Tecsun PL880 Portable Digital PLL Dual Conversion AM/FM, Longwave & Shortwave Radio with SSB (Single Side Band) Reception
About this deal
Okay, okay, I’ll admit it: I’m an oldster, currently enjoying well over 70 trips around that Big Orange Ball in the sky. Further, I’ve been out of SWLing for a while. So that has brought me to today’s crop of portable shortwave receivers, and – bottom line – they are pretty darn cool, offering worthy performance on a number of levels. My latest acquisition is the Tecsun PL-880.
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Wire antenna reels come in different styles. PL-880 (left) and CCrane Skywave SSB. But both improve performance for their respective radios. The PL-880, oddly, reminds me of my old 4WD Honda Civic wagon — it wasn’t the absolute best at anything, but it a lot of things, very, very well.A weatherproof radio with true desktop-radio features, like auto-match, noise reduction, RX/TX EQ and built-in fast Panadaptor. It took a while for the bugs to get sorted out, but the units sold in recent years are great. Comparing it with contemporary models, I like the ergonomic operation of this radio best. Sensitivity and selectivity are superb. About the only down side, a common complaint, is the extremely slow AGC, particularly noticeable on the ham bands. The symptom is clipping of the initial audio each time the operator keys the mic. This is caused by the AGC adjusting to the signal level. Apart from that, they will have to pry the PL-880 out of my cold, stiff hand. This one is a classic.
Guest Post: Jock explores the Tecsun PL-880’s ATS system Guest Post: Jock explores the Tecsun PL-880’s ATS system
Even in case you will be using a .5 kHz filter in SSB, you will experience no muting when between frequencies.You can, however, fool yourself. I ran ATS Mode A on SW frequencies one night and found a station that was broadcasting unusual stuff (Kennedy assassination, UFOs, and the like). A couple of nights later, I wanted to see what the night’s topic was on that station, so I punched the button to access memories and found . . . nothing! Oh, no, it’s broken!