Tecsun PL-330 tip: Using the telescopic antenna for the LW & MW bands

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mad Radio DXer, who writes:

Hi,

I want to let you & your readers know of a Tecsun PL-330 trick that I saw mentioned in the comments section of your blog some time ago which does not seem to have a lot of awareness. This is for using the telescopic antenna for the LW & MW bands, & it works for the 3305 version of the PL-330 which I understand is the export version. The original comment I saw said this also works for the Chinese version of the PL-330, before firmware 3305.
It is very easy to do & instructions are the following…

1. Turn on the radio.
2. Select either the MW or LW band.
3. Press the number 3 key down for a few seconds, until the display shows “CH-S”.
This means the MW & LW bands can now be received with the telescopic antenna.
4. To use the ferrite bar again, press the number 3 key until “CH-A” appears on screen.

I also did a YouTube video showing this trick in action…

This reminds me of the trick used for the Degen DE1103 PLL version which allows reception of the telescopic antenna for the MW band. However, in my opinion this is much easier to use on the PL-330 than the DE1103 PLL which could be very fiddly. Also this trick is most effective on the LW band, as I find Chinese portables are usually very weak on this part of the band which is good news for LW DXers. I hope you & everyone reading find this trick very useful & that it works.

Thank you so much for the excellent tip!

Spread the radio love

7 thoughts on “Tecsun PL-330 tip: Using the telescopic antenna for the LW & MW bands

  1. TK Wood

    Interesting video/audio clip. In the audio (I assume from Spain) I clearly hear bleed-through from a CODAR site with it typical sweep-swoosh signature.

    Reply
  2. Bill (WD9EQD)

    I’ve been playing with the PL-330 ever since the production version came out. I have been extremely impressed with it and it will become my travel radio (once I start traveling again).

    The best part about the CH-S trick is that the antenna jack on the side is now active for SW/AM/LW while the internal ferrite bar antenna is disconnected. If you have a Tunable loop antenna that can be wired to a 1/8″ plug, you can now directly hook it to the radio. I have a couple of tunable loop antennas for the am broadcast band. The PL-330 really comes alive on the AM band when directly connected to a loop.

    I wish I had a tunable loop for the LW band – but there’s not much to receive on LW here in New Jersey other than a few LW beacons.

    The PL-330 is really an amazing radio for it’s size and performance.

    73
    Bill WD9EQD
    Smithville, NJ

    Reply
  3. John C

    I appreciate the tip about disabling the ferrite bar to use the telescopic antenna on MW and LW … and the info that you can do this also on the Degen DE1103. I have the Degen’s twin, the Kaito KA1103, and one of my frustrations with it has been that I couldn’t (I thought) use an external antenna, my MLA-30, plugged into the antenna jack for MW DXing indoors. On MW, the Kaito, like the Degen, goes automatically to the ferrite bar and disregards the external antenna in the jack. After reading this post, I went looking for the trick for switching to the telescopic antenna/external antenna with the DE1103/KA1103 … I found the info below left by an Amazon customer reviewing the KA1103 … Let me know if it’s incorrect:

    “From stock, the KA1103 antenna jack only works with FM and SW, but did you know it can be tricked to do otherwise? Here’s the trick – Manually tune a frequency just outside the MW band using the keypad, it must end in a 1 or 9. For example lets use 1719 kHz. 1-7-1-9 then press “Band+”. Next, press and hold “Band-” for three seconds to initiate auto scan down frequency. Once it reaches a frequency within the AM band (1600 kHz for instance) turn the tuning knob to stop scanning. That’s it! The ferrite bar is disabled, the antenna jack is active along with the telescopic whip and the added bonus of being able to tune down to the the VLF band. One way of accessing this trick easily and without having to perform the steps above all the time is manually tune some frequencies using ONLY the tuning knob after performing the steps described and enter them into memory. I chose 150 kHz, 520 kHz and 1700 kHz. This allows me to easily jump between LW and MW. To quickly revert back to the internal ferrite bar, just key in a MW frequency as you normally would followed by the “Band+” button.”

    Reply
  4. Marc

    You say “Degen DE1103 PLL version which allows reception of the telescopic antenna for the MW band.”.

    Where is the description of that trick?

    Thanks, Marc

    Reply
    1. John C

      Hi, Marc. I left this in a separate comment, but I wanted to post it here as well: I have the Degen’s twin, the Kaito KA1103, and when I read this post about the Tecsun, I went looking to see if anyone out there has given details of the trick on the DE1103/KA1103 for switching to the telescopic antenna/external antenna jack on MW. I found this info on an Amazon review of the KA1103:

      “From stock, the KA1103 antenna jack only works with FM and SW, but did you know it can be tricked to do otherwise? Here’s the trick – Manually tune a frequency just outside the MW band using the keypad, it must end in a 1 or 9. For example lets use 1719 kHz. 1-7-1-9 then press “Band+”. Next, press and hold “Band-” for three seconds to initiate auto scan down frequency. Once it reaches a frequency within the AM band (1600 kHz for instance) turn the tuning knob to stop scanning. That’s it! The ferrite bar is disabled, the antenna jack is active along with the telescopic whip and the added bonus of being able to tune down to the the VLF band. One way of accessing this trick easily and without having to perform the steps above all the time is manually tune some frequencies using ONLY the tuning knob after performing the steps described and enter them into memory. I chose 150 kHz, 520 kHz and 1700 kHz. This allows me to easily jump between LW and MW. To quickly revert back to the internal ferrite bar, just key in a MW frequency as you normally would followed by the “Band+” button.”

      Reply
  5. Robert Richmond

    Noticed the same when using the “3” button to use the external antenna port for LW/MW reception. MW on the whip works, at least for my local(s). Export version radio here, too.

    When I am across the house from my outside antenna feeds, I have been using a YouLoop antenna in a window and a cheap single-transistor eBay wideband preamp with the PL-330. The setup works for MW, HF, and FM; at least for casual listening purposes.

    Reply

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