Author Topic: EMERGENCY RADIO find,Kaito KA 390 AM/FM/WX/Shortwave $20 bargain  (Read 2433 times)

Offline Carl

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EMERGENCY RADIO find,Kaito KA 390 AM/FM/WX/Shortwave $20 bargain
« on: September 22, 2017, 08:11:41 AM »
  I normally don't suggest a Shortwave radio as a prepper/survival radio but this radio has a lot going for it though it is a tad large for carry. This THREE "D" CELL radio offers long life on battery and a large 3 inch speaker with a headphone jack and a extending 32 inch whip tough a gator clipped long wire helps on shortwave. You even get a built in LED light and don't forget the WX radio that works great in most areas.I like the "D" cell power for in this radio ,at normal listening levels,you can get well over 150 hours of use and I use TENERGY rechargeable "D" cells though even regular alkaline cells will do well.The lack of SSB is not a big deal with the AM/FM/WX bands as the main interest and the $20 price is hard to beat for a table radio with so much going for it. The radio has a good carry handle and the 3" thick by 6"tall and 8" wide make it a bit large for 'bag' use ,but at a price that I would get one for home,one for BOL (yes,it will receive in the BOL but probably sympathetic through the Ham antenna feedlines as even cell phones refuse to work at my BOL,over 40 under surface) The manually tuned radio offers better than average sensitivity and good selectivity though a long wire attached to the antenna can cause some strong station overload of the front end.

  It can be powered from an adapter (optional) though the economy of the "D" cells and long listening life have yet to prompt me to other power options.Buy it quick before the price jumps back up!

https://www.amazon.com/Kaito-Portable-Shortwave-Weather-Flashlight/dp/B071DXSZ7Z/ref=sr_1_356?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1506086427&sr=1-356&keywords=radio

Offline chad

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Re: EMERGENCY RADIO find,Kaito KA 390 AM/FM/WX/Shortwave $20 bargain
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2017, 10:09:34 AM »
Good find, for $20 it'll be a backup to the backup.

Offline Carl

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Re: EMERGENCY RADIO find,Kaito KA 390 AM/FM/WX/Shortwave $20 bargain
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2017, 10:14:44 AM »
  It is a good ,low cost,radio though it does not have a hand crank   :deadhorse: :sarcasm:

Offline chad

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Re: EMERGENCY RADIO find,Kaito KA 390 AM/FM/WX/Shortwave $20 bargain
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2017, 10:36:09 AM »
  It is a good ,low cost,radio though it does not have a hand crank   :deadhorse: :sarcasm:


Yep, had my share of hand crank and solar none has stood the test of time.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: EMERGENCY RADIO find,Kaito KA 390 AM/FM/WX/Shortwave $20 bargain
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2017, 06:35:37 PM »
You know what I like about this radio?  It's just a damn radio.  No memories, no scanning feature, no SSB.  On SW it only goes up to 18MHz, which covers all the bands you're going to get anyway.  The knobs on it say "Tuning" and "Volume" not "VFO" and "AF Gain".  To change bands, there's a slide-y switch, likewise for on/off.  Intuitive stuff.

It's almost like it was designed to be useable by normal people.  You could hand one to most anybody and they'd say "Oh, I get it.  Here, let me find some news."

It's not for me, but I could see giving these to beginner-prepper friends.  Plenty of time to get and test one before Christmas.  I wonder how good the AM band reception is?  Is the tuning rubbery?  Some of the reviewers have it not lasting so long (but there're always a few of those).  I've got too many little radios around at the moment, but maybe I'll get a few other things off Amazon in the next month or so.

Offline Carl

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Re: EMERGENCY RADIO find,Kaito KA 390 AM/FM/WX/Shortwave $20 bargain
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2017, 06:48:49 PM »

I wonder how good the AM band reception is?  Is the tuning rubbery? 

As I said above ,it received AM and FM in my BOL,though probably sympathetic from my Ham loop feedline. The tuning is nothing special though it acts like AFC is working on all the bands as stations 'pop' in and lock in without the tuner creeping when the knob is released. I am impressed for such a low cost radio that appears to be NEW but may be a second from the factory and AMAZON has a great return policy for 30 days and most electronics works or fails fast...mine works.

Online FreeLancer

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Re: EMERGENCY RADIO find,Kaito KA 390 AM/FM/WX/Shortwave $20 bargain
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2020, 12:06:43 AM »
I picked up a couple of these and agree that it's a good bargain.  While my two samples do a good job with AM/FM/WB, I have been unable to tune anything on SW.  WWV's 10,000 and 15,000 frequencies are supposedly within the SW bands covered by the KA390 but I get nothing on either one despite being able to successfully pull in a usable signal with other bargain radios with analog SW tuning.

As long as you don't need the SW and don't mind hunting around the dial looking for stations, this is a great little radio that is surprisingly compact for a unit that uses D cells.


There is a similar concept that I also like, the Retekess TR605, which is a third of the size of the KA390, runs on an 18650 Li-ion that charges internally via USB, and has an honest to goodness flashlight.  In addition to AM/FM coverage, it also has SW that actually works even with its short antenna.  Sound is very good for its size, it's bare bones simple to operate, and it should be a few dollars cheaper than the Kaito.  It would be nice if it included weather band, but it's very difficult to get everything you want in one radio.