For fun, I decided to put my collection of MW portables in a head-to-head performance shootout. Yes, the results are somewhat subjective. No test equipment was harmed (or even used) in these tests.
My objective was to see how they performed both from a sensitivity and selectivity perspective. To try and keep the competition fair, no external antennas were used. If the radio had a narrow filter, I used it. Synchronous detection was not used.
My test conditions were to see how well each radio could receive a weak TIS station about 10 miles away at 1610 that has no adjacent channel interference. This was a sensitivity test. For selectivity, I was interested to see which radios could receive a moderate strength station at 1460 in the face of adjacent channel interference from my local slopper at 1440. As a test of both sensitivity and selectivity, I also checked reception of a weak station at 1410, only 30 kHz away from the fierce interference. Each radio was compared in the early afternoon hours of July 25, 2004.
My grading scale is the one used by Gerry Thomas of RadioPlus. He has used the same scale when comparing radios. The scale is:
- Local-like (all background noise "quieted")
clear winner is the RF-2200. It has the highest average and either
the highest (or tied) score
The CCRadio and Sony 2010 tied for second. The CCRadio's performance was a surprise given less than excellent results in the past in selectivity. What I noticed is that it performs better outside (where this test took place) vs. indoors. Also, getting the CCRadio manipulated to null out adjacent interference can be challenging. The "sweet spot" is very narrow. The 2010 synch detector was not used for this test. Between these two I would give the nod to the 2010.
The GE Superadio 2 ranked the next highest. However, one of its rankings was below "3." For this reason, it doesn't make my final top 4 list. The Grundig S-350 is the remaining radio with an average score higher than 3. It scored 3 or higher in each category.
Honorable mentions go to GE Superadio 2, the Grundig YB-400PE, Sony 7600g and the amazing little Sangean DT200v pocket radio.
Note - this represents findings in one location only on one day of testing. The station creating the adjacent channel interference is a 5 kw station about 3 miles away.
My biggest disappointment was the Grundig Sat 700. This is a really good portable for shortwave single sideband reception. It was a poor performer in this test. Other disappointments for me were the Sangean 803A and the Kaito 1102.
Misleading numbers. Although the Realistic TRF failed one of the selectivity tests, it is a wonderful MW portable - it shines everywhere else on the MW band here (no expanded band coverage however).
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