Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Chris Rolfe (M3OZP), who writes with the following inquiry:
Don’t know if anyone can help.
I have a Tecsun PL-880, and it shows signal strength in db. How can I work out the signal strength as 1 to 5? All my other radio have 1 to 5 signal strength meters which is what I have always been used to.
Thank you for your question, Chris. The signal meter on the PL-880 and a number of other late-model Tecsuns that use similar DSP chips share the signal display which indicates both the signal strength and signal-to-noise ratio. I believe the dBu number indicates the conducted voltage across the receiver’s internal resistance.
It’s perhaps one of my quirks, but as a listener I actually pay little attention to signal displays on portables unless I’m evaluating signal strength for a report or even using it to locate a local noise. Converting those numbers into an S1 to S5 number is simply something I would do by “guesstimating.” Yeah, not terribly scientific.
There are folks in the SWLing Post community who can do a much better job explaining the readout and how to interpret/convert signal strength across the MW, SW and FM bands.
Post Readers: Please comment if you can shed some light on simplifying signal strength for Chris.