Thursday, 16 July 2015

K-PO WR2100 World Band Receiver

The K-Po WR2100 (or Redsun 2100) is a relatively large portable radio that has frequency coverage from 520 to 29999 kHz in 4 ranges - SW1: 1711 to 10010 kHz, SW2 9990 to 20010 kHz, and SW3: 19990 to 29999 Khz and lastly medium wave which can be changed from 522 to 1620 kHz in 9 kHz steps or 520 to 1710 in 10 kHz steps. The reset button (on the front panel) has to be pressed to apply the changes on MW, a fact I did not discover at first. Maybe I should read the handbook more carefully!

Bass, treble and RF gain controls are separate, as are narrow / wide filter for AM and a stereo / mono control on the same switch. The narrow / wide filter does not seem to greatly affect the received sound.  I have not played with the memories yet, as I rarely use these on any radio I own. The radio has a Q.Tune feature which works well and jumps to the next shortwave broadcast  band. There are also up / down buttons to help with scanning through frequencies. Batteries are either 4 x D cells or 4 X AA cells. I am not sure how long the D batteries will last and I have not tested the radio on AA cells. The mains adapter works well, and so far I have not detected extra noise from the power supply in the adapter. 


On the side of the unit, there are switches for Key Light (on / off), AM Sensitivity (Distant / Local) and FM/SW Antenna (Internal/External). The Distant switch reduces gain by a useful amount. On the other side is phono line out for stereo (L/R) and Battery switch (AA/D) and DC in socket. On the back are sockets for antennas (coaxial in for FM and Antenna in andground for SW) and an IF output socket (again coaxial). 

Annoyingly, at first, I found the radio reads around 1 kHz low. For example Radio 5 on Medium Wave is 909 kHz, but the K-Po records a centre tune point of 908 kHz. From what I read, and after speaking to David of Wizard Radio, I gather this is common on examples  the radio. This is older technology - analogue RF circuits with an add on synthesiser. I seem to recall that a Sangean ATS-803a that I had some years ago, had a similar problem. Anyway Medium Wave sounds better with a 1kHz off - tune!

Less of the details; how does it perform? 

Well, very well, in my opinion. The Medium Wave section is sensitive, more sensitive than my Tecsun PL-600 and better than most of the other analogue radios in my possession. All stations I would expect to hear on MW, like Smooth, BBC local radio and Radio 5, Talksport, and Virgin come in clearly and moreover, the radio has a good sound. In conjunction with the Tecsun AN-200 loop antenna I listened to Calimero on 1638 from the North of Holland as if it were a nearby station. (see video clip - This was the main reason I bought the set because I had heard of its capabilities on MW.

It is on Shortwave that I was surprised. This radio pulls in "Free" radio stations that I cannot hear on the Tecsun. For example, I could just hear GSV one evening on 6401 with the telescopic antenna (by a window), that was also weak on the outside antenna on my Icom. Rode Adelaar (Video clips -, and and Paardenkracht (Video clip - in clearly also. 
FM seems clear and again as sensitive, if not better than other portable radios I have. Certainly the sound is superior. I cannot vouch for overload problems as I am not close by a FM transmitter. The nearest to me is under 10 miles, but is not massively high power.  But, again, I did not buy the radio for FM.

All in all, a useful addition to my collection! I look forward to taking it on holiday with me.

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