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Author Topic: New Tecsun PL880 Shows Up on Amazon  (Read 47973 times)
K0OD
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Posts: 2557




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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2013, 11:31:54 AM »

New YT video shows PL-880 tuning CW pileup with readout to ten Hz. Op scrolls thru the various selectivity settings including 0.5 KHz. Pretty damn neat, eh? He also has a PL-880 AM demo posted a few hours ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS3aub3I4ow
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 12:00:35 PM by K0OD » Logged
N4NYY
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Posts: 4758




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« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2013, 03:01:21 PM »

Nice !
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K0OD
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« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2013, 07:16:39 AM »

Here's a thorough first look review of the PL-880 from SWLing.com. Several audio files are included that compare the 880 to the 660 and Sony 7600.
http://swling.com/blog/2013/12/a-review-of-the-tecsun-pl-880-portable-shortwave-radio/

The 880 is now selling around $180 versus the pre-order price of $149 back in November. On the other hand, some early buyers are reporting various problems especially in copying weak SSB signals.

I haven't ordered yet. I'd expect some firmware improvements in later runs. I'd rather the radio be able to use conventional AA batteries. Only rechargeable ones can be used. 
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N4NYY
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« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2013, 04:13:29 PM »

Here's a thorough first look review of the PL-880 from SWLing.com. Several audio files are included that compare the 880 to the 660 and Sony 7600.
http://swling.com/blog/2013/12/a-review-of-the-tecsun-pl-880-portable-shortwave-radio/

The 880 is now selling around $180 versus the pre-order price of $149 back in November. On the other hand, some early buyers are reporting various problems especially in copying weak SSB signals.

I haven't ordered yet. I'd expect some firmware improvements in later runs. I'd rather the radio be able to use conventional AA batteries. Only rechargeable ones can be used. 


That is why I purchased a 660 in Oct. I knew they got the kinks out. I brought the 660 to HRO (I work there on Saturdays). My co-workers were impressed at picking up SSB on a wire on 10, 15, and 20. And considering that the building is essentially a Faraday cage, it was that much more impressive.
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K0OD
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Posts: 2557




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« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2013, 07:11:20 PM »

Vinnie, are you following the many hundreds of recent posts on the Yahoo PL-880 group?  

The first 880s are arriving with two firmware versions, #8819 or #8820. Those who bought from Amazon got the earlier and reportedly inferior version. Those who ordered from Anon in China, and paid less, got 8820. Some buyers received nicer cases or chargers than others. Some other randomness is involved too from early reports coming in from buyers -- many of them hams -- around the world. A few buyers are thrilled with their 880 which apparently has wonderful audio on AM and FM.  

Most complaints have been about SSB reception. A couple of 8819 buyers have already returned their radios. It's possible there are hardware variations as well. Likely a few have defects, although no one has received a DOA 880 yet.

Dumb of Tecsun to allow buyers to discover their firmware version when apparently no field upgrade is possible. The 880's USB port is only for charging, not software upgrades. At least one potential buyer said he decided to go with a 660. There is general agreement the firmware is a long way from mature. I'm guessing that 880 sales will plummet for a time.

Glad I didn't order.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 08:05:39 PM by K0OD » Logged
N4NYY
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Posts: 4758




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« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2013, 06:42:27 AM »

Vinnie, are you following the many hundreds of recent posts on the Yahoo PL-880 group?  

The first 880s are arriving with two firmware versions, #8819 or #8820. Those who bought from Amazon got the earlier and reportedly inferior version. Those who ordered from Anon in China, and paid less, got 8820. Some buyers received nicer cases or chargers than others. Some other randomness is involved too from early reports coming in from buyers -- many of them hams -- around the world. A few buyers are thrilled with their 880 which apparently has wonderful audio on AM and FM.  

Most complaints have been about SSB reception. A couple of 8819 buyers have already returned their radios. It's possible there are hardware variations as well. Likely a few have defects, although no one has received a DOA 880 yet.

Dumb of Tecsun to allow buyers to discover their firmware version when apparently no field upgrade is possible. The 880's USB port is only for charging, not software upgrades. At least one potential buyer said he decided to go with a 660. There is general agreement the firmware is a long way from mature. I'm guessing that 880 sales will plummet for a time.

Glad I didn't order.

Wow. I have not followed it, but glad you told me.
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N4NYY
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« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2013, 02:09:59 PM »

Just a heads up. Kaito is updating firmware to version 8820. So people with first runs are not SOL.
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ZL2MC
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2014, 03:45:01 PM »

If the SSB filter is properly offset from the nominal carrier frequency, then the injected 'carrier reinsertion oscillator' frequency should not be heard if you want to restore the AM fidelity.
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KAPT4560
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Posts: 83




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« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2014, 03:08:27 AM »

 The software flash can be done 'in-house' if the radio is shipped to them. I have no further details of how this can be done for folks who have already purchased them although the factory says that 'they are welcome to send their radios back for the upgrade'.
 I would call Kaito for their policy on this. Although they are under no legal obligation to upgrade radios already sold, it would be really nice if this were a free upgrade (less shipping to and from, of course).
 They may give you a permission code or ID # over the phone or online to include with your unit when you ship it to them.
 The USB cable can only be used for the charger at the consumer level. It may have module flash capabilities at the factory level. Much like the data link connector under your vehicle's dash.
 http://swling.com/blog/2013/12/kaito-able-to-update-pl-880-firmware-in-house/
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K0OD
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Posts: 2557




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« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2014, 05:54:53 AM »

Anon's price is back down to $159.99 and they're emphasizing in ads that their stock is firmware version 8820.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/121244464840?lpid=82

At least one used 880 is on Ebay.

I'm holding off at least two more software revisions.
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AA4HA
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Posts: 1434




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« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2014, 01:39:39 PM »

It sounds like they are using an I2C bus for programming. The Sangean ATS-909/ Radio Shack DX-398 also has that capability but they use it to load channels.

If you have a 909/398 look on the bottom (narrow bottom) and you will see a few very tiny holes. Those are the I2C contact points for the programmer.

I have used I2C programming devices to update other radios (commercial stuff) but they usually required that I open up the radio to get to a header on the PCB where I could attach a programmer.

If someone wanted to "hack" a radio there are little kits that you can use to connect your PC to an I2C bus. The commands are standardized, some devices support bi-directional communications. Others are read only or write only.
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
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