Here's a neat little portable SW/MW/LW/FM portable from Sangean. It's smaller than a small paperback, checking in at approximately 3.75 x 5.75 x 1.25" and 14 ounces (with batteries installed).
Note: The 606/399 only receives AM signals on the shortwave bands. It is not sideband capable.
My favorite feature of the 606/399 is the memory scan. A push of a button has the radio scanning through all of the memories for that band (i.e., FM). The radio pauses on each memory position for about 4 seconds and then continues. Pushing any button on the radio stops the scan. I use this feature daily in search of FM music during the morning when most stations are dishing out inane talk / "entertainment." I have a dozen stations in memory. I keep the scan going until I actually hear music on one of the stations in memory.
The manual rates alkaline battery life at 12 hours. This seems about right. I am getting 8 hours or so on the NiMH AAs before I replace them and they still have some life left in them.
The 606/399 manually tunes with up/down buttons. There is no tuning knob. Normal tuning steps are 10 kHz (MW), 5 kHz (SW), 9 kHz (LW) and 0.1 MHz (FM). MW tuning steps are adjustable for either 10 kHz or 9 kHz.
There is a fine tuning option as well. This enables the listener to tune in 1 kHz steps on MW/SW/LW and 0.05 MHz on FM.
It is easy to jump directly to the shortwave band you want to explore. Hit the SW button and then the keyboard number button that is tied to one of the radio's predefined shortwave bands. The shortwave band is printed on the radio right next to the buttons on the front panel. (For example, the 5 button takes you to the 49 meter band the 8 button goes to the 25 meter band, etc.).
The 606/399 also features the Automatic Tuning System found on other Sangean radios. By engaging ATS, the radio will fill up its memories (on FM, AM and LW) with the strongest stations it receives. Users might find this feature useful as they visit cities they are unfamiliar with, etc.
/ Timer / Alarm
You can set two alarm times. If you set both alarms, one can be set to the buzzer and the other to "radio on." If you set only one alarm, you can choose between either alarm type.
Sleep timer is provided at either 60, 45, 30 or 15 minutes. Another handy feature is a countdown timer. You can set the radio alarm (buzzer only) to sound at any selected countdown time up to 23 hours 59 minutes. The alarm is LOUD.
Not To Like?
There is no choice of filter but I didn't expect one at this price point. The single bandwidth provides good adjacent channel rejection. Still, some may view the lack of wide/narrow bandwidths to be a weakness.
Perhaps the most annoying problem with the 606/399 is the interference caused by the tuning LED when listening with headphones. When the signal is varying and causing the LED to blink on and off, a most definite corresponding clicking noise is heard in the headphones. This is not present with normal speaker operation. A work-around I have found is to connect the Radio Shack headphone extension (with in-line volume control) to the 606/399 and plug the headphones into the extension. Turn the in-line volume down to a point where the clicking is no longer present, and then increase the volume of the radio to overcome the loss of volume from the in-line control setting. It works...why, I am not sure. Other users have reported similar success with headphones that have built-in volume controls. A permanent fix might be to simply clip the leads to the LED and disable it. It's not that useful anyway
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| This page was last updated: December 14, 2002 |
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