Review of Grundig Mini World 100 PE shortwave radio for bugout bag

An earlier version of this review was posted to misc.survivalism on 11 November 2003

The Grundig Mini World 100 PE shortwave radio is a tiny receiver that is suitable for your bugout bag. Dimensions are 4 3/8 inches by 3 inches by 1 inch in the soft protective case with the whip antenna retracted. It receives AM and FM broadcasts plus 6 shortwave bands. The radio contains a 1 1/2 inch speaker and also comes with external ear-bud headphones. It uses two AA batteries. It weighs 4.5 ounces without batteries.

I compared the $20 Grundig 100 PE to my $150 Sony ICF-SW7600G shortwave receiver.

Here in Dayton Ohio USA on a recent afternoon, the 100 PE received two dozen shortwave stations well enough to listen to them. Half of them were in English, and half of those were religious stations. The ICF-SW7600G received too many stations to count or classify. Of course both radios would receive many more shortwave stations at night.

The ICF-SW7600G has digital tuning that makes it easy to locate any particular station. The 100 PE has a small tuning knob that is more difficult to control.

I live about two miles from a strong local FM station so that FM radios tend to overload. The ICF-SW7600G has a local/distance switch that cures the problem. The 100 PE shows minor signs of overloading on FM and doesn't have a switch to cure it. Still, the 100 PE adequately receives all local FM stations.

AM performance on both radios is adequate although the 100 PE is less sensitive and harder to tune. The ICF-SW7600G receives all Dayton stations and all Cincinnati stations. The 100 PE receives all Dayton stations and some Cincinnati stations.

The Sony ICF-SW7600G has a 3 inch speaker and is plenty loud, although it is not a boombox. The Grundig 100 PE speaker is loud enough for people with normal hearing but not loud enough if your hearing is bad. The headphones included with the 100 PE are loud enough for almost anybody.

The ICF-SW7600G handles SSB transmissions. The 100 PE does not. (Not usually a big deal unless you want to listen to amateur radio "ham" transmissions.)

On the other hand, the Sony ICF-SW7600G costs $150 and is too big (about 8 inches by 5 inches by 1 1/4 inch) and heavy for a bugout bag. I recommend that you spend $20 on a Grundig 100 PE and put it in your bugout bag if you don't already have a radio. Performance is adequate and you won't be heartbroken if you break it or lose it.

These radios are available from Cabela's. Just go to and search for grundig . The Grundig Mini World 100 PE is Cabela's item number XD-617678 and cost $29.99 each plus shipping. Some other suppliers will have it cheaper. J & R Music World at has it for $19.88 plus shipping. J & R stock number is GRU MINI100PE . Note that prices and availability may have changed since 11 November 2003.

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