R.I.P. Original XHDATA D-808 (High Quality) Model


Gary DeBock
 

Today I received a new XHDATA D-808 (gray colored) model directly from the manufacturer in China, which has the weaker audio amplifier and other major changes noted in a black Sihuadon D-808 model disassembled two weeks ago. This provides confirmation that XHDATA is no longer selling the original D-808 models, either with the XHDATA or Sihuadon brand names.

Distinguishing between an original and new version D-808 is easy-- a new version has rubber tabs on the bottom, and has an oval USB cable plug which can be inserted either way. The RF circuit boards in the two variants are completely different, as shown in the attached photo. The major design drawback in new D-808's is an audio amplifier which wimps out on very weak AM-DX stations, making the radio much less desirable for a weak signal AM-DXer. External antennas can provide some compensation for this, but "barefoot" DXers are stuck with it. The "original" XHDATA D-808 model received top marks in the 2021 Ultralight Radio Shootout, but since that high quality model is no longer being manufactured, prospective buyers may wish to wait until a full investigation is made of the new D-808 variant, and how it compares with the original-- and other models currently on the market.

Best of DX,
Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)




chevargasluis@...
 

Qu√© triste en realidad ūüėĘ, yo quer√≠a comprar uno de esos por su buena sensibilidad en AM y por su capacidad SSB. Ni modo, a esperar una mejor opci√≥n.
Gracias Sr. DeBock por compartir sus rese√Īas y conocimientos¬†


chipbutty
 

This is quite timely. I had an original Xhdata D-808 and regretted selling it. I was considering buying a new one but now I'm not so sure. I used it mainly for FM eskip, which it was brilliant at. The RDS was far more sensitive than that of my ATS-909X and Eton Elite Executive. I'm not sure how these new D-808 variants stack up in terms of its FM eskip performance. 

The first Sihuadon D-808 appeared two years ago. Did those first Sihuadon versions still have the original D-808 board design and it's only recently that we see this new version?


stecktx
 

Does "oval USB cable plug" mean the radio has a USB C socket?

My D-808 purchased in 2019 has a USB mini socket. I'd prefer USB C, but that's a marginal consideration.

No rubber tabs on the bottom on mine.


Gary DeBock
 

On Sat, Apr 1, 2023 at 02:12 PM, stecktx wrote:
Does "oval USB cable plug" mean the radio has a USB C socket?
Yes Stecktx,

"New version" XHDATA D-808 models have a USB-C connector, as described at
USB-C - Wikipedia

Any D-808 model with rubber tabs on the bottom and the USB-C connector is a "new version" D-808, with the less powerful audio amplifier. This is a negative change made by XHDATA/ Sihuadon recently, resulting in a reduced capability to receive (and ID) very weak AM-DX stations. External AM antennas can compensate for this somewhat, but "barefoot" DXers are stuck with it. The extensive circuit board differences between the old and new D-808 versions are shown in the attached photo.

73, Gary


lesesq
 

Comparing the two boards shows that one of Xhdata's goals was to reduce labor time in manufacturing the units.  Note that the original board has 5 IF coils and 6 trimmer caps (center) that need adjustment for initial calibration.  There is also a resistor adjustment in the lower left (AF bias or gain?), and another adjustment on the far right.  In the new board, almost all of these adjustment points are gone.  There are now only 3 adjustment points in total: 2 trimmer caps and 1 coil.

So the new unit can be built more quickly with lower labor costs.  However, this suggests to me that we could expect broader variance in performance from unit to unit (each unit is not optimized for maximum performance) and likely lower RF and AF performance on average.

The goal clearly was to optimize profits and to reduce the importance of obtaining best possible performance from each individual unit.  Not the best direction for those of us who care about quality as a top priority.


dave_m1ctk
 

Great shame. Glad my original 808 still works flawlessly which only cost my £50 at the time 


On Sun, 2 Apr 2023, 13:48 lesesq, <lesesq@...> wrote:
Comparing the two boards shows that one of Xhdata's goals was to reduce labor time in manufacturing the units.  Note that the original board has 5 IF coils and 6 trimmer caps (center) that need adjustment for initial calibration.  There is also a resistor adjustment in the lower left (AF bias or gain?), and another adjustment on the far right.  In the new board, almost all of these adjustment points are gone.  There are now only 3 adjustment points in total: 2 trimmer caps and 1 coil.

So the new unit can be built more quickly with lower labor costs.  However, this suggests to me that we could expect broader variance in performance from unit to unit (each unit is not optimized for maximum performance) and likely lower RF and AF performance on average.

The goal clearly was to optimize profits and to reduce the importance of obtaining best possible performance from each individual unit.  Not the best direction for those of us who care about quality as a top priority.


Gary DeBock
 

On Sun, Apr 2, 2023 at 05:48 AM, lesesq wrote:
Comparing the two boards shows that one of Xhdata's goals was to reduce labor time in manufacturing the units.  Note that the original board has 5 IF coils and 6 trimmer caps (center) that need adjustment for initial calibration.  There is also a resistor adjustment in the lower left (AF bias or gain?), and another adjustment on the far right.  In the new board, almost all of these adjustment points are gone.  There are now only 3 adjustment points in total: 2 trimmer caps and 1 coil.

So the new unit can be built more quickly with lower labor costs.  However, this suggests to me that we could expect broader variance in performance from unit to unit (each unit is not optimized for maximum performance) and likely lower RF and AF performance on average.

The goal clearly was to optimize profits and to reduce the importance of obtaining best possible performance from each individual unit.  Not the best direction for those of us who care about quality as a top priority.
Thanks Lesesq,

These are all great points, and I agree 100% with your conclusions. These D-808 changes are made to increase profits, and quality is likely to suffer. The audio amp has already been replaced by a weaker version.

XHDATA is following. the pattern of Tecsun, when it removed the DSP chip shielding in the PL-380 model around 2012 to increase profits. The model ended up with much more digital display noise, making Longwave reception particularly noisy.

Gary


lesesq
 

Not to mention that the eliminated parts are probably some of the most expensive parts in the unit (other than IC chips).  So the parts cost is lower as well.


lesesq
 

And it's not accurate to use the same model number for this new design because it's so different and degraded in quality.


lesesq
 

If there are fewer filter elements in the signal path then selectivity is likely to suffer as well.  It seems the new design is likely more subject to overload and spurious signals.


Liam Wells
 

At one point some older mobile phones did this, where some "new"parts were swapped over.
Hopefully they learn to not do this and start using different model numbers.


From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> on behalf of lesesq <lesesq@...>
Sent: 03 April 2023 01:26
To: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] R.I.P. Original XHDATA D-808 (High Quality) Model
 
And it's not accurate to use the same model number for this new design because it's so different and degraded in quality.


radiojayallen
 

I agree but this is very comon. The original Degen DE-1103 was really hot on AM but was later redesigned with (early) DSP and had spurios noises which ruined weak signal reception. I have nogt treid a newere one tos ee if that was fixed though,


chipbutty
 

I received a bought from new and never used Xhdata D-808 today. Orange screen, rubber feet, micro USB (not USB C) so presumably this is the original internal design. Probably made between 2021-2022. I used to own an original blue screen D-808. That had rubber feet as well, so I'm not sure that can be used as a criteria to distinguish the new internal design from the original.

As I understand it there are three variants of Xhdata/Sihuadon D-808, #1 the original blue screen Xhdata D-808 from around 2018,  #2 then a couple of years ago Xhdata D-808/Sihuadon D-808 with orange screen but still the same internal design as #1?, #3 2023 Xhdata D-808/Sihuadon D-808 orange screen new internal design.

Have I got that right?!


dave_m1ctk
 

I was all set to buying one of these recent version but now I'm not sure I'll bother after reading this thread. I thought the new one has a yellow screen though ?


On Wed, 5 Apr 2023 at 14:39, chipbutty via groups.io <stellablade72=googlemail.com@groups.io> wrote:
I received a bought from new and never used Xhdata D-808 today. Orange screen, rubber feet, micro USB (not USB C) so presumably this is the original internal design. Probably made between 2021-2022. I used to own an original blue screen D-808. That had rubber feet as well, so I'm not sure that can be used as a criteria to distinguish the new internal design from the original.

As I understand it there are three variants of Xhdata/Sihuadon D-808, #1 the original blue screen Xhdata D-808 from around 2018,  #2 then a couple of years ago Xhdata D-808/Sihuadon D-808 with orange screen but still the same internal design as #1?, #3 2023 Xhdata D-808/Sihuadon D-808 orange screen new internal design.

Have I got that right?!


Ian Szekeres
 

Has anyone done a side by side comparison or gathered any data to show that the redesign is in fact a worse performing radio?

‚ÄĒian
ac9kw

On Wed, Apr 5, 2023 at 11:49 AM dave_m1ctk <amstereofan@...> wrote:
I was all set to buying one of these recent version but now I'm not sure I'll bother after reading this thread. I thought the new one has a yellow screen though ?

On Wed, 5 Apr 2023 at 14:39, chipbutty via groups.io <stellablade72=googlemail.com@groups.io> wrote:
I received a bought from new and never used Xhdata D-808 today. Orange screen, rubber feet, micro USB (not USB C) so presumably this is the original internal design. Probably made between 2021-2022. I used to own an original blue screen D-808. That had rubber feet as well, so I'm not sure that can be used as a criteria to distinguish the new internal design from the original.

As I understand it there are three variants of Xhdata/Sihuadon D-808, #1 the original blue screen Xhdata D-808 from around 2018,  #2 then a couple of years ago Xhdata D-808/Sihuadon D-808 with orange screen but still the same internal design as #1?, #3 2023 Xhdata D-808/Sihuadon D-808 orange screen new internal design.

Have I got that right?!


chipbutty
 

I know Gilles has just ordered one so he can compare.


Gary DeBock
 

On Wed, Apr 5, 2023 at 10:09 AM, Ian Szekeres wrote:
Has anyone done a side by side comparison or gathered any data to show that the redesign is in fact a worse performing radio?
 
‚ÄĒian
ac9kw
Yes Ian,

I have done a complete AM-DXing comparison on weak daytime DX signals between an original D-808 and a new version D-808, and will post the comparison MP3 recordings shortly.
On all these recordings the volume was maxed out on each fringe station on both models, so that you can hear the difference between the two models under actual DXing conditions.

Best of DX,
Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)


Maggiorino
 

My version branded Xhdata (Amazon Italy december 2022 but it took 10 days to arrive) has old USB mini socket and bottom rubber tabs as well...


Gary DeBock
 

On Sat, Apr 8, 2023 at 09:57 PM, Maggiorino wrote:
My version branded Xhdata (Amazon Italy december 2022 but it took 10 days to arrive) has old USB mini socket and bottom rubber tabs as well...
Thanks Maggiorino,

We have received other reports of D-808 models like this.

For anyone who wants to know whether they have an "old model" D-808 or a "new model" (without opening up the cabinet), try this trick...
With the radio off, press the orange (or red) main power button down, and hold it down. In the "old model" D-808 this will turn on the radio, but in the "new model" D-808 it won't do anything except give you a beep. The "new model" D-808 can only be turned on with a short-press of the main power button. The same thing happens if you try to turn off a "new model" D-808 by pressing the main power button down, and holding it down. Nothing will happen. The new model will stay on unless you short-press the main power button. In the old model D-808 the radio will turn off when you press the main power button down, and hold it down.

Best of DX,
Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)