had the opportunity to test out the Kaito KA1107 (Degen DE1107), a
recent offering from Kaito/Degen. The 1107 is an AM/FM/SW dual conversion
analog portable that covers ten different shortwave bands. The 1107
is available in both silver and black.
Of The Box For
those familiar with the popular 1103 receiver, the 1107 is the same
size. The 1107 measures approximately 4"H x 6 5/8"W x 1
1/8"D and weighs 11 ounces with batteries. Included with the
radio is a 14 page operating manual/pamphlet. Included also is an
AC adapter, earbuds, pigtail external antenna, strap and carrying
case. There are no NiMH rechargeable AA cells included.
is Where? Front
The 77 mm speaker is located at the left front of the radio. The analog
dial and pointer dominates the right side of the radio. A small LCD
display for the clock is located above the dial/scale area towards
the center. Controls for the clock and alarm are on both sides of
the clock display. A sleep button is located in the cluster off buttons
to the right of the clock. There are two switches to the right of
the clock controls, for the backlight and the on/off switch. At the
extreme upper right of the radio are three LEDs (power on, stereo
reception and "tuned-in"). There are two switches below
the LED lights on the front right of the radio. The top switch is
a three position sensitivity switch (High-Medium-Low). A two position
tone switch is located below that. The thumbwheel volume control is
found at the front bottom right corner along with counter to indicate
top to bottom: Carrying strap. External antenna jack for FM and SW.
Headphone jack and DC input jack for the AC adapter.
top to bottom: tuning knob, band switch and a battery charging switch.
stand and battery compartment.
whip antenna (36" fully extended) pivots fully from the left
side. It folds over to the right and locks in when not in use.
Observations on Performance
FM band starts at 76MHz (where the FM band begins in parts of Asia)
and ends at the end of the North American FM band at 108 MHz. Stereo
reception is available via headphones.
that reception on the FM band to be quite good. The dial is very accurate
on FM. Audio from the 1107's speakers was quite pleasing and was noticeably
superior to that from my 1103 reference radio. I found that the 1107
did a commendable job in separating stations and did surprisingly
well in receiving some weaker stations that are some distance from
1107 covers ten shortwave bands. 75 meters (3.75-4.25 MHz), 60 meters
(4.5 - 5.1 MHz), 49 meters (5.9 - 6.4 MHz), 41 meters (7.1 - 7.5 MHz),
31 meters (9.35 - 9.95 MHz), 25 meters (11.6 - 12.1 MHz), 22 meters
(13.5 - 13.9 MHz), 19 meters (15.1 - 15.7 MHz), 16 meters (17.5 -
17.9 MHz) and 13 meters (21.4 - 21.9 MHz). In general, I found the
accuracy of the dial to be typical of what you would expect of an
inexpensive analog multi-band portable. As one would expect of a radio
in this class, there is no single sideband reception.
whip, during daylight hours, I was able to receive signals from shortwave
stations on all bands except 75 and 13 meters. As is not uncommon
at my location, the local MW station (3 miles away) has a tendency
to "break through" and appear in places it shouldn't. This
was true on the 1107, with the local MW station making an appearance
on each of SW bands. This was not observed in night time listening
I plugged in the provided "pigtail" external antenna. The
MW breakthrough into the shortwave bands was significantly reduced.
Perhaps the radio has an amplifier following the whip which exacerbates
MW breakthrough and this is not in line with an antenna plugged into
the external jack. If anyone with more knowledgeable of the circuitry
could confirm that there is an active amplifier following the whip,
we will update this review. In any event, I found that the best combination
with the 1107 on shortwave was the use of the provided pigtail antenna
with the sensitivity switch on Medium.
dial markings for the AM/MW band descend vertically from 530 to 1710
KHz. Like most analog radios, the spacing is quite crowded at the
high end. In general, I found the performance of the 1107 to be in
the average category on AM/MW, in terms of dial accuracy, selectivity
many small portables, I did find that the use of passive loop antenna
gave the radio quite a boost as I could receive signals that were
otherwise not perceptible.
dial/band scale/pointer display area measures approximately 2 1/4"
x 2 1/4". The 12 band markings alternate between green numerals
on a grey background and white numerals on a lack background. The
green-on-grey is somewhat difficult to read. Use of the backlight
does help some. A log scale is provided at the left of the display
window. The display is very similar to that on multiband analog portables
available for many years.
1107 can be powered by the supplied AC adapter or 4 AA cells. The
1107 can charge rechargeable NiMH cells in the radio. There is no
battery life indicator, however unless one would choose the backlight
frequently, there is every reason to believe one would experience
great battery life with this analog radio.
does indicate that there are 3 rechargeable AA cells provided (even
though the radio uses four). There were none included in the samples
I received and the operating manual/pamphlet does not list batteries
as supplied accessories. Perhaps there was some confusion in translation/communications
which we see from time to time from Chinese manufacturers.
test the AC adapter. I found that it tended to provide a boost to
the received signals. However, depending on the band selected, it
also introduced some buzzing or humming. Analog portables tend to
get extremely good battery life, so I doubt if I would ever use the
1107 provides a yellow backlight that illuminates the clock and shines
through the dial scale display. The back light is controlled by an
on/off switch next to the power switch.
1107 displays the clock regardless of whether the radio is on or off.
The numerals are approximately 5/32" high. The clock displays
time in AM/PM format. Sleep mode is provided and the radio can be
set to shut itself between 1 minute and 1 hour 59 minutes. There is
also an auto turn-on/alarm feature. The radio will turn on to the
time set and shut itself down after one hour. Hours and minutes are
displayed in large numerals. The seconds are shown in smaller digits.
have seen some comments in various forums where posters were wondering
if the 1107 had "1103-like qualities." Beyond the physical
similarities, these are radios in different performance categories
with different capabilities. It isn't fair to compare these two radios
although I can see the temptation to, based on how similar they look.
probably has more portable models on the market now than any other
manufacturer. There seems to be a portable radio available from Kaito/Degen
at nearly every price point. The 1107 gives them a reasonably priced
analog portable (under $50) in their line up that will serve the casual
shortwave listener well. The decision that a prospective purchaser
will have to make is whether or not to spend a bit more to pick up
a Kaito/Degen model with additional features, etc.