Radiwow R-108 Vs. Tecsun PL-380


Gary DeBock
 

The Radiwow R-108 is a new, very compact Chinese-made AM-FM-LW-SW-AIR Ultralight radio which has recently become available to North American purchasers on eBay (such as this listing at $49.98, including free shipping  https://www.ebay.com/itm/RADIWOW-R-108-Radio-Digital-AM-FM-Portable-Stereo-LW-SW-AIR-DSP-World-Receiver/173793532305?hash=item2876e6d991:g:esMAAOSw1YRcZTng:rk:1:pf:0

I have placed an order for a couple of them, and plan to test it out against its obvious completion, the Tecsun PL-380. The capabilities of the two pocket radios seem very similar, although the R-108 has an AIR band, which the PL-380 lacks.

In the meantime one of our Japanese DXer friends (Fumiaki Minematsu, an NHK engineer who was one of the group who welcomed Nick to Japan) has already made such a detailed comparison of the R-108 and PL-380, posting it in his blog with multiple photos at  https://eureka-fumi.blogspot.com/2019/02/comparison-of-radiwow-r-108-and-tecsun.html?fbclid=IwAR0DWj-RWGtgaUBfRYjH6AMEXmfIGLB7vZODyah0_NJ2gJ_nlvhLXAxTDhw

With basic English translation included, it should provide interesting information to those who might consider a purchase.

Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)


David Edger
 

Minematsu‘s review  was very well done and interesting. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. 




Rik
 

There are a couple 'reviews' on You Tube. They were not especially  impressed with MW performance, but found FM and SW to be very impressive, and also the clarity of the audio despite the tiny speaker. So I was surprised the R-108 compared so well to the PL-380 on MW.
I have a few portables with the 18650 Li cells and although I was reluctant to buy them, preferring Eneloop AA's, I do like how easy they are to top off with a USB cord while inside the radio. The smaller flat Li cell in the R-108 should be fine too. On you tube one reviewer claims just over 16 hours run time on that flat Li cell or battery in the R-108.
So I am looking forward to additional reviews by Gary and any other experts.- FARMERIK


Paul Blundell
 

Thanks for the information. I will be buying one of these very soon. It will be interesting to see how it works against the AR1733.

Paul

On Tue, Feb 26, 2019 at 11:10 PM Gary DeBock via Groups.Io <D1028Gary=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

The Radiwow R-108 is a new, very compact Chinese-made AM-FM-LW-SW-AIR Ultralight radio which has recently become available to North American purchasers on eBay (such as this listing at $49.98, including free shipping  https://www.ebay.com/itm/RADIWOW-R-108-Radio-Digital-AM-FM-Portable-Stereo-LW-SW-AIR-DSP-World-Receiver/173793532305?hash=item2876e6d991:g:esMAAOSw1YRcZTng:rk:1:pf:0

I have placed an order for a couple of them, and plan to test it out against its obvious completion, the Tecsun PL-380. The capabilities of the two pocket radios seem very similar, although the R-108 has an AIR band, which the PL-380 lacks.

In the meantime one of our Japanese DXer friends (Fumiaki Minematsu, an NHK engineer who was one of the group who welcomed Nick to Japan) has already made such a detailed comparison of the R-108 and PL-380, posting it in his blog with multiple photos at  https://eureka-fumi.blogspot.com/2019/02/comparison-of-radiwow-r-108-and-tecsun.html?fbclid=IwAR0DWj-RWGtgaUBfRYjH6AMEXmfIGLB7vZODyah0_NJ2gJ_nlvhLXAxTDhw

With basic English translation included, it should provide interesting information to those who might consider a purchase.

Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)



--
Paul


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


jerry popiel
 

Looks like a good Ultralite Radio but where do you get the rechargeable?? 5 Volt Battery that powers it if it ever needs replacing? Strange that they didn’t design the Radiwow R-108 radio for AA Batteries!


Rik
 

It is a common Li battery. Online they list from around $5-10 or $15 for higher capacity. Maybe used in cell phones, I'd guess the older flip phones? - FARMERIK


Max Italy
 

It is a Nokia size battery BL-5C. Originally they were made for Nokia phones but now are used in many radios and other electronic equipment where a flat battery is needed. The price from China is around $3.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Original-3-7V-1020mAh-BL-5C-Li-ion-Battery-For-Nokia-1000-1010-1108-1110-1112/32892703402.html

I wonder why some people still think that AA Ni-Mh batteries are better than lithium batteries; some even think that 18650 are rare and "special batteries" when they are widely used in flashlights.
Just think how long the charge of a phone would last it they were using AA batteries instead of lithium batteries.
The charge of a average 18650 or BL-5C battery last much longer than the charge of two top brand AA Ni-Mh batteries and the price is much lower
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-Protected-18650-NCR18650B-3400mah-Rechargeable-battery-3-7V-with-PCB-For-Panasonic-Flashlight-batteries/32909814579.html
Another good point is that they are charged at home or in the car with a 5V usb adapter without removing them from the radio.
I wouldn't buy any radio using obsolete AA batteries.


Paul Blundell
 

I personally have had bad experiences with charging batteries inside radios so avoid these where I can. 

In some cases you HAVE to do this but I prefer not to. 

On Wed, 27 Feb 2019, 12:13 p.m. Max Italy, <max2013@...> wrote:

It is a Nokia size battery BL-5C. Originally they were made for Nokia phones but now are used in many radios and other electronic equipment where a flat battery is needed. The price from China is around $3.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Original-3-7V-1020mAh-BL-5C-Li-ion-Battery-For-Nokia-1000-1010-1108-1110-1112/32892703402.html

I wonder why some people still think that AA Ni-Mh batteries are better than lithium batteries; some even think that 18650 are rare and "special batteries" when they are widely used in flashlights.
Just think how long the charge of a phone would last it they were using AA batteries instead of lithium batteries.
The charge of a average 18650 or BL-5C battery last much longer than the charge of two top brand AA Ni-Mh batteries and the price is much lower
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-Protected-18650-NCR18650B-3400mah-Rechargeable-battery-3-7V-with-PCB-For-Panasonic-Flashlight-batteries/32909814579.html
Another good point is that they are charged at home or in the car with a 5V usb adapter without removing them from the radio.
I wouldn't buy any radio using obsolete AA batteries.


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Max Italy
 

Paul do you do the same with your phones?

please give model of radios and batteries so we uderstand what you are talking about.


jerry popiel
 

Obsolete AA Batteries?
From a simple case of availability I’ll take the AA batteries every time. At least in USA & Canada. No need to have to send to China or go on line to purchase a 5V battery pack. Also remember that nearly every digital Tecsun radio ie. PL -380, PL - 360, etc.  generally uses AA batteries (except for their most expensive ones) and has a 5 volt DC In plug port which will accommodate and charge size R6 1.2 Volt Lithium or Nicad AA batteries. The 5V plug in cord and R6 1.2 Volt batteries were previously supplied by Tecsun for free, but not anymore. I have used my PL-380 with modified DeBock 7 inch frame for hundreds of R6 1.2 Volt charges with no problems at all. And it’s great to have the backup availability of normal AA’s in an emergency on DXpeditions. 

Jerry 



On Feb 26, 2019, at 9:59 PM, Paul Blundell <tanger32au@...> wrote:

I personally have had bad experiences with charging batteries inside radios so avoid these where I can. 

In some cases you HAVE to do this but I prefer not to. 

On Wed, 27 Feb 2019, 12:13 p.m. Max Italy, <max2013@...> wrote:

It is a Nokia size battery BL-5C. Originally they were made for Nokia phones but now are used in many radios and other electronic equipment where a flat battery is needed. The price from China is around $3.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Original-3-7V-1020mAh-BL-5C-Li-ion-Battery-For-Nokia-1000-1010-1108-1110-1112/32892703402.html

I wonder why some people still think that AA Ni-Mh batteries are better than lithium batteries; some even think that 18650 are rare and "special batteries" when they are widely used in flashlights.
Just think how long the charge of a phone would last it they were using AA batteries instead of lithium batteries.
The charge of a average 18650 or BL-5C battery last much longer than the charge of two top brand AA Ni-Mh batteries and the price is much lower
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-Protected-18650-NCR18650B-3400mah-Rechargeable-battery-3-7V-with-PCB-For-Panasonic-Flashlight-batteries/32909814579.html
Another good point is that they are charged at home or in the car with a 5V usb adapter without removing them from the radio.
I wouldn't buy any radio using obsolete AA batteries.


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Paul Blundell
 

I have not seen a phone with AA or AAA batteries for a long time (I used to have one that took AAA) . So in that space you don't have a choice.  With radios you do.  

I have had two radio scanners die due to the batteries overheating.  I also had an amateur radio and a UHF CB that had the batteries die when they were needed most.  Now I ONLY use AA unless I don't have a choice. 

On Wed, 27 Feb 2019, 5:55 p.m. Max Italy, <max2013@...> wrote:

Paul do you do the same with your phones?

please give model of radios and batteries so we uderstand what you are talking about.


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Max Italy
 

Paul, i am talking about recharging lithium batteries inside the radio, you are talking about not recharging Ni-Cd or Ni-Mh and AA batteries inside the radio.
You talk about problems with batteries without addressing to the type of battery, like if they are all the same.
We are taliking about different things that bring to a unique conclusion: only lithium batteries should be recharged inside the radio. One good point to buy radios with lithium batteries.

Technically the batteries are very different and the process of charging is very different. Charging Ni-Cd or Ni-Mh and AA batteriesis more complicated and many low cost devices charge them just limiting the current with a resistor, this causes overheating if the charger is not removed manually once the battery is fully charged and could cause liquid leaking and damage to the battery and to the circuit with risk of fire.
Also, when there are more Ni-Mh in series they should never be charged the complete series like if they are a unique battery, that's why AA batteries are never charged from the radio but need to be removed for charging.

We are in a technical hobby and is better to understand how things work and distinguish different situations and different technologies or we risk to create metropolitan legends instead of demolishing the existing ones.


Max Italy
 

Jerry, i have read you comment only now
"nearly every digital Tecsun radio generally uses AA batteries (except for their most expensive ones)"
The except explains all and you will see that new Tecsun models in the future will use 18650 or flat lithium batteries, remember what Max the idiot told you :D
The only reason why they have not switched to lithium batteries yet is just because they save money not supplying anymore the AA batteries that are widely available but now that more people consider the lithium battery a good buying point they will.


Paul Blundell
 

No, I am talking about a Lithium battery inside a radio receiver / scanner:
BP-206 Li-Ion BATTERY CELL ASSEMBLY 3.7V/1650mAh Lithium Ion battery pack

I had TWO of these radios that BOTH had the battery go faulty and melt, damaging the radio to the point that it had to be replaced. This is almost $1600 worth of radio lost.

I have also had other Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh batteries either go faulty and no longer hold a charge (at a cost of over $110 in one case to replace it) or lose charge for a number of reasons and be left with no other power options.

I have been involved in the radio hobby for over 20 years and I that time I have seen so many issues with charging batteries inside a radio (One well known radio brand even suggested NOT charging the batteries inside the radio due to these issues).

You are welcome to do whatever you want, but give me AA or AAA batteries EVERY TIME. Worst case, I can grab some from almost any shop.

On Wed, Feb 27, 2019 at 7:52 PM Max Italy <max2013@...> wrote:

Paul, i am talking about recharging lithium batteries inside the radio, you are talking about not recharging Ni-Cd or Ni-Mh and AA batteries inside the radio.
You talk about problems with batteries without addressing to the type of battery, like if they are all the same.
We are taliking about different things that bring to a unique conclusion: only lithium batteries should be recharged inside the radio. One good point to buy radios with lithium batteries.

Technically the batteries are very different and the process of charging is very different. Charging Ni-Cd or Ni-Mh and AA batteriesis more complicated and many low cost devices charge them just limiting the current with a resistor, this causes overheating if the charger is not removed manually once the battery is fully charged and could cause liquid leaking and damage to the battery and to the circuit with risk of fire.
Also, when there are more Ni-Mh in series they should never be charged the complete series like if they are a unique battery, that's why AA batteries are never charged from the radio but need to be removed for charging.

We are in a technical hobby and is better to understand how things work and distinguish different situations and different technologies or we risk to create metropolitan legends instead of demolishing the existing ones.



--
Paul


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Paul Blundell
 

Good to see I am not the ONLY one who prefers AA or AAA batteries.


On Wed, Feb 27, 2019 at 6:14 PM jerry popiel <jerry.popiel55@...> wrote:
Obsolete AA Batteries?
From a simple case of availability I’ll take the AA batteries every time. At least in USA & Canada. No need to have to send to China or go on line to purchase a 5V battery pack. Also remember that nearly every digital Tecsun radio ie. PL -380, PL - 360, etc.  generally uses AA batteries (except for their most expensive ones) and has a 5 volt DC In plug port which will accommodate and charge size R6 1.2 Volt Lithium or Nicad AA batteries. The 5V plug in cord and R6 1.2 Volt batteries were previously supplied by Tecsun for free, but not anymore. I have used my PL-380 with modified DeBock 7 inch frame for hundreds of R6 1.2 Volt charges with no problems at all. And it’s great to have the backup availability of normal AA’s in an emergency on DXpeditions. 

Jerry 



On Feb 26, 2019, at 9:59 PM, Paul Blundell <tanger32au@...> wrote:

I personally have had bad experiences with charging batteries inside radios so avoid these where I can. 

In some cases you HAVE to do this but I prefer not to. 

On Wed, 27 Feb 2019, 12:13 p.m. Max Italy, <max2013@...> wrote:

It is a Nokia size battery BL-5C. Originally they were made for Nokia phones but now are used in many radios and other electronic equipment where a flat battery is needed. The price from China is around $3.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Original-3-7V-1020mAh-BL-5C-Li-ion-Battery-For-Nokia-1000-1010-1108-1110-1112/32892703402.html

I wonder why some people still think that AA Ni-Mh batteries are better than lithium batteries; some even think that 18650 are rare and "special batteries" when they are widely used in flashlights.
Just think how long the charge of a phone would last it they were using AA batteries instead of lithium batteries.
The charge of a average 18650 or BL-5C battery last much longer than the charge of two top brand AA Ni-Mh batteries and the price is much lower
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-Protected-18650-NCR18650B-3400mah-Rechargeable-battery-3-7V-with-PCB-For-Panasonic-Flashlight-batteries/32909814579.html
Another good point is that they are charged at home or in the car with a 5V usb adapter without removing them from the radio.
I wouldn't buy any radio using obsolete AA batteries.


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX



--
Paul


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Max Italy
 

Paul i do not have to convince anybody, i just want to make things clear and not mixing one thing with another,  but remember that AA batteries are Ni-Mh batteries, so your concern is more about the form factor than the technology of the batteries.
Jerry is also confusing one thing with another because R6 is the same as AA, just different terms, and R6 1.2v lithium batteries simply do not exhist, they are Ni-Mh.

p.s. strange that the scanners litium batteries failed both. I have a $20 Baofeng radio that i used only for reception and i have charged only twice in one year. The battery is in its plastic sealed box and i have never seen them going bad in any device, cellphones included. There must be a major projectual problem with the charging unit.


Paul Blundell
 

The safest way to charge a battery is in an external charger.  I would rather have this damaged than a $800 radio. 


On Wed, 27 Feb 2019, 9:57 p.m. Max Italy, <max2013@...> wrote:
Paul i do not have to convince anybody, i just want to make things clear and not mixing one thing with another,  but remember that AA batteries are Ni-Mh batteries, so your concern is more about the form factor than the technology of the batteries.
Jerry is also confusing one thing with another because R6 is the same as AA, just different terms, and R6 1.2v lithium batteries simply do not exhist, they are Ni-Mh.

p.s. strange that the scanners litium batteries failed both. I have a $20 Baofeng radio that i used only for reception and i have charged only twice in one year. The battery is in its plastic sealed box and i have never seen them going bad in any device, cellphones included. There must be a major projectual problem with the charging unit.


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


radiojayallen
 

I bit the bullet and ordered one...can't resist checking out a new radio!

Jay


jerry popiel
 


Thanks for your comments Max. 

Many of the Tecsun Ultralite Radios I have previously purchased - PL - 380, PL - 360 & PL - 398BT (Bluetooth) Radios -  All have a Intelligent Charging Function. These Radios use 3  - UM3 AA Rechargeable batteries - probably Nih batteries. My R6 / 1.2 Volt QN1000M AA Rechargeables were supplied by Tecsun for free with the Radio purchases. They don’t send them out anymore, but they are / were  available for purchase from Tecsun. Those Tecsun Radios ALL have a 5V External Adapter that uses a USB Plug to Charge the AA Rechargeable Batteries with them Inserted In The Radio!  In fact I have been using and Charging my FSL equipped PL - 380 with the AA Rechargeables for the past 10 years. And the AA’s do not have to be removed from the radio to be recharged. The newer Tecsun PL - 880 which uses the 18650 battery is a $290.00 CDN Funds radio but not too sure it would be considered an Ultralite due to it’s larger size. 

"The except explains all and you will see that new Tecsun models in the future will use 18650 or flat lithium batteries":
Please note the recently released new Tecsun PL - 680 Radio uses 4 - AA Batteries & also has a smart charging system. I agree that there are many Radios that do use the 5V lithium Battery Pack you mention, but are all new Radios going in this direction? I guess time will tell. 

Thanks
Jerry    

On Feb 27, 2019, at 3:25 AM, Max Italy <max2013@...> wrote:

Jerry, i have read you comment only now
"nearly every digital Tecsun radio generally uses AA batteries (except for their most expensive ones)"
The except explains all and you will see that new Tecsun models in the future will use 18650 or flat lithium batteries, remember what Max the idiot told you :D
The only reason why they have not switched to lithium batteries yet is just because they save money not supplying anymore the AA batteries that are widely available but now that more people consider the lithium battery a good buying point they will.


Paul Blundell
 

It will be great to hear what you think of it.


On Wed, Feb 27, 2019 at 10:14 PM radiojayallen <radiojayallen@...> wrote:
I bit the bullet and ordered one...can't resist checking out a new radio!

Jay



--
Paul


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Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX