Tag Archives: Eton Corporation

Jack had a technical question…Eton gave him a detailed reply

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jack Kratoville, who writes:

I was once big into Grundig; I owned the YB-400PE, 550, Traveller II, Mini, finally settling on the G5 as one of my favorite radios. I looked at the G3 and probably got a bad one – sold it on eBay. When the G2 “Reporter” went on sale, $35 closeout at RS, I grabbed it. The worst radio I ever owned, so bad I returned it. A radio that had sold for $150, down to $35, and I still wanted my money back. I moved on to Tecsun and C Crane.

Recently, a friend in eastern NC had the Executive Satellit (silver) and had no use for it. I took it to the backyard, then to Atlantic Beach and was very impressed. This receiver was hitting all the right user buttons for me. I was reminded of what the G3 should have been, a decent upgrade to the G5. Aside from solid performance on all bands, the Executive Satellit provides better dial info (no big fan of orange display that goes poof when off), analog volume, decent speaker (second only to the Digitech AR1780) Sync & SSB, plus very quick scanning. And… a Line In/Out! I’m thinking here’s most likely the last of the Grundig (and Satellit) lineage and they finally hit a home run!

Well here’s where I’m reminded of how weird radios from Eton can be. I like bringing along my mp3 player for when I’m bored of band scanning. I have a JBL Flip 4, but now here was a single unit that could cover all the bases for me on a quick trip. I activated the Line In, plugged in my Sansa Sport and knew right away one of the stereo channels was missing. I looked up the manual and it said the Line In was 3.5mm stereo. I called Eton. Unfortunately, the service department (I remember Walter, who knew more about those radios than most) no longer exists. The woman I spoke to tried to explain there was only the mono speaker and after as simple an explanation I could manage, she said she would get back to me.

In a few days, she did and said, after consulting a colleague, I was right. The jack is stereo, but only produces the right channel. I wrote back saying “I felt this was a serious design flaw and why in the world would anyone design a radio like this?” I figured that was the end of our email exchange, but then I received the following:

———-

Jack,

My colleague tells me that the reason the implementation was done this way is that the internal speaker amplifier, which is also shared as the output driver for the headphones is set up as a stereo-in / stereo out configuration. This works well for the line input to headphone output scenario as both L & R channels are separated within their respective connectors. Since this internal speaker amplifier’s outputs are shared between the mono internal speaker and the stereo line output jack the summation of the signal for that mono speaker would result in the summation for the line output jack as well. While this would be OK, a L + R mix for the internal speaker it would cause the user to also have a L + R mix for the line output for both line input and radio applications. In order to maintain the stereo line output for the radio signals we cannot sum the two channels together at the output of the amplifier. The only way to fix this would be to add a summing op-amp on the line input side or summing speaker amplifier on the output side, neither of which were chosen by the designer due to board space, power consumption and cost consequences. A more simple “dirty” way to sum the input would be to buy a short 1/8″ female to 1/8″ male cable, cut that cable open in the center and then short the L & R signals together and place it in-line between the source device and the analog line input on the Satellit. This is not ideal but would work to crudely mix both L & R input signals together.

We apologize that we do not have a more elegant solution for this product.

Regards,

Eton

————–

Wow! I thanked her graciously for a full and detailed answer.

So now I attempt quick fixes like stereo to mono to stereo adapters and it overloads the input. I can turn down the source, but I lose a lot of volume. (And trying to compensate with the radio’s volume is not a viable solution.) I’m also not one to open up this unit with soldering gun at the ready.

Therefore, to those with far greater knowledge, understanding and electronically more inclined – is there a way to create a cord that would give me L+R at proper line-in volume/level? (Rerecording over 5,000 songs to mono would be a real pain.)

Thanks in- advance for any suggestions – and kudos to Eton for providing above and beyond standard customer service.

Thank you for sharing your Eton customer support experience, Jack. That was indeed a thorough and sincere reply!  I’m hoping someone in the community here can help you with ideas for a patch cable/adapter.

If you can help Jack, please comment!

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Etón Corp Donates preparedness products and percentage of web sales to Typhoon Haiyan Relief

EtonCorpLogoIf you’ve been thinking about buying a self-powered emergency radio, flashlight or cell phone charger, now is the time!

Etón Corporation, who manufactures some of the best self-powered products on the market, is now donating 25% of their web sales to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

In addition, they’re working with Project PEARLS to donate $140,000 worth of their preparedness products to help Haiyan survivors.

Read the full press release below, or check it out on the Etón Blog for more details:

ARCFR170WXR_05Hero(Source: Eton Corp Blog)

“Typhoon Haiyan is one of the biggest storms to occur on planet Earth and has left manymillions in the Philippines without access to electricity, food, and clean water.

According to CNN: “In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, nights are often the hardest. It’s dark. It’s wet. It can be scary. There’s little to do, and, for many, even less to eat.”

For our part, Etón Corp is donating 25% of all sales through EtonCorp.com to Typhoon Haiyan relief.

We are also working with San Jose-based non-profit Project PEARLS to donate $140,000 worth of our preparedness products to help survivors in the Philippines gain access to invaluable information, light, and power.

“The San Francisco Bay Area is home to one of the largest Filipino populations in the United States and as a company based here, we feel personally touched as we have neighbors, co-workers and friends that are personally affected by this tragedy – our thoughts go out to everyone affected by the storm,” said Esmail Hozour of Etón Corporation. “We hope that through these donations, we can do our part to help in the relief efforts for those in the hardest hit areas.”

For the past 30 years, Etón has worked to create and distribute products that help people recover from tragedy caused by severe weather near and far. From the Moore, Oklahoma tornado earlier this year to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, we hope to equip victims of natural disaster with the tools and peace of mind to move forward and persevere.”

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David Korchin’s photography captures ETOW radios in the hands of kids

Click here to view David Korchin's photography

Click here to view David Korchin’s photography

A truly rewarding experience I am privileged to enjoy as the director of Ears To Our World is to work directly with kids and teachers in the countries where we extend our mission.

This year, photographer/SWLer/radio amateur–and good friend–David Korchin (KC2WNW) accompanied me on an ETOW distribution trip to inner Belize City. Besides grabbing a few moments to enjoy a little SWLing, we worked with ETOW partner organization, The Belize Council for the Visually Impaired, to place radios with some of the children attending their annual summer camp.  This was the third year we’ve worked with the BCVI, and it’s been a very rewarding journey.

Can you imagine what impact a self-powered shortwave radio might have on a child who is visually-impaired, but whose family can’t readily afford batteries? If you can fill in the answer, you’ll know why I do this.

Today, David posted his photos from the trip, documenting these truly inspirational children.  The photos are nothing short of amazing. Click here to view the photos on his website: davidkorchin.com

You might recognize the radios we’re distributing; they were generously donated by Eton Corporation and are shortwave versions of their clever little wind-up workhorse, the Rover. Eton, incidentally, is celebrating their 27th anniversary today.

And, David–many, many thanks!

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Humanitarian Radio Relief in Haiti

Radio Friends:

For those of you who don’t know, I’m the founder and director of a newly formed non-profit organization called Ears To Our World (ETOW). ETOW’s mission is to send self-powered shortwave radios to schools in the developing world–you may have seen us recently featured in the Dec. 2009 edition of Popular Communications. You can check us out at:

http://earstoourworld.org

Many of you have been watching and listening to the reports coming out of Haiti in the aftermath of the recent earthquake. As you can imagine, the need for information in Haiti is urgent and that means, of course, that radios are needed. In light of this crisis, ETOW has decided to temporarily broaden our mission; next week we will send a substantial number of ETOW radios (donated by Eton/Grundig) to Haiti via our partner, Operation USA. We are preparing our radios for shipment as rapidly as we can.

As shortwave listeners, DXers and amateur radio operators, you know well the power of radio. If you’d like to help, please do what you can. Even a few bucks can help with our expedited shipping costs to get our radios to Haiti. Donations can be made via PayPal on ETOW’s website http://earstoourworld.org.

Let’s all do what we can to help these folks.

Thank you,
Thomas

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