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A Review of the GE Superadio 3 7-2887B

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KE5FNB, May 23, 2021.

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  1. KE5FNB

    KE5FNB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Above is the link to this review as it appears on my blog...

    I was 15 going on 16 when I first discovered the GE Superadio, which I saw in a C. Crane Catalog. That was back in the Fall of 2002.

    It was from reading about that said radio that I learned of the hobby AM or Medium Wave DXing.

    I first tried that activity in the Fall of 2003 with positive results. For those of you who are curious, the radio I used was a Radio Shack 12-756.

    From that point until Hurricane Katrina, I was usually near some radio at night seeing what distant or local stations I could catch. I was entertained for hours on end.

    Then Hurricane Katrina happened and as I’ve mentioned a time or two before, it ruined many things in New Orleans. Some of those ruined things have recovered, but radio broadcasting in that City has not recovered.

    WTIX-AM/WIST-AM and WSMB-AM had some pretty neat talk programming before Katrina. Now those callsigns are no longer in use and their frequencies are used for other formats.

    It is now 2021, almost 16 years after that hurricane and the radio stations in New Orleans still don’t have that much to offer.

    I gave up on waiting for it to recover.

    I will listen to the NPR station out of New Orleans but I can get NPR almost anywhere.

    So, I’ve decided to do a little streaming with my Sylvania BoomBox and Samsung tablet when I want to hear stations from other cities, but I prefer to do this the old-fashioned way.

    I have several capable AM-compatible radios, but I wanted a more high-performance model.

    Meet the GE Superadio 3 7-2887B, that which this piece will be a review thereof.

    This piece will be my initial reaction because I haven’t had the chance to take it out into the sticks and do some serious DXing with it.

    Although I must say I am pleased thus far!

    I had a little bit of extra money in May of 2021, and I’ve wanted one of these radios since my teen years.

    God blessed me with one through eBay. The base price was $49.99. The shipping was free. and the total after taxes was $54.79. It was used but in very nice condition, especially considering the price! I ordered it on May 4th, 2021 and it arrived on May 10, 2021. God has blessed me tremendously, because not only was I able to get it for a very fair price, but it also doesn’t have any of the quality control issues that many GE Superadios suffer from. I thank Him and give Him the glory. Hopefully, aside from secular educational and entertainment programming, I can tune in some Christian programs as well.

    I interpreted the date code to mean that my particular unit came off the assembly line in August of 2001. This means that it is almost 20 years old at the time I received it. It does work like a brand new unit!

    Although made primarily of plastic and in China, it still seems to be solidly constructed. Even the carrying handle feels quite rugged. The radio is activated by an On/Off switch. There is a 6.5 inch/165.1-millimeter woofer and a 2 inch/50.8-millimeter tweeter for the internal speakers and I must say the audio quality is more than generous. The volume is still quite loud even at the lowest setting. (minimum audio output is 700 milliWatts.) There are dedicated Bass and Treble controls. For FM listening there is an Automatic Frequency Control switch and yes it does work wonderfully (especially considering I am a few blocks from an FM transmitter tower.) In addition, there is a Ceramic IF filter and 3 IF tuned circuits for FM. There are also 4 IF tuned circuits and a wide/narrow selector switch for AM reception. Narrow allows better selectivity. Wide allows better audio quality. I will say that in Wide mode, AM music sounds as nicely as if it were broadcast on FM. For power, it runs on either 6 D-sized batteries or the AC mains current. Yes, this radio is a bit oversized with physical dimensions of 12.5 inches Wide X 10.5 inches High X 4.5 inches Thick (317.5 mm Wide X 266.7 mm High X 114.3 mm Thick) but worth it.

    Then there is the tuning capability:

    I’ve read many complaints from others saying their GE Superadios were not accurate on the tuning dial, but mine was reasonably accurate for a vernier tuner. It’s not always dead-on, but it’s fairly near where it needs to be. The FM rod antenna is long enough (38 inches/976 millimeters) and pulls in FM stations wonderfully but the internal AM ferrite bar antenna is the selling point above all else on this model. It is engineered to pull in distant AM stations that most radios won’t even detect. This is because the bar is longer (7.875 inches/200 millimeters total length) than most internal AM antennas. If that weren’t enough, there are external antenna terminals on the back of the radio to connect to even better antennas both from AM and FM. I literally can’t wait to take this out to the sticks and try it out. Right now I live in an apartment, so along with all of the electrical noise from living in close quarters, I also have to consider not disturbing my neighbors when playing a radio at night. I would like to find a cabin by a lakeshore and try it out. I hope that by the time I purchase my forever home that AM broadcasting will still be available. However, if this year’s hurricane season is as active as last year’s, I will have plenty of reasons to use this radio.

    I picked up a station that I’ve never picked up before in my 17 years of AM DXing. And yes I picked it up on my GE Superadio 3. On the evening of May 14, 2021, I received WBT out of Charlotte, North Carolina. I have never heard an AM station that far east before. I do have a friend in the suburbs of Cleveland and have been trying to pick up the station WTAM which is on the same frequency as WBT (1100 kHz.) I did receive WTAM for a few minutes, but that was earlier in the evening, but it quickly faded out. I will point out that AM DXing was easier 17 years ago because not everyone had WiFi or Bluetooth which many times interfere with AM reception. Also, 17 years ago, I lived in a slightly less populated community than I do now and I certainly was not living in close quarters like I am now. I do plan to write a more detailed piece on my AM DXing experiences.

    Below is a link to that piece:

    I will say that as of lately, I am satisfied with FM performance since it can filter out the bleeding from the FM station near me. Not all of my radios have this capability.

    So far I do not have any complaints about this radio and I hope and pray that it shall serve me for years to come.

    I do give it a rating of 5 out of 5 stars!

    This, therefore, concludes my review of the GE Superadio 3 7-2887B.
  2. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Your reviews are related to ham radio HOW? Perhaps a "SWL" web site would be more appropriate?
  3. AB9TO

    AB9TO Ham Member QRZ Page

    A solid AM DXing unit. Like others my unit is slightly off on the analog dial and you have to memorize or count where you are on the dial against known stations. I've thought about adding a digital frequency readout and offset to the IF to help but haven't done it.
  4. KL7KN

    KL7KN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    A lot of hams started out as SWL fans. And are still interested. AM DXing is a good way to double check 160M path, so is at least a data point....
    K3UJ likes this.
  5. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    YMMV, but a "review" (perhaps promoting a "blog?") of an old shortwave receiver doesn't belong properly on a ham thread; perhaps an SWL thread would be more appropriate. In the same vein, I wouldn't expect to see a review of an old RCA TV because it could be used to predict 6 Meter DX by watching Channel 2. IF you want info on older radios, a SWL site may be more productive.
  6. KL7KN

    KL7KN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    A classic blog pimp would have just posted a link, with little information, this seems to have a full data set.

    But,yeah, an old radio is just old r@dio.
  7. KE5FNB

    KE5FNB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry I thought that this forums could be reviews of any type of radio equipment.

    Before I got into amateur radio, I was an AM DXer and had wrote about it to some degree...
    KP4SX likes this.
  8. KE5FNB

    KE5FNB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Mine seems to be right on the money most of the time. God definitely blessed me with an exceptionanlly good unit, considering all the posts I've read about the dial on the Superadio being way out of calibration.
  9. KE5FNB

    KE5FNB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Are there any television stations that actually broadcast on RF Channel 2 anymore?

    The station closest to me that was on Channel 2 is now broadcast on RF Channel 13 but virtual Channel 2.

    I don't think I could catch it because both of my television antennas are tuned only to the UHF band and I'm over 60 miles away from the transmitter.
  10. KE5FNB

    KE5FNB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I only promote my blog because I have what most would consider to be some interesting articles aside from my product reviews and many of them pertain to electronics related hobbies.

    It is an old radio but it works better than some it its modern counterparts...

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