Thomas, this isn’t a deep discount, but the Tecsun PL-310ET price has fallen to $40 even on Amazon. It usually floats around $42-43. Price includes shipping. You might wish to post because this is a lot of “bang-for-buck” when it comes to performance. I own two of them. One stays in the glove compartment of my truck, the other in my travel bag (I’m a professional road warrior). They’ve 20 in stock right now. Price can change anytime.
Many thanks to SWLing Post reader “J JA” who shares the following video/recording of a Babcock test transmission on 11,815 kHz with his Tecsun PL-310ET:
Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Joey (KE4DRJ), who writes:
I was hoping that you or the readers might be able to help me with a problem. I just received my new pl-310et. Which I purchased from anon-co. The issue is with the whip antenna. When I try to rotate the whip, it’s very stiff. I can feel the plastic around the antenna base flexing. I’m worried about cracking the housing. Is there a fix for this issue? Thank you
Thanks for your question, Joey.
I’ve never had to resolve an antenna issue like this and while I do have some ideas, they’ve never been tested. I feel confident, though, some of our readers know tried and true methods that might help. Please comment if you can offer a safe suggestion.
Note, too, that if this issue makes using the PL-310ET difficult, you should also contact Anon-Co as I’m sure they can also help.
[Update: Most comments point to these negative reviews as outliers–possibly a bad batch from the factory. All-in-all, the PL-310ET is favorably reviewed.]
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Zantow, who writes:
I see the Tecsun PL-310(ET) has been receiving some very negative reviews over on eHam in the last days. Too bad:
Thanks for the heads-up, Dave!
Perhaps these reviewers simply received faulty/lemon units? Internal soldering and construction can vary. On the other hand, both reviews were submitted on Feb 1, 2017 implying their units probably came from the same production batch. There are a couple of recent negative reviews on Amazon.com as well (though not detailed).
Of course, it does make one wonder if Tecsun made any internal design changes to the PL-310ET. But again, perhaps these two reviewers simply received units from a faulty batch.
For sure, these reviews are not consistent with the excellent performance of the PL-310ET I know–which is, by any standard, an amazing little radio!
I don’t want to imply there’s something wrong with the current PL-310ET production run, but I am curious if anyone else has been disappointed with their recently-purchased PL-310ET. Comments?
[UPDATE: based on the many comments–thank you!–it appears at least PL-310ETs that were purchased up to the end of December 2016 are functioning perfectly. Again, perhaps these two reviewers received faulty units.]
Some of you might remember the extensive tests I conducted last August, comparing this great portable receiver against the model it was introduced to replace – and arguably one of the best-ever portables – the Sony ICF-2001D/ICF-2010. I conducted a back-to-back series of comparison tests at the very quiet wood in Oxfordshire I use for my DX’peditions, using the same antenna for both recievers – the excellent Wellbrook ALA1530 active loop. In total, I made fourteen reception videos comparing the ICF-2001D and ICF-SW77 and posted them to my Oxford Shortwave Log YouTube channel. Both receivers performed very well, delivering excellent reception on the Tropical Band and elsewhere on the shortwave spectrum, however, the ICF-2001D proved to be the clear winner, with what proved to be far superior synchronous detection.
But that wasn’t the end of the road for my ICF-SW77. It remains a very capable receiver (one of my all-time favourite portables) and one which I continue to use regularly. However, every now and then, it surprises me with something exceptional. Since conducting the tests against the ICF-2001D, the SW77 has brought in my best-ever indoor reception of Radio Verdad, Guatemala on 4054.8 kHz….and when I say best-ever, I really do mean it; the audio was significantly clearer than anything I had copied previously at home with the Elad. More recently, I copied Zambia NBC Radio 1 on 5915 kHz on a DX’pedition with a far superior signal to anything I’d previously heard, with any other reciever, including the ICF-2001D and the Elad FDM DUO. Some of this of course is down to short-term conditions of propagation, however, the SW77 continues to prove why it has such a loyal following and continues to command premium prices on eBay. Text links and embedded videos to both reception videos on Oxford Shortwave Log follow below:
- Radio Verdad 4054.8 kHz Guatemala, clearest indoor reception to-date
- Sony ICF-SW77: Zambia NBC Radio 1, 5915 kHz, Lusaka, best ever reception
Further to these recent catches, I promised some of my YouTube subscribers that I would conduct another, similar test with the ICF-SW77, but against it’s cheaper ‘sibling’ the ICF-SW55. A review at the time of the ICF-SW55’s introduction concluded that the price premium of the ICF-SW77 may not be justified since the performance of the two receivers was very similar, despite the SW55 lacking synchronous detection. As someone who has extensive experience with the SW55 out in the field – it was my mainstay DXpedition receiver for more than a year – I was just as interested as my subscribers in how these two vintage Sonys would measure up against each other. The lineage is all very obvious from their respective industrial designs, but the lack of Synchronous detection on the SW55 might have been the one element of functionality resulting in poorer performance, particularly in challenging band conditions and in the presence of adjacent channel QRM etc. To mix things up a little, I have also thrown the brilliant Tecsun PL-310ET into this test. Such a sensitive and selective receiver for less than £40, it has provided more surprises with regard to it’s performance than just about any other radio I’ve owned. How would the Tecsun compare to these two vintage, but high-end Sony portables? Stay tuned to find out! Two reception videos follow, using signals from ABC Northern Territories (4835 kHz) and Radio Mali (9350 kHz), with more to follow on Oxford Shortwave Log and a further posting on swling.com/blog. Thanks for watching/reading/listening.
- Sony ICF-SW77 vs ICF-SW55 vs Tecsun PL-310ET: ABC Northern Territories 4835 kHz
- Sony ICF-SW77 vs ICF-SW55 vs Tecsun PL-310ET: Radio Mali 9635 kHz, Bamako
Clint Gouveia is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Clint actively publishes videos of his shortwave radio excursions on his YouTube channel: Oxford Shortwave Log. Clint is based in Oxfordshire, England.