AOR ARDV1 - Worlds Worst Radio !

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hth999

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I had my ARDV1 for a few months now. Purchased from Universal Radio. I was hoping a few firmware updates would help, but they have not. I have the current firmware installed. What I am experiencing is overloading of the radio's front end. It is dreadful. For example: In my location ( Pinellas County, FL ) we have a 50,000 kw daytimer at 820 khz. The transmitter is about 10 miles from my location. For HF listening I use a Wellbrook Loop, for anything above 30 mhz I use a Discone antenna ( 108-1.3 G ) On the AM Broadcast Band, I have intermodulation from 820, all across the band, making it impossible to listen to any station except 820.. This station also causes intermodulation up thru the SW and Ham bands as well, making SW and Ham band listening impossible. Now comes the Airband frequencies. I can't monitor them with my Discone antenna because local FM stations causes the noise floor to rise way up, causing intermodulation as well. I can hear 2 FM stations ( garbled audio ) in many spots from 118-136 mhz. This is unacceptable for a 1200 dollar radio. AOR should be ashamed at themselves. I bought this radio after seeing several youtube videos, with the person happy or endorsing the radio.
I also have to say I own over 30 radios. None are as bad as this one. Heck, I have several portables that are better, way better. I know I can use different filters for this problem, but I shouldn't have to use anything for a 1200 dollar radio. I did purchase a variable attenuator which will attenuate from 0-20 db, and it does work a little, but not enough. Another thing is in the manual AOR mentions a " automatic attenuator " Are you kidding me? Another issue is audio quality. I find the AM audio quality is, well BAD. It sounds robotic, not natural. FM is good, WFM is good, and P25 is good.
My SDR Play at 130.00 is a much better radio! Has anyone else experienced these problems? Perhaps I have a bad radio? Please let me know as I am about to put this on Ebay. I'm really unhappy with it. I also called AOR and spoke with Taka. He told me the ARDV1 was made with " Design Compromises " He spoke about the Bandpass Filters are not " tight " enough. Anyway, I thought I would share my experiences, and see if anyone had a solution that would help. I do enjoy DXing the AM Broadcast Band, SW and the Ham Bands, as well as 2 Meters, 70 CM, etc.
 

Alex_S

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I had my ARDV1 for a few months now. Purchased from Universal Radio. I was hoping a few firmware updates would help, but they have not. I have the current firmware installed. What I am experiencing is overloading of the radio's front end. It is dreadful. For example: In my location ( Pinellas County, FL ) we have a 50,000 kw daytimer at 820 khz. The transmitter is about 10 miles from my location. For HF listening I use a Wellbrook Loop, for anything above 30 mhz I use a Discone antenna ( 108-1.3 G ) On the AM Broadcast Band, I have intermodulation from 820, all across the band, making it impossible to listen to any station except 820.. This station also causes intermodulation up thru the SW and Ham bands as well, making SW and Ham band listening impossible. Now comes the Airband frequencies. I can't monitor them with my Discone antenna because local FM stations causes the noise floor to rise way up, causing intermodulation as well. I can hear 2 FM stations ( garbled audio ) in many spots from 118-136 mhz. This is unacceptable for a 1200 dollar radio. AOR should be ashamed at themselves. I bought this radio after seeing several youtube videos, with the person happy or endorsing the radio.
I also have to say I own over 30 radios. None are as bad as this one. Heck, I have several portables that are better, way better. I know I can use different filters for this problem, but I shouldn't have to use anything for a 1200 dollar radio. I did purchase a variable attenuator which will attenuate from 0-20 db, and it does work a little, but not enough. Another thing is in the manual AOR mentions a " automatic attenuator " Are you kidding me? Another issue is audio quality. I find the AM audio quality is, well BAD. It sounds robotic, not natural. FM is good, WFM is good, and P25 is good.
My SDR Play at 130.00 is a much better radio! Has anyone else experienced these problems? Perhaps I have a bad radio? Please let me know as I am about to put this on Ebay. I'm really unhappy with it. I also called AOR and spoke with Taka. He told me the ARDV1 was made with " Design Compromises " He spoke about the Bandpass Filters are not " tight " enough. Anyway, I thought I would share my experiences, and see if anyone had a solution that would help. I do enjoy DXing the AM Broadcast Band, SW and the Ham Bands, as well as 2 Meters, 70 CM, etc.

Over the past year, there have been many posts here by people who have been disappointed with the DV1. Just wondering if you read through these threads, although some of the most critical may have disappeared.

It's not that the radio is a complete flop, but as Taka readily admitted to you there were so-called "Design Compromises" built into the radio to bring it in at a specific price point. It seems to get good reviews on VHF and UHF, but on SW, BC and LW it's barely usable.

I don't believe you got a bad radio. It's just the nature of the beast. Regardless of the claims by Universal that radios are not returnable, you may be able to seek redress from your credit card company. There may also be laws in your state the cover fitness of merchandise for sale. See what you can do to return it, use your credit card company to arbitrate for you. If that fails, try to get rid of it on eBay and take a lost of 100 or 200 bucks.

Keep an eye on the new Icom R8600 receiver coming out. It may provide tighter specs. But the bottom line here is that if you want a radio which is going to really bring out the best on all bands (but without the digital modes), you have to dump 15 thousand dollars for the Icom R9500. Take a look at some of those videos on YouTube and then you will see why the DV1 only cost 2 grand, Sad to say that even the top of the line AOR ALPHA gets trampled by the Icom R9500.

The DV1 is a nice, handy general coverage receiver for folks that can't afford astronomical prices. But don't expect miracles at that price point.
 

genemalet

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Hickory Flat Ga
Over the past year, there have been many posts here by people who have been disappointed with the DV1. Just wondering if you read through these threads, although some of the most critical may have disappeared.

It's not that the radio is a complete flop, but as Taka readily admitted to you there were so-called "Design Compromises" built into the radio to bring it in at a specific price point. It seems to get good reviews on VHF and UHF, but on SW, BC and LW it's barely usable.

I don't believe you got a bad radio. It's just the nature of the beast. Regardless of the claims by Universal that radios are not returnable, you may be able to seek redress from your credit card company. There may also be laws in your state the cover fitness of merchandise for sale. See what you can do to return it, use your credit card company to arbitrate for you. If that fails, try to get rid of it on eBay and take a lost of 100 or 200 bucks.

Keep an eye on the new Icom R8600 receiver coming out. It may provide tighter specs. But the bottom line here is that if you want a radio which is going to really bring out the best on all bands (but without the digital modes), you have to dump 15 thousand dollars for the Icom R9500. Take a look at some of those videos on YouTube and then you will see why the DV1 only cost 2 grand, Sad to say that even the top of the line AOR ALPHA gets trampled by the Icom R9500.

The DV1 is a nice, handy general coverage receiver for folks that can't afford astronomical prices. But don't expect miracles at that price point.
For 2 Grand, buy a Uniden 536, then buy a dstar radio, and whatever other mode you need and it will work on all modes. I know you want it in one radio but for 2 grand!! My god, I can buy a nice HF rig for that price....
 

dsalomon

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Brooks, GA
There are LOTS of AM band and FM band filters available at reasonable prices. If you are close to one or both types of transmitters, you are likely to need one or both, regardless of the radio used (however, some are better than others at avoiding overload).

Also, you might try using the built-in attenuator first to see if that resolves the problem (probably not from your description, but worth a try).

At my QTH, I use both AM and FM attenuators as I have both types of transmitters (strong) near me. If you want to tune the AM or FM band, simply remove the filter.

Bets - David, AG4F
 

buddrousa

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How close the OP is to this station may play a large factor in the problem.
WWBA (820 AM, "News Talk 820 WWBA") is a radio station broadcasting a talk radio format. Licensed to Largo, Florida, USA, it serves the Tampa Bay area. ... Power, 50,000 watts day 1,000 watts night. Class, B. Facility ID, 51971 ... Radio stations in the Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater, Florida market. By AM frequency.
 

hth999

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dsalomon,
Where is the built in attenuator? Maybe I am missing something, but I can't find it. According to the manual on page 24 it states, " The AR-DV1 has the automatic attenuator function " From that, one has to assume the radio senses a strong signal, then adjusts the RF Input. It's supposed to be automatic. It's another AOR flop. It does not work!
 

hth999

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Thanks for those who have responded. it's a shame that you spend 1200 dollars on a radio, and then have to buy extra filters ( AM and FM Broadcast ) to attenuate or notch out these signals. I'm not kidding, I have portables that are better than this radio. I still say AOR should be ashamed at this product. Someone mentioned the new Icom 8600 coming out. It probably will go for 2 grand or a little more. I can tell you Icom would not make a product this poor. If it's built on the same platform as their current 7300, it's going to be a winner. It will be a communications receiver, probably not a scanner, nor will it receive trunking. However, I believe it will be a much much better product than this AR-DV1. Honestly, I doubt this radio is produced more than a few years from now. The reviews are bad on eham, and people won't buy it. I for one will be selling this " thing " on eBay. To be fair, this radio may be a good one in a Rural area, or an area where their are not any strong transmitters.
 

jcardani

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hth999

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Thanks to the members who posted their links to PAR and Clifton Labs. I took a quick look at them. I have read good reviews on the PAR filters. Perhaps I shall give them a try, it may work wonders as you mention. I will need something that can attenuate the AM band dramatically, and well at the FM band. I guess you could look at these filters as an extension of the radio. In other words, needed to suppress signals that are extremely strong. There are 2 FM stations ( 98.7, and 92.5 ) they are 50,000 watts. I can see the tip of the tower from where I live. The AM station ( 820 ) is 50,000 watts during the day. This transmitter is about 10 miles away. All these stations put out a +60 on the S meter. Very very strong. What bothers me is these signals do interfere with other radios, but only to a small extent. Nothing like the AR-DV1. It's as if the AR-DV1 is " wide open ". I do own a Icom 8500, and an AOR AR5000. Neither of these radios suffer like the AR-DV1. The 8500 is bullet proof. No intermodulation problems whatsoever, while the AR5000 does need the attenuator, but handles the strong signals well. I bought the AR-DV1 for the digital modes and the smaller footprint size. I like the radio when it is working, but I just shake my head when I turn on the AM BCB. If I tune to 620, which is a sports talk station, I hear 820 clearly in the background....ditto all over the AM band. My Portable radios are better! I don't think I'll buy an AOR product again. I have no doubt they know how to make a good product, however, with design compromises, it makes the radio almost unusable. AOR had to know the capability of this radio. Why not take some of the " design compromises " out make the radio better, and sell it for a few hundred more? They already have a 5001 that sells for over 4 Grand, why not make a really good radio, but bring it into the price point of about 2 grand? Better radio, more customers, more orders. I just don't understand AOR logic.
 

hth999

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I just called Clifton Laboratories to order the Medium Wave reject Filter, and I spoke to a women who said that Jack Smith has passed away, and obviously the filters are not being made. I thought I would let the group know, so this women ( not sure if it was his wife ) gets any more phone calls for orders.
 

hth999

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Hello,

These problems are common on wideband receivers. I have to use this filter for a clean receive on HF below 18 MHz.
Z10020 AM Medium Wave Band Reject Filter

73 Eric
Just called Clifton Labs, talked to a women ( not sure if it was his wife ) but jack Smith has passed away. Wanted to let you know, and hope others read this so she does not get any more phone calls for orders.
 

EricCottrell

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Just called Clifton Labs, talked to a women ( not sure if it was his wife ) but jack Smith has passed away. Wanted to let you know, and hope others read this so she does not get any more phone calls for orders.
Hello,

I am sorry to hear about his passing. It appears that DX Engineering has purchased Clifton Laboratories.
https://www.mail-archive.com/elecraft@mailman.qth.net/msg197750.html
https://www.dxengineering.com/techarticles/dxepressreleases/dx-engineering-acquires-clifton-laboratories

I do not see the MW Band-Reject Filter on the DX Engineering website, but you could send them a query.

73 Eric
 

NYG

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Just called Clifton Labs, talked to a women ( not sure if it was his wife ) but jack Smith has passed away. Wanted to let you know, and hope others read this so she does not get any more phone calls for orders.
Wow. That's terrible news. He was an incredibly smart, helpful guy. I have one of his Z1501F active antennas. Bought it in kit form about 5 years ago and he was a huge help responding to questions.

I'm pretty sure he did the original amplifier design in the Pixel Loop antenna.

I always planned on buying an extra kit to keep on the side because it performs so well for me.
 

hth999

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Hello,

I am sorry to hear about his passing. It appears that DX Engineering has purchased Clifton Laboratories.
https://www.mail-archive.com/elecraft@mailman.qth.net/msg197750.html
https://www.dxengineering.com/techarticles/dxepressreleases/dx-engineering-acquires-clifton-laboratories

I do not see the MW Band-Reject Filter on the DX Engineering website, but you could send them a query.

73 Eric
I did speak to DX Engineering, and received an email detailing what has happened and what Clifton products they will offer. However, I can't copy and paste the email because it has a disclosure saying it is information ONLY for the intended email addressee. I can tell you DX intends to introduce a version this quarter of 2017 ( Z10043A-Broadband Norton Amplifier, and z10046A - High Gain pre- Amp. Other products that are a possibility are Z1501F / 21203B and 210000B-U. I don't know what these products are but looks like the AM BCB filter will no longer be produced. I just ordered the AM Filter from PAR Electronics. It has a 5 star rating on eHam, so it must be a good filter. It's BCST-HPF - I got it with 2 SO-239 connectors, but there are other connector options for an additional 10 dollars. You need to email or call Dale at PAR Electronics.
A Thank You to Jcardani for suggesting the PAR filters and providing a link to their site.
 

prcguy

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hth999

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Thanks for the link on the eBay AM filter. However, I would up ordering both the VHF-FM and the BCST-HFT filters from PAR Electronics. So I'll have a MW filter and an FM filter that will heavily attenuate both the AM Broadcast and FM Broadcast Band. That should work. Reasonable price, and the 5.0 rating on eHam sold me. It should make the AR-DV1 a good radio, at least I hope so. When monitoring HF, I'll use the AM BCB filter.....and for the Airband, 2 Meters, etc, I'll use the FM filter. If others are having a similar problem, as they have mentioned, I'm not the only one ordering products like this. Thanks to all for the suggestions.
 
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