The Grundig "Eton" G6 Aviator Buzz Aldrin AM/FM/Aircraft/Shortwave Portable Radio with SSB
Copyright © October 2, 2010 by Robert Wayne Atkins, P.E.
All Rights Reserved.
The Grundig "Eton" G6 Aviator AM/FM/Aircraft/Shortwave Portable Radio (picture on right ) can be purchased for approximately $100 at either of the following locations:
Note: I do not earn a commission or fee of any kind if you click on the above link, or if you buy a radio from the above internet web site. The above link is being provided solely for your convenience.
- Your local Radio Shack Store (give them a call and see if they have it in stock).
- At Amazon.com.
The Features of the Grundig G6 Aviator AM/FM/Aircraft/Shortwave Portable Radio
The Grundig G6 Aviator AM/FM/Aircraft/Shortwave Portable Radio has the following features:
- The radio measures approximately 4.9-inches long, 3-inches high, and 1.1-inches deep.
- The radio weighs approximately 7.3 ounces (207 g).
- It has an internal AM antenna.
- It has a 21-inch long telescoping FM/Shortwave antenna attached to the radio. This significantly improves the radio's ability to pick up weak or distant radio signals.
- It has a 2-inch speaker. This yields reasonably good sound clarity from the radio.
- It has a switch for changing from music to news (voice) mode.
- It comes with two small earphones for private listening.
- It allows for the reception of AM broadcasts, and FM broadcasts, and Aircraft broadcasts (117-137 MHz), and Shortwave broadcasts (150 KHz to 29,999 KHz).
- It allows for the manual scanning of frequencies using a dial, or for the auto scanning of frequencies using a push button. The auto scan function will scan the entire frequency range from beginning to end, and then start back over at the beginning. It will automatically stop when it reaches a frequency with sufficient signal strength to be heard.
- It has a digital frequency display so you can read the exact frequency you are receiving, and if you like that radio station, then you can make a note of it (along with the time of day) on a separate piece of paper for future reference purposes, or you can save the frequency to any one of 700 memory locations.
- It has a digital clock, and an alarm, and a back-light button.
- It will operate on three power sources as follows (batteries are not included with the radio):
- Ordinary 120-volt AC house current using the DC adapter that is included with the radio, or
- Two Alkaline or two Lithium AA Flashlight batteries (1.5 volts each), or
- Two Rechargeable Ni-MH AA Flashlight batteries (1.2 volts each).
- The radio will charge two Rechargeable Ni-MH batteries. Insert the two Ni-MH batteries in the radio and then plug the radio into a standard AC outlet. Each 100 mAH in the two batteries will require approximately 1 hour of charging time. For example, two 1100 mAH batteries will require approximately 11 hours of charging time. Two 2300 mAH batteries will require approximately 23 hours of charging time.
Comments about the Grundig G6 Aviator Portable Radio
The small size and the very light weight (7.3 ounces) of this radio make it a truly portable radio that could easily be put into your briefcase, or purse, or bug-out-bag.
The radio will successfully operate of two AA rechargeable Ni-MH batteries. Rechargeable batteries only contain 1.2 volts. (Normal alkaline or lithium batteries contain 1.5 volts.) I tested this radio using the AC adapter that is included with the radio, and then I immediately switched to two AA rechargeable Ni-MH batteries. In my opinion, there was no difference in the number of stations I could receive, or in the quality of the sound from those stations, using the rechargeable batteries when compared to the AC adapter.
In the rural area where I live I could not hear any aircraft frequencies. However, if you live near an airport, or in a larger metropolitan area, then the radio may allow you to listen to aircraft frequencies if that is important to you.
During normal daylight listening hours I could not clearly receive any English language shortwave broadcasts. However, after dark I could hear a wide variety of English language shortwave broadcasts, including both music and voice.
The auto scan button on the radio works very well. The auto scan function can be set to stop at any station that has sufficient signal strength to be heard, or it can be set to pause for 5 seconds at each station before continuing to the next station. This is a significant advantage in my opinion.
The radio will allow you to save and recall up to 700 different frequencies. This is also a very important advantage of this radio.
The radio has a switch for changing from music to news (voice) mode. This allows you to quickly adjust the radio so it will provide the best possible reception for whichever type of broadcast you wish to listen to.
Although you can recharge your Ni-MH batteries inside this radio while it is plugged into a standard 120 volt outlet, I suggest you purchase a Solar Battery Charger in addition to the radio. This will allow you to recharge your radio batteries even it there is no electricity.
The Basics of Shortwave Radio
Note: The following information also appears on the Grundig "Eton" SL350 radio page.
Although English is not the most widely spoken language in the world, it is currently an important "second language" in many countries because of the need to communicate with English speaking travelers and investors. Therefore many foreign nations broadcast in their own native language and also on a second frequency in English.
A shortwave radio will allow you to listen to radio stations that are broadcasting from almost anywhere in the world. This is a significant advantage because it allows you to hear a variety of different interpretations of how other major nations perceive significant current world events and news stories. Although every nation will impart its own "bias" to a particular news story, you will have the opportunity to determine how the rest of the world is responding to something that happened in your own country.
Just because you are awake and listening to your shortwave radio please do not assume that the rest of the world is awake and broadcasting. Everyone needs to sleep and different stations go off the air at different times during the day based on where they are located in the world.
Many shortwave broadcasts are from Europe. Therefore, if you live in the Eastern half of the United States then you will probably be able to receive those broadcasts using the telescoping antenna attached to your radio. However, if you live in the Western half of the United States then you will probably need to install an external antenna to receive these same European broadcasts.
Shortwave reception during the day is usually poor because of daytime atmospheric conditions and the fact that most European stations are not transmitting their broadcasts in the direction of the United States because they know that most of us are probably at work during the day and therefore we are not listening to our shortwave radios. However, at night reception significantly improves because of the reduced atmospheric interference and the fact that many European stations are now directing their signals toward the United States.
Shortwave radio signals travel extremely long distances by bouncing back and forth off the upper atmosphere and the earth's surface until they reach your radio's antenna. Therefore all of the following factors have an impact on the clarity of a distant radio station:
Many people become frustrated with their shortwave radios because they do not know about the above. Their shortwave radio may have more than a thousand frequencies to select from but they can't seem to find a frequency that yields great reception all the time. Therefore they conclude there is something wrong with their specific shortwave radio, or they assume they live in an area where shortwave reception is very poor.
- The total distance between your antenna and the broadcasting radio station.
- The month of the year (seasonal weather fluctuations).
- The time of day (day or night).
- Space conditions (solar flares, etc.).
- Atmospheric conditions close to the Earth (bad weather significantly reduces reception).
- Nearby tall buildings or mountains (they interfere with reception from distant radio stations in those directions).
The following very brief list of frequencies may help you to get the most enjoyment out of your shortwave radio:
Shortwave frequencies between 5,950 to 6,200 KHz are usually pretty good at night.
Shortwave frequencies between 9,200 to 9,900 KHz and between 11,600 to 12,200 KHz are usually average at night.
Shortwave frequencies between 7,100 to 7,600 KHz are usually average at night in the Eastern United States.
Shortwave frequencies between 15,100 to 15,800 KHz are usually pretty good during the day.
Shortwave frequencies between 13,570 to 13,870 KHz and between 17,480 to 17,900 KHz are usually average during the day.
How to Maximize the Reception of a Shortwave Radio:
Number of Shortwave Radio Stations: At the current time there are not as many shortwave radio stations still in operation when compared to just a few years ago. This is most likely due to the popularity of the internet, and satellite TV and satellite radio, and iPods and other hand-held electrical devices. However, there may be a dramatic renewal in the number of shortwave broadcasting stations in the event of a serious worldwide hard times event, or in the event of serious censorship of the radio stations within a nation's borders.
- Your radio needs to be operating on maximum power. Therefore, your radio batteries should be fully charged or you should be using AC power.
- To avoid electrical interference, do not place your radio near electrical equipment such as televisions, stereo equipment, computers, microwave ovens, or any other electrical appliance.
- Reception is weakest inside steel framed and concrete buildings.
- Reception is usually best near a window.
- Try moving your radio to different locations inside your home to improve its reception. If possible put your radio near a southern window, a northern window, an eastern window, or a western window, depending on the location of the foreign country's broadcast you wish to listen to.
- Change the direction in which you have your telescoping antenna pointed to see if it improves the reception of a weak radio signal. Take your hand off the antenna to test it.
- If you find a station you wish to listen to but another station's signal is also being received then try changing the length of your telescoping antenna to see if you can isolate the reception of the station you desire. Sometimes increasing or decreasing the length of your telescoping antenna can minimize the interference from a secondary radio signal and improve the reception of a desired radio signal.
- A longer antenna is usually better than a shorter antenna. A good antenna may be made from a few feet of insulated copper wire. Allow one end of the wire to hang outside of a window. Wrap the other end of the wire to the bottom of your radio's current telescoping antenna.
- An ear phone or a headphone can sometimes improve your ability to hear a weak signal from a distant radio station.
Safety Warning: Always disconnect your radio from any outside antenna when you are not listening to it, and also during any rain storms to avoid a static electricity shock from traveling down your antenna and destroying your radio. During bad weather you may still listen to your radio using batteries and its internal telescoping antenna but not an outside antenna. Therefore during bad weather you will probably be limited to local radio stations.
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