Bill discovers a number of Tecsun S-8800 Hidden Features

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill (WD9EQD), who writes:

I’ve owned a Tecsun S-8800 for about eight months and have come to enjoy it more all the time. It, along with my PL-880, have become my main work horses for shortwave listening.

The S-8800 is perfect on the desk connected to a wire antenna and the PL-880 is perfect for carrying around.

Since I knew of the hidden features of the PL-880, it got me thinking on whether the S-8800 had any hidden features.

A quick Google search turned up the following Web Page:

http://swli-05940-mi.blogspot.com/2017/03/tecsun-s-8800-hidden-features.html

I used Google Translate to get a rough translation and then spent some time testing the features out and also just pressing and holding buttons to see if anything else showed up.

Following is what I have come up with:

(Note: some of these are in the manual)

With the radio off

Toggle Longwave on/off: With the Radio OFF, Press & Hold 2

Toggle backlight permanently on/off: With the Radio OFF, Press & Hold 3  – Note that this means the light will be on even when radio is off. While the light does go out when radio is turned off, any operation of a control will turn the backlight on and it will then stay on. Too bad they just didn’t install a slide on/off switch. Plus I know of no way to turn the backlight on permanently without the remote.

Toggle Seconds display on/off: With the Radio OFF,  Press & Hold 8

Displays “0888”: Maybe this is version?: With the Radio OFF,  Press & Hold “Back”

Displays all segments of display: With the Radio OFF, Press & Hold “AM NORM” – Displays all segments of display. Press & Hold again to display “H802”

With the radio on in FM mode

Displays “75US”: With the radio ON, Press & Hold 5

Squelch Setting: With the radio ON, Press & Hold 9 – Range 0-5. Use Tuning Knob to set. Press 9 again to set.

With the radio on in SW/AM mode

Toggles Extended functions on/off: With the radio ON, Press & Hold 4

With extended functions on:

Press & Hold 6 – Toggles DNR (Dynamic Noise Reduction) on/off.

Press & Hold 9 – Squelch Setting. Use Tunng Know to Set. Press 9 again to set.

Squelch ranges:

MW: 0-40

MW with USB/LSB: 0-30

SW: 0-25

SW with USB/LSB: 0-30

So far that’s all I’ve been able to find. Has anyone else found any others?

Post readers: please comment if you’ve discovered other hidden features on the Tecsun S-8800! I’ll compile a complete list and post it separately.

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12 thoughts on “Bill discovers a number of Tecsun S-8800 Hidden Features

  1. Colin Davies

    Thinking of getting either the PL800 or the PL8800 as I’m a keen SWL and I love SSB,been told either the 8800 is the best of the two,but others have said the 800 is the better one,would appreciate anyone’s opinion on here

    Regards

    Colin

    Reply
  2. Bill Hemphill

    I just discovered another interesting item.

    Turn the “Band Select” from either FM or AM so that you are selecting shortwave. When you do this, the upper right of the display will start flashing the SW Meter Band for about two seconds.

    If you start turning the “AM BW” knob while the Meter Band is flashing, then it will cycle through the SW bands similar to pushing in the “Fine Tuning” knob. It’s a fast way to go to a particular band when you first enter SW mode with the “Band Select”.

    Bill
    WD9EQD

    Reply
  3. Lennart Benschop

    Hi, I just posted some of these hidden features on my own page;
    https;//lennartb.home.xs4all.nl/radiotecsun.html

    Pressing and holding down the 5 key in FM mode shows 75US. This is the deemphasis setting. You can toggle this between 75 microseconds (used in America) and 50 microseconds (used in the rest of the world).

    What I fond out and what I did not see mentioned elsewhere: when the ‘4’ function is activated (which enables DNR and mute/squelch settings using the 6 and 9 keys), the radio registers key presses from the remote control much less reliably, especially when you are on shortwave. So after playing with these settings, press and hold 4 again to switch this function off again. I find this a very strange bug, but at least on my radio I have this symptom.

    Reply
    1. Dan

      Good catch Lennart! I wondered why my remote was not as responsive as i remembered. I turned off the “4” function and it’s back to being responsive again. Thank you!!

      Reply
    2. Bill Hemphill

      How do you toggle 75/50? On my S-8800 it will display 75 for about a second and then go back to the frequency display. It doesn’t give enough time to toggle it. Not that I really want to. But just curious.

      And thanks for the info on the remote. I also had noticed that the key presses were erratic but never connected it to the ‘4’ function. I just now turned ‘4’ off and all is well with the remote.

      Bill
      WD9EQD

      Reply
      1. L

        If I press and hold the 5 key while on the FM-band, I see either 50US or 75US. If I press and hold it again, I will see the other value. So on my radio, pressing and holding it will toggle between these values.

        Reply
        1. Bill Hemphill

          I stand corrected. I was concentrating on seeing the “US” part that I didn’t notice the numbers were changing from 50 to 75 and back. I need that third cup of coffee.

          Bill
          WD9EQD

          Reply
    3. 13dka

      Good catch indeed! By coincidence, I was trying to find out as many of those functions myself this week – too bad my (almost) full review is already “in the press”, that would’ve been worth mentioning. 🙂 Of course It has a “hidden functions” section with 2 nobody mentioned yet and I wonder what else the “4” key may affect.

      Reply
  4. Dan

    Experimenting with the (6) hidden feature (referred to here as DNR), I discovered that it manipulates the Bandwidth when engaged/disengaged. In SW mode, I had Bandwidth set to 6 kHz. I then press #6 until the display says ON. From the remote, I then press AM BW. The display now says 3kHz. If I then press #6 again until the display says OFF, and then press AM BW, the bandwidth has now switched to 4kHz.

    While engaged, you can hear the bandwidth switch back and forth – especially on a fluctuating signal.

    I have not tried this in any other modes except SW/AM.

    So rather than a Dynamic Noise Reduction function as reported elsewhere, it seems to change the bandwidth on the fly? Anyone else care to weigh in?

    Reply
    1. Bill

      I think I remember reading somewhere that “DNR” on the PL-880 just means that the radio automatically selects the bandwidth. I think that an earlier version of the firmware for the PL-880 had the ability to select a value. Then they changed it to just auto change the bandwidth to achieve a better signal to noise.

      Since I want to be one selecting bandwidth, I keep this function turned off.

      Bill
      WD9EQD

      Reply
    2. 13dka

      Yes it abruptly switches filters. Like Bill said, it’s one of the rather dubious features it inherited from the PL-880. They may still call it DNR because despite it happens in very coarse steps, it’s still “dynamic” and it reduces noise, however the PL-660 (still being a much more conventional radio that doesn’t use the DSP for IF filtering)) has a more classic (and stepless!) envelope following lowpass filter DNR. It’s always on and while that’s not exactly brilliant on AM, I find it it actually does improve SSB reception at times, and doesn’t interfere much at other times.

      Reply
      1. 13dka

        Forget the point there: let’s not call this DNR on the 8800, what about “automatic selectivity switching” (ASS) ? 🙂

        Reply

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