Date   

Re: PL-606 sticky buns ...

Ron Layton <micron327@...>
 

It seems I have made a great error. It was not my PL-600 but my venerable RS DX-440 which has the rubbery push buttons.that developed the gummy decomposition. I don't know if there is a membrane under the keyboard on the 660 but I have had my 600 apart and didn't see any membrane. The 600 has the same plastic keys as the 660. I believe there is a tiny amount of rubber membrane around the tiny push buttons themselves if its like most other radios and this could be the culprit. Perhaps it protects the internals of the buttons from dust? Who knows.....I think my DX-440 developed this because I kept it in a closet, unused, for many years and it got hot. All the old Sangean produced radios had a full rubber pad with the external push buttons in one piece. When these go bad it can be a real chore to clean them up. I passed on buying a mint ATS-803a because of this problem.


Re: Tecsun PL-310 vs PL-380

Gary DeBock
 

On Sun, May 17, 2020 at 03:09 PM, jcfontario wrote:
I have a CC Skywave portable radio, but I am not familiar with what a "supercharged" Skywave receiver has that I don't have. What do I need to add to my travel portable?
Hi John,

A "supercharged" Skywave refers to a model with a 7.5 inch transplanted loopstick. This modification greatly increases MW band sensitivity compared to the stock CC Skywave, transforming the radio into something like a dream travel portable.

Unfortunately, the technical procedure for creating this "dream travel portable" is somewhat of a nightmare. The Skywave portable is extremely compact, and crammed with components which fit together like a twisted puzzle. In addition, the RF circuit board connections for the loopstick Litz wire leads are in the worst possible place for this type of modification, making the entire procedure a very demanding test of close-order soldering, sharp eyesight and steady nerves. For this reason the modification procedure has never been written up in article form, although about 5 of these models have been constructed and given to friends in the US, Japan and Australia.

Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)  
 


Re: Tecsun PL-310 vs PL-380

jcfontario
 

Hi Gary,

I have a CC Skywave portable radio, but I am not familiar with what a "supercharged" Skywave receiver has that I don't have. What do I need to add to my travel portable?

Thanks

John Fisher


On 05/17/20, "Gary DeBock via groups.io" <D1028Gary@...> wrote:
Hello All,

When both the original PL-310 and PL-380 were introduced by Tecsun in 2009-2010 they were fully reviewed (at http://www.mediafire.com/file/w4yuzhj2kyz/Tecsun_PL-380_Review.pdf/file   for the PL-380, and http://www.mediafire.com/file/q8pbn34i1nangl4/The_Tecsun_PL-310.pdf/file  for the PL-310. Unfortunately, since that time Tecsun has followed the tendency of many Chinese companies to cut the quality of their products in order to increase profits, resulting in new digital quirks (and other issues) in these models.

In 2012 Tecsun removed the shielding around the Si4734 DSP chips in their PL-380 models (and probably in their PL-310's and PL-606 models as well), resulting in a digital whine whenever the display is grasped by the hand. The PL-310 was stripped down into a completely different model to make the lower quality PL-310ET, as described in the 2015 Ultralight Radio Shootout (posted at https://swling.com/blog/2015/03/gary-debocks-2015-ultralight-radio-shootout-review/
In my opinion neither the newer PL-380's nor the PL-310ET are really suitable for important overseas DXpeditions, which are much more demanding because of the rough environments, temperature extremes and travel bumps. The newer C.Crane Skywave and Skywave SSB models lack some of the digital search features of the Tecsun models but have much higher quality overall, including a new DSP chip which outperforms the Tecsun Ultralights in the most important categories (MW sensitivity, freedom from internally generated heterodynes and superior 1 kHz DSP audio). Whenever a friend goes with me on an important overseas DXpedition I always provide them with a "supercharged" CC Skywave model, which is fully capable of tracking down great DX all by itself (such as 1000-Radio Record in the Cook Islands, 1431-Djibouti in Hong Kong, etc.). Unfortunately the CC Skywave models do cost significantly more than the Tecsun Ultralights, but the increased cost is worth it, in my opinion. For someone who cannot afford US $90 for a new Ultralight, the newer PL-380 would be OK if you don't mind the significant digital quirks.

73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)
  


Re: Tecsun PL-310 vs PL-380

C B
 

Thus spake our resident Ultralight and FSL experimenter/developer extraordinaire. I can happily attest to Gary’s Ultralight and FSL prowess.

73,

Craig Barnes
Wheat Ridge, CO


On May 17, 2020, at 1:36 PM, Gary DeBock via groups.io <D1028Gary@...> wrote:

Hello All,

When both the original PL-310 and PL-380 were introduced by Tecsun in 2009-2010 they were fully reviewed (at http://www.mediafire.com/file/w4yuzhj2kyz/Tecsun_PL-380_Review.pdf/file   for the PL-380, and http://www.mediafire.com/file/q8pbn34i1nangl4/The_Tecsun_PL-310.pdf/file  for the PL-310. Unfortunately, since that time Tecsun has followed the tendency of many Chinese companies to cut the quality of their products in order to increase profits, resulting in new digital quirks (and other issues) in these models.

In 2012 Tecsun removed the shielding around the Si4734 DSP chips in their PL-380 models (and probably in their PL-310's and PL-606 models as well), resulting in a digital whine whenever the display is grasped by the hand. The PL-310 was stripped down into a completely different model to make the lower quality PL-310ET, as described in the 2015 Ultralight Radio Shootout (posted at https://swling.com/blog/2015/03/gary-debocks-2015-ultralight-radio-shootout-review/
In my opinion neither the newer PL-380's nor the PL-310ET are really suitable for important overseas DXpeditions, which are much more demanding because of the rough environments, temperature extremes and travel bumps. The newer C.Crane Skywave and Skywave SSB models lack some of the digital search features of the Tecsun models but have much higher quality overall, including a new DSP chip which outperforms the Tecsun Ultralights in the most important categories (MW sensitivity, freedom from internally generated heterodynes and superior 1 kHz DSP audio). Whenever a friend goes with me on an important overseas DXpedition I always provide them with a "supercharged" CC Skywave model, which is fully capable of tracking down great DX all by itself (such as 1000-Radio Record in the Cook Islands, 1431-Djibouti in Hong Kong, etc.). Unfortunately the CC Skywave models do cost significantly more than the Tecsun Ultralights, but the increased cost is worth it, in my opinion. For someone who cannot afford US $90 for a new Ultralight, the newer PL-380 would be OK if you don't mind the significant digital quirks.

73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)
  


Re: Tecsun PL-310 vs PL-380

Gary DeBock
 

Hello All,

When both the original PL-310 and PL-380 were introduced by Tecsun in 2009-2010 they were fully reviewed (at http://www.mediafire.com/file/w4yuzhj2kyz/Tecsun_PL-380_Review.pdf/file   for the PL-380, and http://www.mediafire.com/file/q8pbn34i1nangl4/The_Tecsun_PL-310.pdf/file  for the PL-310. Unfortunately, since that time Tecsun has followed the tendency of many Chinese companies to cut the quality of their products in order to increase profits, resulting in new digital quirks (and other issues) in these models.

In 2012 Tecsun removed the shielding around the Si4734 DSP chips in their PL-380 models (and probably in their PL-310's and PL-606 models as well), resulting in a digital whine whenever the display is grasped by the hand. The PL-310 was stripped down into a completely different model to make the lower quality PL-310ET, as described in the 2015 Ultralight Radio Shootout (posted at https://swling.com/blog/2015/03/gary-debocks-2015-ultralight-radio-shootout-review/
In my opinion neither the newer PL-380's nor the PL-310ET are really suitable for important overseas DXpeditions, which are much more demanding because of the rough environments, temperature extremes and travel bumps. The newer C.Crane Skywave and Skywave SSB models lack some of the digital search features of the Tecsun models but have much higher quality overall, including a new DSP chip which outperforms the Tecsun Ultralights in the most important categories (MW sensitivity, freedom from internally generated heterodynes and superior 1 kHz DSP audio). Whenever a friend goes with me on an important overseas DXpedition I always provide them with a "supercharged" CC Skywave model, which is fully capable of tracking down great DX all by itself (such as 1000-Radio Record in the Cook Islands, 1431-Djibouti in Hong Kong, etc.). Unfortunately the CC Skywave models do cost significantly more than the Tecsun Ultralights, but the increased cost is worth it, in my opinion. For someone who cannot afford US $90 for a new Ultralight, the newer PL-380 would be OK if you don't mind the significant digital quirks.

73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)
  


Re: PL-606 sticky buns ...

Peter Laws
 

On Sun, May 17, 2020 at 10:37 AM Ron Layton via groups.io
<micron327=zoho.com@groups.io> wrote:

My PL-600 developed a bad case of gummybearitis and the cure is hi proof isopropyl alcohol as given above. I'm fortunate to own a few gallons of 99.9% so cutting it down with the appropriate amount of distilled water saved the day. I think I ended up with about 91% or so. I wish I knew what causes the breakdown as I've experienced this with another radio and an electronic scale. Good luck with your repair.

I wasn't clear in my description. At all. It isn't that my fingers
stick to the keys (no rubber on the exterior, thankfully, metalized
plastic) it's that the keys themselves seems to not push well or
release well. I often have to really push to make the switch do its
thing. Is this a membrane underneath? I suppose I should take it
apart and see. :/



--
Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!


Re: Tecsun PL-310 vs PL-380

Gord Seifert
 


    I do love the preset tuning on the 310et! Press a button to get into VM mode and tune through them with the tuning knob. So much quicker and more intuitive than the banks (Pages) of seven presets each on the Eton Satellit Grundig Edition that need to be accessed individually using the Up and Down arrow keys to access the desired bank (after pressing the Page/Time button) and then one of seven function keys to chose the station within that bank. It does allow saving tons of stations, organized by band, or type of music, or whatever you choose. Still, I like the 310et's presets much more, for the simplicity and speed.

    But, I really dislike the 310et tuning in that it tunes VERY slowly (1 khz per notch) by default. When I want to tune at a more reasonable speed I have to spin the tuning knob way to fast to get it into fast tuning mode. Then it suddenly jumps into fast mode (5 khz per notch on SW and 10 on MW) and, since I am spinning the knob so quickly to get it into fast mode, it winds up far beyond where I wanted to be. Then, once I have it in the more reasonable fast mode, it falls back to slow mode far too quickly. The default should be 5 khz on SW and 10 khz on MW since that is the normal station spacing. Slow tuning should be an option under control of a switch. On the Eton the tuning speed is chosen by pressing the tuning knob in against a switch. Perfect!

    No complaints with reception with my 310et, other than an overactive AVC, but the tone is pretty poor.
     


Re: PL-606 sticky buns ...

Ron Layton <micron327@...>
 

My PL-600 developed a bad case of gummybearitis and the cure is hi proof isopropyl alcohol as given above. I'm fortunate to own a few gallons of 99.9% so cutting it down with the appropriate amount of distilled water saved the day. I think I ended up with about 91% or so. I wish I knew what causes the breakdown as I've experienced this with another radio and an electronic scale. Good luck with your repair.


Re: Tecsun PL-310 vs PL-380

James Fields <james.v.fields@...>
 

I love the "Tecsun way" of tuning - I love the ETM feature on the smaller models, which basically works like "Page 0" on the bigger ones.  Love that you can switch between dedicated VF/VM modes so you don't have to push a frequency button every time you enter a frequency.  I was really excited back when I got my 310ET to find that it had all that and for about $40.  Unfortunately it just isn't a great performer.  It's suitable for picking up strong locals so it's ok to take out to the driveway when I wash the car but I never use it for SWL or for nighttime MW DX.

I do so wish I could get a tiny radio with the Tecsun tuning and memory schemes combined with the performance of a Skywave SSB.  It's dreams like that which keep guys like me racking up a closet full of radios.

On Sat, May 16, 2020 at 7:17 PM DXer <hfdxmonitor@...> wrote:

I own three of the cheaper Tecsun DSP models – PL-310ET, PL-380 and PL-606.
I had the PL-606 for a while, good radio BUT, unless you are a fix frequency listener, changing frequency 'gets old' quickly.

I gave it to my mother. She has been tuning to the same station for 50+ years. Actually, it changed recently, when the station moved from AM to FM. I then gave her a Sangean PR-D5.  :^)

My memory is not what it used to be, but wasn't the PL310ET the 'victim' of some 'improvements' that negatively impacted its performance?

I still have the PL-390, but I'm not sure it meets the Ultralight standards. If it does, it's a very nice radio as well.

Regards,

Vince
Ottawa, ON



--
James V. Fields
james.v.fields@...


Re: Tecsun PL-310 vs PL-380

Rémy Friess
 

As far as I know soft-mute can be de-activated on both receivers.

I find the recessed tuning-knob to be advantage rather. If you travel a lot and take your pl-310 in an out of your suitcase or move it around a lot the tuning-knob can easily fall off. I lost mine twice. This cannot happen with the PL-380.

Le 17/05/2020 à 14:01, h. garcia a écrit :

Here's what I recall, but please, double check it... This is top of my head:

PL-310

Goods: antenna jack; real, external tuning knob (you can use two fingers)

Not so good: noticeable soft-mute, in severe fading you need to detune by 1KHz to avoid the audio 'pumping' effect.


PL-380

Good: very little or no soft-mute

Not-so-good: no antenna jack; tuning knob is recessed, you can only use one finger, akin to the volume knob we're used to see with UL receivers.



On Sun, May 17, 2020, 07:15 Rémy Friess <rfriess@...> wrote:

Le 17/05/2020 à 03:16, DXer a écrit :
>
> Both the volume and tuning encoders became 'independent' of me very
> early on. I want to increase the volume, it decreases it and vice-versa.
>
> The tuning encoder is the same, but also decides the tuning speed


Re: Tecsun PL-310 vs PL-380

h. garcia
 

Here's what I recall, but please, double check it... This is top of my head:

PL-310

Goods: antenna jack; real, external tuning knob (you can use two fingers)

Not so good: noticeable soft-mute, in severe fading you need to detune by 1KHz to avoid the audio 'pumping' effect.


PL-380

Good: very little or no soft-mute

Not-so-good: no antenna jack; tuning knob is recessed, you can only use one finger, akin to the volume knob we're used to see with UL receivers.



On Sun, May 17, 2020, 07:15 Rémy Friess <rfriess@...> wrote:

Le 17/05/2020 à 03:16, DXer a écrit :
>
> Both the volume and tuning encoders became 'independent' of me very
> early on. I want to increase the volume, it decreases it and vice-versa.
>
> The tuning encoder is the same, but also decides the tuning speed
> rate. I want to go slow, it goes faster and vice-versa._._,_._,_

I had a similar problem with the tuning knob of my Tecsun PL-660 once.
It seems this happens if the set (or the knob) has not been used for a
while.

I turned the knob for about 15 minutes at high speed in both directions
with power on and then it worked again.

I don't know if this will work with your 310ET, but you might want to try.

And yes the ET is not as good as the original 310. I replaced the 310
with the 310ET only to find that it was much less sensitive and the
audio was ghastly.

I then bought a PL-380 and I'm very pleased with it.

73, Rémy.






Re: Tecsun PL-310 vs PL-380

Rémy Friess
 

Le 17/05/2020 à 03:16, DXer a écrit :

Both the volume and tuning encoders became 'independent' of me very early on. I want to increase the volume, it decreases it and vice-versa.

The tuning encoder is the same, but also decides the tuning speed rate. I want to go slow, it goes faster and vice-versa._._,_._,_
I had a similar problem with the tuning knob of my Tecsun PL-660 once. It seems this happens if the set (or the knob) has not been used for a while.

I turned the knob for about 15 minutes at high speed in both directions with power on and then it worked again.

I don't know if this will work with your 310ET, but you might want to try.

And yes the ET is not as good as the original 310. I replaced the 310 with the 310ET only to find that it was much less sensitive and the audio was ghastly.

I then bought a PL-380 and I'm very pleased with it.

73, Rémy.


Re: PL-606 sticky buns ...

kevin asato <kc6pob@...>
 

I don't have a 606 but if the buttons have a rubberized coating, they deteriorate overtime and do get sticky. Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol will remove the stickiness (and also the coating!). i used the 90% which is more effective at removing the coating. 70% will work but it will take a bit more to perform the cleanup ... if you can find rubbing alcohol. Given the current environment, it can be pure unobtanium.
73,
kevin
kc6pob


On Saturday, May 16, 2020, 01:56:08 PM PDT, Peter Laws <plaws0@...> wrote:


OK, sticky BUTTONS.  AFAIK, I've never spilled anything on the '606
but the buttons are either hard to press or seem sticky.  Have not
taken it apart yet and not really afraid to, but thought I'd ask here
first.  The problem may be lack of use - I don't use it enough!  As it
warms up, I plan to do a little more porch-DXing, though, so maybe
this will fix it?

At any rate, if you have experience with PL-606 keyboards, please speak up!

--
Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!




PL-606 sticky buns ...

Peter Laws
 

OK, sticky BUTTONS. AFAIK, I've never spilled anything on the '606
but the buttons are either hard to press or seem sticky. Have not
taken it apart yet and not really afraid to, but thought I'd ask here
first. The problem may be lack of use - I don't use it enough! As it
warms up, I plan to do a little more porch-DXing, though, so maybe
this will fix it?

At any rate, if you have experience with PL-606 keyboards, please speak up!

--
Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!


Re: Tecsun PL-310 vs PL-380

Marc Coevoet
 

Op 16/05/2020 om 11:56 schreef Nick B.:

If you look in the files section here there is an article by Laurie Mann in section 6 showing how to use the spare contacts on the jack to connect an external loopstick, disconnecting the internal one. I’ve carried out that mod on mine this week, using an external 10-inch loopstick which was recovered from an older 1970s set. I’m very happy with the results so far, all I need to do now is figure out how to package up the loopstick to protect it from damage. The loopstick has two coils, MW and LW, the longwave performance is now like having a whole new radio.
There is a nice made antenna made for the silabs chip, one for AM, the other for LW, "made in Greece".

AM: https://www.sv2czf.com/rla200.html
LW: https://www.sv2czf.com/rlw200.html


A tunable stick for joining the internal ferrite is this one:

AM: https://www.sv2czf.com/rfa200.html
LW: https://www.sv2czf.com/rfl200.html


The whole list of RX antennas:
https://www.sv2czf.com/rxantennas.html


I own the rfa200, gives a good result on the Tecsun pl660.

And yes, I adapted the pl380 for an external antenna, but I forgot it in the garden, and after a rainfall it was dead.


Marc
--
The "Penguin" has arrived - and he's not going away - ever.
For former Apple users: Xubuntu.org (menu's up left)
For former Windows users: Lubuntu.org (menu's down left)


Re: Tecsun PL-310 vs PL-380

Nick B.
 

By 310 I presume you mean the PL-310ET, which is the model currently available.


I own three of the cheaper Tecsun DSP models – PL-310ET, PL-380 and PL-606. Out of the three, the PL-310ET is the worst performer on MW (AM Broadcast band). It seems prone to pickup from the internal electronics and weaker stations which are audible on the other two sets are buried in the noise on the 310ET (at my location that’s 558, 648, 873, 1152). On LW it is practically unusable.


The PL-310ET and PL-606 have an external antenna jack, although this is only used for SW and FM.

If you look in the files section here there is an article by Laurie Mann in section 6 showing how to use the spare contacts on the jack to connect an external loopstick, disconnecting the internal one. I’ve carried out that mod on mine this week, using an external 10-inch loopstick which was recovered from an older 1970s set. I’m very happy with the results so far, all I need to do now is figure out how to package up the loopstick to protect it from damage. The loopstick has two coils, MW and LW, the longwave performance is now like having a whole new radio.


I’ve shared my mods at https://nickb333.blogspot.com/search/label/PL-310ET I'll upload them to the file section if they are of ineterest to group members.


Thanks for all the useful information I've found here in the past.

73

Nick G4IRX

Nottingham/UK

 


Re: 1710kHz HudsonCounty NJ

Paul S. in CT
 

The temporary authority has the Callsign of WRFK637... not the general Callsign above.
Just found it.

Regards
Paul S. in CT FN31nl


Re: 1710kHz HudsonCounty NJ

Paul S. in CT
 

From the FCC database...

Callsign: WQFG689
Licensee: County Of Hudson Radio Service: Public Safety Pool, Conventional (PW)
City: Jersey CIty, NJ
Status: Active Grant Date: 04/14/2016 Expiration: 07/11/2026
Site Address: Jersey City OEM intersection of Summit and Laidlaw Streets
City: Jersy City, NJ
County: HUDSON
Coordinates: 40N 44' 25.2", 74W 3' 27.6"
Frequency: 1.71000000 V

Regards
Paul S. in CT FN31nl


1710kHz HudsonCounty NJ

Paul S. in CT
 

A TIS station in Hudson Co. NJ on 1710kHz has received authorization to temporarily increase power from 10 to 100 Watts. Here on the East Coast I have heard this last nite and early this AM. A message by the Gov. and Covid19 PSA's. Thanks to Glenn Hauser at WoR io groups for this.

Regards
Paul S. in CT FN31nl


Re: Tecsun PL-310 vs PL-380

C B
 

Dwight,

Welcome to the group! Gary DeBock is our resident Ultralight guru. I suggest you check out his excellent article titled "Gary DeBock's 2015 Ultralight Radio Shootout Review" found on SWLing.com. In later articles Gary also reviews the CCrane Skywave. I have all 3. I think the Skywave provides to most bang for the buck. Just my 2 cents worth.

73,

Craig Barnes
Wheat Ridge, CO

On Friday, May 15, 2020, 10:16:19 AM MDT, Russ Edmunds <wb2bjh@...> wrote:


The 310 for AM is whip only. It has an external antenna jack for FM & SW ( same jack ). I have 4 of those which I used mostly for FM DX pre-SDR. I have no experience with  the 380.

Russ Edmunds

WB2BJH

Blue Bell, PA

Grid FN20id


From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> on behalf of dwight richardson via groups.io <rdrala77@...>
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2020 12:11 PM
To: main@ultralightdx.groups.io <main@ultralightdx.groups.io>
Subject: [UltralightDX] Tecsun PL-310 vs PL-380
 
I want a UL receiver with the SL chip and the Tecsuns get good reviews. But when I look at 310 vs 380 my untrained eye sees little difference. I remember seeing that the 310 did not have antenna jack. But is 310 whip am?  By now I have conflated the two receivers to the point they are identical to me. So bottom line for MW dxing, does either get the nod over the other.  To my consumer oriented thinking 380 must be better because it is 70 more than 310, right?  Please detect dry humor there.

Thanks



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