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Etón E1

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Halfpint

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I just discovered that I am going to be getting an Etón E1 receiver and am wondering if anybody on RR has one, how it works, and how they like it? I also gather that it has the ability to receive XM Satellite and am also wondering what that is like and will it be worth my while to subscribe to it.

Apparently SWMBO ran across some sort of `deal' on it and knowing that I had been wanting one to go along with my Grundig Satellit 800 from back in the days when it was known as the Satellit 900 she's gone and purchased one.
 

mass-man

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I you enjoy MUSIC, with great fidelty and no commercials, XM or Sirius is worth every penny of the $14 a month. It has made a BIG difference to me. I listen in the car, at home, here in the office and even have it piped into the radio by the bed for late nite reading and listening.

I have to admit it has cut into my scanner listening in the mobile. But makes it great for long road trips, when there ain't much to hear on any freq.
 

ka3jjz

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Rarely have I seen a semi portable - and that's what this really is, with no carrying handle and its size - get so many people interested. In fact, I saw Heartland America had it for around USD400 or so...

Anyway here are a couple of other reviews you might want to check out. Also I would join the Yahoo group that's linked on the EHam page. It's always useful to have folks who actually have the radio tell you about its various quirks - and all radios have 'em, don't be fooled.

http://www.naswa.net/journal/2006/01/equip200601#more-179

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/5353

73s Mike
 

nexus

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its $12.95 a month, or you can get yearly or multiyear subscription for lower rates. AND YES it's worth it! I've had XM for a few years now and they keep adding more channels, and newer content. Currently 170 channels, many are commercial free music, and several for news/talk/sports/weather special interests, you should check out http://www.xmradio.com for the programming lineup.

These links have some info and reviews about the radio:
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/portable/0101.html
http://gearlog.com/blogs/gearlog/archive/2005/10/31/1791.aspx
http://www.radiointel.com/review-etone1.htm
read this one especially: http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/5353

If I had the money, I'd probably want THIS SWL receiver. Just the fact that it does AM/FM/SSB/XM all in one unit is very appealing to me. Looks like you're going to be getting a really nice toy.
 

nexus

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Just some quick quotes from owners/users...

WPE9JRL said: I also own or have owned the Drake SW-8, R-8, R-8A, R-8B, AOR-7030 among others. I am always mentally comparing a new radio, such as the E-1, to these other receivers. Let me first say that the E1 is a winner. It works as advertised, is a pleasure to operate and is easy to get around without referencing the manual...in fact, I only spent about five minutes with the book since I owned it. The E1 reminds me of the SW-8 in its good performance on HF with the built-in whip. Considering that the SW-8 was selling for $800, the E1 seems like a better value at $500.
K9HDT said: Let me start by saying I have owned many portiable shortwave radio's. From the DX-440 all the way upto the Satellit 800 (including the great 700). This is simply the best portiable radio I have ever owned. It does have one majoe flaw, no carrying handle or strap. But I keep it on a well padded case when I travel with it.
It's not a NRD-535D or an R8B but its good.
Mike P said: I am a portable shortwave radio "nut". Group owner of Grundig Satellit International (Google Groups). I own (or have owned) just about every "better" portable shortwave radio made in the last 40 years. After 6 months of extensive usage I have to say that Eton E1 (as a SHORTWAVE RADIO) ranks up there with the very best EVER made (SW performance per dollar). Certainly "IN" the class of the Sony 2010, Grundig Satellit 700, etc.
 

Halfpint

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Whoa! Thanks a lot guys! Looks like I'm going to have to add another sub-directory in my bookmarks to hold all those links. {VB GRIN!}

I still don't have the E1 or the G4000A in my hot grubby meathooks yet but, after reading what I've managed to get read it appears that I am going to be having one heck of a great time with them once I do get my hands on them. (It also looks like I'm going to have to get another couple Stridsberg MCA10xM series multicouplers so that I can add a couple dedicated cables for both radios here in my `shack'. [I've already got a MCA108M filled and I guess I'm going to need to get another along with an MCA102M to feed it and the new one. I'll just terminate the unused ouputs until I have to use them for something else in the future? {GRIN!} I've already done that with my VHF/UHF ones and am only *just* starting to possibly need to add another 8 porter in the foreseeable future for my scanners. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised at having to do it with HF, too? {WAN GRIN!}])

On another aspect of using the E1... Has anyone besides the owner of the RadioIntel site had any experience with `active' loops? That Quantum Loop sounds like it might be what I may be eventually needing for MW DX though I may first give the C.Crane Twin Coil a try before springing for the Quantum. I'd also like something I could also use for the rest of the SW bands, too. The Wellbrook ALA-330S sounds great, too. However, like with the Quantum VS the C. Crane, I think I'd like to start with some a bit less expensive until I can develope my `skills' using one. (Strangely enough I happen to have both a SONY ICF-2010 and a GRUNDIG Satellit 800 and I'd never really considered using a loop with either one!? Suddenly I've got this feeling that I've been `missing?' something for quite a while that I should have done long before my coming experiences with the E1. I've had and used many other different types of antennas over the years and a loop just hasn't been `on my radar' the whole time. [Because of a planned possible move I've cut back to using only an RF Engineering H-900 active antenna for most of my listening this past summer and am not expecting to get pretty much anything else `big', or otherwise, up until after we finally get moved. I had a couple small 1,000', or so give or take a few feet, E/W, N/S Beverages up for a few years but, again because of the planned move along with a few other reasons, I had to take them down. Maybe one of these loops might also get used / put up if possible even if they won't/don't compare to the Beverages?])

Somehow the coming arrival of the E1, and the G4000A, along with thoughts of also possibly getting a new antenna or two to `play with' has me feeling almost like a little boy in a candy shop! {CHORTLE!} I guess that is always the way when one gets some new `toys', isn't it? {VB GRIN!}
 

bobbybeachbum

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Man, I feel the same way when I track my latest order from HRO on UPS. If I wasn't "radioded out" at the moment the E-1 (or the Sattelit 900 as I like to call it) would be on top of my list for portable SW recievers, from what I hear. Be sure to give us a review after you put it thru its paces. :D
 

Halfpint

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Yeehaa!

SWMBO presented the Etón E1, XM Sattelite Radio antenna and GRUNDIG G4000A package to me on Sunday! Unfortunately, beyond just opening all the packages within the package and installing batteries I really didn't get all that much time with either radio because we had a few other things we were doing. I *did* do a little bit of tuning around with both radios after we put the children to bed and before we had to hit the sack. She also got me a very nice `plexi' slanted stand and the PAL to SO239 adapter.

The G4000A is a nice average little AM/FM/SW `suitcase' portable with only 40 `storage' channels, average MW performance, slightly above average FM performance (w/ stereo headphone output when in the FM mode), average HF performance, and just adequate SSB performance. It appears that plugging in an external antenna to the antenna jack disconnects the whip antenna only not the internal MW antenna. Tuning steps are rather limited on all bands and the lack of a `knob' for tuning is, at least for me, rather disconcerting. The provided leather `case' / `cover' is a nice addition but, even with the `nice-ness' of being able to access the ends of the radio with the it closed the fact that both ends are exposed kinda worries me RE: protection when transporting. Still... It is a fairly nice little `secondary' radio.

Now onto the `meat'! {VB GRIN!}

WOW! The Etón E1 is *impressive* looking *and* feeling! Not only is it one *heavy* `little?' radio, about 13¼" X 7½" X 2½" and about 6# w/o batteries and about 7# w/ 4 D-cell batteries, but, the case has this (I can only describe it as `slinky?'.) rubbery feeling coating. The readout display is about 4½" X 3½" w/ `soft buttons' along the righthand and bottom edges and, especially after one finds the contrast adjustment that is hidden behind the cover that covers the cover for the battery compartment, reset switch, and factory programming connector on the lower lefthand side of the front panel, is very readable with 4, on, low, medium, and high, lighting selections.

I'll readily admit that I am listening to it as I am typing this. Currently I am tuned to an FM station out of Cheyenne, Wyo, which is about 100miles North of me and I am not in the `DX' mode. (I just switched to a station out of Laramie, Wyo which is both a tad bit more than 100miles away *and* `over the "hills"' to boot and while the `meter' is considerable lower than it was for the Cheyenne one it's still listenable without switching into the `DX' mode. Switching into `DX' brings the `meter' back up to the same, or maybe a tad bit higher, level as the Cheyenne station. Switching to `DX' on the Cheyenne station `pegs' the `meter'.) When I switch to MW I am able to pick up a fair number of stations I'd usually expect to be able to get but, the `delightful' thing is that I am also able to pick up quite a few that I usually cannot get without resorting to an external antenna. (I have not yet tried hooking up an external antenna and am also a bit surprised that instead of having a built in ferrite loop in the case it uses the built in whip for MW.) The sound, for having as small, 4", a speaker as it has is actually somewhat impressive. The Bass and Treble controls work very well and as far as my tired old ears can tell provide a fairly `flat' response in the detented centre position. I've already tried hooking it up to an old RS/RCA PRO-X44A 2-way, 4" woofer & 1" tweeter, ported speaker and there is enough power available off the batteries to get it almost `uncomfortably?' loud without distortion.

HF/SW reception, as far as I've been able try, off of the internal whip antenna seems to be either as good as or even better than that which I am familiar with from my SONY ICF-2010 and maybe even my ICOM IC-R75 off of my HF Engineering H-900 active antenna! (I'll know more about how it compares to the R75 when I finally use the PAL adapter and hook it up to the H-900, too.) The `Synchronous AM' mode is easily as good as the one in the ICF-2010 and with the addition of being able to also choose DSB along with LSB & USB I think it may actually be better. (As an ICF-2010 `fanatic?' *that* is saying something! {GRIN!}) From my *first* experiences calling this radio a "Portatop" isn't all that much of a `stretch'! (I've also got a Satellit 800 which while it's a danged good radio it still was never as quite as `all around' good as my ICF-2010 and there were times when despite it's `bigger sound' I found myself reaching for the SONY. I suspect that instances like that will become farther and fewer between now that I've got this E1. *If* I ever actually *have* to travel by air and have to `save' a few pounds luggage-wise I *may* still go with the ICF-2010 but, for just `general' traveling it appears that the E1 will `get the nod' and the ICF-2010 may be relegated to being a `backup' that I take along if I think I may need one.)

This is just basically my first impressions and I'll try and `dig' a bit `deeper' as time with this radio progresses. There are so many different `features' in this radio that I have this feeling that I am going to be discovering more every time I turn it on for quite a while. {VB GRIN!} Heck! I haven't even gotten around to `playing around' with the XM except to hook up the antenna and verify that, yep, it works. (I probably am not going to subscribe to XM for a while until I've pretty much exhausted the other modes? [Besides... I really don't know exactly where I am going to both find a place for the XM antenna *and* where I am most likely going to actually use the XM mode. {WAN GRIN!}])

Just an `Olde Fart's' 2¢ worth. {CHUCKLE!}
 

ka3jjz

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Halfpint said:
On another aspect of using the E1... Has anyone besides the owner of the RadioIntel site had any experience with `active' loops? That Quantum Loop sounds like it might be what I may be eventually needing for MW DX though I may first give the C.Crane Twin Coil a try before springing for the Quantum. I'd also like something I could also use for the rest of the SW bands, too. The Wellbrook ALA-330S sounds great, too. However, like with the Quantum VS the C. Crane, I think I'd like to start with some a bit less expensive until I can develope my `skills' using one.
A very reasonable approach. You will find that Jay Allen's reviews are not the only ones we've cross referenced on the Loops wiki page - there are a few others there, too.

However, if you want to really get in depth with MW DXing and loops - there are 2 North American clubs you want to consider. They are devoted exclusively to the topic, and have been around for many years - and have a very good reputation. They are the National Radio Club and the International Radio Club of America. Both have links on the SWL Monitoring wiki (yeah, I know, MW isn't HF, but I didn't have enough material to make a single MW page...any takers???) 73s Mike
 

Halfpint

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ka3jjz said:
Originally Posted by Halfpint

On another aspect of using the E1... Has anyone besides the owner of the RadioIntel site had any experience with `active' loops? That Quantum Loop sounds like it might be what I may be eventually needing for MW DX though I may first give the C.Crane Twin Coil a try before springing for the Quantum. I'd also like something I could also use for the rest of the SW bands, too. The Wellbrook ALA-330S sounds great, too. However, like with the Quantum VS the C. Crane, I think I'd like to start with some a bit less expensive until I can develope my `skills' using one.
Originally Posted by ka3jjz

A very reasonable approach. You will find that Jay Allen's reviews are not the only ones we've cross referenced on the Loops wiki page - there are a few others there, too.

However, if you want to really get in depth with MW DXing and loops - there are 2 North American clubs you want to consider. They are devoted exclusively to the topic, and have been around for many years - and have a very good reputation. They are the National Radio Club and the International Radio Club of America. Both have links on the SWL Monitoring wiki (yeah, I know, MW isn't HF, but I didn't have enough material to make a single MW page...any takers???) 73s Mike
Dang! It's awfully hard to try and `nest' quotes on this system anymore! {YEEEEESH!} You *really* have to *work* to get anything reasonably close. {FROWN!}

Well... I decided to `take the plunge'. I went to the C. Crane site and ordered the "TwinCoil Loop Antenna" from them. I was actually `lucky?' enough to find that they had it listed on their `Orphans' page and was able to pick it up for $59.95 + S&H (UPS Ground = Free!)! Hopefully I'll have it here sometime around the middle of next week? However... I probably won't be able to actually give anything more than just `first impressions' for a while since I first want to give the Etón E1 a lot more of a `workout' than I have so far with basically `what it brung to the dance' so to speak. *If* the little FM Transmitter they sell is any indication of the `quality' of what they sell I figure I'll probably be quite pleased though. (I've used the FM Transmitter to send a couple of my base scanners out to our `yard stereo' to augment a pair of handheld ones a couple times when we've had one of those `all hell's been breaking loose' days and just 2 handhelds just wasn't enough to keep up with what was happening. [It was kinda funny listening to the scanners on the stereo! A couple visitors who were out that weekend wanted to know just *where* I had been able to find a stereo that could pick up P25 trunked radio transmissions! They wanted one for their place. {VB GRIN!}])

I guess that I should now go and take another, closer, look at the `Wiki' and see what else I'm going to end up wanting, huh? {GRIN!} Dang! Not only is this hobby expensive but it's also more addictive than I realized! One would think that after over 40 or so years of doing this type of stuff I would have realized it? {CHORTLE!}

Just an `Olde Fart's' 2¢ worth. {VB GRIN!}
 

Reloader

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Before you take delivery, or soon after, send it to Drake or Universal for a tune up. It is worth the money to bring it up to the top of the line. Fast return on tune-up., too.
 

Dorpmuller

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Reloader said:
Before you take delivery, or soon after, send it to Drake or Universal for a tune up. It is worth the money to bring it up to the top of the line. Fast return on tune-up., too.
Are they that bad from the factory that you need to do this?

Rich
 

Halfpint

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Originally Posted by Reloader
Before you take delivery, or soon after, send it to Drake or Universal for a tune up. It is worth the money to bring it up to the top of the line. Fast return on tune-up., too.
Huh!? Say what? On just what do you base this on?

Originally Posted by Dorpmuller
Are they that bad from the factory that you need to do this?
Not that *I* am aware of. I know that Etón has had some problems in the past and that because of them I suppose that there are *some* people who have made up their minds that they are going to always have them forever. But... As both an EE and as someone who made their living repairing assorted `broken' electronics gear I fail to see the `logic?' in Reloader's post. Having said that... I suppose that *if* one hasn't ordered their Etón E1 from a source that wasn't either Universal radio or Etón themselves there *might* be a chance that they *may* have gotten a returned radio that wasn't `upgraded'. (Though the chance of this happening is rather slim since Etón, has been working, is working, very hard to assure that their `flagship' radio is suitably a `flagship radio' as witnessed by what they have already done when they discovered the `battery problem'.)

Now... From what *I* can tell from my own, albeit somewhat limited, use so far *and* also from what I've heard via both my own `research' and email received the radio *I* have is working like it is supposed to. (Some of what I have been comparing mine against has been my SONY ICF-2010, which has been fairly `lovingly?' maintained, my GRUNDIG Satellit 800, which was given some `tender minstrations' by the, basically, very people that Reloader has suggested *after* having been first `burned in' by being used for several hours of use beforehand, and several other assorted HF/SWLing radios, some fairly good and some that some may not think are so good but are still decent examples none the less, like my ICOM IC-R75s and PCR-1000s, a couple old HALLICRAFTERS, and assorted `vintage' `Hi-Fi' / `Stereo' tuners and receivers that I've kept around as `benchmarks' for my shop. All in all a fairly `eclectic collection' of equipment, especially in the latter 2 cases, that *I* feel `comfortable' using as comparisons of performance.) Having said all that *I* would recommend that you first give your `new toy' a good workout for the first 2 or 3 months *before* deciding to rush it off for any `tweaking' or other work. *If* there is a chance of something going wrong, we call it `infant mortality', or it doesn't seem to be `quite right' you will only really know just what the problem is after having `played with' it for a reasonable amount of time. (Sending it off to the repairshop and telling them that "Someone told me that I had to do this." is a very poor use of both their *and* your time, and could also be a very poor use of *your* money. It is also not exactly what we, in the repair business, would exactly call a good set of symptoms to diagnose from.) Take some time to get to know the radio.

Just an `Olde Fart's' 2¢ worth. {GRIN!!}
 

bobbybeachbum

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Thanks for the nice review, 1/2 pt. I've almost convinced myself I need to have that radio. I have only two concerns. Since I would be using it almost exclusively as a portable I wonder about battery life w/ digital tuning and that big LCD display. My analog SuperRadio III and Grundig S350 run forever but my digital CCRadio goes thru batteries like I go thru fresh shucked oysters. Obviously you haven't had yours long enough to comment on this but maybe someone else has. My other concern is no ferrite loop for MW. (What were they thinking?) Can't use my select-a-tenna w/ the whip. It's hard to imagine nulling out unwanted signals w/ a whip, have you tried any serious MW DX yet? I have an AOR LA350 loop for MW but then we're getting away from the portability concept. Otherwise it sounds like a great reciever.
 

Halfpint

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bobbybeachbum said:
Thanks for the nice review, 1/2 pt. I've almost convinced myself I need to have that radio. I have only two concerns. Since I would be using it almost exclusively as a portable I wonder about battery life w/ digital tuning and that big LCD display. My analog SuperRadio III and Grundig S350 run forever but my digital CCRadio goes thru batteries like I go thru fresh shucked oysters. Obviously you haven't had yours long enough to comment on this but maybe someone else has. My other concern is no ferrite loop for MW. (What were they thinking?) Can't use my select-a-tenna w/ the whip. It's hard to imagine nulling out unwanted signals w/ a whip, have you tried any serious MW DX yet? I have an AOR LA350 loop for MW but then we're getting away from the portability concept. Otherwise it sounds like a great reciever.
OK... It's been 1 week since I got it and loaded it with a fresh set of Duracell "D" cells. I've got it sitting right next to me and after using it for about 4 - 5 hours a day for this past week listening to a mix of MW (both local and some "DX?"), FM, XM (A few *short* `tests' to try and determine just which way to aim and where to possibly put the antenna.), LW (To try and see if I could pick up a few beacons [Which I *was* able to do.] off of my H-900.), and SW with various settings of the backlight (Off all the time, On whenever a control is used and then back Off after a few seconds, and always On at various brightness settings. [I actually tried the always On at the dimmest setting for a couple hours one night when I was sitting outside listening to some SW!]) and according to the `battery meter reading' I still have about 2/3rds of the `battery life' left! Now, as I don't have a C. Crane "CCRadio" myself, I cannot say if that is anywhere similar but, in comparison to my children's `SuperRadio IIIs' it *does* seem to be a bit of a difference as they are both still on their first set of batteries and they both use their radios for a couple hours about 2 - 3 days during the weekdays and 4 or so hours each Sunday evening listening to an `Olde Time Radio Shows' radio show. (I haven't really done a `battery test' between the E1 and my ICF-2010 only just a `synch-AM' and a very limited, against the already programmed into memory of the ICF-2010 freqs VS how well the E1 picked up the same freqs, type of `quick' test. [The E1's ability to also do DSB whilst in the `synch-AM' mode *does* make a noticable improvement over the ICF-2010's just USB or LSB `synch-AM' mode!])

Right now I am listening to KARS FM out of Laramie, Wyo which is about 100 - 120 miles NNW of me up over `the hill', so to speak, and I am using just the built in whip antenna and the DX setting and am getting about half the bars on the signal strength meter. This is a lot better than even the ICF-2010 or either `SuperRadio III' and about the same as my PCR-1000 with the `extra' 20db of amplification of the H-900 active antenna switched in. (Granted that the H-900 is being used *way* outside it's `range'. {WAN GRIN!} Hopefully I'll finally be able to actually use at least a `scanner' antenna for FM BCB reception once my RadioMaster AC-108 `antenna coupler/combiner' arrives later this coming week. Maybe then I'll be able to have a slightly more meaningful comparison off of the PCR-1000? {GRIN!} )

On `serious?' MW DX... I really don't know if one can really do `serious' DXing with even just a `factory' `loopstick' as such. I know that there are radios out there that can do quite well with the `factory' antenna but, even those benefit quite a bit from the addition of a good antenna other than the internal one. (The `best?' example in *my* collection is my Satellit 800. Just hooking up to the H-900 makes a big difference and using a loop like the `SAT' makes and even bigger difference because of it's nulling abilities. [A while back, actually about 1½ years ago, I had the loan of a `SAT' and I was quite happy with the improvement it provided even though it was a PITA to use with the Satellit 800 because of the *size* of the Satellit 800 and the room needed to `jocky' things around. I'm hoping that the TwinCoil Loop takes care of the `jockying around' hassles and does at least as good as the `SAT' did or maybe even better with both radios.]) I also know that there are actually people who do *all* of their MW `DXing' with *just* the `factory' `LoopSticks'. I know that back when *my* `main' `DXing' radio was an old `All American 5' `Monkey Wards' Airline radio all I had was the loop built in on the `Masonite' back cover of the case and I had a pretty good time and some fairly good results though not any `really rare' catches. Once I `graduated' `up?' to my first HalliCrafters, I still have that old S-38A BTW, things changed quite a bit. I put up several `longwire' (Actually in the begining just long chunks of wire not really true `longwire' antennas.) antennas and even went as far as to build myself a few different loops. Since then I've always sort of `longed' for a good loop but haven't either really been able to find the time to build one or been actually able to afford to buy one so I've `limped along' with what came with whatever radio I had came with. The E1 somewhat falls into the latter category with the built in whip though I have been plesantly surprised to find that I can pick up a fair number of stations I wasn't completely expecting to be able to. Having the ability to swivel around that whip does work for quite a few stations. However, if one is trying to pick out one that happens to have a stronger one off to the side direction-wise it is pretty tough going. Having a loop would help quite a bit, except in those cases where the `annoying one' is directly opposite of course. I figure that now I have another radio that basically `needs' a loop I am going to start using one again for any `serious?' MW `DXing'. Maybe I'll actually `get the bug' again and maybe actually keep some sort of log unlike what I did back when I first listened? (BTW, there *is* a version of the `SAT' that can actually be hooked up to the E1 that, if you don't want to get a TwinCoil, sounds like something you may want to look into.)

Just an `Olde Fart's' 2¢ worth and I hope that I haven't totally confused you. {WAN GRIN!}
 

bobbybeachbum

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Panama City Beach, FL
No you haven't confused me at all my friend. In fact I really appreciate your detailed and thoughtful responses. After all I'm another OF who still has his first Hallicrafters S-38E in my shack in full working order (except I'm hesitant to use it much). I almost bit the bullet this weekend when I saw Amazon had the E1 for $400 thru J&R in New York w/o the Yacht Boy bonus which I need like a hole in the head since I have a 7600G and 909 already.
Anyway your discussion on antennas was interesting. By "serious " MW DX sure I had an external antenna in mind. I've got some nice logs using an AOR LA350 w/ my Winradio G303 but haven't quite had as much success using that loop w/ my other recievers. My wire antennas work great for uniderectional reception but of course I can't rotate them to get the weak ones on the same frequency. Let us know how the twin coil works out. I've thought about that before. I believe it was designed by Chris Justice who used to be Bob Crane's chief engineer who also designed the original CCRadio. He did a great job on that.
 

Dorpmuller

Member
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
57
Location
Central Pa.
Just got my E1 yesterday. Really low s/n. (1867)

Only issue I found so far is that with the AC adapter I pick up a hum on some stations and sensitivity is good... but when I pull the adapter and go to batteries the sens goes all to hell. (using the int. whip)

Anyone know if this is indicative of a problem?

I tried calling Eton but, you know, forget about that.

Rich
 
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