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Review - Digitech AR-1780 Multi-band Radio Receiver - battery choice


Dave613
 

1 From what I can see on the web the highest capacity 18650 battery available is ~3500mAh, AFAIK there are no genuine 9900 or 15000 products (despite what the label might say)
2 Comparing the XHDATA (assuming supplied 2000mAh cell) with the Digitech (assuming 1900mAh NiMH cells) for design battery capacity in mWh:
XHDATA 1x18650: 1x2000x3.7 = 7400mWh, Digitech 4xAA NiMH: 4x1900x1.2 = 9120mWh. So there is a bit more ultimate energy in the Digitech design but a real world higher capacity 18650 replacement cell (e.g. Panasonic NCR18650B, 3350mAh) in the XHDATA would reverse the rating.
Reviewers have noted that the XHDATA battery level indicator is very non-linear and initially indicates an erroneously fast discharge, I have found that behaviour in my sample as well.
Personally my choice would be the XHDATA/18650 design because: lighter and lower volume battery required (despite which the Digitech is smaller, go figure); charging using standard mini B USB connector (Digitech uses a coax plug).
Dave.


Rémy Friess
 

Le 17/07/2020 à 17:35, Dave613 a écrit :
1 From what I can see on the web the highest capacity 18650 battery available is ~3500mAh, AFAIK there are no genuine 9900 or 15000 products (despite what the label might say)

What do you mean "genuine" ? A battery is a battery. I can't figure out what a "genuine" battery is.

The one I'm using currently is branded GTF, 9900 mAh. It has been in the XHDATA for three times the duration the original 2200 mAh battery was capable of, and it's still alive... and kicking... ;)

73, Rémy.


Marc Coevoet
 

Op 17/07/2020 om 19:49 schreef Rémy Friess:
GTF, 9900 mAh

Which one of these ....

Quelle des gtf?

https://www.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=GTF%2C+9900+mAh&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8


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
 

It's the yellow one.

In the XHDATA the original battery lasts about 3 ½ hours.

The GTF has been working for 7 hours and is still doing well.

It may not be as much as 9900 mAh, I don't know, but it does a lot better than the other one.

Rémy.

Le 17/07/2020 à 20:19, Marc Coevoet a écrit :

Op 17/07/2020 om 19:49 schreef Rémy Friess:
GTF, 9900 mAh


Which one of these ....

Quelle des gtf?

https://www.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=GTF%2C+9900+mAh&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8


Marc


Dave613
 

Sorry if that wasn't clear; genuine = adjective: possessing the claimed or attributed character, quality, or origin; not counterfeit; authentic; real.
In this case I don't believe there are genuine 18650 batteries with more than ~3500mAh capacity so a "genuine" battery is simply one that actually has the capacity listed.
One other thing to watch for the XHDATA (don't know if it applies to the Digitech) is that if you set the keylock with the backlight selected "on" the light stays on even when the radio is powered down and the keyboard locked (at least this is how mine behaves, maybe others have different firmware but I don't know what version I have). Obviously this will discharge the battery. Make sure the light is out before setting the keylock.
Dave.


Rémy Friess
 

This sounds absurd to me. Any company can manufacture batteries if they feel like it. So there can't be counterfeit batteries, they're all "genuine".

What I can say for sure is that the battery that came with the XHDATA is crap.

Rémy.

Le 18/07/2020 à 18:30, Dave613 a écrit :

Sorry if that wasn't clear; genuine = adjective: possessing the claimed or attributed character, quality, or origin; not counterfeit; authentic; real.
In this case I don't believe there are genuine 18650 batteries with more than ~3500mAh capacity so a "genuine" battery is simply one that actually has the capacity listed.
One other thing to watch for the XHDATA (don't know if it applies to the Digitech) is that if you set the keylock with the backlight selected "on" the light stays on even when the radio is powered down and the keyboard locked (at least this is how mine behaves, maybe others have different firmware but I don't know what version I have). Obviously this will discharge the battery. Make sure the light is out before setting the keylock.
Dave.


Phil Pasteur
 
Edited

Hello  Rémy Friess,
I became curious whne I saw this 9900 mAh battery so I found some tests by several people. I was curious because I use many 18650 batteries and am always looking for something with higher capacity. In short the batteries like the ones you mention tested  at only a fraction of the listed capacity. In all cases they were under 1000 mAh. 
I can only guess that if the 9900 battery is giving you more run time, the original had to be a very bad cell. I think that if you got a  genuine cell from LG, Samsung, Sony or Panasonic/Sanyo rated at 3400 to 3600 mAh you would get better run times than with the 9900 mAh rated cell.
A good one would be the 
NCR18650G  by Panasonic. But there are others depending on if you need a button top or flat top and with or without  a protection PCB. If you stick with one of the big  4 and buy from a  reputable dealer (does not sell Chinese knockoffs)  you will be much better of than buying no-name batteries with ridiculous ratings from some place like Ebay.

BTW, In this context "genuine" means that actual capacity in real use and/or testing matches what is advertised for the cell in question. for the 9900 mAh battery this is not true, therefor it is not considered genuine.


Rémy Friess
 

Hi Phil,

Well, I've also had a battery by Panasonic, I think it was rated at 3400. I had initially bought it for the Tecsun PL-880, but I have also used it in the XHDATA.

It would last about 4 hours. The original battery being a 2000 mAh type and lasting 2½ hours, this is coherent.

The 9900 mAh battery I have has now been used in the XHDATA for a little less than 11 hours and is still going strong.

So either the orignal battery and the one from Panasonic were junk, or the tests that you refer to are not accurate. I don't know.

Regards, Rémy.

Le 18/07/2020 à 19:47, Phil Pasteur a écrit :

[Edited Message Follows]

Hello  Rémy Friess,
I became curious whne I saw this 9900 mAh battery so I found some tests by several people. I was curious because I use many 18650 batteries and am always looking for something with higher capacity. In short the batteries like the ones you mention tested  at only a fraction of the listed capacity. In all cases they were under 1000 mAh. 
I can only guess that if the 9900 battery is giving you more run time, the original had to be a very bad cell. I think that if you got a  genuine cell from LG, Samsung, Sony or Panasonic/Sanyo rated at 3400 to 3600 mAh you would get better run times than with the 9900 mAh rated cell.
A good one would be the 
NCR18650G  by Panasonic. But there are others depending on if you need a button top or flat top and with or without  a protection PCB. If you stick with one of the big  4 and buy from a  reputable dealer (does not sell Chinese knockoffs)  you will be much better of than buying no-name batteries with ridiculous ratings from some place like Ebay.

BTW, In this context "genuine" means that actual capacity in real use and/or testing matches what is advertised for the cell in question. for the 9900 mAh battery this is not true, therefor it is not considered genuine.


Dan Merta
 

RE the backlight staying on in he keylock setting. On my AR-1780 Digitech the light is set to turn off 5 secs after a key press & the light still goes off after the keylock is activated. 
Regards. Dan. 


Phil Pasteur
 
Edited

Hello  Rémy,
I am glad that the cell works for you, but something does not compute. There are a large number of  reviews and videos of take downs of  cells like this and they all agree that the cells do not come close to meeting the claims .
The top end of reputable 18650 cells claim and measure close to 3600 mAh. This from companies that have spent millions developing the best processes to make them reach this level.
I would make one suggestion to you, be very careful with that cell. If you have a choice with your charger, charge at a low rate. I would not like to hear that you had a failure  where the battery vents with flame and ruins your charger or radio, or burns down your house. These things have happened to people using junk batteries and/or charging them improperly. Charging safely requires knowledge of the true specifications of the battery. Since it is clear that the Chinese are lying about these cells, we can't make any decisions about how to treat them.
If you are happy with the battery, great, I would prefer that others do not read this thread and think that this kind of cell is anything other than junk. 
I suggest you read some of the posts here if you believe that I am exaggerating the risks.

https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?107-Smoke-and-Fire-Hot-Cells-and-Close-Calls-The-dangerous-side-of-batteries

If you want to check out what people found  when testing and tearing down cells like the one you mention, look at some of the videos and test reports here.
https://www.google.com/search?q=9900+mAh+battery+test&oq=9900&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j69i61j69i60l2.4543j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
or maybe more specifically here:
https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?340028-Flashlight-Explosion

Again, if you are happy with the battery, OK!
But there has to be a variable that we are not considering, and I just hope no one comes away thinking that those things are anything other than to be avoided at all costs.

Be careful!

Phil


Rémy Friess
 

Thanks for the advice.

But now I'm at a loss. What kind of battery should I buy?

Certainly not the original 2000 mAh type that came with the receiver. It doesn't last long enough.

Even less so the (genuine???) Panasonic 3400 mAh type. I actually disposed of that one because it would get burning hot each time I charged it and it would have caused harm to the receiver eventually.

And I have had a similar problem with a Nikon camera and a Philips cordless phone, both with "genuine" batteries.

Do you really think that batteries that bear a famous brand name are any better than the cheap ones?

Sony, Panasonic and the likes have them manufactured by the same Chinese companies that do the cheap ones.

When they reach the end-user there are only 2 differences 1/ a different brand name 2/ a much higher price tag.

But they are the same crap as all the others. If you are lucky you get one that works allright, if not, well, it was just bad luck.

Le 19/07/2020 à 19:22, Phil Pasteur a écrit :

Hello  Rémy,
I am glad that the cell works for you, but something does not compute. There are a large number of  reviews and videos of take downs of  cells like this and they all agree that the cells do not come close to meeting the claims .
The top end of reputable 18650 cells claim and measure close to 3600 mAh. This from companies that have spent millions developing the best processes to make them reach this level.
I would make one suggestion to you, be very careful with that cell. If you have a choice with your charger, charge at a low rate. I would not like to hear that you had a failure  where the battery vents with flame and ruins your charger or radio, or burns down your house. These things have happened to people using junk batteries and/or charging them improperly. Charging safely requires knowledge of the true specifications of the battery. Since it is clear that the Chinese are lying about these cells, we can't make any decisions about how to treat them.
If you are happy with the battery, great, I would prefer that others do not read this thread and think that this kind of cell is anything other than junk. 
I suggest you read some of the posts here if you believe that I am exaggerating the risks.

https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?107-Smoke-and-Fire-Hot-Cells-and-Close-Calls-The-dangerous-side-of-batteries

If you want to check out what people found  when testing and tearing down cells like the one you mention, look at some of the videos and test reports here.
https://www.google.com/search?q=9900+mAh+battery+test&oq=9900&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j69i61j69i60l2.4543j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Again, if you are happy with the battery, OK!
But there has to be a variable that we are not considering, and I just hope no one comes away thinking that those things are anything other than to be avoided at all costs.

Be careful!

Phil


Mark Roberts
 

I will just describe my experience with the 18650 batteries in these units. Both radios were purchased from the Israeli reseller who, for a while, was the only source of these radios for United States buyers.

Stock "XHDATA" branded battery, 2000 mAh. One can't hold a charge at all; the other is the best-behaved of all the batteries I've tried. Still, it needs recharging about every 3 weeks even if it isn't otherwise used.

"UltraFire" (an unfortunate name considering the history of lithium-ion batteries), 2600 mAh. Could not hold a charge as long as the XHDATA-branded battery. I am using an UltraFire battery in one of my XHDATA radios. It needs a charge about every week and a half, even if not used.

"Internova", 2000 mAh. Worst performer, on average: holds a charge for about a week.

Those latter two brands were purchased from Amazon.

I have other radios that use the BL-5C battery (Radiwow R-108, Tivdio V-115). They can hold a charge for months.

I also just purchased a Tecsun ICR-110, with a Tecsun-branded 2000 mAh 18650 battery. So far, so good, but I've only had it for a few days.

As for the battery indicator on the XHDATA model: it may be inaccurate, but it doesn't matter for the on/off switch: once it's flat, it's flat. Fortunately, the XHDATA stores station memories in non-volatile data. The inconvenience in this case is having to turn the beep off again once the radio is revived, and having to reset the clock. But I'm finding it tiresome to keep watching this. That's too bad, for there are many good things to say about this model.

I have two Digitech AR-1780s and their battery indicators seem to be just fine, for 4 AA alkaline cells - always the Eveready brand; I've had issues with Duracells being leaky. 

On Sun, Jul 19, 2020 at 11:33 AM Rémy Friess <rfriess@...> wrote:

Thanks for the advice.

But now I'm at a loss. What kind of battery should I buy?

Certainly not the original 2000 mAh type that came with the receiver. It doesn't last long enough.

Even less so the (genuine???) Panasonic 3400 mAh type. I actually disposed of that one because it would get burning hot each time I charged it and it would have caused harm to the receiver eventually.

And I have had a similar problem with a Nikon camera and a Philips cordless phone, both with "genuine" batteries.

Do you really think that batteries that bear a famous brand name are any better than the cheap ones?

Sony, Panasonic and the likes have them manufactured by the same Chinese companies that do the cheap ones.

When they reach the end-user there are only 2 differences 1/ a different brand name 2/ a much higher price tag.

But they are the same crap as all the others. If you are lucky you get one that works allright, if not, well, it was just bad luck.

Le 19/07/2020 à 19:22, Phil Pasteur a écrit :
Hello  Rémy,
I am glad that the cell works for you, but something does not compute. There are a large number of  reviews and videos of take downs of  cells like this and they all agree that the cells do not come close to meeting the claims .
The top end of reputable 18650 cells claim and measure close to 3600 mAh. This from companies that have spent millions developing the best processes to make them reach this level.
I would make one suggestion to you, be very careful with that cell. If you have a choice with your charger, charge at a low rate. I would not like to hear that you had a failure  where the battery vents with flame and ruins your charger or radio, or burns down your house. These things have happened to people using junk batteries and/or charging them improperly. Charging safely requires knowledge of the true specifications of the battery. Since it is clear that the Chinese are lying about these cells, we can't make any decisions about how to treat them.
If you are happy with the battery, great, I would prefer that others do not read this thread and think that this kind of cell is anything other than junk. 
I suggest you read some of the posts here if you believe that I am exaggerating the risks.

https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?107-Smoke-and-Fire-Hot-Cells-and-Close-Calls-The-dangerous-side-of-batteries

If you want to check out what people found  when testing and tearing down cells like the one you mention, look at some of the videos and test reports here.
https://www.google.com/search?q=9900+mAh+battery+test&oq=9900&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j69i61j69i60l2.4543j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Again, if you are happy with the battery, OK!
But there has to be a variable that we are not considering, and I just hope no one comes away thinking that those things are anything other than to be avoided at all costs.

Be careful!

Phil


Dave613
 

Re "If you are lucky you get one that works allright, if not, well, it was just bad luck." I think this must be the reason different owners are seeing such a range of battery life  results from these very low priced radios; the supplied battery quality is highly variable.
I did just do an endurance check on my XHDATA sample:
Battery marking: 2000mAh
Test setup: adjusted volume to draw ~60mA (MW tuned between stations, i.e. white noise, enough volume to listen easily but not loud, backlight ON continuous which accounted for ~50% of current draw), battery fully charged (indicator shows 3 bars)
Ran until indicator showed one bar: 25.5 hours, i.e. 60 x 25.5 = at least 1530 mAh capacity demonstrated. I didn't want to fully discharge the cell so stopped there but volume and backlight brilliance had not noticeably changed so I'm sure there was some capacity left. Summary: I could listen for a full 24h day - with the light on - using the supplied cell.
Dave.


Kenny Murray
 

best 18650 batteries are made by panasonic and LG buy nothing else.



On Friday, July 17, 2020, 12:35:16 PM ADT, Dave613 <david.elden.613@...> wrote:


1 From what I can see on the web the highest capacity 18650 battery available is ~3500mAh, AFAIK there are no genuine 9900 or 15000 products (despite what the label might say)
2 Comparing the XHDATA (assuming supplied 2000mAh cell) with the Digitech (assuming 1900mAh NiMH cells) for design battery capacity in mWh:
XHDATA 1x18650: 1x2000x3.7 = 7400mWh, Digitech 4xAA NiMH: 4x1900x1.2 = 9120mWh. So there is a bit more ultimate energy in the Digitech design but a real world higher capacity 18650 replacement cell (e.g. Panasonic NCR18650B, 3350mAh) in the XHDATA would reverse the rating.
Reviewers have noted that the XHDATA battery level indicator is very non-linear and initially indicates an erroneously fast discharge, I have found that behaviour in my sample as well.
Personally my choice would be the XHDATA/18650 design because: lighter and lower volume battery required (despite which the Digitech is smaller, go figure); charging using standard mini B USB connector (Digitech uses a coax plug).
Dave.


Rémy Friess
 

I think this must be the reason different owners are seeing such a range of battery life  results from these very low priced radios; the supplied battery quality is highly variable.

It's not just the batteries supplied with the radios. It's any battery you can buy, an expensive one or a cheap one, a "genuine" battery or one with a fancy brand name.

Mine was fully discharged after 2 ½ hours, backlight off. The Panasonic battery I purchased after that was hardly better, 3 ½ hours.

The cheap Chinese substitute has been working for about 19 hours now (not continuously though) and the indicator still shows 3 bars. It may not be able to supply the 9900 mAh it claims but it is a whole lot better than the one that came with the receiver, that's for sure.

Rémy.



vbifyz
 

The 18650 cell which came with my PL-680 has listed capacity of 1700mAh. I tested it with B6AC charger, and it was actually 900mAh.
I am using cells from discarded laptop batteries. These may have higher internal resistance than new cells, but at the discharge rate of portable radios this is not important.
Good cells from laptop packs can have measured capacity of  2200 to 2500mAh.

73, Mike AF7KR


Powell
 

On You Tube a person tested these batteries.  The Chinese ones failed. The Japanese ones did well. 

Powell 


Michael Schuster
 

Perhaps the most knowledgeable folks regarding cylindrical Li-Ion batteries, and 18650's in particular (because of their enduring popularity starting as components of computer battery packs) are the flashlight enthusiasts. To paraphrase the common wisdom:

  • Stick to brand names (Panasonic, LG, Samsung, Nitecore, KeepPower, Sony, Fenix, Aspire, Efest, etc)
  • Don't buy off eBay or Amazon as there are too many fakes
  • Don't buy any battery or charger having "Fire" in its brand name


Gord Seifert
 


     Well, if you don't buy off eBay or Amazon, where do you buy them?


Phil Pasteur
 

I have used these folks. Even called and talked to the owner. He sources his batteries directly from Japan. He also does verification testing.
I have bought at least 60 batteries from them and never been disappointed.
Not sure about international shipping...

https://www.orbtronic.com/