Tag Archives: SWLing Post Contests

Review of the C.Crane CC Buds Solo In-Ear Single Earbud (and a chance to win one!)

A few weeks ago, C. Crane sent me one of their newest radio accessories: the CC Buds Solo Single Earbud.

Here’s the description from the C.Crane product page:

Single Earbud Optimized For Voice

The CC Buds™ Solo single earpiece provides a unique advantage over traditional earbuds because it allows you to interact better with others while listening to radio, podcasts or audiobooks (your boss will love you). The integrated stereo to mono plug works with smartphones, radios, tablets, and most other audio devices.

The Solo can give you a safety advantage when running, biking, or walking because you are more likely to hear if danger approaches. The cable is Kevlar™ reinforced for maximum durability. It is perfect for scanner radio listening. Can work well for law enforcement when greater awareness is needed.

Audio is tuned for superior voice clarity. Included are three silicone and three compressible foam covers––sized small, medium, and large. The small covers usually fits a small ear comfortably. Standard 3.5 mm headphone jack. Cord Length 48″.

At first blush, the idea of a single earpiece smacks of vintage solid-state radios. I’ve a number of classic portables that were designed around a hard-plastic single earpiece–anyone else remember those?

In fact, my Sony ICF-5500W (above) even has a little compartment to house its custom earpiece.

The Sony ICF-550W’s unforgiving 1970s era earpiece.

In my youth, I carried a hard plastic single earpiece with me everywhere, especially at school, because it made listening to the radio and still having some situational awareness possible. [Unfortunately, I was known to listen to the radio during classes…what a renegade I was back then!]

If you, too, used those hard plastic earpieces, I doubt you’d have ever described them as “comfortable.” I never found them even remotely so. Those earpieces were functional, but the audio they produced was tinny and it was always difficult to keep them in my ear.

Think of the CC Buds Solo as the earpiece we all wish we could have had back then!

The Solo includes numerous earpiece options, a carry bag and owner’s manual.

Here are some of the CC Buds Solo pros:

  • The audio quality is superb for spoken word
  • The earpiece is very comfortable (see notes below)
  • The audio plug allows for mono listening on stereo devices (obviously a must in 2019)
  • Features a super-strong Kevlar-reinforced cord
  • Includes a clothing clip that acts as strain relief
  • Ships with a small, soft carry bag

So does the Solo deliver what it promises? Yes, it does.

What I really love is the number of soft silicon and foam earpieces that ship with the Solo: a total of seven options, when including the default earpiece.

If you’ve ever used in-ear earbuds, you’ll understand the importance of swapping out the soft earpieces to a size that best suits your ears––that is, to a size that makes for a comfortable seal.

The Solo might also be useful if your hearing is a bit better in one ear than the other.

Unlike single earpieces of old, it’s actually a pleasure to use the CC Buds Solo earpiece.

Before using the Solo, I would often wear only the right earpiece of my stereo earbuds when I needed to be able to hear the environment around me. This obviously isn’t ideal because the left earpiece would dangle, catch on my shirt or otherwise get in the way, and often lead to jerking out the right earpiece. Not to mention, it led to an awkward muffling (or altogether missing) of some of the sound in that other dangling earbud when stereo sound is split or processed differently for each ear. Clearly, not the best way to listen.

Note the adjustable clothing clip.

Now, when I’m driving, working, or walking, I can use the Solo clipped it to my shirt; it’s a more simple and annoyance-proof solution that allows for greater mobility and permits me to hear all of the intended sound.

I’ve only used the Solo for spoken word; primarily AM/SW broadcast band listening and for listening to podcasts.

These days, while I’ve been at work on a home renovation, podcasts have become an essential part of my day by helping me pass the time while painting, sanding, cleaning, mowing, doing yard work, or carrying out other tedious tasks. A good podcast definitely keeps it fun. The Solo makes podcast listening easy.

And of course, the Solo is also a great solution for listening to audio books, too.

I’ll admit, when I first saw the product announcement for the CC Buds Solo, I was curious if there’d still be a market for a mono earpiece. I suppose I proved it, myself, as I have found it quite useful when I don’t need the total isolation or stereo sound from two in-ear earbuds.

Well played, C.Crane!

Click here to check out the CC Buds Solo Single Earbud at C.Crane.

Win a CC Buds Solo!

C.Crane kindly sent me two samples of the CC Buds Solo at no cost to me. I’ve used one for evaluation purposes and C.Crane is kindly allowing me to give the other away to a lucky SWLing Post reader.

Here’s how you can enter our Solo giveaway!

As I mentioned, I consume a lot of podcasts these days. Here are just a few you might want to check out:

What are your favorite podcasts or radio shows?

Please leave a comment with some of your favorite podcasts or radio shows for a chance to win! Next Tuesday (July 30, 2019) I’ll pick a winner at random from the comments section and ship them a brand new CC Buds Solo single earpiece courtesy of C.Crane!

Click here to leave your comment!

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Giveaway alert: Joe Carr’s Loop Antenna Handbook

–UPDATE: A WINNER HAS BEEN PICKED. THIS CONTEST HAS BEEN CLOSED. THANK YOU!–

Lately I’ve gotten a lot of questions from readers about magnetic loop antennas, certainly a popular topic on the SWLing Post. Good discussions underway.

So, when I discovered an extra copy of Joe Carr’s excellent Loop Antenna Handbook on my bookshelf this morning, it occurred to me to share it with you, readers. I think I won this copy at a Winter SWL Fest a couple years ago; it’s chock-full of Joe’s handy tips and solutions to antenna questions and installation conundrums. It’s still in great shape, and I’m sure will find a good home with a lucky SWLing Post reader.

Interested? Here’s how you can participate…

The Loop Antenna Handbook is chock-full of antenna theory and practical construction projects.

If you’d like to participate in this giveaway, here’s how:  Simply comment on this post, telling us about your favorite radio! Give us the make/model, and just share a few comments about why you love it above all others.

This can be any radio: a shortwave portable, an SDR, a vintage radio, a ham radio transceiver, a handheld, a scanner, an aviation radio, whatever…or, yes, more than one, if you simply can’t choose.

I’ll select a winner at random on Sunday, April 7, 2019.

This contest is open to anyone, anywhere! I’ll post the prize to the winner directly wherever you are. (Note: Well, if you’re an astronaut on the ISS, I’ll have to send it to your drop box!)

I’ll also plan to compile and publish the full list of radio favorites in a future post…stay tuned for that.

Click here to comment on your favorite radio…

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RCA Transmitter Window Contest: We have a winner!

Click to enlarge

Over the past five weeks, we’ve been promoting our contest to win an authentic Woofferton RCA Transmitter window that has been generously donated by our long-time friend and contributor, Dave Porter (G4OYX).

We are pleased to announce our winner: Kenneth Kopp (AK0A)

Congratulations, Kenneth!

Kenneth correctly answered at least one of the Wooferton Transmitting station questions we’ve posted over the past five weeks. His entry was picked at random.

RCA Window from MI-7330

In case you were wondering, here are the original questions and answers:

Question 1:What was the operating frequency range of the six original RCA 50 kW MI 7330 transmitters?
Answer: 5.9 to 22 MHz

Question 2: What was the BBC code name for the site from the 1944 build to about 1961? Answer: OSE 10 or Overseas Station Extension 10

Question 3: Besides the current HF services from the site what other broadcast services are radiated?
Answer: BBC Hereford and Worcester MF Local Radio on 1584 kHz and Sunshine Radio on 105.9 MHz FM

Question 4: Who is the present owner / operator of the site?
Answer: Encompass Media

Question 5: The Woofferton site straddles two English counties, what are they?
Answer: Herefordshire and Shropshire

Of course, Dave and I looked over all of the entries and accepted any answer variation that was essentially correct.

We had a total of 318 entries from SWLing Post readers–a fantastic turn-out for a contest that often required serious research!

Thank you once again, Dave, for donating this brilliant piece of shortwave broadcasting history! And congratulations, Kenneth–I’m sure that RCA window will look amazing in your radio shack!

Post readers: We’re plotting a number of contests over the next year to celebrate 10 years of the SWLing Post! There will be other amazing prizes involved! Stay tuned!

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SWLing Post Contest Question #5: Our final question for a chance to win a piece of broadcasting history!

RCA Window from MI-7330

Four weeks ago, we announced a new contest to celebrate the SWLing Post‘s 10th Anniversary.

The prize is an amazing piece of broadcast history: a 75 year old round plate glass window that was fitted in the central main door of the RCA senders at the Woofferton, UK, transmitting site in 1943. This prize was generously donated by SWLing Post contributor and friend, Dave Porter (G4OYX).

Please read our original contest post (click here) which describes how you can enter to win.

The original post also contains the first of five contest questions which count as individual entries in the contest.  The second question can be found here, the third question by clicking here and the fourth here.

Today, we present our final question…

Please note: This contest will close on Friday December 14 at 12:00 UTC–you have until then to submit answers to all five questions. The winner will be announced once we verify contact with them.  If you have entered this contest, please check your email this weekend.

If you read the SWLing Post email digest, you will need to view our prize questions on the web to see the embedded form. If the form below does not display, click here to open it in a new window.

We will close all entry forms to responses

Our fifth and final question:

Click here to answer question #1.

Click here to answer question #2.

Click here to answer question #3.

Click here to answer question #4.

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SWLing Post Contest Question #4: A chance to win a piece of broadcasting history!

RCA Window from MI-7330

Three weeks ago, we announced a new contest to celebrate the SWLing Post‘s 10th Anniversary.

The prize is an amazing piece of broadcast history: a 75 year old round plate glass window that was fitted in the central main door of the RCA senders at the Woofferton, UK, transmitting site in 1943. This prize was generously donated by SWLing Post contributor and friend, Dave Porter (G4OYX).

Please read our original contest post (click here) which describes how you can enter to win.

The original post also contains the first of five contest questions which count as individual entries in the contest.  The second question can be found here and the third question by clicking here.

And now for our fourth question and fourth possible contest entry…

Please note: If you read the SWLing Post email digest, you will need to view our prize questions on the web to see the embedded form. If the form below does not display, click here to open it in a new window.

Our fourth question:

We will post question #5 (the final) next week!

Click here to answer question #1.

Click here to answer question #2.

Click here to answer question #3.

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