[RFI] Portable ~$50 AM/SW radio for dfing?

Jim Brown jim at audiosystemsgroup.com
Mon Nov 9 10:45:51 PST 2009

On Sun, 08 Nov 2009 17:34:37 -0600, Sam Morgan wrote:

>Anyone care to recommend a cheap (around $50) AM/SW receiver 

I STRONGLY recommend the vintage GE Super Radio. Do NOT buy the 
knock-off version of this radio after Thompson bought the rights 
and put the RCA name on it -- while it LOOKS the same, it is a 
greatly cost-reduced piece of crap. 

The GE Super Radio was designed about 20 years ago by a consortium 
of AM broadcast engineers to encourage AM radio. It has excellent 
AM and FM front ends for a low cost consumer product, switchable 
wide/narrow IFs for both AM and FM, a quite nice 2-way loudspeaker 
system, runs quite a while on D-cells (four, as I recall), and on 
120V mains power. It's midway in size between a portable and a 
boom box. It's a mono radio, nothing digital in it, with a dial 
cord. The built-in loopstick will work for AM DF-ing. 

I own three of the III-version. They originally sold for about 
$40, and are still available on the used market. I paid about that 
for my third (for the XYL's art studio) about a year ago, and if I 
found another, I'd buy it. When I designed the sound system for 
the Northwestern University football stadium (about 12 years ago), 
I needed an AM RX to put the broadcasts (from WGN-AM) into the VIP 
suites. I asked several of my broadcast engineer friends what they 
would use. The only recommendation, from engineers of two 50kW 
stations, was this product. The sound contractor thought I was 
crazy -- this boom box sitting on top of the equipment racks -- 
but it worked great. 

Of current, compact products, check out Kaito. I have a model 
KA008 that has some HF coverage and works OK. Another ham friend 
and EE retired from Bell Labs owns a higher priced model and likes 


Jim Brown K9YC

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