PL-380 "Stealth Mod"-- Further Information
Although the detailed article on the Tecsun PL-380 "Stealth Mod" has not yet been completed, there have been several requests for a 40//44 Litz wire source, and for further suggestions on how to successfully remove the stock ferrite bar.
The 40/44 Litz wire may be obtained from Dave Schmarder, whose excellent Crystal Radio- oriented web site may be viewed at http://www.1n34a.com/ . To complete the project, 15 feet of 40/44 Litz wire will be more than sufficient (depending upon any minimum order Dave may require). Dave prefers to quote a price for orders after an email to thefiercerabbit@... , specifying the type and length of Litz wire you desire. He is extremely honest and reliable, and usually fills orders very promptly (all of my experimental loopsticks were constructed with Litz wire from Dave).
The PL-380 stock ferrite bars may be successfully removed in one piece, when the hobbyist is using the proper tool (a small, flat-bladed jeweler's screwdriver, as shown in the related Ultralightdx photo album at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ultralightdx/photos/album/1114715609/pic/list ), and displaying proper patience. The PL-380's manufactured in December apparently have less glue securing the loopstick than the ones made in November, increasing your chances of success (including Steve's model, three December PL-380's have now been successfully modified). For those reluctant to remove the stock ferrite bar themselves, anyone performing a 7.5" loopstick PL-380 transplant operation according to the instructions posted at
http://www.mediafire.com/?hudn0mtlueg should have an "orphan" stock ferrite bar laying around, so it may be a good idea to ask for such a bar on the Ultralightdx list, if you are reluctant to remove your own.
The PL-380 "Stealth Mod" provides a significant boost in AM sensitivity from 530-1700 kHz (averaging about 4 dBu in RSSI readings) and a major boost in LW performance as well. In this respect, the simple $5 modification pushes the "Stealth Mod" PL-380's sensitivity on both bands past that of the stock Tecsun PL-310 model, with the additional major advantage of relative freedom from the "soft mute" issue. Further details on the "Stealth Mod" PL-380 will be contained in the full related article, to be drafted shortly.
73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)