C. Crane is celebrating the holidays with a silly Ugly Sweater Contest… who do you think should win?!
Sue Garcia is an avid motorcycle rider and works here at C. Crane. She and her husband ride as often as possible. Sue has lived in Humboldt County all of her life. She’s ridden in over 22 states. With thousands of hours of riding under her belt, she can’t wait to explore more roads.
DO YOU RIDE?
For those of you that ride and like to cruise the roads on motorcycles, this is for you. I’m assuming if you clicked on “Do You Ride?” you probably ride too or maybe you’re considering it.
I don’t know how old you are, but I feel the need to tell you we are both 60ish and our mantra is this: “We are going to ride as much as we can, for as long as we can.” The reason I told you how old we are is that in our travels, we meet more bikers in our generation than any other age group and I feel a special kinship with these “seasoned” riders” that still get on and ride. Our passion is curvy roads with corners. Lots and lots of corners! The more corners the better! There are so many roads and so little time.
A couple of weeks ago (the latter part of July) I rode the California Hwy 101/Hwy 20/Hwy 36 loop (11 hours and 466 miles). My husband Scott and I ride big cruisers and we ride every single weekend we can. We’ve only missed 2 weekends in the last year. Even with 50 lbs. of leather on, we ride. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, our Anniversary are no exceptions. The only thing that makes riding better for me is my rock n’ roll music. I take my CC Witness Plus with me always: Bike – check, me – check, CC Witness Plus – check and so on (and in that order). I hear stereos blasting from other bikes when we pass them on the freeway or in town and although I’ve had a stereo on a bike myself, it doesn’t compare to how great my music sounds with my CC Witness Plus! I’ve tried all kinds of earbuds over the years and the CC Buds are my favorites for comfort, price and sound.
Last summer we hit 15 states in 12 days (CA, NV, WY, UT, NE, KS, TX, OK, LA, MI, AR, MO, IL NM and AZ). (I counted CA, even though we live here, because we rode the entire length of the state on that trip). We averaged about 650 miles a day. Late this summer (August to September), we’re going to take a month off and hit all 48 states in one trip. Even though my CC Witness Plus has 2GB of memory built into it already, I add my recorded 4GB memory card to the SD card slot on the side of the unit (for a tremendous amount of music) and in preparation for the upcoming trip I’ve got 5 memory cards full of rock n’ roll! I’ve been recording from my CC WiFi Internet Radio for months now and believe me, I won’t get tired of the music I’m taking on the road with me. I want to ride the Tail of the Dragon starting in Deals Gap, NC (318 curves in 11 miles)! And I can’t wait to let you know what I think of the Dragon and the other twisty roads around Deals Gap. I’m sure we’ll need to spend 3 or 4 days in this area, because we just can’t miss rides with names like Devil’s Triangle (TN), Blood Mountain Run (GA), the Moonshiner (NC/GA/SC) and my personal favorite, the Warwoman (GA)!
This coming road trip we’ve allowed enough time to actually get off the bikes and check out some neat stuff along the way. On our road trip last summer I was honking my horn and pointing as we passed things we could see from the freeway. We had a blast when we rode Route 66 in 2014, so we rode it again last summer. Williams, AZ is worth a look-see and a good place to stay if you’re going to the Grand Canyon. Bourbon St and the French Quarter in New Orleans were awesome too, but mostly it was just a lot of honking and pointing from the freeway. It’s a little scary riding through tornado country, we just have earthquakes where we live, so I’m keeping my CC Skywave in my saddlebag with it tuned to WX Alert and I’ll check it when we stop for breaks or see those dark, funny looking clouds in the sky. Seriously, last year we rode at a 45 degree angle for miles and miles in Kansas. When we finally checked into a motel and turned on the TV there was a big red warning on the screen and they were telling everyone to get on the bottom floor away from windows. You bet I’m taking my CC Skwyave!
C. Crane is right off California Highway 101. In fact you can see it off the overpass that’s right out the front showroom doors. I invite all of you to stop by and have a cup of coffee and a cookie (heck, they’ll give you as many cookies as you like). Come and enjoy our weather and by all means, take a ride through the Redwoods and along the coast.
But, if you like a challenging ride: a ride with corners, curves, twisties and switchbacks, stop by and if I’m in the office, I’ll share some of the secrets of our roads with you. If enough riders respond, I may be able to keep writing about what I love to do most and I’ll share our road trips and tips with you. For the many, many riders that come into Humboldt County and for those that like to ride the kinds of roads Scott and I do, there are some rides you don’t know about yet and will love. Maybe, after you ride Hwy 36, you’ll even want to start your own Best Rides list.
If you are intrigued about riding Highway 36, stop by before your ride and I will give you an idea of what to expect. You might even want to take a picnic lunch with you. If you start the ride from the east side and you get to C. Crane before 5:00 on a weekday, I’d love for you to come by and tell me your Hwy 36 thrills and chills stories!! Take a photo of your bike along 36 and we will post it on our Facebook page and in a future blog post.
Where do your travels take you this summer? Enter to win in the comments on this blog and win the CC Witness Plus. Drawing will be held August 17th. Only one entry per person.
Congratulations Terrance, the winner of the CC Witness Plus! Thanks to all who participated.
We know it’s still early, but we wanted you to have plenty of time to find the perfect gift for Mom. After a quick internal poll here at C. Crane, we’ve compiled a list of what employees have purchased and would recommend as Mother’s Day gifts. We hope this helps you find a great gift for your mom this Mother’s Day.
John recommends the PowerVivid Pocket Flashlight. He’s given them as gifts and everyone loved them. They are the perfect size for purses and glove compartments.
Christine loves the CC Solar Observer Wind Up Radio. Her perennials that survived the record rain fall are popping up all over the garden and of course there are plenty of weeds which need attention now and this radio allows her to power it with the solar panel. She can listen to music all day long while gardening and not using any batteries or electricity.
The Senta Ally is always a favorite. Whether doing the dishes or cleaning the house, being able to stream your favorite audio like Pandora through the Bluetooth® speaker definitely makes the work go by more quickly.
Carolyn recommends the CC Pocket Radio. She gave one to her sister when her iPod® died. Her sister likes to take morning walks with music as motivation. The CC Pocket overcame her initial skepticism because this unit brought in plenty of FM stations from her city, and she was able to program her favorites into the preset buttons to easily switch between them while on her walks. Now she also tunes to the AM band for news updates and information about what is going on in her city – something she had not done in a long time. When asked if she ever bought another iPod®, she said the CC Pocket Radio worked out so well for her that she had forgotten all about it!
Many of you may know Bob Crane always recommends the CC Radio-EP because that’s who he built the radio for – His Mom. She wanted a radio that was easy to use without all the extra stuff, so that’s what he gave her.
Isaiah recommends the CC WiFi internet radio. His mom has her radio on every day for several years. It only goes off at bedtime and when “The Voice” comes on television. Jessica’s grandma loves this radio as well. She gets to listen To St. John’s out of Newfoundland Canada and it brings her information and music from her home country.
Sue recommends the CC Witness Plus – whether she rides a motorcycle, works in the yard or loves to shop – she can record her favorite music, talk shows or even her language lessons and take it with her and listen at her leisure.
So many options for you to choose from, you’ll have no problem picking a great gift this year! Tell us what your plans are for this year’s Mother’s Day!
Since hearing loss is the third most common condition in people over 65 years of age, it is likely that you or someone you know suffers from it. The Digital FM Transmitter-2 by C. Crane has brought relief to many individuals with this affliction under a number of circumstances.
We have heard from customers that their church purchased our Digital FM Transmitter-2 so members of the congregation with a hearing loss wouldn’t miss the sermon. The worshipers tune a pocket radio to match the open FM frequency on the transmitter and listen through headphones or earbuds at a volume that meets their needs. Making the sermon accessible to everyone keeps those with a hearing loss engaged, while helping to retain attendance.
A customer shared with us that the television in the exercise center at the senior citizen facility where his mother resides was becoming a source of conflict. Some residents needed very loud audio while others found high volumes and resulting speaker distortion disruptive to their workout. The Digital FM Transmitter-2 with a pocket radio was the perfect solution in creating a harmonious environment.
Numerous customers have reported that the audio from their television was no longer adequate after they experienced hearing loss. Straining to hear their favorite programs created listening fatigue, and background noise from the household or outside made the problem even worse. Using the Digital FM Transmitter-2 to send the signal to a tabletop radio close by restored their ability to enjoy television again. A pocket radio with headphones would work well too.
At $49.99 plus shipping, the C. Crane Digital FM Transmitter-2 is a low cost solution that enables individuals with a hearing loss to avoid isolation and stay connected to their world.
What is your favorite way to use the FM Transmitter?
Most unique entry will win a brand new FM Transmitter 2. Winner will be chosen by April 6th, 2016. One entry person.
I’m not able to weed eat my yard like I used to so my long time gardener, Bill, comes in every two weeks and helps with the grueling part. He is as bad as I am about the necessity of having a radio to listen to while he works. He is also a fantastic radio tester for me. He has broken about eight radios and radio headsets over about as many years. It has been over two years now since we built him a chest harness to hold the CC Pocket, a heavy duty audio cable and a set of noise cancelling headphones. And nothing’s broken! If you are a hard working gardener then you will understand the gravity of a long lasting radio setup you can depend on!
For myself there is a certain educational show on Sunday I hate to miss. Unfortunately I am always running around the yard on Sundays trying to catch up with plants, weeds, leaks and “fall aparts”. With my hands full there is one radio I can clip on my pants… The CC Pocket! All AM radio signals are directional so I occasionally need to crab walk down the driveway to keep good reception. I try to arrange my chores so I am somewhat stationary between commercials so I can stand the little guy up next to me. The CC Pocket is a small, convenient go-to radio when nothing else does the job! By the way, the show is Bob Brinker’s “Money Talk”. Along with the Dave Ramsey Show, they have created more financial security to the average American than probably any other two individuals in the U.S.
Sometimes referred to as a transistor radio, a pocket radio is a small portable receiver that – you guessed it, can fit in a pocket. The capabilities and coverage will vary depending on the manufacturer and the price, but usually a pocket radio will receive the AM and FM bands at a minimum. Some models include more bands like NOAA Weather or Shortwave. Features might include built-in speaker, digital displays, clocks, sleep timers, and memory presets, while others are more basic with analog tuning and earphone operation only. The transistor radio forged the way for today’s personal music players, proving that technology can be made smaller and designed for individual use.
One thing many people don’t realize is that size does matter when it comes to reception, especially on the AM band. Generally, we wouldn’t recommend a pocket radio when you’re trying to get a weak signal. There are some things that no amount of technology has been able to solve (yet) and one of those things is the radio waves as they relate to the ferrite antenna. This is the internal antenna that receives the AM signal. No matter how you dice it, the longer ferrite antennas will provide better AM reception. FM Reception can also be impacted by length, but in this case it’s the length of the telescopic whip antenna. Most pocket radios do not have a whip antenna, but the cable for your earphones or an FM wire antenna that plugs into the earphone jack can significantly improve FM Reception.
C. Crane has carried some form of pocket radio for over 20 years. Pocket radios become personal companions for many radio listeners; the simplicity and ease of use are often cited as reasons people own one. You will see them on delivery driver’s vehicle dashboards, with people at sporting events (so they can actually hear the play by play action of the radio announcer), or combined with noise-reducing headphones by gardeners and equipment operators. The most common usage seems to be folks out walking or going for a jog. A lesser known popular use of pocket radios is as a bedtime radio. Many people like the auto shutoff or sleep timer features often found on pocket radios. This prevents the drain of batteries with the radio playing after they have fallen to sleep. Many people have sleep issues, so a pocket radio combined with a pillow speaker is the only thing that brings them relief.
It is certainly understandable why these radios continue to be a customer favorite given their ease of use, desirable features, versatility, and compact size.
This poem to the Pocket Radio came about when Bob was explaining how he didn’t quite understand exactly why pocket radios are so popular. This was news to us – we just assumed our radio expert loved radio regardless of its form.
We scoured past emails and reviews and pulled out several of the mentions of where and how customers are using these radios. Bob knows that people are passionate about their pocket radios. He mentioned that he’s never seen the gardener without his. We know Bob uses his for his important Sunday show. You sometimes see delivery and bus drivers with one wedged in their dash. This relationship seems very personal. So we’re asking you – why do you love your pocket radio and how do you use it the most?
Poem to the Pocket Radio
Oh Radio where art thou
I need your touch right now
Your companionship I desire
While I complete tasks so dire
You’re there when I’m walking
And when I can’t sleep
You’re with me in the garden
When the weeds are so deep
You are with me in the shop
And out on the boat
And once I cursed you
When you did not float
At the ballgames between cheers
The voices come through oh so clear
You travel with me everywhere
With you I have a love affair
Ah, yes my friend I owe to you
A true expression of gratitude
You’ve provided entertainment for years
You bring me laughter, joy and tears
Because of this I carry you
I never feel lonely and blue
Oh, pocket radio you are my friend
I’ll be with you ‘til the end.
Radios come in all shapes and sizes and with so many different features and configurations available it can be tough finding the one built to satisfy your needs. Whether you want a pocket radio for your daily jog, a portable radio for your next camping trip or one that will be the focal piece of your home entertainment center, we’re going to lay out the details on what to look for in your perfect match.
If you are an avid broadcast radio listener, you will want the best reception possible. In general, bigger means better. The more space a radio has inside for a bigger antenna, the more stations you will find and at a much greater distance. If you’re going on a 3-mile day-trek in the woods, you’re not going to want a massive communications receiver in your backpack. Conversely, you’ll probably need more than something with a 2-inch speaker to fill your living room with quality audio.
Trying to group all radios together in their own separate categories is a daunting task in itself, so we will narrow our field to three general sizes. Those will include:
The first choice is for people on the move or someone with very limited space. Pocket radios can be as big as a paperback book or as small as a wristwatch. As the radio gets smaller, a sacrifice has to be made for features and functionality. You probably won’t find too many good quality pocket-sized units with a full-function keypad or a high definition color display. They exist, but they cost as much and sometimes more than the bigger radios.
The next category is what can be called the “middle ground”. Portable radios can range from something you can comfortably toss into your purse all the way up to massive “boom boxes”. Anything that can be run on batteries and you are willing to carry with you to where you’re going can be considered portable. This group also has some of the best reception capabilities available due to their ability to be adjusted easily. They are, in simple terms, the best of both worlds.
The third group contains the work horses of consumer radios. Devices that would fall into the table-top category have all the bells and whistles anyone could ever want and even some nobody will ever need. They plug directly into the wall for their power and have extra connections for external antennas, speakers, controllers and accessories. They come with remote controls, multi-line digital displays, built-in keypads and multiple dials for every function available. Some even come with connections for hooking up to a home computer for added flexibility. These are where you will probably spend the greatest amount of money due to their complexity, but since their capabilities are far more advanced, you’ll be getting what you paid for and more.
The fact that some portables can be used as table-top radios gives them a great advantage when searching for the right one. You could leave it plugged into the wall for daily (or nightly) use, but you could then take it to the back yard for a family cookout.
Location, Location, Location
Where the radio will ultimately live and find its heaviest usage is a massive factor in choosing its size, function and capabilities. Many of the larger radios wouldn’t be able to sit comfortably on your bedside stand, so we’ll start by finding where you’re going to use the radio most. Once you have a better idea of where the radio will be, you can then make a more informed decision on the radio you want.
Most companies will have the dimensions of the radio either right on the box or at least detailed somewhere on their website. This will give you a chance to see if it really will fit on your side stand or that little shelf in the bathroom where your wife keeps the potpourri.
What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?
Some research into which features you need will be necessary. So many different features exist, though, that this one may be the most intimidating task of all. Start with the major broadcast bands you will be tuning in, such as:
• AM (Amplitude Modulation)
• FM (Frequency Modulation)
• Weather (162.400 MHz to 162.550 MHz)
• Shortwave (1.8 MHz – 30 MHz)
Includes the popular 10-meter band
• Marine VHF Band
• Amateur and Citizen’s Band
• Ham Bands
• Digital or WiFi radio reception
As you look through the specifications of a particular radio, it may have only one band, just a few or a huge selection of them. You’ll likely never find a radio that contains all the bands, so choosing which you will use most and focusing on those few will narrow your search to a much smarter selection.
Function Over Form
Bells and whistles, knobs and buttons, colors, shapes and styles. We all want radios for specific listening reasons, but how you make it get to where it’s supposed to be can run the gamut of combinations.
Sleep timer function
• Memory presets
• Auto Scan
• Built-in Speaker
• Headphone and/or Line-level output Jack
• Antenna Jack
• Direct input keypads
• Internal or external antenna
Jack for outdoor antenna access
• Tone controls
• Battery or AC power
• Remote control
The amount of functions you want in a radio will depend greatly on its size. Many smaller radios sacrifice external controls or an external speaker for higher audio quality or a larger antenna.
Analog v. Digital: A New Challenger
Even though they are relatively new technology, digital streaming radios, also more commonly known as internet or WiFi radios, are quickly becoming more popular, especially with younger, more tech savvy users. Streaming media can be found all across the internet, and people are discovering that these streams are much clearer and easier to listen to than the radios of yesteryear.
The chances are better and better as time progresses that the station you listen to is already streaming their broadcast on the internet, so it doesn’t matter that you’re in your concrete basement workshop that gets horrible reception. Anywhere you can receive an internet connection, whether wired or wireless, is where you can put these digital streaming radios. Some models will only get internet streams while others can connect to a home media server and play your own personal music collection.
They may not be exactly what you’re looking for right at this point in time, but a quality media streaming device could very well take the place of your favorite radio in the very near future.
You’re Gonna Pay for That
Setting a budget for a new radio isn’t unheard of today, what with the multitude of different radios available. Do you want to spend just enough to get a couple of the features you need, or go all out and get your dream rig all at once? It’s worth working out what your budget is before you even start looking so that you can narrow your choices before spending money on something you don’t really like. Radios with a lower price tag will usually have fewer features, and sound quality will be diminished when compared to larger, more expensive units.
You may even want to include a little extra in the budget for accessories like headphones, cases, antennas, AC adapters or batteries depending on which type you’re looking for. The perfect radio would already come with all the accessories you need, but the perfect package doesn’t always exist, so we have to plan ahead to get the biggest benefit.
Everyone has experienced some type of emergency situation where communication with the outside world has been severed by one method or another. Tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding and other natural disasters happen no matter where you are, so being able to get information before, during and after these events is critical for the survival of you and your family.
Emergency radios can save your life. You won’t always have access to electricity, and they fill the communications gap when all other power is out. They have multiple power choices, such as alkaline or rechargeable batteries, crank generators, 12-volt adapters (for use in vehicles) and, more recently, built-in solar panels. They will generally have your standard AM/FM radio bands, but what really sets them apart is the weather band. Broadcasts on the NOAA weather frequencies keep you abreast of news and critical information regarding your immediate location and surrounding areas.
Finding the right radio for you may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Once you know where and how your new radio will be used, as well as what you will ultimately be listening to the most, you can begin to find out just which radio will fit the bill the best. Also, it never hurts to ask for assistance. The staff at C. Crane have decades of accumulated and combined knowledge regarding radio in all its forms. If you’re stuck, give us a call. We are here to assist you with any questions you may have.