Re: Radiwow R-108 "Warranty"

Gary DeBock

Thanks for your comments on the R-108, Jay (and also Chipbutty).

Since the R-108 obviously qualified as an Ultralight radio model and since I was pretty curious about the state of quality control at the Chinese factory, I went ahead and ordered 7 of these R-108 models for detailed testing and investigation. Of course my risk in doing this was probably less than for someone with no technical training, since someone with troubleshooting experience can probably repair common problems without resorting to Radiwow's meaningless "warranty."

Several purchasers have commented on how they kind of like the little radio, despite its quirks. When I received my first R-108 i thought that the compact size, portability and attractive styling (primarily copied from the CC Skywave, as in the photo below) had a lot to offer.  My first R-108 only had one issue, which was intermittent X-band oscillations-- a problem completely corrected by installation of a 7.5 inch loopstick. The "Supercharged" R-108 has worked fine since then (except for the congenital issues of the relatively wimpy battery, and audio amp). I was cautiously optimistic about the other R-108 models on the way. 

My next six R-108 models all had varying degrees of a volume control issue, with a "motorboating" sound when the volume was increased. On some models (three) this was minor, but on the other three it was pretty irritating. Three of the six R-108's also had the intermittent X-Band (1600-1700 kHz) oscillation problem, and curiously, these three were the same ones that had the most irritating volume control noise. Of course if a user never chases DX on the X-Band and doesn't care if the volume control is noisy he can certainly live with the R-108, but from a technical standpoint these are problems that never should have gotten out of the door of the factory. There is either a serious lack of quality control at Radiwow or an attitude of using the cheapest parts possible, regardless of low quality. The meaningless "warranty" indicates to me that it is the latter, and that Radiwow doesn't intend to service these models because they are fully aware of their dicey quality, and accept that as part of their business plan.

Jay, I fully agree with you about the dilemma of the C.Crane company, which spends a serious amount of money on research, development and quality control-- only to have their innovative designs ripped off by a Chinese company that cares only about short term profit. This is part of a much broader political problem that isn't going to be solved by radio hobbyists, although we do have some influence in which models we choose to purchase. As for the dicey R-108's that I have received they will not be sent back to China-- most of them will probably be repaired-- by someone with at least as much technical skill as a Radiwow reverse engineer.

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


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