Tag Archives: Sangean

Jason gives a favorable review of the Sangean DT-120

Sangean DT-120

In reply to Olivier’s post about the Sony SRF-M95, SWling Post contributor, Jason, notes:

Another amazing AM ultra light performer, the Sangean DT-120 or DT-180

I have the DT-120 in my pocket and it has got many hours of use. Travelling in outback Australia in April/May I was very impressed with it’s performance on AM.

Camped at the Devils Marbels 412km north of Alice Springs, I could receive it’s 783 kHz AM signal OK, weak obviously but definitely listenable. Of course the signal from Radio National at Tennant Creek on 684 AM was stronger, since it’s only 100km to the north of Devils Marbles.

Very happy with the little Sangean. It’s by far and away the pocket radio with the best DX reception I’ve ever owned, but the Tecsun R-209 and the Sangean SR-35 are probably the two best AM DX pocket radios with a speaker.

One day I will pick up a Sangean DT-250, but it’s probably not much better than the Sangean DT-210 I already have, which is another good choice with a speaker.

Thanks for sharing your comments, Jason! And, wow, I’d love to make that camping pilgrimage to the Devil’s Marbles–sounds remote and fantastic!

If you like ultralight radios like the Sangean DT-120, check out our endurance test of the Sangean DT-160CL and Sony SRF-39FP.

Links:

Mike’s review of the Sangean HDR-14 AM/FM HD Radio

Sangean HDR-14 (left) and the C. Crane CC Skywave SSB (right) (Photo: Thomas)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike S, who comments with his short review of the Sangean HDR-14. Mike writes:

Well, I did something I said i would not do, triggered by Amazon’s tendency to introduce impossibly low prices on things for a couple of days, I sprang for the HDR-14. I have used it side by side with its direct competitor (the Nicetex “SPARC” SHD-TX2) for a few nights and a couple of days. Interesting little device.

As has been pointed out by those that read the specs, it is barely larger than the CC Skywave overall. It is made of the same soft, shiny black plastic as the larger Sangean portables (it is alternately a fingerprint magnet or a scuff magnet) but has a much less solid feel. The swivel-out foot on the bottom is a welcome addition and works well.

I have not yet played with other features (memories, etc) except to note that somebody has finally gotten it right in that memory locations store the chosen FM multicast channel instead of just the frequency.

The Sangean HDR-14 RDS display (Photo: Thomas)

Performance is a mixed bag. This is NOT an HDR-16 crammed into a smaller cabinet; not surprising, really, considering the amount of real estate available for circuitry. Analog FM and HD capture are right up there with the the larger sets and similar to the SPARC. I am unable to reproduce the spurious FM image problem noted by a lone Amazon reviewer. Audio is “just OK” out of the speaker with a harsh emphasis on treble – the SPARC portable is MUCH better with its passive radiator – but just fine for headphones or an external speaker.

However, for AM, that reviewer was spot on. The noise floor on AM is a tad too high and the native sensitivity a tad too low; resulting in “just OK” useable sensitivity on the band especially compared to the SPARC. I had no trouble with AM-HD on the only two stations in NYC metro (WCBS and WINS); however, it was unable to even detect the HD carrier from known stations in nearby cities that I was able to get >50% on the HDR-16 and HDR-18. The selectivity is better than the SPARC due to the DSP active for bandwidth adjustment; witness that I was able to clearly separate stations in Connecticut (600) and Philadelphia (610) from the splatter of local powerhouses at 570 and 620. Unfortunately too, analog AM reception is plagued with DSP artifacts reminiscent of earlier Tecsun sets which can even manifest in odd distortion in adjacent-channel splatter that bleeds into the tuned signal. The fact that the audio circuit/speaker accentuate the treble, make this even more annoying – the “ticks” from adjacent channel splatter are so harsh that you might think the speaker cone is damaged and vibrating.

I’m still waffling on whether to keep this one. It’s a nice little set which is sure to become a collector’s item, and its FM performance really is exemplary. But I kinda view the inclusion of the AM band as its raison d’être and in that regard it could certainly do better.

Thanks for your review, Mark!

It’s interesting that you couldn’t reproduce FM overloading or imaging. I have noted images on the FM band and it hasn’t been in a market as congested as that of NYC. It’s only noticeable when listening to stations adjacent to strong signals, however. It’s almost as if the FM filter is a little too wide.

I also agree about analog AM reception.

My HDR-14 review has been delayed due to a very hectic schedule, but I plan to complete it in the next couple of weeks! Thanks again, Mike!

Jeff discovers that the Sangean WR-2 loses time when playing radio

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jeff McMahon, who writes:

I wanted you to know that my Sangean WR-2 keeps perfect time when I don’t play the radio, but when I do play the radio I lose 25 minutes; the clock is 25 minutes slow in other words. I’ve read other complaints from Sangean owners, including from those who own the Sangean HDR-18. Some say it has something to do with RDS. Have you heard of this problem? It’s annoying because I have to reset my clock every morning.

Wow–an otherwise excellent radio that prominently features a clock should never have this problem. This problem essentially renders the clock useless.  I’m not sure what would cause this unless it’s incorrectly pulling time data from the RDS function?

Post readers: Have you noticed this fault in the WR-2, WR-18 or other similar models? Please comment.

In the pipeline: a review of the Sangean HDR-14 portable AM/FM HD radio

Based on readers correspondence, the most anticipated non-shortwave radio to hit the market this year might be the Sangean HDR-14 AM/FM HD radio.

Sangean sent me a sample evaluation unit and I’ve had it on the air since taking delivery last week. I’m starting to put the elements of my HDR-14 review together while also writing Part 2 of my SDR primer for The Spectrum Monitor magazine (Part 1 was published last week). Indeed, I’ve a total of five reviews and evaluations on my desk right now–!

So far, I’m impressed with the little HDR-14. If you recall my review of the Sangean HDR-16, I mentioned that one of my benchmark distant HD FM stations is WFAE 2–its transmitter is a full 101 miles from my home and I’m well outside even the the fringe reception area.

The HDR-14 has a unique back stand: a small foot that swivels out of the base of the chassis.

I’m pleased to note that on more than one occasion, I’ve gotten a reliable HD lock of WFAE from my porch. A most positive sign!

Over the next three weeks, the HDR-14 will be travelling with me and I hope to even snag an AM HD station if all goes well.

I can tell you already that I’m as pleased as punch Sangean gave the HDR-14 a total of 20 AM and 20 FM memory presets. The larger HDR-16, in contrast, only has 5 AM and 5 FM presets.

Look for my review of the HDR-14 on the SWLing Post in the coming weeks. If interested, follow the tag: HDR-14

I’ve noted that both Universal Radio and Amazon.com (affiliate link) have the HDR-14 in stock and shipping. Universal’s price is $79.99 plus shipping and Amazon’s price is $88.67 including shipping.