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ccrane 2e

Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
582
#1
Looking at the CCrane 2e primarily for AM BCB use. Really don't need another AM portable, already have several in the shack.
However, while they all seem quite sensitive, their selectivity leaves much to be desired. They all seem to have too wide a
bandwidth for serious AM DXing. Weak signals are rendered uncopyable by strong stations on adjacent channels.

So, my question is... how is the AM selectivity on the CCrane 2e ? Would like to hear from actual users.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
16
#2
I bought a CCrane 2e a while ago, primarily for long-distance AM DXing. I have not been disappointed.

I live in Georgia. At night, the CC2e easily picks up stations 1,500 miles away or more, Strong stations do not typically splash over to adjacent channels. The one exception is a local 50 kW station, which barely interferes 10 kHz away. So, the selectivity is appropriately matched to the sensitivity. The CC2e is about equivalent in performance to my JRC NRD-545 with a Palstar LA-30 Active Loop Antenna. The NRD-545, however, is plagued with noise problems not experienced with the CC2e. ($169. vs. $2350.)

Here's a site that compares AM portables ...
—————AM Portables Mega Shootout – 2018 Update—————
I have owned the Panasonic RF-2200, which he uses as a benchmark. I'd say the RF-2200 and the CC2e are equal in AM performance.

I'm not sure you're going to find a better AM tabletop.
 
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
2,604
#4
I think if you like the EP, you'll like the 2E.

More of an automatic version. :) Twin coil tuning is interesting to watch get optimized automatically, and I've had no selectivity problems.

However, as RadioJayallen points out, there is the possibility of front-end overload in the presence of AM flamethrowers. My experience is much like bobin's - despite being near to some stations when I go portable with it, I don't get desensed. Must be for those with *massive* antenna-melting power levels.

When the CCrane's moved from analog to DSP SiLabs chips, I think they took the time to do it right, not only from an RF standpoint, but also from an audio fidelity standpoint, which I've covered elsewhere.

Let me know if you pick up the 2E, so I can complete *my* collection with the EP!
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
582
#5
Thanks for the replies.
Got the CCrane 2e... it arrived yesterday so what follows are my first impressions.
The construction feels hefty and appears well built. The controls have a nice tactile feel to them,
no loose or wobbly knobs, good feel on the pushbuttons.
There is a detachable line cord for AC operation, no annoying wall wart.
Operationally, the AM sensitivity is great. Hooking up an external outdoor wire antenna does little or nothing to increase gain.
The radio has plenty of sensitivity on its own. That said, inductively coupling a loop to the radio did allow me to null out some local neighborhood QRM.
In the selectivity department, was able to clearly receive AM 750 WSB Atlanta GA with no bleed over from local 50kw flamethrower
AM 760 WJR Detroit.
Overall, initially very pleased with this radio.
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
582
#6
Well, hadn't had it 24 hours and already had the back cover off...
nice ferrite loopstick, nearly 8".
Somewhat surprised that there was no provision for an external VHF antenna
for FM, WX, and 2M. A RCA phono jack and 6" of RG-174 took care of that...
made a huge difference when the radio was hooked to an outdoor antenna.
FM selectivity appears to be good, no bleed over from strong adjacent channels.
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
582
#7
Had an opportunity very early this morning to do some AM BCB DXing with the CC2e.

The radio can tune the AM band in a minimum of 1 kc clicks so it isn't analog but it's pretty
good as far as digitally tuned radios behave as there is a minimum of soft-muting but it does
take a slight moment for the radio to "lock on", so to speak, to the signal as evidenced by
the "signal" icon (located below the signal strength bars) flashing a couple of seconds before
going solid. (English teachers take note, that was a "run-on" sentence.)

Anyway, was tuning around the X-band and couldn't find AM 1620 WDND South Bend IN,
"America Best Music"... kinda liked their 40s-50s format (although haven't listened in a while) but heard nothing.
Tried pulling them in last week on another radio with the same result. Thought the new CC2e may do the trick
but again... not heard. They may have gone dark ???
However, was able to hear a Fox Sports station fading in and out. Probably KOZN Omaha NE "The Zone" which
is also on 1620 but never logged it here before because WDND is/was between us.

Now here is where it gets interesting. As the sports station faded, way down in the mud and barely
audible was another station. Never got a positive ID but due to the Caribbean type music, it almost had to be 1620
WDHP Frederiksted St. Croix USVI. That's over 2000 miles on a radio in my basement with no external antenna.
 
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
2,604
#8
Nice report! Yeah, the slight locking on delay is the automatic twin-coil being adjusted. It's interesting to watch the s-meter go up and down as it auto-tunes. Part of the reason for me wanting to get the EP "PRO", is so I can tweak that knob myself. And of course the "pro" uses the dsp chips, rather than the older analog only series. The 2E of course uses the Silabs DSP chips.

I don't know if you use batteries, but with mine, even though I have large capacity 10ah nimh D-sized batts, I often use the more common 2000mah rechargeable eneloops.

But, like all 'Cranes I have owned, battery removal and insertion is a tight fit. If you do decide to use AA size nimh, make your life a LOT easier with spacers that can be angled in without ripping out your fingernails.

I use the Eneloop BQ-BS1E4SA D-adapters to AA. Quality build of course, but most importantly, the negative end which screws on, has a large conductive metallic surface making it easier to angle them into the tight internal battery holder. All other D-to-AA adapters just made me pull my hair out. :)

Battery charging has been discussed elsewhere here ad nauseum, but just wanted to point out the Eneloop D/AA spacers as a frustration saver....
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
582
#9
Just using alkaline D batteries, they seem to last forever.
The Ds in my EP are from 2015. :)
Of course, there is no clock on the EP to constantly drain the batteries.
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
582
#10
Surf's up...
AM 740 CFZM Toronto Zoomer Radio @ 1043Z "Walk Don't Run" The Ventures 1960.
Sounded like a local. Nice audio for a portable, catching the surf guitar sound.
 
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
2,604
#11
Well, now we're even - I've got the EP-PRO heading my way. The 2E is just too hard to handle on the lap with it's funky shape. So the EP-Pro is going to be my "laptop stereo". :) Your report gave me the nudge I needed.

I've covered it before, but due to the dsp chips in the later models, one can use truly high-fidelity headphone$ low-impedance (up to about 32/64 ohms) with the CCrane's if you are into that.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
16
#12
In the selectivity department, was able to clearly receive AM 750 WSB Atlanta GA with no bleed over from local 50kw flamethrower
AM 760 WJR Detroit.
WSB ... That's my local flame thrower. I can pick up WJR without interference from WSB.
BTW, if you use earbuds or headphones, the batteries will probably leak before they die.

Sounds like you like the radio. Glad to hear that.
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
582
#13
Overall, quite pleased with the CC2e. Best AM portable ever in my experience.
Bought it mainly for AM BCB DX and have not really done a lot with the VHF bands yet.
However, my initial impression is that it is very selective on FM as well.
Will put it more to the test on FM as tropo season approaches.
Meanwhile, just enjoying superb AM reception... what a great radio.
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Messages
6
Location
Puyallup, WA
#14
I enjoy my 2e also, and am constantly comparing it with a RF-2200. They are neck-and-neck most of the time.

Being able to offset- tune effectively with the Panasonic to lessen QRM is a big plus. The 2e just can't detune without the automatic twin coil peaking going bonkers....signal strength is greatly reduced, counteracting any benefit that might be gained from offset tuning. The auto peaking wants to home in on the carrier and just won't work well if you are 1-2 kHz away.

The RF-2200 loses out to the 2e when it comes to pulling in foreign MW stations from the coast, in my experience. The filter skirts are just too broad. Still, what a wonderful radio the Panasonic is to operate!
 
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
2,604
#15
I just did the twin-coil calibration routine for the first time mentioned on Radiojayallen's site reviewing the 2E.

C.Crane CC Radio-2E Enhanced

I suppose it worked, and was fun watching it do it's thing for a few minutes flashing the weather alert light while it scanned the band for a couple of minutes. I'm not super heavy into am, so I don't know if it made a difference, but it appears that this will calibrate the small differences between each unit from the factory. Hmmm .... maybe during manufacture, they just don't have time to put each and every one through the custom cal. Thanks Jay!

Of course the last step is to push the reset through the hole in the bottom, so you are going to lose your memory and settings. Somehow the custom coil cal is retained.

But no, if you are 1 or 2 khz away, the radio still prefers you to be on frequency.
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
582
#16
Have had the CC2e for a couple of weeks now and it has become my go to radio for AM BCB listening.
The tuning is different than anything in my experience analog or digital. What originally seemed to me to
be a slight soft muting as you tune through a signal really isn't. Rather, this radio takes a brief moment to
"lock on " to a signal. If you tune off even by just a 1 kc bite, the radio has to re-lock. This takes a little bit
of getting used to but the result seems to be worth it. Once locked on to a signal, the radio seems to be able to
hold on to the signal in spite of fading. In a side by side comparison with another radio, the CC2e was able to
hold on to a station while the other radio would continue to have it fade in and out. Don't know if this is due
to a synchronous detector or just good AGC action or the twin-coil doing its thing or what.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2012
Messages
799
#17
^^^^^ The CC2E has a DSP chip, if memory serves. Not synchronous. The DSP chip, if it's like the one in my Sangean, has an RF amp, Analog to digital converter, and the processing is all done via software/firmware. Obviously, there is also a digital to analog converter that sends it to the audio chip. I'm not sure how the software detects the signal. That is beyond my pay grade.

SiLabs DSP chips (and I think the other DSP chips do this also) tune to the antenna each time the frequency is changed. Hence, the re-locking.

Sounds like you've got a good radio.
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
582
#18
Have had the CC2e for over a month now and have been able to add a couple of new states to my AM logbook with it.

A couple of observations:
In comparison with the CCrane Radio EP (original), the CC2e has the advantage of the digital display and its twin coil
automatically tunes. The EP twin coil tuning must be done manually for optimum performance. The CC2e is slightly more selective.
Otherwise, both are excellent AM receivers with nearly equal performance.
Use of a small loop antenna, in my case a Grundig AN 200 or a homemade tunable box loop, did nothing to enhance the
CC2e. The radio receives just as well on its own with its large internal ferrite loopstick. The small box loops did help
considerably with a Tecsun PL-600. For example, the CC2e had no trouble copying WLW AM 700 Cincinnati and CFZM
Zoomer Radio AM 740 Toronto during daytime without an external antenna.. Both stations are about 250 miles from my QTH.
However, the PL-600 heard nothing but noise on 700 or 740 until one or the other of the loops was employed. The PL-600 is a nice
radio but it needs some help to compete with the CC2e.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
16
#19
The CC 2E is claimed to have better performance after the auto alignment procedure is done. I actually noticed the difference.
The procedure is done by
1. Placing the radio in AM mode, powered up.
2. Holding the "CLOCK" button down for 5 seconds or so, until the weather alert light blinks.
3. Tap the "CLOCK" button again.
4. Over a period of about 3 minutes, the display will count down from 1700 to 520.
5. When the process is done, the weather alert light will go off
6. Press the reset button on the bottom of the radio.

*** NOTE: BY PRESSING THE RESET BUTTON, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR CLOCK SETTING AND PRESETS. ***
(so write them down if they are important)
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
582
#20
The CC 2E is claimed to have better performance after the auto alignment procedure is done. I actually noticed the difference.
The procedure is done by
1. Placing the radio in AM mode, powered up.
2. Holding the "CLOCK" button down for 5 seconds or so, until the weather alert light blinks.
3. Tap the "CLOCK" button again.
4. Over a period of about 3 minutes, the display will count down from 1700 to 520.
5. When the process is done, the weather alert light will go off
6. Press the reset button on the bottom of the radio.

*** NOTE: BY PRESSING THE RESET BUTTON, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR CLOCK SETTING AND PRESETS. ***
(so write them down if they are important)
Did this procedure once, how often is it required or how often have you done the alignment ?
 
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