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Author Topic: Tecsun PL-380  (Read 7715 times)

KK0G

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Tecsun PL-380
« on: November 09, 2013, 11:10:18 PM »
For years I never 'needed' a SW radio because I always had an amateur HF rig with general coverage receive of one model or another as my main shack rig. Now that that role is being filled by my new Elecraft K2 which does not have general coverage receive and tends to attenuate signals outside the amateur bands (which is a good thing by the way), I find I'm in 'need' of a dedicated SW radio. So off to research I go and.......

 


http://www.amazon.com/TECSUN-stereo-Receiver-Display-Function/dp/B004H912FC


This thing has lots of excellent reviews all over the interwebs and at only $45.10 shipped to my door how could I go wrong!? The only feature it doesn't have that would have been nice is SSB reception, but truthfully I very rarely ever listen to any SSB SW stations so it's not a feature that will be missed plus I still have that capability with my amateur rigs, just not all bands and with some attenuation.


Should arrive in 5-8 days, I'll give a review after it does.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

KK0G

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Re: Tecsun PL-380
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2013, 08:18:13 PM »
I must say I'm pretty impressed so far. First of all it arrived today only 3 days after I ordered it........wow!


My first impression after pulling it out of the box was "Wow this thing is small!". While I knew it was small from the pictures I saw online, holding it in your hands really put's it in perspective how portable this radio truly is. It appears to be just slightly smaller than my Elecraft KX1. I could very easily find a spot in my backpack for this radio.


Having only played with it for a few hours now, I haven't had a chance to really put it through its paces but sensitivity and selectivity seem to be very good. It has a variable bandwidth filter with 6, 4, 3, 2 and 1kHz settings. The ETM (Easy Tune Mode) is a neat feature; activate it and the radio will scan through all the SW bands and store any listenable frequencies in temporary memories, after it does this just use the VFO knob to scroll through those memories. All my listening so far has been with my 140' dipole connected to the whip antenna via an alligator clip, while tuned to Radio Habana Cuba I disconnected the dipole with obvious results. You just can't expect any SW radio to pick up much in the way if distant international signals with nothing more than a 2' telescopic whip.


It wouldn't be much of a review without something negative; the miniature speaker reproduces sound just as you would expect a miniature speaker would - tinny and not a lot of output. It works fine in a relatively quiet environment with the radio on the desk in front of you but don't expect to hear much from across a noisy room. The VFO and AF gain controls are backwards!! Both controls are thumbwheel types on the right side of the case, turning either one counter clockwise increases its value. My guess is their reasoning is that you push the exposed part of the control up so the value should follow suit. Bass ackwards in my opinion but not an insurmountable obstacle.


In a nutshell, this thing was well worth the $45.10 I paid.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

gil

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Re: Tecsun PL-380
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2013, 09:14:36 PM »
Added to my wish list!

Gil.

John Galt

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Re: Tecsun PL-380
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2013, 11:12:51 AM »
I have the Tecsun PL-660 on my wish list.  It's a little more expensive though so maybe the 380 will fill the bill and still leave a little coin in my pocket.  Thanks for the review!

KC9TNH

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Re: Tecsun PL-380
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2013, 08:21:33 PM »
It wouldn't be much of a review without something negative; the miniature speaker reproduces sound just as you would expect a miniature speaker would - tinny and not a lot of output.
Hey, you got over! That capability sounds like a KX3.
 8)

raybiker73

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Re: Tecsun PL-380
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2013, 06:22:48 PM »
This looks like a nice little SWL machine. I have a pair of very elderly Realistic DX-370 compacts that I bought in 1993, but they're definitely showing their age. I might have to put one of these wee beasties on the Christmas list.

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Re: Tecsun PL-380
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2013, 06:22:48 PM »