Re: Recommendations for FM DX-worthy Portable Radio

Mark Roberts

I would avoid the PL-606 because of the problems that develop with the thumbwheel controls. It *is* the best *looking* of all the Tecsun DSP units, but that manufacturing defect gets to be too much to deal with after a while.

The PL-380 is probably the best FM performer of them all, but any differences are very marginal. Also worth considering is the CC Pocket Radio, though it is somewhat less convenient to tune. But it is smaller than the Tecsuns and performs nearly as well.

On Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 7:06 PM, Barry Lietz bwlietz@... [ultralightdx] <ultralightdx@...> wrote:

Check out the full review on the eHam site.  This is an exerpt from it: 
The noise-floor of these sets are not comparable to a DE-1103 which pretty much hammers down the noise. So one is left pulling stations out of the weeds. And the PL-310 does rather well at it on AM-BCB. And that noise floor due to propagation and local influences like Sub-Audio-Heterodynes (aka flutter) can raise havoc. There is a function of the AGC circuit called Soft-Mute, and will engage/disengage on weak reception. Coupled with "flutter" this makes listening unplesant with a noted "pumping" sound. Fortuneately, the design-engineers allow that offsetting the tuning by 1 kHz will shut-off the Soft-Mute. One has to raise the volume a level or two. In the 3 1/2 years of building, Tecsun has not put in a hard-wired On/Off for this function. Outside of the AM-BCB its rarely needed, and that is probably the answer.

As other reviewers have pointed out the audio-bandwith selection and filtering is superior at this price-level. The Low IF of about 45kHz keeps SW and AM-BCB imaging to a minimum. Kudos to SiliconLabs for designing this after the Sony analog version. Low-IF is the way to go.

Where the PL-310 really shines as does its siblings the PL-380/606 is on FM. Very hard to beat in general, and seems to be limited to sibling rivalry at this price level.

SW holds it's own against others under $100, what the antenna lacks the BW selection helps. What these DSP sets don't have is SSB. And thats a turn-off for most Amateur Radio Enthusiasts. And is very much the reason for a 4/5 rating. The PL-310 is just not quite everything, but what it does, is well done.

On Tuesday, July 8, 2014 9:06 PM, "Stephen Ponder stephen_ponder@... [ultralightdx]" <ultralightdx@...> wrote:

Thanks to all who sent their prompt replies to my rather "rambling" post. Wow ... after reading it again a few hours after I posted it, all I can say is that I must have been REALLY tired!!

Anyway, here are the results:

DSP Portables - Tecsun PL380, 3 votes; Tecsun PL310, 3 votes
Non-DSP Portables (PLL) Portables: Degen DE1103, 1 vote; Grundig G8, 1 vote

The exciting thing about all of your suggestions is that I have all of these radios already in my possession. Time to power them up and start DX'ing!!

Again, thanks to everybody for their recommendations! If you come across any other portables worthy of being classified as a FMDX "magnet," please let me know!!

73 Good DX,

Steve Ponder, N5WBI
Houston, TX

"The trouble with trouble is that it usually starts out like fun!" - Anonymous

Sent from Yahoo! Mail for Windows 8

Join to automatically receive all group messages.