Re: Just got my PL-380 today.


Stephen, i agree also for you to email your supplier that your tuning knob broke soon after or was broke when you received the radio. i doubt they would want the old radio back and may send you a new one.

the pics seem to show the knob and the encoder were one unit and the very center of the knob and the encoder used to be one piece. all these plastics seem to require a specific adhesive. i have some stuff called "Ambroid proweld" that sometimes works. you place the parts back together exactly as they were and apply the adhesive. it works by wicking into the crack similar to soldering copper tubing. that glue is available at hobby shops. a vendor in plastics may be able to supply something that always works.

jb weld works excellent but you would have to make sure it didn't glue the plastic to the metal frame as well



--- In, "Roy" <roy.dyball@...> wrote:

Hi Stephen

I would send an Email to the supplier of your radio telling them that
your tuning encoder has failed. If it is Anon-co they will probably send
you a new encoder.

Cheers Roy.

--- In, "Stephen" <pianoplayer88key@>

Ok, I have the PL-380 dismantled, and I'm attempting to troubleshoot
the busted tuning knob. It looks like something came unglued, or just
snapped off, but I can't tell what. Can anyone tell from these linked
(Or should I upload them to the files section here? I haven't yet, as
they are upwards of 30MB or so for all the pics in that folder.)
You can use the web-based zoom to view the pics a little closer
(1600x1200), or if you want the full-size images (3648x2736, except for
a few that were cropped), you can download the images with the provided

If anyone has any ideas on how best to repair the tuning knob, I would
appreciate it. I'd like to have it put back together by tomorrow evening
if possible, as I want to take it on a weekend trip with me and I'm
leaving probably Thursday morning.

Also you can see the back side of the loopstick in this picture...\;

See the dab of glue on the right side? Is that the glue spot some of
you are referring to when you mention the loopstick being glued and not
always coming out in one piece? If so, since we can access the back side
of it, would it be possible to cut (or melt) that glue and take the
stick out cleanly, or is there another spot of glue somewhere that I
can't see?

Also, mine has a sticker under the battery compartment that says
"11/2009" so I guess I have one of the "newer" ones with soft-mute
enabled. :( Returning it is not an option, in part due to high shipping
cost (I actually expanded my budget to get this radio), so is there
anything else I can do about it? Should I consider buying another Si4734
chip and replacing the one on the board, or is there a way to program
the existing one? (There is a local distributor a few miles from where
my dad works. Unfortunately, though, according to their website they're
out of stock of that particular item, and have a 15-week lead time from
the factory.)

I also will want to swap out the stock loopstick for something better.
I would likely be using an Amidon-61 ferrite bar and 40/44 litz wire,
unless someone has something better to suggest. I don't expect to get
started on this mod, though, until next Monday at the earliest (and that
would include ordering the necessary parts, so the project may not be
completed before New Years.) Also would it be possible somehow to add an
internal air-core loop antenna? I would likely mount it around the
perimeter of the case, and have an externally-mounted switch to select
between the loopstick or the air-core loop. (The main purpose of the
other antenna would be to enable use of the radio in orientations for
which the loopstick won't work well, in situations where using an
external antenna would be impossible.)

Main thing is to get the tuning knob fixed before this weekend. The
other things (modding the loopstick, fixing the soft mute) can wait till
after New Years if necessary.

--- In, "Stephen" pianoplayer88key@


The freedom from soft mute was one of the main reasons I picked the
PL-380 over
the others...

Looks like I have a bit of a to-do list...

Repair the tuning knob. (It spins freely and otherwise doesn't have
any effect.
It didn't ship like that, it just popped loose or something.)

Cure the soft-mute. It would have to be in a way, though, so I
wouldn't have to
have the radio connected to a computer. Buying another SL4734 chip
soldering it on would be an option I would consider.

Fix the inductance mismatch on the loopstick. Due to difficulties I
hear of
people getting the built-in loopstick out in one piece, I expect I
would use a
new piece of ferrite.

Other than that, for the most part I really like this radio. :)

Also, since I likely won't be able to do the loopstick mod until
after the holidays (and for that matter build a larger loop antenna -
maybe 4'/side - I do have a Select-a-tenna though), would it be possible
for someone to post a few audio before/after demos? I'd like to hear how
much difference resonating the inductance of the stock stick makes, or
adding the 7.5" external stick, or a 4', 6' or 9' (whatever size is
available) loop. I probably would hear the difference best if the
"barefoot" signal is one on which audio is extremely faint - maybe 50%
copyable with patience.

--- In, "Chris Knight" <chris@> wrote:

Hi Nick,

There are two of us now who are experiencing audio pumping. I'm
awaiting first impressions from Jim, KR1S, when he finally gets
his PL-380.

BTW, a good example of the soft mute being turned off is . Note the comparison
from 2:30
to end.

Roy in Australia (who made the video in the above link) mentioned
in a
previous email there was a version upgrade to the Si4734 DSP chip
lowered the default threshold for the soft mute. This doesn't mean
soft mute
was eliminated. This is exactly what I've been noticing. Audio
pumping is
there at levels I wasn't expecting anyway. I was expecting no
audio pumping!
And, why is FM so dang good on my PL-380 when everyone else's is
dismal? The
only explanation I can come up with is a firmware change happened.
being said, the PL-380 is still a better ULR than the G8 in terms
of soft
mute, but audio pumping is "significant" (ie: you can't help but
notice it).

The sticker behind the battery on my PL-380 reads "11/2009". As
far as I can
tell there is no serial number on the outside of the case.


Chris Knight

-----Original Message-----
[] On
Behalf Of nhpdxr
Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2009 5:24 PM
Subject: [ultralightdx] Re: Just got my PL-380 today.

--- In, "Chris Knight" <chris@>

Congrats on your PL-380!

It DOES seem to have a tiny bit (maybe a couple dB or so) of
soft mute,
though, but it's not NEARLY as bad as the G8 was.<<

The PL-380 radio definitely has soft mute enabled. My guess is
unannounced firmware change which happened after the first lot
came out.
Those earlier PL-380s has the soft mute disabled per several on
this list.
IMO, audio pumping on the PL-380 is "significant".
Hmmm, have others observed the soft mute enabled on the newer

The signs would be audio pumping such as you observed Chris? And
signals not become audible until the S/N reading is greater than

If that's the case, then I must have an earlier PL-380, as I can
see S/N
readings of 1 or 2 dB, and nothing yet that I would consider audio
So far, I don't think I have experienced "soft mute" as I haven't
owned any
of the earlier radios in the series, so not entirely sure what to
look for.

I wonder if it can be determined if there is a changeover date?
has a 10/2009 sticker inside the battery enclosure; not sure if
there is any
other indication such as a serial number.

best wishes,


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