Gear lust got me a new Tecsun PL-360 AM/FM/SW radio and it landed in my mailbox today. Pretty cool, but not really UL: 6.6oz with 3x AA batteries and without belt clip, 7oz with the clip and 8oz with the AM antenna pod.
I won't be forgetting my Sony SFR-S84 as I still think that is the epitome of small quality radios, put the Tecsun has all the bells and whistles I could ask for in a small radio. I didn't recall that it has a thermometer, which it does. And I did need to read the manual. It has a lot of double function buttons and options. Nothing more complicated than a high end digital point and shoot, but a few little tricks here and there.
Reception is good, and the speaker sound quality is acceptable considering the small size. The earbuds are very good compared to the typical stuff included with a radio.
The ETM tuning system is great: hold the button down and it sweeps the band for local stations and it presets them in a separate memory than your "personal" presets, so there is no reason not to use it as you come into a new area. In ETM mode, it jumps to the next program by turning the tuning dial. From my basement room it programmed 40 local FM stations in about 30 seconds. Cool.
It came with a long wire antenna that clips onto the telescoping antenna which extends FM and shortwave reception. There is a clothespin like clip on the other end. I've strung up antennas like this from one trekking pole under my shelter to another pole outside, or to a handy branch. I know it really makes a difference on the SW side.
Other coolness: a back light on the LCD, clock, sleep and alarm functions, station scanning, USB charging for NiMH batteries, signal strength and signal to noise readouts, switchable FM stereo, and LOTS of presets. It did come with a case and belt clip as well as the two external antennas.
I like the form factor a lot. It is like a TV remote and you can hold it without blocking any of the controls. I think it's too tall for a shirt pocket carry.
I got this one on eBay from a US supplier for $46.99 total. Considering that the County Comm GP4-L is now $44 (plus shipping) and the level of sophistication with the PL-360, I think it is a bargain.
FYI, this one does long wave and the frequency spacing is switchable so you can use it world-wide.
So, no buyer's remorse at all. I cant wait to get up in the hills at night to see how it does.
Basic radio in FM mode with the SOny SRF-S84 for comparison. The telescoping antenna extends to 15"
In AM mode with extenal AM antenna in place
SW mode with the clip-on long wire antenna
And the back side with the battery compartment open and the belt clip in place