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

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)



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.



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. 

Max Italy

New version has solved some problems on the MW?
see here