CCRadio EP portable

Post tags: | am | antenna | portable | tuner |

CCRadio-EP AM/FM Portable - A Bob Grove What’s New Review

Larry Van Horn, New Products Editor

While it may seem strange that we would be reviewing anything as plebian as an AM/FM portable radio, there is a method to our madness. For several years, GE offered their “Superadio” to the consumer market; it had good sound, sharp AM selectivity, and external antenna connections. The radio sold in the $50-$60 range, and was very popular with domestic AM broadcast DX- ers. When it was discontinued, we had a surge of inquiries for a replacement, but none was to be found. Will the new CCRadio-EP be the answer?

The radio has decent sound, good AM selec- tivity, wide/narrow FM selectivity, and external antenna connectors. It has the traditional, analog, slide-rule tuning dial which may be backlit for night viewing.

Its 4-inch, self-contained speaker delivers room-filling sound with notable bass and clean highs with minimal distortion. Separate bass and treble controls invite custom high/low roll-offs to suit the listener’s preference. If you have a set of stereo headphones, a stereo output jack provides that listening mode as well. There is also a line-in jack in case you have a personal MP3 or other player that you’d like to hear through a larger speaker.

The radio runs on either four D cells (not included) or a 120 VAC/6 VDC wall adapter (included). A snap-up/snap-down carrying handle facilitates transport.

The CCRadio-EP is simple to operate and should appeal to techie types with its unique “Twin Coil Ferrite” AM fine tuning knob. This is an RF peaking adjustment for the antenna input, depending on the frequency being received. It works with both the internal and external antenna.

It appears that the choice of external an- tenna is rather critical, and experimenting with optimum length and placement may be necessary to avoid “swamping” that tuning circuit, as well as avoiding common mode (ground loop) hum. I suspect that a shorter outdoor wire antenna would be better than a long one.

The internal ferrite loop antenna remains in service with the external antenna attached. If you were experiencing electrical noise interfer- ence, it will still be there, hopefully attenuated somewhat by stronger signal strengths brought in by the outdoor wire. It is advisable to attach a ground wire to that respective terminal as well to avoid AC hum and other electrical line noise. If such interference persists, battery operation and/ or relocation of the radio are recommended.

An FM internal/external switch allows selection of an outdoor antenna via a TV-style F connector. The benefits and disadvantages of high sensitivity become immediately apparent when switching between antennas. With the radio’s telescoping whip, distances of up to 100 miles are readily received at my location; switching to an external beam, strong signal overload clouds reception of weaker signals.

The AM wide/narrow IF filter selection is appropriately labeled “Music” and”Voice.” The wide bandpass allows more highs for in- creased music fidelity, while the low bandpass restricts the bandwidth to reject the frequencies not required for speech reception. Additionally, the independent bass and treble controls have a profound effect on emphasizing or attenuating the high and low audio frequencies.

The accuracy of the printed frequency dial on our particular sample was excellent for FM, but rather arbitrary for AM. Of course with any analog-dial AM/FM radio, you tune for best reception, not for what the print on the dial says.

The CCrane Radio-EP has good sensitivity and the 4-inch speaker delivers credible sound, enhanced by the separate treble and bass controls. Its AM selectivity switch is very effective for reducing adjacent channel interference. FM sen- sitivity is excellent, providing distant reception through its telescoping antenna.

With so many off-the-shelf AM/FM radios now readily available from chain stores and at widely disparate prices, it’s hard to compare them fairly. Taking the radio at its face value – an AM/ FM portable with good sound and sensitivity – the CCrane Radio-EP does its job well.

CCrane Radio-EP lists for $69.95 from
C. Crane Company, Inc.,
1001 Main Street, Fortuna
CA 95540, (800) 522-8863