Tecsun PL-880: How to fix the audio level problem

photo (5)As more and more people are beginning to receive their Tecsun PL-880s, I’m receiving emails and noticing comments regarding an “audio level problem.”

Here’s the symptom: when you tune your brand new PL-880 to a relatively weak station on AM or shortwave, the audio level jumps from low to high in what seems like a random pattern.  It’s very annoying. Like me, many assume they have received a faulty unit–some have even sent their new PL-880 back for refund.

In reality, the PL-880 is simply following a default muting threshold level and the audio is responding accordingly. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for this–you won’t find it in your owner’s manual, but you will find it in one of the first PL-880 posts I published:

Hidden feature: Adjusting the Tecsun PL-880 muting threshold

I hope Tecsun will start shipping their PL-880s with the threshold set to “00” or off.  It would certainly lead to less confusion and frustration.

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

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7 Responses to Tecsun PL-880: How to fix the audio level problem

  1. Tom Stiles says:

    Thomas,

    Thank you for all your efforts on the website and information about the 880. And thank everyone for sharing their experiences.

    Tom

  2. Mito says:

    Unfortunately we who bought the Amazon we can not fix the audio level with ’00 ‘I believe that there is only one reason and that is the firmware version 8019 because I see that there is a newer version of 8020 with which this hidden option works.
    The same thing was with the PL660, so I had to modify. Us with this version of 8019 remains the only hope to be supplemented with the firmware in the future.

    • Tom Stiles says:

      Interesting. i got mine from Amazon and it is revision 8019 and I was able to change it.

      Tom

      • Tom Stiles says:

        This morning the shortwave bands were very quite and the dbu readings were around 10 to 15. In this condition the cutting out of the audio was apparent even thou I was able to set the muting threshold to 00 (firmware 8019). Note that the audio does not completely cut out but is greatly reduced. It like using squelch and being on the hair edge. I would have thought setting it to 00 would have turned off the squelch effect totally. Guess I will have to return mine too as this is very annoying. Hopefully I can get a replacement that does not have this problem.

        Tom

      • tw says:

        I believe there are actually two things going on in vers 8819, which would explain why you can adjust 8819 (but not completely turn it off). I wonder if yours has the same second sort of brick wall mute despite being on “00”–mine does and it is hugely annoying, unless you stay on strong stations.

  3. tw says:

    I just wrote a rather lengthy comment about the radio under your review, but after reading the above comments I see that probably the “auto squelch” issue is indeed an issue of firmware 8819, and was (hopefully) fixed in 8820. Unfortunately, this is what Kaito is selling as of yesterday. Those like me who bought 8819, we need to let them know their entire shipment needs to be sent back for firmware updating…this is simply irresponsible selling on TECSUN’s part (rushing to get the radio out before X-mas when it was clearly not ready).

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

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