I post lots of articles comparing radios and recently I came up with a list of particular radios I’m calling my “Keepers.” I briefly thought I might compare them side by side. How many comparisons would that be? The old math major in me immediately pulled out the formula for the number of combinations of n things (in this case 17) taken r at a time (where r = 2 for side-by-side comparison).

C(17, 2) = 163. If I throw out the less serious entries, the list becomes 12 long, and I’m still left with 66 combinations for these radios:

1. Eton Elite Executive *
2. HanRongDa HRD-757
3. LiJiANi Rd239
4. Qodosen DX-286
6. Sangean ATS-405
8. Tecsun PL-330 *
9. Tecsun PL-660 *
10. Tecsun PL-990 *
11. XHDATA D-109WB
12. XHDATA D-808 *

Divide and conquer

I could divide the radios into two groups: those with single sideband (5) and those without (7) and compare only within groups. Comparisons now are down to C(5,2) + C(7,2) = 31, but that wouldn’t be useful for the international shortwave broadcast enthusiast who doesn’t care about SSB.

Rating

Another approach is to find an objective standard and assign each radio a score according to that standard, and maybe if I had some fancy test equipment, I could to that, but I don’t. Using shortwave broadcast signals is a problem because shortwave reception changes from minute to minute and the evaluation is somewhat subjective.

What I might do is choose a “reference radio” and compare every other one to it. What would that radio be? I wouldn’t want to pick the best or the worst of the lot. It should probably be one with SSB and I’d also want a radio that many people had. The immediate thought is the Tecsun PL-330 and another popular option is the XHDATA D-808. My personal preference is the Tecsun.

Let’s go with that. The shakedown cruise will be a comparison of the Tecsun PL-330 with the incoming HanRongDa HRD-757 when it arrives, but I’ll grandfather two previous articles that fit.

The articles:

• Tecsun PL-330 or Eton Elite Executive?
• Tecsun PL-330 or HanRongDa HRD-757?
• Tecsun PL-330 or LiJiANi Rd239?
• Tecsun PL-330 or Qodosen SR-286?
• Tecsun PL-330 or Raddy RF75A?
• Tecsun PL-330 or Sangean ATS-405?
• Tecsun PL-330 or Sihuadon R-108?
• Tecsun PL-330 or Tecsun PL-660?
• Tecsun PL-330 or Tecsun PL-990?
• Tecsun PL-330 or XHDATA D-109WB?
• Tecsun PL-330 or XHDATA D-808?