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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Etón Satellit Help


Reviews Summary for Etón Satellit
Etón Satellit Reviews: 4 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $$229.99
Description: The retro chic, modern sleek AM/FM/LW/SW radio that’s out of this world
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.etoncorp.com/en/productdisplay/satellit
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KT7DX Rating: 5/5 Oct 27, 2015 09:45 Send this review to a friend
Just got better!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I wrote my first review of this little receiver back in January 2015; I thought it was a pretty good receiver. Since then, Eton has upgraded the Satellit with new firmware updates. My main complaints were muting while tuning on the MW/SW bands and a strange stereo 1/8" jack for the external antenna which caused a 'normal' mono plug to short the jack out resulting in no signal.
Well, upon hearing that Eton had an upgrade and that they would replace/ repair the first versions of the Satellit's, I jumped on it.
I called Eton and talked to Richard Sharman, Operations Coordinator at Eton. While we were talking about the new firmware upgrade that I had heard about, I received an email form with the standard questions (name, address, description of problem, etc.) to send back; which I did. Within 24 hours I received an RA authorization to return the unit.
I received the receiver back in under two weeks with the following improvements:

No full muting on LW/MW or SW while tuning anymore, just the momentary clicking and very slight muting you would expect from an optical encoder with detents. A VAST improvement!

An almost strange, 'bluish' tint on the display lens (or display itself) that, while not affecting the readout or color in ambient room lighting, profoundly improved its readability in direct sunlight. The display is now readable at any angle or any brightness setting while using the radio outside. The previous version was completely washed out in direct sunlight.

I can now use a Grundig reel-up antenna that came with my Grundig YB-400PE which would short-out the external antenna jack on the earlier unit.

On the earlier version, the SSB fine tuning needed to be zeroed in order for the Sync mode to work properly and sound normal. This is no longer the case. The Sync mode locks in and sounds normal no matter what the SSB offset is.

The only thing Eton didn't do was increase the bandwidth while in Sync mode; its widest is still set at 4 kHz, 6 or even 8 kHz would have been much better on good, strong signals.

Apparently, you were able to check the firmware version by pressing the Reset and 0 (zero) button simultaneously and releasing the Reset button. The first version showed "RBDS--003"; it still does. Not really sure what this is or what it means. The S/N on my older unit was: 4B00938112S; the new S/N is: 5100418112S.

I gave this receiver a 5 out of 5 in my first review, mainly because of its size, sensitivity and sound. Needless to say, with these improvements, it's still a 5 and a definite keeper!
I love this radio!

Terry, KT7DX


 
LA2MOA Rating: 3/5 Jun 16, 2015 12:18 Send this review to a friend
It's OK - but just OK  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Been playing around with my new Eton "Satellit" for about a week now, and here's my review - harsh and brutal, and I'm not impressed!

First of all: The name "Satellit" on this radio is nothing but an insult to the real Satellit brand, made by Grundig. And that's it!

HF: My ICF-2001D (ICF-2010) runs in cirkles around it. Also in SSB mod. filters are a joke. The most narrow one in AM (2 KHz it's said to be), is more like a 4 KHz cheramic filter with wide skirts! Actually, the 2.5 KHz DSP-filter appears to be wider than the 3 KHz one. A joke!

AM: My ICF-2001D (ICF-2010) runs in cirkles around it. Nuff said. Actually, nothing beats my ICF-2001D among my portables for weak signal AM DXing...

FM: My Degen DE-1103 (Kaito KA-1103) modified with 110 KHz IF-filters runs in cirkles around it. In fact, a stock DE-1103 also runs in cirkles around it. The Degen/Kaito is far more sensitive than this "thing" made by Eton. Sorry to say it. Compared to the DE-1103/KA-1103, it's deaf! RDS is fast and good, though, if the radio is able to "hear" the signal.

Conclusion: The Eton is an "OK" radio for casual HF, AM or FM listening, but not a serious portable for serious (portable) DXing. Way overpriced, compared to it's performance! And for crying out loud: Dear Eton - please call it something else than "Satellit". It doesn't even come close to a real Satellit.

I give this radio the rating "3". I actually would prefer to give it a "2.5" but that to low. Sorry, Eton - wish you had continued the E1(XM). Now that was a real radio!
 
K9GDT Rating: 4/5 May 1, 2015 10:01 Send this review to a friend
Very Good, Could Be Better  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I agree with KD9AUR,

This is a fine receiver. It is not perfect, however. My only real complaint with it is the same as with other Eton, Grundig and Tecsun receivers when used in the SSB/CW mode: The AGC/AVC action is utterly miserable.

First, let's look at the AGC characteristics of a good SSB/CW communication grade receiver:

1) Fast Attack: You want the gain of the IF amp/AGC system to respond quickly to avoid being blasted by the sudden appearance of a strong signal. This means The AGC timing capacitor should be charged by a low impedance source and the AGC loop should be compensated so these fast changes are applied to controlled stages without delay.

2) But Not Too Fast: You want only legitimate signals to act on the AGC system. If the designer properly implements step 1, the AGC response will be too fast and will respond to non-repetitive noise, such as a spike caused by someone turning on a lamp or a thermostat kicking in. A judiciouslly selected resistor between the the charge source and the timing cap will increase the charge time to about one millisecond. Setting this timing is the easy part!

3) Headroom: For that millisecond duration, signals can become quite large and the receivers amplifiers need to remain linear and not clip. This aspect is a dismal failure in all of these otherwise excellent receivers. I suspect the designer determined or tested the AGC/Gain circuit values by a using a steady carrier from his signal generator.

4) Decay Time: The ACG level on AM is determined by the carrier level of the received signal. With SSB or CW there is no carrier. So the average AGC levels must somehow be determined by momentary peak levels of the received signal. In order to avoid an unpleasant inrush of noise between syllables or when the key is up, the AGC circuit must maintain gain levels during these 'no-signal" moments.

The decay time on a good communications receiver can vary between 1mS for signals with very rapid fade to several seconds for steady signals. Ideally, the decay rate should be adjusted to match the rate of fade in order to keep the recovered audio constant while supressing fatiguing background noise.

For receivers with only one decay time selection, 500mS has always worked well for me, even on multi-hop DX signals.

Suggestions for improvement:

1) By all means, fix the AGC!

2) Ergonomic suggestion: Setting the tuning rate is currently a two-handed operation: one hand to push the tuning knob and the other hand holding the left side to kepp the radio from sliding around the table.

Why not put a momentary tuning rate selection button on the front panel, just below the power switch? Doing so would mean operating the Satillit is always a one-handed operation, thus negating the need to put down that beer to make those frequent tuning rate adjustments!

Does anyone know where I can obtain a service manual for this fine receiver? I'd like to fix mine.

73 ;n cheers ;n beers,
George - K9GDT

Homebrew and Vintage Radios: http://www.qsl.net/k9gdt/radio/radio.htm
 
KD9AUR Rating: 5/5 Jan 31, 2015 09:11 Send this review to a friend
Par Excellence!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This radio was the victim of an unfortunate set of video reviews early on where the failure of the reviewer to read the manual and understand the radio operation, and his ensuing frustration and negative comments gave the radio an early and undeserved reputation. As an example, the manual clearly states that if the backlight is off, the first key press will always turn the backlight on, so you will need to press that key a second time to get to its intended function. If the backlight is always on, this is a non-issue. When you first turn the radio on, you have to remember to hit the power key twice. I did benefit from this circumstance, however, as I was able to buy a returned radio from Amazon for just $115.00. Since then, the price has gone way up.

What is becoming more clear to me the more I use this radio, is that despite the relative shortness of the whip antenna, the FM tuner section is par excellence. Equal to, and slightly better than my previous favorite, the Sangean ATS-909X. Weak signal FM DXing is a strength of this receiver.

The MW DX capabilities far outstrip any other portable on the market. Most of this is due to the lack of digital artifacts which plague other DSP Radio Chip portables, and a very low noise floor. Eton paid a great deal of attention to the placement and layout and routing of the DSP Radio chip and its associated leads to achieve this. In the Satellit, it is placed in its own RF can. On most of its contemporaries, the chip is placed under the RF shield for the display in the proximity of the processor and serial register IC's, etc. This causes the "digititus" you can hear on AM in the other radios (or so we speculate).

While most will be attracted to this as a SW radio, the fact that MW and FM DXing are not only possible. but a strength of this receiver make this a very unique radio.

The shortwave is also a strength. Testing I have done on the whip shows it to be able to not only hold its own with the best of what is available today, but in most cases it exceeds them on sensitivity. I have done some round robins with a table full of portables and the Eton always has come out on top against the G5, 7600GR, G3, PL-660, PL-880. It's closest competitor is the DE-1103, but you can still resolve signals better on the Satellit. All this despite having the shortest whip antenna of the bunch. Eton also did a good job with the SSB. None of the AGC problems that plague the Tecsun PL-880 are evident in the Satellit, even though both radios use the same Si 4735 DSP Radio chip.

Some other advantages are the exceptional RDS, the extra filters (why did they stop at 6 KHz?????), excellent construction and ergonomics. Even the little added "knee" they included in the whip antenna is well thought out. I like the integration of the BFO into the tuning knob and the visual aids in fine tuning SSB signals. This allows the separate volume control, and also prevents the BFO from being bumped and accidentally mis-tuned. The audio is superlative in its class, second only to the Tecsun PL-880 and the Meloson S8, and not by much at that. The display backlight can be made to stay on even on batteries, and even with the radio turned off. the display itself packs a lot of information that is easily read and viewable from almost any angle. I find I do not need my Walgreens glasses to read it wonderful.

My only negatives are: (obviously the muting while tuning, but only in SW SSB mode. I have gotten used to the detent and I like it. The lack of wider BW in SSB modes (although I appear in a minority here), the lack of wider bandwidths in AM Sync mode, a wider lock range on the sync detector (works better the closer to dead on frequency you are- but it does work), and lack of a true charging circuit for the batteries that does not require the operator to set the parameters. Tone controls were supposed to be available, but were dropped from the released design. The stereo external antenna jack is so trivial as to be laughable. A simple 3.5mm stereo to mono adapter solves this, or a more permanent mod is available which is easily done with simple tools.

To myself, the biggest drawbacks are the BW in SSB and AM Sync as my treble challenged ears really like the enhanced fidelity of the wider bandwidths. Tone controls would have definitely helped here. Were this radio for shortwave use only, I would not like it nearly as much. However, as I have recently gotten more into AM/FM DXing, this has become my primary radio.

This is not so much a brilliant design as it is a proper implementation of the Si 4735 DSP Radio Chip. It is everything the PL-880 should have been, but is not. Maybe Tecsun will fix the problems with the PL-880 in the upcoming PL-680. If so, that will be an awesome radio.
 


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