18 January 2008

redsun rf1201 first look

My Redsun RF1201 arrived from China on January 15, 2008. This pocket radio receives AM, FM, and shortwave, and is comparable to the Kaito WRX911 in terms of size, design, and features.

Inside the box were these items:
  • Redsun RF1201 radio
  • a wire antenna that clips onto the telescopic antenna
  • a cloth pouch (hooray! I really like these, and sometimes the sellers remove them from the box before shipment)
  • a 3" blue-and-white CDROM, labeled with a panda bear face, claiming to hold 25 minutes / 225 megabytes

Alas, all of my current optical drives are slot-load models that don't support 3" discs.

I loaded the RF1201 with a pair of alkaline batteries for initial testing. I'm pleased with this radio so far, due to:
  • very good build quality
  • strong, clear signals for local AM and FM stations
  • high-quality printing on the tuning scale
  • nice frequency response via headphones

I heard a weak WWVH signal and a moderately strong WWV signal at 5000 khz with just the telescopic antenna. I found a few strong signals in the 60-meter, 49-meter, and 31-meter bands during an evening session a couple days ago, although shortwave reception was noisy due to local interference.

My main gripes about this radio thus far:
  • limited frequency response from the speaker due to its size
  • the volume dial is very touchy
  • noticeable hiss from the headphone jack

To be fair, headphone jack hiss is common for the pocket radio category. Overall, this has been a satisfying radio buying experience. I unfortunately had a bad first impression of Redsun, since the RF1210 that I bought had a loose tuning knob. I'm still planning to acquire an RP3000/RP3100 once those are available for purchase in the USA.

If you're interested in Redsun radios, you might wish to check out the RP2100/KA2100 user reviews on this site.


Lex said...

Good to see you updating the blog. (Reminds me - I haven't updated mine in a year!)

weatherall said...

Thanks Lex! Although I haven't been logging receptions lately, I am working on lining up some fresh content for the site.

Stephanie Weil said...

Hi, so have you had a chance of playing any more with this radio? Great site, by the way. Thanks! :)

weatherall said...


I haven't spent much time with the RF-1201 recently. It is in a closet because I already have other radios and gadgets taking up the tiny amount of desk space that I have.