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Old March 5th 11, 05:42 AM posted to rec.radio.shortwave
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Default Tecsun PL-390

I picked up one of these little radios just because it was cheap and I was
curious as to it's true functionality. Preliminary tests showed amazing
results.

First thing out of the box, I put in the batteries (comes with three AA
NiMHs) and hit the power button. It was set to FM (US band, it also has the
Russian 64-108, the "short" Japanese band 76-90 and the "long" Japanese band
76-108 (which includes their bottom tier of TV channels).

This is the first (portable) radio I've had that gets ZERO crosstalk between
FM stations just 200 KHz apart. This includes the local AFN outlet on 88.3
(at the time it's huge 40 watts was about 5 blocks away as the crow flies)
and the Osan AFN outlet on 88.5, about 15 miles away. This feature is handy,
since there are no two stations here more than 400 KHz apart, with 95% of
them being just 200 KHz apart. It's a very crowded band (gets really crazy
when the tropo is in and the Chinese FM's take over..) As the radio has
dual speakers and a stereo amp. the FM stereo is quite good and you don't
HAVE to have headphones, but of course some are supplied.

Moving on to the MW band, I find the sensitivity to be way above par for a
small portable. The DSP does a very admirable job here. When using the auto
tuning feature, the radio found some 40 stations, some which were pretty far
down in the mud. The radio has a digital readout signal meter with both
strength in dBu and S/N in dB. The AGC hits a wall at 63dBu on the MW, LW
and SW bands.

The SW reception is excellent, but is limited on this radio to AM only, and
the band runs only from 2300-21950 KHz. This is still useful for most
program and utes listening. In addition, it has a bandwidth selector which
operates on all the AM bands, with 6, 4, 3, 2 and 1 KHz bandwidths. Somehow
it maintains a pleasant audio even at the low bandwidths, which most
definitely work, as I can go to a fairly high level station, go to the 1 KHz
position, tune 2 KHz off channel and have virtually nothing. Works out very
well for the extremely crowded Asian SW bands, where stations every 5 KHz
are not uncommon.

One interesting thing about the radio is that, in addition to the usual
12/24 hour clock display, it also has a thermometer, which reads out in
Celsius when the AM is in 9 KHz mode and Fahrenheit when in the 10 KHz mode.

In a couple weeks, with any luck at all, I'll be getting a Tecsun PL-660.
This one will have SSB, sync, Aircraft band, and a bunch of other bells and
whistles. I'll do a short review of that one as well.


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Old March 5th 11, 07:35 AM posted to rec.radio.shortwave
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Default Tecsun PL-390

On Mar 4, 9:42*pm, "Brenda Ann"
wrote:
I picked up one of these little radios just because it was cheap and I was
curious as to it's true functionality. Preliminary tests showed amazing
results.

First thing out of the box, I put in the batteries (comes with three AA
NiMHs) and hit the power button. *It was set to FM (US band, it also has the
Russian 64-108, the "short" Japanese band 76-90 and the "long" Japanese band
76-108 (which includes their bottom tier of TV channels).

This is the first (portable) radio I've had that gets ZERO crosstalk between
FM stations just 200 KHz apart. This includes the local AFN outlet on 88.3
(at the time it's huge 40 watts was about 5 blocks away as the crow flies)
and the Osan AFN outlet on 88.5, about 15 miles away. This feature is handy,
since there are no two stations here more than 400 KHz apart, with 95% of
them being just 200 KHz apart. It's a very crowded band (gets really crazy
when the tropo is in and the Chinese FM's take over..) *As the radio has
dual speakers and a stereo amp. the FM stereo is quite good and you don't
HAVE to have headphones, but of course some are supplied.

Moving on to the MW band, I find the sensitivity to be way above par for a
small portable. The DSP does a very admirable job here. When using the auto
tuning feature, the radio found some 40 stations, some which were pretty far
down in the mud. The radio has a digital readout signal meter with both
strength in dBu and S/N in dB. The AGC hits a wall at 63dBu on the MW, LW
and SW bands.

The SW reception is excellent, but is limited on this radio to AM only, and
the band runs only from 2300-21950 KHz. This is still useful for most
program and utes listening. In addition, it has a bandwidth selector which
operates on all the AM bands, with 6, 4, 3, 2 and 1 KHz bandwidths. Somehow
it maintains a pleasant audio even at the low bandwidths, which most
definitely work, as I can go to a fairly high level station, go to the 1 KHz
position, tune 2 KHz off channel and have virtually nothing. Works out very
well for the extremely crowded Asian SW bands, where stations every 5 KHz
are not uncommon.

One interesting thing about the radio is that, in addition to the usual
12/24 hour clock display, it also has a thermometer, which reads out in
Celsius when the AM is in 9 KHz mode and Fahrenheit when in the 10 KHz mode.

In a couple weeks, with any luck at all, I'll be getting a Tecsun PL-660.
This one will have SSB, sync, Aircraft band, and a bunch of other bells and
whistles. I'll do a short review of that one as well.


BAD,

What about the Built-in Rechargeable Battery function
via USB Jack (5V) for the 3 "AA" Batteries {4.5V} ?

iwtk ~ RHF
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Old March 5th 11, 07:44 PM posted to rec.radio.shortwave
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Default Tecsun PL-390

On 3/5/2011 12:42 AM, Brenda Ann wrote:
I picked up one of these little radios [Tecsun PL-390] just because it was cheap...


Thanks for the interesting review! But could you please elaborate on
"cheap" -- what did it cost (and what is the price of the 660 you are
going to get?)
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Old March 11th 11, 08:37 PM posted to rec.radio.shortwave
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Default Tecsun PL-390


This is basically a PL-380 in a big cabinet, with 2 speakers and longer
ferrite and telescopic antennas.

I've been through a number of the Tecsun DSP-based portables, and this
model appears to accumulate most of the positives and few of the
negatives.

It lacks the objectionable strong soft-mute action ("reverse AGC") of the
PL-310 and PL-606, while retaining the excellent sensitivity of the PL-380
on SW. The slightly larger cabinet size allows for larger antennas that
remedy the PL-380's mediocre sensitivity on MW and FM.

In all, I agree it's a winner. If it had SSB/Sync and RDS, it'd be the
best portable around in a very long time. Unfortunately, there doesn't
seem to be anything coming down the pike from Silicon that implements
these functions.



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Old March 11th 11, 08:45 PM posted to rec.radio.shortwave
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Default Tecsun PL-390


In article ,
Brenda Ann wrote:

[snip]

In a couple weeks, with any luck at all, I'll be getting a Tecsun PL-660.
This one will have SSB, sync, Aircraft band, and a bunch of other bells and
whistles. I'll do a short review of that one as well.


Despite similarities in size, the PL-660 is an entirely different animal.
In my "RF Alley" area, the DSP-based rigs are much more resistant to
overload and mixing products from local blowtorch transmitters.

Tecsun seems to be still tweaking things in this model in response to
postings on their Chinese BBS. The third production run has most of the
bugs and poor implementation stuff ironed out, but from reports some still
remain (e.g. there is great disparity in audio level between FM and AM
detectors). One wonders what variety Kaito USA is selling.

Still, the PL660 is a versatile performer. It uses the same sync detector
chip that the Sony SW7600 family uses, and has been one of the features
that worked as designed even from the get-go.



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Old March 12th 11, 01:16 AM posted to rec.radio.shortwave
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Default Tecsun PL-390


In article [email protected],
Bob Dobbs wrote:
Mike S. wrote:

Still, the PL660 is a versatile performer. It uses the same sync detector
chip that the Sony SW7600 family uses, and has been one of the features
that worked as designed even from the get-go.


Is that the same as in the SW-77?
I had one and didn't like it much because it had a couple issues like
the tuning chuff noise and confusing programming sequence
although the sync detector worked much better than the 2010,
almost as good as the one in the E1.


Not sure. IIRC the 7600G is a newer design than the SW77, so the multi-detector
chip (CXA1376) may be newer too.


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