A Review of the Texas Instruments TI-1795SV

Just to be clear, I do not own the featured image on this page. I downloaded it from Texas Instruments, converted it from a .png into a .jpg format, and am using it here.  Therefore, I give all credit whereupon credit is due!

It was a summer afternoon in July of 2009.

I was employed at a lumber yard and hardware store in Houma, LA.

I had gotten paid that day, so I drove to the Rite Aid on Saint Charles Street, which was a former drug store chain, to see what I could buy for myself.

Also, I was visiting that store, because my cousin, Douglas Foret, God rest his soul, was employed as a janitor there.

He worked many jobs over the course of his lifetime, and passed away on December 22, 2011, at the age of 80 going on 81.

He worked literally until a day before he died.

I always looked up to him and I enjoyed hearing his stories and making him laugh.

So, I took it very hard at his untimely passing.

And visiting him was my ulterior motive for going to Rite Aid.

He wasn’t there that day, but Rite Aid sold so much more than just prescription and over-the-counter drugs, so I browsed around.

Also, my then-fiancee`-now-ex-wife was recovering from a major shunt revision and I was worried about her. Yes during this point in my life, I did love her, I mean I wound up marrying her. So, I guess I needed some distraction in my life. Might I also add that she wasn’t as mean as she would become, although I was in for a rude awakening. It was that constant mistreatment that killed my love for her. I do admit that the bulk of her meanness is not her fault as she had another shunt malfunction shortly after we tied the knot. This caused brain damage and altered her personality for the worst. Also, believe it or not, couples becoming mean to each other after marriage is one of the curses that God placed on Adam and Eve, the husband becomes inconsiderate to the wife and the wife wants to control the husband. The Apostle Paul, while under the inspiration of The Holy Ghost instructed couples with the following and I will say it even though it is quite unpopular by modern standards. He commanded husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the Church and for wives to submit to their husbands, and that is the mitigation to that curse upon married couples! God has shown me what my future and true spouse will be like and I refuse to settle for anyone else.

There I saw some Hostess Twinkies, a pint bottle of Borden Milk, and a Texas Instruments TI-1795SV Calculator.  The third item is what this piece will be a review thereof.

As mentioned before, for almost as long as I had been fascinated by flashlights, I have also been interested in calculators. I’m pretty sure the interest stems from my mom teaching high school math and therefore needing a calculator to accurately grade her tests and I was usually nearby watching. There was another calculator of which I carried early on at that job, and I also purchased at Rite Aid, a Texas Instruments TI-503SV. It stood the requirements for a lumber yard hand’s job and I was thoroughly impressed by its ruggedness.

The only other time I had seen a TI-1795SV, was in the aftermath of hurricanes because the cash registers in stores were down because of no power, so the cashiers would use this calculator to accurately determine the sales tax of all purchases.

So, I wanted to try it out and therefore purchased it along with the milk and Twinkies.

I promptly ate the Twinkies and drank the milk.

Then I went home and tried out the calculator.

I was pretty impressed by the rugged construction, large keys, and angled clear display.

I even carried it a few times, usually, in whatever EDC backpack I was using.

Over twelve years later, I still have it, though it needs a new battery. However, it still works if there is an adequate source of ambient light available. I keep it in a box of calculators which I have collected over the years.

Below are some of the Key features (with my commentary in parentheses)
Well-spaced keyboard with large, contoured keys for easy operation (well thought of, especially for those of us with bigger fingers.)
Change sign (+/-) key simplifies entry of negative numbers (I don’t see why a cashier would need this function.)
Square root key is useful for schoolwork (I don’t see why a cashier would need this function either.)
Solar and battery powered to work anywhere (This is a great idea, although replacement batteries are hard to find.)
Angled display for easy viewing (This is perfect for a cashier/business setting.)

Might I add there are functions on this model to store the tax rate and easily apply it to the total, which is probably the main selling point. I’m not sure why Texas Instruments did not mention that on their website.

There are also memory and percentage functions available on this model.

Finally, there is also a dedicated battery door to change the battery without having to take the calculator apart-I think this should be an industry requirement for all calculators, actually. My unit requires a single 1.5 Volt LR54 button cell battery. I wish that type of battery was more widely available. However, I pulled it out of my box and put it near the window and it powered on perfectly.

As I mentioned before, I think those who get the most use out of this particular model of Texas Instruments calculator are cashiers when the power to their stores is out for an extended period. These were extensively in use after Hurricane Katrina and subsequent hurricanes, especially at gas stations and convenience stores.

That means that Texas Instruments Calculators do have practical use outside the classroom, as I have pointed out a time or two before!

I give this product a 5 out of 5 stars but I do wish the colors were slightly different.

The part that is Silver should either be black or grey, but that is just my opinion.

All in all, this, therefore, concludes my review of the Texas Instruments TI-1975SV.

I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, and maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the Streamlight ProTac 2AA Tactical Flashlight

Just so we’re all clear, I am not the owner of the image featured on this page. I must needs to give credit whereupon credit is due and I downloaded this image from Streamlight’s website.

I had discovered Streamlight’s flashlights some time in my teens and first saw one in real life in December of 2005 when I was 18 going on 19.

A Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s deputy showed me his Streamlight Twin Task and I thought it was cool.

I almost bought an incandescent Streamlight JR in January of 2006 and now can kick myself for not doing so.

I bought my first Streamlight flashlights in 2009 and 2010 but gave them to friends.

The first time I had considered EDCing a Streamlight flashlight was in early 2018.

So respectively in January and March of 2018, I purchased a Streamlight ProTac 2AAA.

On both of them, the pocket clamp popped off and they were forever misplaced.

So, in May of 2018, I had moved into my current place after leaving my now ex-wife and was wanting another tactical flashlight not only for illumination purposes but also for personal protection. I did not want another 2AAA ProTac because of the faulty pocket clamp, but I wanted something like it, ergo, I decided to buy its bigger brother the 2AA ProTac. And that, ladies and gentleman, is what this piece will be a review thereof.

I was indeed going through a divorce in May of 2018 and I didn’t know whether or not my soon-to-be ex-in-laws would try to cause me harm. So, I felt the need to protect myself and I knew a tactical flashlight was the way to go for me.

Why?

Because they can be legally carried where other true weapons cannot be carried.

AND

I know how to deploy a tactical flashlight as a self-defense instrument.

At least it would give me somewhat of an advantage.

Praise God, to this date, none of my ex-in-laws or my ex-wife has made any sort of trouble with me.

I, however, know that Louisiana is unfortunately very crime-ridden and I feel the need to carry at least some sort of protection, when out and about, should anyone decide to make trouble with me.
So, at the time, the Streamlight ProTac 2AA fit the bill perfectly.
When my money was deposited on May 3, 2018, I drove to Tri-Parish Police Supply in hopes to purchase this flashlight.

Sadly they had just sold their last one before I came in the store.
So, I drove a few blocks to my local Batteries+Bulbs and saw they were selling one for the same price.

It was ~$50+tax.

That was a little high, especially for me being on a disability pension, but at the time I felt the need to carry some sort of protection.

So, instantly, I purchased it, then drove home and registered the serial number to my name.

Subsequently, I installed the 2 AA Alkaline batteries in the flashlight and turned it on.

I was amazed by the punch of brightness that this flashlight packed.

Also, the tactical strobe which was deployed by two quick presses of the switch seemed to be a winner.

And the other selling point the jagged, scalloped strike bezel also was perfect for turning a defensive weapon into a potentially offensive one.

A strike to the right place with this flashlight could be lethal.
I do remember one time I was at a church that I formerly attended and the power went out. I quickly deployed that flashlight.

One person referred to me as “Quick Draw McGraw” and, then, subsequently, “Captain Flashlight.”

Well, before that I had decided upon using “Mister Flashlight” as my CB handle, so I got a pretty good kick out of that.

Unfortunately, the power came back on seconds later.
But I did enjoy showing off.

Sadly there were no single plus-sized or supersized young ladies in that church for me to impress.

Weeks later, I traveled by passenger jet to Dayton, Ohio, for HamVention 2018.

I didn’t take that flashlight with me, in case those incompetent douchebags who work for the TSA would decide to confiscate it, even though there are no rules against carrying a tactical flashlight onboard an aircraft.

Instead, I carried a Streamlight ProTac EMS model and an incandescent Mini Maglite which I fitted with an amber lens.

I hate traveling by plane because of how one is forced to not have anything that could be even remotely used as a weapon.

I was so satisfied with my purchase that I EDCed it almost non-stop from May 2018 until January 2019.

That is when I downgraded to a Streamlight Jr.

And since then I have decided to carry a Fenix E20 version 2.0 starting in March of 2021.

The reason why I had downgraded was that I was looking for something that appeared less threatening and by that point my divorce was final and no one from my now ex-in-laws had made any trouble with me at all.

I still may carry this Streamlight ProTac 2AA should I feel that I may be in a threatening situation and I don’t want to carry my NiteCore i4000R, which right now is the best tactical flashlight, but costs double what a ProTac 2AA costs.

I maybe only used this flashlight once for a tactical purpose and that was to confront someone knocking on my neighbor’s door at a strange hour. I also used my Streamlight Jr multiple times for that purpose and subsequently was referred to as a “mall cop.”
Though it was just teenage boys knocking on the door, they got the message loud and clear when the 350 lumens of white light hit them in the face. They stepped back and shielded their eyes and when I realized that they were not a threat, I turned the flashlight off.

I think the perfect use for a tactical flashlight in the hands of a civilian is confronting someone knocking on the door at a strange hour. It could also be used in defense of someone committing a home invasion if all the lights are indeed turned off.

Tactical flashlights first off disorient the opponent, then they allow the opponent to be identified as either friend or foe.

It’s a much better tactic all around than “shoot now, ask questions later.”

And as much as I am against gun regulations, I think it should be mandatory for tactical flashlights to either be mounted on or at least used in conjunction with firearms so one doesn’t end up killing his or her loved ones by mistake when assuming the house is being invaded.

Here are some technical specifications of the Streamlight ProTac 2AA (with my commentary added in parentheses):
High for bright light: 250 lumens; 130m beam; runs 2 hours; 4,250 candela-(bright enough to disorient and identify an attacker or invader.)
Low for longer run time: 18 lumens; 40m beam; runs 43 hours; 400 candela-(provides decent light for most household and some occupational tasks.)
Strobe for signaling or disorienting: runs 4 hours-(bright and long enough to stave off an unarmed and even lightly attacker in a fight.)
Includes two “AA” alkaline batteries and nylon holster-(quite generous.)
IPX7 waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes; 2 meter impact resistance tested-(this would be ideal for special forces carrying out an amphibious assault.)
Solid State power regulation provides maximum light output throughout battery life-(get’s the best and most efficient use out of most batteries.)
Rubber push-button tail switch-(ideal for any tactical flashlight, might I add that it is a forward clickie.)
Durable, anodized aluminum construction with impact-resistant tempered glass lens-(not only prevents easy breakage but also scuffing!)
Unbreakable pocket clip-(this one is so much better than the 2AAA model!)
Anti-roll head-(this would be useful if one needs to set the flashlight down.)
6.14” (15.6 cm); 3.4 oz (96 grams)-(short and light enough to carry without weighing the end-user down!)
RoHS compliant-(well this is very ethical and I wish all electronics were automatically held to that standard!)
This flashlight is available in two colors:
Coyote-(good for desert-based warfighting [where a lot of wars indeed occur].)
Black-(good for all law enforcement, special forces, home defense, or any tactical situation where stealth is an advantage.)

My one complaint is that this flashlight is made in the People’s Republic of China instead of the United States of America, but I am fully aware that those two nations are increasingly dependent on each other. In reality, they both engage in nefarious acts against their own people. I know the People’s Republic of China is unequivocally guilty of some serious human rights violations. However, the United States of America, while claiming to be a free country has the highest incarceration rate in the world, per capita. Furthermore, I urge you, the reader, to name one thing or activity in the United States that isn’t illegal, taxed, or otherwise needlessly regulated. And, for the record, The USA is still one of the best if not the best countries in the world to live in. The shortcomings of our government all around the world are just a sad symptom of a fallen world. Remember, Jesus Christ didn’t die to save governments or the planet, but rather the souls of mankind!

So I can overlook that it is Chinese made for now at least because I have to admit it is made very well. I have owned it for over three years and it still functions as well as the day I bought it!

Therefore, I give this product 5 out of 5 stars!

I suppose this concludes my review of the Streamlight ProTac 2AA.
I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, and maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the BellSouth 1010 FRS Transceiver

Just so we’re all operating on the same wavelength, I do not own the featured image on this page. I give credit to whomever credit is due.

Between the summer and fall of 2001, my interest in radio electronics was taking off astronomically.

It began in the spring of 2001 but in reality, I had always been interested in radio electronics.

I discovered Family Radio Service in either late September or early October of 2001.

Later in October of 2001, I purchased my first FRS transceiver, a BellSouth 1010 Ranger Communicator, made by U.S. Electronics. And that is what this piece will be a review thereof.

I purchased this radio during one weekend of October 2001. I believe it was a Saturday. Of course, I was planning to purchase it for several weeks. The night before I purchased it, I saw several people using them at the Chackbay Firemen’s Fair.

When I got home, I installed the batteries and then began to use the scan feature.

Even though I wasn’t in a very populated area, I heard quite a few people talking on different channels. Some of them would answer me back in a friendly way, others would get annoyed that I tried to join their conversation.

Most of what I heard were spouses talking and hunters in the woods. Now and then, I heard people traveling in caravans. Once or twice I came across other teenagers.

I would soon discover that the maintenance crew at my school also used FRS transceivers at the time and that is how I began to befriend them. They gave me my first job in the summer of 2005.

FRS had two things going for it twenty years ago:

First, while the advertised range was only two miles, you actually could get two solid miles of communication range. This is unlike nowadays when the advertised range is maybe 35-50 miles but in practice, you’re doing well if you can get a few blocks of communication range.

Second, there were fewer people with cell phones because cell phones cost more two own and operate, weren’t as user-friendly, and could only call, text, and maybe play a few basic games. There also were very few if any people with unlimited calling plans. So this made FRS a much more cost-effective communications plan, at least for short-range communications.

Now in 2021, I am in a slightly more densely populated area and can set an FRS transceiver to scan and won’t hear anything for hours or if I do, it’s a GMRS repeater on one of the shared channels. Most of FRS traffic is antenna tower climbers and land surveyors. Although on Christmas Day, I’ll hear some kids and teenagers playing on the FRS transceivers they got for Christmas.

The BellSouth 1010 had amazing audio quality and despite being very affordable was built pretty solidly, although the belt clip was flimsy. It could also transmit the signal a solid two miles and hear units two miles away. It featured all fourteen channels (which was the legal limit back then), a backlit LCD, a scan function, volume control that was loud enough even on the lowest setting, a light to indicate the unit was transmitting, and a call tone feature. It operated on 4 AAA batteries and the run time was pretty generous for its time. An optional charging adaptor and batteries could be purchased. There were no CTCSS or DCS tones, but the radio made up for it with range and audio quality.

During Thanksgiving Week of 2001, we were eating at New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Company when my parents’ car had an electrical problem. I used the radio to summon help and one person answered me and offered but the problem with the car was too complex, so eventually, they had to get it towed to a mechanic.

I had realized there were even more FRS users in larger metropolitan areas, much to my delight.

I carried this radio with me until August of 2002 when I upgraded to a BellSouth 2231 and I tried out several other FRS radios since. I have since bought duplicates for sentimental reasons.

It was FRS that got my feet wet with radio communications and would be one of the catalysts that caused me to get an Amateur Radio license. I now hold a General Class license and plan to start studying for my Extra Class.

I wish FRS transceivers were made this well in 2021. And it would be nice to add some of the modern features such as CTCSS, DCS, multiple call tones, waterproofing, weather radio, USB charging, to name a few.

If you’re wondering what FRS transceiver I am currently using, I now use a Motorola Talkabout T600.

For years though, I used a Motorola Talkabout T6250, which I initially purchased in October of 2003 and I wish Motorola would bring that model back!

I should write a review on both of those radios because I do like them as well. Stay tuned!

By the way, I give this radio 4.75 out of 5 stars! I took off a quarter-point because of the flimsy belt clip.

I suppose this concludes my review of the BellSouth 1010 Ranger Communicator.

I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, entertained, and enlightened.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the Coby CX-17 AM/FM/Weather/TV Audio Receiver

Just to let everyone know, I do not own the featured image on this page. Rather I downloaded it from eBay. I give credit to whomever credit is due!

It was Labor Day September 3, 2001. I was out shopping with my Mom because I had some extra cash on me from doing various odd jobs.

I was hoping to buy some CDs with that cash, but the employees of the music store refused to sell them to me because I wasn’t old enough and the lyrics were explicit.

In the previous summer, I had begun to cultivate my interests in all radio electronics. At that point, I was amazed by the fact that television signals could still be received over the air for free. I wanted to experiment with that. I had even asked my parents to put up a television antenna so I could experiment but they flat out refused. They were never supportive of my electronics interests at all, but they sure call me up whenever one of their electronics is on the blink. They had subscribed to cable since before I was born and they didn’t like the idea of watching over-the-air television. To this day, they still don’t. Must be a Boomer thing…

So, while my Mom was shopping at Southland Mall, I had wandered over to Big Lot’s which had recently been established there and was only a few feet away. In those days Big Lot’s had a much better selection of electronics than they do now.

I had seen a few interesting things in there but what caught my attention was a Coby CX-17. Not only could it receive standard AM and FM broadcasts but also the audio from TV channels 2-13 and Weather Radio broadcasts!

And that radio receiver is what this piece will be a review thereof.

Technically this was my first Weather Radio, although I never used it for that purpose nor do I remember it ever picking up the weather broadcasts.

I wanted it to be able to hear the television audio, so I could experiment with that.

When I got home, I remember standing near the dog kennel in my parents’ backyard and listening to FM. I don’t recall which station I was hearing but it was playing, “Push” by Matchbox 20. I did appreciate the audio quality when it was indeed able to lock onto a station.

In the following days, I tried to be able to hear the television signals with varying degrees of success. The stations that were easiest to hear were WWL-TV which was on Channel 4 and WDSU-TV which was on Channel 6. I could also hear WYES which was on Channel 12.

Unfortunately now, this radio is mostly obsolete because television audio signals are no longer analog FM as they were before June 12, 2009. The FM selection is nowhere near as good as the selection on even the cheapest dedicated FM receivers. This is because it shares the bandwidth selection with TV channels 2-6. So there’s not much space for FM and therefore very poor selectivity.

I think I was only able to receive the stronger stations on AM but I wasn’t much of an AM listener at the time.

For the Weather Band, I don’t ever recall hearing a weather broadcast on this radio, but maybe I never tuned it down to that position, since TV Channel 13 was at one end of the band and Weather was at the other end. Also, this isn’t the strongest of receivers and the two weather broadcast stations nearest me were about 40 and 50 miles away, respectively.

On Friday, September 7, 2001, there was a teacher conference and so I was with my siblings and younger cousins at our Grandparents’ house. I was experimenting with that radio. The day was quite stormy and we were in between thunderstorms. I commented on how my radio is picking up a lot of static, so I think another storm is coming. My Paw Paw commented that the static had happened because he “just expelled a gas.” For those that knew my Paw Paw, you would all understand, but for those who didn’t, he was constantly cracking dad jokes or toilet jokes. He probably made me laugh more than anyone else.

A day later my brother had a bantam football match in the Superdome and I stayed with my Grandparents again. I was trying to improve the reception with aluminum foil but only had marginal results. There was some tennis match being covered, I remember that.

So this wasn’t the best of radio receivers, not by a long shot.

However, it does have sentimental value one for it helping me further cultivate my interest in radio electronics. And this was the radio I had with me on September 11, 2001. I don’t think any American alive on that horrible day will ever forget where they were when those radical islamic terrorists carried out their egregious attacks.

I was in class, an Eighth Grader at Vandebilt Catholic High School.

I did have that radio in my pocket throughout the day.

I wasn’t carrying a flashlight at that point in my life out of fear of harassment for liking flashlights.

Carrying a knife or multi-tool to school would have meant automatic expulsion and criminal charges.

One girl pointed out that I had a radio in my pocket during lunch and she threatened to tattle on me. I have no idea how I talked her out of it.

Later that day, after school I stood on my parents’ driveway and tuned in WWL-TV’s audio signal. Dan Rather was covering the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.

I carried that radio with me everywhere until October of 2001 when I began to get interested in FRS and bought a BellSouth 1010 Communicator. I should do a review on that radio as well.

My Cob CX-17 broke some time a little over a year later and I was disappointed because of the sentimental value it had.

Earlier today, I ordered another one on eBay, for old times sake. I plan to keep it in a safe place when it comes in.

If I had to give a rating of it, I would give it a 3 out of five stars. While it is very compact and does indeed look cool. And yes the audio is fairly decent. But the selectivity, especially on FM is poor and the receiver sensitivity especially on Weather Band is also poor. This radio would have been more appropriate for those who dwelled in a major city, not someone living on the broadcast fringe like myself.

All in all, I guess this concludes my review of the Coby CX-17.

I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, and maybe, somehow even entertained.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

Hurricane Katrina Ruined Radio Broadcasting in New Orleans

I was always interested in radio.

Starting at the age of eight going on nine, I listened to the radio regularly. From that age until the age of fifteen or sixteen, I mostly listened to stations that played Top 40 music.

Starting at age 15, I began to become interested in talk radio, though I didn’t start to listen to it on the regular until the Summer of 2003 at the age of sixteen and a half.

Part of this was a desire to experiment with AM radio and the other part of this, was because I was starting to think politically.

By the Fall of 2003, I was listening to talk radio more than music radio. I was then sixteen going on seventeen.

Because of many policies of the Bush Administration (2001-2009), I remember commenting in my World History Class that America had become “a police state.” I was echoing what former Libertarian Presidential Candidate Harry Browne, God rest his soul, said on his talk show. The teacher barked back saying that I “listen to too much talk radio.” He was right about me listening to too much talk radio, but, America during the Second Bush Administration had become very much like a Fascist police state. Do me a favor and read the 14 Points of Fascism and see for yourself. Another time, this same teacher personally went up to my desk and referred to the French as “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” because they refused to participate in the Iraq War. He durn well knew that nationality of my surname is French and he frequently made fun of it.

Okay, I may seem off topic but I’m going somewhere with this.

Between the time I started listening to talk radio in 2003 until late August of 2005, there was a lot of awesome talk radio content to choose from in the New Orleans market and even in adjoining markets.

A very wicked woman named Katrina ruined all of this and many other things. Some things have rebuilt themselves out of the ruins, but unfortunately, talk radio in New Orleans has not. Even most of the current content on WWL is pretty boring for someone like me.

In this piece, I will try to list the stations in the New Orleans market that was once very entertaining and informative but have since either gone dark or were converted to something more boring.

I think the best way to do this is to list by frequency. I will be going mostly by memory but I do have the assistance of good ole Wikipedia. Some stations are still in operation, but during that time I didn’t listen to them. Keep in mind that the period I am referencing for these stations is between June of 2003 and late August/early September 2005.

Here we go:

600 kHz WVOG-So I didn’t listen to this station until after I came to Christ in July of 2004. Afterward, I listened to it quite a bit until I began to backslide for the first time in March of 2005.

690 kHz WTIX/WIST (now WQNO)-I discovered this station in October of 2003 and it was carrying a show hosted by former Libertarian Presidential Candidate Harry Browne. The station had a feed from a radio network that carried other interesting shows. I wish I could remember the name of that network. Harry Browne came on every night at 10:00 PM Central Time but before Harry Browne came on, there was a show about astronomy that I would tune in while waiting for Harry Browne to come on. I almost began to cultivate an interest in astronomy just from listening to that show. At the top of every hour, there was a news broadcast from CNN Radio and at the time CNN was more moderate, very much unlike today. In April or May of 2004, the station became more conservative, which I was opposed to conservative values mostly because I had not yet come to Christ and I was young. Furthermore, I was staunchly against blindly following those in authority just because they were indeed in authority. It seems that so many around me blindly supported George W. Bush, no matter what, and I was appalled. The station began playing news broadcasts on the hour from Fox News, which I eschewed. Another thing I eschewed was so much dedication to sports on that station. There were still some talk programs but only aired while I was in school. One program that stayed on until maybe Katrina was a local show hosted by Gerry McCann who was an electronics technician in the New Orleans area. Seriously why can’t there be more shows like these? By the time Katrina did her evil deeds, I didn’t listen to this station. 690 kHz used to put out 20,000 Watts but now puts out less than 10,000 during the day and even less power at night. I’m not complaining at all because the station now carries catholic community radio and also some feeds from ewtn. I cannot endorse anything catholic anymore and maintain a clear conscience.

750 kHz KKNO-I received this station a couple of times whilst trying to receive WSB out of Atlanta, which is on the same channel.

800 kHz WSHO-I didn’t listen to this station until after coming back to Christ in late 2008, so I cannot comment much on what it was like pre-Katrina. I know now that I enjoy Christian music and some of the Bible studies aired on this station.

870 kHz WWL-my Dad listened to this station a lot all while I was growing up, especially during sporting events and whenever preparing for a hurricane. I discovered “Newswatch Magazine” hosted by David J. Smith on this station in the Summer of 2003 but didn’t listen to his show on the regular until the Spring of 2004. That show was a contributing factor in me having a mental breakdown in June of 2004 but that mental breakdown was also a major factor in making me realize that I am a sinner and therefore my need for Christ. I finally came to Christ in July of 2004. I always thought there was way too much sports programming on WWL and of course, I think sports are boring. This station was very helpful though in relaying information during and in the aftermath of Katrina. While I was with my family in Bossier City, Louisiana, they were wondering if they could find out what was going on in New Orleans. So after sunset, I was able to tune in to WWL and they were all amazed.

940 kHz WYLD-I never really listened to this station for any lengthy amount of time.

990 kHz WGSO-I could only catch this station sometimes and only on higher-end radios such as a car radio. I remember it being a business format. I also remember it carried the audio feed to WWL-TV newscasts.

1010 kHz WCKW-I never really listened to this station during that time and it was many times difficult to catch anyway.

1060 kHz WLNO-I did listen to this station quite a bit after coming to Christ in July 2004. In fact, it was on this station at some point in the Fall of 2004 that I was listening to Irwin Baxter’s program about the end times and it was through his program that the roman catholic church was exposed. He stated that the roman catholic church is indeed the great harlot mentioned in the 17th Chapter of Revelation. I didn’t take this too well since I was going to a catholic school at the time and because of my young and inexperienced Christian faith, this was a factor in my backsliding.

1230 kHz WBOK-I don’t ever recall listening to this station during that time, nor do I think the radios I had were sensitive enough to receive it.

1280 kHz WODT-I never had any reason to listen to this station at the time because it was a sports station and as I’ve mentioned before I think sports are boring.

1350 kHz WSMB (now WWWL)-I listened to this station extensively starting in the Spring of 2004 until some time in 2005. Besides WTIX/WIST I think this station was most adversely affected by Katrina. I initially started by listening to Coast to Coast AM on this station. Then I had a mental breakdown in June of 2004. I started listening to the radio again in the Fall of 2004. I remember shows such as “Dig In” with Chef Duke (the theme song was cool and catchy), The Phil Hendrie Show, and others. I listened to this station the most in April and May of 2005, then later secured my first job and didn’t have as much time for radio.

1400 kHz WFPR-I don’t recall even knowing about this station until I was doing my research for this piece.

1540 kHz KGLA (now WFNO)-I don’t speak or understand Spanish, so I never listened to this station.

1560 kHz WSLA-I’ve only caught this a handful of times during this period and when I did, it was almost always sports, so I quickly lost interest.

I could also list the FM stations but they change formats much more frequently than their AM counterparts. In my mid to late teens, I was more interested in talk radio than music radio because while Pop and Punk/Indie music was pretty good back then, there weren’t too many stations in my area that would play it. Most of the stations in my area that were supposed to play Top 40 music (including Pop and Punk/Indie) instead were playing more Rap music. And Rap music got stupid some time around late 2003 or early 2004. Amazingly around this time, Country music was pretty good, but I would listen to that genre on a station closer to me. Unfortunately now, and since about 2013, Country music has become stupid. The only current Pop artist that I am even remotely familiar with is Billie Eilish and while she’s very genuine, she can be weird at times, but maybe I am no longer into what is considered trendy. I never really was. In the late 2000s and throughout the 2010s decade Punk/Indie music was awesome but I’m ashamed to admit that I’m not familiar with any of their current hits. Rap, these days, is sometimes stupid yet some of it is funny too. I am most familiar with Contemporary Christian Music these days and I do indeed like it, which is amazing because there was a time I didn’t like it, yes even after becoming a Christian and years afterward. The genre of music that I liked most in my mid to late teen years was New Age because it did indeed help me early on as a writer. I have recently stopped listening to it because I am a Christian and such music hinders my relationship with Christ.

Okay, enough about my music tastes, this piece is supposed to be about how radio broadcasting in New Orleans was ruined after Katrina and has not recovered at all.

I wish there were some stations in the New Orleans market that carried talk shows about politics, history, science, technology, culture, the arts, literature, health, and other intelligent topics. And have them from diverse viewpoints, not just one. Sure there is WWNO which carries NPR for most of its broadcast cycle, but NPR is way too biased these days, unfortunately. I wish there were more stations to choose from. And I wish there weren’t so many sports stations, especially since there is hardly any other type of programming. New Orleans is a very culture-rich city and is the perfect home for visual artists, musicians, writers, and thinkers. The City is also a wonderful place for those in the medical and technology sectors. So I think the broadcasters owe good radio content to the people of New Orleans and those in the surrounding communities. I will admit that a lot of people do indeed love The New Orleans Saints and I certainly would want those people to have a medium for all topics concerning their team. We all know that there is a whole lot more to New Orleans than just sports. While I think sports are boring and pointless, I get that they make many people happy. Of course, these same people become irate if a bad call is made or their team does poorly, so I don’t see exactly how it makes them so happy. However, I’m all for the policy of to each his/her own. That’s the former Libertarian in me talking, I’ll admit that I still espouse many Libertarian ideals but since about 2019, I have been fiercely Moderate. And I’ve been all over the political spectrum throughout my life. I will also say that Christ not only helps form my current political views but He trumps all of my political views. With all that being said, I think that those like me ought to have a broadcast medium to cover our interests, I mean we once did in the days before Katrina, at least to some degree. Why can’t we have it again?

I know that I’m not that important but maybe there is a reader of this blog who will see this piece. And maybe he or she has plenty of influence and will use that influence to change the way radio broadcasting is done, not only in New Orleans but in all markets or at least the ones that are lacking.

It definitely would be nice to have the programming that was on par with that of WTIX-AM circa 2003.

I won’t hold my breath for it though.

I know that Internet Radio and streaming, in general, has probably taken a good bit of revenue from analog terrestrial radio, but I don’t see how programming on the latter in New Orleans has not yet recovered from Katrina when so many aspects of life in that City things have. I know there are others out there like myself, albeit somewhat few and far between. And it just seems we cannot band together.

For now, I have found other ways to enrich my mind and learn about what interests me. Unfortunately, it is rarely through local radio.

I guess this, therefore, concludes my piece on how radio broadcasting in New Orleans was ruined by Hurricane Katrina.

I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, and maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you.

Back to “Articles”

A Review of the Grundig Yacht Boy 400

First off, let’s be transparent:
I do not own the featured image on this page and I am giving credit to whomever credit is due.

I had known about shortwave (HF) radio since 2001. My Paternal Grandmother was the first person to mention it to me.

I wouldn’t own a shortwave receiver until December 1, 2002, and then it was only a mediocre model.

In 2004 or so, I discovered the Grundig Yacht Boy 400PE. Since then I had coveted one for almost two decades. Earlier in June of 2021, I found a Grundig Yacht Boy 400 (the predecessor model which comes in a no-nonsense black instead of that goofy platinum color electronics of the early-to-mid-2000s had.) And that is the radio of which this piece will be a review thereof. I was able to acquire one for only $54.79 and that included the tax and the shipping was free!

What made this particular model stand out is that it was capable of receiving not just AM signals on the shortwave band, but also Single Side Band signals on there.

Though it wouldn’t become full-blown until 2015, my interest in listening to Maritime communications was beginning in 2003-2004. Though my knowledge then was limited, I knew I needed an HF receiver that was capable of demodulating Single Side Band transmissions to hear long-distance maritime communications.

I soon realized that the Grundig Yacht Boy 400PE was capable of receiving such, but I was an unemployed seventeen-year-old in 2004 with parents who were not interested in technology at all. So there was no way I could ever afford one. I’m not aware exactly how much a Grundig Yacht Boy 400PE had cost in 2004 but I think it was between $120-170 not including shipping.

The first time I saw a Grundig Yacht Boy 400 PE in real life was in January of 2009. I was briefly employed as an HVAC Technician and was assisting a job at a camp on Grand Isle, Louisiana. We were working on a central system for some rich folks. There I saw it on their dining room table, maybe they too wanted to hear Maritime Single Sideband transmissions. Sadly I didn’t have the time to try it out, as much as I wanted to.

I had since used a few other budget Single Sideband receivers but they all lacked the features I truly wanted.

Then in early June of 2021, I was on eBay looking for shortwave Single Sideband receivers and came across this one. Though I probably didn’t have the money, I bought it anyway because I knew I couldn’t pass it up. After all, I had wanted one for the past 17 years!

It was delivered to my residence on June 13, 2021, but I was out of town. I returned home on June 19, 2021, and my neighbor handed me the package. So that means at the time of this review I am in physical possession of this radio for a couple of days at the time of writing this. I figured out how to properly use it on June 20, 2021.

So this review will be my initial reactions:

Since 2004, I have had a copy of the manual in portable document format saved on various storage media. I will say that operating this device is difficult without reading the instructions first. But once understood, it’s fairly simple.

Two clocks can be programmed, of which I programmed my local time for Time 1 and UTC for Time 2. There is also an alarm feature that I don’t think I will use.

As for band coverage, it receives the following:
Long Wave 144-351 kHz
Medium Wave 520-1710 kHz (US)
Medium Wave 527-1606 kHz (International)
Short Wave 1600-30000 kHz
FM 87.5-108 MHz

I wish something could be done with the Long Wave Band here in The States like maybe some sort of civil defense broadcasting like was once available. I did pick up a handful of non-voice signals. What I didn’t like is that longwave coverage stopped at 351 kHz. I truly think it should have gone all the way to the medium wave band, so I could receive the NAVTEX broadcasts on 518 kHz if I so chose.

Medium Wave is fairly decent, better than most, although it doesn’t hold a candle to my GE Superadio, except that it displays the frequency with much more accuracy.

As for shortwave, I’ve pulled in some CB traffic, the US Time signal and, various amateur radio transmissions. I had heard some ham radio traffic that pertains to RV drivers on 7264 kHz but I couldn’t make it out. I later heard some amateur radio traffic on 3685 kHz almost clearly. It picks up the times signals nicely and I also heard some foreign and domestic broadcasts.

The one station I tried on FM came in flawlessly, which is a miracle because I live near an FM transmitter which causes interference on most of my radios.

There are only 40 memory presets available, which will have to do, for now. I wish there could have been more but this radio is over 25 years old.

I’m also curious to know in which country was this radio built? I don’t see it anywhere on the unit unless it would be behind the battery door and I didn’t look well enough.

I do like how it can accurately tune single-sideband signals, but I wish they could come in a little clearer because some of them are still unintelligible. I do appreciate the direct entry of any frequency and I will see exactly how accurate the clock is in the coming weeks.

Some say that the Yacht Boy series of Grundig radios were designed for use aboard yachts, maybe to receive long-distance transmissions. I’m sure it would work better on the open sea than in an apartment surrounded by electrical noise, right?

All in all, I give this radio a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, because I wish the speaker could be a little louder, I think it should run on 6 C or D cells instead of 6 AA cells (would not mind sacrificing some of the compactness) and there is a gap of coverage between 354 and 519 kHz. So, therefore, I deducted a tenth of a point for each of those aspects I didn’t like. Other than that, so far it is a very nice radio and I hope to get plenty of use out of it.

This, therefore, concludes my review of the Grundig Yacht Boy 400.

I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, and maybe even entertained. May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the Kaito KA-210 Pocket-Portable AM FM Weatherband Radio

Just so we’re all clear and understand each other, I am not the owner of the featured image on this page. It is the property of Kaito Electronics.

So, for a while now, I have been trying to reduce the weight I carry in my EDC backpack. My physician advised me to do so, because of my lower back injury.

And because of this, I realize that my AM/FM radio and my Weather Radio should be consolidated.

For the past few years, I would carry a Sony ICF-P26 and a Midland HH50B for those purposes.

So, I stopped carrying the Sony radio among other items to lighten my load.

I still sometimes carry the Midland radio if feel the need to do so.

From December of 2020 to June of 2021, I had tried to EDC several radios that were pocket portables and could support AM/FM as well as Weather.

None of them satisfied me. They all had issues.

The one I tried to use most was a RETEKESS PR-15, but I find it wasn’t loud enough for noisy environments and it was very finicky about what position I could stand in to receive the Weather Broadcasts. This was an issue, especially when commuting to church on foot and needing Weather Information. Although it was very compact and easy to transport.

So, in the earlier parts of June 2021, I ordered a Kaito KA-210 and it came in today, June 11, 2021, a day earlier than expected. I hope the Postal Service is getting back to delivering the mail promptly as they previously had done so before this Covid nightmare. That radio is what this piece will be a review thereof.

For those who were forwarded from my YouTube video, first of all, thank you for checking out this piece (please consider looking at other pieces on this blog.) And secondly, I was highly impressed when I recorded that video because of the superb circuitry on this radio. I mean, it pulled in a Weather Radio station over 30 miles away and did so almost completely clearly without having to stand in a finicky position and being next to a WiFi computer and a television, both of which do cause a great deal of electrical noise. I know I said that I would wait to write a review, but I tried some FM listening with this radio and was even more impressed.

As I have mentioned multiple times, I live near an FM transmitter tower, just a block or two away. Therefore on just about every one of my lower-end FM receivers, this station’s broadcast signal bleeds all over the dials.

But when I tried some FM listening earlier today, I find that this Kaito KA-210 was pulling in FM stations better than other radios of mine in a similar configuration. It either features a Digital Signal Processor Circuit or an Automatic Frequency Control Circuit, maybe even both and the FM stations I wanted were coming in quite decently.

I’ll admit I even listened to NPR for a minute or two, but then got irritated by what was being discussed on the broadcast.

NPR’s fall from grace is another topic I’ve written about to some degree.

But the fact that this radio pulled in the NPR station which is considerably difficult for most of my other radios to pull in is what impressed me and compelled me to write this review today instead of a few days or weeks in the future.

I will say that it isn’t the most solidly built radio, but I think it would be good enough for light EDC and getting weather information while commuting on foot. I know that I have a smartphone, but in a way, I can sometimes be old school and desire to listen to a Weather Radio instead. I think that is the ham radio operator in me coming out, but I digress.

I will also say that the weather in South Louisiana is constantly changing and quite unpredictable except for a well-seasoned meteorologist. So access to accurate and up-to-date weather data is a must for anyone who works in, resides in, or otherwise frequents South Louisiana.

The best way I can describe this device is that it is very sensitive but still excellent at filtering out unwanted interference. It is compact and reasonably built but seems to be loud enough for a noisy environment, at least for personal use.

I can owe its better audio quality to the fact that it has a more powerful speaker and therefore is run on AA instead of AAA batteries. Therefore, it has more current to power the components much better than a model that runs on AAA batteries.

Throughout this spring season, I have commuted to church a handful of times and it began to rain just as I found cover under the metal awning. I would sit and wait for my Pastor to arrive, and then would monitor the NOAA Weather Radio broadcast, in case of something more severe occurring. This was difficult to do with similar radios, I guess because of the metal but also the electronics from the church security system and surveillance cameras. But, I shall see how well this radio performs. I have a hunch that it shall do better than the other and I will update you, the reader, of my findings.

I’ll admit I have yet to use it for AM reception but I have other radios that I would rather use for that band.

I’ll try to take it with me on a walk later today and see how it performs.

Here are some details about this product as provided by the company website. I’ll add my commentary:

Features:
AM/FM NOAA weather tuner-Quite sensitive too, especially for the price!
Ultra compact for convenience & portability-Perfect size for EDC
Built-in speaker-Loud enough for personal use almost anywhere.
Headphone jack (earphones not included)-I’ve been told it even does stereo!
LED tuning indicator-Bright green light confirms that you’re locked onto a signal.
Telescopic antenna-Long enough to properly pull in signals, but short enough to be easily carried.
Requires 2 AA batteries (not included)-Thank God it’s not AAA batteries!

Physical Dimensions English: 4.5 x 0.8 x 2.8 inches.
Physical Dimensions Metric: 11.43 x 2.032 x 7.112 centimeters.
Weight English: 0.5 pounds (8 ounces.)
Mass Metric: 0.226796185 kilograms (226.796185 grams.)

I’ve been trying for some time now to figure out what is the perfect portable pocket radio for traveling and I think this comes rather close. I do wish the weather channels were either crystal controlled or phase lock loop synthesized to allow an automatic scan for the strongest weather station signal, but then that would drive up the cost. I also wish these antennas could be much more sturdy but still retractable and replaceable. I don’t have the credentials but I think I could be an excellent electronics designer at least where the appearance, form factor, build quality, and user interface are concerned.

The MSRP is $19.99+tax and/or shipping which I find to be generous since it performs so well. Look $20 actually goes a decent way, even with all this wretched inflation!

Try one out for yourself. Maybe give one as a gift.

It’s perfect for the backpacker, boater, car/truck driver, or any other commuter/traveler. Maybe even the freight train hopper, something which I must not condone but still do find highly interesting, could appreciate this device. I don’t like sports at all, but even a baseball fan could take this to a game. When I go to sporting events with family, I notice that fans don’t bring radios to games like they once did. Of course, I would advise only AM listening at such an event because an unruly spectator or even a foul ball could destroy the external rod antenna.

That brings up another point: If incarcerated convicts have radios with short stubby, but rugged antennas encased in rubber or plastic, why can’t these also be made for radios sold to the general public?

If any executives of radio manufacturing companies are reading this piece, just consider that last statement I made!

As for a rating, I give this product a 4.93 out of 5 stars because I wish the cabinet material was a little more durable and wouldn’t mind the extra weight. I also wish the battery door was secured better as to not get lost. Finally, I wish the writing on the radio was much more permanent. These are all small potatoes though.

This, therefore, concludes my review of the Kaito KA-210.

I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, and maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

About AM (Medium Wave) DXing

As stated many times before, I have been fascinated by all radio electronics since early childhood.

It wasn’t until my mid-teens that I began to allow these interests to flourish.

At the age of 15 going on 16 (late 2002), I began subscribing to the C. Crane Catalog. It was through reading that catalog that I learned of two subjects:

AM (Medium Wave) DXing

…AND…

LED Flashlights

This piece will be about the former.

Some people AM DX because they are dissatisfied with the content produced by their local radio stations. I know there are a limited amount of frequency spaces in a given market and commercial radio doesn’t keep everyone in mind. I have been a fan of talk radio since the age of 16. I will admit that there isn’t much programming locally that catches my attention. I know I am not the only one and before the Internet, the way to catch a certain show in a distant city was by listening to AM at night.

Most do it because they are sports fans that live far away from the city in which their team is located, but still want coverage of that game. I think this is the main reason why most people who are into AM Dxing are indeed into AM DXing. Years ago, I had written in a piece I wrote about vintage electronics about how a middle-aged working-class man who enjoys nighttime sporting events and wants to hear a certain game. Maybe that game isn’t available on any local station and would cost extra on a pay television subscription. Maybe he doesn’t want to pay the extra amount of money to see it on his pay television service. Either he just cannot afford to or maybe he has that money set aside for things he deems more important. Whatever the case, he turns to AM radio as a means to still get the details of whatever game he desires to hear. This is because of the properties of anything broadcast on the frequencies at which AM (Medium Wave) radio is situated. These signals travel much further between sunset and sunrise, sometimes thousands of miles. So this is perfect for any sports fan who needs free coverage of a game that is not available on a local station. For this reason alone, I think that analog terrestrial radio needs to stay because it is a completely free source of information and entertainment.

Quite a few may do it because they live in one part of the country but are originally from another, so it is a means to keep up with what is going on in their hometown, though the Internet may have drastically reduced AM radio as the main means of accomplishing this task. Before free long distance and cheap, easy to use Internet devices, keeping tabs on what was going on in a distant city often meant listening to an AM station from that city at night. It seems to have made the distance a little shorter at times.

And finally others, like me, do it as a technological hobby. Although I am dissatisfied with the content produced by my local stations as well. However, I chalk the boring content on New Orleans radio stations up to a very wicked woman named Katrina. I just think there is something very neat how I can turn a radio on after dark and suddenly have access to dozens of extra stations from up to thousands of miles away and for free. I grew up with cable tv in the house and had Internet access since the age of 13. As an adult, I refuse to subscribe to cable, but I would be in trouble if I had no Internet. But the fact that I can get content from far away and for free is somehow empowering and I think is the main reason why I am into AM DXing.

In late 2002, I had found out from reading the C. Crane Catalog about AM DXing. However, I wouldn’t give it a try until a year later.

The two radios designed for AM DXing that were featured in the Fall 2002 C. Crane Catalog were the original CC Radio plus which was $159.95+shipping and the G. E. Superadio 3 which was $64.95+shipping. Both of these were well out of the price range for an unemployed fifteen-year-old. So I didn’t order them. In fact, to this day, the only product that I ever ordered from the C. Crane Catalog was a Sangean DT-200VX. I ordered it in the Summer of 2007 and it could do AM DXing fairly decently for a radio of its size. It was nothing to pull in WSM out of Nashville on any night while in Southeast Louisiana. My ex-wife wound up with that radio because she liked it more than I did and I guess I wanted her to have it. One day though I might order a CC Pocket Radio if I have some extra money, but that remains to be seen.

The first time I tried AM DXing was in October of 2003, but I ended up listening to a show on a local station because it had my undivided attention. The radio I was using was a Radio Shack 12-756, which I would come to find out is pretty decent for a budget radio. But that night, I would end up listening to that show until it was no longer available because the station carrying it slightly changed formats. However, when I would listen to that station at night, I noticed that other stations were trying to make it in on the same frequency. Many times those other stations were in Spanish which makes me think they were either in Central America or the Caribbean. That was the first time I observed AM stations traveling further at night.

In the early morning hours of February 15, 2004, I was up early and tried AM DXing for the first time. I was again using my Radio Shack 12-756. The first station I remember catching was KTRS on 550 kHz out of Saint Louis. I kept it in a log but unfortunately misplaced that log. However, after that, I kept on AM DXing, at least until I was done with high school. On my eighteenth birthday, I remember picking up WSM on 650 kHz on my LifeLong Baby BoomBox 2225. Later on, in 2005 I remember picking up KFGO on 790 kHz out of Fargo, North Dakota. On July 18, 2005, I passed the test to become a licensed amateur radio operator.

I met the girl who would become my wife and later ex-wife on January 7, 2007. After that I didn’t have much time for my radio hobbies because I was in a relationship, going to school, and later working. However, I would still do AM DXing every once in a while. I remember catching plenty of stations from The Midwest in those days.

After my divorce, another failed relationship, and being on disability, I find myself with a considerable amount of time to devote to the hobby. So much so, that I recently purchased a second-hand but in very good condition GE Superadio 3. I haven’t yet caught a station as far away as KFGO, but I did hear a station out of Charlotte, North Carolina. It is WBT on 1100 kHz. None of my other radios ever picked up a station from that area, so I must say I am impressed!

Unfortunately, AM DXing isn’t as easy as it once was. There aren’t as many AM stations to choose from and there is a lot more electrical noise because more people have WiFi and Bluetooth devices. However, during a power failure or on vacation in the middle of nowhere would be ideal times to try and engage in AM DXing. I plan to do just that the next time I travel. Of course, just traveling out in the country at night is the perfect time for AM DXing with a car radio. I’ve done it quite a few times.

I hope analog terrestrial radio even the AM band will be in place for decades to come and I hope there will be a revival of it and it will be better than it has been for some time.

Try it for yourself, after dark, turn your AM receiver on and see what stations are available. Likely, you will be pleasantly surprised!

This now concludes my piece on AM DXing.

I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, entertained, and enlightened.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Articles I have Written”

A Review of the Radio Shack 12-756 Multiband Receiver

Just so we’re clear, I do not own the featured image on this page.

I am giving credit to whomever credit is due.

In the Summer of 2003, my interest in anything on radio electronics was flourishing. It was one of the best summers I had ever experienced because I was also just starting as a writer.

Being an unemployed sixteen-year-old at the time, I had to make every penny I had count.

Neither of my scanners could pick up the aircraft band and I was interested in hearing it.

I couldn’t hustle enough money for an actual scanner that was airband capable but I could eventually get a lower-end multiband radio.

So I began to scrape what money I could in hopes to either buy a Radio Shack 12-817 or a 12-756.

The 12-817 cost $29.99+tax and could be carried more easily but the 12-756 cost $39.99+tax and picked up more bands.

In mid to late July of 2003, I finally had enough money and ended up purchasing the 12-756, which this piece will be a review thereof. I think I paid less than the SRP because it was on clearance, therefore I even had enough money to purchase some Alkaline Enercells which back in the day were some wonderful batteries!

As I will be pointing out, this radio had a huge impact on my life.

Initially, I used it to listen to air traffic, but, months later, I find out that the AM receiver in it was pretty superb.

In October of 2003, while I was attempting to AM DX with this radio, I wound up catching WTIX on 690 kHz out of New Orleans. On that station was a show hosted by former Libertarian Presidential Candidate Harry Browne. The show had my undivided attention. So much so, that I gave up AM DXing for the evening. Though I wasn’t old enough to vote (or drink or own a gun), hearing his show for just a few minutes made me an instant convert to Libertarianism. I won’t lie, it was my love of alcohol and guns that caused me to espouse Libertarianism so quickly. I still hold on to some Libertarian principles but am now a fierce Moderate and have been since about 2019.

I would listen to Harry Browne’s show every Saturday Night. I soon would listen to other shows on that station.

I would frequently carry my Radio Shack 12-756 in my school bag and listen during class if nothing was required.

In the early morning hours of February 15, 2004, I was up early and attempting to do some AM DXing. I pulled in KTRS on 550 kHz. I pulled in several other stations that morning.

Later in 2004, I began listening to David J. Smith’s Newswatch Magazine which was carried on WWL and KAAY. I won’t lie, listening to this show contributed to me having a mental breakdown in June of 2004, but also prepared for an encounter and subsequent surrender to Jesus Christ and His Gospel in July of 2004. It was mostly listened to with my Radio Shack 12-756! I guess what captivated me about this radio program was even though David J. Smith was a Christian minister, he was against the Bush Administration, as was I. It also seemed that he was against the Iraq War, as was I. And his content was overall interesting. I was in catholic school, but during my religion class, the teacher, Coach Calvin “Buck” Buxton, God rest his soul, would allow me to read the Bible in his class, which further was preparing me for my encounter and subsequent surrender to Christ.

While I was hospitalized in June of 2004, this radio was a frequent companion, though the telescoping antenna had to be removed. I would listen to WBYU on 1450 kHz out of nearby New Orleans which was carrying Radio Disney. That radio helped me during one of my most trying times. Unfortunately, we could only listen at certain times. I was the only patient with a radio, almost everyone else had portable CD players.

I continued AM DXing and in February of 2005, on this radio, I received KFGO out of Fargo, North Dakota, the furthest known AM DX reception I have ever accomplished. And it was on my Radio Shack 12-756! I am currently trying to have better AM DX results with my GE Superadio, but I want to write a detailed piece on AM DXing in general and explain why it has gotten harder in recent years.

On nights and weekends, I was glued to this radio, especially listening to WSMB on 1350 kHz out of New Orleans.

On July 18, 2005, I became a licensed amateur radio operator and didn’t AM DX as much.

Then a little over a month later a wicked woman named Katrina destroyed many things, including radio broadcasting in New Orleans. I do want to write a piece on how wonderful radio in New Orleans was before Katrina.

On May 20, 2006, I graduated high school and at one point was working and going to trade school so I didn’t have much time for AM DXing.

On January 7, 2007, I met the girl who would become my wife and later ex-wife and didn’t have time for AM DXing.

In the Summer of 2008, I donated my Radio Shack 12-756 to a thrift store because other hobbies had occupied my efforts.

I could now kick myself for doing so considering the impact it had on me. Hindsight is always 20/20.

Here are some detailed specifications of this radio that I remember and also pulled out of The Radio Shack Catalog:

There are seven bands on this radio.
AM: 530-1700 kHz
FM: 88-108 MHz
TV Audio VHF Low: Channels 2-6 (now obsolete)
TV Audio VHF High: Channels 7-13 (now obsolete)
VHF Air: 108-136 MHz
VHF High: 145-175 MHz
WX: 162.4-162.55 MHz

The tuning accuracy and selectivity left something to be desired on most bands (FM and TV seemed accurate) but made up for it with sensitivity!

The power source was either a 6 Volt AC/DC adaptor or 4 AA batteries, which seemed to have a pretty generous runtime.

The audio quality was decent for a sub $50 radio but would get heavily distorted when the batteries were dying.

My one complaint about this radio is the color and the plastic cabinet seems a little flimsy, especially when constantly on the go.

I know I now have better radios for every band this device covered, but if God wills it I would like a duplicate simply because of the sentimental value. Or at least I would purchase the predecessor model, the 12-456, but again only if God wills it.

I guess, this, therefore, concludes my review of the Radio Shack 12-756 Multiband Receiver.

I know I am very biased towards this product, but because of the poor tuning accuracy on bands that count, the goofy color choice, and the flimsy plastic cabinet I will only give it a 4.25 out of 5 stars and that is being generous.

I hope that you the reader have been informed, entertained, and enlightened. May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the GE Superadio 3 7-2887B

Just so we’re clear, I do not own the featured image on this page. Rather, I downloaded it from Pinterest.

As mentioned before, I have been interested in all radio electronics, since early childhood.

That radio interest began to flourish in my mid-teens.

I was 15 going on 16 when I first discovered the GE Superadio, which I saw in a C. Crane Catalog. That was back in the Fall of 2002.

It was from reading about that said radio that I learned of the hobby AM or Medium Wave DXing.

I first tried that activity in the Fall of 2003 with positive results. For those of you who are curious, the radio I used was a Radio Shack 12-756.

From that point until Hurricane Katrina, I was usually near some radio at night seeing what distant or local stations I could catch. I was entertained for hours on end.

Then Hurricane Katrina happened and as I’ve mentioned a time or two before, it ruined many things in New Orleans. Some of those ruined things have recovered, but radio broadcasting in that City has not recovered.

WTIX-AM/WIST-AM and WSMB-AM had some pretty neat talk programming before Katrina. Now those callsigns are no longer in use and their frequencies are used for other formats.

It is now 2021, almost 16 years after that hurricane and the radio stations in New Orleans still don’t have that much to offer.

I gave up on waiting for it to recover.

I will listen to the NPR station out of New Orleans but I can get NPR almost anywhere. Well, I will listen to it only when they are not trying to forward an agenda, then I change the station.

So, I’ve decided to do a little streaming with my Sylvania BoomBox and Samsung tablet when I want to hear stations from other cities, but I prefer to do this the old-fashioned way.

I have several capable AM-compatible radios, but I wanted a more high-performance model.

Meet the GE Superadio 3 7-2887B, that which this piece will be a review thereof.

This piece will be my initial reaction because I haven’t had the chance to take it out into the sticks and do some serious DXing with it.

Although I must say I am pleased thus far!

I had a little bit of extra money in May of 2021, and I’ve wanted one of these radios since my teen years.

God blessed me with one through eBay. The base price was $49.99. The shipping was free. and the total after taxes was $54.79. It was used but in very nice condition, especially considering the price! I ordered it on May 4th, 2021 and it arrived on May 10, 2021. God has blessed me tremendously, because not only was I able to get it for a very fair price, but it also doesn’t have any of the quality control issues that many GE Superadios suffer from. I thank Him and give Him the glory. Hopefully, aside from secular educational and entertainment programming, I can tune in some Christian programs as well.

I’m not sure of the actual manufacturing date but I know this particular version of the GE Superadio was made between 1992 and 2008.

Update:
I interpreted the date code to mean that my particular unit came off the assembly line in August of 2001. This means that it is almost 20 years old at the time I received it. It does work like a brand new unit!

Although made primarily of plastic and in China, it still seems to be solidly constructed. Even the carrying handle feels quite rugged. The radio is activated by an On/Off switch. There is a 6.5 inch/165.1-millimeter woofer and a 2 inch/50.8-millimeter tweeter for the internal speakers and I must say the audio quality is more than generous. The volume is still quite loud even at the lowest setting. (minimum audio output is 700 milliWatts.) There are dedicated Bass and Treble controls. For FM listening there is an Automatic Frequency Control switch and yes it does work wonderfully (especially considering I am a few blocks from an FM transmitter tower.) In addition, there is a Ceramic IF filter and 3 IF tuned circuits for FM. There are also 4 IF tuned circuits and a wide/narrow selector switch for AM reception. Narrow allows better selectivity. Wide allows better audio quality. I will say that in Wide mode, AM music sounds as nicely as if it were broadcast on FM. For power, it runs on either 6 D-sized batteries or the AC mains current. Yes, this radio is a bit oversized with physical dimensions of 12.5 inches Wide X 10.5 inches High X 4.5 inches Thick (317.5 mm Wide X 266.7 mm High X 114.3 mm Thick) but worth it.

Then there is the tuning capability:

I’ve read many complaints from others saying their GE Superadios were not accurate on the tuning dial, but mine was reasonably accurate for a vernier tuner. It’s not always dead-on, but it’s fairly near where it needs to be. The FM rod antenna is long enough (38 inches/976 millimeters) and pulls in FM stations wonderfully but the internal AM ferrite bar antenna is the selling point above all else on this model. It is engineered to pull in distant AM stations that most radios won’t even detect. This is because the bar is longer (7.875 inches/200 millimeters total length) than most internal AM antennas. If that weren’t enough, there are external antenna terminals on the back of the radio to connect to even better antennas both from AM and FM. I literally can’t wait to take this out to the sticks and try it out. Right now I live in an apartment, so along with all of the electrical noise from living in close quarters, I also have to consider not disturbing my neighbors when playing a radio at night. I would like to find a cabin by a lakeshore and try it out. If I do, I will amend my findings to this piece. I hope that by the time I purchase my forever home that AM broadcasting will still be available. However, if this year’s hurricane season is as active as last year’s, I will have plenty of reasons to use this radio.

Update:
I picked up a station that I’ve never picked up before in my 17 years of AM DXing. And yes I picked it up on my GE Superadio 3. On the evening of May 14, 2021, I received WBT out of Charlotte, North Carolina. I have never heard an AM station that far east before. I do have a friend in the suburbs of Cleveland and have been trying to pick up the station WTAM which is on the same frequency as WBT (1100 kHz.) I did receive WTAM for a few minutes, but that was earlier in the evening, but it quickly faded out. I will point out that AM DXing was easier 17 years ago because not everyone had WiFi or Bluetooth which many times interfere with AM reception. Also, 17 years ago, I lived in a slightly less populated community than I do now and I certainly was not living in close quarters like I am now. I do plan to write a more detailed piece on my AM DXing experiences.

I will say that as of lately, I am satisfied with FM performance since it can filter out the bleeding from the FM station near me. Not all of my radios have this capability. I haven’t been able to try out the AM performance as I want but I did receive AM stations from Dallas and San Antonio clear as day. I hope to try and catch more AM stations.

So far I do not have any complaints about this radio and I hope and pray that it shall serve me for years to come.

I do give it a rating of 5 out of 5 stars!

This, therefore, concludes my review of the GE Superadio 3 7-2887B.

I hope you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, and maybe even entertained!

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