Re: Tecsun PL-606 1 kHz DSP Ultralight-- More Information


Rik
 

When the PL-606 tunes LW, does it tune AM BCB with it like the PL-360? [about 150-1620 KHz. in one band with 9 KHz. steps or 1 KHz. steps]-FARMERIK

--- In ultralightdx@..., D1028Gary@... wrote:

Hello All,

Tecsun's newest DSP Ultralight was taken for a "test drive" during
TP-DXing this morning here on the west coast, primarily to check out the
compact little radio's "soft mute" level, and MP3 audio recording quality.
Asian signals weren't exactly booming in, but there was a fair signal around
1420 UTC (0720 PDT) from 738-BEL2, Taiwan's 100 kw "big gun."
The new PL-606 was inductively coupled to the 9' PVC loop (which
brought Taiwan's signal on the PL-606 up from inaudible to fair), and 1 kHz
frequency offset tuning was used to check the radio's "soft mute" signal drop
off. ULR transoceanic DXers frequently use this 1 kHz offset tuning to get
further away from domestic splatter, so long as the DX signal drop off on
their ULR is not too severe (as in the case of the PL-380, and the CFJ455K5
IF-filtered E100's and SWP's). In this morning's test, BEL2 was tuned in on
its 738 kHz frequency on the PL-606 for the first 20 seconds of this MP3
(along with a 2 kHz heterodyne and 740-KCBS splatter), while the second 21
seconds were recorded on 737 kHz _http://www.mediafire.com/?p8kkulbnnpdhp2s_
(http://www.mediafire.com/?p8kkulbnnpdhp2s) . Although the 1 kHz offset
tuning did remove the heterodyne and 740 splatter, it also removed most of
Taiwan's signal, a result similar to the PL-310's "soft mute" behavior.
Further testing against both the PL-310 and PL-380 confirmed that the
PL-606's soft mute behavior is very similar to that of the PL-310,
although because the new radio's AM sensitivity is significantly superior to that
of the PL-380, even with its greater "soft mute" drop off, the new PL-606
can usually match the PL-380's TP-DX station signal quality when 1 kHz
detuning is used. Surprisingly, the compact PL-606 has been matching the larger
PL-310 in AM sensitivity on all frequencies from 530-1700 kHz.
The lack of a direct-entry keypad on the PL-606 makes it necessary to
rotate the thumb wheel multiple times in order to shift from the low band
to high band, unless stations are already stored in memory. Another quirk
(at least in my PL-606 review model) concerns accessing the LW band. In a
PL-360-style mystery system, the PL-606 lacks any front-panel indication that
it can even tune the LW band, nor does the current user manual tell you
how to access the frequencies. The method is to turn off the radio, press the
9/10 kHz control down until "9 kHz" disappears (and the clock comes back),
then press the "MW" control down until "LW On" disappears (and the clock
comes back). Although that is the LW-band access procedure, in the case of
my review model, the radio still has a quirk somewhere that is preventing LW
reception.
The PL-606 is noticeably smaller and lighter than either the PL-310
or PL-380, and probably shares a lot of compact circuitry with the tiny,
vertical-form PL-360. The new model can be reasonably pictured as a horizontal
form PL-360 with far superior AM sensitivity, and with all the Si4734 DSP
filtering options. That's a very effective combination of sensitivity,
selectivity and portability on the AM band-- with a pretty low price as a bonus.

73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock

(Photo below is also at _http://www.mediafire.com/?b2biy0s21zgo5dc_
(http://www.mediafire.com/?b2biy0s21zgo5dc) )

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