Country Comm General Purpose World Receiver

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by NVBeav, Sep 28, 2007.


  1. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    Country Comm
    Government Product Group
    General Purpose World Receiver
    FM/MW/SW1/SW2/Alarm Clock
    [pictures below]

    Specs:
    Band Hand Adjustment Spec in Manual
    ---- --------------- --------------
    FM: 76.1MHz - 109.6 MHz 80 - 108 MHz
    MW: 506KHz - 1741 KHz 520 - 1710 KHz
    SW1: 5.22MHz - 10.31 MHz 5.95 - 9.95 MHz
    SW2: 11.06MHz - 18.29 MHz 11.65 - 17.90 MHz
    Power:
    2 x AA Batteries (not included)
    3V - 4.5V DC (not included)
    Weight:
    Unit: <3 oz
    Packaged Box: <5 oz
    2 AA Batteries: <2 oz
    ------
    Total Wt on Scale: <8 oz

    About the Radio
    ---------------
    Earlier in September "Bear" provided a link (http://www.countycomm.com/gp4light.htm) to the above "radio" in an "Urban BOB" thread, so I decided to give it a try. For $22 it wasn't hard on the pocket book, even if you're cheap like me and don't have a multi-band radio/receiver.

    The radio has many functions including:
    - FM/AM/SW1/SW2
    - LED light
    - Clock
    - Alarm
    - 0.25 Watt built-in speaker
    - Headphone jack

    When the radio arrived, the first thing I did was read the manual (NOT!). It wasn't difficult to figure everything out after adding two AA batteries, but the manual is highly recommended to pick up small points about the power and antenna systems.

    The radio is supposed to last 150 hours at 40% volume, but I'm not going to test that. The LED light is supposed to last 70 hours (not going to test that either). So far, the radio has lasted about 12 hours and is still going strong. If you absolutely need 100+ hours, you should test it for yourself (or beg me to test it) -- I've seen other Chinese-made products that die when you turn your back on them.

    Surprisingly, the build quality is much better than I expected. It has a solid feel, but I still wouldn't want to drop it. When you open the battery compartment you can see a circuit board, so it may not withstand an EMP pulse. Since it's not all that big, a one-foot square aluminum foil wrapping may provide adequate protection (comments welcome here - I am not a nuclear scientist).

    The speaker, although very low wattage, provides surprisingly clear output that I was extremely please with. A minor adjustment on the volume wheel can increase/decrease the output by quite a bit (not sure if that's all that good of a feature). Plugging in the headphones (included stereo ear-buds) shuts off the speaker and routes the output to the headphones. For the headphone to be useful you need to play with the connection by wiggling it around quite a bit. That part is irritating, but I doubt it'll be used all that much.

    It's a small unit that's about the same size as a pack of cigarettes. It fits nicely in my work BOB and adds all of 8 ounces carrying weight. You could put it in a shirt pocket and not notice it all that much.

    My current plans for this unit is to keep it in my BOB at work. Although I may pull it out periodically to listen to something, it's going to be my emergency connection to the world -- albeit, one-way.

    Conclusion
    ----------
    For $22 plus shipping, this radio is intriguing to me, especially the SW1 and SW2 bands. It could prove to be very useful if you need outside information during an emergency. I may end up buying one or two more to have for my home emergency kits, but (ideally) I'd like to apply myself to getting a HAM license eventually.

    Finally, I could recommend this with a clear conscience. If you have only AM/FM, you've limited yourself to fairly local broadcasts (there are exceptions). Shortwave has interesting characteristics that appear to apply at different times of the day (others are welcome to chime in here!), but you can listen to broadcasts from extremely distant locations.

    Notes:
    - The web site says the LED is "regulated" and lasts 70 hours. It's not very bright, but it's plenty good to see a section of a map on a dark night. You'll want an LED headlamp or flashlight if you need to walk at night is hazardous places.
    - The antenna extends about 10 inches, which is surprising because the radio is only about 3.5 inches long.
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  2. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Nice write up and pictures.... I love this little radio and have about 7 of them all over the place in bags, in the car, at work etc... and a few extras.... and like you said.. for $22 its not a bad little radio... the antenna extension works surprisingly well too... also available at Countycomm.... great stuff![beer]
     
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Well done review. I'm more interested now, thank you.
     
  4. phishi

    phishi Psy-Ops Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I've got one myself, use it to keep track of the weather when down in our storm shelter. Works great, although having NOAA available on it would be a great improvement.

    NV Beav, how about a review of that quad toaster you got? Looks like it would make a mess of eggos!

    phishi
     
  5. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Awesome review NVBeav.

    I've fooled around with phishis a time or two and my wife has the same radio in a mini BOB in her trunk. She actually thought that radio was one of the more important items in the kit. Did you get the extendo-antennae?
     
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