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TESTING KCHIBO RADIOS

This article has been made with the following things on mind

1. The radio can be as low priced as possible and have SW band capability. You can consider
students on the university for example or people having no financial background. This is I

KCHIBO RADIO TEST


could say the “very poor mans radio”

2. To test these so low priced radios and access results

ON the other side the recent time I have made a survey on the local market.
I found that KCHIBO has a broad range of radios. Except the very low cost AM FM radios
there were also a broad line of radios having also SW capability.

Here is the list of KCHIBO radios with SW and their approximate prices:

KK1099 € 10
KK999D € 18
KK634 € 8
KK979 € 20
C 300 € 60

All the above models have been tested and inspected as you will see on the next pages

Also a BOLONG model has been tested here and is found on 7th page

Notice: I totally have no connection with the company neither I advertise them. This is just a
review of several models I tested
KK634
KCHIBO RADIO TEST

This is the cheapest of all the models tested. ( About € 8)

The radio has MW , FM and 8 subparts of the SW band. It has a LO DX switch and a electronically controlled AM
FM switch. This AM switch then is separated by a 9-pole switch for the appropriate band

Freuencies stated in the panel: ( with the results as found)

- MW: 530- 1600 (actually 521-1660. I have heard one station on 1660 )
SW1 : 5.5- 6.74 (actually 900 kHZ more! Same occurs for all other SW bands )
SW2: 6.57-7.86
SW3: 8.36-9.57
SW4: 11.1 – 12.2
SW5: 13-13.84
SW6: 14.47- 15.5
SW7: 17.15- 18.28
SW8: 20.97-21.97 (here the fres are separated by abt 300 kHz
FM: 88-108 (about 87-109. I heard out of band stations on both parts )

Here are the results of testing it for several hours


Reception / sensitiviy Inside: Opening the rear side I seen something crazy . the
MW : poor reception letter stamp over the IC s surface has been rubbed , so no
SW: fair reception,., There are two very strong chip ID!!
radio stations on FM/VHF II causing overmod
on the upper SW bands of this radio. When Audio: Highly trebled audio on all bands. In FM and non
telescopic antenna is fully unfolded. Did not condensed bands is OK but in highly condensed bands
tried for over-moding especially in SW adjacent channel RM ( up to 10 Khz far)
FM : good reception . Nearly all radio stations can cause uite annoying hets
were listenable Switch on by audio resistor.

AMP switch. Amplifies all bands .On the model I Earphone socket: And something nice. The plug is stereo
used (S/N C9700666) the switch has bad contacts. plug compatible.
Another unit I tested did not have this problem
Using it , it produces higher audio levels and extorts DC 3 V socket : Is also included
the noise level too. I don’t think that it helps in
getting lower signals Using your hands on the rear side the tuning capacitor is
tuned out.
Tuning : Totally analog tuning with a low uality
tuning knob as well as tuning capacitor. Its shaft is
not correctly contacting the capacitor thus having
gaps while tuning
KK999D

KCHIBO RADIO TEST


Its main features. This is possible the smallest quasi digital radio

-Digital readout even if it is not a100% digital operation .


-Frequency counter to 10 kHz ie M.kk for SW band . and 1 kHZ resolution for MW The frequency remains also
after setting it off
-Time and alarm setting built in
-Standing rack in the rear panel
-Case and Headphones
-Instructions for use
And everything in a price of only € 15!!

Here is what I found while using it. ( at right what noticed in the specs sheet and then the sensitivity as listed )
FM : 86.5- 109.2 !! 87-108 ≤20 µV , 100 kHz steps
MW 527-1661!! 526-1605 ≤4mV/m 1 kHz steps
SW1 5.90 –6.99 5.95-6.2 ≤100 µV
SW2 7.00 - 8.13 7.1-7.3
SW3 9.30 – 10.33 9.5-9.9
SW4 11.58 – 12.52 11.65-12.05
SW5 13.3-13.95 13.6-13.8
SW6 14.85-16.15 15.1-15.6
SW7 17.50- 18.27 17.5-17.9

And here are the results after testing it:

Sensitivity:
MW: relatively poor reception , but better than 634
SW: Seems to have high sensitivity but contradictions when using external wire. For example I could listen
to a station on 12172 with signal S3-4 as shown on R75 . But It could not receive AIR 10330 ( a S3 level on
R75)
FM: good also reception. Nice that still some radios can receive out of band stations!

In practice , the radio has a relatively lower sensitivity over Yupiteru in SW Could not find the selectivity on FM
KK1099
KCHIBO RADIO TEST

Front paenl buttons

This is the first model I bought before testing for use by my wife . Middle cost model ( € 13) is the nicest model
from all .
Unfortunately the model shown very modest specification on Shortwaves. For example a strong station could be
tuned in a very broad range up to 100 kHz from its main frequency.

For this reason I will make some comments here :

It is supposed to listen to VHF audio. I could not find the audio channel from MTV. IN contrast the band seems
to start from the 87.5MHz

Tuning: hard to tune ( very stiff knob)

Audio quality: Somehow better than other models. IN the SW bands a Turkish station had very good HiFi audio
quality

AM band starts after switching on ( via the volume resistor) IN 636 Fm starts

DX switch worked properly

3 VDC socket included

Earphone socket: stereo compatible


KK979
979 has been checked with C300 a, Yupiteru 7100D and partially with R75 with telescopic antenna

This is one of the little higher cost. Its price is € 20 and its resulted specifications seem to be a derivative of
the 999D . S/N is 1841000.
- As advertised it includes also TV Ch 4 band
- Digital display again to 10 kHz on SW using a better tuning mechanism than 999D *( ie not so fine
tuning)
- Clock and alarm are also included .
- Case and instructions in ‘Chinglish’ Also handling bracket.

Measured freqs - [also var by inlet capacitors ]


FM : 63.5- 109.4 !! 64-108 ≤20 µV (again also outbanders)
MW 517 –1657

SW 1 54.72- 6.42
SW2 6.84-7.64
SW3 9.37-10.28
SW4 11.41-12.52
SW5 13.03-14.16
SW6 14.99-16.06
SW7 17.24-18.30

SW8 21.27-21.95 ( abt S9+40) . When using headphones , the


cable can also act as antenna Variable ampli
setting by inlet capacitor
Reception / sensitiviy
+ MW poor to good reception ( not as C300) LCD is nice with big numbers. When radio is turned
Step is 1 kHz Variable ampli setting by inlet off the radio shows the time. Tuning is abt 5kHz
capacitor higher than the displayed.
+ SW: fair to good reception . Possibly slightly Tuning: It is now better than 999D , not so fine tuning
better than 999D(could not crosscheck ) a .
little better than Yupi 7100and nearly the same Selectivity: Low level Seems to be same as 999D
with R75/tel antenna with 10 db preamp. Two (Spectrum analysis as shown in page 8 shows abt
bands show noise from splatter from the local 15 kHz or more)
FM radio stations .Apparent heterodynes in Audio: very nice audio with very clear sounds
parts of the band either from the lower side Earphone socket: stereo compatible
or even from the upper side. Step is 10 kHz DC in : 3 VDC with positive on shield
Variable ampli setting by inlet capacitor Using headphones enhances drastically the
+ FM : fair to good reception but surely high listening eliminating the oscuilator’s noise
sensitivity or low dynamic range . The radio
seems to overload from the two local signals
LONG TERM USAGE OF KK979

Freq read out: (a forgot point)


For SW bands: M.kk with 10 kHz resolution
For MW band : M.kkk with 1 kHz resolution
For FM band : MM.k with 100 kHZ resolution

1- Tuning : in many cases the tuning knob does not tune especially in fine tuning . Posibly it’s a difer-
ential tuner or plastic axe is not so sensible
2- Can be tuned internally - by 4 capacitors- for
KCHIBO RADIO TEST

change of center band freq on MW and SW


amplification level on MW/SW and FM . FM capacitor also effects on AM partially

3- Battery operation
More than 40 hours using it 30 cm far from ears.
24 hrs continuous operation with same audio level

4. Using with full amplification level


MW : very strong MW sigmals have very broad freq listening

Example: signals of ERA 1044 50 kW can be heard up to 1115 , the 1179 can be hgeward up to
1245 and the University radio 1431 (100 W 500 m far) up to 1560

FM: overloaded at all band. ripled filter with two peaks

More on FM: Images of 21.4 mHZ lower. Lowering the FM sensitivity causes clearer signal on the
lower part. This ‘problem’ diminishes when the internal amplification capacitor is lowered. BUt using
mains adaptor the effect continues
I found that several freqs are clearer in the lower part thean their nominal freq

5. MW : Internal LCD display causes QRN to all band (as like fluorescnt lamp)

6. Using external wire, or using it in crowded strong signals: Antenna on SW seems a litle directive ,
taking splatter from the local FM bands . Stronger effects are showed in the 5 lower SW bands
2 m of wire can cause severe spaltter effects in most bands

7. Nearby TV can cause severe QRM with carriers acroiss ALL AM bands

8. Playing with the bandswitch fast towards the MW band can show a M.kk indication . The normal is
M.kkk . Switch on and off can corect this

9. Audio Resistor : the smoothest resistor i found ever. Very good for fine tune when ear in next to
speaker
KK C300

Possibly the most expensive model of the series costing € 60 contrary to its cassette size dimensions (7 x 11x2.5) . Included
with it are :

- Very small metallic colored buttons ( just only thin fingers should use it!)
- Real PLL synthesis . Step/Scan up and down and 30 memories . 5 kHz steps are used in SW 0.1 MHz in FM band
- 2 timers , including alarm sleep function ( steps of 10 minutes with max 90 mins )
- Light function lighting for 15 secs as standard
- Lock key locks all buttons on the front panel
- Hi - low tone switch on the left
- Case showing ‘world receiver’ and headphones ( earbuds)
- Antenna wire
- Handling bracket built in
- Instruction for use in ‘Chinglish’

Fore this time the freqs found are identical with what specified :
FM : 87,5 -108 ≤20 µV , 100 kHz steps and stereo when using headphones
MW: 521-1620
SW: 5950-15600 continuous in 5 KHz steps

- A button is provided for selection between these SW band starting points :


7.1- 9.5 - 11.65 – 13.6 – 15.1 MHz
- Another button is provided for changing between -FM stereo audio ( via ear buds) is very good . Level as
these three bands in carousel ( MW, SW and FM) of a medium class stereo system
SW/AM Sensitivity: Better than 979 . Nearly same
This radio has been checked for long time with the with R75 with telescopic antenna unfolded and full
SONY ICF7600 D as reference and shown contradictory preamplification( 20 db) . And relatively same level with
results ( as in some cases the Sony model outperformed ICF 7600 D though in some cases 7600 was better Also
the Kchibo and on other cases Kchibo outperformed it is found that using wires more than 3 m overload the
Sony) radio.
- Earbuds: Seem typical quality stereo earbuds. About
Results from my measurements –2db than my Philips open ear buds with flatter audio
response
- Very long time for changing between freqs : 1.1 - AM/SW selectivity: About 6-7 Hz . Much better than the
sec. Step button operates also as scanning function 979 ( abt 15kHz ??) but less than 7600D ( it seems les
- Using most by thumb of the buttons produces high than 4.7 kHz) . More on this in the pictures on the end
local oscillator noise coming into radio . However as in result it produces pleasant audio . ON
- Frequency indications are now exact. parallel listening with Sony model earbud to earbud for
- And relatively good AGC operation.( he only with a given freq. range audio was in the middle .
some AGC??) IN case of cross-interferenced - 3 VDC : Unkown problem with 3VDC from non stabilized
signals however there is a very high ripple adaptor showed locked all radio operations .
- Headphone cable affects as antenna - Listening with its own speaker: I found that in vacant
- FM sensitivity higher regarding to 979 without the freqs the inner oscillator circuit is heard
mess of overloading.
- FM Selectivity Better than 979 but not as of 7100 . And finally the radio is OK with its inner part. All ICs have
Relatively better than Sony their IDs clear
BOLONG HS902
This is a radio I received after a radio swap from a Chinese guy. I list it too because I found several interesting
KCHIBO RADIO TEST

Stereo - key lock - AM - FM

q Analog tuning
q FM stereo using headphones . Stereo switch included
q Button lock

What I have noticed with the radio (roughly by optical ways) :


Bands :
MW 520 –1620 Freqs are correct with what displayed!
FM 87-108
SW1 5.95-6.5
SW2 6.9-7.45
SW3 9.4-10.1
SW4 11.5-12.2
SW5 15-15.8
SW6 17.53-18.1
SW7 21.3-22.

Other interesting things I found:


handmade printout
circuitry seems with
Inside

High quality audio in all bands


About 10 kHz bandwidth is apparent with low
contiguous signals
Single conversion , many utes can be found
inside the band qDoes not overload with long
wires
Moderate sensitivity , ie 15095 (heard with
C300) could not be heard 634
NO 3V DC socket. Also Bolong has better audio level on
Freqs listed in the panel are the freqs used . headphones but the lowest corresponding
Quite accurate adjustment speaker audio level using same headphone
Two very small screws to unscrew in the rear level. Anyway it has very low maximum
panel audio level
Generally more rugged and reliable than the
Kchibo models Also rasdio seems very robust in all terms.
For example it required 4 screws to be
Testing with 634 and C300 unscrewed before the radio opens
Bolong : had better audio oion FM over 634 The inner part of the rasio seems to work
and same as C300 as a fully tran-sistorized set hence its very
Bolong has better sensitivity over 634 on MW nice audio. Also circuits seem to be hand
but lower on SW ,For FM was unmeasurable designed ( as forexample circuit board is
Bolong has more superhet products than apaprently hand made )
SOME MEASUREMENTS

Below you will find a series of pictures showing freq responses of several radios

KCHIBO RADIO TEST


Audio response on Low and high tone level in the Here is tha audio curve in noisy background
C300 on SW bands The higher carriers are still
audible even woth low tone

Audio response on KK979 on same freq . Notice ie highly trebled audio!!


that te signal was not audible

Here with the ICF 7600 D


The narowest curve of all !

The sensitivity and selectivity winner


ICF 7600 D
A resume
From the 6 radios tested I have found several interesting points
KCHIBO RADIO TEST

1. Most of these radios seem to have fair to good sensitivity. The C300 excels from
all of them having a very high sensitivity nearly same to SONY models
2. Nearly all of these radios have a low level of selectivity about 15kHZ for –3 db
or posibly ‘no IF filter’ at all . Again C300 shows a highest level of selectivity
though still not so high as SONY (prematurely self tuned enhancing its selectiv-
ity . It happened after a drop )
3. For me all these models exceed their expectations in reference to their price
4. Bolong stil goes farther with stereo FM that happens only on the most costlier
C300

As in result the two of the 3 radios presented here can surely cover the very basic
needs for the totally non experienced user as well as the person wo canot afford
to buy a more expensive radio.