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!

AM Reception Tips – Part 3 – Tips for Tricky Reception Areas

One of the toughest places to get radio reception is inside an office or apartment building. Construction materials like brick and metal, and noise from computers and other electronics can all combine to make radio reception nearly impossible to receive. Besides the construction of the building, you sometimes have to account for your location in the building as well. Often people are allowed to listen to music or radio while they work but a radio can be rendered useless by all the interference. Below are some possible solutions to this issue:

Conventional Solution:
The simplest way to improve radio reception it to put a radio in a window. If you can’t do that you still have several options. First using a CCRadio-2E, with its sensitive AM capabilities, is often enough to improve radio reception. If you’ve already done that, you can try running a wire from your radio to an antenna in a window. You could also try running cable along the floor or through the ceiling, or you could even wrap it around a few co-workers if you like (just kidding). But really, running a coax cable (like TV cable) from your radio to a well situated antenna might just do the trick. Two antennas to consider for this type of setup are the Twin Coil Ferrite® AM Antenna or the FM Reflect. If you have an “in” with the super, you might even be able to mount an antenna just outside your window. Not interested in purchasing an antenna? Try building your own for free, using our simple antenna plans.

conventional-solutionWireless Solution:
If you can’t imagine setting up a bunch of wires in your office or home, or it’s just too much trouble to get a cable to run cleanly along the floor or the ceiling, you’re not alone. Another possible solution – go wireless. You can set up any radio that receives the station you want next to the window or in the location you receive the signal. Then plug our FM Transmitter-2 into the headphone jack. You can then send that clear signal – be it AM or FM, to any radio that is strategically placed around your home or office. If you opt for the FM transmitter solution, you can expect up to a 45-ft range in an office setting. That will probably drop about 10 feet for every wall or large object the signal has to pass through. You can view our FAQs to see additional ways to improve the transmit range.cc2-fm-trans-1-500WiFi Internet Solution:
If you have broadband access you can opt for one of our WiFi Internet radios that stream a variety of content. You’ll just want to check and make sure that the show or station you want to listen to is available prior to purchasing. We’ve written several articles explaining in great detail the pros and cons of internet radio and what kind of content you might hear to help you decide if that’s the right solution for you.

Bluetooth Solution:
If you know what you want to listen to is available on an app, like iHeart or TuneIn, you can use your Bluetooth enabled device (such as a smartphone or tablet) with our Senta Ally Bluetooth®  Speaker. It provides much better sound than phones or tablets. Here’s a quick video to explain how it might work for you.

You can also check out Reception Tips 1- Radio Noise Problems & Static and Reception Tips 2 – How to Improve AM Reception and Boost the Signal.

And of course, if you need help figuring out the right solution for you, we’re always here to help.