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Review - Digitech AR-1780 Multi-band Radio Receiver


Paul Blundell
 

 

 

 
 
The AR-1780 is the big brother of the AR-1733 which has been my go-to ultralight DXing radio for a number of years. The AR-1780 covers the AM and FM broadcast bands along with the shortwave, long wave and air band. This includes RDS on the FM band and SSB on the shortwave band.
 
From the Jaycar website:
“This is a very compact world band radio, covering the most popular frequencies. It features rapid digital tuning, 1000 memory presets, and an easy to read display. Single Sideband Modulation (SSB) is used to listen in on 27MHz CB radio, short wave amateur radio and morse code. The large internal speaker provides clear audio, and you can connect your favourite set of headphones for personal listening. Powerful enough to receive what you want, and compact enough to take wherever you want.”

Features:
- FM/MW/SW/LW/AIR Bands
- Single Side Band (SSB)
- Telescopic Antenna
- 3.5mm socket for external antenna
- Selectable Bandwidth: 1 - 6kHz
- Radio Bands:
    FM 87.5 - 108MHz
    MW 522 - 1620kHz / 520 - 1710 kHz
    SW 1711 - 29,999kHz
    LW 150 - 450kHz
    AIR 118 - 137kHz
 
Product Dimensions
Height
95mm
Weight
0.253kg
Depth
30mm
Width
150mm
Radio Receiver
MW(AM) Frequency Range
522kHz-1710kHz
Power Source
Battery
SW Frequency Range
1711kHz-29999kHz
SW Frequency Range
150kHz-450kHz
Type of Radio
FM
FM Frequency Range
87.5MHz-108MHz
Power from disposable battery
Battery used for
Main Product
Size / Shape
AA
Battery quantity
4pc
Batteries included
No
Batteries can be replaced by user
Yes
Warranty: 12 Months
 
 
AM Band:
The performance on the AM broadcast bands is very good, in most cases better than my AR-1733, this has made the AR-1780 my current “go to” radio. It is very sensitive and tuning across the band is very enjoyable. The built-in ferrite antenna works well, and it matches up nicely with my 3” FSL aerial for long distance / serious DXing needs.
 
FM Band:
The AR-1780 features RDS which shows station names, song names and other information, this works well. Side by side testing with the AR-1733 shows a slight edge to the AR-1780 on audio quality and ability to pull in signals, a couple of community station which are iffy at best on the AR-1733, are much better and clearer on the AR-1780.

Shortwave Band:
Shortwave coverage is from 1711 kHz to 29999 kHz in 1 kHz steps. The main rotary tuning control on the side of the radio can be set to 5kHz or 1 kHz steps and there is a fine-tuning control on the right-hand side that is used for the USB and LSB modes. The radio uses the inbuilt telescopic antenna for the entire shortwave band. My experience and focus is not on this band so my experience is limited, from my limited testing it works as well as a radio of this size / price point could be expected to.

Longwave Band:
Coverage is from 150 kHz to 450 kHz. Our local beacon on 242kHz comes in well enough. Again, this band is not an area I know much about and it has very limited use here in Australia.
 
Air Band:
This covers from 118 MHz to 137 MHz in the AM mode. I have programmed in my local tower, ATC and AWIS frequencies and I find I often leave this locked on one of them while I am working, the gentle sounds of the ATC controllers and pilots are good background noise. While not a “scanner”, this does have a one-time search mode and will save any found frequencies for later review. Performance wise, it works as well as any of my scanners would and for listening over an extended period, the squelch mode is very helpful. I find around a 3 the best setting.
 
Pros:
It works well given the price and size of the unit, as a step up from the AR-1733, it fills the gap between this and the full-size radios. AM performance is an improvement on the AR-1733 and the choices of AM bandwidths really helps with hunting down stations. FM BCB is covered well. Airband is acceptable with no issues.
 
Cons:
Slight gap in audio while changing frequencies, delay in switching between USB and LSB modes. Weird charging voltage. Lack of carry case included.
 
Summary:
I am a big fan of this radio and it has taken over from my AR-1733 as my main DXing rig, for $99 on special, it is excellent value.


Marc Coevoet
 

Op 8/07/2020 om 12:54 schreef Paul Blundell:
<https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-SgPgkmcIVBA/XwWlUHPuZxI/AAAAAAAAMtQ/GsdRrkN6SHkk7qfrQCaRdle82b-FCD6bwCPcBGAYYCw/s1600/AR-1780%2BReview_July2020%2B%25284%2529.jpg>
The AR-1780

The buttons of the XHDATA D-808 are exactly the same!


Marc

--
The "Penguin" has arrived - and he's not going away - ever.
For former Apple users: Xubuntu.org (menu's up left)
For former Windows users: Lubuntu.org (menu's down left)


Mark Roberts
 

They are, essentially, the same radio and perform identically. I prefer the AR-1780 for better ergonomics and the use of standard alkaline batteries. I have had issues with battery life of the 18650 lithium-ion battery used on the XHDATA D-808. I'm having to recharge them constantly.

Jaycar provided excellent customer service and shipped directly to the US. I can't speak for their quality of service for Europe.

On Wed, Jul 8, 2020 at 4:07 AM Marc Coevoet <sintsixtus@...> wrote:
Op 8/07/2020 om 12:54 schreef Paul Blundell:
>
>
> <https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-SgPgkmcIVBA/XwWlUHPuZxI/AAAAAAAAMtQ/GsdRrkN6SHkk7qfrQCaRdle82b-FCD6bwCPcBGAYYCw/s1600/AR-1780%2BReview_July2020%2B%25284%2529.jpg>
> The AR-1780


The buttons of the XHDATA D-808 are exactly the same!


Marc

--
The "Penguin" has arrived - and he's not going away - ever.
For former Apple users: Xubuntu.org (menu's up left)
For former Windows users: Lubuntu.org (menu's down left)




Rémy Friess
 

Yes battery life is an issue with the XHDATA.

I have replaced the battery with a 9900 mAh model. You might try one of these or even a 15000 mAh model.

That solves the problem.

Rémy.

Le 16/07/2020 à 20:37, Mark Roberts a écrit :

They are, essentially, the same radio and perform identically. I prefer the AR-1780 for better ergonomics and the use of standard alkaline batteries. I have had issues with battery life of the 18650 lithium-ion battery used on the XHDATA D-808. I'm having to recharge them constantly.

Jaycar provided excellent customer service and shipped directly to the US. I can't speak for their quality of service for Europe.

On Wed, Jul 8, 2020 at 4:07 AM Marc Coevoet <sintsixtus@...> wrote:
Op 8/07/2020 om 12:54 schreef Paul Blundell:
>
>
> <https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-SgPgkmcIVBA/XwWlUHPuZxI/AAAAAAAAMtQ/GsdRrkN6SHkk7qfrQCaRdle82b-FCD6bwCPcBGAYYCw/s1600/AR-1780%2BReview_July2020%2B%25284%2529.jpg>
> The AR-1780


The buttons of the XHDATA D-808 are exactly the same!


Marc

--
The "Penguin" has arrived - and he's not going away - ever.
For former Apple users: Xubuntu.org (menu's up left)
For former Windows users: Lubuntu.org (menu's down left)




Marc Coevoet
 

Le 16/07/2020 à 20:37, Mark Roberts a écrit :

Jaycar provided excellent customer service and shipped directly to the US. I can't speak for their quality of service for Europe.

Hi! They do have a shop in the UK, look here:

https://www.jaycar.co.uk/


--
The "Penguin" has arrived - and he's not going away - ever.
For former Apple users: Xubuntu.org (menu's up left)
For former Windows users: Lubuntu.org (menu's down left)


Michael Schuster
 
Edited

I just replaced the supplied junky 18650 with a reliable name brand. Problem solved, and no need for a brick hanging off the USB socket.

Be aware also that the battery gauge on this radio is wildly inaccurate, and tends to grossly underestimate the remaining charge.


Nick B.
 

Jaycar: They have a UK domain and a website that shows priced in GBP. The items are shipped from Australia though.
I've also seen these sets listed on the usual auction site from different sellers with varying shipping times.

73
Nick