19 October 2008

degen de1123 radio appears on eBay

A new portable AM/FM/SW radio from Degen has appeared on eBay. The DE1123 has a rather unusual appearance:



I immediately noticed the very thin design (thickness is listed at 0.5 inch), and the resemblance of the round speaker to the iPod click wheel design.

Here are some details of this new product:

* FM 87-108 mhz or 64-108 mhz (100 khz step)
* AM 522-1710 khz (9 khz step) or 520-1710 khz (10 khz step)
* SW 2300-23000 khz (5 khz step)
* DSP for radio signal processing
* 1GB mp3/wma player with digital recorder
* Powered by 3 AAA batteries

On the manufacturer's website, this radio is listed at ¥299 which converted to US$43.75 at xe.com. The cheapest DE1123 auctions currently listed on eBay start at US$59.99.

The DE1123 auction claims that due to the high-gain built-in antenna, an external antenna is not recommended. I think that's the first time I heard such a claim for a radio in this size class.

Missing details include SSB and single- vs. dual-conversion. Volume and tuning are both controlled via stepping buttons. And as shown clearly by front photos of the radio, numeric frequency entry is not available. Memory capacity is listed at 225 (100 FM, 25 AM, 100 SW). Although without a numeric keypad, recalling a frequency from memory is probably done by pressing the M button then the plus or minus buttons to step through the memory positions sequentially.

I haven't followed Degen's products very carefully in the past year or so, so I don't know if this DSP technology is new. To me, that's the most interesting aspect of this product. If I learn something more about it, I will share it. Comments are always welcome.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

The record capability leaves a lot to be desired. I was hoping for high-quality mp3 record capability and more than 1G of capacity. Oh well, maybe the next model will have what I want!

Anonymous said...

Liypn seems to have disappeared from ebay. thoughts?

i ordered from tqu over a week ago so i suppose i'll reply with a short review soon

weatherall said...

I too thought that Liypn disappeared, but it seemed to only be temporary. If you search for the right radio model (currently, DE1103 works), you'll find both of their stores.

carmen said...

so yeah. TQU wraps things way too well.

despite that, it arrived with a 'loose connection'. i mean nothing was RXing on the FM band, and only Cuba on SW.

i was beginning to think it just really sucked badly at Rx (like way worse than anything else i have) when i started jamming the antenna around and then it popped to life

loose connection? this is not the quality i was expecting after such a flawless experience with the DE1103, which has survived numerous falls to hardwood floor and has a large dent from a gigantic 12V transformer coil that imprinted its metal corner on the front face..

nothing beats my Schaub Lorenz 107A for sheer pleasure of listening. it also nulls out the local noise when a carrier is locked like nothing else.

that said, the DSP in the DE1123 does a fair job of nulling out the adjacent channel and hets, compared to the DE1103.

now that i know it works, i'll try to do further testing.

also the LED seems to never light up. i got it to flash a couple times when mucking about with the antenna but now nothing. bla..

Anonymous said...

yeah loose connection. putting lot of pressure on the left edge of LCD makes the LED light up.. and connects the ANT input.

the 'digital' decoding is weird to say the last. which is why i still prefer 70s analog gear

that said, i could hear a shitton of USB stuff on 40 meter, contesting or something. even though theres no BFO. and it sounded fine, not like donald duck.

i dont know whats up with that. maybe the decoder style (Regenerative recievers can hear SSB without a BFO, apparently) or local RFI beating with it

time to perform weak-solderpoint surgery

Anonymous said...

heres a pic of the repair. radio works great now

AM fidelity is lacking. great for FM and i love the external speaker. back in the 80s before ipods you could rely on the boombox carryer to pipe music into the environment, a practice sorely lacking today

Anonymous said...

My humble minireview:
Construction quality: just average: I hate the band-funcion switch (it would be better a digital selector instead). The battery door seems to be easy to get broke. The USB charger/transfer cable provided is a bit short.
AM: sensitive, but strange behaviour (maybe due dsp processing); sound is too "narrow" IMHO..FM just GREAT as the DE1103, extremely sensitive and selective enough to bring the weakest stations (love to hear my favorite jazz station on it!). the MP3 player recorder: slow as a snail to handle files (specially the big ones). No tag id at all (you should guess or remember each file). No unattended/scheduled recordings capable. Mp3 playback seems to be a battery eater. Another ridicolous aspect: when you record direct from radio you should leave the volume almost at maximum (no automatic recording level available). SW section: Is any broadcasting out there? I was unable to listen a single SW station yet. Speaker sound is accepatable considering radio size.
Conclusion: a nice mini portable specially with above average performance in FM. Forget it if you look for an advanced MP3 player-recorder.

weatherall said...

Thanks for the mini-review. I care a lot more about mediumwave and shortwave than I do about FM. The DSP and MP3 features in this product sound a bit like afterthoughts.

Anonymous said...

I would like to hear another DE1123 user´s opinion regarding the battery life...It´s Me or the battery life sucks?

Anonymous said...

battery lasts plenty long for me

Anonymous said...

In my case, battery lasts three days of full use..mp3 playback reduces the charge way faster than radio.