• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:

antenna problem

Not open for further replies.
Aug 6, 2016
redmond, wa
I have a Kaito T-1 Radio antenna spread out on my deck, connected to a Tecsun PL880.
I am having trouble receiving anything except 5000 which just barely comes in (tried during Day and Night)
I live near Seattle ,Wa, , USA in a forested ,low area.
Should I buy, or make, a bigger antenna ? Connected to a tree, or my roof ?
Thanks , Peter


Wiki Admin Emeritus
Jul 22, 2002
Bowie, Md.
Hi Peter - you have a very nice portable there (wish I had one), but we need to go over a few basics...

1. HF doesn't work like TV or FM. It's largely dependent on the sun, and the time of day you are listening. In general stay below 10 or 11 Mhz during the night, above that during the day. The reasons for this are given in a nice basic site, below (links are blue) - note that you will need your Flash player tuned on

Propagation Primer - Flash Movie by AE4RV

2. I have a feeling you haven't looked at the SW antenna gain switch on the side of the radio. I'm betting the DX position will give you the better signal strength, but along with that...

3. Yes a better antenna will give you a lot more to hear. Get it as far away from the home, and nice and high, as you can. The recent traffic on the PL880 Yahoo group suggests that the PAR EF-SWL antenna works quite well with that radio, and seeing that you are in Washington state (where signal strengths tend to be less), you would have little trouble with overloading issues. Here is one supplier....

Par Electronics EF-SWL End Fed Dipole SWL Antenna. Par EF-SWL.

You will need to construct a jumper to get it to your radio (the typical PL-259 connector used on coax won't work with the 880's antenna jack), but from all indications it works quite well. Of course you can construct your own, and we have several links on that very subject here...

HF Antennas - The RadioReference Wiki

This is just a small sample of the various antennas you could build or get. Many ham related designs can also be used with a little adjustment of the math.

Just about out of room - catch you later...Mike
Sep 2, 2012
I also live in the OP's area of the US.

Try tuning through the 5900-6200 khz SW range during early morning. You should be able to hear a lot of Chinese language stations, and a couple Japanese and Russian language stations.

I get them even off the whip antenna on my Grundig G2, which probably has the same basic chips inside it that your PL880 does.

A forested area wouldn't make much difference in SW reception. Living in a valley or next to a hill might affect it some, but even then, you should be able to hear something, especially if you're away from the downtown urban areas where there is lots of man-made electronic interference (routers, power supplies, computer electronic noise, plasma TV's, etc.).
Not open for further replies.