Eton Elite Executive review

The Eton Elite Executive is the latest iteration of a fine entry-level SSB-enabled shortwave receiver. Others have noted its positive aspects that I generally agree with.

Here are a few downsides and limitations.

  • No computer connection. 700 memories, but they are manually entered.
  • Airband (118-136 MHz) suffers from overloading from FM broadcast (100 MHz). Manifests as broadband white noise and scratchy distorted voice-like sounds up to full-scale strength covering nearly all airband transmission. This happens when within a couple miles of an FM broadcast station.
  • The synchronous AM has a too-short time constant on tracking the carrier frequency. Music or tones like WWV break the frequency sync and sound wobbly.
  • backlight stays on in battery mode. This consumes a lot of battery if you forget to shut it off overnight. If you plug the radio in but have a master bench power shutoff, either remove the batteries or turn off the backlight.
  • several second delay when switching from AM to SSB or sync AM.

Some benefits:

  • The SSB receive has good audio quality for voice communications.
  • The selectable bandwidth generally works well. 3 kHz, 4kHz and 6 kHz are commonly used on AM, with narrower bandwidths available.
  • MW (530-1700 kHz) sensitivity is good, along with FM (100 MHz).
  • longwave NDB beacon sensitivity also seems good. Longwave uses the internal coil bar antenna like MW.
  • An external wire antenna (even if just clipped to the extendable antenna) makes a great improvement in many cases for shortwave.
  • The power adapter usually doesn’t cause interference. If you get a hum try running on battery instead to see if conducted or ground loop interference.

In general as with any shortwave radio, if there is too much noise, try turning off as many lights and unplugging as many items from wall mains power as possible. Then plug in / turn on one by one. When the noise is heard, take the radio around and see if the noise increases when near an offending object.