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Small Cabin Forum / Off Topic / Need a good radio
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paulz
Member
# Posted: 11 Sep 2015 12:40
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I listen to baseball games on AM and music on FM at my cabin. I have tried a few radios, analog and digital, and the reception is always iffy. Except for my vehicles, which always seem to get better reception with their factory radios.

What I am after is a portable DC radio that gets good reception, or some kind of antenna that works well. Do I need an antenna on the roof?

bobrok
Member
# Posted: 11 Sep 2015 14:16
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URL

Here's a link to a previous thread that might offer some help.

In addition, I have a VHF-hi antenna up about 20' or so with a co-ax splitter to feed the radio. That really helps reception but unfortunately only directionally to where the antenna is pointed.
I plan on installing an omni-directional antenna.

Of course we're talking FM only for the above. AM is a different beast altogether, but you can do a similar type setup.

All this assumes you have external inputs for AM and FM on your radio. The CCrane and Grundig units are excellent with regard to antennas/input options, as well as having very good quality tuners.

Hope this helps.

drb777
Member
# Posted: 11 Sep 2015 14:22 - Edited by: drb777
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Not exactly what you described, but close; the Sangean WR-2 is a great AM/FM table radio. Unbelievable sound from a small table top radio, said to rival any Bose Wave. Powered by either AC or 12vDC, but not cheapo at all. Comes with a small external FM wire antenna, but not normally needed.

Also, works very well as a MP3/IPod player, or speaker/amp for Youtube videos.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/191687674267

Above link looks like a very good used one at a reasonable price, but Overstock and Amazon are worth checking also.

I was so impressed with my 1st WR-2, I've aquired a couple more for other locations. You wont be sorry, if it meets your needs.
Sangean WR-2
Sangean WR-2


paulz
Member
# Posted: 11 Sep 2015 18:02
Reply 


Thanks guys. There is a Sangean CC plus for sale close by for $30, might be worth a try.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 11 Sep 2015 20:59
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I have a Grundig small portable shortwave radio. Picks up anything.

SE Ohio
Member
# Posted: 12 Sep 2015 14:12
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Ge Superradio 1 or 2 does well on-grid or with batteries. Might also consider Kenwood car stereo, for years best reception car radio per Consumer Reports.

neb
Member
# Posted: 13 Sep 2015 18:10
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No help on electric radio but being off grid I use a battery operated radio. It works good most times but do have some issues loosing signal at times.

hueyjazz
Member
# Posted: 13 Sep 2015 19:07
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I got this cheap and dirty antenna off of Amazon and it greatly improved my TV and radio reception. Rotor leaves a bit to be desired but it does work. It was pretty easy to rig up with a satellite dish mounting arm

http://www.amazon.com/Amplified-Digital-Motorized-Rotation-Infrared/dp/B004NQMCDK/ref =sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1442185340&sr=8-7&keywords=tv+antenna

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 13 Sep 2015 21:36
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I found a cool Sangean, 40th anniversary radio, good price, its made to look like they did 40 years ago. New old replica. Go with old cabin decor.

http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00IGXENR4?psc=1

paulz
Member
# Posted: 20 Sep 2015 12:01 - Edited by: paulz
Reply 


Quoting: hueyjazz
I got this cheap and dirty antenna off of Amazon and it greatly improved my TV and radio reception. Rotor leaves a bit to be desired but it does work. It was pretty easy to rig up with a satellite dish mounting arm

http://www.amazon.com/Amplified-Digital-Motorized-Rotation-Infrared/dp/B004NQMCDK/ref =sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1442185340&sr=8-7&keywords=tv+antenna


I have that same antenna. It does do well with TV and FM. On the radio front, while waiting for a good radio to come around I bought a kitchen am/fm/cd unit for 5 bucks at a garage sale. Had no antenna or jack and the reception was terrible so I took the top off. Found a wire that was wrapped around the power cord (inside), which I assumed was the antenna wire so I unwound it and attached it to the roof antenna. Voila, great FM. AM still fuzzy, not sure ANY radio is going to improve that where I'm at. It also had 110ac only so while I had it opened I traced the power cord to a transformer and out of that was 12vdc, so I soldered jumpers and now I have a 12vdc, external antenna am/fm/cd player for 5 bones. Of course all that took me 2 hours of labor, but it was interesting.

Steve961
Member
# Posted: 20 Sep 2015 23:11 - Edited by: Steve961
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Sangean's new PR-D19 portable radio is getting good reviews. It's about $69 at Amazon. I have the Sangean WR-11 at my cabin and absolutely love the sound and styling. It's only $10 more and will give you much better sound, but it's not portable.

Sangean PR-D19 Review

bobrok
Member
# Posted: 21 Sep 2015 21:24
Reply 


Quoting: Steve961
Sangean PR-D19 Review


Wow, that looks like a nice little unit for the money. The one feature I was immediately drawn to is the digital tuner, something lacking on my CCrane CC RADIO-EP, as nice a unit as it is

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 21 Sep 2015 23:51
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Look for a shortwave radio that is capable of SSB (single side band, ie USB or LSB :upper or lower side band") and makes listening so much more fun. SW is usually 3-30 Mhz.

SW radio will do your AM and FM too.

Donkeydave
Member
# Posted: 17 Nov 2015 09:47
Reply 


I haven't seen anyone mention just building a box for a car radio. I want one with a CD player and a USB port. It would run off my 12v batteries and use a car antenna.
Is there anything wrong with this idea?

Nate R
Member
# Posted: 17 Nov 2015 10:50
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Only issue is the car radios sometimes aren't very efficient on power draw. But likely would work OK.

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 2 Jan 2021 13:56
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I think I remember something about the car radios need to have the metal mass of the vehicle to get decent antenna reception. I tried one like you suggest (well, minus a nice box) at my old cabin on a hill and it was not very good. The cassette player that I thought would be a nice addition turned out to be little used.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 4 Jan 2021 20:56
Reply 


Quoting: gcrank1
I think I remember something about the car radios need to have the metal mass of the vehicle to get decent antenna reception.



Yes, the ground plane, without it, you only have half an antenna and it really reduces its effectiveness.

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 5 Jan 2021 11:54
Reply 


I suppose one would have a good ground-plane if you have a metal roof to attach the antenna to.

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