RadioReference on Facebook   RadioReference on Twitter   RadioReference Blog
 

Go Back   The RadioReference.com Forums > HF / MW / LW Monitoring > HF/MW/LW Equipment


HF/MW/LW Equipment - For general and technical discussion of all receivers which cover the HF bands. For HF tranceiver discussion please use the Amateur Radio Equipment forum above.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-25-2016, 7:42 PM
p1879's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 105
Default The skInny on the Tecsun Pl-680

This radio has been out some time now, but I hear little about it. I did read some good reviews when it first appeared, saw a bit in the forums, and got some incidental information while looking. But overall, it seems like this radio may not be in such widespread use.

I suppose this may be because the radio is not so different to the excellent predecessor radio, the PL660. I have seen a review comparing them, and the 680 did look good in the narrative.

I am an old swl, I do have a R-75, and a sdr, but most listening is done in bed nowadays, and it is about 75% FM and some light swl listening. I use the Tecsun PL 310 ET for this, and it does work well. I am thinking about a Tecsun PL680 or a PL 880. The price difference is not so much an issue as the ease of use--I love the light weight of the PL310 as I am extremely nearsighted.

There is quite a bit of information on the PL 880, but much less on the PL680. I would be pretty happy with the pl-600 if it had synch capability on sw, and airband is not of interest.

I am looking for some PL 680 users to give some impressions on that radio. I appreciate any input, and hope it will be of interest to others, as well. I will say "thanks" now to all respondents, and not clutter the thread with more of my wordy comments.

Thanks!
p1879
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 04-27-2016, 9:38 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: allen co.
Posts: 40
Default Tecsun

Suggest you take a look at Tecsun 880pl. I had given up on SW/AM SWL as my

sub-division gained more homes full of interferance.

I sold my ICOMs ( r-7000 and r-72a ) ,took down my long wire and my sloper and

decided to stay with just scanners for local info on my Dis-cone!

Happened to spot the spec's for Tecsun 880pl and purchased one.

Interference level is still high but the combination of filters and high sensitivity

has brought SWL listening back into this 87 year old's life !


Good Luck,

beejay
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 04-27-2016, 11:41 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: MS Gulf Coast
Posts: 280
Default

No experience with one personally, but here are a couple of knowledgable reviews/comments:
https://radiojayallen.com/tecsun-pl-680/
A review of the Tecsun PL-680 with reader survey results | The SWLing Post
Mega Review: the Tecsun PL-880, PL-660, Sangean ATS-909X, and Sony ICF-SW7600GR go head-to-head | The SWLing Post

Bottom line in these reviews seems to be that the MW AM isn't great on the 680, but on SW it is on par or slightly better than the 660.
__________________
The best movie radio scene ever:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qDj...c&spfreload=10
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2016, 12:12 PM
p1879's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 105
Default

Yes, those are good articles, I had read them and I got interested in the PL 680..but beyond these initial reviews I have encountered few comments from PL 680 users. I think being only available from China and very slight difference from the PL 660 may limit interest in the radio.

My impression, gleaned from the lit., is the Pl 880 sounds the best from the speaker, but the 680 may be a better swl machine due to sensitivity and perhaps a better synch detector. I prefer the battery configuration in the Tecsun PL 680.

I feel confident that I would enjoy either radio a lot.

I can identify with you Beejay, most of my antennas have been hit by trees, etc, and I enjoy a portable with about 10 feet of wire. That might be a good length for the 880, from what I read. Do you use the external antenna capability on your Tecsun?
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2016, 1:02 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: allen co.
Posts: 40
Default

I can use the included wire antenna to an advantage at times on the 80 meter band

about sundown. As soon as I get to my box of adapters I intend to try it on my Dis-cone

thats up about 35 ft. ( bnc to 1/8 ). My interest there is to be able to hear MW thru

the external ant. port.

As a sidelight , I really enjoy the ease of SSB tuneing on this radio.

beejay
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 04-29-2016, 11:50 PM
kc2kth's Avatar
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Toms River NJ
Posts: 381
Default

I bought the 680 last year and it's a great radio. I opted for it over the 660 because I liked the design of the 600/680 better than the 660. I opted for it over the 880 because of some of the firmware issues the 880 had at the time. Overall it's a really great MW and SW radio. It works well with a reel antenna clipped to the whip and works well with one of the small, portable MW loops as well - just keeping them in close proximity, not actually connecting the loop to the radio in my case.

I also bought the Eton Satellit last year as well. It edges out the 680 slightly for me, more personal preference than anything objective though. Both of these are a bit better than my aging DX398 or YB400PE, but really just a bit.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 05-06-2016, 8:34 PM
p1879's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 105
Default

Good post! The 680 seems like a great radio and I think a bit lighter than an 880. I am getting one to spare my Panasonic rf 2600 rough usage.
Shortwave and the bookmobile were my window on the planet in the 1960's.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 05-06-2016, 11:15 PM
dmack550's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: South bend, Indiana
Posts: 94
Default

I just want purchased the 880 and looks like they got most of the bugs worked out. It's a great radio. Haven't come across any real negatives yet. Seems very well made and offers a whole lot of features. Love SWling but can't afford 2 to 6 thousand dollars for a radio. I know everyone recommends those and kind of chuckles about the "cheap" radios but spending that kind of money is totally out of the question for me.
__________________
"Do or do not.... There is no try" Master Yoda... Uniden owner
Bcd996p2, BCD536HP, Bcd325p2, HP-1, Pro2021, Pro-2020, Bearcat III, Regency K100, Galaxy 2547.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 05-09-2016, 8:38 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 563
Default

Nothing wrong with digital SW portables... some are better than others, obviously, but you can hear a lot with them and a little wire. I've never had an expensive tabletop and I've heard the world over the years.

Still hear some amazing catches now and then with just a Grundig G2 off its whip. The new DSP chipped radios can be gems on SW (depending on conditions, of course).
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 05-16-2016, 8:01 PM
p1879's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 105
Default

The audio reports on the PL880 won me over. I am still very interested in the PL680, the research was fun and the opinions were helpful. Portables are plain fun. No way is the Icom going to sit on my chest for bedtime listening like my tiny pl310 does.I am hoping to use the 880 in like fashion, but it may be a "body-side" radio due to comfort factor..
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 05-16-2016, 11:37 PM
dmack550's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: South bend, Indiana
Posts: 94
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by p1879 View Post
The audio reports on the PL880 won me over. I am still very interested in the PL680, the research was fun and the opinions were helpful. Portables are plain fun. No way is the Icom going to sit on my chest for bedtime listening like my tiny pl310 does.I am hoping to use the 880 in like fashion, but it may be a "body-side" radio due to comfort factor..
No the 880 is light enough to sit on you chest or lap while listening. I do it all the time. Not heavy at all... Good radio. Very feature rich too.
__________________
"Do or do not.... There is no try" Master Yoda... Uniden owner
Bcd996p2, BCD536HP, Bcd325p2, HP-1, Pro2021, Pro-2020, Bearcat III, Regency K100, Galaxy 2547.
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 06-12-2016, 12:42 AM
cherubim's Avatar
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 340
Default

From some of the reviews on Youtube it seems that the PL-680 offers next to no improvement over the PL-660. MW reception is down somewhat and SW sensitivity is improved but one would be really hard pressed to notice such changes if they already have a PL-660.

My PL-660 works well enough but I hardly use it due to serious SSB distortion and AGC issues. This is the second unit iíve found serious fault with and it leaves a rather bitter taste in my mouth.

Tecsun quality control and engineering stinks IMO.
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 06-16-2016, 3:08 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 26
Default

My 660 had a spur through the ambc and sw freqs every few KHz, apparently this is a common issue. If I had known that i wouldn't have bought it.
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 11-07-2016, 10:22 AM
Member
   
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Miami
Posts: 28
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kc2kth View Post
I bought the 680 last year and it's a great radio. I opted for it over the 660 because I liked the design of the 600/680 better than the 660. I opted for it over the 880 because of some of the firmware issues the 880 had at the time. Overall it's a really great MW and SW radio. It works well with a reel antenna clipped to the whip and works well with one of the small, portable MW loops as well - just keeping them in close proximity, not actually connecting the loop to the radio in my case.

I also bought the Eton Satellit last year as well. It edges out the 680 slightly for me, more personal preference than anything objective though. Both of these are a bit better than my aging DX398 or YB400PE, but really just a bit.
Very interesting- the Eton Satellit is based on the exact same Chip as the PL 880 and like the PL 880 usually SYNC does not work..

But some say the Satellit is great and some say bad...lol.
Do you find the Satellit far outperforming your PL 680 using passive loop on both ?

Does using the Dual Function tuning on Satellit make you feel like it will break soon ?
Has the chuff chuff muting while tuning
been minimized on Satellit ?

Some Reviewers say muting solved- ETON says no upgrades were done [ Eton Guy could be misinformed but I asked their Tech ]...
I think one reviewer on Eham said SYNC worked on Satellit...

Also - I WISH Tecsun would just charge $175 for a PL 700 with a great AM section but function like your 680..

Do you find you can DX AM with 680 or is Satellit much better due to multiple bandwidths etc ?

Can Satellit actually compete with 680 on SSB HAM reception ?

Sorry for the barrage of questions but you are a HAM so in a unique position to answer these and compare these fairly rare Receivers...
Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 05-05-2017, 10:48 AM
Member
   
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 11
Default

I see this is a relatively old thread but since I just bought a Tecsun PL-680 I thought I would chime in. I find it a great radio overall but what bothers me is the deviation of the tuning display. Even on FM a 91.1 station tunes in at 91.2. This may not be much of an issue since it is consistent but it bothers me enough to be considering selling the radio. I have ordered the Grundig/Eton Executive Satellit but may cancel that order and just keep the 680 now that I have learned to operate it in the dark quite well and it scans airband very well using a dedicated memory bank and tuning dial something the Eton does not do.
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 05-08-2017, 1:34 PM
GB46's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 47
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by beejay View Post
I had given up on SW/AM SWL as my
sub-division gained more homes full of interferance.
I've about reached that point myself, due to the enormous level of RFI in my vicinity, not only from neighbors in this apartment building, but also from the shopping centre directly across the street from me, and the power lines running down my block at the same level as the balcony window of my 3rd floor apartment; I'm looking right at them as I type this.

Propagation hasn't been all that good here, either. I've always been more interested in European broadcast stations and Atlantic aeronautical communications, but can rarely pick them up here out west, partly due to being in a valley and blocked to the east by several mountain chains. In my case, buying another receiver would be a waste of money, since my R75 would already be more than adequate under the right conditions.

On the other hand, none of those adverse conditions affect VHF or UHF, so I can still hear lots of traffic on my scanner with just the rubber ducky antenna.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 6:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
All information here is Copyright 2012 by RadioReference.com LLC and Lindsay C. Blanton III.Ad Management by RedTyger
Copyright 2015 by RadioReference.com LLC Privacy Policy  |  Terms and Conditions