Why We Made the First CCRadio


Select-A-Tenna – AM Antenna

After C. Crane started to gain momentum selling mostly antennas and radio accessories, we received our first real technological challenge when customers starting asking for recommendations on the best radio. It was pretty easy to select the Sangean 803A as the first radio we offered to our customers. Tuning was precise and voice audio was sharper and more legible than most other radios on the market. With the Select-A-Tenna that we sold, it turned into one of the best radios made for reception. It was a little complex to use as a regular daily radio but it met many customer’s needs. We also carried the GE Super Radio which was much easier to use but lacked some of the functionality customer’s wanted and supply was erratic. It seemed that there wasn’t a good blend of features, performance and ease of use.

In the background we went about acquiring and testing just about every popular radio made at the time. It turns out that most radios are tuned for music and FM. There are many that have too much bass or filtering which distorts the human voice for talk radio and even voices found in music tracks. It turned out nobody was making a radio that made voices sound realistic and very few had good reception. If they did, they were so complicated that you needed a PhD just to turn it on or they were so expensive you needed a small loan to pay for it. It took 10 years to convince a manufacturer to help us make the radio we knew our customers needed and wanted. Something that had some of the most desired functionality (memory presets, clock, alarm), audio tuned for voice, excellent reception and wasn’t too difficult to use.

ccradio2eWe started the CCRadio by selecting a speaker and an amplifier designed to react well with voice frequencies. Trying to make a sensitive radio that picked up weak stations was the real challenge. The new solid state chips generated their own static noise that masked the weak signal so that is all you heard. It took months to reduce the noise and make the radio quiet so a weak station was above the noise level. The original CCRadio was introduced in July of 1998 and we haven’t looked back. Grandma Faye gave the best compliment; “you can hear the voices with this radio”. It’s gone through a few different iterations based on customer feedback and changes in technology but the idea behind it remains and it continues to be one of the most popular radios we offer. Models based on our design are still popular worldwide. It took several more years but we eventually invented and received a patent for the Twin Coil Ferrite AM antenna. This allowed us to exceed the reception of our original AM antenna and radio.

Our line of CC Radios has expanded to include different types and styles but the focus on reception and audio remains.

In honor of our anniversary month, 17 years of CCRadios, you can enter to win, tell us your favorite radio story in the comments on this blog and win the CCRadio of your choice. Drawing will be held July 31st. Only one entry per person.

Congratulations to Bob Emery for sharing his favorite radio story! Thanks to everyone who participated! ~Jessyca

136 Responses to “Why We Made the First CCRadio”

  1. Rainie Says:

    My CC Radio is what brings me pleasure everyday as I listen to my fav. AM station.
    I can not get AM on any other Radio.
    Sometimes the signal is not always totally clear but all I have to do is adjust the antena or the radio.

  2. John Palmer Says:

    I will never forget going shopping on Friday nights with my grandparentsh In the 60’s. My grandfather would give my brother and I each fifty cents to spend. My grandmother would head for Sears and my brother and I would run from “Penny’s” to Wooworth’s, then to Niesner’s to try to find something on which to spend our loot. My brother usually spent his money on something each Friday. There was one thing that caught my eye, however, and I saved my fifty cents for weeks to finally buy it. It was a “Rocket Radio”. You had to hook a wired clip to a window screen or some other form of antenna to pick up the slightest reception. I was thrilled to bits to listen to this little radio! It was years before I could get a transistor radio, so I settled for the old tube radios I would buy for a buck or two at yard sales. My first really nice radio was an Elgin which was the first thing I bought after I got my first job. It was a beautiful radio, and my first credit account. I worked for RCA Computer Division after my stint in the Army. They had a store in the company where one could purchase electronics and the payment would come out of your paycheck weekly. I bought an RCA eight track player with a radio and turntable. The thing made a horrible noise when it changed tracks, so I mainly tuned in to the radio. Those days are gone and now the choices of radio are never ending. I can even listen on my little IPod. I do believe C Crane has the best selection of radios and equipment to choose from and I continue to scan the website to decide which one I want the most.

  3. Richard Says:

    I purchased a Sangean ATS 909 from C. Crane years ago. I am very pleased with it and Ccrane. They carry only quality items and have been a leader in quality high reception radios. Recently purchased a solar observer and love the features as it is a great all around radio that can be used under any conditions, especially adverse ones such as when the “lights go out”. Many hours have been spent listening to coast, who enlightened me about CCrane. Thanks again.

  4. David Eiri Says:

    I’ve always been an AM radio listener until recently. My first wife gave me a GE Supertuner II and I loved it. She left me for another guy but I kept the radio. It had great sensitivity/selectivity and I could listen to SF Giants games from San Diego where my girlfriend lived. Eventually, she stayed in San Diego and kept the radio stating she was a bigger SF Giants fan. I moved back to San Francisco. Then my 2nd wife and I took vacation to Fortuna and I bought a CC Radio. It was perfect for my AM listening. It kept the power line interference lower than any other radio and it worked well with my Twin Coil Ferrite. I listened to Art Bell every night and set up recordings so I could listen to the show while at work. She left me and kept the CC Radio. Just because. I picked up another one as an orphan and have it today. The LCD display is shot but works well as long as you know your stations. Now my 3rd wife has claimed it as her radio. She uses it for yard work and exercise. The batteries last forever in this thing. Now I listen to FM because the AM reception is very poor in my car. I miss Art Bell. I miss talk radio but I know Katy Perry and Taylor Swift and that allows me to connect to my 25 year old step daughter. Someday I’ll return to AM but I can’t afford to lose another wife. Sorry Art. I’ll be with you only in spirit on July 20th.

  5. Tim O'Brien Says:

    Most of my listening is around the backyard. I painted the house, built three retaining walls, a concrete patio, a shade structure, planted several fruit trees, and numerous vegetable gardens. Having a radio that doesn’t need constant tuning adjustments is nice. The only down side is that I tend to break the radios because they fall off of things. I’ve got several radios that kind of work. Some only get AM, some work sometimes, etc. So far, so good for my CCrane and I’m pretty happy with the performance. In fact, I’ve been eye-balling the pocket radio for my surf fishing trips. (Can’t put a radio on the beach, that would be a new demise – washed out to sea.)

  6. Sandy Says:

    I first heard of C Crane from Art Bell. I bought some of your products and was happy with them. Right now I need to replace my Sony ICF-M410V. It is apparently discontinued, so I’m looking for a C Crane to replace it. I expect C Crane will have something at least as good.

  7. Ruth Canon Says:

    Love my 3rd Witness and use it every day – a trusted friend! Have always wanted a CC radio – I am a radio listener, and I think one of yours would give me clearer reception.

  8. Joe Jhala Says:

    I grew up in India in the late 50’s and all we had was a radio from the company called HMV (His Master’s Voice). It had a huge real wood finish cabinet and had “Short” and “Medium” wave bands.

    I used to listen to Cricket match commentaries from countries like England, Australia in the middle of night. Inside the radio cabinet, there were several very large tubes/transistors (size of a light bulb) and the radio used to get very hot after a few hours of use. It had a very large single (mono) speaker that was built into the cabinet and had a wonderful sound…

    I now have the CC WiFi radio about 1/20 the size of the above radio and I listen to stations (including Coast to Coast AM) from all over the world – what a difference technology has made in 50 years!!

    Be happy and feel good…

    Joe Jhala

  9. rvgambler Says:

    I grew up in Northeastern Colorado – 187 miles from a radio station (KOA) in Denver (1950’s). We had to wait until it was dark to pick up fun radio stations (KOMA). The farming crews from Mexico all had Channel Master radios in the early 1960’s so they could stay in touch with news from Mexico. I had to have one so saved and saved for one and carried it everywhere. Heard about the CCRadio-plus on Art Bell and had to have one….I’ve carried it everywhere RV’ing over the years – it has never let me down. I use the CCRadio-SWP when I fly. Ordered the CC Pocket Radio just today for hotel camping. My radios are tuned to AM stations all night, every night…..C. Crane is my brand!

  10. Paul Matthew Jr. Says:

    I started listening to talk Radio in 1988 (Rush Limbaugh ) it was only on AM at that time. The AM reception at that time was not that good, so some time later I was directed to C.Crane Radio who mostly evaluated radio’s and thought us how to make antennas for AM out of our cloths lines or back yard fence. They also had a radio they recommended for AM call the GE Super Radio. I bought one and listened to it for years. Much later I bought another one and strapped it to the back of may zero turn riding lawn mower. With ear buds and ear muffs it worked great as long as I was cutting east and west, but I lost it going north and south. Both radio’s still work great after being dropped and left in the rain numerous times (they are big heavy radio’s) but they are getting long in the tooth so it’s time to replace them with the C.Crane Radio2’s or maybe SW or maybe WI FI’s or maybe all three. I have given many C.Crane catalog’s to many of my pilot friends who live on my Air Park and they have all been very grateful.

  11. Ray Bronk Says:

    When I was a boy, I used to steal all of the radios in the house and bring them to my bedroom. Some were good while others were awful. Being blind, I could never seem to figure out how the speaker could produce voices and music. My dad often would have to put chicken wire between the cabinet and speaker, so I wouldn’t be able to poke holes in them.

    In high school, I got this old Philco standup radio. I soon discovered “IF cans” and was able to improve this radio a lot. So I got all of my friends to bring me there radios and I was most of the time able to make from marginal to quite a difference in these radios. I got my CCradio. I did nothing to it. These digital radios are a whole lot different than the analog tuned ones. I hope to get the CC2E real soon.

  12. Ray Bronk Says:

    One testimony of the CCradio was that I was able to hear from Tucson KFI out of LA during the day. My superradio was barely able to tell that it was there.

  13. James Johnson Says:

    I have never owned a CCrane radio. I had a secondhand GE Supertuner II that had a broken power switch. I listen on a Sony digital radio (I-D Radio) or on my car radio when I listen to Medium Wave. I am not convinced that Ibiquity Digital is the system of digital radio that we should use in the USA. I would prefer DRM with the Opus codec for digital radio.

  14. Larry Martz Says:

    My favorite CC radio is the CC Witness. It is an excellent radio and digital recorder with timer. I liked it so well that I bought another one (which is the new CC Witness). Both were “orphans,” and they were so perfect that I wouldn’t know that they were orphans if the company had not said so.

  15. David Shovan Says:

    When I was in the service 1n 1971 I was stationed at Fort Knox Kentucky and then at Ft. Polk Louisiana. It was known as Little Vietnam. I am from the Detroit area, and I would lay in my bed late at night and listen to CKLW-AM from Windsor Ontario,across the river from Detroit. I also listened to WLS-AM in Chicago, and WJR-AM in Detroit. My little transistor radio brought me a lot of comfort as I was homesick and it brought me closer to home.

  16. Ralph Haglund Says:

    About 50 years ago (literally) I was listening to 700 WLW Cincinnati, Ohio, when the weather report came on. The announcer said that the report must be wrong & he was going to tell the weather as he could see it from his window in the studio. He said the report said sunshine but it was dark, actually pouring down rain, & the temp was about 10 degrees to high by his thermometer on his outside window frame.

  17. Paul andersen Says:

    I like the fact you have a small pocket radio that can give great reception

  18. Laura Says:

    As a four year old in 1949, I remember before I went to bed we would do the rosary with the radio prompting each bead. I also remember the shadow and the older radio programs. We listen to radio, especially AM more than we watch TV. We purchased our first CC Crane radio in 1997, still have them and just recently purchased a pocket radio. I will eventually need to send the two older radios back so you can refurbish them….they still work but need some tweeking. Thank you for your solid, wonderful product!

  19. Dennis Says:

    I was born in 1948 and in our house in North Chicago we didn’t know FM from grapefruit. I don’t recall if we even had FM as a choice on any of our radios. It was WGN and WKRS (Waukegan, IL) all the time. As I grew up I added WCFL and WLS using a portable radio which was like an expensive miracle. I later “graduated” to FM because of higher quality audio but nowadays there aren’t many music shows worth listening to – getting better sounding commercials just doesn’t interest me. The best on radio today is talk, news, sports and old-time radio shows and almost all of that is AM. The key to me is getting good clear sound whether from a live broadcast or recording and my CC Witness+ has been perfect. It is mobile and, with headphones, private. And yes, it does a good job of pulling in those few FM broadcasts I still listen to.
    Good job.

  20. ken Fontecchio Says:

    I have always listen to a radio. I was 18 when we got t.v. Living in Appleton Wi. I would listen to many stations. I first heard about the radio on WGN late show. Since then I have bought 5 and gave 3 away. I’m 73 now and still take my Crane over t.v. I have an artificial valve and at night I can hear it beating so I got pillow speaker and live the radio. Thank you for this gift as it has help my wife to stay married to me for 51 years.

  21. AB Bhako Says:

    My Radio love goes back to my infancy. My Mom tells me that my Dad, who is a die-hard radio aficionado, always had it tuned to one of his many regular stations. So when they brought me home for the first time, Mom was pretty concerned that the radio would disturb the baby or that it would wake her up from naps. My Dad however had his own idea- He believed that if he kept it going right from the beginning then it would become a part of the baby’s world. It would be sort of white noise for her. And I can tell you he was indeed onto something. I am told that six months down the line I would wake up IF the Radio turned off! 😀
    It was that day and this… tuning in to the radio has been second nature to me. And I have my Dad to thank for it! 🙂

  22. Andy Reid Says:

    As a teenager, I was amazed [and still am] that I could receive radio stations from around the world and many were in English to boot! I became a regular listener to many Shortwave stations week after week. Many broadcasters had rich schedules with a great variety of programs.
    I took to redrawing all the International broadcasters logos in colour on pages roughly 6′ x 11″ a posted them to the door of my bedroom. I must have ended up with 30 of them which I still have in a book.
    I am sorry that so many stations have left the air. It takes a good radio and antenna to pull in what remains!

  23. Buddy Brannan Says:

    Radio was always magic. Like lots of other kids, perhaps like lots of other blind kids especially, I used to tune across the AM dial at night to see what I could hear. I’d fall asleep with the radio on, usually on KOB from Albuquerque, which is probably why I really gravitated to talk radio. I mean, this was the early ’80’s when i was 7, 8, 9, 10 years old. Now, what with noisy electronics, AM radio being maybe an afterthought on a lot of radios, and, mostly, radio sounding the same from one end of the dial to the other, it just isn’t the same as it was, but radio is still magic, amazing stuff.

  24. lwc30326 Says:

    For many years, Coast To Coast AM with George Noory came on AM 640 WGST in Atlanta. That is until WGST switched suddenly, to a country music format. For the next year or more, it was a major struggle trying to pick up Coast from one of the other cities in the Southeast.

    It would have been wonderful to have had access to and afforded twin coil ferrite AM antenna. None of the radios in the store had the ability to pick up clear signals from far away cities.

    Whereas the electronic specialty stores may have had radios capable of such long-distance reception, they are also beyond the budget that decent people can afford. Even the CC Pocket Radio would have been a major benefit until Coast eventually returned to radio in Atlanta.

    Radio Shack used to make excellent, high quality radios. But alas, Radio Shack is no longer in Atlanta.

  25. MH Ellen Says:

    My favorite radio story is unending.
    When I was a child, I was very shy, so I didn’t make friends easily.
    I had books and pets and loved them but my radio was always there for me.
    I learned about music, news of the world, answers to puzzles, how to repair whatever was in need.
    Authors, entertainers, politicians, military, sports and everyday heroes were known to me.
    Incredible breakthroughs in medicine, miraculous surgical procedures.
    I knew which streets were congested, what the weather was going to be.
    The latest songs, what was in, what was passe.
    If a distant station were hard to pull in, I’d use my Select-A-Tenna with my Sangean.
    Everything at my fingertips.
    Last New Year’s Eve, I went to the fish store to buy food for my tropical fish.
    The owner asked me how I was going to ring in the New Year.
    I said I was going to listen to the predictions.
    She asked me where, I said, on Coast to Coast, on the radio.
    She said her husband listened to the radio but didn’t know what because he used his earbuds.
    I said, I’ll bet he uses a pillow speaker, she asked what that was.
    I told her.
    She called to her husband and asked if he had a pillow speaker, he said yes.
    I asked if he bought it from C. Crane.
    He said yes and his radio too.
    I said me too.
    I knew the answer before I asked the next question, are you going to listen to Coast to Coast tonight?
    He said yes, he listens every night, I said, me too.
    His wife was dumbfounded.
    What a truly remarkable invention the radio has been to have connected all people.
    I’ve always heard you can’t be too thin or too rich, in my opinion, you can’t have too many radios.

  26. MH Ellen Says:

    I’m so happy Bob won.
    He deserved it.
    Thank you, C Crane for all your great products.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: