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HanRongDa HRD-104 - Improvements

Jul 2, 2012
I am a big fan of cheap AM / FM radios and have been for a number of years. These days I stick to those with digital displays. Over the years I have had some good success with these types of radios, others have not been as great for a few reasons. Based on my experience in the past I am now focusing on the bottom end of the radio market, the cheaper the better. If I can take a radio which is landed at my door for less than $15 and get it to preform even 80% of a more expensive radio I am happy with that.

Last year I cam across the HanRongDa HRD-104 on eBay, for under $15 they sounded like good value. I ordered one and waited, and waited, and waited. After six weeks I got an email from the seller, the radio had been returned to them as it has been damaged in the post. They were out of stock so I got a refund.

Just before Christmas I found these were in stock so I ordered one, it arrived last week. On opening the box I was impressed with the size and build. This is about all I can check.

Basically after I put in two AAA batteries I found the HanRongDa HRD-104 was dead, it had nothing on the display and would not turn on. I did some basic checks including a few different sets of batteries, nothing made any difference. I contacted the seller who gave me a refund. Now with the dead radio and nothing to lose by trying to fix it I opened the case. The fault was quickly traced to a faulty cable not being connected to the main PCB, this was fixed and the radio came a live.

Now for the second issue, this radio SUCKS for AM radio. I have a TEAC PR130 which I think works fairly well.

With the HanRongDa HRD-104 I could only hear 1 AM radio station which is less than 10KM away from me. I have a number of other stations between 30 and 200KM away, these are an easy copy with the TEAC PR130 at any time of the day or night but on the HanRongDa HRD-104 they can not be heard at all during the day.

After dark things improve slightly but even then very few stations can be heard. FM radio is a different beast and works fairly well. Based on this I opened up the radio and removed the tiny aerial. I then stripped off the end of the aerial wire and joined in some longer wire, running this outside the case.

After doing this I have joined on a longer section of wire. After some quick testing I have been able to confirm this has turned it in to a totally different radio. Last night while outside at around 8 pm I was able to log and confirm 1053kHz which is 2CA at a distance of around 700KM. I am going to experiment with different lengths of wire and setup's to see what results I can pull in with this radio setup.

Photos and Video: The Ultralight Radio Dxer: HanRongDa HRD-104 - Improvements
Sep 2, 2012
Try an external loop if the radio has a ferrite loopstick. That might also make the radio come alive on MW.