Tag Archives: Tecsun PL-880 Availability

The Tecsun PL-880 charger and battery

The supplied Tecsun PL-880 charger/power supply (Click to enlarge)

The supplied Tecsun PL-880 charger/power supply (Click to enlarge)

I’ve had a lot of questions and comments about whether the Tecsun PL-880 is supplied with a power supply/battery charger.  I purchased my PL-880 from from Anon-Co on eBay and they sent a charger along with the radio.

The charger was not in the actual PL-880 (OEM) box, but wrapped up inside Anon’s FedEx shipping package. I found it instantly.

I mention this because I’m not sure if other vendors are supplying a charger as well–perhaps other PL-880 owners can comment?

The charger has two ports where the supplied USB cable can be plugged in–both 5 VDC, but one rated at 1000mA and the other at 2400 mA. Either would work to power the PL-880 as it only requires 300 mA. For charging, I would use the 2400 mA port–though the 1000 mA port may work as well.  You certainly can’t hurt the radio by using the higher mA port as the radio will only use the amount of amperage it requires.

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I will also note that while I prefer portables having the more standard AA cells, the supplied PL-880 rechargeable battery (see below) has superb capacity.  With all of the listening time I’ve been logging, I still haven’t needed to recharge it yet. I suspect its capacity is superior to that of most AA rechargeables.

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Video: Tecsun PL-880 vs. PL-660 and coping with interference

Tecsun-PL880-SWLing-Post-0526I normally like to do in-line recordings for audio comparisons of radios, but my digital recorder is non-functional at the moment. This fact–coupled with a bit of reader peer pressure–prompted me to take a short video with my iPhone of the PL880 and PL660 in action. While this will not be a true representation of the PL-880’s audio, of course, it should serve as some point of comparison in terms of function.

In this (very basic) video, you can hear the difference between the PL-880 and PL-660 when both radios are coping with adjacent signal interference. In this case, I tuned to Radio Australia on 9580 kHz–typically a blow-torch signal here in eastern North America. I wanted to gauge how each radio coped with adjacent signal from China Radio International broadcasting out of Cuba on 9570 kHz,  which can cause major adjacent signal problems, even though it’s a full 10 kHz below Radio Australia.

In this video, I tried to use both radios’ bandwidth controls and (upper side-band) sync lock to cope with the interference. Forgive the lack of tripod. Here you go:

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Hidden feature: Adjusting the Tecsun PL-880 muting threshold

Tecsun-PL-800-Sync-SWLing-PostSWLing Post reader Owl points out another hidden feature of the Tecsun PL-880:

“Press and hold 9 when you listen to AM or SSB, you may adjust the muting threshold using either tuning knob. Press 9 again after you are done, the new threshold will be saved.”

Many thanks, Owl, as this solves a small problem I discovered with my PL-880.

Evidently, the muting threshold of the PL-880 defaults to 5 DBu. I found that listening to a marginal station produced a dip and jump in volume as the signal level hovered around 5 DBu. It was most annoying!

Owl is correct–simply holding the number 9 down while listening allows you to adjust the muting threshold between 00-25 DBu.  It seems setting the threshold to 00 turns off all muting. I prefer it off, so this is the setting I will use most of the time.

The PL-880 has a number of hidden features.  I will post them as they are uncovered.

You can follow all Tecsun PL-880 updates by bookmarking/checking this link.

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Hidden feature: The Tecsun PL-880 has a sync detector

Tecsun-PL-800-Sync-SWLing-PostWhile evaluating the Tecsun PL-880 this afternoon, I discovered a hidden feature: synchronous detection.

By pressing and holding either the USB/NORM or LSB/NORM buttons, you can make the PL-880 sync lock on either the upper or lower side band. By pressing either button momentarily, it simply puts the mode in either upper side band or lower side band.

Now to properly test it…

You can follow all Tecsun PL-880 updates by bookmarking/checking this link.

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Photos: Unboxing the new Tecsun PL-880

I just received my Tecsun PL-880 from FedEx a few moments ago. I only purchased this radio last week from Anon-Co on eBay–I’m most impressed that it arrived so early.

The PL-880 has been a highly-anticipated radio and I’m eager to dig in and see how well it reviews. I had several readers ask if I would take photos as I unboxed the unit–so I’ve embedded photos below. Simply click on each photo to enlarge:

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Along with the owner’s manual, Tecsun has included a large, fold-out amateur radio world map and quick reference guide.

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In the box, along with the manual and fold-out map, you’ll find: a USB charging cable, a rechargeable lithium battery, a wire antenna and a set of earbud headphones.

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The padded faux leather case reminds me of cases we used to receive with world band radios.

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I like the layout of the front panel. The buttons have a very nice feel and the tuning wheels/knobs are fluid.

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What’s most impressive, though, is the sound out of the internal speaker. Though I need to spend more time with it, it will most likely be one of the best I’ve ever heard in a radio this size. Nice bass and treble tones.

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The Tecsun Pl-660 (left) and PL-880 (right). Nearly identical in size.

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Of course, I will do a full review as soon as possible. I may also post updates along the way as I make discoveries.

Can you guess how I will be spending this afternoon and evening? Yep, playing radio.  Stay tuned!

You can follow all Tecsun PL-880 updates by bookmarking/checking this link.

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