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Safety Hazard: Overheating when Switched Off
on 6 May 2015
I had bought the radio (Trevi MB 729 'compact') primarily to begin listening to shortwave radio - and it worked fine the first time I used it (and it could also tune FM/MW stations fine). I was using 2x normal AA batteries (as instructed) and not using any external power supply. All was ok. I turned the switch to the off position and left the radio alone.
20 minutes later, the radio still switched 'off' and still with no external DC supply, the radio was very hot. The plastic inside the device which displays the frequency had started to warp due to the heat. The plastic coatings of the batteries had begun to peel away and these AAs were so hot you could only hold them for a few seconds in your hands. I never knew a portable, low-voltage battery-powered device could overheat like this - very glad I noticed when I did.
I'm no expert on electronics: but something must be shorting inside to draw this much current and generate so much heat. More worryingly: the overheating *only* occurred after leaving the switch in the off position for a period - when you'd assume all battery power to the device would be cut and the device would be safe. Again, at no point did I connect an external power supply. This all happened with 2 normal, new AA batteries.
I am in the process of returning the radio and getting in contact with the manufacturer. I have ordered a Tecsun PL-380 from Amazon after this disappointment in order to get started with SWLing. While it is more expensive, it is digital, has a load more features and has been praised by many shortwave communities as being an excellent entry-level shortwave radio.
Hopefully this is an isolated incident. The fact this occurred suggests a worryingly poor build quality (as other reviewers have noted). I would give this advice - do NOT buy this radio.