Incoming Radio! Qodosen DX-286

It was a mere 6 months ago when I wrote a very similar headline: Incoming Radio! Qodosen SR-286. I bought that radio because it looked interesting, it looked different, and there weren’t many others around (I like to be an early adopter sometimes). I wrote several articles on it both because I liked the radio and because there wasn’t much information out there already.

That leads to the disclaimer:

The Qodosen company noticed my articles. They contacted me and offered to send me the new model DX-286. They asked me to share my opinion about it. They didn’t ask me to write about it and they didn’t ask me to say nice things about it, but the reader should know that I didn’t buy this radio with my own money.

DX-286 Photo from Product Manual

The DX-286, according to Qodosen is physically and electronically the same radio as the SR-286 with the difference in packaging and firmware. The SR-286 didn’t come in a box, just wrapped around with bubble shipping envelopes. It didn’t come with a manual; I had to find that online, and the manual was what I would call a rough draft. The new one comes with a box and a manual. Neither comes with the 18650 battery.

This is what Qodosen says about the two radios:

Before the official version of the DX-286 (with complete packaging) was launched, the SR-286 radio has always been sold in a customized manner, only circulating in a small circle of enthusiasts; all are produced and delivered after pre-ordering, and there is no packaging. During the group purchase period, enthusiasts did indeed suggest that they hope to add AIR/SSB functions, but because adding these functions require a large amount of R&D time and hardware costs, and enthusiasts hope to get customized version radios as soon as possible, we did not add AIR/SSB functions after comprehensive consideration. We have rich design experience in SSB/AIR and will collect suggestions from enthusiasts in the future to try to meet their needs.

I want to follow up on that bit, “We have rich design experience in SSB/AIR.” The principle designer of the SR-286, Deping Zeng, was also the designer of the Eton Elite Executive that has AIR, SSB and SYNC detection.

The other main difference in the two models for someone like me in the United States is that the DX-286 can be purchased from Amazon and it costs considerably less than the earlier version, now at $79.99 US. Price was a significant downside to the original model.

I never pass up the opportunity to boast on the longwave performance of the SR-286 with an antenna and ground. It was particularly interesting to learn that the initial design goal for the radio was superior LW performance.

I was also quite pleased to learn that an issue with North American FM tuning I wrote about was improved. There is no problem tuning FM, but the radio has the unique ability to tune in 200 kHz steps, perfectly spaced for US FM stations, but 100 kHz off from where they needed to be. It’s nice that this is improved.

Following is the list of differences between the SR-286 and DX-286 firmware according to Qodosen (lightly edited):

The DX-286 continues the circuit design of the SR-286, and there is no difference in receiving performance. Both use NXP’s TEF6686 automotive-grade chip. Operation is simplified: combination keys are changed to single-key operation, which enhances the reliability of use. The DX-286 will be sold on the US Amazon platform, with priority for supplying markets outside of China.

Here are the differences between DX-286 and SR-286:

  1. ‘AMP ON/OFF’ function: in SR-286, you need to long press <PAGE> and          <0> button to achieve; in DX-286, it is simplified to long press <SET> button to activate.
  2. ‘ANT INT/ANTEXT’ function is activated by long-pressing the <PAGE> and <AM> buttons in the SR-286, while it is simplified to long-pressing the <RDS> button on the DX-286.
  3. ‘FM Signal Processing’ function is activated by long-pressing the <PAGE> and <FM> buttons on the SR-286; on the DX-286, only long-pressing the <SET>          button is required.
  4. To activate the ‘FM Search Threshold’ function, the SR-286 required pressing <PAGE> and <DOWN> at the same time; for the DX-286, it is simplified to press and hold the <PAGE> button.
  5.  In addition, we have solved the FM tuning step problem reported by foreign users of SR-286 (200KHZ can not be used in the U.S. region), newly added 76-95MHz frequency band selection, and the FM tuning step has been newly increased to 250KHz/30KHz to adapt to different FM broadcasting standards   in different countries. The specific frequency range and tuning step are as follows:

Frequency Modulation (FM)

  • 64-108MHz (suitable for Russia
  • 76-95MHz (suitable for Japan)
  •  76-108MHz (suitable for schools)
  •  87-108MHz (suitable for Europe, Oceania, Africa, Asia)
  •  87.5-108MHz (suitable for China, America)
  • Tuning step: 250KHz/200KHz/100KHz/50KHz/30KHz/10KHz

Shortwave

  • 1711-27000KHz: Tuning step: 1KHz/5KHz

Medium Wave

  •  522-1620KHz: Tuning step: 1KHz/9KHz
  •  520-1710KHz: Tuning step: 1KHz/10KHz

Longwave

144-519KHz: Tuning step: 1KHz/3KHz

I expect my DX-286 to arrive around June 13 based on tracking information.

I have a link to the new manual. I have not gone through it in detail; I’m waiting for the radio to arrive, but I notice that the manual is much more polished and attractive. The problem with incorrect page numbers in the troubleshooting section seems to have been corrected. It still needs a small additional improvement in the translation, and I have promised to sent Qodosen my thoughts on that.

Anyway, this should be nice.

About Kevin

Just an old guy with opinions that I like to bounce off other people.
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One Response to Incoming Radio! Qodosen DX-286

  1. Michael P Jackson says:

    Thank you for that manual! Now I can prep on the incoming DX model, with more controls than I have ever held in one hand before.

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