Based on Dave’s evaluation, it sounds like this is one of the better wideband radios, although like similar models, its utility in the HF and mediumwave bands is somewhat limited. He gives the R30 good marks for AGC and notes a lack of spurious emissions on MW. Unlike other wideband handhelds, he noted no mediumwave stations overloading the HF bands. With the unit connected to an external HF antenna however, intense overloading occurred on these bands.
As I tell anyone considering a wideband handheld, don’t buy it with the intention of logging weak signal DX on the HF bands–it’s just not a great receiver for this. It shines on those higher frequencies starting in the VHF band and moving up.
I contacted Fred Osterman (President of Universal) for more details.
Fred informed me that, a couple of weeks ago, AOR USA announced the availability of the model once again. He noted that the units arrived from AOR JAPAN to AOR USA last week and they are now in stock. Fred seemed as surprised as I was that the Mini B resurfaced.
He confirmed that AOR have these in quantity–they’re not simply units discovered in a warehouse corner somewhere. They could be surplus from a large special order.
The AOR AR-Mini B is not a perfect receiver, but at $159.95 it’s a pretty good value for a very rugged, water-resistant receiver that puts much of the radio spectrum in your pocket (100 kHz to 1299.995 MHz).