Tag Archives: PL-880

Possible Tecsun PL-880 hidden feature: Noise reduction adjustment?

PL-880 (1)

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Paul, who writes:

While putzing around with my new Tecsun PL-880 that I got while browsing at Universal Radio’s store in Columbus OH, I found what appears to be an adjustable noise reduction function.

Firmware level: 8820
Mfg date: probably August 2016 (201608 from the serial number inside the tilt stand)

Here are the steps to check it out;

When in a shortwave band, press “4” until either “ON” or “OFF” appears in the display.
If it displays “OFF”, press 4 briefly to clear, then long press again until “ON” appears.

Then, long press “9” until a two digit number appears.

Use either tuning knob to increase or decrease the number.

The number appears to correspond with the DbM threshold of the received signal.

Perhaps someone can play with the feature and elaborate on its function.

Hope this is useful, let me know.

Thank you for sharing, Paul!  I do wonder if this adjustment could affect the DNR setting (check out this previous post as well).

Post readers: Has anyone else been able to replicate and test this hidden feature? Please comment!

Tecsun PL-880 rechargeable battery now via Amazon

TecsunBattery

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Bill, who writes:

Maybe you already know this, but I only recently discovered the Tecsun PL-880 rechargeable battery is available on Amazon for $9.99 and can qualify for Prime free shipping. I bought one and it seems to work great. There are other battery models on Amazon that may work, but many had comments about inconsistent quality, various countries of origin and even various sizes! I decided to go with this one branded as Tecsun to play it safe and am happy. Just an FYI to your readers.

Click here to view on Amazon.

Thanks, Bill! I have two PL-880 batteries and they continue to do a fine job running the PL-880. They are over two years old now (hard to believe–!), so I’ll keep Amazon in mind. Note that Universal Radio also has the replacement battery for $9.95 (though no free shipping).

Gary discovers a way to lock narrow filters on the Tecsun PL-880

PL-880 (1)

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Gary (WN9U) who writes:

Just an FYI comment about the narrow filters NOT staying on while tuning. I read about the similar problem that you encountered during the initial testing of the PL-880.

While tuning CW stations with the 500 Hz filter turned on (fast or fine tuning), the filter would always revert back to the 3.0 wider setting. It had never done this before. I tried several resets with no cure.

After further testing I found the fix: I had turned on the Hidden Menu Noise Reduction (switch 6) and did not realize it was on.

After turning off the Noise Reduction, I was able to tune with the narrow filters set at any band width. Evidently, the filter opens up to 3.0 when tuning with the Noise Reduction turned on & reset does not turn off this function.

Thanks so much for the tip, Gary! I’ll add this to our (still) growing list of PL-880 hidden features and tips. Seems there’s always something to discover on the Tecsun PL-880.

Tecsun PL-880 fine tuning bug solved by Anon-Co

PL-880-Tuning-BugMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Georges (F6DFZ), who writes:

As you may know, a few [of us PL-880 owners] have documented the extremely annoying bug that affect the Tecsun PL-880 during Fine Tuning of SSB signals.

To sum it up, recently manufactured Tecsun PL-880 tune backward when using the Fine Tuning knob in SSB mode. This result in a very bad tuning feeling, especially for SWL and Ham radio operators, 1 kHz frequency jumps each kHz and a displayed frequency that can be off as much as 2 kHz.

Anna from Anon-Co has been very cooperative, serious, kind, in short: an outstanding person. She never denied the problem, and found a solution to correct it by loading a 8820 firmware just anterior to the buggy one.

Now, all PL-880 sold by Anon-Co have the corrected firmware.

I am extremely pleased with my PL-880 and I need to add that the tuning experience with the corrected firmware is night and day. Now, you can tune continuously using the Fine Tuning knob, without hitch and very smoothly ; the lack of shuffling is also very welcome, as is the Variable Rate Tuning (10 Hz or 50 Hz tuning steps).
This makes the PL-880 an outstanding receiver for its price, considering the 10 Hz fine steps, the choice of selectivity, the long life on its battery, etc…

Be sure to choose a distributor that sells PL-880 with the tuning bug corrected.

Click here to purchase a PL-880 via Anon-Co.

Many thanks, Georges, for the follow-up. I’m very happy to hear that PL-880 retailers like Anon-Co are assisting in such a helpful and effective way.

No doubt, other PL-880 retailers will also begin to offer a firmware upgrade to fix the fine tuning bug. As Georges notes, please check before purchasing!

Reders/Retailers: Please comment if you can confirm that others are now shipping PL-880s with the fine tuning control fix.

George demonstrates the Tecsun PL-880 tuning bug

PL-880-Tuning-Bug

[19 January 2016: Please read this updated post.]

In response to Pawel’s post about a tuning bug affecting a recent batch of Tecsun PL-880s, SWLing Post contributor Georges (F6DFZ) comments:

I have posted a new video about this important bug of the PL-880.

I did so because it seems some people don’t understand this very important issue.

This video shows the Tecsun PL-880 tuning bug which is present on SSB when using the Fine Tuning knob.

The PL-880 is tuned to the Shannon Volmet on 5,505 MHz USB.

At the beginning, I use the coarse Tuning knob to shows the effect of tuning 1 kHz down ; the pitch of the voice increases as we are on USB.

Then, I tune down 1 kHz using the Fine Tuning knob, and now the pitch of the voice decreases, indicating the bug with the reverse tuning using the Fine Tuning knob on SSB.
At the end, I use the coarse Tuning knob to hear the voice with a normal pitch, and you can see that the displayed frequency is 5,503.01 MHz, a difference of nearly 2 kHz versus the true frequency.

Best regards, and a Happy New Year

Georges F6DFZ

Thank you, Georges. Since I have an early PL-880 model that doesn’t have this bug, your video and explanation does clarify the situation.

That is frustrating. Until this bug is fixed, I couldn’t recommend purchasing a new Tecsun PL-880. I hope someone can confirm when the bug is fixed and the production run is once again free of this tuning issue.

Many thanks to Pawel and Georges for bringing this to our attention.