The recent release of Grundig’s new YB-550PE, has caught the attention of quite a few hobbyists, and deservedly so. This incredibly attractive addition to the versatile Yacht Boy line combines an AM/FM and shortwave receiver, in a lightweight, compact radio.
The YB-550PE receives all 14 international shortwave bands (shortwave tuning coverage from 1.711-29.999 MHz), AM broadcast band (520-1710 kHz) FM broadcast band. A built-in telescopic antenna is used for shortwave and FM, and an internal ferrite bar antenna is used for the AM broadcast band. A mini plug jack on the side of the radio facilitates connection of an external FM or long wire shortwave antenna.
The many tuning aids in the YB550 are a nice feature with six different tuning methods available, including either a direct keypad frequency entry, or the up-down tuning key to band scan in 5-kHz increments. The side scroll wheel tunes medium wave AM or shortwave stations to 1-kHz increments.
Another nice tuning feature is the Memory Autoscan. Two hundred frequencies can be stored into eight pages of memory. Each page holds 25 frequencies, or you can customize your memory pages from eight to four, five, or 20. This feature proved invaluable for nightly shortwave monitoring.
You can also quickly jump from one broadcast band to another quickly by using the meter band selector button. This was helpful when comparing shortwave band conditions at various listening hours.
Frequencies are displayed in a large backlit LCD, while signal strength is indicated via a five-level graph bar. The radio’s back snap-on stands proved helpful for table top or “hand-held” listening. The internal speaker provides good, loud and crisp audio. A set of ear buds are included for private listening and stereo reception in the FM mode.