Category Archives: FM

Digitech AR-1780: unboxing, photos and initial impressions

Yesterday, prior to heading out the door for two days of travel, I received the Digitech AR-1780 I ordered ten days ago from an Australian eBay vendor. I’m very pleased with how quickly the order was processed and delivered via the post. The radio arrived in a rugged mail pouch and was double boxed inside.
I’ve had no time to evaluate the radio’s performance yet, but I thought I’d post a few photos I took while unboxing the AR-1780.

There’s not much in the box: just the radio and an owner’s manual. There are no batteries, no charger, and no case or carry bag. That’s okay though as the AR-1780 takes standard AA cells and I have an assortment of bags that can protect it in my suitcase.

The buttons all have a responsive, tactile feel. The hard plastic chassis feels durable.

I really like the dedicated fine tune control on the right side of the radio.  Nice touch! But 7 VDC in? That’s an odd voltage for a power supply. That’s okay by me as I never use wall wart type power supplies due to inherent noise–rechargeable Enloop AA batteries are how I power all of my portables. Bonus! There’s also a dedicated external antenna jack! One odd thing, though, is the AR-1780 breaks the convention of having the volume control on the right side of the radio–it’s on the left instead. Last night, I tuned around the 31 meter band and the AM broadcast band.  I listened to the French language service of Radio Romania International from inside a noisy house–armchair copy.

The AR-1780 has an impressive 7 AM bandwidth settings: 6, 4, 3, 2.5, 2, 1.8 and 1 kHz. My radio defaulted to 2.5 kHz, so you’ll want to widen that to 4 or 6 kHz before listening to most broadcasts.

I really like the display–it’s compact, yet contains quite a lot of info and even has a dedicated line for FM RDS content.

This morning, I took a couple shots of the AR-1780 next to the venerable CC Skywave. The Skywave is slightly smaller in every dimension.

Stay tuned! Though this is a very busy week for me–with travels and total solar eclipse preparations–I plan to put the Digitech AR-1780 through the paces. I’ll try to post updates as I have time.  Follow the tag: Digitech AR-1780

Sangean TR-108 iTalker: Ante seeks more information

Sangean TR-108 iTalker

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ante Milisa, who writes:

I came across a new product from well known radio producer Sangean: the Sangean TR-108.

I believe this is a successor to Sangean’s well-known Sangean PR-D8, which I had and which was great.

The Sangean PR-D8

It seems like this one is currently only produced for the Asian market though. It would be great if they would produce a version for Europe/America as well.

I am sure it would sell well.

Anybody heard anything about this product?

From what I can see, it has FM/AM, radio recording with preset recording, and SD card capability. Everything I need. 🙂

Click here to view details on the Sangean website.

Thanks for your message Ante, especially since I was unfamiliar with either model.

The Sangean PR-D8 had a very unique design with split recording and radio functions on the front panel. Indeed, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it. C.Crane sold them, but they now appear to be discontinued. There aren’t any currently on eBay, either (though one did recently sell for $100 shipped).

I read a Google Translate version of the Sangean TR-108 spec sheet. Sadly, I think the TR-108 lacks the AM (mediumwave) band–FM only–so it might not be a direct replacement for the PR-D8. Plus, the TR-108 recording function doesn’t appear to be as full-featured as that of the PR-D8.

Still, I like how the TR-108 buttons appear to have raised, tactile dots for those who are visually-impaired. Looks to be pretty compact as well!

Post readers: please comment if you have more information to share about the Sangean TR-108 iTalker.

A TIVDIO T6-A Six Watt FM Transmitter (via Walmart!)

My, how times have changed!

I remember when I was a kid, if you wanted an FM transmitter with more power than the allowed FCC Part 15 regulations (250uV/m or 48dBu at 3 meters), you had to build it or hack it yourself.

Those days are long gone. SWLing Post contributor, Bill, shares a link to this six watt FM transmitter available via Walmart of all places!

Of course, Walmart isn’t exactly selling this transmitters in stores–they’re simply handing the inventory and shipping for a third party retailer (AMI Ventures Inc. in this case).

And I’m picking on Walmart because the TIVDIO T6-A, along with other similar FM transmitters, have been available from retailers like Amazon and eBay for ages.

Still, I find it a little funny that you can essentially start your own community/neighborhood FM station by making a purchase at Walmart!

DRM test successful in crowded Johannesburg FM market

(Source: Radio Mag Online via Larry W)

The trial has demonstrated that there is no interference with analog stations on either side of the digital signal in the crowded FM spectrum of Johannesburg

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Johannes von Weyssenhoff, representing the community station Wecodec in Johannesburg, presented the case of DRM to an international audience at the “Radio Days Africa,” an annual event taking place at the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg. His presentation also included results and findings of WECODEC’s ongoing DRM+ trial, the first of its kind on the African continent, according to DRM news.

The trial has demonstrated that there is no interference with analog stations on either side of the digital signal in the crowded FM spectrum of Johannesburg. The DRM power for the test is ¼ that of FM, giving similar coverage at 4QAM.[…]

Click here to read the full article.

RadioWorld free eBook: Global Digital Radio

(Source: Radio World via Dennis Dura)

Digital radio continues to progress at a rapid pace worldwide. The latest Radio World International eBook, “Global Digital Radio,” takes a look at how each region is preparing for the transition, planned FM switchoff dates and requirements, ways in which digital radio can pave the way to the connected car, how digital radio’s emergency warning functionality can provide relief in times of disaster, and more.

Learn more in the latest free Radio World International eBook. Read it free
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Produced by the editors of RADIO WORLD INTERNATIONAL.