New XHDATA D-109 Vs. Radiwow R-108 (AM-DX Shootout)

Gary DeBock

These two portables are actually made by the same Chinese company, which also goes by the "Sihuadon" moniker (for some additional confusion). As explained in the 2021 Ultralight Radio Shootout, the Radiwow R-108 is physically a close copy of the CC Skywave radio made in the same Chinese city, with exactly the same height, length and width, as well as the same loopstick and whip antenna. AM-DXing is not the R-108's strong point, mainly because of an underpowered audio amp which bails out early on very weak stations, not to mention a wimpy BL-5C "cell phone" battery. Despite this the radio has good audio, a powerful speaker and innovative FM and AIR band reception, especially for its tiny size.

The new XHDATA D-109 has a more powerful battery (18650), excellent audio into its 3 watt speaker, and Bluetooth (and MP3 playback) capability-- all for about $10 less than the typical price of the R-108. It lacks the AIR band coverage of the R-108, but has the same LW, FM and SW coverage. Currently the D-109 is only available from China.

In the following recordings, the new XHDATA D-109 receives the AM-DX fringe station for the first 15 seconds during daytime DX conditions, and the Radiwow R-108 receives the same signal for the last 15 seconds. Both models had their antennas positioned for the best reception of each fringe station, and both batteries were fully charged. Finally, both models were set in the 2 kHz DSP filter setting.

550  KARI   Blaine, WA   (5 kW at 180 miles)
620  KPOJ   Portland, OR   (50 kW at 160 miles)
750  KXTG   Portland, OR   (50 kW at 165 miles)
1070  CFAX   Victoria, BC   (10 kW at 100 miles)
1470  KELA   Centralia, WA   (5 kW at 70 miles)

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