Date   

Re: Radiwow R-108 "Warranty"

Jerry Weisskohl
 

I have to agree with Gord. Ripping off American companies should not be supported. And yes, we are directly supporting them by purchasing their products. By supporting them, we are encouraging them to continue to rip off American companies technologies. For the Chinese companies, a great business model.

The $50 they are getting for each purchase is direct profit for them and incentive to continue these underhanded practices. All of this while producing an inferior product to maximize profitability, after stealing the technology.

Don't we have enough radios (built by legitimate companies)  that can be turned into 'Super Radios'? 

73
Jerry AC4BT





On Sun, Mar 31, 2019 at 2:12 AM Gary DeBock via Groups.Io <D1028Gary=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Thanks Gord,

<<<   It is a rip off of a better product made by a reputable company that spent good money developing it, and will support their product with a real warrantee.   >>>

This is part of a much larger trade issue between China and the USA-- the routine theft of foreign intellectual property by Chinese companies, a practice which is actually encouraged by the Beijing authorities. But that very real problem is outside of the Ultralight Radio realm, except for Radiwow and XHDATA's obvious theft of C.Crane's innovative designs.

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


-----Original Message-----
From: Gord Seifert <gks61711@...>
To: main <main@UltralightDX.groups.io>
Sent: Sat, Mar 30, 2019 12:32 pm
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] Radiwow R-108 "Warranty"


   I am sorry to see so many people giving this product so much credit. It is garbage! One or two out of seven acceptable and the rest in need of servicing or redesign right out of the box?  It is a rip off of a better product made by a reputable company that spent good money developing it, and will support their product with a real warrantee. I would like to see it said that Radiowow should be shunned as ripoff junk and the CC Crane products purchased so they can afford to continue developing better products. So, I have said it. Hopefully Radiowow will either fold soon or start building better products and supporting them.  
   I don't intend this to be taken as an attack on anyone, so please don't take it as such. But if it is defective most of the time then call it what it is, junk.
  Regards, 
  Gord Seifert


Re: Radiwow R-108 "Warranty"

Gary DeBock
 

Thanks Gord,

<<<   It is a rip off of a better product made by a reputable company that spent good money developing it, and will support their product with a real warrantee.   >>>

This is part of a much larger trade issue between China and the USA-- the routine theft of foreign intellectual property by Chinese companies, a practice which is actually encouraged by the Beijing authorities. But that very real problem is outside of the Ultralight Radio realm, except for Radiwow and XHDATA's obvious theft of C.Crane's innovative designs.

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


-----Original Message-----
From: Gord Seifert <gks61711@...>
To: main <main@UltralightDX.groups.io>
Sent: Sat, Mar 30, 2019 12:32 pm
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] Radiwow R-108 "Warranty"


   I am sorry to see so many people giving this product so much credit. It is garbage! One or two out of seven acceptable and the rest in need of servicing or redesign right out of the box?  It is a rip off of a better product made by a reputable company that spent good money developing it, and will support their product with a real warrantee. I would like to see it said that Radiowow should be shunned as ripoff junk and the CC Crane products purchased so they can afford to continue developing better products. So, I have said it. Hopefully Radiowow will either fold soon or start building better products and supporting them.  
   I don't intend this to be taken as an attack on anyone, so please don't take it as such. But if it is defective most of the time then call it what it is, junk.
  Regards, 
  Gord Seifert


Re: Radiwow R-108 "Warranty"

Gord Seifert
 


   I am sorry to see so many people giving this product so much credit. It is garbage! One or two out of seven acceptable and the rest in need of servicing or redesign right out of the box?  It is a rip off of a better product made by a reputable company that spent good money developing it, and will support their product with a real warrantee. I would like to see it said that Radiowow should be shunned as ripoff junk and the CC Crane products purchased so they can afford to continue developing better products. So, I have said it. Hopefully Radiowow will either fold soon or start building better products and supporting them.  
   I don't intend this to be taken as an attack on anyone, so please don't take it as such. But if it is defective most of the time then call it what it is, junk.
  Regards, 
  Gord Seifert


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)  

                                                                                                                     


Re: Radiwow R-108 "Warranty"

chipbutty
 
Edited

Jay - Re. The ticking sound. I have this too but find changing the information display to temperature gets rid of it. Others have reported this has worked also. YMMV!

My main gripes are popping from headphones when switching bands, steady loss of signal strength as the battery depletes, sluggish tuning performance on LW and MW. Other annoyance is the widely reported loss of sensitivity on MW when switching from another band. A quick off and on sorts that out. Doesn't really bother me that one.

I also notice my signal strength meter consistently displays around 10db less than my 310ET when comparing side by side. I guess this is nothing to worry about but as they both use the same chip I would've thought I'd be seeing the same readings. I don't know as much as you guys though when it comes to the techncalities of the insides. On the whole my R-108 has the edge on the 310ET when it comes to SW and MW performance.

Cheers.


Re: Radiwow R-108 "Warranty"

radiojayallen
 

Gary,

You are right...for anyone outside of Chine such warranties are useless as the costs to return a radio would match or exceed the cost of replacement...this has always been true of buying from China. The few defective radios I've bought over the years have been a total loss and I never considered trying to return them as it didn't' seem worth the trouble. and although I hate this state of affairs it seems we have no other choice if we want to try some of these radios. But I do agree with you...when a particular model has a bad track record you must be willing to take a loss if you get a bad one and I think it's good that you are letting people know about this since you have bought several of them. I also absolutely agree that if anyone has fear of losing their money on this particular radio, the C. Crane Skywaves, both versions, even though more expensive, are much safer purchases both because C. Crane is a company which is worth supporting and because they stand behind their products with a warranty which protects you if you happen to receive a bad unit. C. Crane is a one-of-a-kind company in today's market and I dislike the fact that their intellectual property is freely stolen by these manufacturers who follow no rules of ethics.

That said, since I had mentioned last week that I had indeed gotten a good sample of the Radiwow R-108 I wanted to let you know I still think so and I'm glad I have it. The only negative I have noted so far is a slight ticking sound on AM at the top end of the dial and it can be heard when there is no signal. It can also be heard under signals at the threshold of audibility although they are still readable...for signals any stronger the ticking is covered up. So the radio is not perfect, but on the plus side I prefer its audio over the Skywaves...it is much fuller sounding.

So I can't say my R-108 is perfect...but overall it is a cool little box...if you get a good one When I review it I will add this warning.

FWIW

Jay


Re: Radiwow R-108 "Warranty"

chipbutty
 

Blimey. I get a longer 'warranty' just with Amazon's standard returns policy. I have until April 21 to return mine. I don't have to give a reason and I'll get a full refund. Still liking the little guy though! 


Re: Radiwow R-108 "Warranty"

Paul Blundell
 

That is a real worry.  I wonder if the quality control will improve over time.

--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Radiwow R-108 "Warranty"

Gary DeBock
 

For those who have purchased (or are considering) the Radiwow R-108 model, it may come as a big surprise that the Chinese manufacturer (XHDATA) does actually offer a "warranty" on the model-- but it comes with more loopholes than a politician's empty campaign promise. You can read the full details at https://www.xhdata.com.cn/pages/Warranty-and-Return-11470589.html

To summarize (for those of you who could use a little humor), here are the main points:

1)  The "warranty" is only for 30 days.
2)  You must get permission from the company before returning any defective radio (which may or may not be given).
3)  "Used" radios cannot be returned (you turned it on, didn't you?)
4)  The company has the option of either giving you another one of the same model, or a refund (well, you didn't really expect any cash back, did you?)
5)  You must pay the shipping fees BOTH ways to return a defective product, and get the replacement radio back (which, by the way, will exceed the original cost of your        R-108 purchase).
6)  The company requires a tracking number for all defective item returns (which, in the USA, means Priority Mail at a minimum, which runs about $40 US one way)

Unfortunately these same rules apply for purchasers of the XHDATA D-808, but at least in that case the radio generally has a high quality reputation. With the R-108 it's pretty much a $50 gamble on each model, with quality control all over the map. The odds are rigged against you.

Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)
                                                                                              
                                                                                                                      


Re: Later Model CC Skywave Portables Have Improved Audio Amp

chipbutty
 
Edited

I've been pretty scathing about the quality control on this radio over on YouTube. If I'd paid another £5-£10 it would've been back for a refund. I draw the line eventually. Mine has issues but fortunately it doesn't impact too greatly..

Interesting that reviews on Amazon are positive and ones bought from other retailers less so it would seem. I'm often sceptical of many Amazon reviews but most of the reviews on their US and UK stores for this radio are positive and many of them fairly lengthy. I buy from there as the returns are easy and you don't even need a reason for a return. But that isn't a warranty of course. If mine goes down the pan in a month or so I doubt Radiwow will be interested.

Also, with that piddling little battery I treat the radio like a phone and charge it everyday. I've found performance starts to degrade after several hours of use.


Re: Later Model CC Skywave Portables Have Improved Audio Amp

Gary DeBock
 

Hi Chipbutty,

<<<   You haven't much luck at all with the R-108. I have to say on mine that the audio from the speaker is outstanding and will go very loud and still remains very clear. Far, far better than the speaker on my PL-310ET. Even beats my Grunding YB400. Great clarity. It really is superb. >>>

That's great-- I'm happy that you received a decent R-108 model, and are pleased with its performance.

Unfortunately for R-108 purchasers who are not so lucky, they have no recourse from the warranty-shirking manufacturer. If the model had a high quality control standard with very few exceptions then it might be possible to accept the Chinese company's refusal to service their own products, but when quality control is all over the map this attitude is unacceptable, in my opinion. Like you I have received a couple of decent R-108 models, but it is entirely a $50 gamble for each purchaser that decides to buy one, with the odds stacked against him by the "house," who refuses to lose the bet.

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


   


972-HLCA S9 at 1141 UTC

Gary DeBock
 

The prognosis is great for Asian signals this morning, with Chris Kadlec's old Korean local 972-HLCA pounding in at S9 this early morning on yet another newly "Supercharged" C.Crane Skywave (and newly constructed 5" Frequent Flyer FSL) in the predawn darkness at 1141 UTC. The recording apparently contains a program ID, although it doesn't sound familiar  https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/ffxkd64af06z5a300y7q549dv3frm984

                                                              
 
The predawn transplant operation was another nerve wracking (or nerve wrecking?) exercise, but now there are enough "Supercharged" CC Skywaves (and 5" Frequent Flyer FSL's) for all of the four participants in the November Poipu, Hawaii DXpedition. We plan to have some serious fun! 

73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)

                                             


Re: Later Model CC Skywave Portables Have Improved Audio Amp

chipbutty
 
Edited

You haven't much luck at all with the R-108. I have to say on mine that the audio from the speaker is outstanding and will go very loud and still remains very clear. Far, far better than the speaker on my PL-310ET. Even beats my Grunding YB400. Great clarity. It really is superb. And I'm a bit of a picky audiophile geek! Well I used to be a bit of audiophile but that game isn't good for your health. Anyway, the audio is so good from my R-108 that it does an excellent job on its own at helping to keep signals clear. It's equally good on headphones. FM on headphones is really lovely as well. I listened to a play on BBC Radio 4 last night in stereo and it had a really wide sound stage. Impressive.

Maybe I got a good R-108. Touch wood. On the whole my copy is brilliant despite the niggles I spoke about in the other thread. I sympathise with your experience as I've been there before with other products.


Later Model CC Skywave Portables Have Improved Audio Amp

Gary DeBock
 

While going through the checkout tests of newly "Supercharged" (7.5" loopstick transplant) C.Crane Skywave portables I noticed that the audio amplifier in the newer (2017 and later) versions of the non-SSB models has been significantly upgraded to a much more powerful version, correcting one of the weak points noted in the detailed review contained in the 2015 Ultralight Shootout article (posted on SWLing.com) after the Skywave was first introduced. The CC Skywave was acclaimed as having an innovative design, but limited by its wimpy audio amp  https://swling.com/blog/2015/03/gary-debocks-2015-ultralight-radio-shootout-review/

After this latest improvement the CC Skywave's audio amp is not only competitive with that of the XHDATA D-808 model, but the 1 kHz DSP audio has also been improved, so that fewer high frequencies are clipped off because of the narrow DSP filtering. The compact Skywave's speaker does a superb job of delivering the improved audio amp power, so that DXing for weak stations in noisy areas is still a viable option (maybe as on an exotic ocean beach? :-) Of course the limitation of the stock Skywave is still its midget loopstick, which can be outclassed in MW sensitivity across the band by that of the longer XHDATA D-808 model, as well as the classic portables like the Sony ICF-SW5W and Panasonic RF-2200. But this is a congenital issue in compact Ultralight radios, and can only be solved by upgrading the loopstick with a larger external version, or boosting up DX reception by an inductively-coupled signal transfusion from an FSL antenna or air core loop.

Unfortunately, wimpy audio amps are still being manufactured and deployed in Ultralight radios, most notably by the Radiwow company in its new "no guarantee" R-108 model. If you purchase one of these Chinese-made models (with come with no manufacturer's warranty) you will discover that the MW sensitivity is good enough to get you a wispy signal on weak stations, but not good enough to give you much in the way of identifying details. You can advance the volume control all you want, but it will only leave you with a broken knob (which Radiwow does not guarantee, by the way). It is a poster-child situation for one of the newly rejuvenated CC Skywave models, or any of the compact FSL antennas.

73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)

                                                       

   


Re: Two More Radiwow R-108 Models Received

chipbutty
 

I'd be interested to hear more owner reports on the R-108. I've been using mine a lot and thankfully I haven't come across anything else too severe so far. Nothing quite as bad as Gary. I've ordered a new battery (Duracell) and a charger.

Btw, I'm new to the group so hello. I decided to try SW listening again after a twenty year break. I sold my ICF-2001D years ago to fund my camera habit. Bought a small Tecsun a couple of weeks ago and ended up on that rocky road. Tecsun R-909, Tecsun 9700DX (lovely radio), Tecsun PL-310ET - bought last week on Ebay and eventually ended up only paying £10 for it as I found it to be faulty. I've since fixed it, Radiwow R-108 - we all love this little guy don't we? ;-) I still have  a grotty looking twenty year old Grundig YB400. 


Skywave Transplant Still Challenges Nerves

Gary DeBock
 

With many technical jobs the task becomes somewhat easier if you perform it over and over, but that isn't going to happen with a 7.5 inch loopstick transplant into the ultra-crammed C.Crane Skywave model. Every one of these operations makes you feel like you have been put through the wringer, and lucky to come out of the experience with your radio and nerves intact.

This early morning another one of these wacky jobs was completed, and somehow the "Supercharged" model (made for a Hawaii DXpedition partner) works fine. By the way, the SSB Skywave is slightly easier to work on than the standard Skywave, which has both antenna leads extremely close together in the worst possible place on the RF circuit board, in the worst possible orientation to avoid short circuits, and only about 2mm from a slot hole that must not be obstructed with excess solder. The battery spring, removable left side panel, whip antenna wire terminal, volume control and RF board mounting screws will not fit together unless you know the "routine," which I will spare you from hearing in order to preserve your sanity. Somehow describing this wacky operation (and its multiple pitfalls) helps to promote recovery.

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

                                                                                                                
                                        


Re: Two More Radiwow R-108 Models Received

chipbutty
 

l feel lucky not to have those issues on mine. The loud popping noises on headphones is my biggest gripe. I was contemplating returning it to Amazon for an exchange. But whose to say a replacement would be better? It may have other problems not present on mine. A case of better the devil you know I think! Fortunately it only occurs when switching bands or running a scan with the up/down buttons (popping noise when it finds a station). Other than that I really like it! Performance is a cut above my 310ET on MW and SW. The little speaker sounds superb and I'm very picky about audio quality. 
 
Other niggles I have. Lowering of signal strength on MW which requires a press of the on/off button to clear it up. Had the ticking sound on MW once. Everyone seems to have those last two. It seems to be linked to the display and toggling the display button stops the ticking. As far as bugs go I think that's it. My volume is fine so that's good. I don't like the way the display dims if you angle the radio away from you. 
 
Bugs aside I think there's a very good radio here. I love it on SW. On MW it outshines my 310ET but I find the the tuning strangely slow. It seems to take too long for the muting to stop and the signal to appear. On SW it's a different story and everything is snappier.

                                                                                                                      
 


Two More Radiwow R-108 Models Received

Gary DeBock
 

Congratulations to Jay on (apparently) receiving a good R-108 model from Radiwow. Unfortunately the results here have been somewhat less than favorable.

Two more of the compact AM-FM-LW-SW-AIR-Weather Band portables were received here on Saturday, both of them purchased from "hlhl2014" on EBay at $49.98 from the following listing  https://www.ebay.com/itm/RADIWOW-R-108-Radio-Digital-AM-FM-Portable-Stereo-AIR-Band-LCD-Display-Receiver/173793532305?hash=item2876e6d991:g:esMAAOSw1YRcZTng

So far 5 of the new R-108 portables have been received here, and the quality control record is pretty much all over the map. Only one of the models has a completely noise-free volume control on MW-- the others have varying amounts of spurious noise when the volume control is increased (this sounds somewhat like a motorboat). Three of the units have (or had) severe intermittent oscillations on X-band frequencies (1650-1700 kHz), although this issue was completely corrected in one of the models by transplantation of a 7.5" replacement loopstick (go figure). These oscillations are unpredictable, loud and irritating-- something that I've never encountered in testing any new Ultralight radio over an 11 year period. The combination of the lack of any manufacturer's warranty and a dicey quality control record is a disaster, in my opinion.

Besides these haphazard Q/C issues and the lack of any warranty the R-108 models do have other limitations, such as a relatively wimpy audio amp which maxes out too easily on weak stations, a small rechargeable battery which seems to wimp out after relatively short operating time and a digital display which whines when it is grasped by the palm of your hand.

I have transferred two of the dicey R-108 models to my long-term tech buddy Steve Ratzlaff in Arizona, where he is running further tests on them. There is some initial indication that the desert heat may be snapping the models into better shape, although Steve is doing all the testing on them (his radios) from now on. Unless you have some serious Navy training in electronics repair (like Steve and I) my recommendation is that you pass on the R-108, and purchase a quality radio with a good manufacturer's warranty.

73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)

                                                                                                                      
 


Re: For Sale

Phil Pasteur
 

Well. I am interested in the Sony SRF-615. If you have not sold it, please let me know.
Email address should be in the reply.


Re: For Sale

dave_m1ctk
 

Hi Dave here from the UK. Yes would like the 380 if not too late, only thing is postage costs might not make it worth it ?

Rgds

On Sat, 23 Mar 2019 at 02:05, Joe Lanoue <joe.lanoue@...> wrote:
Looking for a new home for my Sony SRF-615, Grundig G8, and Tecsun PL-380.  All in excellent (i.e. new) condition.  I never got around to using them. The prices are as follows:

Sony SRF-615        $75
Grundig G8             $100
Tecsun PL-380        $25

Or, $165 for all three.

Thanks..

.. Joe

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