Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!



****** To send an email, you must "manually" type it out. ******
All information contained on this web site is subject to change without notice.
© 1998 ~ 2019 N9EWO, all rights reserved.

Information on this web site may be duplicated for NON-commercial uses ONLY if "Dave's Radio Receiver Page" is properly credited and linked as the source. Photo's / other files contained on this web site and used elsewhere (without prior authorization) is prohibited.

IMPORTANT ! : Use of  a browser "Pop-Up Stopper" (blocking ALL Pop-Ups) when viewing all pages on this website is REQUIRED ! This entire web site may become unavailable at times. If this happens, please try again later.

****** TO MAIN PAGE - LINKS TO ALL REVIEWS ******
***** Dave's Favorite Links / Archives *****
****** N9EWO's HF Receivers Previously Owned *****
***** Dave's Miscellaneous "Tidbit" Radio Stuff *****
Do you enjoy "Dave's Radio Receiver Page" ?
"Thank You" for being a regular visitor to this web page.

*** Donations Please ***
ANY donation amount is very much appreciated to help keep "Dave's Radio Receiver Page" here on the internet and updated.  Please see the "Main Page" for more information. "Pay-Pal" accepted. Even a $ 1. or $ 2. US Dollar CASH donation sent via postal mail directly to me is very much appreciated. To those fantastic readers who have made monetary and sample donations…. a very big “Thank You”  Dave N9EWO

Please make note that AOR USA has moved to a new location (still in the greater Los Angeles, California area). So all correspondence and repairs for USA customers should now be directed to (phone number has not changed) :

AOR U.S.A., INC
426 West Taft Avenue
Orange, CA 92865-4296
U.S.A.
Telephone : (310) 787-8615


 Our "Updated-Expanded" AOR AR-DV1 Review Is Available here.

*** AOR AR-DV1 REVIEW UPDATES *** (as of July 19) :
- "N" indication at power up notes.
- New important information with a SD card audio recorder trait that we discovered (light blue block in review text).

- Added my crude schematic of a easy to make VARIABLE HF antenna attenuator for those who have basic electronic build skills. Just a small amount of external attenuation will cure HF overload completely (that occurs during peak night time listening when connected to a decent outdoor antenna).
- Update (additions) made to our "AR-DV1 Wish List" (light green block in review text).
- Link updates / additions.
- Added photo and text on home built riser stand (see near bottom of review page)
- Fixed a number of typos including tuning "step" information

New v1903A AR-DV1 Firmware on April 10, 2019 :  Works well enough in our extensive testing (no real bugs noted). I don't see the reverse LCD display settings being useful for most owners (if at all). By the way, If you are in need of old firmware versions those are archived on the AOR AR-DV1 "Yahoo Groups" (files section, free subscription required). (Updated : Jul 19)

AR-DV1 Firmware v1903A Apr 10, 2019

Feature improvements:
- LCD display can now be mirrored and flipped, for special vehicle applications. (F + 7, down arrow until "LCD DIRECTION", turn mail dial for selection, + ENT)
- Addition of following commands:

 LU: Set or read LCD direction. 0 = normal, 1 = mirror, 2 = vertical + mirror, 3 = 180 degrees
TS: Set or read slot number for T-TC mode (0 = Auto, 1 to 4)

 (Following commands require time for read and write therefore only send one at a time and wait for complete reponse, to avoid data overflow.)
  MYSRCHBK: Output search bank backup file content
 MYSRCHGRP: Output search group backup file content
 MYMEMCH: Output memory channel backup file content
 MYMEMBK: Output memory bank backup file content
 MYSCANGRP: Output scan group backup file content
 MYSYSTEM: Output all receiver settings backup file content
 MZ: Write backup file info

  Our "Greatly Updated-Expanded" AOR AR-DV1 review is now available. New v1903A firmware (Apr 10, 2019).
Test sample #2 was much better over #1 a year ago with frequency accuracy.  (N9EWO Photo)

Restored Reviews : "AOR AR-mini" and "ICOM IC-RX7" (N9EWO Photos)

Appears it will be manufactured in China (NOT INDIA) by Tecsun themselves which is excellent news. With the E1 it was using Chinese Tecsun parts but poorly manufactured in India (with poor quality control to boot). We still feel that the old Satellit 800 was a better receiver overall. For one the audio was not loaded with spurious junk that plagued the E1. See the Passport E1 Whitepaper (that I helped write) and my e1 review here. But it is still a worthy performer and good to see a nice (and only) higher end HF portable back on the market. Now we have to see it it really comes to market (fall~winter 2019 ?) or just a passing "burp" ? Time wail tell ? See our full "Satellit 800" review here. (Updated : Jul 11)

UPDATE : Universal Radio in the USA is now taking "pre-production" orders for $ 349.99 + shipping for 4th quarter 2019 delivery. Feature list here gives the possibility of HD radio being included (instead of XM on the old e1). Please note that Universal Radio will not ship orders outside the USA or Canada.

 

Eton E1 to return as the  "Elite Satellit" with it's major flaws fixed.
Satellit 800 Receiver has much better audio quality to our ears (less distortion).
Both were designed by R.L. Drake in the USA, manufactured elsewhere. (N9EWO Photo)

- 5W RF power output in compact design and light weight :W 2.44” x H 3.94” x D 1.28”/ 9.95oz (282g)
- RF Power : 5W / 2.5W / 1W / 0.3W
- 700mW of Speaker audio power
- Real Dual Band Operation (V+V, U+U, V+U, U+V) , two independent receivers
- Simultaneous C4FM digital monitoring for both the A and B bands (C4FM/C4FM standby).
- High-resolution 320 x 240 dot matrix full color TFT LCD display (Touch Screen)
- C4FM digital with Automatic Mode Select (AMS)
- Built-in Bluetooth unit (stock)
- Wide-range RX coverage with continuous reception from 0.5MHz – 999.99MHz (A Band)/ 108MHz – 580MHz (B Band)
- Built-in high-sensitivity 66 channel GPS receiver
- 1200/ 9600bps APRS Data modem
- 2200mAh High-Capacity Li-ion Battery Pack (SBR-14LI) as stock
- Voice Recording Function for the received and transmitting voice (micro SD card slot)
- Simultaneous AM/FM broadcast Reception while monitoring two frequency channels

FT3DR "You Tube" Video's
Yaesu FT3DR System Fusion At Dayton
Yaesu FT3DR Introduction with John Kruk
FT 3DR Discussion at Hamvention 2019
Q&A on the FT3DR radio

Yaesu's New FT3DR "Handie Talkie" (click here for more information)
Icom released new IC-R8600 "1.34 firmware" on April 19, 2019 : USA 02 version linked here.
Changes in v1.34 firmware
•The MAC Address item is added in the Set mode.
•The File Split function that can record the received audio, depending on the squelch open or closed status, is improved.
•The Noise Reduction function is improved.
•Fixed an issue where the RX audio level may change when the bass level is increased.

We have tested the latest v1.34 firmware, some major performance changes we noted (see light blue block below) :
IMPORTANT UPDATE : After additional testing 1.34 firmware audio distortion is NOT as good as 1.32. We say stay with 1.32 if you want the lowest audio distortion. If the AGC Audio Swamping bothers you and desire better NR performance (noise reduction) then use the new 1.34. Many may never hear this distortion depending on the external speaker used ! Remember we use 2 way speakers with our IC-R8600 (see review text) !

N9EWO IC-R8600 TESTING with FIRMWARE 1.34 (April 19, 2019)
It’s improved in a number of area’s. Some of the fixes were undocumented in the 1.34 update notes.

 - First the NR (noise reduction) has been improved. Going above #2 setting sounds no more like“R2D2”. NR is now a useful feature whereas before it was a utter disappointment. It now operates similar to the IC-7300’s NR performance.
 
 - The “AGC swamping bug“(that I call it) issue when tuning across super strong signals or strong static bursts has now been fixed with 1.34. Excellent news here and appears to have also improved weak signal recovery slightly.

Only downside is while zipping through mediumwave and shortwave MEMORY CHANNELS or VFO, we now hear a disconcerting “pop” sometimes when we land on a active strong channel ,(this is quite annoying after awhile to our ears, it may not bother YOU).
 
 - I detect a slight added Bass kick with broadcast stations that have it (most noticed on the FM Broadcast band) with our classic Realistic Minimus 77 speaker. Yes we do indeed set the “Bass” tone setting up to maximum (+ 15) on AM/FM and SSB modes.
 
 - After extensive testing, HF audio distortion while slightly better than 1.33, was still the best with 1.32. So if you want the lowest audio distortion on the HF bands..we say go with 1.32 even with the AGC swamping still present. 


N9EWO's Icom IC-R8600 "Wish List" : Here again is my firmware improvement list that we would like to see added (as doubtful any of this will ever happen) :
- Provide a "second" VFO.
- Make the RC-28 (Remote Encoder Knob) operate with the IC-R8600 totally standalone (without ANY computer connection as like with the IC-7610). I would understand an additional interface box and or cable / accessory may be required for connection to the receiver.
- Allow 1 Hz tuning steps with the tuning knob (now this is only accessible with direct keyboard entry or computer / CI-V control). The IC-7300 HF transceiver can tune 1 Hz steps with the tuning knob.
- Incorporate a REAL "Properly Operating" Synchronous Detector (instead of the less optimum "Synchrophase" type currently used). Or at least improve the current one with fading distortion.
- Provide Wider Bandwidth Selections :
- Increase AM Mode bandwidth up to 12 kHz (or better yet 16 kHz). For MUCH improved audio with good band conditions.
- Increase SSB Mode Bandwidths up to 6 kHz (or better yet 8 kHz). This would improve manual ECSS audio by leaps and bounds. 
 

Icom released v1.34 firmware for the IC-R8600 receiver on Apr 19, 2019
We found it to be a mixed bag, see light blue block above.
(N9EWO Photo)
*** SDRplay RSP1A UPDATES *** (as of Jul 10) :
- Added a few screenshots of the software in the review (are not huge due to our limited bandwidth / space).
- New 1.32 verson of SDRuno and version 3.04 of the API/HW driver, came out on Jul 09, 2019 (not tested). Please note that API/HW version 3.04 can only be used with SDRuno (not with other SDR programs such as HDSDR or SoDiRa). Good news is that the older 2.13 and 3.04 can coexist on the same computer.  
- New Preview 31 of SoDiRa was released on April 16th. New features : SpyServer added, Wavefile browser added, Recorder + Player improved.
  Our "Updated" SDRplay RSP1A review is now available. (manufacture photo)

Sangean's DAR-101 "Stand Alone" MP3 Digital Audio Recorder.
Click on photo for latest updated review. (N9EWO Photo)


  More nasty household appliance RFI woes for HF reception.
This time it's a "Solid State" Refrigerator Defrost Timer.
We experienced this UET120 model by Supco.
  Appears that "ScannerMaster" is no longer a USA AOR Dealer. Did the AR-DV10 fiasco have a play in this decision ?
Will probably never know the answer to this. FYI : The AR-DV1 has NOT been discontinued by AOR. (N9EWO Photo)


Grundig Satellit 800 Receiver (for our full review "click here")
Designed by R.L. Drake in the USA, manufactured by Tecsun in China. (N9EWO Photo)
- Very resonable price.
- Operates well enough all around with plenty of decent undistorted receive audio.
- Fusion "Yahoo Groups" have reported a number of receive failures (not just one or two), the internal speaker fails but still works with speaker mic OK.
- Internal microphone sensitivity between analog and fusion transmit audio is still far apart and Yaesu should consider separate TX level adjustments for digital and analog, otherwise TX punch is good.
- Very good ergonomics and very easy to see LCD display and backlighting.
- Many may not prefer the electronic volume control, but works well. (The FT2DR has a top mounted dedicated volume control)
- No extended receive above 579.995 MHz (nor MW or FM broadcast).
- Receive coverage lacks SW broadcast (which the FT2DR has, AM mode only).
- The biggest "Bug-A-Boo" with the FT-70DR involves "stand by" current when off. Many Chinese handhelds suffer from this bug and the Japanese made Yaesu FT-70D is nasty BAD here as well in our testing. It's receive current consumption in regular operation is OK provided it's RX LED's off and battery saver is in use (however the FT-2DR fares MUCH better overall here as shown in the specifications). ONLY way around the excessive "stand by current" bug is to totally remove the battery when not in use (a royal pain in the rump !). Yes, this is even after the recommended firmware update !
- Cabinet is on the "chubby wide" side. For anyone with small hands you know what I mean. Not easily placed in ones shirt pocket either (unless you are a lumberjack).
- Included plastic antenna continues the Yaesu tradition here (that is a bit on the "ugly-thugly" side and only so-so performance).


Nice low cost Fusion handheld, but with it's battery wows / current consumption, in our view one is best to consider the more expensive FT-2DR even with it's older design CD-41 external charger option that suffers from a extremely high failure rate (very sensitive to ESD damage). Note : We have NOT tested the FT2DR model. To see FT-70DR eham reviews click here. (Updated : May 01)


The Yaesu FT-70DR "Fusion" Dual Band Handheld (left). (Yaesu Photo's)
Attractive price these days but in our view one should consider the FT2DR model (right) instead (see text above).

The TIVDIO V-115 (and it's relabeled variants) MP3 player does indeed have a "Shuffle Mode". (N9EWO Photo)

The Discontinued Icom IC-R75 HF Receiver.
Can be easily found in the used market. Click here for our extensive review. (N9EWO Photo)

Version 1.30 "latest" firmware for the Icom IC-7300 (July 20, 2018)
Also see the 2 page manual for Ver. 1.30 firmware (PDF)

Changes in v1.30 firmware
- A SET MODE item is added to expand the transmission passband width for the SSB data mode up to "100 to 2900 Hz".
- A SET MODE item is added to make the USB SEND/USB Keying function active immediately after USB port connection. The Menu structure is changed accordingly.
- Other performance improvements and bug fixes.
Icom released new 1.10 firmware on Sep 14 : USA 16 version linked here.
Changes in v1.10 firmware
- Remote control operation with RS-R30I.
- Automatic backlighting is improved.
- Some restrictions of program scan edge settings are eliminated.
- Skip function is improved.
- Duplex check function during the memory scan is added.
- Duplex scan function is added.
- Memory group and group link settings are connected.
- Channel UP/DOWN is available across channel groups in the Memory mode.
- Bluetooth® SCO Link can be automatically disconnected when there is no audio.
- Volume of a Bluetooth® headset and the IC-R30 can be separately set.
- Battery condition information is added.
- The record file management system is improved.


N9EWO's Review on the Icom IC-R30 is Available Here (version 2.6). (N9EWO Photo)
There are many user reports of excessive drift and other issues with the AR-DV10. "You Tube Video" can be seen here,

Also see these "You Tube" Video's :
AOR DV10 HF vs Kenwood TH-74e
AR-DV10 Frequency Error at 800MHz
Comparison between the AR-DV1 and AR-DV10.
Our AR-DV1 review here, which has it's own bugs, but nothing like the AR-DV10 .


It appears that the AM / FM Broadcast sections are using a one-chip radio IC in the AR-DV10 (like the IC used in the el-cheapo Chinese radios) ? It still uses super heterodyne circuits as indicated in the specification information, NO direct sampling is used that I can see (look at the block diagram in the brochure). It's NOT the same receiver architecture as the AR-DV1 (much different).

UPDATE : Carl S. reports to us directly that his AR-DV10 sample has these shortcomings : Flickering display, extremely low audio, low sensitivity and yes the dreaded drift issue. Has not enjoyed 1 good monitoring session with it. Strong "Caveat Emptor" .

AOR released 1808D firmware for the AR-DV10. Some kind of a "AFC" and manual frequency offset features were added (that did nothing to fix the drift issues). Also added  I / Q output. The drifting issues cannot be fixed in firmware as much as they tried and as reported with the 1808D firmware. I have been asked a number of times now...but sorry, we have no plans (or budget) to test the AR-DV10 (ARF !). (Updated : May 12, 2019)


The dreadful "drifty" AOR AR-DV10 Handheld Wideband Receiver (as reported by many owners)
It's NOT the same receiver architecture as the AR-DV1 (very much different).
(Universal Radio/Manufacture photo)
- Icom 7610 Heat Sink, Loose or Detached ADC Heatsinks
- You Tube Video : IC-7610 Issues: LCD Burn In, 'Heatsink Gate' & Others (clearly shows the LCD "Burn in" issue at the end)
- You Tube Video : Icom 7610 Heat Sink Check

IMPORTANT UPDATE : Our concerns were found valid. Rob Sherwood NC0B reports to us that the IC-7610's internal fan does indeed cycle with JUST RECEIVE ONLY use !! So it's the same as with the IC-7600 fan operation and noise (our full IC-7600 review can be seen here). I for one will NOT be making a IC-7610 purchase now or in the future (it's off my possible purchase list permanently). But I'm sure for many (most) this trait will not be an issue at all. This is a VERY IMPORTANT factor and a total deal breaker for ME ! As we have already covered in our IC-7300's review, it's fan NEVER operates in just "Receive only" use. NO fan operation is REQUIRED with any "receiver" for our very sensitive ears to this kind of noise !!

For many IC-7600 owners, after awhile with the fan inhaling air nearly full time in a warm room, annoying viewable dust can settle in between the front lens and the actual LCD. Removing that is near impossible for most. One can find references to this issue on the IC-7600 "Groups IO" list. Now....IF the IC-7610 will have this same trait is unknown ?
(Updated : May 23, 2018)
"Universal Radio has moved its operations to a more efficient location here in the Columbus, Ohio area where we can continue to serve our loyal customers. This will be the fourth location change since Universal was founded in 1942. We look forward to many more years of serving the amateur and short wave communities which Universal Radio has done for 75 years. The new location is a 30-minute drive from the old Americana location." .

Universal Radio Inc.
651 Lakeview Plaza Blvd. Suite B
Worthington, OH 43085

www.universal-radio.com


To Main Page