D. Alexander’s Freq Amp Hardware Show: Bluetooth transmissions and the kitchen sink

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The Miccus RTX 2.0. Pic by D. Alexander.

Editor’s note: This latest hardware review by Dick Alexander comes with an appeal. For years, the Grundig S350 was my main radio, until the adapter died a decade ago. If anyone reading this has an extra 6V adapter they are willing to sell, please drop a line at freq-amp@protonmail.com.

In my last dispatch, I reviewed a Bluetooth receiver. This time out it’s a Bluetooth transmitter: The Miccus Home RTX 2.0 Long Range Wireless Audio Transmitter. This unit can also function as a Bluetooth receiver, here we are focusing on its transmission abilities. If you are interested in a Bluetooth receiver that we recommend, see our review here.

A Bluetooth transmitter is a useful piece of equipment and can be used for a variety of purposes including wirelessly linking a TV to a pair of Bluetooth headphones, allowing family members or roommates quiet time while you watch TV. It actually allows simultaneous pairing to two sets of headphones, so a couple of gamers can do battle without  the sounds of explosions and other audio intrusions killing the living room for others and there is also an option for listening to your TV via wired and wireless Bluetooth speakers simultaneously. I use it for hooking my turntable to my portable Bluetooth speaker allowing me to listen to my vinyl tunes anywhere in the house.

The RTX 2.0 is tiny: 4 1/2” wide, 1” high and 2 1/4” deep. It is supplied with a variety of cables to enable all hookup options. At rear are the hookup ports: 3.5mm audio output/input and optical audio output/input. Hookup and pairing are easy, I ran the RCA outs from my turntable pre-amp to the 3.5 mm audio input on the Miccus with the supplied cable. Following instructions in the manual the pairing process with my speaker took thirty seconds. The Miccus range is up to 300 ft line-of-sight and up to 160 ft through walls. While an audiophile may balk at the idea of listening to vinyl via Bluetooth, the audio quality of this setup is crisp-clean and sounds great. If you love vinyl and like to listen to your tunes throughout the house via Bluetooth, then this unit is perfect for you, add to the list the other options mentioned above and you have a very handy (and tiny) piece of gear at a reasonable price. 

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Illustration by Showband Era for Freq Amp.

What we love here at Freq-Amp is an analog radio, we also like food, and seeing as it’s holiday season, we will be spending a lot of time in the kitchen accompanied by our trusty sidekick and kitchen receiver: The Grundig S350 FM/AM/SW. According to eHam.net this radio is still in production. It is certainly widely available on eBay. I got mine on Craigslist for $40. The S350 is powered by a 6v dc transformer or by four D cell batteries, among its features  are an LCD digital display w light plus alarm clock and a host of controls including: two band select knobs, volume and separate bass & treble. The large tuner dial is dual functioned for slow and fast tuning. On the side panel are separate mono/stereo audio outs, and a headphone jack plus an SW low-pass filter switch. At rear is a coaxial jack for an external FM antenna and jacks for AM/SW antenna and a ground.

The S350 has an excellent ability to pull in FM signals, it has a very long whip antenna for this purpose and for shortwave (42”).  Listening to WFMU in Brooklyn which is out of Jersey and doesn’t have the strongest signal it gets perfect static free reception. This is also a well-respected radio for its SW abilities, while shortwave is not my thing a quick spin across SW1 the other evening brought in many stations including a number of religious freak shows including one beaming in loud and clear from Glendale, CA. I generally only listen to Mets games on the AM band on this radio, I do my AM listening and AM DX’ing on other radios elsewhere in the house and while not known for its AM DX abilities it does have a very handy feature: the RF Gain knob below the tuner dial allows tightening of the signal reception and volume boost on AM/SW bands. When atmospheric conditions allowed I have tuned in Zoomer Radio out of Toronto Canada on occasion. The S350 is regarded as a portable radio but at 11” Wide by 7” tall it’s another radio you won’t be sticking  in your pocket, but solid, sweet and a very good radio it certainly is.

–Dick Alexander

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Published by Frequency and Amplitude, an NYC Radio Roundup

Surveying what's left of the analog NYC-area radioscape.

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