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Great Radio - but a few disappointments
on 27 August 2012
I did a thorough review of all the portable digital radios on the market - their pros and cons - as I wanted to be able to listen to DAB outside whilst camping or working in the garden. I eventually chose this DAB Solar 2, mainly because of the Roberts' reputation for quality but added fun of it being solar too!.
After inserting the rechargeable batteries and leaving the device to charge for over 24 hours (more than the suggested 16), I was VERY impressed by the sound quality, neatness and simplicity in use of this great little portable radio.
I the sat outside in the midday sun( oh yes...on one of the few days we had sun) with it playing next to me whilst I read a book....but alas after 20 minutes it very disappointingly switched itself off! The solar indicator showed it still to be charging - but it was dead. I replaced the proprietary batteries with which it came with some of my own alkalines, turned the switch off Ni/MH accordingly and it jumped back into life again. I checked the proprietary batteries on my tester and it showed they were dead. Thinking it may be the built-in radio charger that was at fault, I charged the proprietary batteries in my own charger for 6 hours until they were full.
Alas, this time the radio went dead after less than 15 minutes. I checked the batteries again and it showed that two out of the three of them needed charging again. I binned them (environmentally of course)
I have since installed three 2650mA AA rechargeables from a reputable brand - and the unit has since been working perfectly for over 3 hours and still going as I write - with NO solar charging.
Why are Robert's tarnishing their good name by selling such an excellent product with such useless batteries? I did read one other article indicating the same. If you do buy this product - be prepared to purchase new rechargeables.
Also - the unit takes an odd number of 3 AA batteries - yet they come in packs of 4. The unit has spare room in the battery compartment to store a fourth battery, so why didn't they design to use 4?
The preset button is also a bit of a waste of time...you still have to scroll through your preset list to find the one you want, just that you are scrolling a few less stations than what might be available! Favourite button is very useful.
Overall - if it wasn't for the niggles above - I would thoroughly recommend this device for the value of money and quality of sound.