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Eton E5


For some time now there have been reports and opinions about a Chinese radio factory called "Degen".  The Degen Company not only designs and builds radios for its own brand but also for others. One of these brands is Eton. The Eton E5 was supposed to come onto the market as Degen DE1106 but so far I have not been able to find one on the internet.  Only "Lextronic" and Eton sell the E 5. Because of the predominantly positive reviews of other E5 owners, I became curious and ordered an E5 at Nevada Radio in England. After only four days, the radio arrived. Included were the E5, a multi-lingual instruction booklet (German included), a protective pouch, stereo ear phones,  a cable antenna and a power supply, which unfortunately does not fit into Swiss outlets, so an adapter is necessary. The rechargeable batteries are not included, although it says so in the manual.   Finally then, I held the E5 in my hands.  First impressions: Very well manufactured, it lies snugly in your hands. The case has a sort of rubber surface which results into a good grip. I was a little surprised by the size of the radio: "so small"! From the ads and pictures on the internet it had appeared a little bigger, something like the Sony ICF-SW7600GR. The E5 has two options. Either from 76-108 MHz or from 87,5 - 108 MHz in FM. The range for long wave, medium wave and shortwave is from 150 - 30 000 KHz in AM and SSB. A new feature in this price class is the two selectable shortwave band widths. Some thing that is unusual for such a small radio: it has 700 memories divided into 100 pages each of which can be tagged with four letters.  This can be compared to the memory management of the Sony ICF-SW55, only that the E5 has five times as many memories.  The E5 has four timers, each of which can be programmed individually. It is very nice that the keyboard is standard. The keys have a very pleasant feel which results in comfortable operation. I especially liked the tuning with the VFO on the right side of the E5. When scanning the bands, there is no signal loss or noise between the 1 KHz steps.  You almost have an "analogue feeling".  The VFO also seems to have a flywheel effect. The faster you tune, the faster the frequency changes. Now, let's take a listen! Because I have had the E5 only for three days, this is merely a short comparison to the Panasonic RF-B65.  What you will notice immediately is the radio's good sound.  Stronger stations on shortwave or FM sound almost room-filling. I have never experienced that with such a small receiver.  In case the selected station is interfered by a neighboring channel, you have the band width selection at your disposal, which is very effective.  I was amazed at the reception of a Greek pirate station in the X-Band on 1645 KHz without any other help. The Panasonic RF-B65 had to give up and the station could be guessed at best.  SSB reception can be compared to the RF-B65. Weak signals could be tuned with the BFO and were understandable.  But where there is light, there is also shadow. Large signal immunity, which is very important for me, was not what I had been hoping for. Below the 49m band, you could clearly hear stations from this band.  In this respect, the RF-B65 excelled, there were no image frequencies, not a single one.  The SW 55 caused considerably more image frequencies.  I have to say that in this regard the E5 is better than the SW55.  Conclusion: A good companion on shortwave and FM at a unbeatable price. A serious competitor for the Sony ICF-SW7600GR!!.



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