U

KCHIBO
KK-E200

Their Home Page
www.kchibo.com

USA Distributor
www.kaitousa.com

 


(More Photos Below)

Review by JR

April 2002

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

Radio: Chinese Manufactured: Kchibo KK-E200 Shortwave Radio. Digital PLL Synthesized Radio.

Jacks: Headphone (Stereo), Antenna (1/8"inch), Power

Included Accessories: Bud-type headphones, Wire antenna, Pleather Case, 120v A/C Adapter, Manual, Strap.

Unpacking the box: The unit arrived sealed. The radio takes 3 "AA" batteries. There is a note inside the radio to hit the "Reset" button upon installation of batteries for the first time.

1st Try: After playing with the radio for 1 hour, the radio began making clicking noises on all frequencies on all bands. This was not outside RF noise. This was a failure of the unit. I referenced the http://www.kaitousa.com website and called the Los Angeles number. I got a RMA and a new radio arrived in 8 days.

2nd Try: A second sealed unit arrived. This unit does work normally. The radio has been in use for 5 hours. It does work as advertised. (Subjective) Shortwave performance is less than my Sony ICF-7600GR but that is to be expected. With Sync OFF on the Sony, the Kchibo managed to pull in the same stations. Speaker quality was acceptable, not great. Using headphones increased audio fidelity. Living on the West Coast of USA, the Kchibo managed to pull in all the major stations.

Usage: This radio does have several strange oddities. First, the direct entry keypad is not the standard calculator or phone style type. It uses two lines of 5 buttons each. This
takes getting used to and it not easy to use in the dark.

The radio has a 10/9 step switch for AM (USA and Europe). This is good. However if you accidentally change the switch, it deletes all stations in memory. Not good. This is documented in the manual. The radio only tunes in 5 kHz steps. If you enter freq 9.870, it will go to 9.875. You must press 9,8,7, <enter> to get 9.870. Or if you are trying 9.875 you press 9,8,7,5 <enter>.

The radio does have a variable sleep timer (10-90min), display light (momentary), Local/DX switch, and a keyboard lock (except for display light).

The telescopic antenna swivels but does not extend upward from the chassis to give complete mobility (like some Sony's and higher quality SW radios).

Coverage:
AM Medium Wave (520 - 1620 kHz)
FM Frequency Modulation (87.5 - 108 MHz)
Shortwave from 2.3 - 7.1 MHz (SW1) and 9.5 - 25.60 MHz(SW2) continuous. There is a gap from 7.1 to 9.5Mhz. The user has to select which band they want to use (SW1 or
SW2).

There is a FM stereo indicator, Lock Indicator, 24hr clock, and 24 presets and 13 selectable SW bands. When the radio is off, the word "Kchibo" is displayed underneath the clock (strange). The display can be turned totally off when the unit is off or display the time to
conserve power. No alarm function. The display button toggles between frequency and clock. No 12 hour or local clock. The clock displays 24 hour time.

The scan feature works well. Stops at listenable stations. Can be used scanning up or down. Pressing the Up or Down button for 1.5 seconds activates scanning. Some clicking during scanning but not bad or annoying.

Ergonomics: Good, with the exception of the keypad for frequency entry. Included case is useful for protection. The unit is about the same size and a Grundig YB300. There is a tilt stand in the rear with a graphic of the world time zones.

A/C: Unit includes A/C Adapter with power led. This introduces minimal noise on SW bands. No noise on FM.

Manual: A joke. Someone speaking the English language did not proofread this. All of the functions are intuitive, but reading the manual takes extreme patience. My guess is that the manual was made using a computer-based translator without being read by a human. Same goes for the box packaging.

Conclusion: If this was to be your only radio, save your pennies and get a Sony, Grundig, or Sagean. However as a second (or third) receiver that you don't want to spend a lot of money on, the Kchibo is functional. This radio cost me $56 at http://www.survivalunlimited.com/radio.htm . Was it worth it? I was not happy about the failure within an hour of the first unit. For $56 it has features of radios costing double. This would be great for hiking, camping, etc when you don't want to take something expensive
with you. It was nice to have everything included in the box (A/C adapter, headphones, case, and antenna) for a radio in this price range.

Overall I would rate this radio * * 3/4 (2.75) stars out of 5. If you are really cheap and price is a primary factor, add another 1/2 star. Remember that for the price of a good dinner, you can surf the airwaves, using a shortwave PLL synthesized receiver
with memory, dial light, external antenna, case, and A/C power supply. The box contains everything needed to get started. This would make a great knockaround set or a gift for someone to get started in the hobby of SWL for under $60.


Update September 2002:
After owning this radio for five months and using it daily as my bedside receiver, I like it. Using a 20ft random wire antenna improves reception when plugged into the Kchibo’s antenna jack. This radio has been reliable, even when knocked to the floor several times. Very much a "big bang for the buck". This radio seems to be ahead of anything I have seen new in the under $60 club, even more so with its included
accessories.

Reference:

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

Size Comparison: Sony ICF-7600GR vs Kchibo KK-E200

 

   

| Disclaimer | Feedback | About | This page was last updated: September 16, 2002 |
Copyright ©2002-2006 Radio Intelligencer. All rights reserved