Tag Archives: Universal Radio

The Sangean PR-D17: An AM/FM stereo radio designed for those who are visually impaired

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Doug Hunsinger, who notes that Universal Radio is now shipping the Sangean PR-D17.

The PR-D17 has a unique design to make operation easier for those who are visually impaired. Per Universal Radio:

It has high-contrast, large yellow rotary tuning and volume control knobs, preset buttons with raised symbols to aid in identification and thoughtful voice prompts of all controls that announce all functions in English or Spanish.

It has a large and easy-to-read backlit LCD display that highlights RDS information, frequency, signal strength, battery status and alarm symbols. It has a 200 mm ferrite AM antenna for the best possible AM reception. The controls are very easy to use and you get 5 presets for AM and 5 for FM. And you can auto scan stations. The RDS technology can display station name, call sign, song title or other transmitted information, plus it can set the clock automatically. There is a stereo mono switch. There is a built in clock timer with sleep function and humane wake up system to buzzer or radio. The left side of the radio has an auxiliary input and a stereo earphone jack. The perfect solution for the radio enthusiast who is visually impaired.

Click here to check out the Sangean PR-D17 at Universal Radio.

Doug notes that he may purchase the PR-D17 and share a review here on the SWLing Post. He is especially interested in how it might compare with similar voice prompt radio models.

Post readers: If you’re visually impaired, what radio models do you prefer? PLease share your thoughts and comments by clicking here.

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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. ūüôā

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‚Äôm 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, 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  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 Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

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

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The CommRadio CTX-10 has landed

Yesterday, UPS delivered a much-anticipated package: the CTX-10 QRP transceiver from CommRadio.

CommRadio dispatched this loaner CTX-10 for evaluation and I’m excited to get my hands on it since it’s not everyday I get to evaluate a transceiver designed around field portability (my favorite category of gear).

Yesterday, I took a few shots of the CTX-10 as I unpacked it:

I’ll need to build a fused power cable with the supplied pigtail and also sort out an 8 conductor (Yaesu compatible) modular plug microphone. Of course, I’ll give this radio a thorough review testing it on SSB, CW and digital modes (especially FT8).

Since the CTX-10 is built on the¬†CommRadio CR-1 and CR-1A¬†I anticipate a capable receiver section (in other words, expectations are high). Of course, I’ll test the CTX-10’s ability as a broadcast receiver as well.

Follow my progress by following the tag: CTX-10

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CommRadio CTX-10 availability update

The CommRadio CTX-10 QRP transceiver

Universal Radio is now taking orders for the CommRadio CTX-10 QRP transceiver. The price is $999.99 and the expected shipping date is March 1, 2018. Universal notes that they will not charge customers until the units begin shipping.

Once radios are in production, I plan to review the CTX-10.

Click here to view the CTX-10 at Universal Radio.

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Off-the-shelf affordable SWL antennas

The Par EF-SWL antenna.

One of our SWLing Post contributors recently sent the following message with a request:

I have a suggestion/challenge for a post: what’s out there for low cost, off-the-shelf HF antennas?

I simply can’t drop $500 on a Wellbrook. The AirSpy HF+ and the new $100 RSP1A SDR are super enticing, but then I look at the antenna connectors and think, “What do I have to connect to that…!?!”

Googling takes you down the rabbit hole of home brew antennas. I’ll admit that I don’t have the skill or patience to dig through hundreds of DIY posts of antenna construction. For my first proper outdoor antenna, I’d like to purchase one that’s rugged, well-tested and optimized for HF and MW listening. Something easy to install.

You know? I get it.

Many listeners simply don’t have the free time or enthusiasm to explore home brew antenna options especially if they’re seeking one optimized antenna for their location and listening habits.

Like it or not, antennas can become a barrier of entry to proper, low-noise radio listening and DXing.

I have built almost all of the antennas I use so I’m not an expert in this area, therefore I asked Fred Osterman at Universal Radio for a couple of suggestions. He and I have talked about antennas in the past and he’s the most knowledgeable person I know on the topic. I’m willing to bet Universal Radio stocks more SWL antennas than any other radio retailer. Fred also has the added benefit of hearing customer feedback daily.

I asked Fred specifically for wire antennas that are easy to install, require no soldering or tuning/cutting and work well right out of the box. Something under $200.

Fred replied with two recommendations–I include his comments in quotes:

Alpha-Delta DX-SWL Sloper $129.95

“[The¬†Alpha-Delta DX-SWL Sloper] is very well built. Actually, over-built for listening. Easy to erect with the feed point being up high. And really works well on the SW bands (including Tropical) and MW too. Fully preassembled.¬†Down-side is it is kinda obtrusive with the heavy wire and large coils.”

Click here to check it out at Universal Radio.

Par EF-SWL $72.95

“[The EF-SWL is very popular] these days. It does work best with a ground, but still usable without. It is interesting, as it can be configured many different ways. I suspect it is popular because it is very easy to erect, and very, very stealthy. (Increasingly important these days). And the wire is flexible, not too¬†thick and not obtrusive. Seems more immune to noise than others. Priced right.”

Click here to check it out at Universal Radio.

Thank you, Fred!

I have some experience with the Par EF-SWL antenna. It offers excellent performance and the antenna line has a durable black coating that makes it nearly impossible to spot from a distance. I’ve even taken the EF-SWL on travels and posted a review a few years ago. I agree that it performs very well.

I have a friend that’s relied on the¬†Alpha-Delta DX-SWL Sloper as his main SWL antenna for years. He lives in an urban area and I’ve been favorably impressed with its performance. I agree with Fred–it’s incredibly durable and beefy! Built like a tank.

Of course, there are also incredibly low-profile antennas like the Bonito Mini Whip (check out some of Oxford Shortwave’s posts) but note that some versions don’t handle a noise-rich environment very well.

Post readers: Please comment if you know of other off-the-shelf antenna options–especially those you have personal experience using and installing.

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The end of the Grundig Satellit 750?

Many thanks to Dave Zantow (N9EWO) and a number of other SWLing Post contributors who’ve noted that Universal Radio is listing the¬†Grundig Satellit 750 as “Not Currently Available.” Universal offers the following explanation on their product page:

UPDATE: 11/21/17
Eton-Grundig has informed us the Satellit 750 is currently not available.
They cannot provide an availability date. We are not taking orders at this time.

I’ve also noted that the ‘750 is no longer on the Eton website.¬† It does appear Amazon.com still has inventory, but no doubt they will eventually deplete their stock. The ‘750 is sold at a number of other retailers–simply search the model number in your favorite search engine and you’ll likely find retailers with remaining stock.

So it does appear the¬†Grundig Satellit 750 may be discontinued. If so, it’s certainly had a long product life.

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