Tag Archives: Tecsun PL-310ET

Dave notes unfavorable reviews of the Tecsun PL-310ET

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Zantow, who writes:

I see the Tecsun PL-310(ET) has been receiving some very negative reviews over on eHam in the last days. Too bad:

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/10283

Thanks for the heads-up, Dave!

Perhaps these reviewers simply received faulty/lemon units? Internal soldering and construction can vary. On the other hand, both reviews were submitted on Feb 1, 2017 implying their units probably came from the same production batch. There are a couple of recent negative reviews on Amazon.com as well (though not detailed).

Of course, it does make one wonder if Tecsun made any internal design changes to the PL-310ET. But again, perhaps these two reviewers simply received units from a faulty batch.

For sure, these reviews are not consistent with the excellent performance of the PL-310ET I know–which is, by any standard, an amazing little radio!

I don’t want to imply there’s something wrong with the current PL-310ET production run, but I am curious if anyone else has been disappointed with their recently-purchased PL-310ET. Comments?

[UPDATE: based on the many comments–thank you!–it appears at least PL-310ETs that were purchased up to the end of December 2016 are functioning perfectly. Again, perhaps these two reviewers received faulty units.]

Sony ICF-SW77: recent DX & comparing performance with the ICF-SW55 & Tecsun PL-310ET

Some of you might remember the extensive tests I conducted last August, comparing this great portable receiver against the model it was introduced to replace – and arguably one of the best-ever portables – the Sony ICF-2001D/ICF-2010. I conducted a back-to-back series of comparison tests at the very quiet wood in Oxfordshire I use for my DX’peditions, using the same antenna for both recievers – the excellent Wellbrook ALA1530 active loop. In total, I made fourteen reception videos comparing the ICF-2001D and ICF-SW77 and posted them to my Oxford Shortwave Log YouTube channel. Both receivers performed very well, delivering excellent reception on the Tropical Band and elsewhere on the shortwave spectrum, however, the ICF-2001D proved to be the clear winner, with what proved to be far superior synchronous detection.

But that wasn’t the end of the road for my ICF-SW77. It remains a very capable receiver (one of my all-time favourite portables) and one which I continue to use regularly. However, every now and then, it surprises me with something exceptional. Since conducting the tests against the ICF-2001D, the SW77 has brought in my best-ever indoor reception of Radio Verdad, Guatemala on 4054.8 kHz….and when I say best-ever, I really do mean it; the audio was significantly clearer than anything I had copied previously at home with the Elad. More recently, I copied Zambia NBC Radio 1 on 5915 kHz on a DX’pedition with a far superior signal to anything I’d previously heard, with any other reciever, including the ICF-2001D and the Elad FDM DUO. Some of this of course is down to short-term conditions of propagation, however, the SW77 continues to prove why it has such a loyal following and continues to command premium prices on eBay. Text links and embedded videos to both reception videos on Oxford Shortwave Log follow below:


Further to these recent catches, I promised some of my YouTube subscribers that I would conduct another, similar test with the ICF-SW77, but against it’s cheaper ‘sibling’ the ICF-SW55. A review at the time of the ICF-SW55’s introduction concluded that the price premium of the ICF-SW77 may not be justified since the performance of the two receivers was very similar, despite the SW55 lacking synchronous detection. As someone who has extensive experience with the SW55 out in the field – it was my mainstay DXpedition receiver for more than a year – I was just as interested as my subscribers in how these two vintage Sonys would measure up against each other. The lineage is all very obvious from their respective industrial designs, but the lack of Synchronous detection on the SW55 might have been the one element of functionality resulting in poorer performance, particularly in challenging band conditions and in the presence of adjacent channel QRM etc. To mix things up a little, I have also thrown the brilliant Tecsun PL-310ET into this test. Such a sensitive and selective receiver for less than £40, it has provided more surprises with regard to it’s performance than just about any other radio I’ve owned. How would the Tecsun compare to these two vintage, but high-end Sony portables? Stay tuned to find out! Two reception videos follow, using signals from ABC Northern Territories (4835 kHz) and Radio Mali (9350 kHz), with more to follow on Oxford Shortwave Log and a further posting on swling.com/blog. Thanks for watching/reading/listening.

Clint Gouveia is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Clint actively publishes videos of his shortwave radio excursions on his YouTube channel: Oxford Shortwave Log. Clint is based in Oxfordshire, England.

Tecsun PL-310ET Memory Reset

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike Ladd (KD2KOG), who writes with a Tecsun PL-310ET tip:

Happy Holidays! I found this trying different button combos on the PL-310ET. I don’t think this is documented online.

Tecsun PL-310ET Memory Reset

  1. Power off the radio
  2. Press and hold the Del key.When the radio beeps release the Del key.
  3. Press and hold the Del key again. When the radio beeps a second time hit the power button. All the station memories will be erased.

This should work on most of the Tecsun radios.

Very cool! Thanks for the tip, Mike!

The brilliant little Tecsun PL-310ET: serious DXing on a budget – part 2

Hi there, here is part two of my original post containing various reception videos for the amazing Tecsun PL-310ET pocket shortwave receiver. I continue to be amazed at the sensitivity and selectivity of this rather modest and diminutive receiver, particularly at it’s price-point of around £40 in the UK and less elsewhere! Here is the second half of the reception videos, with some nice signals from Brazil, Guinea, Ethiopia, Swaziland and India. You might notice that some of these catches involve the use of a 240 metre (approx.) length of barbed wire fence! I’m not sure how beneficial the electrical properties of the fence were, probably somewhere between not great and not good lol, but some pretty decent DX was had with the PL-310ET attached to it via the external antenna socket and a crocodile clip!

The barbed wire fence extends almost to the treeline on the horizon; about 240 metres

I hope you enjoy this set of reception videos, they certainly help to demonstrate the great performance of the PL-310ET and in addition of course, it’s ability to handle large antennas quite well. Embedded videos and text links follow below. Lastly, there are now approaching 1,200 reception videos on my YouTube channel Oxford Shortwave Log and I would like to take this additional opportunity to thank everyone for their support, friendship and advice.  In the meantime, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and excellent DX!



Clint Gouveia is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Clint actively publishes videos of his shortwave radio excursions on his YouTube channel: Oxford Shortwave Log. Clint is based in Oxfordshire, England.

 

 

Trying to chose between the CC Skywave and Tecsun PL-310ET?

CC-Skywave-And-Tecsun-PL-310ET-SideMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Joe, who recently asked in our comments section:

“The CC Skywave is more than double the price of the Tecsun PL-310ET. The two radios appear to have similar features and performance. Can anyone suggest a reason why one would want to pay the extra charge for a Skywave?”

Thanks for your question, Joe. I’m asked this a lot by SWLing Post readers, so quickly realized I should just turn my response into a proper post.  Here’s my response in a nutshell:

Tecsun PL-310ET

The Tecun PL-310ET

The Tecsun PL-310ET is (and has been for years) one of the best budget shortwave portables out there.

For the price of $40-45 US shipped (via eBay, for example), you really can’t go wrong.  It’s certainly a benchmark among the ultralight DSP portables.

The ($79-89 US) CC Skywave, in my opinion, has a few advantages:

  1. An excellent weather radio receiver (for folks in North America)
  2. The AIR band which is a fun and useful addition if you live near an airport or like travelling by air
  3. I prefer the Skywave over the PL-310ET on the mediumwave band. Its selectivity and AGC, in my opinion, have a distinct edge over the ‘310ET for MW DXing.

Because of these particular advantages, the Skywave has become my travel portable of choice when SSB reception isn’t a priority.

The CC Skywave

The CC Skywave

You might check out my CC Skywave review because I tried to include reception recordings which I felt represented both radios fairly:

http://swling.com/blog/2014/12/review-of-the-c-crane-cc-skywave-portable-radio/

In short, though? If I didn’t care about the AIR band or NOAA weather radio, I’d be quite happy with the PL-310ET. In truth, you really can’t go wrong either choice.

I can say that I now take my CC Skywave on travels more than my PL-310ET.

Click here to search for the Tecun PL-310ET on:

Click here to search for the CC Skywave at

  • C.Crane ($89.99 and free shipping through Dec 6, 2016)
  • Amazon.com ($89.99 with free shipping option)
  • Universal Radio (lowest price without shipping: $79.95)
  • eBay (pricing varies greatly)

Either of these radios, by the way, would make for an excellent gift.