eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net


Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | CCrane Radio 2 Help


Reviews Summary for CCrane Radio 2
Reviews: 3 Average rating: 3.3/5 MSRP: $160
Description: AM/FM/WX/2M HAM
Product is in production.
More info: http://
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the CCrane Radio 2.

TUBESAREKING Rating: 1/5 Oct 7, 2010 08:32 Send this review to a friend
Dissapointing!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm rating the CCrane Radio 2 as an AM radio, as it is touted as being an exceptional AM radio. Personally, I find the FM, 2M ham and weather bands pretty good. I also like the sound.

But folks, the AM is miserable. Poor sensitivity. I haven't opened it up yet, but maybe Sangean forgot to put the touted 8 inch ferrite bar antenna in :) When used with my old select-a-tenna (SAT), the AM comes alive. Without the SAT, its a dud. But then, an old 6 transistor pocket radio is hot with a SAT!

I have 2, yes 2 [I like them that much!] Sangean PR-D5 radios and they are really sensitive on AM.

I can only conclude that my CCrane Radio 2 was defective. So I contacted C Crane:

The CC Radio 2 arrived in good shape. However, I am very dissapointed with its
AM sensitivity. My Sangean PR-D5 is way, way more sensitive on AM. Otherwise
the CC radio is a nice radio, it just has very ordinary AM sensitivity.

The CC radio 2 does work very nicely with my Select-a-tenna though. With that
combo it equals, perhaps even slightly exceeds, the sensitivity of the PR-D5
with no auxillary passive loop antenna.

The response:

Dear Phil,

Thank you for taking the time to contact our company. Usually I hear the opposite when comparing the two radios. There are rare cases like yours where these results come up. Typical reports are that the radio is too sensitive and can pick up distant stations that were unintentional. With the exception reports (like yours) I can find nothing linking them; all have different geographical locations, different environments, etc. I appreciate the feedback as I want to be aware of locations where the radio doesn't seem to operate as well as others. Thank you again.

If you have additional questions or we can be of further assistance please email or call our toll free number.

John Wilder
Customer/Product Support Specialist
C. Crane Company, Inc.

A polite response for sure. But, no admission that my radio just might have been defective and an offer to make sure I get one in my hands that works 100%. Perhaps that was because mine was an orphan, and C Crane tells customers that they test out the orphans to make sure they work properly. Sure, I could have pursued the matter, but rather than pay big bucks to return it for a refund, minus shipping, minus Canada Post customs fee, minus GST, suffering an out of pocket loss of about $75 CDN, I kept it. It is now my clock radio where it does a nice job bringing in the local 100KW FM stations and Environment Canada's weather service. Plus, it reminds me how the 2M ham band almost ceases to exist here, as all the repeaters have, well, nothing to repeat.

But, like a fool, I saw C Crane promoting a final, unexpected shipment of the CC Radio Plus, the older but not original model [middle model, I guess you could say]. So I bought it, partly to see whether all CC Radios are junk, or maybe my "2" was defective. The "Plus" works way better than the new "2", but it is still less sensitive than the PR-D5. Conclusion - there is nothing wrong with the plus, it just isn't as sensitive as the PR-D5. For anyone who never experienced a PR-D5, the "plus" model seems like a hot radio. I do like it. The plus is a nice radio, not as hot as the PR-D5, but being able to tune in 1KHz increments, having weather band, being almost impossible to tip over when stocked with batteries etc. makes it a welcome radio in my radio room.

So, here is my theory on why my "2" works so bad on AM. I figure that Sangean messed up at the factory with the varactor system for the "twin coil" antenna built into the "2". Perhaps they used the wrong value varactor. Or, cooked it soldering it in. Or, may be they forgot to solder one or more of the antenna coil wires to the PC board. Good ole Chinese QC!!! Sometime I'll open it up. Maybe I can fix it, especially if there is an unsoldered coil wire!

Folks, if you want a hot on AM, modern portable, grab a Sangean PR-D5. Both of mine are the equal of my Panasonic RF-2200 in raw AM sensitivity. But, here is a hint, a lot of retailers sell the PR-D5 for $20 to $30 less than C Crane. I paid $79.99 CDN for mine, from Dell Canada, and the shipping was free.

Phil VY2PR

PS - I did have a C Crane Twin coil antenna and it is great. I gave that to my brother for Christmas last year and he likes it. I've been thinking of getting another, but after my experience with the CC Radio "2", I'd be concerned I'd get a dud on the "Twin Coil". So, I guess I'll pass.
 
KE6PID Rating: 5/5 Nov 11, 2009 15:05 Send this review to a friend
Impoved!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The CC Radio 2 is a portable radio for casual listening in fringe reception areas, designed especially for AM broadcast. Once the radio is “out in the country” in a weak signal environment the radio begins to shine on the AM band. The CC Radio 2 also provides better than average FM reception along with NOAA Weather Broadcasts and now 2 Meter amateur radio band reception.

The CC Radio 2 brings some notable improvements to earlier CC radios, the display backlighting is much improved now with three brightness levels, the radio now incorporates 2 meter receive with squelch, as before the radio includes weather band and FM broadcast. Gone is television sound. The CC Radio 2 includes C.Cranes “Dual Ferrite” antenna system built in for AM reception; weak signal area reception is notably improved over the previous model provided. The radio now includes a signal strength indicator which the original did not.

AM reception is outstanding, however the AM section is easily overloaded in urban areas; under these conditions there are several intermix products and IF images throughout the AM tuning range – this is minimized or eliminated when the radio is in it’s intended fringe reception element. As in the original CC Radio the PLL tends to create a “ringing” in the speaker as the tuning dial is rotated in the presence of signals or when approaching the sidebands of a station. This is not really a defect but an engineering trade-off, slower PLL loop speeds take longer to lock, but provide improved phase noise and performance, and the CC radio appears to use a single loop speed PLL tuning arrangement. Many mid-class radios simply mute when the tuning dial is rotated, the CC radio does not. This in realty isn’t a problem, but you don’t get the feeling the receiver is “clean” as you would when using a Japanese PLL communications receiver. The receiver is rather selective, this too shows a tradeoff in engineering, wider bandwidths will provide higher fidelity but poor adjacent channel selectivity, if wide enough the carrier of the two stations can beat together cause a whistle in the audio. If the bandwidth is too narrow the audio will sound overly muffled, but on the plus side adjacent channel station will not be as much of a problem, so the object of the exercise is to hit a happy medium between selectivity and fidelity. This radio was designed with slightly higher than normal selectivity while still maintaining reasonable audio fidelity on voice.

FM reception is adequate with the built in whip antenna – there is no external antenna jack for FM, a clip lead seems to work to connect a roof top antenna. Once this is done stations 50 or 60 miles away come in clearly with no background noise. The FM section appears to be more prone to multipath than the earlier version when using the whip antenna in strong signal areas. In extreme signal urban areas the front end once again can be overdriven and third order intermodulation products begin to appear – sometimes completely blocking reception of the desired station. A quick fix for this is to retract or re-position the antenna to attenuate the signal. Once again this is showing the engineering bend of the radio for fringe reception operation. A selectable attenuator could have been added to the radio, but that would not be expected in a radio of this price point. Although the speaker is monaural, if headphones are connected the receiver provides stereo reception.

Weather reception is very good; it is channelized to the 10 NOAA assigned frequencies.
I am able to get 5 NOAA stations in my urban location – the older CC radio would only receive three of them. With the outside antenna connected at my rural get-away I was able to receive one NOAA station 70 miles away, this matched the performance of my Icom R-7100 receiver, and bettered any consumer NOAA Weather Radio I have tried. The radio includes a NOAA alert mode where the radio will remain silent until a weather event triggers the NOAA alert tone broadcast over the NOAA station – at which point the radio sounds an alert tone and becomes unsquelched.

Two meter receive is good. The radio features an adjustable squelch control and 5 2 meter frequencies can be push button memorized. A strong local signal tends to de- sense the receiver in the 2 Meter mode; I was not able to monitor the output of a repeater while transmitting locally a few feet from the radio. In all honesty this is to be expected. Because the radio has a large speaker and no high pass filter PL tones are clearly heard through the speaker. It is possible to attenuate them with the use of the bass control, but only a limited amount. Some people may not notice this; it may be a consistent annoyance to others.

The audio quality is somewhat improved over the original CC radio, but there is still some underlying “grunge” in the audio that’s not present on other non CC radios. Not to say this diminishes the value of the radio; it is certainly good enough for its intended purpose. This isn’t really a pan, but just an observation. I doubt most people would notice. The radio is equipped with bass and treble controls which are effective. Volume is sufficient for indoor listening but may fall somewhat short in an outdoor environment.
Once again, this is an engineering trade off – tons of thundering sound, or long battery life, the engineers who designed this radio chose to go with a more efficient audio section favoring longer battery life. If you expect the radio to take the place of high end Boom Box sound you will be disappointed.

Other thoughtful features include a sleep timer and an on/off timer with an output to control a recording device like a cassette recorder. This is a very nice feature for people who like to listen to programs that occur during parts of the day when you might not be able to listen. Think of it as a primitive version of TIVO for radio. The radio includes a “line level” output that provides a consistent level for a recorder or amplified high fidelity speakers. The CC Radio 2 also has a line level input to allow for connecting a device and playing through the internal speaker. Other random features include a wake to tone or radio mode, a snooze function, and integrated handle to tote the radio about and a built in AC supply. When connected to AC the display backlight will remain on continuously, so if you choose to use the radio by your bedside you’ll have the time and a nice nightlight.

Conclusions: The CC Radio 2 is a very good choice for somebody who want a good high quality radio. Performance on the one I bought is very good for a radio in this price class, with a few caveats-the radio has overload issues in high RF environments. It doesn’t cripple the radio in any way, but you may need to work around some of the overload issues. Once in it’s intended element this radio really shines.
 
LRDHEAT Rating: 4/5 Jun 16, 2009 19:52 Send this review to a friend
nothing new  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
While quite sensitive, the "Twin coil ferrite", offers no improvement in sensitivity over earlier CCradio versions, or the SANGEAN PR-D5. More selective than earlier models, but not better than the SANGEAN PR-D5 at hearing stations +/- 10 KHz away from a local. In fact, above about 1100 KHz, locals can be heard over much of a 360 degree sweep 20 KHz away from the local. If you want the WX band and 2 M ham band in a bulkier package than the SANGEAN, but with otherwise identical reception as the SANGEAN, plan on spending $60 more for the privilege.
 


If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.