Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Keith Batari, who shares the following:
I have just got the AR1780 and comparing with others I’ve had especially the PL-660 and PL-880 beats them both. Firstly the SSB does have an annoying mute when running, but the sensitivity and sound quality is fantastic, and that goes for all bands.
The airband sensitivity is also impressive with excellent squelch. Long wave sensitivity is low[…]. Tuning is without the quirks of the PL-880 and great on general coverage bands.
Headphones sound great. I’ve opened mine and the build quality is good with band trimmers and transformers.
If anyone has acquired the circuit diagram could the post it on the Google site.
If you want a radio with a lot of bang for your bucks, then look no further.
Agreed, Keith! The AR-1780 is certainly a value performer. Click here to read our comprehensive review.
I should add that while LW performance is not stellar on the AR-1780, it should suffice for LW listening in Europe, for example. The C. Crane Skywave series does not include longwave, so if you’re looking for a compact travel portable with LW service, the AR-1780 is a better bet.
Is it any good at FM DX, by chance? The inclusion of RDS would be great if it’s a good FM performer. That is fun to do when HF is suffering from poor conditions.
Being a non-American radio, I imagine the PTY (format) corresponds to the European style designations and not the American ones, but it’s easy enough to match the Euro format with the American equivalent if you know where to look.
RE FM performance, so far all I’ve managed is to test sensitivity using local low powered translators and stations located in Timaru around 160 KM to the south of me that were being heard via tropo.
Of equal importance I think is bandwidth and its ability to handle strong local signals without overloading. On the bandwidth front it does appear to be narrower than the Digitech AR1747 which I think is around 230 kHz. As far as overload is concerned with our 14 high powered FM stations locally I haven’t noticed any.
The external antenna jack will work with FM but after using this I did run into a problem. After withdrawing the jack plug the radio did not switch to the internal whip and it was still switched to the external antenna. As JayCar is local I swapped it for another. The replacement was their demonstration model as they had sold out.
Overall, if you discount the quirks the radio has it is in my opinion a very good little radio.
I totally agree with your assessment. The features, SSB and SW sensitivity is amazing for a radio of this size & price class.
My only complaints: (1) though I received a sealed box from Jaycar, the antenna has a large ding in the first section where it contacts the radio’s body. It was obviously bummed/knocked over at the factory before being packed and sealed in the box. (2) The red power button is very obviously crooked (as if the spring mechanism under the button is is not installed correctly or is irregular).
But given my radio’s performance, exchanging it USA to AUS to USA isn’t worth the risk & expense. I love mine and I would hate to exchange it for a less sensitive unit.