Tecsun PL-300 series modification: disabling soft mute

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Troy Riedel, who shares the following tip. Troy writes:

While surfing the Net I found the following procedure that is said to “disable soft muting in Tecsun 300-series radios”.

I have a PL-390 and this has indeed seemed to work on it but I didn’t notice a difference with my PL-365.

Since I just found & tried this, I don’t know if this procedure must be repeated each time you use the radio? Maybe [Post readers] have heard of this before and/or have experience with it?

Here is the “reported” [supposed?] procedure that worked for the PL-390:

To disabling “Soft Mute” on Tecsun 300-series radios:

1. Select a shortwave frequency, preferably where there is no stations transmitting.
2. Tune down the frequency range with the dial, don’t tune up or it won’t work
3. Press the VF Scan button to let it automatically tune down
4. Tune down with the dial to stop the automatic scan. If the background noise is higher, then the “soft mute” / “dynamic squelch” has been disabled.

Thank you, Troy! I was unaware of this modification, but it seems easy enough to implement.

Post readers: Anyone have experience using this mod across the Tecsun 300-series receivers? Please comment!

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9 thoughts on “Tecsun PL-300 series modification: disabling soft mute

  1. Gavin Waters

    Just tried this on the PL-380 I dug out of a box. I was very frustrated with its performance when I got it but this process works a treat and for me gives a much more pleasurable listening experience (mainly shortwave). My guess is the firmware designer had to disable soft mute to implement scanning successfully. Why “down frequency” scanning works is “interesting” and up frequency scanning definitely does not on mine. Down scanning starts quite quickly too and up scanning has a slightly delayed start so perhaps this points to another difference in microcode. I’m going to read up on the Silicone Chip spec. I have to repeat the process each time I turn on the radio but no big deal.

    Reply
  2. Michael

    Works on my PL-390. It does carry over to MW too! If you switch off the radio, you do have to repeat the procedure.

    Reply
  3. Michael McShan

    Thanks for the information. However, I’ve never understood why manufacturers default to using soft muting on their radios. I don’t recall a single user saying they liked it. And, these complaints go back to the late 1980s!
    73!

    Reply
    1. Troy Riedel

      Cap,

      Great point … I hadn’t considered these two use different chips (your are correct re Si4734 versus Si4735) and that’s why it seemed to work on my PL-390 but not the PL-365.

      Troy

      Reply

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