Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, John Carrod, who writes:
I took delivery of my PL-880 and have seen your notes on hidden features.
With the radio off, press and hold button 5, this disables/enables the light switch.
Pressing same button whilst on FM reveals information of which I’m unsure, I expect you or your readers will no doubt know what that’s about.
Thanks for sharing this, John. I’ve let a friend borrow my PL-880 so I don’t have it for reference. I’m hoping someone here can shed some light on the information display you’re seeing by pressing button 5 while in FM mode.
[Note: This procedure was updated and simplified by Guillermo on 22 December 2017]
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Guillermo, who writes:
I own the PL-880 and just discovered a new feature : a 1.0 kHz bandwidth mode on shortwave (SW only not in MW).
The procedure to get it is as follows:
- Turn on the radio and tune any frecuency on SW . There is no need to connect or disconnect an external antenna and turn on or off the radio during this procedure.
- Be sure that on SW the 4 button feature(press 4 for about 2 seconds) is ON and 9 button feature(press 9 for about 2 seconds) indicates a value of 13 or more and not less than 10.
- Then turn OFF 4 button feature and then ON again . Press BW button and see the 1.0khz new BW on the screen. Now you can use it permanently on SW and ALSO on MW , UNTIL you press BW button again .
Well, I hope you understand this description–if not please let me know, and tell me if it works on your unit, or it is just works on mine.
Thank you, Guillermo! I see where this is somewhat of a fragile adjustment in that a number of actions could change the bandwidth back to a previous setting, but nonetheless is quite a fascinating hack/hidden feature! Thank you and I’ll add this to our list of PL-880 hidden features.
Post readers: please comment if you can successfully enable the 1.0 kHz bandwidth on your unit. Please comment with your radio’s manufacture or purchase date if possible.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Garcia (PU3HAG), who writes:
Not sure if you noticed this before, for me it was a glad surprise how well the sleep timer works on Tecsun PL-880.
To use the sleep timer, you press the power button for a about 2s-3s until you see the timer, using the tuning knob you can choose several options between 1 and 120 minutes.
Neat finding #1: the timer settings is kept between power cycles. So, you only have to set it once (in some radios, you need to set the timer for each use).
Neat finding #2: when using the timer, you would expect – as every other radio – the radio to shut off immediately along with ‘pop’ on the headphones. This is not the case with PL-880. When the timer kicks in, the radio gently fades out the audio for 20s-30s and then shuts off. No pops to hear. Amazing.
That is brilliant! I never use the sleep timer on the PL-880, but perhaps I will now. As you state, most sleep timers simply turn off the radio without warning and include an audio pop–not great if you’re wearing headphones and trying to sleep. Very happy to hear the PL-880 slowly fades. Happy dreams!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Troy Riedel, who has recently added the hidden bandwidth adjustment feature to Cap Tux’s excellent PL-880 reference sheet.
Here are links to download the updated sheet:
I will also add this to the Complete list of Tecsun PL-880 hidden features page: a place where you can comment if you note any previously unpublished PL-880 hidden features.
Thanks again, Troy!
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!
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.
SWLing Post reader, Del Fields, writes:
“I’ve bought a new PL-880 this year (2015) and apparently some of the “hidden features” are not hidden anymore. They don’t even exist. HaHa.
For example, I tried the DNR hidden function by pressing and holding 6. Nothing.
Also I tried the hidden date of manufacture trick…..nothing. I tried the pressing holding while turned off, the AM BW button and did that twice and got “8820”. Pressing and holding a third time just returned it to normal off screen. Just fyi. But I do wish there was a DNR function or a squelch feature.”
This is interesting, Del–I have no late model PL-880s to try out these hidden features. My PL-880 dates from November 2013 (see the manufacturing date displayed on screen above).
Have any others who have recently purchased the PL-880 noticed this? Click here for a complete list of PL-880 hidden features.