Re: PL-380 - tuning knob broke again :( (also a TP question)


Gary DeBock
 

Hi Stephen,
 
Out of twelve PL-380's that have passed through here (for myself and others), two have had tuning controls with binding rotation (requiring disassembly, adjustment and/or lubrication), but none have had the tuning control fail to the point of being unusable. For a rough-tuning PL-380, the usual culprit is a slightly crooked tuning control scraping the cabinet cutout slot, and the usual solution is to disassemble the radio, and physically push the control into a straight position. Occasionally, white lithium grease is useful to restore free rotation to the mechanical parts of a sticky ULR tuning control. Since your tuning control has already broken completely, I would suggest you notify Anon-co that you have received a defective radio, and ask for repair or replacement under the one-year warranty. 
 
  " Also, I have a TP/TA question. I think we all know that salt water is a major conductor of radio signals. I've also heard of people receiving TX AM stations in FL in the daytime, and vice versa, using only their portable radios' stock loopsticks, and have heard of reception of NYC AMs on beaches in SC. Also, from what I've heard, the 9' PVC loop can take a signal on a ULR from completely inaudible to total blocking/desense, massive overload, etc.
Ok... considering all those factors, and the fact that some TPs (and TAs) transmit with MUCH higher power than stations in the USA (several hundred kW to over a MW)... assuming you're using the 9' loop and a good, sensitive radio, not swamped by locals (L.A. DXers need not apply)....
is it possible, if you're on the beach facing the target station, to actually get the GROUNDWAVE signal from low-band (540 to maybe 810 kHz, possibly higher) high-power (250kW+) TP stations across the salt water?
Oh.... I should mention that DXing KNOM and KICY from the eastern tip of Russia/Siberia does NOT count! :D
(And what's Gary DeBock's best TA, TNP (trans-north-pole) or TE (trans-equator) catch so far? "
 
Stephen, DXers on ships can routinely receive high-powered AM stations across ocean paths around local noon at ranges over 1000 miles, during excellent winter conditions. ZNS1-1540 in the Bahamas has apparently been heard on Massachusetts beaches this way, and a New Zealand DXer told me that he could hear some Australian AM stations "across the ditch" around local noon, during great conditions. Of course a superior gain antenna always helps, but even with a 9' loop, it's highly unlikely that any TP will be heard on our west coast at local noon. Speaking of Alaska, I'm sure that the several of the Russians could be heard in the Aleutian Islands, with an outside chance of receiving the northern Japanese big guns (like 774-JOUB and 747-JOIB).
 
As far as my best TA catch so far on the 9' loop, all of the six TA's I've heard so far would be considered "big guns" on the east coast, and nothing special. Judging only by the number of mp3 listening "hits" on my Mediafire account :-) , the most popular would be 693-BBC and 756-DLF. The best T/E catch would probably be 1296-1ZH, a 2.5 kw Hamilton, New Zealand station heard on the 36" portable PVC Loop at Grayland, WA last August.
 
73, Gary     
 
In a message dated 4/3/2010 11:45:56 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, pianoplayer88key@... writes:

 

So is there nothing that I can do about it? My dad seems to think it's a poor design, btw. Should I contact anon-co to see if I can get a replacement knob? Also has anyone else had their tuning knob break?
http://picasaweb.google.com/PianoPlayer88Key/TecsunPL380#5418054480389124466
I haven't opened the PL-380 since it broke this time, but based on how it feels I think it broke the same way it did before - the knob itself broke off the little post that fits in the slot on the tuner component.

Also, I have a TP/TA question. I think we all know that salt water is a major conductor of radio signals. I've also heard of people receiving TX AM stations in FL in the daytime, and vice versa, using only their portable radios' stock loopsticks, and have heard of reception of NYC AMs on beaches in SC. Also, from what I've heard, the 9' PVC loop can take a signal on a ULR from completely inaudible to total blocking/desense, massive overload, etc.
Ok... considering all those factors, and the fact that some TPs (and TAs) transmit with MUCH higher power than stations in the USA (several hundred kW to over a MW)... assuming you're using the 9' loop and a good, sensitive radio, not swamped by locals (L.A. DXers need not apply)....
is it possible, if you're on the beach facing the target station, to actually get the GROUNDWAVE signal from low-band (540 to maybe 810 kHz, possibly higher) high-power (250kW+) TP stations across the salt water?
Oh.... I should mention that DXing KNOM and KICY from the eastern tip of Russia/Siberia does NOT count! :D
(And what's Gary DeBock's best TA, TNP (trans-north-pole) or TE (trans-equator) catch so far? ;) )

--- In ultralightdx@yahoogroups.com, "Stephen" ...> wrote:
>
> Well.... it happened. again. :(
>
> I grabbed my PL-380 the other day... only to discover that the tuning knob had broken again (the same way as before - I repaired it once), and is now spinning in place, without serving any function... and there's no "clicks" when turning it, either, like there is with the volume knob.
>
> This is the second time the tuning knob on my PL-380 has broken. On the contrary, the volume knob is still holding up & functioning perfectly fine. So, is there anything I can do about this to prevent it from happening again? (The radio is still tunable with the keypad, but some other functions require the tuning dial.)
>
> I'm hoping to do some other modifications to this PL-380 (implementing Scott Willingham's mod, & putting a 5"x0.5" (or 4"x0.25") Amidon-61 ferrite bar in the battery compartment (replacing the stock bar), for example), but considering how flimsy some parts seem to be, I'm wondering if I should start looking at other options? I've already ruled out several, like the PL-310, PL-360, PL-300WT, DT-400W, SRF-M37W, ICF-2010, etc, for various reasons, including not-as-good selectivity, no multiple bandwidths, severe soft mute, among other things. I really would prefer not to buy another radio at this time, though, but there are some issues that really need to be corrected, including the flimsy tuning knob, having some "blank" frequencies with a 45-50dBu noise floor when I'm not within 1/10 mile of a 50kW IBOC blowtorch (instead of the 15dBu typical in rural areas / faraday cages), still too much soft mute / audio pumping on fringe/borderline signals (especially annoying when listening to a station that has co-channel interference when the two stations' carrier frequencies aren't exactly synchronized), among other things.
> I really want to like this PL-380, though... the selectivity is, to put it mildly, amazing, except when faced with extremely strong signals. Even so, compared to my previous radio, a Panasonic RQ-SW20... well, it's NO comparison. (The RQ-SW20 is about as wide as the Sony SRF-M37W.) It's just that some stations that should be clearly listenable on this radio are pushed below the raised noise floor due to strong locals > 150-200 kHz away.
>
> Is it time to toss my PL-380 en la basura, or is there anything I can do? :(
>

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