Radiwow R-108 and XHDATA D-808 Loopsticks

Gary DeBock

For those who weren't aware of the fact, XHDATA and Radiwow are actually the same Chinese company, which has specialized in wholesale design appropriation of the C.Crane Skywave SSB's technical innovations (in the D-808) and physical cabinet characteristics (in the R-108). As for why they choose to go by two different names, maybe they figure that C.Crane would be less inclined to sue two companies for design theft than one? Of course C.Crane can't sue anybody in China, where the term "copyright" means "the right to copy." The Fortuna, CA company has reason to deeply regret building their breakthrough Skywave SSB model at the Redsun factories in Shenzhen-- which is of course the home of XHDATA/ Radiwow.

Anyway, since both reverse-engineered models have been "Supercharged" here with 7.5" loopsticks, I thought some members might like to know about their stock loopsticks. In the XHDATA D-808 model the loopstick has a 98mm x 8mm x 4mm ferrite rod with a 12mm coil, for a total inductance of 341 uH (see photo below).  The Radiwow R-108 has a 70mm x 8mm x 4mm ferrite rod with the same 12mm coil, for a total inductance of 212 uH. Of course because of the longer loopstick the D-808 has significantly better MW sensitivity than the R-108, and in fact has better MW sensitivity than any Ultralight radio (the D-108 is a little too large to qualify as an Ultralight portable).

Following the typical practice of companies in the Chinese domestic market, XHDATA/ Radiwow does not offer any manufacturer's warranty on their radio models-- but this doesn't seem to have deterred their sales on the international market. When a purchaser can get a $75 model like the D-808 which is highly competitive with the $169.98 Skywave SSB (with a few added features like a more powerful audio amp and a long endurance rechargeable battery), sales are definitely going to happen. So far the component quality of both the D-808 and R-108 seem quite good, and international purchasers are cautiously optimistic that this will continue. Hopefully this Chinese company will avoid the Tecsun example of cutting down quality (as in the PL-380's digital shielding) in order to increase profits.

73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)

Join main@UltralightDX.groups.io to automatically receive all group messages.