The Digitech AR-1780: a new SSB shortwave portable

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Cap Tux, who writes:

This radio seems to have recently been released in Oz, no idea of its performance on SSB et al. but seems to do everything the C.Crane Skywave does. Heavy on batteries though at 4 x AA and nearly twice as heavy with similar dimensions to the Skywave, not major if it performs well and has good battery life.

Apparently the AR-1780 uses the SiLabs DSP chipset going by comments on Radio Reference. Also has RDS, Temp, the keypad layout looks similar to a Eton G3.

Taken from Jaycar’s website site:

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.

– 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
Batteries: 4 x AA (not included)
Weight: 253g (Excluding Batteries)
Dimensions: 150(W) x 95(H) x 30(D)mm

Many thanks for the tip, Cap!

This looks like a full-featured portable. As mentioned, it certainly resembles the Grundig G3 in many respects.

If the AR-1780 performs well, it’ll be a very welcome addition to the Australia and New Zealand markets.

Please contact me if you’ve purchased the AR-1780 and would like to write a guest post/review. I’m very curious how well this portable stacks up against other portables especially in terms of overall sensitivity/selectivity and noise floor.

27 thoughts on “The Digitech AR-1780: a new SSB shortwave portable

  1. Pedro Moreno

    I would like to know if this Digitech AR-1780 model also exhibits the infamous tune muting nuissance of other DSP radios, for instance the Digitech AR-1733….

  2. Pedro Moreno

    I would like to know if this Digitech AR-1780 model also exhibits the infamous tune muting nuissance of other DSP radios, for instance the Digitech AR-1733….

  3. mp

    Interesting equipment.
    For me it lacks only FM starting at 64 MHz.
    I am also curious about the details of its RDS reception.
    From now it looks like it shows PTY (as shown on the photo).

  4. Jim

    A possible replacement for the G6 I let go at a hamfest a few years ago (and regretted). It will be interesting to see how it reviews.

    I like my Skywave, and often wished it had the SSB feature.

  5. Pedro Moreno

    Another question would be if this radio also have the rubber covering similar to the Grundig G5/G6 that becomes sticky overtime.

  6. DL4NO

    About the AA batteries: I LIKE them! They are universally available as primary or secondary (rechargable) cells and cheap.

    I even have a (quite old) cellphone that can use AAA cells. I preferably buy portable equipment that can use them: The FT-817, my 20-year-old 2m/70cm handheld, my camera…

    My handheld is still operational because I bought a AA cell battery case for it. I replaced the Ni-Cd cells of the original battery pack, but you cannot do that twice. The same is true or my camera. It has a 5 MP sensor but the pictures it takes are still good enough for me.

  7. James Patterson

    Maybe a nice change from the AR 1945 model that I bought from Jay car over here in NewZealand about three years ago.I checked 3 of them befor I settled on the one I have hence the extremely poor SSB clearity.I do alot of SSB DXing,not so much SW listening so a good SSB BFO is a must for me. Distant AM and FM station receiption I find is very good and battery life on the size D batteries is very good.But any outside electrical interference really plays havic on the BFO Side band receiption infact I find it seems to amplify it.So takeing it away out into the countryside away from city limits seems to be best.In actural fact it’s more of a “Boys” radio or more suitable for a novice first time radio listener.AM receiption right through all SW bands is very good if just wanting to listen to SW.The Air VHF band is very clear aswell,with the adjustable telescopic antenna,enableing tuning the frequency wave lenght.I fitted the larger Antenna socket to the back of the radio enableing my “Ham” antenna coax cable to fit on.So it’s a portable I can take to the beach or for a picnic with no worries if it gets knocked.But concerning the SSB/BFO on the new AR 1790 if anyone has been able to try it,who knows how to use the BFO mode properly,I would greatly like to know how it performs.If it has a very strong BFO.

    1. Pedro Moreno

      I bought the AR1945 two months ago and my SSB reception is wonderful.very precise and with four different tune setp from 5Khz to 1Hz…. wow…..
      Also I have shielded the computer board (keyboard plane) and although it did not worked wonders I believe some noise from the controller was eliminated.
      Now I’m working on adding a internal lithium pack of batteries in the radio that will recharge internally using 3 regular 18860 batteries.

      1. James Patterson

        Very good on all you have done with the AR 1945 model.Im staying with mine cause the SSB does work best when away from electrical interference away from houses and the city.Out in the hills is the best place for it.I recently bought the Tecsun S 2000 shipped over to NewZealand from the Australian importer.It has turned out to be the very best radio Ive ever owned.I have a very good report on Tecsun Australia,excellent service and shipping overseas on time. I have a few portable radios,all very good,but you cant beat the Tecsun S 2000.Anyway for anyone who hasn’t got the AR 1945,sounds as though the new AR 1780 would be the best buy.

        1. Pedro Moreno

          Still too few information availale over the AR1780. Some clarifications are needed in order for me to buy it:
          .-I would like to know if this Digitech AR-1780 model also exhibits the infamous tune muting nuisance of other DSP radios, for instance the Digitech AR-1733….
          .-Another question would be if this radio also have the rubber covering similar to the Grundig G5/G6 that becomes sticky overtime.
          .-Does this radio uses internally rechargeable NICAD batteries?
          .-Does this radio have a foldable backstand?


  8. Pedro Moreno

    This is the response I have received from one seller in australia to my questions:

    “Unfortunately, a lot of your question I don’t think I can answer, as there is not much information provided by our supplier.
    But I am sure it is simply a copy of Grundig G3, And it is the most likely from the same manufacturer distributed as an off-brand product. Therefore, if you check the specs of Grundig G3, you should have all the answers.”

  9. Cap

    How about setting up a crowdfunder to buy the AR-1780 radio, send it to Thomas so he can review it?
    If it’s decent, this would be a great travel SW radio: Airband, SSB, Selectable bandwidth and half the weight of a PL-660

  10. Pingback: Digitech AR-1780 on order! | The SWLing Post

  11. Pedro Moreno

    Just received my new Digitech AR1780. Nice radio. SSB is well presented in the display and the fine tune wheel works perfect. Sound is nice both in FM and AM/SW/AIR. Quick test against Sangean 909X and sensitivity seems to be on par for MW, SW and FM. Very good. LW is a little poorer than Sangean but still better than most Tecsun sets.
    Soft mute is noticeable when using the tune wheel but not as much as for instance the Grundig Satellit 700, you can surf the waves more or less comfortably. Even better when using the fine tune wheel.
    Air band seems to be more sensitive than previous digitech radios, for instance the AR1733 and found new frequencies that prevously I was not able to copy with the AR1733.
    The display is very much the same as in TECSUN devices with signal strenght indicator showing in dBu/dB.
    FM RDS works very well.
    Quite happy so far………

  12. Pedro Moreno

    Some interesting technical details:

    S/N (Signal to Noise) Sensitivity:
    FM: >3uV 🙂
    MW: >0.5mV/m (Wow!!!!)
    LW: >10mV/m 🙁
    SW: >10uV
    AIR: >0.5uV
    AM Selectivity: >80dB
    DC in: 7v
    Built in Speaker: 16ohm 0.5W -that means low battery consumption 🙂

  13. Pedro Moreno

    Tested SSB/USB (14198KHz) with a 7m cable connected to the ant input. Very good reception and easy to adjust with the fine tuning wheel. Equal or better sensitivity than Sangean 909x with SSB.

  14. James Patterson

    In my post about the AR 1945 and the new AR 1780 I miss printed the model number.I put 1790,it should have been the AR 1780.Just realised this and too late to edit it out.Thanks guys.

  15. Pedro Moreno

    Using a set of four fully charged NIMH 1000mAh the radio has been playing FM/AM and SW continuously 20 hours at medium volume. Not bad.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *