The XHDATA D-808 and longwave: how to build an effective antenna

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mad Radio DXer, who writes:

I said I would share my results for attempting to receive LW signals on the XHDATA D-808, & if I can use a longwire to improve reception on this radio. This was after posting videos when I used around 50 metres of longwire connected to the D-808 for improved Medium Wave reception & to prove it works.

This first video shows that it is not possible for LW, no matter if I connect the 50 metres longwire to the 3.5mm input or the whip antenna. I also compare reception of the same station with the Degen DE1103 PLL using the 3.5mm input. The Degen DE1103 still had better reception even when I used the whip antenna extended at the very minimum when using the LW/MW external antenna trick. I know I should have used the internal ferrite antenna of the Degen compared to the D-808, but in any case I did try off camera & reception was about the same. So unfortunately the D-808 was never going to win this round.

However, there is a solution.

The answer? Build yourself a Long Wave induction antenna as shown in the second video [below]. I made one some time ago, as I grew frustrated at how poor the Tecsun radios were on this part of the band & that there were no LW induction antennas available to buy. I tried a signal on 207 kHz which is RÚV Rás 2 from Iceland. Either a radio with a very good internal antenna or a good external antenna is needed to receive this station at my QTH in southern England.

Placing the D-808 on the induction antenna resulted in a very pleasing result, which was it did get reception of Iceland on 207 kHz. So this shows that it is possible to DX on the LW bands with the D-808 with some “external help”.

For anyone interested making a LW induction antenna as shown above, here is a link to a video that has basic instructions & further results. It may be a very simple build & finish what I did, but for me the most important thing is that it works.

I hope my comments & videos will be a great help to all. Happy DXing.


Mad Radio DXer.

Excellent–your comments and videos are most welcome! There are quite a number of SWLing Post readers who are avid longwave DXers. I love the simplicity and efficacy of your longwave antenna–something anyone could build.  A clever upgrade to the affordable D-808. Thank you for sharing!

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5 thoughts on “The XHDATA D-808 and longwave: how to build an effective antenna

  1. Phil Ireland

    I’ve seen a few photos of the internals of both the 1780 and D-808. There appears to be no pick up coil wound on the ferrite rod for LW which would result in the lack of reception on that band. It looks like they’re using just one winding to cover MW and the upper end of LW. Maybe someone can experiment with a winding on the ferrite rod.
    Bandscanning on many modern DSP radios is problematic but be patient and it can yield great results. I have both the 1780 and the D-808 and both are great receivers.
    As good as some portables are, nothing can compare to a communications receiver or high end SDR and a good antenna system for premium results with DX it should be said.
    Cheers…… Phil VK2GJF

    1. Jim Gordon

      Hi Phil,

      I have recently bought a D808 and have noted your comment about the lack of a Longwave coil on its ferrite rod! I am located on the east coast of Scotland and I usually listen to BBC Radio 4 on 198khz coming from a longwave booster transmitter (50kw) some 50 miles distant. Reception is usually fair to good. Not so RTE on 252khz in Ireland. Daytime reception is fair as it is on 300KW at night it drops to 100kw and begins to disappear beneath the QRM.


  2. Paul

    After the last experience with the AR1780 I´ve promised myself never again buy a receiver with the infamous soft mute behavior…makes what would be a pleasant band scanning in a nightmare! I was in the shorwtwave listening hobby from more than 30 years and believe me, before I was reluctant to buy portable receivers with just the up and down buttons to tunning (just to mention the Sony ICF 7600GR, otherwise great portable rig) but this soft mute issue is even worst…just my two cents. That´s why I keep my loyal Grundig G6 as my main ultraportable..

    1. rtc

      If you prefer to buy rather than build consider the PK Loop
      standard 14 inch passive antenna:

      Be sure to order the full-band 155-500 khz model.

      Expect about $110 usd delivered,depending on the
      exchange rate.
      Don’t think the standard 14 inch is incapable of DX…
      in late 2016 Jim Farmer of San Antonio logged and
      recorded France Inter on 162 khz using one with a
      loose-coupled Sony 7600GR just weeks before they
      signed off for good.


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