C. Crane’s Employee Recommended Gift Guide

christmasgiftsonplanks

We feel your pain in the effort to try to figure out what to buy each year, we’re in the same boat. Whether you are shopping for your spouse who buys whatever he wants when he wants, your father who already has everything, your mother-in-law who insists she doesn’t want anything but will be devastated if you don’t buy her something, or your teenage grandkids who are pretty sure you know nothing about gifts they might like and hope you give them cash, we might be able to help.

A couple years ago, we took a poll of C. Crane employees and got some great responses of C. Crane gifts given to family and friends so we thought it was time for an update. Below are some of the responses:

John:     I gave a Spotlight XB to my Uncle as a gift. At home and at his rental, he works under sinks, under the house, under his truck, etc. a lot. The high brightness and kickstand help him to get his work done in a more efficient manner.

I gave a set of Voz Headphones to my Wife. She likes them for the comfortable fit and great audio quality. She uses them with a portable Blu-ray player and her computer.

For my oldest (15) I am getting him a Versa 3 to make his desktop computer WiFi capable. He prefers using an older laptop since it has built-in WiFi and lets his amazing desktop computer gather dust. The Versa 3 will allow him to enjoy his desktop the way he wants to … online.

For my youngest (8) I am getting him a set of Voz Headphones. This is so he can listen to his FM radio stations without bothering the rest of the house with that loud music kids listen to these days.

Bob:  Earlier this year I visited my aunt who is now in an assisted living home. She understands everything but talking is a difficult process. She let me know that she could not find a radio that worked well where she lived. I am happy to report the CC Radio EP gave her the reception she wanted . . . WCCO . . . loud and clear.

Kim:       I bought my husband the CC Skywave and he loves taking it all around the yard to listen to all the ball games. He loves that the batteries last a long time. He even asked for one to take to the race car shop.

All my kids love their Senta Ally. They can listen to all their podcast’s and “stuff” on their phones all over the house or in the yard or the kids can listen to something in their rooms and mom and dad do not have to listen.

Kathy:   My husband loves the Senta Ally that I bought him. He uses it in the wood shop and listens to his music from his iPhone.

Jessica: Every year at least a few C. Crane products make an appearance at Christmas. The Pocket Vivid Flashlight goes in every stocking and often the Unity Flashlight will go with a bottle of wine for friends or extended family. I’m really excited about our new CC Buds Pro and CC Buds Pro Mic earbuds because my teenage boys have actually developed a preference for them over other much more expensive brands, those will be in stockings this year as well! Past presents have included the CCRadioplus (now the 2E) which is used daily up at my father-in-law’s lodge and the CC WiFi which is used daily at my husband’s grandmother’s house. It’s nice to know that these gifts actually get used!

Annette:  I live where the power goes out a lot. I found that the CC Led Spot XB is my best friend when its dark and power is out or even when it’s not. I use it to check out the backyard since I have a lot of critters in my area that I don’t want to meet in the dark. It puts a large spot over a hundred feet away on the barn.  This makes a great gift for those who don’t know what to give a parent or grandparent.  I even gave them to the grandchildren for their cars. This light will also light up a room and the stand makes it easy to use. I personally shine it at the ceiling which lights up a room very nicely.

Carolyn:  The Unity Plus LED Flashlight has been one of my favorite gifts to give others for the last couple of years.  I was later told by some receivers that they needed another one because other household members keep taking theirs.  So now I make sure to include everyone when giving out the Unity Plus to help avoid domestic disputes!

Sue G:  This year I am buying myself something for Christmas from C. Crane. I love my CC Witness Plus and depend on it to work for me every single weekend, all day long. I am buying myself a second CC Witness Plus as a back-up! This is my gift to myself.

The new CC Buds Pro-Mic is my gift of choice this year for all my family members that have a smartphone and don’t have hearing aids, I won’t be giving them to Great Grandma, but everyone else is getting them.

We hope this helps you with some ideas for your Christmas gift list (or maybe gives you some ideas for a gift to yourself).

Evolution of the CCRadio- Survival of the Fittest

selectatenna

Select-A-Tenna – AM Antenna

C. Crane started in 1983 selling AM antennas. After starting 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. C. Crane has talked first hand with over one million radio listeners concerned with improving their reception. There is a considerable group of listeners who enjoy or by circumstance choose to use radio as their primary source of news and entertainment.

In honor of our anniversary month, 18 years of CCRadios, you can enter to win, tell us your if you own any of the CCRadio line and which one, how long and your favorite thing to listen to on it in comments on this blog and win the CCRadio of your choice. Drawing will be held July 31st. Only one entry per person.

Congratulations winner SoCalPal! Thank you for participating!

The Traveling Life

rvcamping

With summer looming on the horizon, we start to hear from more and more of our customers who are preparing to travel. We get to speak with quite a diverse group – from folks who travel seasonally throughout the year and stay in one location for several months or weeks; those who only travel during the summer; others who travel every weekend; or some who now only travel only through books and radio listening.

Whether your travel involves RVs and campgrounds; airplanes, hotels and exotic locations; or books and radio, we have heard some great tips from your fellow travelers on what you need for the best experience.

First, having a radio that also includes the weather band and alert is a priority. As the weather has continued to show this year, it can be completely unpredictable, and sometimes dangerous. If you are traveling somewhere new there is nothing better than a radio that can alert you to weather related incidents that might impact your travel plans (or your life). The local radio is often the best place to learn about where to go and what to do in the event you are caught in a weather related emergency like a fire or tornado.

Second a flashlight or our spotlight can come in really handy. If your vehicle has broken down, or you have a flat tire, or you’re at a campground with less than fantastic lighting and paths, then you will be so thankful you bought that flashlight and stashed in your glove box or emergency bag next to the jumper cables.

And last but not least – this is more for the RVers, campers and long haul truckers than anyone else. If you are at parks or gas stations where the WiFi is weak or spotty, we do have a couple of options that can help you improve the signal reception.

Enter to win:
Are you a traveler? Where are you heading and how do you prefer to travel? Tell us your best vacation story in the comments and be entered to win the CC LED Spot XB. Drawing will take place Friday June 3rd. Limit one entry per person.

Congratulations So Cal Pal, winner of the CC LED Spot XB!

Why We Made the First CCRadio

selectatenna

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

Why AM Listening is Better at Night

If you listen to AM radio stations at night that are just impossible to pick up during the day, chances are you’re benefiting from sky-wave propagation. Propagation is just the technical word for how radio signals travel through the air. Sky-wave propagation is the specific name given to radio waves that travel through the sky. Sky-wave propagation takes place between sunset and sunrise. It’s the flip side to the ground wave propagation used to transmit during the day.

During the day, ground wave propagation is preferable because the radiation from the sun causes so much ionization that radio signals sent into the air are absorbed into the atmosphere. When atoms in the D region of the ionosphere are ionized, you end up with free electrons and ions floating around in the air. It’s kind of like trying to walk through a room filled with dancing couples. When in pairs, there’s more room to walk through, but when they’re not paired, it’s easier to get stuck in a conversation with someone. That’s kind of how the ions and electrons in the D region work. When they’re not combined they look for something else to combine with and that’s how they absorb radio waves. At night, however, once the sun begins to set, the electrons and ions in the D region recombine rapidly – leaving more room for the radio waves to travel a little farther up. Above the D region, the F1 and F2 regions are also recombining, but much more slowly than the D region. When the radio waves hit those regions of the ionosphere, they have a chance to be reflected or bent (some prefer refracted) back toward the earth.

ccrane

What that means for AM radio listeners is that they’ve experienced the remarkable ability of AM radio signals to travel hundreds of miles farther than during the day. Listening to AM, and scanning the AM dial between sunrise and sunset is a fun way to discover how far a sky-wave signal can travel to reach you. During the baseball season, you can use the sky-wave to tune in some night games played in different parts of the country. In Northern California (where C. Crane is based), as in other places around the country (even up into Alaska), people use the sky-wave to listen to stations like KGO which is a 50,000 watt station located in San Francisco. If a signal reflects off the ionosphere and then bounces off the earth and then reflects off the ionosphere again, it can travel even farther than with just a single reflection. So, as you can see, sky-wave propagation makes it possible to tune in stations that you might not even know about when tuning your radio during the day.

If you ever come across a DX website, or even a shortwave radio website, where someone is really happy about intense solar activity (or lots of sun spots), it’s because more ionization during the day makes for better sky-wave propagation during the night.

If you want to make the most of sky-wave propagation, we’d suggest the CCRadio-2E and if you’re into shortwave, our CCRadio-SW is also an excellent choice. Since these radios have fine tuning capabilities, thanks to the built-in Twin Coil Ferrite® AM Antenna, you may be able to find a new station almost every night. A smaller version that works great for portability would be the CC Skywave. It’s a lot more fun than you might realize, with something as simple as a radio. Here’s a sample personal station log you can use to keep track of what you hear.

We’d love to hear how far away you’ve received an AM signal from its source, and on what radio!

Happy DXing

C. Crane’s Employee Recommended Gift Guide

Ugly Holiday SweaterEvery Christmas you try to find gifts for your family that you hope they will like and maybe even use. After the gifts are opened on Christmas day, you never see the stuff again (you know what we mean, the sweater, the tie, the gift they specifically asked for). Whether you have family spread all over the country or close by, you rarely see anyone wearing or using what you gave them. Well, we know how to help you out. Some of our staff here have had similar experiences so we took a poll here at C. Crane about what gifts employees have given for Christmas and how they were received. Below are some of the responses:

Sue G:  Two years ago, we gave the CC Solar Observer to everyone in our family for Christmas and WOW!!……..we still see them using the radio all the time, even the grown “kids”. Last year we gave everyone in our family the Unity Plus LED Flashlight. We knew they were great flashlights because we use them all the time, but we didn’t know they would be such a big hit. Every single person we gave the flashlight to loves it. These were the BEST gifts we have ever given to our family.  It’s pretty cool to know they liked the gift they got and they actually use it!! We will never buy anyone a sweater for Christmas again.

Carolyn:   Last year I gave the Senta 40 Wooden Headphones to my best friend’s teenage granddaughter for Christmas.  She is blind, so superior audio quality is an absolute must or she finds the distortions too uncomfortable for her sensitive ears.  When I talked to her after the holidays I was so happy to hear the Senta 40 model passed her high standards, and that they were now her favorite pair of headphones! I gave my hard to shop for brother-in-law the Unity Plus LED Flashlight He was immediately impressed by the light output and could not wait to take it outside and test it.  So there he was on Christmas Eve, running around outside like a little kid at 70 years old, shining his new toy in all directions while everyone else was eating dinner. Needless to say, I knew I had a hit and plan to give my other brother-in-laws the Unity Plus LED Flashlight this Christmas. Hopefully, they will finish dinner first. I gave my new daughter-in-law the Senta Ally Bluetooth® Stereo Speaker for Christmas.  She is a college professor, and needed an easy way for her entire classroom to hear the audio stream on her laptop, which was not cutting it.  It turns out the Senta Ally was perfect for her!  It is lightweight and small enough to fit in her laptop carry case, and it just takes her a minute to connect it to the headphone jack & set it for Audio Input mode.  Even students at the back of the room can hear it clearly, so no one can claim they missed something.  So the Senta Ally got an “A” from her!

Christine: I’ve put Power Vivid flashlights in my three kids’ (and partner’s) Christmas stockings every year since we started carrying them. 

Kim: The Ally is a gift I bought recently for my daughter. She loves it. She puts on the baby station for her son and puts it in his room for his ears only! She doesn’t have to listen to his tunes. My son-in-law loves it too. He takes it to work to listen to his tunes while he is working. Oh yeah and the husband loves his Unity Flashlight as well.

Brett:  We have a few relatives in their 70s- we give them a CCRadio-EP or CC Solar Observer. A couple months goes by and then we get the “What a great radio!” emails. An awful lot of radio lovers do find the simplicity of the EP is what they have always really wanted.

John: I’ve given several gifts over the years: Light bulbs like the  PowerVivid A15 LED Bulb and Color Changing LED Bulb; The Unity Plus Flashlight and PowerVivid Pocket Lights; The Senta Ally Portable Bluetooth Speaker – friends use them to stream music using Bluetooth®; CC Shortwave Pocket Radio so my Aunt can pick up the Fresno State Bulldog’s games and the CC Solar Observer which was a life saver for my aunt in Maine who was without power for an entire week after a snowstorm.

Jessica: Over the 18 years I’ve been employed by C. Crane, I’ve given quite a few C. Crane products as gifts. The CC WiFi is the one I hear about most. My husband’s 89 year old grandmother is from St. John’s in Canada and she’s able to hear news and music from her homeland. We set it up for her and pre-programmed the stations and she listens to it almost every day. I regularly give out flashlights. My favorite is still the CCTrek Light. I have one that’s almost 15 years old and the only thing I’ve done is change the batteries and recently replaced the LED module.

It says a lot about a company when employees buy products from where they work. Kind of like when people work in a restaurant and you see them eating there, then you know it’s a good choice. So here’s to never buying anyone a sweater or tie for Christmas again!

Bob’s Planned Move Brings Transformation

Bob and Sue in the first C. Crane Office, 1990.

Bob and Sue in the first C. Crane Office, 1990.

Moving from San Francisco to rural Humboldt County, California in 1983 was not without a few oversights on my part. Due to poor radio reception my love for AM radio was met with a good deal of silence until the sun went down. It was only then that I could receive AM stations from several hundred miles away. I learned to adapt to the local earthquakes but not the absence of radio reception.

I went on a six month research project to improve the radio reception at my house until I finally found an AM antenna, the Select-A-Tenna. In the day time this antenna could receive a clear channel station from over 250 miles away. I was absolutely sure there were more radio-heads like me that wanted this antenna as much as life itself, so I wrote a letter to the address on the bottom of the antenna asking if I could sell them. The phone rang one day with the inventor and builder of this device. I garnered a somewhat exclusive distribution right to the West Coast for a capital cost of $350.00 so my wife and I began selling the Select-A-Tenna out of our home. We advertised the antenna on KGO Radio in San Francisco. At first, it did not go particularly well but we adjusted our advertisements and soon orders started coming in.

A plastic surgeon from L.A. was our very first customer. He heard the ad on KGO and called to order one. I was shocked when he asked me to put the antenna on a credit card. We weren’t set up to take credit cards so we had him mail us a check. Never considering failure we started shipping out hundreds of antennas with the bill enclosed hoping the honest talk show listeners would pay. Ninety-nine percent of those customer sent us a check! Word started spreading about the magic of the AM receiving antenna.

One unforgettable day in 1992 cars and RV’s lined our 500’ shared, one lane gravel road to the house making our neighbors less than thrilled. That’s when I turned to my wife and said ‘Sue, I think we need to get a store for the company”. We soon moved the business to downtown Fortuna.

The Original CC Radio

The Original CC Radio

During this time, my wife and I both had full time jobs and 2 kids to raise. Our little company continued to grow and was starting to get out of hand, so we hired others to help us. With the dedication of a few good people we hired, the C. Crane Radio Division was born.

C. Crane continues the quest to improve reception with a selection of excellent long range radios and antennas. Our latest model, the CCRadio-2E is one of the best radios for AM and FM reception and it’s the most reliable we have built so far.

Bob Crane

C. Crane’s 30 Year Anniversary- 30 Days of Giveaways, Day 14!

We hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Congratulations to Friday’s winners Robert A. Roesing for winning the CC Radio-SW AM/FM Shortwave Radio and William Brown for winning the Power Vivid® BR40 LED Light Bulb.

Congratulations to Saturday’s winners Jim Sherman for winning the SoftSpeaker™-2 Pillow Speaker with Volume Control and Shil Bhaku for winning the GeoBulb®-3 LED Light Bulb (Warm White).

Congratulations to Sunday’s winners Chuck Mound for winning the CC SW Pocket AM/FM/SW Radio and Bill A for winning the Power Vivid® BR40 LED Light Bulb.

Today’s Blog Topic is: The Holiday’s are right around the corner, what is your favorite part of the Holiday Season?

Today’s giveaways are the CC Gozo AM/FM Radio with Hi-Fidelity Audio and a Sun’s Dusk LED Accent Light Bulb. To participate all you have to do is leave a comment on today’s blog post. We will select two comments in a random drawing and post the winners on Tuesday morning. Good Luck and thank you everyone for the comments!

gozo&sdb

C. Crane’s 30 Year Anniversary- 30 Days of Giveaways, Day 13!

We have had a great time reading everyone’s comments here at C. Crane!

Today’s Blog Topic is: If you could put two talk show hosts in a debate with each other, who would they be and what would they debate?

Today’s giveaways are the CC SW Pocket AM/FM/SW Pocket Radio and a Power Vivid® BR40 LED Light Bulb in Cool White . To participate all you have to do is leave a comment on today’s blog post. We will select two comments in a random drawing and post the winners on Monday morning. Good Luck and have fun!

CC SW Pocket AM/FM/SW Pocket Radio & Power Vivid® BR40 LED Light Bulb in Cool White

CC SW Pocket AM/FM/SW Pocket Radio & Power Vivid® BR40 LED Light Bulb in Cool White

C. Crane’s 30 Year Anniversary- 30 Days of Giveaways, Day 11!

Congratulations to Clay Guy for winning the CC Pocket Radio with AM/FM/WX and Paul Seaburn for winning the Power Vivid® A15 LED Bulb.

Today’s giveaways are the CC Radio-SW AM/FM Shortwave Radio and a Power Vivid® BR40 LED Light Bulb. To Participate all you have to do is leave a comment on today’s blog post. Tomorrow morning we will select two comments in a random drawing and post the winners. 

Today’s blog topic: It’s the beginning of Hurricane Season and Winter Storms, what will you put in your emergency kit this year ? The winners will be selected by random draw and will be announced tomorrow morning.

 

csw&br40