Tecsun PL-990 Hidden Feature: Toggling ferrite bar and telescopic whip antenna on MW & LW bands

Many thanks to Anna at Anon-Co who recently shared an interesting “hidden feature” of the Tecsun PL-990 which allows the user to toggle between the internal ferrite antenna and telescoping whip antenna while on either the mediumwave or logwave bands.

Procedure:

1) Turn on the radio and then select either the MW or LW frequency band.

2) Press and hold the [ 3 ] key for about 2 seconds.

When the display shows “CH-5” (actually an “S” which stands for shortwave telescopic antenna) the radio is now set to MW/LW reception using the telescopic whip antenna.

The display will show MW (or LW) and SW on the left side of the screen.

3) Press and hold the [ 3 ] key for about 2 seconds.

When the display shows “CH-A” (“A” stands for “AM”) the radio is now set to MW/LW reception using the internal ferrite antenna once again.

The display will also show only MW (or LW) on the left side of the screen.

Pressing and holding the [ 3] key essentially toggles between these two antenna settings.

I’ve actually found that, indoors, using the whip antenna on mediumwave has been more effective at mitigating RFI with strong local stations. The ferrite bar antenna has more gain, of course, but for locals it’s not necessarily needed.

Many thanks, Anna, for sharing this tip!

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9 thoughts on “Tecsun PL-990 Hidden Feature: Toggling ferrite bar and telescopic whip antenna on MW & LW bands

  1. Daniel Robinson

    Yes that could be a reason — if you obtained this 990 from Banggood or other mass seller, it may have been an earlier firmward design.

    Reply
  2. Carl Moss

    It raises an interesting possibility: what happens if you connect an external MW aerial while in CH-S mode? Will the radio use it?

    Reply
  3. Babis

    First credit to shop, Anon-co is very helpful indeed … Then credit to tecsun because is helpful for us using AM/LW … Third thanks for the update because this blog is always up to date … Forth is the same feature & process at the PL330 … i am trying to see if will manage my bugged to get a 990 instead of the 330

    Reply
  4. Marco P.

    vGood evening, I recently bought the Tecsun 990 receiver from the Banggood company. For € 257. I have read the various reviews on this site which I find very interesting and well cared for. I have made the various tests without success I have not been able to switch to use of the ferrite antenna for the MW. LW. With button 3 of the receiver. then the bluetooth system does not work, long pressing the mp3 button. it says “NO” micro SD card. lastly I had to change the power supply socket because it had the non-European Chinese connection. thanks for your attention hello i

    Reply
    1. Babis

      possible reasons … at the above process does the SW appearing together with LW/MW ? ? ? … if yes, it looks it works so may try outside or some where at an open field or higher (example a tall building) or an other location, with fully extended the FM aerial …
      If the SW not appearing together with LW/MW then it seems something is wrong … so … maybe turn off the radio and then press & hold key No3 … and then turn on again & see if works the above process … if still nothing maybe there is older firmware not supported this feature? or have different process

      Reply
    2. Babis

      —->> UPDATE for the antenna with PL-990 (not X)

      as time pass and more videos are available… i can see that at the video link by the end of my reply, when the external antenna is in use (example default whip antenna) stated as SW (at the left of the freq) … so while at LW band (my guess same when at MW band) at left state SW to indicate external antenna is in use (SW indication using the LW band)

      Now at 3:25 of the video (below) when the ferrite antenna is in use (normal operation) it state LW (i guess the same apply for MW band)

      to change between internal external … seems doing that by pressing at right part of the radio the MW/LW key (ATM) … again note 3:25 minute of the video seems swapping with MW/LW key

      Reply

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