Tecsun PL-660: A simple hack to scan the air band

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bruce F, who writes:

HI Thomas, I thought I would put this idea out to your site – in case it isn’t already there. It’s a brilliant solution to the apparent lack of a working Air Band scan function on the Tecsun PL-660.  Note – I did not come up with this idea, but came across it in a Yahoo group.

It IS possible to scan the Air Band on the PL660, as long as you have picked out WHICH Air Band frequencies are in use in your area. There are websites which list these frequencies for each airport:

Here’s how to set up the PL-660:

  1. Pick an empty page in the Memory.
  2. Put in a shortwave frequency in the first empty space; the “00” slot.
  3. Then fill in the succeeding spaces on that page with the Air Band frequencies you’ve chosen.
  4. Now go back to the “00” slot and hold down the scan button.

Works on my set!

What a cool trick!  I’ve lent my PL-660 to a friend, but as soon as I get it back, I’ll also try this trick by setting up a page dedicated to my local aviation frequencies!

Thanks, Bruce!

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8 thoughts on “Tecsun PL-660: A simple hack to scan the air band

  1. Blackhawks

    PL660 OFF, hold AIR for 10 seconds, it shows me firmware 6622 on the top right corner. I am not sure what other bigger 215 number in the middle of the screen means.

    When I try this “hack”, it does not work no matter if I have frequencies saved in the P0 page or P1 page. I hit the SCAN button on P0 – nothing. I hit the SACN button on P1 – nothing. Your mileage may vary.


  2. Richard AAA706

    Just received my new PL-660 (Mar 2022 build), loaded local Air Band freqs, followed the hack and works just fine. Thanks. Very slow scan but it is not a scanner.

  3. Guy Teague

    i bought a pl-660 about two years ago and when looking for a portable with airband i realized the 660 has airband, so i dusted it off and put in batteries.

    bear in mind i’m just now going through the manual, but i don’t see how the procedure as described can work. if you’re in /air/ mode, you can’t input a /sw/ freq at all. if you go to /sw/ and store a freq in p0m0 you can’t enter /air/ freqs. so if you go to /air/ and store freqs in p0m1-p0m5, you can’t even see p0m0 anymore because it’s associated with /sw/. and if you go back to /sw/ and try scanning from p0m0, it won’t do it.

    i think either a step or two is missing from this, or the firmware has changed since it worked. but, i could just be too unfamiliar with the radio and am missing something important.

    tks! /guy (73 de kg5vt | wqpz784)

    1. chipbutty

      I think this confused many people as it implied the hack allowed you to scan the actual band but what it does is just allow you to scan your saved frequencies. Still useful I guess as for some reason you can’t scan your saved frequencies on the Airband’s own Page 0. So pick page 1 for example and follow the instructions. Pages above zero allow you to enter any frequency for any band.


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