Does the Tecsun PL-880 have a hidden ETM function?


SWLing Post reader, Claudiu, writes:

I have a question regarding the ETM (Easy Tuning Mode) function on the Tecsun PL-880 model. Its indicator is visible on the LCD screen [see above], but I couldn’t find any mention of this function for this model. What should one do to enable that indicator and use the function? I’ve seen mention of this for earlier models (PL-380/PL-390), but not for PL-880, even after looking over the hidden features. Do you, or your followers, have any idea on this?

Very good question–it would be nice if the PL-880 had a hidden ETM function, but I suspect the PL-880 may simply use a stock Tecsun display; “ETM” may be standard print.

By chance, has anyone discovered a hidden ETM function on the Tecsun PL-880? If so, please comment.

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4 thoughts on “Does the Tecsun PL-880 have a hidden ETM function?

  1. Mary


    I have the Tecsun PL880 and need some assistance. 8820 firmware.

    I know nothing about this radio except that I purchased it due to good reception reviews. One day I hope to be able to use the SW.

    I have one of those 75 feet tall metal towers for the power lines in my back yard.

    I have numerous AM stations in my area but can only get one on this radio. I move th antenna around and this goes on in every room in my house.

    Does anyone have any recommendations regarding what I can do to make this radio tune in AM stations?

    Thank you

  2. Crow

    Small extra thought: If the PL-880 is using only flash ROM it may mean that Tecsun are trusting it to last long enough to not give anyone any bother during the likely lifetime of a radio. If this is so, it could be a vote of confidence in using the ATS more often in earlier radios too. They may have decided they no longer need to reserve RAM for this task. Any other differences are a matter of programming. For one thing, while ATS and ETM both allow a manual addition of some frequency, ATS lets us delete a specific unwanted entry, ETM does not (in the PL-390 and PL-360, anyway) , and at times I wish it did. 🙂

  3. Crow

    I think ETM and ATS use different memory types. When power is removed from a PL-390, for example, a capacitor holds ETM and clock time for as long as 20 minutes or so, if the radio was off at the time (less if power drain empties that capacitor early). So ETM memory is volatile, ATS memory is not. This can be proved by entering VM mode after restoring power (after a full day if you really want hardcore proof). The time must be reset, and all ETM memories are gone, and ATS memories remain.

    I like ATS for those frequencies I know I’m always going to want. ATS uses flash ROM. This may or may not die early if written to often enough. ETM appears to use RAM, so is an ideal scratchpad that will not have the risk of limited useful life. Whether ATS in the PL-880 uses RAM, or flash ROM, or a mix of both, I do not know. I could never find an ETM mode in the PL-880 when I tried it. I noticed the ETM on the display, but I think that’s just something they might have used, but didn’t, possibly because they wanted to start simplifying some things in what was becoming a very complex radio.

  4. Alan Fahrner

    Hi folks,

    Although I really like the ETM function on my other Tecsun radios, I’ve kind of wondered if it is really just basically setting aside an ATS memory bank and not saying so. 🙂

    Well, other than each band’s ETM storage not being whacked running ETM in a different band (whereas ATS is only overwrite or add).

    Having said that, I am hoping we’ll found out that by pressing a couple buttons, rubbing our bellies, and patting our head the PL-880 has it. 🙂

    My best,


    P.S. Since diving back into shortwave radios, I have found to be a tremendous resource, thank you.


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