Date   

18650 battery test in Xhdata D-808 radio

Steve Ratzlaff
 

I greatly enjoyed the previous comments about battery life in the Xhdata D-808 radio and how battery life varies so much and was motivated to run some tests of my own.

I ran some tests on my own various 18650 batteries. First I found the radio battery indicator would flash and the radio would not stay on at 3.403 volts, indicating I should test batteries with a load simulating the radio until they were discharged to about 3.40 volts. I found the radio tuned to a station, backlight off (the light greatly increases current draw), with low to medium volume drew about 50 mA and used that current for my test. I used two 150 ohm 1/4 watt resistors in parallel with an on/off switch to give such a load across the battery, tested outside of the radio of course. I bought four new Samsung "36G 10A 3600 mAh" batteries off eBay, charged them one time initially for the test. Those four batteries all lasted over 52 hours with the 50 mA load before dropping to 3.44 volts where I stopped the test for those batteries. The 2000 mAh battery that came with the radio, which I did not recharge after it had been charged maybe 6-8 months previously and taken out of the radio and let sit (its no-load voltage was 4.079V) lasted 28.5 hours. A Tecsun-branded 2000 mAh battery, also previously charged and let sit 6-8 months earlier, with no-load voltage 4.179V, lasted 31 hours and 15 minutes. Two old "GTF 9800 mAh" branded batteries that I'd used in flashlights were much poorer; both lasted only 11 hours.

The Samsung 3600 mAh batteries gave very long life but they are not inexpensive, almost $10 each with shipping and tax. Maybe other brands of 3600 mAh batteries would work similarly but I can't say.

73,

Steve


Re: Recent approved ultralight DX radio list; proposing Eton Elite Mini

Russ Edmunds
 

Remember that for MW, the smaller the ferrite antenna, the worse MW reception will be.

Russ Edmunds

WB2BJH

Blue Bell, PA

Grid FN20id


From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> on behalf of Michael Schuster via groups.io <schuster.ma@...>
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2020 10:51 AM
To: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] Recent approved ultralight DX radio list; proposing Eton Elite Mini
 

[Edited Message Follows]

While the Eton Mini might not be great at MW, I wouldn't discount everything with the same form factor. I have the Sangean DT-180 and it is fairly sensitive. I believe the selectivity is better than my Grundig G4000A although I've never compared that side to side.
Actually most of the pocket-sized Sangean portables are at least adequate on MW, and some are very good to excellent. Even the worst of them pretty much outclasses the Eton Min IMHO


Re: Recent approved ultralight DX radio list; proposing Eton Elite Mini

Michael Schuster
 
Edited

While the Eton Mini might not be great at MW, I wouldn't discount everything with the same form factor. I have the Sangean DT-180 and it is fairly sensitive. I believe the selectivity is better than my Grundig G4000A although I've never compared that side to side.
Actually most of the pocket-sized Sangean portables are at least adequate on MW, and some are very good to excellent. Even the worst of them pretty much outclasses the Eton Mini IMHO


Re: Recent approved ultralight DX radio list; proposing Eton Elite Mini

Thomas Kane KC1MAT
 

While the Eton Mini might not be great at MW, I wouldn't discount everything with the same form factor. I have the Sangean DT-180 and it is fairly sensitive. I believe the selectivity is better than my Grundig G4000A although I've never compared that side to side.


Re: Recent approved ultralight DX radio list; proposing Eton Elite Mini

Michael Schuster
 
Edited

The assessment of relative performance on MW vs FM is true. I bought the earlier packaging of the Eton Mini a couple of years ago during one of the periodic Amazon fire sales. It is adequate for local MW listening but far from DX material. MW performance is limited by tiny ferrite antenna and DSP-related audio artifacts. I had intended to take it on a trip but reconsidered at the last minute; it's sat in the box ever since.


Re: Recent approved ultralight DX radio list; proposing Eton Elite Mini

radiojayallen
 

I personally find this group to be one of the most interesting and enjoyable of all the radio-related groups I belong to. Yes, it has morphed a bit from its inception as Gary explained, but I consider that the content posted here is usually worth reading, even though I was never a strict Ultralight user. I love portable radios of many stripes and tend to favor higher performing radios for listening around the house but the info provided here on antennas and general listening information adds a lot to my enjoyment. 

Jay


Re: Recent approved ultralight DX radio list; proposing Eton Elite Mini

Paul S. in CT
 

Yes by size its OK. But I'll take exception to the following... its most likely a really good radio for FM, but the vertical layout of the radio with display near the top of the set means its probably not good for AM. You might be surprised that some $20 analog sets would out-perform it on AM. I would also be prepared to buy bulk quantity of those AAA batteries, (tub of 60 at Home Depot or Lowe's for example) as battery life won't be too long. But, its your coin to spend anyways you like to spend. I prefer to spend little.

Regards
Paul S. in CT FN31nl


Re: Recent approved ultralight DX radio list; proposing Eton Elite Mini

Dave Hascall
 

Gary kind of summed it up, it has sort of trailed off to a niche of the main MW DX hobby and the group is more dedicated to technological advances, especially in antennas.

I did love the Contests and entered both of them.  My first (now late) wife, needed lots of care so they were a welcome break from the norm.  I kinda wish they would come back and I think the awards have trailed off as well.

But my few ULRs are my go to DX receivers right now until I get the garage cleaned up and my more serious portables unpacked.

73 and good DX.

Dave in Indy


Re: Recent approved ultralight DX radio list; proposing Eton Elite Mini

Joseph Rotman
 

He does some great videos 

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On Wednesday, July 29, 2020, Larry Smith via groups.io <larfla2@...> wrote:

Just looked his "tube" channel up. it's "Todderbert", his formal channel name is "Radio Waves by Todderbert".


Re: Recent approved ultralight DX radio list; proposing Eton Elite Mini

Gary DeBock
 

Hi J.P. (and Max),

During the worldwide Ultralight Radio Boom in early 2008 we had a very dedicated group of volunteers to handle administration, a classification and awards program, numerous Ultralight technical modifications (loopstick transplants and upgrade IF filters) and breakthrough Ultralight-related DXing antenna experimentation.

Unfortunately we have lost a lot of our volunteers since then. John Bryan provided most of our administration, but he was lost in a tragic accident in February of 2010. Kevin Schanilec also assisted in the early Ultralight Group administration, but he has been inactive in the hobby since 2015. Most of the original "super DXers" who contributed to the Ultralight Radio Boom (Rob Ross, Allen Willie and Richard Allen) are still with us, although they may currently enjoy DXing outside the Ultralight Radio niche group (which is fine with me, of course). We will always hold their accomplishments in the highest honour, regardless of how they are currently enjoying the hobby.

So, to summarize, even though the Ultralight Radio attraction is still booming throughout the world after twelve years, we suffer from the same limitation that almost every radio hobby group struggles with-- a severe shortage of volunteers. I am the only original survivor of the Ultralight Radio administrative group in early 2008, but my personal focus has always been on transoceanic DXing and antenna experimentation, not on administration. The fascinating new challenges of ocean cliff transoceanic propagation, FSL antenna development and "Frequent Flyer" Ultralight Radio DXpeditions are thrilling to the extreme-- and more than enough to keep this fanatic fully occupied.

Concerning the original Ultralight Radio Classification rules posted by J.P., they are still currently valid, although multiple DSP filters and SSB capability are now acceptable (primarily due to a decision concerning the new C.Crane Skywave model). The 20 cubic inch size limit is a guideline which is unlikely to be ever changed, however. In the absence of any currently functional Ultralight Awards program this limitation may seem irrelevant, but there have already been many top-performing Ultralight Radio models fully approved in years past, several of which have been used to receive over 1,000 stations in stock form. My strong advice to anyone who really wishes to experience a new thrill in the hobby is to focus on the challenge of receiving rare DX with minimal equipment, rather than on attempting to change the equipment to make the challenge easier.

73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)
Ultralight Radio Group Co-Founder

       


Re: Recent approved ultralight DX radio list; proposing Eton Elite Mini

Larry Smith
 

Just looked his "tube" channel up. it's "Todderbert", his formal channel name is "Radio Waves by Todderbert".


Re: Recent approved ultralight DX radio list; proposing Eton Elite Mini

Larry Smith
 

 No. The "Awards Program" and "Challenges" died because the guys running it moved on to other interests and I seem to recall one of the founding members fell off a ladder while rigging a antenna  or something like that and died. This "Ultralight", "all the rave" stuff has fallen off during the past few years, that's why the lists haven't been updated and such. I think most of the original members went to software defined computer geek stuff and never looked back. KInda the same story with the NRC and IRCA. I just do my MW DXing in solitude now. A guy named "Toddebert" or something like that has a interesting Youtube channel where he reviews and operates a ton of these new, and older, radios.


Re: Recent approved ultralight DX radio list; proposing Eton Elite Mini

J.P. Tuttle
 

I was just curious -- the definition document mentions radios needing to be approved for contests, awards, and records.  Are those things not as common as they were in the past?
 
Thanks,
 
-- J.P.




Re: Recent approved ultralight DX radio list; proposing Eton Elite Mini

Max Italy
 

Why would you need approval for each individual model if it is not even closed to any of the limits?


Recent approved ultralight DX radio list; proposing Eton Elite Mini

J.P. Tuttle
 

Is there a recent list of approved ultralight DX radios available?  I couldn't find one in the Files section, but I might have missed it.
 
Also, if it isn't approved already, may I propose the Eton Elite Mini?  I've listed the criteria and specs for it below.  The spec sheet from Eton, with a photo and specifications, is available here:

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/2407/2229/files/SpecSheet_Elite_Mini.pdf
 
1. It is a simple shirt pocket-sized radio of not more than approximately 20 cubic inches.
According to the dimensions on the spec sheet, the volume is 5.4567 cubic inches (4.3 * 2.7 * 0.47).
 
2. It is an entertainment-grade radio, as opposed to enthusiast's radio. As such, it will usually not have AM synchronous detection, SSB clarification or other specialized features.
It doesn't have either of those features, and the marketing copy on https://etoncorp.com/products/elitemini seems to imply that it's entertainment-grade:
 
"The compact Etón Mini radio lets you tune in to your favorite local stations or listen to news and music from across the globe with an internal AM antenna and a telescoping FM/SW antenna."
 
3. It is readily available to the hobby in new or used markets at the time of its approval.
The Eton Elite Mini is available new at Eton's website, Universal Radio, Amazon, etc.
 
4. It costs no more than $100 retail at the time of approval.
The Eton Elite Mini costs $30.
 
5. It is primarily a radio. While it may have other features as well (MP3 recorder, etc.), the design and function should have radio reception as its focus.
The only extra feature is the alarm.
 
6. It is not a "novelty radio" such as Coca Cola Can radio, Mr. Potato Head, etc.
The Eton Elite Mini is not a novelty radio.
 
Thank you,
 
-- J.P., KB1TIC
 


Re: Review - Digitech AR-1780 Multi-band Radio Receiver - battery choice

vbifyz
 

The 18650 cell which came with my PL-680 has listed capacity of 1700mAh. I tested it with B6AC charger, and it was actually 900mAh.
I am using cells from discarded laptop batteries. These may have higher internal resistance than new cells, but at the discharge rate of portable radios this is not important.
Good cells from laptop packs can have measured capacity of  2200 to 2500mAh.

73, Mike AF7KR


Re: Review - Digitech AR-1780 Multi-band Radio Receiver - battery choice

Rémy Friess
 

I think this must be the reason different owners are seeing such a range of battery life  results from these very low priced radios; the supplied battery quality is highly variable.

It's not just the batteries supplied with the radios. It's any battery you can buy, an expensive one or a cheap one, a "genuine" battery or one with a fancy brand name.

Mine was fully discharged after 2 ½ hours, backlight off. The Panasonic battery I purchased after that was hardly better, 3 ½ hours.

The cheap Chinese substitute has been working for about 19 hours now (not continuously though) and the indicator still shows 3 bars. It may not be able to supply the 9900 mAh it claims but it is a whole lot better than the one that came with the receiver, that's for sure.

Rémy.



Re: Review - Digitech AR-1780 Multi-band Radio Receiver - battery choice

Kenny Murray
 

best 18650 batteries are made by panasonic and LG buy nothing else.



On Friday, July 17, 2020, 12:35:16 PM ADT, Dave613 <david.elden.613@...> wrote:


1 From what I can see on the web the highest capacity 18650 battery available is ~3500mAh, AFAIK there are no genuine 9900 or 15000 products (despite what the label might say)
2 Comparing the XHDATA (assuming supplied 2000mAh cell) with the Digitech (assuming 1900mAh NiMH cells) for design battery capacity in mWh:
XHDATA 1x18650: 1x2000x3.7 = 7400mWh, Digitech 4xAA NiMH: 4x1900x1.2 = 9120mWh. So there is a bit more ultimate energy in the Digitech design but a real world higher capacity 18650 replacement cell (e.g. Panasonic NCR18650B, 3350mAh) in the XHDATA would reverse the rating.
Reviewers have noted that the XHDATA battery level indicator is very non-linear and initially indicates an erroneously fast discharge, I have found that behaviour in my sample as well.
Personally my choice would be the XHDATA/18650 design because: lighter and lower volume battery required (despite which the Digitech is smaller, go figure); charging using standard mini B USB connector (Digitech uses a coax plug).
Dave.


Re: Review - Digitech AR-1780 Multi-band Radio Receiver - battery choice

Dave613
 

Re "If you are lucky you get one that works allright, if not, well, it was just bad luck." I think this must be the reason different owners are seeing such a range of battery life  results from these very low priced radios; the supplied battery quality is highly variable.
I did just do an endurance check on my XHDATA sample:
Battery marking: 2000mAh
Test setup: adjusted volume to draw ~60mA (MW tuned between stations, i.e. white noise, enough volume to listen easily but not loud, backlight ON continuous which accounted for ~50% of current draw), battery fully charged (indicator shows 3 bars)
Ran until indicator showed one bar: 25.5 hours, i.e. 60 x 25.5 = at least 1530 mAh capacity demonstrated. I didn't want to fully discharge the cell so stopped there but volume and backlight brilliance had not noticeably changed so I'm sure there was some capacity left. Summary: I could listen for a full 24h day - with the light on - using the supplied cell.
Dave.


Re: Review - Digitech AR-1780 Multi-band Radio Receiver - battery choice

Mark Roberts
 

I will just describe my experience with the 18650 batteries in these units. Both radios were purchased from the Israeli reseller who, for a while, was the only source of these radios for United States buyers.

Stock "XHDATA" branded battery, 2000 mAh. One can't hold a charge at all; the other is the best-behaved of all the batteries I've tried. Still, it needs recharging about every 3 weeks even if it isn't otherwise used.

"UltraFire" (an unfortunate name considering the history of lithium-ion batteries), 2600 mAh. Could not hold a charge as long as the XHDATA-branded battery. I am using an UltraFire battery in one of my XHDATA radios. It needs a charge about every week and a half, even if not used.

"Internova", 2000 mAh. Worst performer, on average: holds a charge for about a week.

Those latter two brands were purchased from Amazon.

I have other radios that use the BL-5C battery (Radiwow R-108, Tivdio V-115). They can hold a charge for months.

I also just purchased a Tecsun ICR-110, with a Tecsun-branded 2000 mAh 18650 battery. So far, so good, but I've only had it for a few days.

As for the battery indicator on the XHDATA model: it may be inaccurate, but it doesn't matter for the on/off switch: once it's flat, it's flat. Fortunately, the XHDATA stores station memories in non-volatile data. The inconvenience in this case is having to turn the beep off again once the radio is revived, and having to reset the clock. But I'm finding it tiresome to keep watching this. That's too bad, for there are many good things to say about this model.

I have two Digitech AR-1780s and their battery indicators seem to be just fine, for 4 AA alkaline cells - always the Eveready brand; I've had issues with Duracells being leaky. 

On Sun, Jul 19, 2020 at 11:33 AM Rémy Friess <rfriess@...> wrote:

Thanks for the advice.

But now I'm at a loss. What kind of battery should I buy?

Certainly not the original 2000 mAh type that came with the receiver. It doesn't last long enough.

Even less so the (genuine???) Panasonic 3400 mAh type. I actually disposed of that one because it would get burning hot each time I charged it and it would have caused harm to the receiver eventually.

And I have had a similar problem with a Nikon camera and a Philips cordless phone, both with "genuine" batteries.

Do you really think that batteries that bear a famous brand name are any better than the cheap ones?

Sony, Panasonic and the likes have them manufactured by the same Chinese companies that do the cheap ones.

When they reach the end-user there are only 2 differences 1/ a different brand name 2/ a much higher price tag.

But they are the same crap as all the others. If you are lucky you get one that works allright, if not, well, it was just bad luck.

Le 19/07/2020 à 19:22, Phil Pasteur a écrit :
Hello  Rémy,
I am glad that the cell works for you, but something does not compute. There are a large number of  reviews and videos of take downs of  cells like this and they all agree that the cells do not come close to meeting the claims .
The top end of reputable 18650 cells claim and measure close to 3600 mAh. This from companies that have spent millions developing the best processes to make them reach this level.
I would make one suggestion to you, be very careful with that cell. If you have a choice with your charger, charge at a low rate. I would not like to hear that you had a failure  where the battery vents with flame and ruins your charger or radio, or burns down your house. These things have happened to people using junk batteries and/or charging them improperly. Charging safely requires knowledge of the true specifications of the battery. Since it is clear that the Chinese are lying about these cells, we can't make any decisions about how to treat them.
If you are happy with the battery, great, I would prefer that others do not read this thread and think that this kind of cell is anything other than junk. 
I suggest you read some of the posts here if you believe that I am exaggerating the risks.

https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?107-Smoke-and-Fire-Hot-Cells-and-Close-Calls-The-dangerous-side-of-batteries

If you want to check out what people found  when testing and tearing down cells like the one you mention, look at some of the videos and test reports here.
https://www.google.com/search?q=9900+mAh+battery+test&oq=9900&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j69i61j69i60l2.4543j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Again, if you are happy with the battery, OK!
But there has to be a variable that we are not considering, and I just hope no one comes away thinking that those things are anything other than to be avoided at all costs.

Be careful!

Phil

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