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Update: Eton Elite Satellit expected Q4 with pre-order price of $349 US

Universal Radio has posted a product page for the new Eton Elite Satellit.

Pre-Order

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.

Availability

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. 馃檪

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鈥檓 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.

Click here to pre-order the Eton Elite Satellit at Universal Radio.

To follow Eton Elite Satellit updates,聽bookmark this tag.


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Wow! Check out the new Eton Elite Satellit!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Brent Levit, who notes a new Eton receiver in the latest聽 Universal Radio print catalog: the Eton Elite Satellit.

Click to enlarge.

Raise your hand if you see the similarities between the Elite Satellit and the famous Eton E1 (photo below)?

The Eton E1-XM

Brent also notes:

“Universal Radio has a $399.00 price tag. It also states in the catalog that it would be available late summer 2019.”

Brent, thank you for the tip and thanks for snapping that photo.

UPDATE: Brent just shared the following photo of the product page.

Click to enlarge:

Okay…just TAKE MY MONEY!

Of course, I’ll find out everything else I can about the Elite Satellit and report back. I’ll also review this receiver as soon as I can snag one!

To follow Eton Elite Satellit updates, bookmark this tag.


Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via聽Patreon聽or our聽CoffeeFund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

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Eton/Grundig Satellit: Michael seeks advice on enabling DAB reception

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Michael Meyer, who writes:

Hi Thomas.

I have a question regarding the Eton Grundig Satellit鈥檚 DAB function – or rather: It鈥檚 missing DAB function.

The Eton Grundig Satellit was reviewed in WRTH 2016 by John Nelson, demonstrating its capability of receiving DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast in Europe – some politicians want to shut down FM-band and replace it with DAB only). Since I live in Denmark, where DAB+ is widely implemented as a supplement of FM broadcasts, I do find this function unique, since it must be the only shortwave radio with DAB on the marked.

The SWLing Post have had some reviews as well as a link to Amazon.com, which tempted me to buy the 鈥淓xecutive Edition” at an attractive price. It arrived in early December 2018, and I am happy with most of the features of this radio. Good audio, sensitive and a nice size for a portable. I do agree with other reviewers regarding the mediocre sync-function, but I got truly surprised regarding the selectivity on shortwave, which on my model is poor! Strong broadcasters can easily be tuned 5 kHz away from their 鈥渢rue鈥 frequency – even when putting bandwith to 3 kHz, there is not much difference in audio on VOA on 15580 kHz tuning to 15575 nor 15585 kHz. But when tuned, reception is stable and audio is good. Another very weird issue is the 鈥渄ouble-click鈥 feature, where first press on any button activates the light only – and the user has to press again to actually activate button function!

But now to the main reason for me writing this: How does the user activate DAB? I wrote to WRTH to get their opinion on this – I paste in my correspondence with them (I have got their permission to do so in writing you):

Dear Mr Meyer,

The version we were sent for review had a DAB+ function. Several readers
have since written to say they could not find the function despite the fact
that it is shown in the display. We have raised this matter with Eton but
have not received an answer. We may be wrong but our impression is that the
company did not apply for CE approval and as a result never implemented the
DAB function in the production models. The FCC approved versions of the
receiver of course would not require DAB.

It might be worth putting the question on the DX chat groups and see if
someone has found a solution.

Kind regards,

WRTHdx

Very good question, Michael. Frankly, I had forgotten that the EU version of the Satellit had a DAB function although I do recall the WRTH review.

Post Readers: Do you have any insight? Have you successfully used the EU version of the Satellit to listen to DAB broadcasts? Please comment!

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Short Videos: the XHDATA D-808 Portable SSB Receiver on MW and SW

I recently received a new XHDATA D-808 SSB portable receiver, after AliExpress had a $69 USD introductory sale. I’m intrigued by this new model, as it uses the SiLabs Si4735 DSP chip, the same “brains” that powers the Eton Satellit (and Executive version), and C. Crane Skywave SSB. I believe the same Si4735 is found in Tecsun’s PL-880 and the CountyComm GP-5/SSB. A key feature found in all of these radios is USB/LSB modes and 10-Hz tuning step in SSB.


It would be a mistake to assume that all portable DSP receivers with the same SiLabs chip will perform equally; quite the opposite! They all have reception differences that owners will notice. I certainly noticed differences in sensitivity, AGC action, audio quality, and (to some extent) variations in adjacent channel (splatter) rejection between receivers using the same bandwidth. I made these observations when I owned the PL-880 and GP-5/SSB radios. Differences in the circuitry surrounding the SiLabs chip, as well the sizes of MW ferrite loopstick antennas and SW/FM whip antennas contribute to each receiver’s personality.

Below are four videos showing the D-808’s reception of three weaker daytime medium wave stations from indoors at my suburban Seattle-Tacoma (WA) home, plus one video of a shortwave reception in the 41 meter band. The XHDATA D-808 is compared to C. Crane’s newest Skywave radio, the SSB model, and the Eton Executive Satellit. Although brief, these tests show how the new XHDATA portable is a welcome competitor to the field of modern, compact SSB-capable radios:

What about single sideband? These four videos show reception in AM mode only, but rest assured the D-808 is very capable on the SSB modes of LSB and USB! A separate fine tuning rotary wheel on the right side of the radio’s case offers adjustment in 10 Hertz increments. The effect feels very similar to tuning CountyComm’s GP-5/SSB “walkie-talkie” style receiver. The plus or minus (+/-) offset is displayed in multiples of 10 Hz steps as “-1”, “-2”, “-3”, and so on.

I hope to post some future videos showing SSB usage of the D-808.

Soft mute. The dreaded soft mute is present in AM and SSB mode to some degree, but I do not feel it is excessive. Like most radio hobbyists I’m not a fan of soft muting and prefer uninterrupted tuning with no sign of “chuffing” or lowering of noise or audio.聽 The amount of soft mute on this radio seems the same as the Eton Executive Satellit in my opinion.

What else to like?My take–

Audio. I find the D-808’s audio quality to be slightly more mellow or warmer…I like that, especially on FM! Audio on the MW and SW bands still has a crispness that aids in DXing on those bands, however.

18650 Li-Ion battery. Not all may agree, but I like this style of battery. The D-808’s internal circuit shuts off when the battery is fully charged, or after 10 hours of charging. The radio comes with a 18650 battery and a USB cable; the owner supplies a common 5V USB charger.

RDS on FM. This is a feature lacking on the Skywave SSB, but it is present and performs as expected with the D-808. The XHDATA radio lacks the Skywave SSB’s NOAA weather presets, however.

AM filter bandwidths. Interestingly, this receiver supplies two additional narrow AM mode bandwidths lacking in the Executive Satellit: 1.8 kHz and 1.0 kHz. It’s good to have options, although such narrow filters in AM mode sound a little muffled (offset tuning helps). The Skywave SSB does offer 1.0 kHz in AM mode, but has a 2.0 bandwidth in place of 1.8 kHz.

Backlighting. If desired, the D-808’s easy-on-the-eyes white backlight for the display can remain illuminated continually. Bravo, XHDATA! Now, if we could persuade more manufacturers to add backlighting to the keys themselves (a la the Degen DE1103/Kaito KA1103/Eton E5), we’d have more choices use in low light conditions like camping or bedside use.

Handy size. Probably a third larger than the diminutive Skywave SSB, the D-808 is still a very handy size that will fit most coat pockets, and is a smaller receiver than the Eton Executive Satellit. As you can tell from my videos, reception doesn’t suffer due to the smaller size.

Design. OK, this one’s very personal! As a graphic designer I have a real soft spot for any receiver that looks as good as it sounds, no matter what the technology or vintage. The D-808’s look really appeals to me and adds to my enjoyment while operating it. There are no unnecessary protrusions, ridges, or visual do-dads on this XHDATA model. In fact, I seem some design clues from the stylish Tecsun PL-880 in the D-808. The radio also has a quality feel to the plastic case and buttons, giving it a more “upper class” impression during use.

Antenna jack. The D-808 has the standard 3.5mm antenna port on the left side of the receiver. This is an addition I appreciate, and wish that C. Crane had included one on their Skywave SSB model. I tried this external antenna jack with an amplified PK Loops’ shortwave antenna and the combination performs excellently.

Minor annoyances

So far, the list is short! As a sacrifice to style, the manufacturer has kept all front panel buttons almost flush with the case. The effect looks great, but they are almost too low and close to the front panel. Those with larger fingers may find operation awkward or frustrating. Also, entering a shortwave frequency with less than five digits (i.e., below 10,000 kHz) requires a trailing push of the Frequency (FREQ) button.

I encourage other new owners of XHDATA’s D-808 to leave their comments below. Where does this portable rate among other radios you may own?

 

Guy Atkins is a Sr. Graphic Designer for T-Mobile and lives near Seattle, Washington. 聽He鈥檚 a regular contributor to the SWLing Post.

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Limited time Amazon deals on Eton Portables

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, for noting the following deals on Eton radios via Amazon.com. The Mini, Traveler and Field are all excellent prices. The Executive Satellit is also a good price, but note there may still be non “Executive” versions of the Satellit via the eBay deal we posted earlier ($113 US/$135 CDN).

This appears to be a timed sale, ending around 2:00 AM EDT:

Eton Mini: $24.99

Eton Field: $90.99

Eton Executive Traveler $48.99

Eton Executive Satellit $149.99

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