The Eton E100 revisited - let's bust some myths shall we?

Myth busting the Eton E100 ultra-portable radio - Updated October 6, 2008

Durham Radio E100 revisitedI'd like to thank Gary Debock and Colin Newell for making information on the e100 readily available to radio enthusiasts. Excitement like this will surely help us sell our e100's.

Unfortunately for me, information in Colin's forum (and elsewhere) has created a group of people seeking specific serial numbers.

We're taking it all in stride but just to give you both an idea of how confusing thing are, here are a couple of posts from Colins e100 forum that make us look bad regardless of which radio we sell.

Here's some confusion about old vs new versions from Colins forum. (not in any particular order)

"Seems like all of us who bought the "old" one just recently got shortchanged. "

"I bought one from Durham Radio's USA store but I didn't know that I should ask for the old version.
I may end up with the new and not so improved dual conversion. "

Here are a couple of posts showing confusion about serial numbers.

"The current ("new", S/N 0709xxx) E100, btw, does not require AM alignment tweaks."

"I must have the old version S/N 0704029862."

I suspect that 0704 and 0709 might still be the same series.

For clarification, everyone needs to know what is considered an old or new version by serial number and what to expect from the radio performance-wise.

I have started doing some research on my stock however I'm hoping to find the answer to a few questions so that I can fast track my work.

I'd like to be able to offer accurate info to our customers.
First and foremost. Where did your group find information about serials numbers?
Editor: Two of our readers bought a total of ten Eton E100's and compared notes on the relative serial numbers - more out of curiousity I guess - we all assume that higher numbers mean newer units - not necessarily so I gather.

Eton claims there is only one version of the radio. Getting any further info from them will be next to impossible so we're basically left to our own devices.
Editor: A DXer and writer in Denmark has written a great treatise and review of the Eton E100 over here.

Do you have any pictures of the PC boards of the various versions? Do you happen to know the IF frequencies used in the dual version?
Editor: Yes we do and I think they are in the download area... either way, John Bryant has provided high quality photos of the two very different circuit boards.

That way I can "sniff" and confirm this local oscillator without having to take apart a radio. Right now I'm thinking I might carefully loop some wire around a radio and hook it up to the spectrum analyzer. FYI, we still have cartons of e100's at the store. I can tell you that there is definitely more than one version of packaging/serial numbers here.
Editor: All we really know is that the one reviewer link above detected an "I.F." in the region of 55 Mhz and assumed that there was a traditional first I.F. of 455 Khz but that was not confirmed with any test equipment.

One version has a white sleeve around a plain black box. It's serial number is E10-07040xxxxx. The other is a white box with no sleeve and the serial number is on the box E10-0505xxxxx. (one would think that this would be the later model given the easy access to the serial number and the reduced packaging.

Unfortunately, a serial number with a lower number sounds like it should be older!

Since some of the boxes do not have serial numbers on the outside, we are going to have to record all of the serial numbers before we know what we actually have.

If either of you (or the good readers at can shed some light on serial numbers vs radio construction vs performance, perhaps one of us can reword the above info and post it to Colin's forum and perhaps the other mediumwave groups to see if we can get a definitive answer.

Update! Hi Colin, I decided to take the time to sort through all of the e-100's we have in stock to see if there are any dual conversion models in the pile.
Luckily, more than half of the radios we have start E10-05050xxxxx and those units have the serial number right on the box. I have checked the other boxes and we have serial numbers starting E10-0704xxxxx and E10-0609xxxxx.
These are the radios that come in a box with a sleeve around it and no serial number on the box. They are a bitch to take out of the box.
The condom-like cello bag around the radio makes it super hard to get at the serial number. (and as you are probably aware, it is harder to put on a condom than it is to take one off!) Repacking the radio is time consuming.
Anyhow, I checked the innards of a sample of all three types of serial numbers on hand and *all* of the radios we have in stock contain the same revision of the PC board and have the adjustable ferrite antenna and trim cap as found in the old single-conversion unit.
*In a nutshell, when you order a radio from us you are getting the single conversion model that is sought after by DXers.
*Feel free to post as you see fit. Again, thanks to all who have provided info and tried to shed some light on the different models available. Regards, Keith  

Colin the editor here - I salute Keith at Durham Radio for his candor and his hard work in getting us the best possible values in portable shortwave and ULr stuff. Let's kick up the discussion some more and get to the bottom of some of the confusion - It is all occuring naturally, so not to worry. Let's just try to keep it real.

Keith Carcasole (VA3DRS) lives and works at Durham Radio in Ontario. In fact, he owns Durham Radio in Ontario. He is a radio-geek just like us and shares in most, if not all, of the contagious new enthusiasm around these parts. He has put his inventory of his store at the disposal of to bring the World of radio hobbyists closer to the new gadgets.