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Author Topic: TECSUN PL680 BEATS EXPECTATIONS - Part 1  (Read 3226 times)

Offline VK3BVW

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TECSUN PL680 BEATS EXPECTATIONS - Part 1
« on: October 02, 2016, 0417 UTC »

Despite several shortcomings, the PL680 is very impressive little performer. This is a short article on how the 680 performed when placed side-by-side with the Sangean ATS909.

http://medxr.blogspot.com.au/2016/09/tecsun-pl680-beats-expectations-part-1.html
Rob Wagner VK3BVW
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Offline BoomboxDX

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Re: TECSUN PL680 BEATS EXPECTATIONS - Part 1
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2016, 2247 UTC »
I read your review with interest, especially your experiences with the ATS909. Tough radio!

I have a DX-398 and it's been through a lot, although it hasn't been rained on. Still works well, it's my main SSB / Ham monitoring radio, and the only one I attempt to DX the Longwave band with.
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The usual Realistic culprits on SW (and a Panasonic).

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Re: TECSUN PL680 BEATS EXPECTATIONS - Part 1
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2016, 2349 UTC »
I have a DX-398 and it's been through a lot, although it hasn't been rained on. Still works well, it's my main SSB / Ham monitoring radio, and the only one I attempt to DX the Longwave band with.

Bought my 398 shortly after "9-11". The  Rat Shack had a whole wood pallet stacked with boxes of the radio in the front (inside) of the store...1/2 off the original price. Once, maybe 5 or so years ago the thing froze up. Couldn't program anything in it. None of the buttons, minus the on/off button worked. I did my usual back yard poking here dusting there alcohol everywhere. Then suddenly, as if it had a mind of its own, the problem mysteriously disappeared. Like my Pro-92 squelch problem of late. 

Offline BoomboxDX

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Re: TECSUN PL680 BEATS EXPECTATIONS - Part 1
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2016, 1524 UTC »
^^^^ I had mine for some time before 9-11 -- it was the radio I heard 9-11 radio reports on (KIRO and KOMO AM news radio at the time), as I had taken it to work with me.

Sometimes microprocessors can glitch unexpectedly on these modern digital SW portables. My DX-370 -- which has no 9 khz / 10 khz button, decided to tune the AM band in 9 khz increments one night until I turned it off and back on.

I still have no idea why it did that. The Sangean ATS-800A which it's based on (it's an actual variant of that radio, not just a re-badge) has 9 khz capability. The only thing I can think happened was that the bandswitch was slightly a-kilter and it must have thrown off the microprocessor.

Glad to hear your 398 is working again. They're great radios.
An AM radio Boombox DXer.
+ GE SRIII, PR-D5 & TRF on MW.
The usual Realistic culprits on SW (and a Panasonic).

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: TECSUN PL680 BEATS EXPECTATIONS - Part 1
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2016, 0020 UTC »
I have a DX-398 and it's been through a lot, although it hasn't been rained on. Still works well, it's my main SSB / Ham monitoring radio, and the only one I attempt to DX the Longwave band with.

Bought my 398 shortly after "9-11". The  Rat Shack had a whole wood pallet stacked with boxes of the radio in the front (inside) of the store...1/2 off the original price. Once, maybe 5 or so years ago the thing froze up. Couldn't program anything in it. None of the buttons, minus the on/off button worked. I did my usual back yard poking here dusting there alcohol everywhere. Then suddenly, as if it had a mind of its own, the problem mysteriously disappeared. Like my Pro-92 squelch problem of late. 

You've got to press reset at times with the Sangean 909/DX 398's. That usually fixes the "freeze".  It seems to happen from time to time when you change over to fresh batteries.

Offline Cundy15

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Re: TECSUN PL680 BEATS EXPECTATIONS - Part 1
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2016, 0005 UTC »
I'm having difficulty with mine. I purchased it off amazon last month and only been picking up commercial stations like radio China international. I bought it to listen to aviation band and any other interesting frequencies but here in Bedford, UK it's not been much joy.

Can you give me any tips or advice on what to do?

Thanks


Offline dxace1

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Re: TECSUN PL680 BEATS EXPECTATIONS - Part 1
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2016, 0056 UTC »
I have just obtained one from Anon-HK, to join my PL660 and many other portables.  So
far I am very impressed -- it is one sensitive radio, and is only beaten I think by the PL880
and its multiple selectivity positions.
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Offline MDK2

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Re: TECSUN PL680 BEATS EXPECTATIONS - Part 1
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2016, 0058 UTC »
I'm having difficulty with mine. I purchased it off amazon last month and only been picking up commercial stations like radio China international. I bought it to listen to aviation band and any other interesting frequencies but here in Bedford, UK it's not been much joy.

Can you give me any tips or advice on what to do?

Thanks

Do you have an airport nearby? Airband signals don't go very far, or so I'm led to understand. I have a receiver that has air band, and the arrivals from the SW destined for my local airport fly overhead, so I can get a lot on that channel, but not a whole lot from the tower or from the frequencies designated for other approaches/departures. There's a smaller airport that's closer to me and I can get their tower pretty well, but it's not very busy.

As far as shortwave goes, you might be interested in Volmets, which are special aviation frequencies located at seaside locations, intended for transoceanic flights. For example, there's one in Shannon, Ireland that is the main one for arrivals to the British Isles from North America, so it ought to be an easy copy for you. One of their frequencies is 5505 kHz at night, and 13264 kHz at day. Listen in USB mode. It may not be on at all times, so check this link for other frequencies, as it may be operating on one of them instead. They have four altogether.

http://www.dxinfocentre.com/volmet.htm

You might want to use the external wire antenna that came with your receiver. Some of these frequencies aren't very strong.

Good luck.
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Offline Looking-Glass

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Re: TECSUN PL680 BEATS EXPECTATIONS - Part 1
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2016, 0335 UTC »
Cundy15, you will find that by linking the radio to an external antenna such as a VHF Discone antenna on a pole/mast outside you will vastly improve your VHF aviation band reception.

There are plenty of VHF discone antennae on the market, it will also bring up your FM band reception as a bonus too.

On the cheap, you can always utilise an old VHF television telescopic "rabbit ears" internal set top antenna too.  I had exceptional results from this before reverting to a Discone outside.

Likewise, for improved shortwave reception a length of wire outside to the radio will pay dividends, more than likely will drag in those dreaded Chinese stations in stronger too! ::)

I just bought the Tecsun S-2000 and quite happy with it.  Jack VK2XQ Mount Piddington, Australia.
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Offline Cundy15

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Re: TECSUN PL680 BEATS EXPECTATIONS - Part 1
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2016, 1931 UTC »
It's the HF I'm wanting volmet and North Atlantic Tracks I have a uniden 125XLT connected to a Broadsword Antenna DP2 for the VHF civil and military bands.

What I mean is the TECSUN PL680 isn't picking any air frequencies for the HF bands for volmet or transatlantic and many people in areas surrounding me do pick them up. I have speaker wire which is longer than the one it came with as the one it came with made no improvement so bought speaker wire to trial and still on joy.

Offline Looking-Glass

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Re: TECSUN PL680 BEATS EXPECTATIONS - Part 1
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2016, 0455 UTC »
Cundy 15:  Tecsun offer a small dipole for HF which should bring the signals up, it should be listed in the additional products brochure that came with your radio.  

Not sure how much land you have for an outside antenna.

If you are like me and have a fair sized parcel of land you could buy a reel of small gauge copper wire and run your own longwire?  

I have a 310 feet long run of wire this way and although it drags the noise in on the low bands, generally it's well worth the effort.

If you go to the Utility page and pick up the topic "Volmets heard this week."  You will see what I have been hearing this way and the rewards gained by using a big wire antenna... ::)
« Last Edit: December 31, 2016, 0507 UTC by Looking-Glass »
Hermitage Flat, NSW.

Grid Square:  QF56dm.

Yaesu FT-1000D, Yaesu FT-2000D, ICOM IC-736 HF/50MHz, ICOM IC R75 & Tecsun S-2000 to 450 feet of wire, and a multi band vertical of dubious reliability.