Review: Grundig 100 Mini PE (and how it changed my life) - an excellent small portable!

Review: Grundig 100 Mini PE (and how it changed my life) - an excellent small portable!

Post by Mark Larr » Wed, 28 Aug 2002 16:51:06

I have been listening to shortwave radio for about 20 years now, mainly
due to a strong interest in international affairs and culture.  I used
a midsize Seimans portable analog radio throughout the 1980s, and then
in 1991 I got a Sangean 803a, which I still use and love.  I primarily
listen to the larger broadcasters.

In the last 5 years or so, my shortwave listening has declined markedly.
I have found myself downloading the audio of the programs from the
stations I like, and listening to them online, primarily  out of
convenience.  As I began an excercise routine this summer however,
on my hour long walks, runs, and bike rides I started thinking about
how it would be great to have a very small portable shortwave radio
which I could take with me.   It would have to be a decent receiver,
small and lightweight, and cheap enough where I wouldn't ever think
twice about bringing it with me outdoors.

After doing some browsing on the web and this newsgroup, I decided on
the Grundig World 100 PE analog sw radio.  I picked it up for
$25 on Ebay, and have been very pleased with it.  In fact, I would
recommend it highly to any person who enjoys shortwave (or medium
wave) and would like the convenience of being able to listen to
programs while puttering around the house, spending time outdoors,
or going on a trip.

Physically, the unit is not much bigger than a pack of cigarettes, and
with 2 AA batteries, less than half a pound. It has an antenna which
has 5 sections which extend to 18 inches.  It also has a detachable
belt clip which is very handy for walks or bike rides... you just hook
it to your pocket or the back of your pants below the small of your
back, and you are ready to go.

A word here about the antenna and reception in general... while the
included antenna will perform OK, I have gotten better results by
leaving it collapsed and just attaching a 6 ft piece of 18 gauge
speaker wire.  A 12 ft piece of wire performs
even better, but becomes a tad unweildy for most situations, especially
outdoors.  With the 6ft wire, I can pull in all of the majors easily,
and some of the weaker stations as well.  I have listened easily to
NHK, RCI, VOA, R. Sweden, CRI, R. Havana, Voice of Turkey, Voice of
Cairo, RAI from Italy, REE from Spain, BBC, DW, Voice of  Russia, Radio
Prague, Radio Zagreb, RVI from Belgium, R. Nederlands, Voice of
Vietnam, KOL Israel, R. Budapest, ORF from Austria, Radio Prague, and
the list goes on.  Suffice it to say that I am having a hard time
scheduling all that I want to hear... there are
more choices out there than there are hours!

FM stereo reception is very good... it almost matches my Kenwood stereo system
with a dipole, and the sound is very good through the supplied earphones, and
passable with the speaker. Selectivity is very good as well on FM, and
surprisingly good on mediumwave and sw.  For example, on a fairly good night
for MW reception, from my home near Buffalo, New York (roughly half way
between NYC and Chicago), I took it for a test drive through part of the
MW band.  660 WFAN came in very clearly, as did 670 out of Chicago, despite
a VERY strong Toronto station on 680 kHz 30 miles away.  700 WLW came in
without interference either, again with a very strong local station 9 miles
away on 710kHz.  Also heard without interference was 760 Detroit, 770 NY,
and 780 Chicago.  This type of performance holds throughout the MW spectrum.
I would have been happy with this radio if had just
done well on MW... I like listening to a relatively weak local NPR station
on MW during the day, but I have a heck of a time tuning it in with
previous portable radios and walkmans.  This little Grundig picks it
up well, without drifting.  For those of you who are interested,
the Radio Shack AM Loop (Item # 15-1853, on sale for $20) really works
well with this radio and improves its reception greatly.  You can plae
the radio "inside" the loop, and then just start tuning!

On shortwave, it does everything I could ask of it.  Personally, the fact
that it is analog is not a big deal to me.  Frankly it is kinda nice
to actually spin through the dial just like he good old days.   You never
know what you might happen upon as you tune your way up and down
the band, something which doesn't happen when you just type in the
frequency on a digital model and you are there in an instant.  It brings
in all the stations I want to hear, with little or no drift.  Sound
quality is very good with the supplied earbuds, and more than acceptable
with the speaker.

Battery consumption is very low on this radio.  I have had it for about
10 days now, and I must be using it at least 4 hours  day (80% earbuds/
20% speaker), and the set of 2AA 1700ma Rayovac NiMH rechargeables have
not needed changing yet.  The set is still going strong. IF you do start
to notice some drift when you are tuned into a frequency, that is a sure
sign your batteries are weaking... it's time to recharge them or put
in new ones.

Another strong point is that this radio seems to be rugged.  I have dropped
it from the mountain bike 3 times at 15mph, onto pavement and asphalt, and
dropped it at least a dozen times indoors and out, and there has been no
impact on the radio's performance.  Mine is already so scratched up that it
looks like I have had it for 2 years, but it sounds like the day I bought it.
This is one of the key reasons I bought this radio... I knew it would get
dropped, and at this price, I wouldn't curse myself too hard.  I'm glad
to say so far so good... this radio has taken a fairly good beating,
and is still going strong.

The best part of this radio is that it makes shortwave much more accessible
for me.  I can take it with me and clip it to my belt or waistband while
going for a walk, doing household chores inside or outside.  I also
take it with me cycling, with it cliped to my belt, and then take a 5 foot
length of thin speaker wire attached off the collapsed antenna, droop it
from the radio to the end of the  end of the handlebar, and then let it
drop about 2 feet from the handlebar.  Just last night, I had a
three hour car ride, so I took that same length of speaker wire and attached
it once again to the tip of the the collapsed antenna.  I sat the radio
in the small interior doorhandle well of my car, hooked in the earphones,
and then led the speaker wire up out through the window, rolled the window
up, and then attached the other end of the speaker wire to the FM external
antenna on my car (I literally just tied a simple knot around the FM antenna).  
The results were again excellent... I could listen to
Deutche Welle, BBC, NHK, etc.  Sure beats Dr Laura!

I remain impressed by this radio's performance, especially with regards to
selectivity and sensitivity.  My dad got a Grundig FRS 200 last week,
and the side by side comparison shows that my smaller Mini World 100 PE
is more sensitive.  I will post a more in-depth comparison later this
month.  In short, I would highly recommend this radio to anyone
who likes shortwave and/or anyone who likes current events.  It is the
perfect travel radio, and will allow you to get alot more SW listening
in throughout your day.  I believe that anyone who is interested in
shortwave, and/or good radio programming, should get this radio!

If you have any questions, email me or post to the group, and I'd be
glad to help.

Mark

 
 
 

Review: Grundig 100 Mini PE (and how it changed my life) - an excellent small portable!

Post by AbbN » Wed, 28 Aug 2002 22:43:24


Hi Mark,

I've had one of these babies for some time now and it shocked the Hades out
of me by what it was able to do. Popular Communications did a review on it a
few months ago and they were quite surprised. It's the best example of size,
looks, type & price all in one that can be extremely deceiving.. BTW, the
battery (alkaline) in it is over a year old and still going.....

--
Enjoy
Abb
VE3003SWL
(SWL CallSign)

 
 
 

Review: Grundig 100 Mini PE (and how it changed my life) - an excellent small portable!

Post by Dennis Koer » Wed, 28 Aug 2002 23:30:34

I gave one to my eight year to introduce her to SW...she loves it.

Quote:> Hi Mark,

> I've had one of these babies for some time now and it shocked the Hades
out
> of me by what it was able to do. Popular Communications did a review on it
a
> few months ago and they were quite surprised. It's the best example of
size,
> looks, type & price all in one that can be extremely deceiving.. BTW, the
> battery (alkaline) in it is over a year old and still going.....

> --
> Enjoy
> Abb
> VE3003SWL
> (SWL CallSign)

 
 
 

Review: Grundig 100 Mini PE (and how it changed my life) - an excellent small portable!

Post by Linda Gran » Wed, 28 Aug 2002 23:54:26



Quote:> Hi Mark,

> I've had one of these babies for some time now and it shocked the
> Hades out of me by what it was able to do. Popular Communications did
> a review on it a few months ago and they were quite surprised. It's
> the best example of size, looks, type & price all in one that can be
> extremely deceiving.. BTW, the battery (alkaline) in it is over a year
> old and still going.....

I have one of those.  Its nice but I find tuning it to be difficult.  Its
so small that all the stations are scrunched together and using the
thumbwheelie thing is painstaking.  But it is small and light.  
 
 
 

Review: Grundig 100 Mini PE (and how it changed my life) - an excellent small portable!

Post by AbbN » Thu, 29 Aug 2002 00:06:03

Hi,

The Grundig YB-300PE is also extremely good and small - it too shocked me
while I had one. Of all the small ones they make (the Porsche, Traveller etc
models) it may not be the prettiest, but it's the best. I broke down and
took it back 3 weeks after getting it & bought the 400PE because it went on
sale here in Canada at the time. I've been toying with the idea of buying
the 300PE again but I think my wife will shoot me considering I have a Sat
800, DX-398, YB-400PE & of course the Mini 100. The more the merrier:))

--
Take Care
Abb
VE3003SWL
(SWL CallSign)




> > Hi Mark,

> > I've had one of these babies for some time now and it shocked the
> > Hades out of me by what it was able to do. Popular Communications did
> > a review on it a few months ago and they were quite surprised. It's
> > the best example of size, looks, type & price all in one that can be
> > extremely deceiving.. BTW, the battery (alkaline) in it is over a year
> > old and still going.....

> I have one of those.  Its nice but I find tuning it to be difficult.  Its
> so small that all the stations are scrunched together and using the
> thumbwheelie thing is painstaking.  But it is small and light.

 
 
 

Review: Grundig 100 Mini PE (and how it changed my life) - an excellent small portable!

Post by Jean-Yves LABASTH » Thu, 29 Aug 2002 01:15:37

It works very well but there is two problems :

- the frequency stability is not very good
- on my model I don't hear MW

It is OK for $29 !!!

 
 
 

Review: Grundig 100 Mini PE (and how it changed my life) - an excellent small portable!

Post by yachtbo » Thu, 29 Aug 2002 03:24:09



Quote:>I have been listening to shortwave radio for about 20 years now, mainly
>due to a strong interest in international affairs and culture.  I used
>a midsize Seimans portable analog radio throughout the 1980s, and then
>in 1991 I got a Sangean 803a, which I still use and love.  I primarily
>listen to the larger broadcasters.

>In the last 5 years or so, my shortwave listening has declined markedly.
>I have found myself downloading the audio of the programs from the
>stations I like, and listening to them online, primarily  out of
>convenience.  As I began an excercise routine this summer however,
>on my hour long walks, runs, and bike rides I started thinking about
>how it would be great to have a very small portable shortwave radio
>which I could take with me.   It would have to be a decent receiver,
>small and lightweight, and cheap enough where I wouldn't ever think
>twice about bringing it with me outdoors.

>After doing some browsing on the web and this newsgroup, I decided on
>the Grundig World 100 PE analog sw radio.  I picked it up for
>$25 on Ebay, and have been very pleased with it.  In fact, I would
>recommend it highly to any person who enjoys shortwave (or medium
>wave) and would like the convenience of being able to listen to
>programs while puttering around the house, spending time outdoors,
>or going on a trip.

>Physically, the unit is not much bigger than a pack of cigarettes, and
>with 2 AA batteries, less than half a pound. It has an antenna which
>has 5 sections which extend to 18 inches.  It also has a detachable
>belt clip which is very handy for walks or bike rides... you just hook
>it to your pocket or the back of your pants below the small of your
>back, and you are ready to go.

>A word here about the antenna and reception in general... while the
>included antenna will perform OK, I have gotten better results by
>leaving it collapsed and just attaching a 6 ft piece of 18 gauge
>speaker wire.  A 12 ft piece of wire performs
>even better, but becomes a tad unweildy for most situations, especially
>outdoors.  With the 6ft wire, I can pull in all of the majors easily,
>and some of the weaker stations as well.  I have listened easily to
>NHK, RCI, VOA, R. Sweden, CRI, R. Havana, Voice of Turkey, Voice of
>Cairo, RAI from Italy, REE from Spain, BBC, DW, Voice of  Russia, Radio
>Prague, Radio Zagreb, RVI from Belgium, R. Nederlands, Voice of
>Vietnam, KOL Israel, R. Budapest, ORF from Austria, Radio Prague, and
>the list goes on.  Suffice it to say that I am having a hard time
>scheduling all that I want to hear... there are
>more choices out there than there are hours!

>FM stereo reception is very good... it almost matches my Kenwood stereo system
>with a dipole, and the sound is very good through the supplied earphones, and
>passable with the speaker. Selectivity is very good as well on FM, and
>surprisingly good on mediumwave and sw.  For example, on a fairly good night
>for MW reception, from my home near Buffalo, New York (roughly half way
>between NYC and Chicago), I took it for a test drive through part of the
>MW band.  660 WFAN came in very clearly, as did 670 out of Chicago, despite
>a VERY strong Toronto station on 680 kHz 30 miles away.  700 WLW came in
>without interference either, again with a very strong local station 9 miles
>away on 710kHz.  Also heard without interference was 760 Detroit, 770 NY,
>and 780 Chicago.  This type of performance holds throughout the MW spectrum.
>I would have been happy with this radio if had just
>done well on MW... I like listening to a relatively weak local NPR station
>on MW during the day, but I have a heck of a time tuning it in with
>previous portable radios and walkmans.  This little Grundig picks it
>up well, without drifting.  For those of you who are interested,
>the Radio Shack AM Loop (Item # 15-1853, on sale for $20) really works
>well with this radio and improves its reception greatly.  You can plae
>the radio "inside" the loop, and then just start tuning!

>On shortwave, it does everything I could ask of it.  Personally, the fact
>that it is analog is not a big deal to me.  Frankly it is kinda nice
>to actually spin through the dial just like he good old days.   You never
>know what you might happen upon as you tune your way up and down
>the band, something which doesn't happen when you just type in the
>frequency on a digital model and you are there in an instant.  It brings
>in all the stations I want to hear, with little or no drift.  Sound
>quality is very good with the supplied earbuds, and more than acceptable
>with the speaker.

>Battery consumption is very low on this radio.  I have had it for about
>10 days now, and I must be using it at least 4 hours  day (80% earbuds/
>20% speaker), and the set of 2AA 1700ma Rayovac NiMH rechargeables have
>not needed changing yet.  The set is still going strong. IF you do start
>to notice some drift when you are tuned into a frequency, that is a sure
>sign your batteries are weaking... it's time to recharge them or put
>in new ones.

>Another strong point is that this radio seems to be rugged.  I have dropped
>it from the mountain bike 3 times at 15mph, onto pavement and asphalt, and
>dropped it at least a dozen times indoors and out, and there has been no
>impact on the radio's performance.  Mine is already so scratched up that it
>looks like I have had it for 2 years, but it sounds like the day I bought it.
>This is one of the key reasons I bought this radio... I knew it would get
>dropped, and at this price, I wouldn't curse myself too hard.  I'm glad
>to say so far so good... this radio has taken a fairly good beating,
>and is still going strong.

>The best part of this radio is that it makes shortwave much more accessible
>for me.  I can take it with me and clip it to my belt or waistband while
>going for a walk, doing household chores inside or outside.  I also
>take it with me cycling, with it cliped to my belt, and then take a 5 foot
>length of thin speaker wire attached off the collapsed antenna, droop it
>from the radio to the end of the  end of the handlebar, and then let it
>drop about 2 feet from the handlebar.  Just last night, I had a
>three hour car ride, so I took that same length of speaker wire and attached
>it once again to the tip of the the collapsed antenna.  I sat the radio
>in the small interior doorhandle well of my car, hooked in the earphones,
>and then led the speaker wire up out through the window, rolled the window
>up, and then attached the other end of the speaker wire to the FM external
>antenna on my car (I literally just tied a simple knot around the FM antenna).  
>The results were again excellent... I could listen to
>Deutche Welle, BBC, NHK, etc.  Sure beats Dr Laura!

>I remain impressed by this radio's performance, especially with regards to
>selectivity and sensitivity.  My dad got a Grundig FRS 200 last week,
>and the side by side comparison shows that my smaller Mini World 100 PE
>is more sensitive.  I will post a more in-depth comparison later this
>month.  In short, I would highly recommend this radio to anyone
>who likes shortwave and/or anyone who likes current events.  It is the
>perfect travel radio, and will allow you to get alot more SW listening
>in throughout your day.  I believe that anyone who is interested in
>shortwave, and/or good radio programming, should get this radio!

>If you have any questions, email me or post to the group, and I'd be
>glad to help.

>Mark

I used to attach mine to the metal window screen at work and get just
killer reception, even in the afternoon, in the midwest.  I sent one
to a friend of mine in Phoenix, who is an insurance adjuster. He has
to drive all over the state. He would basically do the same thing as
you, and listen to shortwave all over Arizona. My opinion is, this is
a great radio to get people turned on to shortwave, it's cheap enough
to give away, yet it has the ability to get people hooked. THIS is
what our hobby needs more of. There are LOTS of high end stuff, but
not enough low end stuff that works. Another radio by Grundig that I
am really in love with is the Yachtboy 205. It's another cheapie
(under us$50.00) that is a lot of fun. I've taken out the antenna and
put in a 1/8inch plug in, so I can use an external antenna. here the
link to a picture, it's a bit dark, but you get the idea;
http://www.geocities.com/swl_yb400pe/ant-mod.html
That brings me to another part of this hobby which is so cool, a long
wire (or, a slinky!) makes a great antenna. What other hobby can you
find, that all you have to do is spend a dollar or two on wire, and so
improve the performance of whatever it is you are doing.

--
==========
"Being diabetic is alot like having an un-invited
 guest at a picnic, who keeps pointing out the potato
 salad may have gone bad."--W.B. Willis

"Destiny has a strange sense of humor..." K. Honeycutt
----------
http://www.geocities.com/swl_yb400pe
http://www.geocities.com/swl_yb400pe/psychedelic.htm
http://www.geocities.com/swl_yb400pe/slinkypage.html

"He not busy being born is busy dying..." B. Dylan

=======================

 
 
 

Review: Grundig 100 Mini PE (and how it changed my life) - an excellent small portable!

Post by phil :\ » Thu, 29 Aug 2002 10:23:23

Quote:> The results were again excellent... I could listen to
> Deutche Welle, BBC, NHK, etc.  Sure beats Dr Laura!

laura is rude to her callers. "haunted mansion" LOL.

phil :p

 
 
 

Review: Grundig 100 Mini PE (and how it changed my life) - an excellent small portable!

Post by phil :\ » Thu, 29 Aug 2002 10:23:34

Quote:> I've been toying with the idea of buying
> the 300PE again but I think my wife will shoot me

like this Abb: "honey, look what i found on clearance for $10 at Radio
Shack! oh, and i bought this beautiful rose for you."

phil :)

 
 
 

Review: Grundig 100 Mini PE (and how it changed my life) - an excellent small portable!

Post by Jim Hacket » Thu, 29 Aug 2002 11:46:54

Phil, you ought to go ahead and marry your g.f.  I see you have the key to a
happy marriage all figured out ;~)


Quote:> > I've been toying with the idea of buying
> > the 300PE again but I think my wife will shoot me

> like this Abb: "honey, look what i found on clearance for $10 at Radio
> Shack! oh, and i bought this beautiful rose for you."

> phil :)

 
 
 

Review: Grundig 100 Mini PE (and how it changed my life) - an excellent small portable!

Post by phil :\ » Thu, 29 Aug 2002 12:57:15

Quote:> Phil, you ought to go ahead and marry your g.f.  I see you have the key to
a
> happy marriage all figured out ;~)

LOL. Jim, my gf told me recently "why don't you just go buy a few more
receivers like the 7030+ and R8B just to try them out?"

phil :)

 
 
 

Review: Grundig 100 Mini PE (and how it changed my life) - an excellent small portable!

Post by Jim Hacket » Thu, 29 Aug 2002 13:32:31

LOL.  Ever time I get another radio I tell my wife I can always put it or my
others up on eBay and get back what I paid for them ...


Quote:> > Phil, you ought to go ahead and marry your g.f.  I see you have the key
to
> a
> > happy marriage all figured out ;~)

> LOL. Jim, my gf told me recently "why don't you just go buy a few more
> receivers like the 7030+ and R8B just to try them out?"

> phil :)

 
 
 

Review: Grundig 100 Mini PE (and how it changed my life) - an excellent small portable!

Post by AbbN » Fri, 30 Aug 2002 00:16:50

Phil,

Roses here in Canada are too expensive:)))) Do you hear a bird chirping
somewhere "cheap-cheap-cheap-cheap-cheap"??? Perhaps I can just hide it and
bring it out when she's not around. I have that horrible SW buying itch
again - what's it called, "the 7 month itch" or something  hahahahaha

--
Take Care
Abb
VE3003SWL
(SWL CallSign)


Quote:> > I've been toying with the idea of buying
> > the 300PE again but I think my wife will shoot me

> like this Abb: "honey, look what i found on clearance for $10 at Radio
> Shack! oh, and i bought this beautiful rose for you."

> phil :)