Video: The Digitech AR-1780 on single sideband

[UPDATE: Click here to read our full review of the Digitech AR-1780.]

With travels, solar eclipse events and family activities this week, I’ve had very little time to play radio.

Yesterday was a gorgeous day though, so I took the family to the Blue Ridge Parkway and (of course) packed a couple portable radios.

While we all enjoyed a picnic, I pulled out the AR-1780 with the intention of exploring its SSB performance and audio fidelity. I found an Islands On The Air (IOTA) activation with a decent pileup on 14,250 kHz.

I shot this short video with my smart phone:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Overall, I’m very pleased with the AR-1780 on SSB. The noise floor is pretty low, the filter selections are handy and the overall audio is comparable to slightly larger portable radios.

The dedicated fine tune control is quite handy, even though it’s oddly located on the right side of the radio (where one typically finds a volume control).

I’m putting together a short review of the AR-1780, but will need more air and comp time before I form any firm opinions.

For readers that have made it this far down the post, you might recognize a yet-to-be-released portable next to the AR-1780. Of course, I’m comparing it with the AR-1780 and its predecessor, but it’s not a production run unit (yet!), so I can’t comment on performance. Stay tuned, though, as I will be posting more in the coming days!

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8 thoughts on “Video: The Digitech AR-1780 on single sideband

  1. Pedro Moreno

    After a few weeks playing around with the Digitech AR-1780, my overall satisfaction for the radio was decreasing due to the fact batteries are eaten by the radio when in off mode. If I leave the radio for a few days off, then the batteries gets completely depleted, even if the radio has never been turned on and no alarm is enabled. After some troubleshooting I have discovered the current used by the radio when is in off state is about 2,7 maH, witch it a lot compared with other radios. For instance the Grundig G6 only uses 23uA. This is really an issue for the Digitech AR-1780.

    1. Thomas Post author

      Very interesting! Thank you for your comment. I haven’t had this happen to me yet. I put a fresh set of AA batteries in my AR-1780 when I first got it on August 15 (–they’re just generic cheapo AA Alkaline batteries from Harbor Freight Tools. I ran a load of tests and comparisons on the AR-1780 end of August and September for a review that was posted in the October issue of the Spectrum Monitor magazine. I also used this some last week and on the Friday DXpedition with Troy.

      I just checked and that same set of batteries is showing a full charge on the AR-1780’s display. One thing I do though, any time I turn off the radio, is engage the key lock. Perhaps this turns off whatever is pulling 3 mah on your receiver??

      Curious if anyone else has noticed this…

  2. Rob Wagner

    Thomas (and others) – There’s a quick and dirty video review of the AR-1780 by Pater VK3YE, which highlights a few interesting quirks (if that’s the right word!) with this receiver. Some birdies, specs that don’t appear accurate, and a query over one of the bandwidth settings. Well worth a look! Check it out at

    Cheers all, Rob VK3BVW

  3. Troy Riedel

    The AR-1780 looks like a monster next to the CCrane … of course, unless one remembers how diminutive the CCrane is : )

    Gotta echo Vince’s comment re: if & when the AR-1780 makes its way to North America … and if so, what badging does it carry(?). A Tecsun, CCrane – or whatever badging in North American – would make it “more competitive” in pricing and thus a more viable option/alternative to other available models.

  4. Vince

    Sounds nice indeed. Good filter selections, as you noted. I’m curious to see if it’ll make its way to North America under some other name.


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