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Review by JR
September 2002

Disclaimer: This is one persons opinion, No affiliation with anyone.

Description: "Pocket high sensitivity world band receiver"

Cost: $20 from an unknown dude on eBay

Open the box: Brand spanking new. Has that "new electronics smell", which was very strong.

No instructions. Chinese high quality packaging box, can be used for frequent storage of the radio.

Nice pleather case and wrist strap included.

Unit is smaller than a YB300. The display is digital but tuned with a mechanical dial.

12 hr clock only, with alarm and sleep timer. This is a big negative. All SW radios that have a clock should have a 24 hr clock.

Modes: AM, FM Mono, SW 1-7 bands

Bands do have significant gaps between them. 5.90 MHz to 17.9 in 7 bands.

9 FM/MW/SW Bands:

* FM 87-108 MHz
* MW 510-1605 kHz
* SW1 5.9-6.2 MHz
* SW2 7.1-7.3 MHz
* SW3 9.5-9.9 MHz
* SW4 11.65-12.05 MHz
* SW5 13.60-13.8 MHz
* SW6 15.1-15.6 MHz
* SW7 17.5-17.9 MHz

The radio has a strange use interface. The LCD is easy to read, but not illuminated. There are no memory presets as it tunes mechanically with an LCD display. There is a "Tune" LED to indicate tune or a strong signal. There are two buttons on the front, AM and FM. There is an indicator LED for each of these modes. These LED are always illuminated to indicate AM or FM and Tune. This seems like a waste of the 2 AA batteries just to indicate the that FM, or AM is selected. This functionality should have been moved to the LCD.

The Kaide is easy to tune and is accurate, as verified against a Icom R-75 and Sony ICF-7600gr connected to a 50 ft random wire.

Very similar tuning as a Kaiwa 818. Audio quality was on par with the Kchibo KK-E200. Much better construction than the Kaiwa 989, but did look chintzy when observed close up.

A backstand is there to prop radio up, however the plastic feels really cheap.

Earphone jack, 3v DC power input and a power on-off switches adorn the perimeter.

A 1.5ft, 7 segment antenna pulls in the stations reasonably well.

Overall, this is a really fantastic value. No, it is not fancy, and it does not have memories for stations but is really cheap. Great for hiking where you wouldn't be dragging your JRC or
Drake around. Similar to a Chevy Metro, it may not take you there in style, but it gets you there.

For $20, you can't go too wrong. It does receive shortwave that isn't bad for a $20 radio. It is small, compact, and very portable. What can you buy these days for $20 that receives shortwave from around the world? For a cheapo, the Kaide is nice, handy radio that pulls in the major powerhouses within its frequency limitations, with a digital readout. One other thing that I really like about this radio, it is really easy to surf around the dial with its
mechanical tuning and LCD display. I don't like the Kchibo KK-E200 for surfing since it is PLL synthesized with up-down buttons that mutes between frequencies.

Incidentally Kchibo makes the Kaide. So it seems as though Kailong Group (Shenzhen Kailong Electronics Co Ltd) makes: Kchibo, Kaide, Kaito, and Kaiwa brands.

Note that Kailong Electronics makes many different radios for the Chinese market. I have only seen the Kaiwa KA-818, KA-989, Kchibo KK-E200, and KK-S320 sold in the United States.

The Kaide/Kchibo radios I have used (KA-989, KK-E200, KK-9702, and KA-818) seem to offer the biggest bang for the buck. All of these radios cost a fraction of their Japanese competitors and offer much better performance than the likes of a Colby or International. Incidentally, I was told that the Grundig YB400 and PE series is made under contract by Kailong for Grundig USA.

I plan on reviewing the KK-S320 next month.

Bottom line: If you have less than $30 to spend on a shortwave, this is for you. If you have $2000, buy a JRC, if you have $6000, buy a Icom IC-R9000. Only have $20? Buy a Kaide.


http://www.kaitousa.com/ <-- USA Distributor. On-line ordering
http://www.kchibo.com <-- Manufacturer website in English


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