Re: Sangean PR-D15 vs. Tecsun PL-390 Test Review

keith beesley

Thanks, Todd, good to know.


Keith Beesley
Seattle WA USA

On Friday, February 10, 2017 5:46 PM, "toddemslie@... [ultralightdx]" wrote:

It's been some weeks now since I purchased the Sangean PR-D15. The only spurious signal received is on 1233 KHz from the local ethnic 1107 KHz Sydney TX. However, the Tecsun PL-390 also receives the same 1233 KHz spur. During the evening, skip signals (e.g. 1233 KHz Newcastle, NSW) completely override the spur on both the PR-D15 and PL-390.
These larger size portables with ~20 cm length internal ferrite rod, couple more efficiently to small loops such as the PK Loops TAM, Tecsun AN-100, and Grundig AN-200.

The MW soft-mute is more pronounced on the PR-D15 vs. the PL-390. 

The supplied two AC/DC plug-pack power supplies are horrendous noise generators at MW. Until a suitable plug-pack is proven to be well behaved at MW, DC battery operation is used.
The PR-D15 is notably more selective at MW compared to the PL-390. One evening, 1116 KHz Brisbane was buried in 1107 KHz Sydney adjacent channel splash, but the PR-D15 was able to resolve 1116 Brisbane with relatively good quality signal. This mirrors the observations of a fellow Sydney MW DXer, with his comments reproduced below.

"I have my PR-D15 working today. I'm very impressed with its performance; equal to the Tecsun PL-390 on FM, if not a hair better, particularly since the PR-D15 has superior audio quality. Distant troposcatter signals such as Batemans Bay and Orange FM are easily resolved without detuning. The 10 kHz fine tuning option (as on the PL-390) enhances its selectivity further. Ts levels today are too poor to resolve 91.7 2ST next to 91.6 TCBL; detuning to 91.74 yields a splash free signal so it should be possible.

Groundwave MW is actually poorer on the PR-D15 when used 'barefoot'. However, when I bring my PK Loop in line, signals such as 549 kHz 2CR Orange are greatly enhanced. As we know, the PL-390 struggles to couple with the PK Loop. One notable drawback: I did notice a fair few images/spurs from the local MW transmitters which are not present on the PL-390. In any case, skywave signals should easily overpower them.

I think most of the spurs are from the ABC site at Prestons; the path from here to the TX traverses a stretch of water to my WNW, which would greatly enhance the signal. For example, the 2nd harmonic of 702 kHz (1404 kHz) is strongly audible on most of my receivers.

Initial skywave results were encouraging with a ~2 bar enhancement on certain distant signals provided by the PK TAM loop. 1035 kHz Wellington was very strong; the screamers on 1386 were weaker but good on peaks. I had two signals mixing on 1278- Melbourne and another- which was probably Newstalk ZB from New Plymouth. 1116 4BC was also quite clear, so the selectivity lives up to the hype.

In conclusion, the PR-D15 will probably be my portable radio of choice for home use, with the PL-390 more suitable for DXpeditions due to its much more compact size." 

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