UPDATE: I’ve been catching a little heat for this review. I have gotten several emails explaining very succinctly to me why this antenna is not very good and I’ve been slammed for promoting a Chinese knock off. However, know this……….It is INEXPENSIVE. Like China or hate China, because this loop is a fraction of the price of other loops for sale it is going to get some attention. Also, I’m sorry, I don’t care what the specs say…………The antenna receives pretty good. Is it the end all, be all…………….no. God no. But it’s not that bad and it doesn’t cost $300.
I live in an HOA which limits what kind of an antenna I can use for Short Wave Listening. There are a few options of which one of the best is a Magnetic Loop antenna. It has a relatively small profile and can even be kept below fence level and still perform wonderfully.
One of the problems with a Magnetic Loop is that they are fairly expensive. Like in the $250 or higher range. Most old timers or skilled antenna builders will tell you there is $60 worth of parts in the $250 antenna and that you should just hunker down, get smart, and build one yourself.
Enter the Chinese made MLA-30 MegaLoop and damnit this is my blog so it’ll from here on out be known as the MAGALoop. That’s what I’m calling it.
I’ve had my SDRPlay RSPDuo for a few weeks now and I’m prepared to talk about it a little bit.
First let me preface this by saying I also own an RSP1 and an RSP2 and while I think they are both fine radios I’ve always had a tiny beef with the SDRPlay devices.
Beef #1 is that to really pack a punch with an RSP device you need SDRUno which is a Windows program. With every fiber of my being I despise Windows. Don’t like it don’t trust it.
And while you most certainly can use an SDRPlay on Linux weird shit happens. Let me also preface this by saying that if you install the Non-Windows Workflow as they say in that Lego movie………..”Everything is Awesome”. Yeah, well, I’m not that guy. I have every SDR known to God and Man and I build the gr-osmosdr stuff by hand to try to use other devices such as PlutoSDR and LimeMiniSDR.
Ahhhh Shortwave radio. If you’re my age you probably remember it fondly in the 70’s and 80’s. Every home probably had at least one World Band radio. If you are my kids age you may not even know it exists or if you do ………… what exactly it is.
Everyone knows what AM radio is. What most don’t know is AM Radio is actually called Medium Wave (MW). The frequencies BELOW AM are called LONGWAVE. So it stands to reason the frequencies on the other side of AM are called “SHORTWAVE”.
Shortwave kind of fell out of popularity mostly due to the big old orange ball in the sky firing solar storms at us. The sun works in cycles and sometimes shortwave listening is really really good and sometimes it is really really pointless to try.
I’ve had this radio for a few months and have used it sporadically and feel like I’m getting a good grip on its strengths and idiosyncrasies.
It’s a good strong radio with lots of features. When I got this radio it was pretty much unobtanium except through AliExpress and eBay. I got mine from eBay but paid a few extra dollars for it.
The XHDATA D-808 is about the same size and weight and has most of the normal features found on the other shortwave radios in its class and then some. Of particular delight to me is an external antenna connector. I know a lot of people judge radios on their stand alone merit but I like pushing the envelope. I seldom use a shortwave radio without an external antenna of some kind.
First of all let me say that I own just about 25 portable shortwave radios and probably almost as many SDR radios. I absolutely love shortwave listening. I also love the various modes on shortwave such as DRM, WeFAX, Numbers Stations, etc. Also you never know what you are going to hear.
Somewhere along the line I decided I wanted to get a dedicated tabletop receiver. Some of the old military grade stuff really intrigues me. Some of that stuff costs big bucks. The government seems to have pretty high standards for HF radios and that type of radio is highly desirable.
I like CCrane Radios. I probably shouldn’t because they are among some of the more expensive radios out there but I find them kind of hit or miss for the money.
For example I LOVE my CCrane 2E AM/FM/Weather/VHF radio. I also love and could never part with my CCrane EP Pro (version 2). Great little radio.
However I DESPISE my CCrane Skywave SSB radio. It has AWFUL reception and it costs $170. On paper it looks great. In reality it sucks.
So it has been with some trepidation that I purchased the CC Pocket Radio. I have wanted one though since they released it because, hey, I’m a radio nut and I want to hold them all and try them all.
Recently picked up a new CCrane CCRadio EP Pro and have the difficult task of shaking it down. Why? Because I also own the CCrane CCRadio 2E which is a FANTASTIC RADIO.
So why did I get an EP Pro? Because I can. It’s true, I don’t need it but I’m a radio buff. And I own enough radios that I can form an opinion FAST on whether or not I think a particular radio is viable or not. So what do I think about the EP Pro?
First impression. Nice looking, attractive radio. Not too heavy. Good placement of controls. Also it has one of my favorite features for a radio……….a Line Out. It does not have a jack labelled Line Out, however, the manual says it can be hooked to “an optional recording device” also known as “a computer with Audacity” on it.