Do late model PL-880s lack some hidden features?


SWLing Post reader, Del Fields, writes:

“I’ve bought a new PL-880 this year (2015) and apparently some of the “hidden features” are not hidden anymore. They don’t even exist. HaHa.

For example, I tried the DNR hidden function by pressing and holding 6. Nothing.

Also I tried the hidden date of manufacture trick…..nothing. I tried the pressing holding while turned off, the AM BW button and did that twice and got “8820”. Pressing and holding a third time just returned it to normal off screen. Just fyi. But I do wish there was a DNR function or a squelch feature.”

This is interesting, Del–I have no late model PL-880s to try out these hidden features. My PL-880 dates from November 2013 (see the manufacturing date displayed on screen above).

Have any others who have recently purchased the PL-880 noticed this? Click here for a complete list of PL-880 hidden features.

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13 thoughts on “Do late model PL-880s lack some hidden features?

  1. robert

    Got my pl 880 2 weeks ago from shows 8820 but no date either.I’m slowly getting used to it.
    Its a far cry better than that grundig s 450 dlx I parked , but reminds me a lot of my yb 400 pe I wore out, just better by newer technology and tuneing knobs.I like that feature.and so far no complaints with the pl 880

  2. Tomas

    Hi all owner of 880.
    Last Oct he handsome from Anna-Honkong.
    Perfect delivery-speed to the COM/13.10 ordered/.
    Everything OK, no additional charges.
    But to the point-880-beautiful radio and now matching with 909x and GS 750 and 800-it is interesting, too.
    Here is my advice, and I’m trying to interest in practice-so far all OK.
    I will look forward to more of your types.
    Sincerely, Tom-Czech Republic

  3. Crow

    Steven, I think you’re right about DNR It allows auto bandwidth setting. While it may be useful at times, I’m tempted to put a DNR on it, as in Do Not Resuscitate. I like the bandwidth to stay as I set it.

    I think some features are hidden, not because they don’t work well enough to reveal permanently, or document them, but Tecsun probably decided to leave some hidden because the call for them may not be made often enough for them to want to risk cluttering the interface or the manual. Can’t please everyone, so they try to keep it simple… One example is the SSB sync lock, it’s got a place on the LCD so was clearly intended, and it works well for some SSB FSK broadcasts, but so badly for othern things that they decided not to push it as a published feature. If any feature was really bad to the point of uselessness, they’d kill it to get space for new code, probably,

    One thing I’d like, that PL-390 can do, and PL-880 apparently can’t, is a way to easily allow a button push to keep the light on during a session, while normal use of the power button restores auto action for the next session. As it is I have to always use the slide switch, at risk of wearing it out early. Alternatively a ;hidden’ feature to allow us to set the amount of time the auto mode keeps the light on could be useful, in conjunction with a button to switch it off at will without disturbing anything else. The dedicated light button on the PL-390 is without equal so far as I know (providing it has v3903 firmware, it’s a tad broken in v3902).

    One oddity: ETM. There’s no appearance in the manual, but it has a place onscreen (bottom right). I’m guessing they decided after designing the LCD, to simplify the memory management, or to add the page system later instead.

  4. steven

    I did eventually get the date trick to work but it was time consuming, just kept messing the buttons. Id like to see some actual real world proof that the dnr thing even existed, because i think auto bandwidth adjustment could easily be mistaken for dnr.

  5. Gilberto A Rivera

    Whew! I thought I had a defective unit. I got mine last friday, aug. 7, and set out to try the firmware trick to make sure I did have the latest 8820 update. The button pressing worked and did display the 8820 FW. However, not the date of manufacture. Reading further down here, the reader from Spain, Pedro, suggested turning on the radio and pressing “4” which in effect, displayed “On”. I then went back and turned the radio off to try and get it to display the date, but no cigar…

  6. Shortwave Listener 22007

    If any of you have ideas for what you would like the next model to have, put them in the comments. I am going to put a post on my blog: with these ideas to share with Tecsun to help them do the best job possible with their next “elite” portable.

  7. Andy Fischer

    I purchased my PL-880 a week ago. I can witness the exact same result with the hidden features. June 2015 they must have removed certain features which is silly. I wish they allowed a firmware update via the computer connection. What do you think Tecsun, can we get them back, could use them.

  8. steven

    Ok, I have a later model as well, i dont think the dnr function exists, or if it does its being misrepresented, while 4 has to be pressed until ‘on’ appears, pressing six simply lets the radio self-adjust the bandwidth, with this on you will notice bandwidth changes randomly.

  9. Mathew1987

    Hello, everybody!

    I’m writting from Slovakia. I boutght this radio recently too (april 2015) and despite it’s great portable receiver, I need to say few things about it.

    I’ve got one good tip for all of You.
    If You’re annoyed by blinking of display’s backlight allways, when You’re operating with radio, or it’s useless at the moment, because of too strong sunshine, You can turn it off very easy: Turn the radio off. Press and hold key 5 for two, or three seconds until it will appear ON for normal backlight regime, or OFF for permanently disabled backlight.

    I’ve got two problems.
    1st. I don’t know, which features belongs to keys 4 and 6, when is radio turned on in all AM bands. If I press both of them for few seconds, I can turn them on and off, but I have no idea, which function is related to specific key.
    2nd. Muting threshold doesn’t work for me at all. I didn’t tried only key 9, but also all other keys, but nothing happened. My firmware version is 8820. Can somebody help me, please?



  10. Pedro

    Hello, this is for Del Fields reader. I have (like you) a very recent pl880 and yes… date of manufacture is missed now, but about DNR function, I have it! … BUT be sure you have activated that functions (radio on, shortwave band, then … pressing 4 till “ON” appears)
    Be careful because “6”, “9”, and “0” keys will maintain deactived unless you have previously activate with “4” key. Greetings from Spain … and take the opportunity to say: Thanks Thomas for your valuable and funny tests for the pl880!

  11. Marco

    Hello, I write from Italy. I’m owner of the radio Tecsun PL 880 and all the procedures I do to for exclude the antenna in ferrite through the hidden features I do not succeed, despite the radio have the latest firmware (8820), and although I have often proceeded to reset the receiver. Why some customers have been able to do it and not me? I wrote to the Tecsun for know, but I have not received response. Do you have an advice for me? If you want to answer me I will be very happy, otherwise this occasion was at least for greetings to you.

  12. Andi

    Hello and thank you for all your work!

    I bought my Tecsun 880 in february this year and i can’t find the date of manufacture either.
    It shows firmware version 8820.
    I’m quite new to this hobby so I did not try more of the hidden features.



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