Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tecsun BCL-3000/Eton/Grundig S350DL

A few years back a friend gifted me the Tecsun BCL-3000, the Chinese badged version of the Eton / Grundig S350DL AM/FM/SW Radio. He brought it back from his home town in China. Out of the box and after a few hours of use, I discovered it was a fun portable radio.

For those who cut their teeth on analog radios, the Tecsun BCL-3000/Eton/Grundig S350DL is sure to be a nostalgic trip down radio land. It has been for me. Dialing in 1 Khz increments, but with a digital readout. Flipping SW band switches / FM-AFC / RF Gain / Wide-Narrow filters / dial-type volume control. Tuning in short-wave stations that drift slightly (depending on room temperature). It all had me remembering my first short-wave set. 

And I've owned many short-wave radios since the late 1960s, including a Realistic DX-160, Zenith Trans-Oceanic H500, Panasonic RF-B45, Degen DE-1120 (Kaito KA-1120). In some ways the BCL-3000/S350DL embodies the best and worst of these radios. The sound is as good as the Zenith Trans-Oceanic with its bass and treble controls; Wide/Narrow filters are similar to the Degen/Kaito, although broader they do sort out some of the weaker stations; plastic build is like so many plastic radio cases -- it can and will break when dropped; the automatic frequency lock to eliminate drifting common to analog radios like the Realistic helps. 

If you're looking for a radio that provides punch-in digital readout, multi-station memory, sync mode, drift-free operation, and other technical innovations in recent years, the BCL-3000/S350DL is probably not the radio for you. It's more like the 1960s Spiegel's AM/FM/SW radio my parents gave me as a kid; it's a great beginner's short-wave set or ideal for old radioheads. 

Having said that, it does do a pretty decent job of receiving most of the major international short-wave stations, despite some overlapping on other frequencies. It seems to excel on AM and FM, pulling in weak stations and amplifying the reception better than some of my portables like the Panasonic RF-B45 and Degen DE-1102. 

FM stereo is available through headphones or auxiliary speakers which it has jacks for. The whip antenna is sufficient to receive many stronger stations. It even has connections for an outdoor antenna/ground which improves the signal reception immensely.

Simply put, it's a fun radio to use!


SPECIFICATIONS
* FM (87~108MHz) / AM (530~1710KHz) / SW (3.0~28MHz)
* LCD display with orange back light
* Variable RF Gain Control
* Variable, Independent Bass and Treble Control
* Stereo / Mono selection
* Low - pass filter for SW and MW reception
* Sleep Timer from 1 to 90 minutes
* Digital Clock display with 12/24 format selectable
* Wake up timer (use as radio play alarm)
* Power Failure back function
* Left / right line level outputs (stereo in FM)
* Jacks for supplementary AM, FM and SW antenna
* Earphone socket
* DC Jack
* Built in Telescopic antenna for FM and SW

3 comments:

  1. Yes, a very interesting radio for casual listening both indoor & outdoor giving good sound and reception...

    Mine is more than 6 years old now and still running strong!

    The later model like Grundig S450DLX is bigger but as good either.

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  2. Does this reciever support ssb of lsb/usb or bfo control?

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    Replies
    1. No, it does not. It's a very basic radio.

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