Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Hi, all! Just got a new Sharper Image catalog in the mail yesterday.
Oddly enough, it does NOT include the new Eton E1-XM radio, though
most of the people who now have one of those seem to have bought
theirs through Sharper Image. But it DOES include an Eton SW (& XM)
radio I had never seen before, a "Porsche Design P'7131" model. I went
to the Eton website and found this page:

Note that this shows two new radios, the P'7131 and P'7136. But there
are specs (sort of) only on the larger P'7131. And these so-called
"specs" don't give any details of the SW coverage.

It appears that this is aimed at the designer/appearance-is-what-
matters market; Sharper Image is selling this toy at $349.95, plus $50
for the XM-antenna add-on VX300 unit (& of course the XM subscription

That brings up another question. The picture of the VX300 unit, which
I cannot find on the Eton site but only on the Sharper Image site, at

does NOT exactly match the image of the XM-antenna add-on unit that is
pictured with the Eton E1 image all over the net. THAT is by Audiovox,
the CNP-1000; here is a picture of that XM antenna unit:

I find this odd. Why would Eton (& Sharper Image) want to handle two
different XM-antenna units? Are they really interchangeable or not?
The mind reels.

Anyway, I look forward to finding out more about these new Porsche-
designed Eton SW radios. If anyone finds more-detailed specs, and
especially performance evaluations, please post! Could this P'7131
really be worth $350? It IS physically small for something supposedly
a non-portable ((6" High X 5" Wide X 8.5" Deep) and has a remote.
Maybe you want to add that to your Christmas want-list? :-) If it
performs decently on SW, the wife-acceptance-factor could be higher
than for many other radios... 73, (Will Martin, Dec 7, dxldyg via DX

Ray, I'll address only the antenna question. If XM is like Sirius,
then the antenna units are interchangeable within their intended
function. The two examples you show are the antennas for a home
installation; they would optimally be set on a windowsill or on the
roof. I have mine snugged under a couple roof shingles to give it more
vertical visibility.

While this is just my opinion, $350 seems expensive, without knowing
more about its technical performance specs. Based on the rather sparse
description at the website, I personally wouldn't buy one. I'd rather
save my money for an E1XM which has received very favorable reviews.

You should contact Eton and volunteer to review one for the hobby
community, and sell that review to Monitoring times (Richard Cuff /
Allentown, PA USA, swprograms via DXLD)

Caution! The antenna "module" for the E1XM and the P-7131 is different
from the antenna unit provided with the plug and play units. See:
A number of "XM-Ready" receivers are coming on market that require
only the "antenna module" (and a subscription, of course) in order to
become functional (John Figliozzi, ibid.)

So that means the antenna module contains the digital decoder chip,
not the radio? (Rich Cuff, ibid.) Yeah, I think you're right about
that (John Figliozzi, ibid.)