Sangean ATS-909/Radio Shack DX-398 FAQ

Dave Moisan, N1KGH
Updated November 5th, 2003

Welcome! This FAQ is written for users and prospective owners of the Sangean ATS-909 and Radio Shack DX-398 shortwave portable radios.


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General Questions

What is the ATS-909?

What is the DX-398?

The Sangean ATS-909, and the Radio Shack DX-398, is a portable shortwave radio about the size of a large trade paperback. It tunes from 150 kHz to 29,999 kHz and from 88 to 108 MHz in four bands. It can receive single-sideband in true LSB/USB, rather than the simple BFO of most portables of its class, though it doesn't offer synchronous detection. Unlike the Sony 2010, though, the Sangean can tune in 40 Hz steps, though it does not display frequencies at that resolution.

It's got a nice, large, backlit LCD display and a large alphanumeric memory, capable of storing up to 308 stations. The radio comes preprogrammed with over 250 frequencies of international broadcasters. As with the Sony SW-77, alphanumeric tags can be used to designate frequencies. The radio has RDS (Radio Data System) on FM, which will display the call letters of a station or set the clock.

The radio also has a clock with two settable time zones, a sleep mode, a tape out and remote jack, an external antenna jack and an RF gain control.

In all, it's an intriguing little radio.

Is there a difference between the two?"

The Radio Shack DX-398 is identical to the Sangean ATS-909, except for the nameplate. The Sangean comes with accessories that aren't included in the Radio Shack version, namely an AC adapter and a reel antenna. Both radios come with a vinyl case.

Where do I find one and how much does it cost?

The ATS-909 can be found from Grove or C. Crane, among other places. It costs around $260-$280, and this includes a vinyl case, AC adapter and reel antenna.

The DX-398 has been discontinued by Radio Shack, but you may be able to find one on closeout for $150. The catalog number is #20-228, this includes the radio and its case; the AC adapter and reel antenna are not included.

Radio Shack's recommended AC adapter is Cat. #273-1662, $12.99. You can get a reel antenna (Cat. #278-1374) for $8.99. The reel antenna is nice to have (I own one) but not essential.

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Last Updated on November 5th, 2003