Sangean Pro-Travel PT-10 (Review)
Written by Bryce Ringwood   

The Sangean PT-10 has 9 shortwave bands covering 13-75 metre broadcast bands and AM, LW and FM (Stereo).

Semiconductors - A single receiver chip and an audio chip.Sangean Pro Travel



An LED illuminates if you have phones plugged in and are tuned to a stereo station.

The idea of "World Band Receivers" probably originated in the mid 1930s. Certainly one of the much sought-after radios, the original Zenith Trans-Oceanic was developed by the  founder of Zenith radio to accompany him on his travels. The first models were produced in 1942. The idea was that he would be able to listen to broadcasts, news and weather reports on shortwave. The subsequent Zenith models were very popular, and you will see one of the less popular varieties in these casebook pages.

If we look at the principle in a modern context, presumably you are a citizen of some country or other, and you want a world band radio to stay "in touch". Maybe you are a South African travelling to Mauritius. (If you are in Mauritius - do you really want to mess about with radios? - Probably not). You need to find your country's external service (Channel Africa) and broadcasting schedule before you go and maybe other information like propagation conditions ... and so on. With that 20kg baggage allowance, you certainly don't want to take a Trans-Oceanic or Barlow-Wadley because they are seriously overweight. You probably don't want to take a Sony, because it will probably get pinched or lost. So here is a simple maybe not too expensive radio that will do the job.

I used to take a small radio overseas, but no longer do so. I think satellite TV has killed of the need completely, with news services from many excellent sources. Try Al-Jazeera if nothing looks familar. Failing that, there's Internet radio on a smartphone.

This radio probably comes into its own for people wanting to listen to what's left of the BBC (VOA or similar) on shortwave. The set under review is over 5 years old and so far has only had a noisy volume control and the tuning LED requiring to re-soldered into position. Most of the time it is used as a small portable when gardening!


If you intend using this set in South Afica, then the most serious shortcoming is the lack of the 90 metre "tropical band". It also has the unused long-wave band - but if you really are travelling with it, there are several LW stations in Europe.

The set uses an analogue tuning dial, which on this specimen is reasonably accurate. For example, the BBC on 6190 kHz is at 6.2 on the dial. The tuning scale (dial) is not illuminated and the numbers are of neccessity quite small. The black on grey or silver background provides enough contrast to make them easy to read with glasses.  Audio quality is quite good through headphones and as good as can be expected from the 2" speaker. The radio seems sensitive enough on its built-in telescopic antenna. As with most small solid-state radios, I wouldn't connect it to an external aerial. Certainly not here in the highveld.

Some people claim the construction quality is not good, comparing it to other far-eastern products. I have taken my set apart and also the euphemistically phrased "far eastern product" and there is a huge difference. This set is rather well made with a glass-fibre circuit board and a plastic internal chassis holding everything together.

The tuning drive is as good as you would expect from a system that uses nylon cord. It is usable, but not particularly comfortable and there is a little backlash leading to back-and-forth tuning. If you are tuning to a set frequency, say, 6190kHz, you might have a problem. Battery consumption is reasonable - meaning that I haven't checked it, but I'm not forever buying batteries.

Maybe you wouldn't take it on an overseas trip - but its OK to take to the office. If your office is concrete and steel, you won't hear anything on AM anyway - except your computer power supply. These radios are not cheap (over R600 now ?). There are (or were) similar products from SONY, Panasonic and a Synthesized version from Kaito that uses an LCD cursor. For completeness, the "far eastern versions" can be had for about R60.



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