Hidden feature: Changing the line-out level on the Tecsun PL-880

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Joost, for discovering and sharing yet another hidden feature of the Tecsun PL-880.

How to change the FM line-out level

1.) Turn on the PL-880 and select the FM radio band.

photo (6)

2.) Press and hold the number 7 for three seconds, the current line-out level will begin flashing.

3.) Use either tuning control to change the line-out level.

Unfortunately, it seems that the line-out level only works on the FM band (at least, on my firmware version). That’s a shame, too, as my shortwave and AM line-out levels default to a value that is much too high for a recording device, rendering the port useless. I value line-out for making reliable digital recordings while monitoring activity via the radio’s built-in speaker.

I hope this will be fixed in the future as I’m sure it can be addressed with a firmware update.

On a side note, I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about a full PL-880 review. I’m nearing completion of it now–about 75% complete. It’s a rather long review and (I hope) will be useful. The ’880 has so many features (both documented and hidden) that writing a review is a daunting task! Check back soon!

You can follow all Tecsun PL-880 updates by bookmarking/checking this link.

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9 Responses to Hidden feature: Changing the line-out level on the Tecsun PL-880

  1. Patrick says:

    See me video about calibrating SSB for zero-beat operation :


  2. Mark Piaskiewicz says:

    I notice your battery is dying. What kind if battery life can we expect in typical use?

    Any luck zeroing the frequency?

    Any comment on the radio being triple conversion?

    • Thomas says:

      Hi, Mark,

      I was holding out hope someone else would comment on whether or not the PL-880 could be considered triple conversion. I simply don’t know enough about this ybrid DSP configuration to authoritatively say.

      Regarding battery life? It’s excellent. I bet my PL-880 will run for 15 or more continuous hours on one charge. Possibly much longer. I’ll have to test this on its own with the radio set to a moderate volume level.


  3. mike says:

    if the line out level is too high get an attenuating patch cord to the recording device

  4. Barry says:

    Hi I received this radio 4 days ago from Anon. After 2 days its volume levels have started to malfunction. On AM and SW the volume suddenly dramatically increases and then just as suddenly drops right away again. I have tried leaving the batteries out for a few hours and even pushing the reset button but so far it makes no difference. I have other radios that do not behave like this. This is my first Tecsun. I would appreciate any help or advice on this thanks .
    Yours Barry

  5. Barry says:

    Hi Thomas.
    Thanks very much for helping me with that information. I have done exactly what you suggested on all am bands. After playing the radio on a strong MW station for 10 minutes the volume suddenly increased and after a few minutes dropped down a bit.. I will let you know how it is functioning over the next few days. My firmware version is also 8820. I really appreciate your help. THANKS.
    Yours Barry.

  6. Pingback: A review of the Tecsun PL-880 portable shortwave radio | The SWLing Post

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