Sangean ATS-909 (Not the "X" model) Repair?

Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
316
Location
Central IL
#1
I have a Sangean ATS-909. This is a radio I think I'ver had since around 2002. It has seen very light use -- I only take it on vacations, and it gets returned to its protective pouch when I get home. It is in practically mint condition and has never been in a harsh environment.

We just did a short trip to my wife's parents' place, and when I got the rig out to play with it, the audio has gotten very distorted in all bands and modes.

I really like this radio, and even though I have ordered a Tecsun PL-660 to try to replace its functionality, I am interested in getting this rig repaired, if possible.

I am looking for suggestions on who/where to send it for repair.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2012
Messages
778
#3
I have a Sangean ATS-909. This is a radio I think I'ver had since around 2002. It has seen very light use -- I only take it on vacations, and it gets returned to its protective pouch when I get home. It is in practically mint condition and has never been in a harsh environment.

We just did a short trip to my wife's parents' place, and when I got the rig out to play with it, the audio has gotten very distorted in all bands and modes.

I really like this radio, and even though I have ordered a Tecsun PL-660 to try to replace its functionality, I am interested in getting this rig repaired, if possible.

I am looking for suggestions on who/where to send it for repair.
First off, it is also distorted on headphones? It might be the speaker.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2012
Messages
778
#5
Unfortunately I don't know of any direct replacement.

Can you open the radio? The reason I ask, is it might be something as simple as a wire that needs to be resoldered to a speaker terminal. Speakers usually only go bad if they get way overdriven, or somehow get some junk in them in some way. They're a fairly simple device, and I don't think the 909's audio chip puts out enough power to wipe out the speaker.

Hopefully someone else here may have better advice than I can presently give you.

Good luck. PS -- I have a 909 (DX-398) and I just use headphones. I think a lot of guys do because it's easier to ID stations with headphones, and with a 909 you'll save batteries that way.
 
Joined
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778
#6
PS -- You might try contacting Sangean. They still make the 909X, and I would hazard a guess the same speaker may work.

Or one of the 909X modification people, like the RadioLabs company mentioned by the other poster.

I think I've seen them mentioned before in the old DX magazines, as a modifier of 909's and 909X's.

From their website, it looks like they repair Sangeans:
Sangean Radio Repair

Good luck, either way. The Sangean 909 is a great SSB, SW, FM, and MW receiver. Their LW section is good also. I have been able to hear LW beacons from 700 miles away just on the internal antenna.
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
316
Location
Central IL
#7
Unfortunately I don't know of any direct replacement.

Can you open the radio? The reason I ask, is it might be something as simple as a wire that needs to be resoldered to a speaker terminal. Speakers usually only go bad if they get way overdriven, or somehow get some junk in them in some way. They're a fairly simple device, and I don't think the 909's audio chip puts out enough power to wipe out the speaker.

Hopefully someone else here may have better advice than I can presently give you.

Good luck. PS -- I have a 909 (DX-398) and I just use headphones. I think a lot of guys do because it's easier to ID stations with headphones, and with a 909 you'll save batteries that way.
Thanks. I'm thinking about trying to open the unit and get a look at what's going on in there. Because this radio has only around 25-30 hours of use, I was really not thinking the speaker would be the issue. It is always in its case when not being used, has never taken a fall, or had any fluid spilled on it. It just comes out when I'm on the road and want to hear what's available to hear in that locale. No extreme temps, either.
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
316
Location
Central IL
#8
PS -- You might try contacting Sangean. They still make the 909X, and I would hazard a guess the same speaker may work.

Or one of the 909X modification people, like the RadioLabs company mentioned by the other poster.

I think I've seen them mentioned before in the old DX magazines, as a modifier of 909's and 909X's.

From their website, it looks like they repair Sangeans:
Sangean Radio Repair

Good luck, either way. The Sangean 909 is a great SSB, SW, FM, and MW receiver. Their LW section is good also. I have been able to hear LW beacons from 700 miles away just on the internal antenna.
Thanks. I have contacted Sangean USA and they are going to have a tech call me this coming Tuesday. He should be able to advise me on how to go forward. I was all set to send it to RadioLabs, but then discovered, thanks to Boombox's post, that the audio chain seems to be OK, making the speaker itself the possible culprit.

I'm all thumbs with soldering and such, so if it looks at all dodgey for me to attempt to replace the speaker, I will send it to RadioLabs.
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
316
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Central IL
#9
So I ended up sending the radio to Sangean USA. They put a new speaker in it and sent it back to me. Only charged me $6.00 for the return shipping. This is for a 14 or 15 year old radio!

How awesome is that?!
 

fleef

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Jun 19, 2010
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Location
Phoenix Arizona
#12
So I ended up sending the radio to Sangean USA. They put a new speaker in it and sent it back to me. Only charged me $6.00 for the return shipping. This is for a 14 or 15 year old radio!

How awesome is that?!
That is VERY awesome!! I'm surprised, honestly.

I gave that same radio as a gift to my dad years ago, he didn't own a SW radio at the time. I had just purchased it from the original Fry's Electronics in Palo Alto? I think it was, all I know it was the first, original Fry's store. I kind of regretting giving it- even to my own dad :) Thanks for sharing your experience with them, it's very uplifting and helpful to know.
 

mbott

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Oct 11, 2015
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Delaware County OH EN80nd
#13
So I ended up sending the radio to Sangean USA. They put a new speaker in it and sent it back to me. Only charged me $6.00 for the return shipping. This is for a 14 or 15 year old radio!

How awesome is that?!
I had a similar, very positive encounter with Sangean service with my 909X. It was out of warranty and I returned it to them because the encoder was behaving badly in one direction. While I was waiting for them to contact me with what it was going to cost to repair, the radio was returned all fixed. Very pleased with their service.

--
Mike
 

cherubim

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Dec 30, 2011
Messages
357
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Sydney, Australia
#14
The Sangean ATS-909 (non X model) is one of the best portatop shortwave receivers ever made. I still use mine daily for SSB monitoring and it performs exceptionally well even with a substantial antenna hooked up.

I also have two DX-398's and an early teal model ATS-909 as a backup. Yes, I am a bit of 909 nut :)

The ATS-909X is not in the same league as the ATS-909. The latter shines where the former disappoints on SSB. The DSP circuitry seems to add nothing to it except for better FM.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2012
Messages
778
#15
^^^^ Yeah, they replaced the FM front end chip with the SiLabs DSP chip. The rest of the circuitry looks pretty similar. Obviously the firmware capabilities are expanded in the X model, and the analog IF chip is different.

I like my DX-398, it's a great SSB machine for ham band monitoring, and good on FM and SW. It's terrific on MW and LW. My only gripe is the sound, even on headphones, but it's not bad.
 

GB46

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Feb 4, 2017
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Location
British Columbia, Canada
#16
The ATS-909X is not in the same league as the ATS-909. The latter shines where the former disappoints on SSB.
Just out of curiosity, what do you find lacking in SSB mode on the 909X? Mine is the only Sangean product I've owned, so I can't draw any comparisons, except with my R75, which is far better on SSB, but not a portable.
 
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