Tecsun PL-880: How to display firmware version

Thanks to SWLing Post reader, Owl, we know how to display the firmware version of your Tecsun PL-880:

1.) With the radio turned off, simply press and hold the “AM BW” button and the full display panel will turn on.


2.) Then press and hold the “AM BW” again and your 880’s firmware version will display (a four digit number).


I would love to know if the firmware is user upgradable. I’ll try to find out from Tecsun.

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

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22 thoughts on “Tecsun PL-880: How to display firmware version

  1. Jim

    Might anyone know why I can,t seem to get display of firmware version was 8820. Liking the radio. But I can,t figure out how to get the antenna and earbuds into the case.

    Thanks …Jim

    1. HBC

      Press and hold “AM BW” and release it when all displaysegments turn on.
      Then press and hold “AM BW” again.
      Bet you did not holdt it, just pressed it…..

  2. Hilmar

    Ich habe auch einen PL880,aber leider erscheint bei mir keine Version-Nummer.
    Einen wichtigen Gedanken habe ich noch:Tecsun sollte überlegen,ob man das Gerät
    nur für Shortwave-Listner produzieren könnte,ohne den ganzen Speicher-Schnick-
    Schnack…Auf jede derzeitige Speichertaste ein Kurzwellenamateurfunkband belegen
    und als Betriebsart nur CW,SSB mit varialer Filterbandbreite von 0,5 KHz bis 2,7
    KHz.Eventuell könnte das Gerät auch das 2m Amateurband haben,aber nicht unbe-
    dingt nötig.Ich glaube,daß das Interesse für ein solches portables Gerät bei den
    Funkamateuren und SWL´s weltweit sehr gross ist.

  3. Bob

    FYI… I purchased my PL-880 from Kaito on eBay. Bought 12/5, arrived 12/12. “Firmware” of 8819, cheaper case. Included an AC-to-mini USB charger.

  4. Mark Piaskiewicz

    I asked this earlier but I hess it got overlooked with all the excitement of a new radio, but the 880 is advertised as a dual conversion receiver, however on p27 of the manual I see: AM IF 1st IF: 55.845MHz 2nd IF: 10.7MHz 3rd IF: 45kHz.

    Doesn’t this suggest triple conversion?

  5. Bertrand

    Hi Thomas,

    yes, has to do with the alarm setpoint ( 3.4 v to 3.7 V ) when the set stops working
    when this voltage is reached ….to prevent the total unloading of the battery….

    Habe been informed that there is another hidden funktion mit der Key 0 ……
    Could be a shift-Funktion , a special fine tuning to adjust the sibebands in SSB….some one said….

    Vy 73 Bertrand

  6. Bertrand

    Hi THomas,

    the topic is still being discussed here , but no one does really know what this hiffen function

    on Key 4 does….


  7. Bertrand

    we have recently discovered a new hifdden function..
    ===> holding Key 4

    should change the voltage limitation of the battery 3.4 to 3.7 V ?
    Ist that possible? ==> some PL-880 owners do affirm it…


    1. Thomas Post author

      That would be an interesting hidden feature. If true, I’m curious if that would make the PL-880 compatible with other batteries.

    2. owl

      Hi! Betrand:

      I guess the key 4 is to set the low battery warning voltage. Someone mentioned this function to me before but he forgot which key is for this. He also said it’s better not to touch this as inappropriate setting may result in battery failure.

      1. Mark Piaskiewicz

        I’d be careful messing with the default. The battery my unit came with appears to be UNprotected and the charging circuit -seems- like it’s timer based. An iffy combination.

  8. owl

    Hi! Thomas:

    Have you tried various AM/SSB bandwidths on PL880? I believe these values are in fact the width of side bands (like on other radios based on SL-DSP chips).

    On AM mode, I can’t hear much difference between 5k and 9k bandwidths at all (they are effectively 10k and 18k respectively in a conventional sense), especially if the tone is set to high. On the other hand, the narrowest 2.3k bandwidth (4.6k conventionally) appears a bit too wider compared to the narrow 2.2/2.3k on SW77/E1. On several occassions, I heard no interference from adjacent channel on E1 but the interference appeared on PL880. It would be nice if Tecsun can replace the 9k bandwidth with a narrower one, say 1.1/1.2k, if they can’t add an extra bandwidth.

    As for SSB, it seems the bandwidths are mostly appropriate (the 4k may be too wider for SSB but since synchorous detection mode uses the same bandwidths as SSB, it should be kept unless Tecsun provides separate (wider) bandwidths for synchorous detection mode.

    1. Thomas Post author

      Hi, Owl–I agree with you as I believe the filters “sound” wider than the display indicates in AM. As you say, in SSB, they sound dead accurate–I do a lot of CW ham radio operation and the .5 kHz BW filter sounds like it should. The 9 kHz BW filter on AM sounds _very_ wide, though. In fact, I haven’t listened with the AM 9 kHz filter often because I prefer the fidelity of the 5 kHz filter for the reason you mention–with the treble engaged, 9 kHz makes the high end of the audio sound too high.

      I’ll add this to my list of inquiries for Tecsun. As always, thanks for your comments.


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