A range of shortwave radios coming onto the market are mixing the old with the new by adding a MP3 record function. The MP3 file format has been with us for many years and still proves to be a great tool for getting all that audio compressed enough to fit into practical memory storage.
Even though its a fairly simple task to hook a shortwave radio up to a recorder these new models have cut out the middle man by incorporating flash memory directly into the receiver. Some do a better job than others by giving a generous amount of recording space with some radios even having the option to expand that available memory by fitting slots for external cards.
Degen DE1129 Shortwave Radio
This unassuming radio from Degen looks just like any run of the mill receiver with the almost clone like black case and standard front panel layout but the DE1129 has a surprise hidden under the hood in the shape of a large 4GB flash memory capacity.
This storage space can be used to record directly off the radio no matter what frequency you choose to listen to and will also pick up audio from the radios microphone. MP3 and WAV formats are available to capture sound but with WAV files lacking the compression that MP3 gives they will easily eat through the storage very quickly.
Turning the radio upside down and you will see a memory card slot that means this set can be used as a standard MP3 player to listen to whatever you export onto the card. This means the only thing holding back the amount of music you can listen to is the size of the card used.
The radio comes with a USB lead for transferring audio files directly in or out of the internal storage, falling inline with the latest standards the port works on the new faster USB 2.0 protocol.
The DE1129 has the usual FM and AM frequency allocation along with covering a good portion of the shortwave band (2.3-23 MHZ) although the lack of long wave is a bit disappointing and something that seems to be happening more frequently on lower price receivers being release at the moment.
A usable number of memories are split between the different bands giving enough presets to satisfy most users needs considering the radio has no SSB receive function.
- 4GB internal flash, upgradeable with memory card slot
- Record in either MP3 or Wav
- 4 hours maximum battery life
- Supports the high speed USB 2.0 data transfer format
- Record from radio or built in microphone
- 148 present memories
- Over 200 hours record time on built in memory
- Frequency coverage 87 – 108MHz, 522 – 1710KHz, 2.30 – 23MHz
- Compact size 130 x 78 x 30mm
- Key lock to prevent accidental button press
- Weight without battery fitted 170g (give or take a few grams)
A high capacity Li-ion battery is included with the radio doing away with the need for any separate charging equipment as it can be recharged while still the radio. Even though the battery delivers good performance it does limit the DE1129 slightly as there is no option to use off the shelf disposable batteries if the need arises.
In the Box
Mains adapter (5v)
Rechargeable Li-ion battery
Standard USB cable
One of the price factors with shortwave radios is the inclusion of SSB and sadly for the price of this Degen radio it isn’t included. There are fully fledged shortwave receivers out there with SSB functionality like the Kaito ka1121 that has a recording function but its in a much higher price bracket.