DigiTech AR1780 and XHDATA D-808 portable FM/SW/MW/LW/SSB radio

5.00 avg. rating (94% score) - 1 vote

For all intents and purposes, the DigiTech AR1780 and the XHDATA D-808 can be said to be the same radio, with the only difference (apart from cosmetics) being the type of battery used. The XHDATA D-808 uses a 18650 Li-ion cell whereas the AR1780 uses 4 x AA cells. Personally I would avoid any devices using loose 18650 cells due to the inherent fire risks, and hence most of my listening has been on the AR1780.

This is the XHDATA D-808:


And this is the DigiTech AR1780:

IMG_04222 - Copy

FM as well as the airband is supported and autoscan is also supported on all bands. Sensitivity and selectivity on all bands is excellent and much better than the Tecsun PL-360 with the Super Ferrite antenna. RDS is supported and is useful to identify unknown distant stations. I personally feel that RDS should have been included on the Tecsun S-8800 and other high end models as well. SSB is also supported. A bonus point is that the AM bandwidth can be set to as low as 1kHz, which helps to reduce interference when listening to weak signals. On my other Tecsun radios, the lowest I can set is 2.3kHz.

One of the annoying things is that, unlike most Tecsun radios, there seems to be no way to navigate from one preset to the next (or previous), without keying the preset number. Navigating by frequency requires pressing the FREQ key, followed by the frequency, and pressing the FREQ key again, which seems weird. The power button is also used to set auto-power off duration, so sometimes you might inadvertently set the duration to, say, 30 minutes, and the radio would appear to turn off randomly later.

Both radios can be purchased from eBay or AliExpress for around 70USD, shipping included.


5.00 avg. rating (94% score) - 1 vote


A tough developer who likes to work on just about anything, from software development to electronics, and share his knowledge with the rest of the world.

2 thoughts on “DigiTech AR1780 and XHDATA D-808 portable FM/SW/MW/LW/SSB radio

  • July 9, 2023 at 7:35 am

    The “preset number” consists of a page number and a preset number. So you can press Page 0 to set page zero, then 0, 1, 2, 3… to go through the presets on that page. The Tecsun limits ATS scans to one page and then stops if it’s filled. The D-808 will just keep writing until all the pages are filled, so nothing manually entered is safe. It’s clumsy compared to any of the Tecsuns.

    You have to hit FREQ because the radio defaults to preset numbers (don’t ask me why), and you have to hit FREQ again to resolve ambiguous frequencies like 2450: is it 2450 or 2450 + some other digit you haven’t hit yet. The SANGEAN ATS-405 has the same prefix/suffix requirement when entering frequencies. And again, it’s clumsy compared to the Tecsuns.

    One difference between the DigiTech and the XHDATA is that while both support rechargeable batteries, the user must explicitly press a charge button to start charging on the DigiTech, while it’s automatic on the XHDATA (no matter what the manual says). This is just one of a long list of mistakes in the D-808 manual.

    I have over 7,000 18650 batteries in my 2016 Tesla Model S, and none of them have caught fire yet.

  • ToughDev
    July 11, 2023 at 9:46 am

    Hi Kevin,

    Thank you for a very useful comment!

    On the annoying FREQ button, the Tecsun has is a smarter implementation. If you enter 2750 it will wait for either one more digit or the Enter key (because the upper range of the shortwave band is 29999 kHz on that radio). If you enter 9250 it will immediately switch to the new frequency without requiring any ENTER key. I believe this is a much better implementation.

    I used to have a Sangean ATS-909X2 but sold it. The charging circuitry stops working after a while – the radio still works with normal batteries or external supply, just that it refuses to charge NiMH (battery error is reported). ATS is also very tedious to use – it would only scan a manually entered range, for up to 9 presets! The alphanumeric station name feature is also a gimmick, as it only allows entering individual station names for AM/FM. For shortwave, the name represents a page of several stations, and not individual stations.

    I also used to own a Sangean PR-D3 (http://www.toughdev.com/content/2019/11/sangean-pr-d3-portable-long-range-amfm-radio/) but its keypad stopped working after just two years. I sold it to another hobbyist for parts.

    My Tecsun S8800 also needed repairs after four years. A MOSFET on the charging board burned up, requiring a replacement. The build quality on many of these radios is pathetic, and obviously can’t match the legendary Panasonic RF-2200. Mine still works well after many decades!

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