The Leader in Scanner and Shortwave Communications

Monitoring Times Reviews

March 2004



Kaito KA1102 Multiband Portable

By Bob Grove


            It may be too late for the gift-giving season, but the low price for this new, little gem makes it affordable anytime of the year. Kaito’s KA1102 portable, multiband, dual-conversion radio offers a great deal of features and performance in a small package.

            Frequency range is 70-108 MHz FM, 522-620 kHz AM, and 3-30 MHz shortwave (direct frequency entry or meter band selection).

            Digital readout with nightlight illumination, SSB reception, wide/narrow selectivity, clock/alarm/on-off timer with seconds readout, scan/search for signals, direct-entry keypad, 190 memory channels, stereo FM reception (ear buds included)/recording line output, digital volume and tuning controls, DX/local sensitivity switch, even a news/music tone switch enhance the radio’s performance.

            Measuring 5-1/2”W x 3-1/2”H x 1”D, the half-pound receiver is powered by three AA cells (battery status indicator is displayed), or a 6-volt wall adaptor (included). A battery-charge provision allows the substitution of optional, rechargeable  NiMH batteries.

            An indoor wire antenna (included) may be plugged into the 1/8-inch external antenna jack. A strip of four mini-LEDs indicates relative signal strength. A protective, leatherette, drawstring pouch is provided as well.


Let’s Listen


            Initializing the radio (first power-up) allows the user to choose between 9 and 10 kHz steps for the medium wave AM band. Tabletop listening is assisted by a hinged rear flap which angles the radio comfortably upward, allowing both good viewing angle and stable support.

            Medium-wave reception is accomplished via the usual internal ferrite bar, while shortwave and FM stations are brought in by a 28-inch telescoping antenna.

            The internal 2-1/2 inch speaker is hardly a thunder maker, but it does a respectable job on voice and music at normal listening volume. In comparison, the ear buds produce remarkable, room-like ambience with deep bass and crystal-clear highs on stereo FM.

            Sensitivity is on par with more costly receivers. Pushbutton scanning for signals is easy, using the same buttons for single stepping or automatic search. Direct frequency entry is intuitive, with the processor inserting trailing zeroes if you ignore them.

            The wide/narrow bandwidth really does make a difference reducing adjacent-frequency, medium wave and shortwave interference; it’s a true filter-selectivity switch, not merely an audio tone control.


The Bottom Line


            This is the closest thing to a “full-featured” shortwave portable for under $100 that I can recall. Sensitivity, selectivity, digital readout, continuous shortwave-frequency coverage, keypad entry, decent audio, compact convenience, low cost – they’re all there.

            The Kaito KA1102 multiband portable with all accessories is $89.95 plus shipping from Grove Enterprises (800-438-8155;; or email

Link To:

Monitoring Times Home Page

The Grove Home Page
The Grove Catalog and Buyer's Guide