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Review of the GP-4L / EFTR SW Radio
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  weaponeer

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Posted: June 04 2010 at 11:25am | IP Logged Quote weaponeer

This is a product review of the GP-4L / EFTR Digital, 4-Band Shortwave Receiver. If you are wondering what EFTR is, it stands for Emergency Task Force Radio. Now they say this is the world’s smallest Shortwave (SW), and I don’t know if that’s a fact or not, but this little bugger is small (smaller than most of the small transistor radios from the 60’s) at 3.4" X 2.55" X .83".

Now many people view the SW radio as old fashioned, old technology. But everyone should have a SW radio because that is the world standard backup for getting information out in an emergency. Unlike normal small FM radio, where the range is very limited, the SW picks up transmissions from around the world depending on your location and your antenna. Most people get frustrated because they turn on a SW radio on don’t hear anything, what they don’t know is most of the traffic they you can pickup is at night. and the higher you are and the bigger the antenna you have the more you will pickup.

SW radios don’t require a fancy high dollar antenna to work. In fact the small one on this radio will work, but if you want a lot of stations you need a long wire thrown up into a tree, or one of the home made tuned antennas. (check out the internet, they sell a small kit for this radio that allows you much better tuning, and reception, and others have also shown how to make very good directional antennas our of some wire and a hoola hoop.  All stuff you should play with before you really need it.  The point is these radios give you news, information, and music (not stereo) from all over the world.

This one is kept in my Bug Out Bag, with rechargeable batteries. Information is key if you ever really needed to bug out, or if there was a national emergency (Korea’s or Iran)or a major storm (Katrina).  You should have a SW radio as part of your gear.

Now for some stats on this radio:
 
The GP4L radio was originally made for the Canadian Market, and it has an integrated LED Emergency light and a built in CLOCK with 12 Hour display with Wake Up to Radio Alarm Feature.

SPECIFICATIONS:
RUN TIME:
Radio: 150 hrs at 40% Volume
Light: 70 Hrs

FREQUENCY RANGE
FM 76-109 MHz
MW 520-1740Khz
SW 5.20-18.30 MHz
SW1= 49 Meter Bands 5.20 - 6.20 Mhz
41 Meter Bands 7.10 - 7.30 Mhz
31 Meter Bands 9.45 - 10.45 Mhz
SW2= 25 Meter Bands 11.01 - 12.05 Mhz
21 Meter Bands 13.60 - 13.80 Mhz
19 Meter Bands 15.10 - 15.60 Mhz
16 Meter Bands 17.55 - 18.30 Mhz

SENSITIVITY
FM < 10 microV
MW-AM < 1 microV/Meter
SW-AM < 30 micro V

POWER REQUIREMENTS
3-4.5 Volts DC via side jack (no adapter included)
2 each "AA" batteries

DIMENSIONS: 3.4" X 2.55" X .83"
WEIGHT: 85 Grams not including batteries
SPEAKER: 40 mm in diameter, 4 Ohms, .25 watt
EARPHONE JACK: 3.5 MM, Earphones Included
(Instructions come in both french and english)

Cost: About $28.00

RATING:

Explaination:  This radio has good features, and it works very well.  Now I purchased the optional GP-4L SHORTWAVE ANTENNA and the Antenna I give high marks for even if it's just a wire. together this radio works pretty darn good and I think it's a valuable bit of kit for your pack.

The downside and the reason for the up and down is mine has a touchy battery compartment. if you don't hold the radio right it will lose the battery connection and turn off. thats not a feature, but a bug. it's also the only reason I also gave this a thumbs down.

Purchased from: County Comm Government Products Group

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  gundoctor

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Posted: June 05 2010 at 3:31am | IP Logged Quote gundoctor

is it a buy or not? Is it water resistant? Is the battery problem just an issue with yours or all of them?

Interesting radio.
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  weaponeer

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Posted: June 05 2010 at 9:30am | IP Logged Quote weaponeer

gundoctor wrote:
is it a buy or not? Is it water resistant? Is the battery problem just an issue with yours or all of them?

Interesting radio.

by it's self I would not buy it, but with the optional antenna it makes a great little radio.

The issue with the battery seems only to be mine because I have never seen or heard anyone with any issues.

It's not rugged, and it's not water resistant, or water proof, in fact I don't think you would want to drop it too many times. the tuning dial is hard to make micro adjustments with, and without the optional antenna you will not pick up much.

But, the digital display is nice to have for getting the proper freq. and it's very much loud enough for such a small radio. The light weight, and very small radio is pretty handy, and with the compact optional antenna it's a real performer for such as small size.

I live in an area surrounded by bluffs, and we have no TV, or cell reception here.  a very bad place to test a SW radio.   I took the antenna reel and played out the whole 16 feet of wire and attatched it to the radio and turned it on.  FM, and AM worked just fine.  becuase it was after 7MP I turned it to SW and listened to Japan for a few minutes.  I could get a ton of stations from Canada, and South America, and for just a minute I had Australia. it performed great.  Had I bothered to cast the wire up into the tree I would have done even better. (without the antenna I had zero SW reception)

so ONLY with the optional antenna I would recommend it.

It's the smallest SW you will find, it does work well with the optional antenna, but it's not rugged or water proof.  so it worth having, yu just need to take care of it.

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  rhughes

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Posted: July 14 2010 at 4:39pm | IP Logged Quote rhughes

I recently bought one of these for my BOB as well. had no trouble with the battery compartment, BTW.   The local FM and AM reception is excellent even without the retractable antenna but you definitely need a longer wire for SW. The SW reception might be better after the sun goes, down, but I haven't tried it out in that circumstance yet.
Definitely NOT rugged or waterproof, but then I've never seen a SW radio that was. I just keep it in a ziplock baggy. I might try to find one of those small water tight camera/cellphone boxes for it.
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