Tecsun PL880


sarmento2k
 

Gentlemen, should we consider this model as ultralight DX ?

Regards

Sarmento Campos


Guy Atkins
 

Hi Sarmento,

The PL-880 is a fine portable receiver, but does not meet the agreed-upon definition for an Ultralight radio. Two matters in particular where it "transgresses" are the overall cubic inches of the case dimensions, and the extra modes like SSB and CW.

You can read about the Ultralight requirements in the "ULR Definitions" PDF that is found in the "General Information" folder in the Files section of this Yahoo Group.

Best DX,

Guy Atkins
Puyallup, WA USA


Troy Riedel
 

Guy,

This is only semi-related to Sarmento's post ...

As shortwave stations have waned, I've become more interested in AM DX & I joined this group less than 6-months ago.  I receive & read the daily postings (I've always had interest in pulling-in that distant AM station since childhood).  I have five "pocket portable", "compact portable" and "portable" shortwave receivers but none would meet the group's ultralight definition.  I'd disagree that my G6 Aviator is an ultralight as I don't use SSB for AM DX (I tried after reading the group's definition and I didn't find it helped) - and I paid under $100 for it new but I won't argue that the MSRP was over $100 when released, yada yada yada (no debate necessary - I've read the old posts re: the G6 debate ... there were several from a couple of years ago so I'm caught-up re: the history so no need to re-visit "why", I'm up-to-speed).

Anyway, I have a difficult time understanding the "Unlimited" category.  Or maybe more succinctly maybe it's the allure?  Maybe a DX-pedition would change my mind?  But when you start adding/modifying with extra antennas ... especially four-foot high pvc platforms with hundreds of feet of wire (or more?), that's still an [Unlimited] "Ultralight" but a G6 unaided [stock OEM antenna] pulling-in a 1500-2000 mile away AM station still doesn't qualify as a [Barefoot] Ultralight seems strange.

I don't want to cause a long or even a short debate (especially an argument!).  It's more a respectful observation/opinion I suppose.  I very much enjoy the daily emails, I learn a lot from the group (that I must move to the Bay of Fundy on the East Coast to get the best DX) and I marvel at what everyone has accomplished - even the four-foot high monster contraptions via the youtube vids!  But I can still enjoy my G6 Aviator, Tecsun PL-390, and my other three pocket/compact portables and I suggest Sarmento and others enjoy their Tecsuns and other small radios and log their accomplishments with or without Ultralight "validation".

Respectfully,

Troy
 


Guy Atkins
 

Hi Troy,

Thanks for your thoughtful additions to the conversation. 

I'm not the best person to delve into the details of ULR definitions, as I'm mostly in the SDR radio camp right now and just somewhat dabble in the ULR side of things. However, I've been with this Yahoo Group from the beginning so I've seen a lot of conversations and topics come and go over the years. I do have the benefit living in the same town as one of the group's co-founders-- Gary DeBock, the driving force behind the growing Ultralight Radio niche and the key proponent of FSL antennas and experimentation. I have certainly learned a lot about this side of the radio hobby simply by being in close contact with Gary!

I would agree that the "Unlimited" category has an allure to it. I like to think of crazy-big antennas feeding simple portable radios as a kind of Frankenstein experimentation; you'll never know what kind of "DXing monster" you'll create until you try it! It is also akin to the fringes of the drag race / hot rodding / muscle car fraternity. I'm sure we've all seen (at least in pictures) very small economy cars with humongous V8 engines stuffed under the hood, turning a meek grocery-getter into a wild beast of a car. Why would a hot rod enthusiast do this? Because he CAN! There's no practical reason... it's all about the fun factor, and in the end, a hobby is what you want to make of it. 

A few years ago, moderator Kevin Schanilec made this statement about the ULR definitions, which I think was very good:

-------------------------------
The definition of what constitutes an "Ultralight" went through significant deliberation and review, and the definitions are where we ended up. There is some flexibility built in, as you have observed, and when a new radio comes along, it is looked at on its own merits, a decision is made, and we move on. I can appreciate that not everyone would necessarily choose these criteria, and DXers are of course free to use whatever they like: however, in this corner of the hobby, this is what we've settled on. At the same time, we welcome participation from DXers of all types, and only ask that the choices made here are respected. In the end, the intent is to provide criteria for this niche of the hobby which, like QRP and crystal sets, involves placing voluntary constraints on the gear you use in order to provide extra challenge and interest.

-------------------------------

So in the end, what really  matters is how an individual chooses to enjoy the radio hobby, Troy, whether your radio choices fall within the definitions of the Ultralights Yahoo Group or not. 

73,

Guy Atkins
Puyallup, WA



neil.neilbell@...
 

Having once made observations about the definitions of of "ultralight" and the arbitrary exclusions of things like USB/LSB and being basically booted from this group and later re-admitted I have no intention of causing problems again!

That being said, the definitions are those made and enforced by the founders and group owners and they certainly have the right to do that.  I also greatly applaud the contributions to antenna design and research and the evaluations of newly announced radios, even those excluded from bearing the title of "ultralight".  When attached or coupled to a monster antenna. or to a 3000 foot BOG or used "barefoot" it is still just a radio, so use it and enjoy it.  

You may, or may not, be interested in distant trans-pacific stations at 0300 local time in a language you don't speak but some people are interested in these techniques and that is fine by me.  I love seeking out low-powered graveyard MW stations and if a radio needs SSB to help ferret one from the noise, then I use it.  My favorite small radios are the Sangean 909X, which allows for an external MW antenna which shuts down the built in ferrite rod and the Tecsun PL-880 which is just a darn good radio which doesn't have easy access to external MW antennas other than induction coupling.  Neither of these qualify for "ultralight" status, but I enjoy them and what more can I ask?  My boat anchor ICOM R75, while an really excellent radio in most all respects (and destined to be sold shortly if I find a buyer) isn't exactly ultralight by a large margin, I have enjoyed using it also.

So I hope Gary continues his experiments with FSL monsters and minis, and reporting his adventures in braving the elements of weather and slippery hillsides.  For those expecting me to stir the pot again -- well, I tried not to!

Neil Bell, KJ6FBA


Michael <michael.setaazul@...>
 

Neil, your postings are a delight!

It is admissible to be a uldx aficionado who strictly adheres to the sacred rules - and
at the same time to detached and separately purr whilst fiddling the knobs on a
boatanchor or anything else inbetween.

There is, indeed, a philosophical view as to the reverential merits of using a tiny
receiver inductively or galvanically connected to a Beverage, FSL or other reception "aid"
as compared to, say, a boatanchor with a clothes-hanger aerial.

In a minority of one, I could envisage a category of uldx radios defined by the
length of the internal ferrite devoid of any boosting gizmos - and one or more
other categories for uldx radios as defined hitherto with performance enhancement
by any cunning device.

But let us not rock the boat that has given us all contentment!

Michael

----- Original Message ----- From: neilbell

Having once made observations about the definitions of of "ultralight" and the arbitrary exclusions
of things like USB/LSB and being basically booted from this group and later re-admitted I have no
intention of causing problems again!

That being said, the definitions are those made and enforced by the founders and group owners and
they certainly have the right to do that. I also greatly applaud the contributions to antenna
design and research and the evaluations of newly announced radios, even those excluded from bearing
the title of "ultralight". When attached or coupled to a monster antenna. or to a 3000 foot BOG or
used "barefoot" it is still just a radio, so use it and enjoy it.

You may, or may not, be interested in distant trans-pacific stations at 0300 local time in a
language you don't speak but some people are interested in these techniques and that is fine by me.
I love seeking out low-powered graveyard MW stations and if a radio needs SSB to help ferret one
from the noise, then I use it. My favorite small radios are the Sangean 909X, which allows for an
external MW antenna which shuts down the built in ferrite rod and the Tecsun PL-880 which is just a
darn good radio which doesn't have easy access to external MW antennas other than induction
coupling. Neither of these qualify for "ultralight" status, but I enjoy them and what more can I
ask? My boat anchor ICOM R75, while an really excellent radio in most all respects (and destined to
be sold shortly if I find a buyer) isn't exactly ultralight by a large margin, I have enjoyed using
it also.

So I hope Gary continues his experiments with FSL monsters and minis, and reporting his adventures
in braving the elements of weather and slippery hillsides. For those expecting me to stir the pot
again -- well, I tried not to!

Neil Bell, KJ6FBA


sarmento2k
 

Hi Folks

I think I got the concept of ultra light dx. Last week I attended a dxcamp in São Paulo, and indeed, I saw one MW dxer using a pocket analog sony (walkman style) using a loop antenna (like this one I have been testing : Just checking magnetic loop antennas – RGP3 for MW | Radioescuta, DX e Telecomunicações

 

 ) 

And I became pleased looking how it performed.

I have made two very small loop antennas using ferrite rods (just 3 rods about 4 inches long) and used enameled copper wirer and Litz wire, and the results are very promising using portable radios for MW dxing.

Thats why I posted my doubt about the PL880.

In fact, I would like to have a small radio (no SSB, no additional features) and together with my ultra light loop portable to make dx everywhere, without space limitations.

And I think I got the message.

I will try some catches using ultralight and check the results, because as long as the shortwave is declining I'm focusing on MW dx).

Regards
Sarmento Campos
 


policow6@...
 

Well said. I also like to play both within and outside the UL definition...when I feel like an Ultralight that's what I use...when I feel like dragging out a vintage monster that's what I use. But I completely agree with the UL'er's right to set their criteria and it is up to each individual to follow them or not as the moment dictates. That way everyone is happy!


Also I have to say that I find this group one of the most positive, vibrant and informative of all of the many groups I follow.


jay

http://radiojayallen.com


sarmento2k
 

Hy Jay, your site is a reference for me for a long time.

Let's make DX!

Regards
Sarmento
PS:I'm checking this group and the material posted, and I agree with you!